Did What With The Piano Stool?
to think creatively? Think furniture.
By Harry Maurer
it new," pronounced Ezra Pound about poetry. He could also have
been talking about sex, since the greatest threat to erotic excitement
is routine. If you've been with the same partner for years, and you're
lucky enough to be still having sex with any frequency, you're no
doubt familiar with this cycle: In the early days the electricity
between you was such that the brush of a finger or a soft kiss would
take you straight to heights of arousal. Gradually you learned each
other's tastes, which was exciting, too--"Oh, she likes that
!" As your knowledge of each other deepened, the sex got even
better. But over time the learning curve leveled off, and your lovemaking--well,
it became reliable. You know how to show each other a damn good time.
But you've been there before.
At this stage, maybe it's time to heed old Ezra and step up your efforts
to make it new. To that end, here's a question: Have you ever thought
about furniture? Yes, furniture. And I don't mean the BarcaLounger
you were hoping to get for Father's Day. I mean the furniture around
your house right now. The furniture that is not your bed in your bedroom.
"Last week," says Gail, who's 31 and has been married for
10 years, "I was walking around the house naked--both kids were
out on play dates--and I lay down on the couch, just to relax for
a minute. Ben walked into the living room with a cup of coffee and
stopped dead. I mean, I haven't seen him look at me that way in a
while. It's a black couch, and I have very light skin, and he told
me later I looked like a painting. But he didn't say anything at the
time. He came over, put down his coffee cup, and knelt down by the
couch. He started licking and biting my nipples. I was turned on in
a second, just from the surprise of it. Then he kissed me, and I was
gone. And then he kissed all the way down my body and started going
down on me. I came in about two minutes. He didn't say a word, and
he never took off any clothes. And for the last week, every time I
look at the couch, I kind of blush."
A couch, of course, is the obvious place to start. In fact, it may
be literally the place to start, as Dan, 28, says of his sex with
Kara, his wife of five years: "After we put Christina to bed,
we often stay up watching TV, especially on the weekend. And we kind
of make it a point-maybe it's left over from our teenage necking years-if
one of us is feeling sexy, we send a signal on the couch. She unbuttons
my shirt, or I just rest my hand between her legs. The other one gets
the idea, and we move to little kisses. Pretty soon we're so hot and
bothered that one of us says, 'How about going to bed?' We've got
more room there, but that little interlude on the couch is like using
jumper cables to get going."
Look around the living room. There's the trusty armchair. Maybe it's
your favorite reading spot. Why not turn it into your favorite spot
for doing something else? Rachel, 36, was married for eight years
before she got up the nerve to tell Roger about her chair fantasy.
"Ever since I was a teen-ager, I dreamed about being tied in
a chair and teased. I always felt a little bad about it, like I shouldn't
want that. But our sex went in that direction a bit, he would hold
down my wrists, or tell me what to do, and finally when we were lying
around after making love I told him. He loved it. We actually made
a plan. Late one night after we got the kids to bed, he undressed
me, made me put on some black underwear, and sat me down in the armchair.
I was scared silly. He used a few of his ties to tie my ankles to
the front chair legs and my wrists to the back ones. Then he left
the room and made me wait while he made a drink. Then he came back
and-oh, God, I can't tell you what we did, I'm too embarrassed. But
he made it live up to the fantasy. We've done it one other time since,
but we can't do it too often because it takes a while, we both have
to be in the mood, and the kids have to be safely out of the picture.
Anyway, I don't think I'd want to do it all the time."
Your furniture play, of course, doesn't have to be so elaborate. Anne
and her husband Elvin-married four years, one daughter-occasionally
have sex on, believe it or not, the piano stool. No, not because it
swivels, but because it affords them the perfect angle. "I get
him excited, he sits on the stool, and I straddle him," says
Anne. "He has to hold me really tight, but the main reason I
like it is he goes so deep that way. I don't even have to move very
much, and I come like crazy."
Don't forget your other rooms. There's the dining-room or kitchen
table-remember the scene in The Postman Always Rings Twice ? There's
the kitchen counter, when the impulse seizes you both while you're
cooking (and the tots are off on a play date). And there's the bathroom,
as Jim and his wife Helen have discovered. "A few years ago we
were both in there, and she was naked, leaning over the sink, and
putting on her make-up," he recalls. "She looked so sexy
that way that I moved behind her and started kissing her neck and
playing with her breasts. I gotta give her credit, she put down the
eyeliner right away. It was so hot doing it that way, because we were
both looking into the mirror, so we could gaze into each other's eyes
or watch what I was doing. Now it's a regular part of our repertoire.
Saturday morning-tell the kids we're taking a shower, let 'em watch
TV, lock the bathroom door...."
OK, strictly speaking, the bathroom mirror isn't exactly furniture.
But it's the same idea. With a little imagination and spontaneity-I
know, I know, it's hard with kids around-the whole house can become
a den of iniquity, and those familiar pieces of furniture can turn
into erotic equipment. And maybe you, too, will find yourself blushing
when you look at that couch.
the father of two boys, lives in Manhattan and is the author of Sex:
an Oral History
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