In a time-starved world, the lowly quickie is definitely due for a comeback.
There was a time (it’s called the late ’90s) when you couldn’t open a lifestyle magazine without coming across the editorial team’s top tips for doing the deed at top speed. It was alleged that you could make your sex life sizzle with a swift fumble by the fax machine, or “keep him coming back for more” with a quick tryst while waiting for your Game Boy to load. (Even sexting was more efficient: “Lets fck” was about all that anyone could type on those awkward Nokia keypads.)
These days, thanks in no small part to E.L. James, the trend has reversed. Apparently, following the cultural revolution that was James’ Fifty Shades of Grey, we’re expected to be armed to the teeth, carting a load of kinky gear around with us at all times, and if you haven’t fully explored your dominant or submissive side by the end of a lengthy erotic session, you haven’t been doing it right.
Realistically, after a busy day at work, hitting the gym, zipping ’round Loblaws, and struggling home on the crowded TTC, most people are more turned on by the idea of collapsing in front of Dancing With the Stars than entering an elaborate psychosexual headspace. And if you’ve got kids, your windows of sexual opportunity get bricked up very quickly. All of which has therapists and sex writers thinking about re-imagining the quickie.
Therapists are used to hearing the no-time-for-sex complaint. Recent research from the Kinsey Institute suggests that housewives of the 1950s had more active sex lives than women do today, but for many reasons, the quickie has come in for quite a bashing in recent years: It’s been blamed for being unfair to women, since it’s all over before they’re even warmed up; and for creating relationship tension, as one partner may not end up fully satisfied. It’s even come under fire for causing vaginal bleeding, due to a lack of lubrication.
And, of course, it lacks a certain sense of romance: Just diving in and grinding away tends to turn lovemaking into the kind of perfunctory rutting you might see between two buffalo on a nature program.
Many of these problems arise from what you might call the classical quickie. It’s the one that audiences tune into historical dramas to see, in which passions run so high that there’s barely enough time to rip open a frilly frock before the protagonists end up breathlessly heaving away on the stable floor.
Writing in Psychology Today last January, veteran sex journalist Michael Castleman reported that brief encounters can be “fraught with erotic peril,” including problems of lubrication and genital openness. He counsels time-pressed couples to consider intercourse-free sex instead. “There are many marvellous ways to make love that don’t involve inserting an erection into the vagina,” he writes. “Handjobs, oral sex, and sex toys can make all the difference when you don’t have much time.”
His advice is echoed by Canadian sex writer Josey Vogels, author of Better Sex in No Time. Vogels believes it’s a myth that women can’t orgasm fast enough to enjoy a quickie; unfortunately, the penis alone is unlikely to do the trick, so she suggests bringing a vibrator along as backup.
“Many women who use vibrators will tell you that they can get themselves to orgasm just as quickly as a man can,” says Vogels. So pack a personal stimulator and some lube, and you’ll be good to go.
But if you don’t want to carry a vibrator around with you—even a tiny one—then you can still stave off sexual disaster by making sure you physically connect with your partner more often, just by kissing, or a bit of inappropriate touching now and then.
Vogels suggests that connecting in short bursts will keep your sexual relationship ticking along nicely. “If you don’t then you can become disconnected from each other, and when you do come to have sex it’s this big thing,” she says. “Small things like touching each other or complimenting each other can keep the lines of communication open. If you don’t, then when you get in bed, how are you supposed to know what your partner likes?”
Of course, if you’re really stuck, you can always revert to that staple of ’90s sex columns: morning lovemaking. The breath may be dodgy and the hygiene questionable, but there’s no doubting the combination of an a.m. hormone boost and potentially career-damaging lateness is an orgasmic one.
Josey Vogels’ Better Sex in No Time workshop, Come As You Are, Jan. 16, 7:30 pm. 493 Queen St. W. Free.