I have a high school reunion coming up in a few short days and as tradition dictates, nostalgia has already set in for the lessons learned from decades past. While a strong argument can be made that I possess the emotional maturity of someone still hovering between sophomore and junior year of high school, my skills have matured considerably in the bedroom since then — if by "matured considerably," you mean “are only slightly evolved from what I first cobbled together when I was sixteen.”
But while some of my exes might look upon my emotional arrested development as cause for concern, I still hold true to the fact that sexually speaking, (some of) those teenage lessons my friends and I patched together like a bad game of telephone from cool, older kids are still the best sex and dating advice I’ve ever received. Some, of course, were terrible, and we’re out here to debunk those too. Fucking in your teens may have been terrible if you did it at all, but fucking like a teen? It doesn’t have to be the absolute worst.
Teen Myth: Dry humping is amazing.
Fact. While I get why dry humping was quickly discarded in lieu of more penetrative activities, I still hold to the fact that a good over the jeans roll around is hot as hell. Three words: foreplay literally anywhere. Dry hump at a bar, dry hump while you’re in an Uber, dry hump while pretending to be strangers crowded into holiday shopping lines at Target. Saving room for Jesus, or anything else your faculty advisors told you to keep your horny hands off of people at school dances is bullshit. Dry humping is the most fun you can have with your clothes on.
As for its lasting legacy? For those of us who weren’t born orgasming everytime someone barely breathes around our vagina, dry humping is a great way to figure out what position you need to be in before you climb on top (or under, or on the side, or in line at Target). Dry humping need not go gently into the young adult night; it still holds up.
Teen Myth: The right sex playlist is crucial.
Lie. On the bright side, my cool teen cousin did instill renewed hope in me by letting me know mix CDs weren’t completely gone — they’ve just been transitioned to private Spotify playlists. But the insistence she placed on her need for various musical accompaniment depending on the situation with her boyfriend made me realize I spent far too much time getting her a fake ID and not nearly enough time teaching her how to do the bare minimum in bed while still making it look like a lot of effort.
Music during sex is bad. Former teens (especially those of us that came of age in The OC generation of beachy emo music and formerly sexy R & B) will have you believe the right music can make a sex session, but at best all it can do is not slow down great sex. At worst, your boyfriend will laugh at you when your “Losing My Virginity!” playlist consists solely of Ginuwine’s “Pony” and En Vogue’s “Don’t Let Go.” Even with a more upbeat mix, all you’re setting yourself up for is accidentally timing your thrusts to the four-count then losing the beat when your partner speeds up to half time. Or, as once happened to me, one good drunken hookup with Drake forgotten in the background suddenly becomes a relationship where every fuck was soundtracked by the finest sappy romance songs early-2000s Bollywood had to offer. Don’t be me. Do not fuck to Bollywood.
Teen Myth: Treat a blowjob like a popsicle.
Fact. This is always the first move every dick-sucking novice receives in his or her illustrious blow job career (followed very closely by the “Never use teeth!” admonition). Even now, it holds water (and the entirety of someone’s shaft and balls in your cheek, provided you’re doing it right). This was the very first piece of advice I received when I arrived at college, even though the question I had asked was “Is it really hard to become a pre-law major at Berkeley?” To this day I am grateful for my friend Tanya’s apropos-of-nothing advice to “treat every dick you meet like a Big Stick popsicle.”
Despite being sound reasoning, somewhere along the multitude of dicks in and around one’s face, the temptation kicks in to change it up: thrust harder, pump faster, moan in a way that your mouth hasn’t vibrated since you took clarinet lessons in the fifth grade. And all of those are great things! But the compliments I get the most? When you treat that D like it’s an icy frozen treat on a summer day. And it’s not all about getting someone else off: variety breaks up the monotony of a repetitive blowjob. There’s significantly less cardio involved. I am looked upon as a sex goddess for alternating sensations, when in actuality I’m doing about a third of the work I’d normally do. Men assume I’m great in other arenas of bed. I get nice Yelp reviews. Popsicle dicks, trust me on this.
Teen Myth: Each time has to be better than the last.
False. I spent a lot of my seemingly sexually liberated youth being sure that I had to up the ante, if even just a little bit, with each subsequent act. Despite having a great high school boyfriend, I never got the message that just being invited to the pussy party on a regular basis was good enough. So off I embarked trying new things —hum while you blow him! Execute flawless figure eights on his penis! — with reckless abandon. On one hand, our sex life was great. On the other hand, I was always paranoid that I was going to run out of things to try in my limited comfort zone, and fast.
Since then, I find myself often defaulting to thinking each time needs to be boatloads better. Call it overzealous customer service, but it’s fucking exhausting, and the pressure is purely self-inflicted. You do not need to be good at everything, and you do not need to be better every single time. Sometimes smash and grab sex is great sex! Sometimes overachieving is overrated and one move is all it takes. But upping the ante every time? Not necessary at all.
Teen Myth: Car sex is good sex.
Fact. Car sex isn’t just good sex, it’s great sex. Before you lose your minds, stick with me here. Car sex when you’re a teenager is great because, let’s face it, you’re having sex. You could end up accidentally fucking the parking brake to completion and it’ll still be better than not having sex at all, and I am out here for it. But car sex when you’re an adult? Not immediately the most comfortable solution for people who can afford a mattress and box spring.
But that’s just old age laziness talking. And having sex in a car? It’s the best way to scratch an itch for hot, unexpected public sex, without having to worry about shaking off all of that age-induced exhaustion. Think about it: the appeal of public sex loses much of its patina when logistics are involved. Airplane bathrooms are for actors in a comedy, public parks are an invitation to get arrested. Movie theaters are a maybe, though for the cost of a movie these days, I’m not really spending casual time in a movie theater, you know? Enter your car. Car sex is innately public, while still being private enough to not really give a fuck if someone sees a glimpse of your ass. Car sex is frantic and hot because there isn’t time to futz with things like bedding and accessories. Car sex is, by nature, close and intimate because you can’t reasonably fuck someone doggie style without an open SUV trunk, so it’s inherently more romantic when you have to be pushed up against every inch of someone else’s body. Car sex isn’t just for deviants; car sex is for lovers.
Teen Myth: Eating Sour Patch Kids prevents teen pregnancy.
It does not. It really, really does not. (Sorry again for the bad advice, Jen. Really sorry and cannot wait to meet your daughter at reunion!)