When Making Love to Me:
What Every Woman Needs to Know

(Originally appeared on McSweeney’s, October 16 2008)

#1. First of all, welcome. Thank you for coming over. I’d appreciate it if you did not turn off the metronome, it’s there for a purpose. Same with the strobe-lights.

#2. See?

#3. Feel free to role-play any scene from any movie—I’m quite partial to disaster movies, but I have a very open mind.

#4. Warning: If I faint or lose consciousness, do not panic. If and when I regain consciousness, please resume exactly where we left off, or I may have to start over from the very beginning.

#5. Be tender. While I have read literally thousands of instruction manuals, sex has never been my “strong point.”

#6. If I begin to laugh uncontrollably, it isn’t you. Chances are extremely good that I’m just imagining what my best friend Kurt’s reaction will be when I tell him about all this.

#7. Do not take offense if I jot down notes and diagrams for future reference. Furthermore, do not take offense if I refer to said notes.

#8. If you see a man peeking through a window, that’s just Kurt.

#9. Love me for who I am and not for what I just did to your armpit.

#10. All eyes on me, always.

#11. Yoo hoo! Over here!

#12. Be respectful of my needs, particularly my need to roll into a ferociously tight ball whenever feeling bored or antsy.

#13. Excuse my impulses: If I burst into wild and ecstatic applause, I have done well and I know it.

#14. If I pull my right leg across my body and pretend to play the air-guitar to Jimmy Buffett’s “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” you will know that I have just done unusually well.

#15. Do not point or stare at my very large birthmark. You’re shrugging. This-a way, Sherlock . . . the question mark on the tip of my penis, there you go . . .

#16. Important: If you notice a musky, almost overpowering odor, it’s not the feral cats.

#17. Nor is it the raccoons.

#18. Nor is it my feet. Actually, it is my feet.

#19. Another thing: If you see me aggressively rolling my eyes and jutting out my jaw and making bizarre and extremely loud clicking noises with my tongue, do not become concerned—I’m merely practicing my “game face.”

#20. Honor my creative spirit! The life-size replicas of all my ex-girlfriends that you see sprinkled throughout this bedroom are, indeed, for sale. Yes, they are “hand made” and I do accept cash.

#21. Tickle me until I giggle, but I beg of you to know when to stop.

#22. My bad.

#23. Just out of curiosity: have you ever taken an oatmeal bath with a lover? I’ve found that they are not only romantic, but also quite helpful for a full-body rash.

#24. Ah, yes, one minor issue: Please be extra patient with my inability to bring females to anything close to what the experts might call “climax,” “orgasm,” “release” or “highlight.”

#25. Do you like my leather sex harness? Isn’t it terrific? I bought it for this very special occasion! Go ahead and test it out, although I do request that you try to be super-duper careful, as it’s still on layaway.

#26. For your sake, that isn’t something I’d touch.

#27. And neither is that.

#28. Would definitely not touch that.

#29. My bad again.

#30. By the way, I would love to one day turn what happened between us into a stage production and perform it across the country. I only ask that I be allowed to use your real name.

#31. But more than anything, I want you to have a grand time! Take what you have just learned and go forth into the world. I thank you for your patience—

#32. Hang on a sec, that’s my cell phone. Two nickels to one it’s my dermatologist calling with the test results.

#33. Actually, I think it’s my identical twin in California! He has a “sixth sense” when things have just gone awry. You know your way out, right?

#34. If not, Kurt will show you. I thank you for your patience and I wish you the best of luck with any and all future endeavors.

#35. Oh, geez, I almost forgot! This cheat sheet that you now hold in your hands, the one written in magic marker on a Hamburger Hamlet menu? The one that you’re not accepting for some reason? It’s yours to keep. Please ignore the grease and other assorted stains. And with that, I shall now bid you a heartfelt, and deeply felt, adieu. Keep in touch?