You Should Sleep With A Writer


Straightaway, I’m not saying that you should sleep with me. Because you definitely shouldn’t. Ever. Even if you’re really drunk and the L-train is down and I’m riding the last unicorn to Cotton Candy Village where Angel Ian Curtis and Angel Jimi Hendrix are playing a four-hour show at an all-koala house party, it’s still better to pay for the cab. And I’m not saying you should date a writer, either. Because that’s probably an equally bad idea. All I’m saying is you could do worse than screwing someone who meets the attractiveness threshold and also happens to be a writer. Because here’s the thing: as often as writers come bundled with bad habits and insecurities, and as maladaptive as these things are in the real world—the bedroom is not the real world. And the compulsions that make writers so miserable on a day-to-day basis are the same ones that make them ideal at last call. Allow me to explain.

Writers aren’t cool. They’re not going to play organized team sports or flip an ollie over that flaming laser-shark because they’re just too busy sighing at the frayed edges of their Moleskines and pondering whether the eyes of their ex-lover were more ocean-blue than sky-blue. They are dorks at heart, and no amount of tattoos or Bushwick dive bars will change the fact that they all remember their SAT-Verbal scores. And I know some of you are thinking, Now that’s not true, what about [beat poet/writer; counterculture icon]? They were pretty cool! But you’re wrong. And also a dork. Because in reality the only people who think writers are cool are other writers and lit nerds, and their admiration doesn’t make these writers any more cool than the admiration of millions of Koreans makes the top-ranked Starcraft players cool. To the rest of the world, writers are simply not cool; Jay-Z gives no fucks about a Vonnegut, and Hank Moody is about as plausible as Gandalf.

But for you—the one sleeping with these losers—this is a good thing. That writers know they aren’t cool leads to lowered self-esteem leads to a desire to please. These are people, remember, who have chosen a career in which they must constantly seek approval from editors who will judge their performance and then, in the best-case scenario, expose that performance to public scrutiny. A writer will agonize for weeks over how they come off in an indie zine read by ten people; do you think they’re any less concerned about the story you tell your friends the next morning? These are people terrified of failure, who are not above two hours of oral if it means a good review.

Dirty talk. Having likely provided an extensive oral experience, the writer will generally provide a similar aural experience. Remember that terrible hook-up where your partner couldn’t stop saying stuff like, “Yeah, you like that” and “Oh yeeeeah” and “Yeah, yeah that’s right” and “Babe. Babe. Babe. Babe. Babe. Babe. Babe. Babe. Babe. Babe. Babe. Babe.”? Sure you do. In any case, you won’t get that from a writer. A writer manipulates language to desired effect at a professional level, which is nice enough, but they also likely possess a literature background that allows them to crib from some of the greatest dirty talk in history. Sure, their words may actually belong to Austen or Browning or Homer or Bukowski or whoever, but it’ll be new to you, and concerns about plagiarism tend to evaporate when the clock strikes boner.

The sexual rewrite. Writers are communicative and open to constructive criticism. They routinely spread their heart over pages that are scratched raw by red markers and scorn. They’ve seen their most intimate experiences returned marked ‘gayer than magic realism’ or ‘too Tao Linny’ or ‘so boring I felt physical pain.’ They’ve laid themselves bare in messenger bags and workshop tables only to be told to ‘please fix.’ You will not injure them with the knowledge that you prefer a certain touch, pace, rhythm, suction, whatever. They will be happy to make the appropriate edits—whatever it takes to make their work better. They will do the required reading. They will match their style to your content.

Getting creative. Ooohhhh, screw a guitarist, they say. They’re good with their fingers. Great. That’s great. They’re also good at giving the same performance over and over for years at a time. I mean, how long has Springsteen been playing “Born to Run”? Forever? When musicians hit on something that works they never let go, and that’s great when you really like what they’re putting out. But it gets old. Remember the first time you heard “Hey Ya”? How great it was? Now remember the eighty-third time you heard “Hey Ya.” Now imagine “Hey Ya” is a dick, and you have to fuck it. Not so catchy now, is it?

Writers mix it up like it’s their job. Because it is their job. Because unless you’re screwing a writer with the last name Sedaris, the person in bed with you can’t get away with publishing countless retellings of the same old story. They can’t just play the hits; every composition must be built from scratch, lovingly constructed through sleepless nights spent searching for some fresh, novel pleasure. The writer feels compelled to try new things because their profession tells them they must—that to do otherwise is to become predictable, is to become stale, is to die alone and unwanted in a shallow grave of irrelevance. This is how writers think. And yeah, it’s kind of sad, but you’re only there for the night so whatever. Just come a few times and leave in the morning.

Down for whatever. This constant need for validation very seldom leads to sexual purity. And the compulsion they feel toward producing novel pleasures means they’ve likely moved beyond the vanilla. Now, I am not going to say that every single writer will be down for butt stuff; however, I am going to write that every single writer will be down for butt stuff.

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image – Matthew Romack