This was originally published in my column for www.ieatgrass.com.

In my own sexcapades and all of the hours (and hours and hours) I have spent talking about sex, and writing about sex, I have found a common theme: Most of us don’t spend enough time on foreplay.

Foreplay involves (at least!) two people, so EVERYONE would probably appreciate some more pre-game TLC. But women take an average of 45 minutes to get fully aroused. Men take much, much less time. So when you rush right into penetrative sex, it’s usually the women who are getting stiffed.

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Okay, I know what you’re thinking.  Another post about lube! But Astroglide—hoorah for vegan lube!—recently put out a survey about the most popular bedroom fantasies and published the results! Their top responses were as follows: Getting’ it on somewhere exotic, doing a dude (or lady) in uniform, sex in public, taking control and having more than one person at once. None of those are really all that surprising, so here is a list I have cultivated through very extensive and professional research. (Getting my friends drunk and harassing them with inappropriate questions about their sex lives.)

Audio Arousal-Lots of people use music to set the pace, but what about having one person wear a pair of those huge hipster headphones while their partner picks the tunes. With only one half of the party listening, it feels secretive, making things a a bit more interesting—for the one listening at least. Take turns switching off.

Bon Voyeur! - A bit creepy but still hot. Hide in the closet (or peek around a shower curtain) while your man or woman comes in, undresses, and gets down to business solo. Come in and help out if you want.

Ravishment- Also known as “play rape.”  This can be appealing for both the dominating and the dominated. However, for obvious reasons, it can be dangerous, so always have a code word. Blueberry! Also maybe a code hand signal, in case for some reason you can’t speak. Uh…what?

Pants Down in Public—Similar to putting out in public, this one entails being caught givin’ yourself a little TLC in a public place, and then having a stranger or acquaintance walk in on you and offer to give you a helping hand. Very risky because it would be more likely that the stranger would offer to call the cops…

The Home Wrecker – This involves shakin’ the sheets with someone who has children, while the children are in the house. Knowing you need to be extra quiet makes it extra juicy.

The Drive By- This one involves driving side by side with a huge truck and touching yourself while the trucker watches. Cool in theory I guess, but I make 9 hour drives down south (hah, no really!) all the time, and all the truckers I pass are seriously creepy. Once a friend had a trucker pull a video camera on her, and all she was doing was driving! So imagine where she would have popped up on the internet if she was givin’ her passion pit a playful poke…

Lost in Translation—Sexing up someone who doesn’t speak your language. Actually they also specified it was a maid or house keeper who doesn’t speak their language, but I veto that part of the fantasy because I CAN. I think it would be hot to pick up anyone and somehow convey nonverbally that you want to remove their clothing with your teeth. Also then you could say hilarious things to them mid coitus and they wouldn’t understand you.  I HAVEN’T BATHED IN 2 DAYS SO I HOPE THAT TASTES NICE. Oh, gross.

What do you think of my friends’ fantasies? Weird? Hot? Sociopathic? Oooh, or be super ballsy and tell me some of your fantasies! I wanna know know know!

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I was recently extremely delighted by a writer for XOJane.com who chronicled her obsession with stalking her husband’s lube bottle. The writer, Eliza, was intrigued by her husband’s masturbation habits, simultaneously turned on by the mystery of it all and slightly hurt by the fact that he was masturbating instead of seeking her for help.  I found this to be an interesting combination of reactions. Not everything is black and white.

A couple of my girlfriends get pretty upset when their guys go solo–especially if they are using porn to help them out.

I view masturbation like long road trips. Often I find I need to get somewhere, and a road trip is in order. Usually, I like to enlist a friend for company–it makes things more interesting and allows the time to fly by. However, now and then I want to get in my car and go alone, with no distractions other than my own thoughts and no passenger-seat interruptions  (Can I put it in now? How about now? now?).  Getting off is the same–usually I want a buddy to help me out, but sometimes if you want a job done right you just gotta do it yourself. This in mind, I would never give my guy (or girl) shit for going at it solo..in fact, I have found it is quite the opposite.

Sort of similar to Eliza’s lube OCD, I developed a weird fixation (not quite a fetish) on my guy getting down to the beat of his own, uhm, drum. This fixation has followed me and my relationships since highschool. I know what my solo-sessions are like, but am totally mystified as to how a guy gets off on his own–does he drag it our or get it over with band-aid style? Does he know some cool trick I am clueless about it? What is he thinking of? My ego is not so big as to think he is fantasizing about me all the time–so as long as it isn’t an animal or my mom, I don’t really give a shit. In fact, if he were to share his solo fantasy with me, it would probably be a major turn on.

So, if my life were a porno, I would tell my boyfriend I’m into watching him get into himself, he would give me a show, I would get a facial (say whatt!?), and we would both be happy. Right? Wrong. Every time I have brought up masturbation with a boyfriend–any boyfriend!–they have totally clammed up and either lied (“I haven’t done that since I was like..15..” Right, and I don’t shop for shoes online when my boss leaves early. Really. I don’t.) or been freaked out and convinced I was trying to make them feel guilty or pigeonhole them. No happy endings for me.

And so the interest, for me, will remain unresolved, and I will have to unleash my frustration on a pint or two of home-made banana ice-cream..

Oh, and to clarify the difference between attractive, it’s-good-for-you  masturbation and a masturbation problem (some people have trouble with this..): The thought of my guy getting off on his own while he thinks of me–super hot. Finding my (ex-ex-ex) guy behind my bedroom  having himself a private party while smelling a handful of my sweaters–not so much. True story. Apparently 14-year old boys have no shame.

