Friday, December 21, 2007
'Tis the season for giving and receiving -- preferably at the same time, with one or more people -- so why not try 69 with your lover/spouse/best friend/UPS guy? If you need a refresher on how to accomplish this classic position, check out this bit of immortal prose that I wrote in a fit of purple:
With the grace of ice skaters we reversed ourselves on cue, our moist bodies gliding effortlessly into a perfect 69. His cock found my mouth as if by instinct; my lower lips locked magnetically onto his roving tongue. His throbbing shaft filled my throat; my juices overflowed onto his chin. We rocked in unison, driven by the urgency of our hunger and the flux of pleasure that pulled us together. In a knot of intertwined passion, we licked and sucked and caressed each other until we both lost consciousness of our material selves and dissolved into a fog of ecstasy that transcended skin and muscle and bone . . . .
I always feel like I've hit the erotica writer's jackpot whenever I'm able to use the phrases "throbbing shaft" and "fog of ecstasy" in the same paragraph. But seriously, when I find myself writing this type of crapola (which I do, more often than I'd rather admit), I usually don't make it to the mutual climax before I have to fling my shovel across the room. Then I hike up my thigh-high boots, and wade through the bullshit to the kitchen, where I pour myself another cup of coffee and brood over the yawning gap between erotic fiction and experience. Those dazzling 69 performances happen far more often on my computer screen than they do in any bed I've occupied.
You know what I need, as an erotica writer? I need a Mystery Lover X, an anonymous, agreeable, highly flexible sex partner to try various positions, acts, and toys with me, so that I can write about the more exotic sex acts realistically. I need the X-rated equivalent of those semi-visible dining companions who are always featured in restaurant reviews but receive only passing credit for their insights: X ordered the pad thai, which he found savoury but bland in comparison to my chicken coconut curry, might translate into X enjoyed tonguing my pussy while I lay upside-down on top of him, but found that my own oral skills were lacking in a 69 position, i.e., he kept feeling my teeth.
I'm ashamed to admit that I've written about 69 largely from a second-hand perspective. Few of my lovers seemed inclined to try this back-to-front position, and the few times I'd tried it, I'd found it alternately awkward, embarrassing, and only intermittently arousing. In my mind's eye, I see 69 as a fluid, sensual continuum of bodies, a seamless communion of mouth to pussy to cock, a yin-yang symbol rendered in flesh. In reality, the whole thing reminds me of trying to assemble cheap furniture: Insert shelf B into plank A using widget Z to adjust screw Y. Torso length has to match up to some degree, so that mouths can reach genitals, and how did the two of us somehow end up with a total of six legs?
There are lots of ways to perform 69, as I discovered from an eye-popping search of internet porn. Some of them seem accessible to moderately flexible people like me, others appear to require an extensive study of yoga and/or a couple of gold medals in gymnastics. Standing 69? Not even Mystery Lover X will try that with me. He doesn't want to throw out his back trying to hoist my rather large carcass into a reverse position, just so he can tongue me upside-down. Mystery Lover X is nothing if not pragmatic. Like me, he tends to prefer to experiment on a nice, firm mattress, in a horizontal position.
There's something about 69 that makes me feel utterly exposed and vulnerable, and not necessarily in a sexy way. Maybe it's the tension between trying to please my partner, and worrying about how I'm responding to his efforts to please me. I'm caught smack in the middle of my two deepest sources of anxiety: trying to relax enough to open up completely to another human being, while giving that person enough pleasure to ensure that he can let go of his own self-awareness (hey, I'm reasonably enlightened, but the Dalai Lama I ain't). The whole point, of course, is that we both reach Mount Ecstasy at precisely the same moment, with our lips melded to each others' genitals.
Part of the problem here, not only in erotic fiction but in sexual experience itself, is the almost fanatic cultural emphasis on sex as a direct route to erotic nirvana. As a writer, a reader, and a lover, I've been guilty of placing a quasi-religious faith in the transformative power of Orgasm. Is this a crime? I don't think so; after all, those glorious spasms are what allows not only for great art, emotional passion, and a heck of a lot of cheesy porn, but the perpetuation of the species. But what I miss in my pursuit of pleasure, beauty, and the ultimate Climax is the gratification of struggling for an ideal.
Yes, yes, I know. I realize that "the difficulty of struggling for an ideal" sounds about as sexy as working out on a Stairmaster while reading German philosophy. What I'm trying to describe is the intimacy that evolves through the effort to reach for something beautiful with someone you love, or at least like very much. Oh, hell, if someone blows your skirt up, and they have acceptable hygiene, why not invite them to join you in a quest for the metaphysical through the physical? There are reasons for all those ornate positions in the Kama Sutra, you know. They're configurations of the eternal; they represent different letters in an alphabet of sacred desire.
The older I get, the more I realize that sex in reality is profoundly different from the way it plays out in my imagination, not just from a practical, in-the-flesh, oh-shit-that-hurts-like-hell standpoint, but from a psychological perspective. The chords that any given sex act strikes in my psyche are rarely the ones I expect to hear. So what combination of notes does 69 hit in my psyche? For me, it's the flux of giving and receiving; loss of self and loss in self at the same time. I know that sounds ridiculously abstract, but I'd be lying if I told you that I found it instantly exciting to have my hind quarters clamped over a man's face while my mouth is buried in his groin. I confess that I've written about 69 as if it were one ongoing nekkid funfest, but in my personal, undivulged experience, it takes time and patience, and a gradual easing into each others' bodies, to get to the point that it feels easy and fluid and fulfilling.
Even then, 69 just doesn't always work for me. But isn't it lovely when it does? Through some extensive experimentation with my new companion, I found that I prefer to lie on my back on the bottom, with Mystery Lover X upside-down on top of me. MLX himself rated this position as highly satisfactory, though the acrobatics gave him a charley horse at the critical moment.
So tell me . . . what do you think of 69? Favorite positions? Exalted and/or embarrassing experiences? Post pictures!
Photo credits: Felicien Rops, Soixante-Neuf from Wikimedia.org; Standing 69 from Retroraunch.com; Ancient Indian 69 from Travel.Hat.Net