The Monotonous Mission(ary)

WHEN it comes to sex, what is daring?

Could “daring” be considered doing it on the kitchen table?

How about servicing a mate in a car without ever going to a gas station?

Or making the experience an Ofoto moment?

It’s a tricky thing trying to typify what is bold and resourceful in the throes of intimacy, and what is considered, for lack of a better word, freaky. As males we need to gingerly walk a very fine line when broaching the topic of eclectic sexual exploration…because once a proposal is presented that morphs you from that cool, nice guy who is definitely boyfriend material…to some kind of sick vagrant because of your now-apparent sketchy sexual past, there is no going back.

Of course, the fear of every male is to not be pro-active enough when attempting to (1) distinguish himself as a novel, unique partner who isn’t like all the other guys, only to be seen as Mr. Monotonous Missionary Man (2) Waiting for her to take the initiative in such a situation, only to realize later that she didn’t want to be seen as the erotic escapader when presenting a proposal.

Most Hoboken women and men don’t look like the protagonists that will be appearing in Grand Theft Anal anytime soon. The conservative conformity, at least ostensibly, would give anyone the impression that 1.3 doesn’t apply to the size of Hoboken in square miles, but the number of positions actually explored in bed.

So how does one broach such a touchy (no pun intended) subject?

And more importantly, when?

“If you don’t talk about it right away (after having sex for the first time with a particular person), then you need to wait 6-7 months,” explains Matt, 32. “Set the expectation right from the start.”

Brenda, 34, had a different perspective, “I think you can talk about as long as you act like you’re joking. Put an idea out there, and read her eyes while you’re proposing it. If an interest is tweaked, a raise of the eyebrow, talk about it more. If she seems horrified, just say you were kidding and move on.”

According to an ABC News poll, half of all couples openly discuss their fantasies. To that end, one quote that I hang in my cubicle that is particularly poignant when relating it to the aspect of such discussions is this:

“The problem with communication is the illusion that it has occurred.”

If a relationship is at a point where trust has been established but the physical facets have become as predictable as a romantic comedy’s ending, perhaps a discussion about one’s sexual politics needs to be had…it’s simply something that cannot be implied since the act or acts can be so personal and specific. As per Brenda’s advice, half-kidding your way past the initial awkward stages seems the logical way to get to Blasphemy Boulevard.

The same ABC poll indicates that Americans lead two kinds of sexual lives simultaneously: The vast majority of Americans are faithful to their spouses and content about it, conveying fulfillment with their sex lives and a general preference for complete commitment in sexual relationships.

While these results portray us in a conservative light, when the poll gets more granular it paints a much different picture.

Among the findings:

57 percent of Americans have had sex outdoors or in a public place.

29 percent have had sex on a first date, and about as many have had an “unexpected sexual encounter with someone new” (See: one night stand).

15 percent of men — and three in 10 single men age 30 and older — have paid for sex.

About half of women say they’ve faked an orgasm (but if they lied about having one, who to say they were truthful when answering this question on the poll?).

Here’s one result that begs attention, because the number is higher than expected: 28 percent of men admit to experiencing a threesome. My own internal polling puts that number at more like 2.8 percent. Hoboken is a small town, with perception and reputation trumping any desire to add another variable to the equation of 1 + 1.

The most interesting part of the poll concerns the average number of sex partners and the disparity between genders. Men have had an average of 20 partners in their lifetime; women, six.

The disparity could have something to do with the threat of pregnancy, or that women are slightly more old-fashioned in terms of whom they sleep with. But ultimately, the gap is likely prompted by exaggerating and downplaying from men and women, respectively, based on men being morally handicapped and the double standard women have to deal with.

So what does all this data mean when it comes to sexual proclivity?

To be honest and being the essence of innocence, I wasn’t sure. So I turned to one of my three trusted advisors from over the years to give me her perspective after reading my column up until this point.

“Okay Joe-Joe, it means that men and women are not always forthright with their partners about their desires, but for different reasons,” my TA explained, a girl who has been both very single and very committed in the years that I’ve known her. “They both want more… more sex, more fun, more hot wax…

Men act like they’ve done it all,” she continued. “But in reality, they haven’t done most of it because they don’t want to scare women off by suggesting it. Otherwise, they may end up not getting any, period.

Women act like some sexual acts are too “dirty” for their pristine, innocent selves, when in reality, they want to feel comfortable enough with their guys and just let loose and go wild. Of course… there are those women who can’t even get comfortable enough with their own bodies, forget about getting them to let loose with yours!”

She was rolling like Ari Gold now…

“So I would say the conversation (about exploring sexual fantasies) does not happen enough. I think women and men both need to speak up more, need to be more open about it, but start slowly.

Don’t go straight from missionary to suggesting a “hot lunch” or a threesome with your pet pooch. Test the waters, if s/he seems to like it, then next time take it one step further.”

I looked at my watch to see if there were still any shopping days until Christmas left, but she was making some solid educational points and was accidentally entertaining in the process, so I kept my mouth shut and the recorder recording.

“It also depends on the type of relationship both parties are expecting. If they are both out for just sex, whether its one night or whenever, I think then it’s easier to approach the subject, since that’s probably all you do together anyway. But when it comes to building a relationship… then it gets tricky, like you say at the beginning of your story.”

I reflected on what TA had to say on a personal level of my own eclectic prowess (the ABC poll also indicated that 70 percent of men think about sex on a daily basis as opposed to only 24 percent of women, so there was no guilt in having such thoughts). Tricky subject, no doubt, and like snowflakes, no two are alike, just like no two situations with a partner are alike.

Chemistry may be taught to all of us in High School, but it’s something that happens between two people on every level (physically, emotionally, and intellectually) on rare occasions…you can count the instances on one hand. If a relationship can achieve that, then a subtle understanding of what needs to be done may already be there.

Most importantly, neither side will be shy in communicating every thought that they want to share with the other, including any that involve devices only found at the Pink Pussycat, voyeuristic locations that Mapquest doesn’t cover or positions only a Yoga instructor can appreciate.

Hoboken may be conservative on the surface, but behind closed doors it may resemble that desert town out west.

And what happens in Hoboken, stays in Hoboken.