Sex & This City

Bad timing is the reason most normal people are single Freaks and creeps are single because they're freaky and creepy. The rest of us are single because of bad timing.

-Jon Favreau, Love and Sex

Bad timing is the convenient scapegoat for almost all relationship failures in the movie Love and Sex, which one of my coworkers gave me (as a joke, I thought).

The flaw in the theory is that - just as everybody thinks they have good taste and a sense of humor (and almost no one does) - I suspect that EVERYbody thinks THEY're the normal one. And of course, few of us are. (Least of all me, but we'll come back to that Because we always do.)

I know, for example, that one friend of mine thinks it's perfectly "normal" that he and his ex-girlfriend launched a webcast of the two of them having sex. I was so taken aback, I had to abruptly cut off the conversation (lest he define "streaming" for me).

ANOTHER friend of mine was the recipient of a certain act this weekend that forced me to get on the phone with seven girlfriends in seven different states (all of which have laws on the books against it, as it turns out) to actually even come up with a working definition - just so we could all then utter a collective "ewww" that actually spanned international date lines because my best friend Babs is vacationing in Australia right now.


The box for the video reads: "Kate has 24 hours to write a single woman's guide to love and sex. Using her own chaotic romantic history as research, she examines all the stages of love from first kiss to final breakup. This includes her most recent ex, Adam, a rumpled artist who may still have a hold on her heart. She discovers there's nothing easy and simple about love and sex, and that's what makes it worth going after."


And Kate gets to write articles with titles like, "When Life Sucks, So Should You: How Oral Sex Cures Depression (a blow by blow description)."

Hmm. (What possible relevance could there be behind this colleague's gift?)

Besides the recent viewing of this movie, the only other reason I decided to write about sex in this week's column at all was, mostly out of, well, spite.

Because I recently got an irate letter from a would-be writer telling me, with great indignation, "nice try, but you're no Sex and the City."

Yeah? And.?

I didn't write back, but if I had, my response might have been something scabrously witty like, "Uhhhh. Duh."

The ultimate point of this letter-writer was that she should be our new "advise columnist" and my ultimate point was, you probably shouldn't be in the column business if you can't spell "advice."

But to address her concerns, I've been writing wayyy longer than Candace Bushnell has (who authored the wretched book the series is very loosely inspired by), so I don't copycat.

But yes, I do watch the show (y'know, just to stay in the loop) - how else would I know that fake rubber nipples are in these days? In fact, I'm wearing a pair right now... No wait; the art department just turned up the air conditioning again.

(My buddy Lee weighs in with this: "just take 'em out before I realize you don't really have a peg to hang my coat on.")

So I like the series, but unlike its heroine: I don't write a sex column, and don't pretend to.

That's because the blind don't generally get paid to lead the blind.

Oh yeah sure, I'd like to write articles about how oral sex cures depression - but, based on my research, that'd be a mighty short (not to mention, inconclusive) article.

In fact, to be brutal (to myself), the last guy who even "enjoyed" (using the term loosely, as it turns out) a Clintonian evening at my house actually asked me - just yesterday - if I'd slipped him rohypnol that night (also known as the date rape drug, or, more specifically, if you go to the DEA site: "roofies," "roopies," "ropies," and "ruffies." And in Texas "R-2," aptly enough - my initials).


THAT cleared MY depression RIGHT up.

Maybe he was joking, but we then got into a debate about what sex even is (and to my credit, I, of course, made him define "is" as would any decent Democrat).

His point of view seemed to include "sex" as any genuine act of intimacy (encompassing everything from a prolonged erotic intertwining of fingers, right up to "dialin' zero on the ole pink telephone," if y'know what I'm sayin').

His thrust (so to speak) was, and I think this is a quote, "you can make love to someone from across the room."

And my point, as a Clintonian literalist, was, "so just how long is this hypothetical room?"

I didn't hear anything he said after that, because frankly, I got kinda lost in the reverie of that image and his voice was just replaced by a dull, throbbing roar in my ears while the room around me went gray.

Once I came to, I ceded that YES, those levels of intimacy enjoyed with a third (or fourth) party, outside a committed relationship DO constitute cheating (said transgressions including but not limited to: intense phone calls or emails or letters, hand-holding, digital contact, kissing, rubbing, touching, petting, necking, licking, sucking, and/or a general 10-point penalty for any tongue).

BUT, between two consenting, single, unattached adults, I maintain that (stop me if this is too technical) sex must be defined as actual insertion of the Hibbity into the Dibbity.

Put another way, he chose not to close.

Therefore, his honor and virtue remain intact.

And the defense rests.