I hate it when a guy says my name in bed. Hate it. I already know my name. And if I don't know yours, we probably didn't come there to talk. So please, whatever you do, don't say my name.
I don't like to be kissed either, at least not during the act. With the infinite variety of places you could choose to put your lips, why put them on my mouth? It's distracting, it's unsanitary, and I don't care what an artiste you are at sucking face, I would rather you suck on parts that can't be sucked on at the grocery store or the zoo. Time, as they say, is of the essence.
These declarations may sound crude out of context, but I have a good excuse. According to author, publisher and musician and sexual provocateur Lisa Crystal Carver, I am a sexualist: a person who prefers the quick and dirty over the protracted and perfumed. In her hilarious essay, "Some of my Best Friends are Sensualists," penned for nerve.com some 10 years ago, Carver made an excellent case for us sexualists: "While the sensualists toil over preparations for the perfect evening," she writes, "sexualists make do. We screw in our work clothes ... if you know what you want, why do other stuff first?"
My sentiments exactly.
I am utterly flummoxed by the need of well-meaning people to "create a mood" when it's time to make the beast with two backs. Why waste precious time searching for that fucking Neil Young record I've already heard a thousand times when you could be grinding my face into the carpet right now? Which is not to say I'm insensitive. I love animals, I cried embarrassingly hard at the end of Pan's Labyrinth, and I take really long bubble baths about four times a week. Being a sexualist doesn't mean I'm impervious to the sensual world. It just means that, if you want to "create a mood" with me, you'd do well to start by pinning my shoulders to the floor with your knees.
When I read Carver's essay, it spoke to me a rock-hard diatribe against stilted, hippie lovemaking. My people! Turns out that, these days, the author herself isn't so sure.
"I think sexualist is probably another word for slut," says Carver, now 38, by phone from her New Hampshire home. A teenage zine magnate in the '80s (Dirt, Rollerderby), a performance art and noise icon (as part of Suckdog) in the '90s and a sexual outlaw who has documented her sexploits for nerve.com over time, Carver's memoir, Drugs Are Nice, came out in 2005. The woman once known as Lisa "Suckdog" was a confirmed sexualist when she penned the Nerve treatise. Now she claims to have gone over to the other side.
"I came to love a slow hand, I guess," Carver says, adding that 12 years of motherhood had nothing to do with it. "I'm not sure [the notion] was ever true to begin with. You have to come up with categories so two people can exchange these amorphous ideas. [Then] you get rid of the hard, hoary coating and let the amorphous idea run free. That's what the 'sexualist' and 'sensualist' categories were. They were just the hard part of the pill."
But what if you love the hard, hoary coating? What if hard, hoary coating is exactly what you were looking for in the first place?
Noted evolutionary psychologist David Buss is no help either. "Nothing psychological comes in two categories," says Buss, author of The Evolution of Desire from his University of Texas office. "There might be individual differences on how sexual someone is or how sensual someone is, but it's not like there are two types of people. The only natural types are male and female."
I say, "Fuck that noise." In fact, fuck it with a pillowcase over its head.
Of course, the one person you can't argue with is Annie Sprinkle. Make that Dr. Sprinkle. The only prostitute-porn star on record with a Ph.D. in human sexuality, Sprinkle, 52, is the great Venus figure of smut. Her legendary performance piece, Public Cervix Announcement, wherein she invites audience members to get up close and personal with her cervix with the help of a flashlight and a speculum assured her status as the one-woman Mount Rushmore of sex-positive culture.
"I think it's more fluid than just one or the other," she says brightly, by phone from her San Francisco home. "Our lives go through many changes and we like different things at different times. Same with our sex lives. I used to be, 'Fuck me with a big something,' and that would get me to my more present sensual spot. Now it's kind of the opposite for me. I'm not the size queen I used to be. Things change."
Sprinkle also points out that, for some people, the ideal is no sex at all. "I just got together for dinner with a bunch of my old whore friends women in their 50s, 60s and 70s who are still working prostitutes," she says. "They advertise that you can see them without the sex. Some men just want to be held and loved and heard. There are all kinds of people. It's easy to generalize, but it never really works when it comes to sex."
Jackie Nichols, 27, waitress and hostess at the Flight Club in Inkster, can back that up. While it would be easy to suppose that most men are sexualists, she says that a surprising number of the club's patrons want more than just eye candy they can jack off to later. "You'd be surprised at how many guys just want to talk," she says, as topless young women undulate on the poles in front of her station. "We've got guys who pay to come in and tell you their life story. In the beginning, they talk about themselves. But, in the end, they just want to talk about the girl and her feelings."
As far as strip clubs go, the Flight Club is a class joint. It's like Disneyland's "It's A Small World" exhibit, only with impossibly hot chicks instead of animatronic dwarfs. On this particular night, a full-sized Corvette drops hydraulically from the ceiling as two model-attractive young women paw each other on its hood. Neon and fog engulf them as they embrace in a deep kiss. According to the standards of Carver's essay, this would qualify them as sensualists but I imagine the rules change when you're doing it in front of a room filled with horny men.
Still, having a sexy job does not automatically make you a sexualist. Take porn star Tommy D. A visit to tommydxxx.com features the handsome 26-year-old showing off his excellent manhood while he enjoys the excellent manhood of some enthusiastic friends. One wouldn't guess right away that the gay porn heartthrob is a sensitive romantic in a happy marriage with a woman.
"People make the assumption that if you're in porn you must be crazy and horny all the time," says Tommy, from the northern California home he shares with wife, Ruby Knox, 21. "But it wears you out. What we get from each other is comfort and support."
Knox, who is also in the biz, confirms that Tommy D, who is up for two GAYVN Awards (which honor achievements in gay porn) this year for his "hard" work, is actually a big hetero softy at home.
"He takes me out to dinner and to the movies. We go dancing it's sweet," she says. "He's really in tune with my emotions."
Gad, what a couple of sensualists. They even eloped.
I'm crabbing, of course. It's my job as a sexualist to fly the flag, even if the only people saluting it do so while they're looking at the back of my head. In fact, I'm still holding out hope for Carver. While she claims to have defected, I'm confident that the sexualist that scribed that Rosetta Stone of simple sexual division is still lurking within.
"Sex is a shortcut to getting to know people, I think," she says, as our conversation nears its end. "Frisky people are kind. As for the sensualists, I find them, in general, to be more selfish. When [Tantric sex enthusiast] Sting talks about 'doing it' for seven hours, think about poor Trudie Styler's vagina. Oh, my god, all that gazing into your eyes? Your eyes would dry out; your vagina would dry out. You'd just be like, 'Oh, god, get me some water.'"
I think about Trudie Styler, lying there, counting imported ceiling tiles, wishing she had read the fine print in the prenup. Maybe no one ever told Sting about the "little man in the boat." But, for god's sake, don't tell him now. You know how those sensualists are. The Little Man in the Boat would look perfectly natural in the CD bin, right next to The Dream of the Blue Turtles.
As for me, the rules of stray dog engagement make as much sense as anything: I'm a sexualist. Don't look me in the eyes unless you know that you're my firstname.lastname@example.org