It’s very possible that I’ve never had great sex. I came to this realization while lying mostly naked on a wooden table in a room built into the tree tops of a forest in Nicaragua. This revelation was thanks entirely to Cristiana, a local masseuse. She smiled, covered me with a towel and left the room so I could get dressed. I stared at the paneled wood ceiling and tried to make a memory of how good I felt all over.
Prior to this, I had had two massages in my life (I’m not counting clumsy foreplay in which a “massage” rapidly devolves into boob kneading). Both seemed like a waste of money and I felt uncomfortable being partially naked and vigorously rubbed in a room that reeked of some unidentifiable plant. I spent most of both massages rehearsing what I would say about them after: “Oh my god, I just had a massage and it was amaaaazing.”
But this massage with Cristiana was uncharted territory. I searched for an appropriate comparison. It was like sex. No, actually, it was better than sex. It was like I picture sex when I’m bored on my commute home: warm, soft, smooth, rough, wet, long, occasionally painful but in a cathartic way, surprising, and a little funny. And afterwards, a gratifying sense of accomplishment and relief.
Actual sex has been all of these things at one point or another. And I’m fairly certain I’ve participated in great sex – but it’s never felt great to me for longer than a few minutes at a time, to be honest. Generally because sex also tends to have other, less enjoyable attributes: repetitious to the point of boredom or pain, frustratingly perfunctory, a well-rehearsed routine, a means to an end.
If HBO’s Girls is any indication, I’m not alone — maybe your twenties are supposed to be rife with mediocre sex. But I still feel like I should be having awesome, mind-blowing sex. I want the kind of sex that you have to search for words to describe, the kind of sex where you’re so involved you don’t have the time, energy or mental capacity to close your eyes and imagine what you are going to say to your friends about it later.
And I’d like to start soon, preferably while I’m still winning the battle against gravity and my metabolism. I want nothing in my clumsy 15-minute sex tape for posterity to be droopy. Is that so much to ask?