I do a lot of press travel for my books. When a new one comes out I meet with people in bookstores, universities, and meditation centers. Yes, meditation centers. I write Buddhist books. The funny thing is, even (especially?) in the meditation centers I will ask what people want to talk about, as my books cover a wide range of modern day scenarios. What will it be? Meditation at work? Mindfulness on a Friday night at the bar? Inevitably a hand will shoot up and, noting the ravenous look in the woman's eyes I'll already know what's coming. "SEX!" she'll say. "I want to talk about sex!"
I don't think my readership is unique. We all want to talk about sex. The funny thing is, as a guy, I don't spend nearly as much time as women think talking to my friends about sex. When I was in my early twenties I did brag about women I had newly bedded with the eagerness of a big game hunter on his first safari. But gradually I, and my fellow men, matured to the point where unless something remarkable happened we didn't remark upon our sexual exploits.
Realizing that, I texted a friend today. "Any embarrassing sex stories lately?" I asked. His reply was immediate: "Like having kitty litter dig into my back while having sex in the bathroom?" Yes, my friend, like that. I didn't know about that incident before today, and his note made me realize that we don't often share embarrassing sex stories these days.
Part of the reason? We've all had the same embarrassing sex stories. Maybe my friends and I are unique, but you can be the judge of that. With no further ado, here are the top five most common embarrassing sex stories and how gentlemen I know have responded:
Scenario: The Interrupters
"Hey Chuck, you ready for the game?" he says as he opens the door, only to see Chuck's hairy butt moving up and down between two shapely legs thrown up in the air. "Oh. I guess I'll come back later." I don't know a single person who hasn't been walked in on while having sex. Either this means I have really horny/dumb friends that can't stop having sex/don't know how to lock a door, or this is the most common embarrassing sex story.
What He Thinks: Keep going. Assuming the interrupter doesn't make themselves a bag of popcorn to munch on while lingering to watch, the guys I talked to will power through. The person who is likely the most embarrassed in this case is the person who walked in on you. That can be smoothed over with a quick apology later on, and the guy knows that. He will likely tell you, "It's okay. They didn't really see anything," and switch positions.
Scenario: There Will Be Blood
Almost every single guy I know has had sex with a woman while on her period. Unfortunately, the guys I polled said that was a major mood killer. If this happened with a one-night stand it ended up ruining future hook up possibilities. More often than not though my guy friends experienced "the period incident" with someone with whom they were serious. There's something a bit disorienting about being with a woman and, once you're collapsed in a sweaty tangle of limbs you look down and...there's blood everywhere. It's uncomfortable for all parties involved. A female friend, Tillie, told me about her experience, noting that "it looked like a scene out of 'Carrie' on both of our lower halves."
What He Thinks: Even if a guy is a bit grossed out I (thankfully) don't know of any that will freak out over a little period blood. If the guy didn't know it was that time of the month don't be offended if they look startled. One friend, we'll call him Justin, said, "It looked like I had just killed a small animal. But I knew that nothing would kill the vibe more than if I screamed bloody murder." A woman may be horrified but a true gentleman will actually be reassuring, although likely suggest a shower pretty quickly in order to move on from this particular moment.
Scenario: The Case of the Phantom Condom
You're having fun, it's getting hot, and there are screams and moans, you cum, and then relax in each other's arms. "That was awesome." Your eyes get wide. "Where's the condom?" A number of female friends I talked to called this the "phantom condom" where the condom came off inside them and, as my friend Liz said, she became accustomed to pulling the "Let me just go ahead annnnnd take care of this by myself in the bathroom."
What He Thinks: To be honest? Terror. Of the guys I polled the predominant thing he's thinking is whether his semen is still (hopefully) in the condom or if there's a chance some has slipped out and he's gotten you pregnant. Right behind that is slight humiliation. As high school as it may sound, some men are still sensitive about the size of their package; a regular size condom coming off during sex fuels that anxiety. In the grand scheme of embarrassing things that can happen this isn't so bad though. Pull the condom out, crack a joke, and get back to cuddling.
Scenario: Breaking the Dam
You're fooling around and, for any number of reasons, you start to cry. It could be a cathartic moment where you've been holding a lot of stress in your body and now it's rippled out of you alongside your orgasm or it could be that you've suffered a recent trauma and this experience is bringing it back up. One friend noted, "There was another time when I started SOBBING while having sex with a guy because I had just been through a really horrible breakup in which I had found out that my boyfriend of four years had cheated on me." No matter how the waterworks start, it certainly spoils the mood.
What He Thinks: Ideally? Sympathy. Honestly? Confusion. In many cases when I talked to guys there was a healthy dose of both of these things. We get confused because we were all in for a good time, thought things were going well, and then feel like this 180-degree turn came out of nowhere. It can come off as deceptive to a guy, that you were holding back pretty intense feelings and went ahead and jumped into bed while ignoring them. However, most of the guys I know would switch quickly from confusion to sympathy, hearing you out while still hoping we can salvage a romp the next morning.
Scenario: I Smell Gas
We all fart. There have been whole episodes of sitcoms based around a woman or man feeling comfortable enough to fart in front of someone they just started dating. But sometimes our farts aren't insignificant. Kristin said, "I slept over at a guy's house and kept waking myself throughout the night because I was farting. I got so embarrassed/paranoid about it that I ended up just keeping myself awake all night." That may be an extreme case, but the "OH-MY-GOD-WHAT'S-THAT-NOISE-OH-NO-IT'S-ME" move is a real thing that has happened to many a guy and gal I know.
What He Thinks: On the embarrassing scale this is super low. More often than not it's the guy who will be the stinky one first, and our gym class humor has inundated us with enough fart jokes that when a woman joins in it's more unique than embarrassing. I was disappointed to read on AskMen.com recently that they recommend a guy either blame his farts on the girl or, worse, throw her head under the covers and make her marinate in it. If you're with a guy who does those one of two things you may need a new guy.
Have an embarrassing sex story of your own? Share it with us (anonymously, of course!)
Lodro Rinzler is the author of 'Walk Like a Buddha: Even if Your Boss Sucks, Your Ex is Torturing You, and You're Hungover Again' and the founder of the Institute for Compassionate Leadership