Sex is depicted most often by the media as a special relationship between two people that transcends the boundaries of real-world existence to end in a mind-blowing, angels serenaded, fireworks show of an orgasm — every time. The truth of the matter is that some aspects of doing the nasty are just, well, nasty, or uncomfortable at the very least.
Hickeys: An A-list hottie once told me, “A Hickey from Knicky is like a Hallmark card.” (Or at least that’s how it went in my seventh-grade fantasies.) If a hickey is like a Hallmark card, it’s like one of those huge obnoxious ones that you give to your mom on her 50th birthday, at her office (where there’s nothing she can do but carry the damn thing around all day), in order to embarrass the hell out of her. Once you have a hickey, there’s not much you can do about it. There’s a little to be said about icing it (it is a bruise, after all) or wearing a scarf (weather permitting), but mostly, you just have to wait it out.
Scratches: There’s something moderately terrifying about seeing your hook-up roll out of bed and being able to pin-point the exact path your hands took the night before. Make sure to cut and file your nails before your go there. While your hookup might not mind it at the moment, it could make the next day’s shirts vs. skins pick-up basketball game really awkward.
Semen: It can be very nice for sex to end in orgasm. For about half of the population, orgasms end in semen. I find this to be an unfortunate fact for two reasons. One: This is the number one messiest part about sex in many cases. Two: Semen conglomerates. What looks so unassuming and harmless on a tissue, or in an open space, feels so uncomfortable in an enclosed area. It doesn’t move well, it’s slippery and it sticks to itself and you. Reason number 860 that condoms are the best invention ever_ right behind STI and pregnancy prevention — is: “saves you from physical evidence of your last sexual exploit three days later.”
Sweat: The best way to get warm is to get naked with someone else. The best way to get hot is to get naked and rub your bodies against each other, rolling over and changing positions and elevating your heart rate. After a good tumble, dripping in your own, or your partner’s sweat is not unlikely, which can be more than a little disconcerting depending on your comfort level. Let’s be honest. I don’t regularly volunteer to shower in my own sweat, let alone someone else’s (David Beckham excluded). The worst part is that in the post-coitus cuddle, someone inevitably ends up in the sweat spot. Gross.
Chafed nipples: Nipples are wondrous things, because they’re one more place that is home to pleasure-inducing nerve endings. So, by all means, play with nipples — with your hands, with your mouth, with whatever else you and your partner decide is OK. But beware: That area is super sensitive, and there can be too much of a good thing. I, for one, am liable to kick you in the teeth if you bite. You’ve been warned.
Queefing: In some cultures, it’s considered a huge compliment to the chef to belch after a very hearty meal. This is the best justification I have for the potential embarrassment caused by the vibration of your vaginal lips as excess air escapes. Queefing occurs following the forcing of air into the vagina, most often by vigorous thrusting, although it can also happen during more public activities like exercise. Imagine sitting in your completely silent yoga class and … it happens. Terrible in a public setting for sure, but at least you can turn around with everyone else and pretend you have no idea where the sound came from. Unfortunately, unless your sex life involves an entire yoga class, that kind of anonymity is impossible in the bedroom.
In spite of the inherent grossness of two or more people exchanging bodily fluids, sex is all around us, driving our everyday lives. Even through the hickeys and sweat and semen conglomeration, and in spite of the fact that all of this happens without the promise of that immaculate orgasm, we still decide to eat the hearty meal. Good thing we know how to thank the chef.