How to Talk About Sex Like a Man

When you’re 15 years old and smoking behind the 7-Eleven, it’s your God-given right to speak like Beavis and Butt-head. But where’s the line for a tax-filing, door-holding adult male when discussing sex with friends? Andrew Richdale learns how to talk like a man:

It should have been an easy question. I was drinking with some friends and the conversation had, as these things often do over beers with a bunch of dudes, gone into the gutter. One second a guy’s defending his preference for “girls who can squirt the ceiling.” The next someone’s asking me, the sole silent party, “What happened your first time?”

The thing with me and talking about sex is that I once broke out in full-body hives during a classroom reading of Howl! My parents never gave me The Talk. The closest I got was a speech from my crusty gym teacher to the sixth-grade boys that mixed what he called good news—”Ladies, your wieners are about to get bigger”—and fart jokes, then ended with him actually farting. To make matters worse, I was raised in a religious family, my mouth divinely trained to reject certain phrases.

That said, there was no way I was giving a play-by-play of my actual “first time,” an unnatural disaster that didn’t occur until I was 21 and outwardly homosexual. Instead, I scanned back to the pre-gay age of 15 when I over-the-bra groped a chick who gave me bedroom eyes. The story seemed tame enough. I was in the middle of explaining how we were playing Truth or Dare in the alley behind a skating rink when I realized I would soon have to address, out loud, the existence of…boobs? Is that the right word? Or is that what kids who study Klingon say? Hooters seemed like the indisputable territory of men who swill moonshine. I briefly considered tommies, but, oh yeah, that turned out to be a safe-word my mom had invented while I was in diapers. So, fun bags? Sweater kittens? Lady humps?

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