On that note..

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Setting the mood is essential for good sex. Sometimes, the perfect mood comes naturally–maybe you haven’t seen each other in two months and are more grabby than a group of teenage girls at a Justin Bieber concert; maybe you’re two drinks in and the night is still young; maybe you’re feeling super in love and all that mushy gushy crap–and you need no help what-so-ever. But eventually, the newness, soft lighting or half-bottle of Pinot Noir is going to wear off, and you’re going to need to set the mood.

For those of you who haven’t been following along from the beginning (meaning everyone aside from my mother..Hi Ma!) Sexy Tofu sprouted from a column I wrote for my college newspaper, titled Sex, or Something Like It. I began writing the column when I realized neither of our school papers had a sex column, when clearly ( err I mean, sadly) college kids care more about sex than politics, changes in the cafeteria menu or which alumnus got married recently. The column was a big hit, and when the editor graduated that spring, I was asked to put on my big girl panties and take his place.

Anyways, Sex, or Something Like It took up an entire page with an article, a couple Q &A questions, and what I labeled Boner Jams (thank you, Judd Apatow). In the Boner Jams section I would suggest (often jokingly..) songs to get down to, organized by mood.  For example:

If you’re feeling aggressive, try Closer by Nine Inch Nails.

If you have a food fetish, check out Carry Out by Timbaland featuring Justin Timberlake or Cookie Jar by the Gym Class Heroes.

If you’re feeling super sweet, cozy up to This Years Love by David Gray or Highschool Lover by Air.

If you have ADD get it on to any Girl Talk track, or pull a marathon to the entire Feed the Animals album.

Lots of the stuff I suggested I might not actually listen to, but think it’s either A good mood music or B a funny idea (ever tried getting sexy to Weird Al Yankovich? Now there’s a thought..).

Recommending songs to get it on to is difficult, because different things put different people in the mood. I had a girlfriend who liked watching chick-flicks before sex–sort of like porn, except the polar opposite. Some people don’t like to have sex with music, and some people can’t have sex without music. Some people like candles, and some people like lots of leather and a rubber apple in their mouth. Whatever, it’s all good. 

Don’t be scared to try different mood-setting techniques. If you or your partner doesn’t like it, you can try something else. Make a playlist, set your iPod on shuffle, raid the fridge, dim the lights–whatever gets you there. Also,as if I don’t stress this enough–a little lube goes a long way! Hmm, what?

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Our society is go-go-go all the time. Everything is about multitasking. You can check your email from your phone as you wait in line for your triple venti mocha latte, Skype with your mom from your desk at work and catch up on the latest episode of your favorite t-v show (which you TiVo, of course) as you run on the treadmill. Living in a world where everyone’s motto seems to be ‘the faster, the better’ (think internet, fast food restaurants and quick fix diets) sex is really no different. Everyone wants it, but they don’t always leave time for it. However, I would like to redefine the word Quickie, as  the word usually conjures up images of a trip to a dirty restaurant bathroom while you and your honey wait for your appetizer at TGI Friday’s (although that can be nice, too).
         In the daily hustle-and bustle of get to work/class, the gym, the bank, the store and all in time to get home to cook dinner, you may throw yourself in bed at 11 pm and think sex? yeah right? I can barely stay up long enough to finish this last chapter of Twilight (gag). Here is where the quickie comes in. No matter how much time you have (or don’t have) there is always enough time for a little flash-fix of lovin’. Sex creates a rise in your levels of serotonin, that happy, warm feeling that also accompanies a glass of wine or a bar of superior dark chocolate. It creates a feeling of closeness with you and your significant other and can help reduce stress,and you can still get all of these ooey-gooey side effects even if your sack session only lasts 6 1/2 minutes. 
       While most people think of spontaneous quickies, planning time in your day for it will still give you all the great sexy side effects. Set your alarm clock ten minutes early in the morning. Schedule a lunch date with your guy or girl and say to them ‘you have exactly 8 minutes to do whatever you want to me, and then I am out the door.’ Creating a time frame, even a prescheduled one, will still give you the sense of excitement and thrill because you know the clock is tick-tick-ticking. Also, planning a dirty date (before the kids get home from soccer practice, while the lasagna is in the oven or before your room-mate gets home from her 3pm class) in advance gives you something to look forward to all day, so put on some sexy lingerie (or your favorite silky boxers) before you head out the door in the morning.  Feeling the racy undergarments while you sit at your desk (at work, in class) will amp you up, and by the time your rendezvous rolls around, you will be raring to go. 
    Another ingredient that can make a quickie, well, quicker, is lube. If you read my previous lube post, than you already know what an advocate I am for the sticky stuff. However, while I am a huge-foreplay fanatic, if you’re on a tight schedule, it often gets knocked to the side. If you have a bottle of lube on hand, than you can still get down comfortably without having to do so much prep work. However, make sure that you don’t get lazy and resort to using lube as a foreplay substitute in full length sex-sessions, too. 
       When it comes down to it, just like a balanced diet and exercise, sex is part of a healthy lifestyle. Everyone would be a lot calmer and happier if they simply got it on more often. Perhaps that should be your new years resolution (nothing wrong with making one a few months late…) If you only have fifteen minutes (or ten, or five) to get your freak on, go for it. A little bit goes a long way.

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