By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
By Roy Edroso
By Jon Campbell
By Albert Samaha
By Zachary D. Roberts
When I was in high school, I had an unrequited crush on one of my hottie classmates. Ron (not his real name) was smart, cute, and well dressed and had great hair (I am, after all, a fag at heart), and I pursued him with reckless teenage abandon. I flirted with him endlessly, and he returned my advances to a point, but always stopped short of making a move. I hadn't yet embraced my femme top self, and I was too shy to make a move on him. One night at a party, both of us had been drinking, and the flirting reached an all-time high. We wandered away from the house into the backyard, and the butterflies in my stomach told me this was the moment. Chatting nervously for a few minutes, he finally leaned in to kiss me. The moment our eyes met, I felt scared and turned on, and I saw our whole courtship flash in front of me. Then Ron suddenly got a strange look on his face. His chin dropped, and the next thing I knew, he was throwing up on me. In my luststruck haze, I somehow managed to step back slightly, so the majority of the upchuck landed on my shoes. Not just any shoes, but brand-new black patent leather shoes with grosgrain bows. When he was done, Ron apologized profusely, but the combined horror of being my dream date's vomit receptacle and the realization that my one and only chance to hook up with this guy had just landed in a puddle at my feetliterallywas enough to make this high school nerd lose her own cookies. Do you know how hard it is to get puke out of grosgrain ribbon? Well, that's another story and was the least of my problems. I had to endure months of walking into physics class to the sounds of faux vomiting from all sides, as only high school boys can deliver. Not only did someone throw up on me, but half my high school class witnessed it!
When an erotic encounter is good, it's very, very good: mood-altering, earth-shattering, orgasm-producing, magical, spiritual, incomparable. But when it's bad, it can be hilarious, inconvenient, or downright disastrous. And I've had my share of the latter. Being a tipsy teenager can cause plenty of foreplay foibles, but I've had equally embarrassing experiences as a sober adult. I've gotten caught up in the throes of passion and missed the last train of the night and the only bus out of town. I've lost underwear, clothing, and even cash during frenzied fuckings. People have walked in on me having sex. No, not my parents, thank God. But once someone had a fist almost all the way up my ass and porn star Nina Hartley came into the bedroom. Well, it was her bedroom, but her arrival was nonetheless unexpected. I've broken two beds during raucous romps, neither of which belonged to me, although one came crashing to the floor during a foursome, so I'm technically only one-quarter responsible. In another case of faulty equipment, at the moment I was just about to come, a cordless, rechargeable vibrator shut off. Sure, they're totally cool when they're all juiced up, but you can't even plug those things in once the charge fizzles out. Trust me, I tried.
Post-sex, I've had to fish a lost condom out of my coochie, and claw at a stubborn contraceptive sponge I thought would never see the light of day (it eventually migrated to within reach). I've sustained two injuries: a jammed finger ("Were you playing basketball by any chance?" asked my doctor) and a sprained hip. The orthopedic surgeon raised an eyebrow, baffled at what sport could have caused the problem. He said that he'd seen a lot of injuries, and he was sure I got this through a contact sport of some kind.
All these memories of my sexual mishaps were jogged by a new book, Sex Disasters and How to Survive Them, by Dr. Charles Moser and Janet W. Hardy. The authors lightheartedly tackle the tough questions and problems, often so intimate that people are afraid to ask them. For example: What happens when your tongue piercing gets caught on your girlfriend's clitoral hood piercing? What should you do when you walk in on your kid having sex? There's advice for problems like a dislocated jaw from muff diving, a cock ring that won't come off, a mysterious post-sex rash. Plenty of the topics Moser and Hardy address could be considered people's most embarrassing sex moments, while others are downright necessary, like the incredibly useful chapter titled "She Came. She Screamed. She Passed Out." Think the X-rated version of The Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook.
Getting naked with someone can lead to all sorts of wild scenarios, and you can't always predict what will happen. Water beds burst, periods come at unexpected times, pets make unannounced appearances, roommates catch you in the act, screaming draws the attention of neighbors, parked cars with steamed-up windows get noticed by the police. Sex is messy and funny, and sometimes gets us into compromising situations. You need a sense of humor to get through what can be embarrassing, humiliating, and funny only in hindsight.