If there are a million ways to do something wrong, there should be at least a few ways to do a thing right. In this series, Janet and Emily tackle your questions from two different perspectives. The result, we hope, is two right answers.
Janet is a stone-cold rationalist, baker, and monotreme from Australia. Her boobs played the field briefly before marrying themselves off to a skier-dude. Emily is from the Midwest, and is a single, straight, agnostic, whiskey-drinking softball player who’d love to use her Pinterest wedding board before all the pics go out of style. Both Janet and Emily are writers and comedians in New York.
I live with my Mom and Dad (still), so every time my boyfriend and I have sex we do it at my boyfriend’s house. Well, he lives with roommates and always seems to initiate sex when there are other people around. The walls are thin, so he is trying to be discreet, but it has become really obvious when we are having sex because he plays music loudly to drown out any noise. On the one hand, I like music to get in the mood. But it’s also weird to me that people will hear it and know it’s the “special” music — like will they associate Chris Isaac with nookie because it broadcast the fact we were getting busy in the next room? I am not embarrassed about sex, but I would like a little more discretion for everyone involved. – Not Looking For An Audience
Emily: The only good thing about my eyes rolling so far back in my head is that I can clearly see my thoughts.
One: Who is this bozo and why is he initiating sex in front of other people? Booooo. This behavior would make me feel objectified — the object being a sexually-available pile of wet ham. Gently remind him you are not ham.
Two: Blasting sex music is embarrassing, but we as a people must learn to hump one another despite that. I wonder if you’re uncomfortable when you turn on your fuck list because your roommates know that your thighs are gooey, or because you have a suspicion that your sex songs are supremely dorky. Well, nobody’s fuck list is dorkier than mine: Paula Cole’s “Feelin Love” still makes my vagina shout “HALLO. HALLO. I AM HERE.”
And yes, this song is from the “City of Angels” soundtrack. Starring Nick Cage. And people still have sex with me. You’ll be fine.
Janet: A “City of Angels” b-side! If there are any “Wings of Desire” purists out there hating on “City of Angels,” you should know that A) IT’S NOT JUST GOO GOO DOLLS on the soundtrack, B) it’s very flattering to public libraries, and C) it was perhaps the first major motion picture to give significant screen time to the Bosc pear.
My sex list includes both “Enter Sandman,” which I fittingly lost my virginity to (just that one song), and “Roll To Me” by Del Amitri, because it’s instructive. There’s no reason to be embarrassed about your sex playlist being heard, unless it is interrupted by an ad. Aside: Emily, have you ever had a “driveway moment” during sex? One time I got totally distracted by how good Springsteen’s “Magic” was and absent-mindedly “parked” myself to hear it out.
I’m not sure if I agree that “initiating sex in front of other people” belongs on the “unforgivable curses” list. Is he mounting her in the living room, or grabbing her hand and giving her the “let’s bump uglies” signal? Share-housing necessarily involves public sex to some degree. People are always around because they live there. I once groped someone in a pantry because that’s where the rent was cheapest. Also, having people around is a nice buffer — don’t rush to cut yourself off from society, or you might find yourself marooned in a boy’s bedroom with Good Charlotte blasting from the speakers.
Emily: No driveway moments, but I once “bumped uglies” in a pantry because that’s where my boyfriend sold eight balls from. Still, I would have been pissed if his customers were there to watch. Privacy is important. Especially for drug dealers.
Janet: Even if you’re a “small business owner,” you have to keep office hours, I totally agree. Any ideas for a “not now, we’re at a seder” no-sex signal to counter the boyfriend’s public come-ons? I know you’ve got wicked game when it comes to manipulating the poor menfolk.
Emily: You think so? Thank you! Whenever I want to make a boyf stop thinking about sex, I put my dirty old dog on my lap. Just this weekend I cuddled my decrepit dog in bed while the naked man lying next to me said, “I feel so guilty for being here.” High five, Sparky! You?
Janet: My trick for “not now” is to play Vertical Horizon’s “You Say.” Men hate that. It keeps you vertical.
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[Image of a couple having sex in bed via Shutterstock]