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Sex (Circa 2006)

Oral is the new second base, the “mostly” girls keep on kissing girls, and the Bro Job has arrived (but is still not ready for its close-up)
By CAMILLE DODERO  |  August 2, 2006

Does this scene look familiar (from either side)? Read the results of our sex survey!

On a recent Friday night a line of people were braving the rat-drowning downpour outside the Coolidge Corner Theatre to see the amateur porn medley You Oughta Be in Pictures. But they weren’t the sort of pervy, long-lost penny-arcade refugees you might expect to find at an XXX-on-celluloid series. No, the umbrella-toting throng were part of another demimonde, that of flask-concealing kids in mangy hoodies, college-hockey jackets, and T-shirts with video-game logos.

“Maybe I’ll know somebody up there,” a kid in a red sweatshirt said in a loud whisper to his rain-splotched buddy, spilling popcorn on the floor and smirking as he picked out seats. “That would be hot.”

Maybe so. But that’s not what’s here. As the lights went down, mysterious fluids began squirting on-screen. Middle-aged men cavorted in thongs, paid tribute to bulges, and danced to Aaron Copeland. With the exception of one gangsta-styled submission in which attractive, young naked women made out on a motorcycle, the median age of the people on the screen appeared to be 45. MILFs might be a guilty pleasure in pop-culture, but this wasn’t any 12-year-old’s wet dream. Near the end of the film, when a saggy-skinned, frizzy-gray-haired happy-go-lucky woman straddled a horse with her breasts exposed, someone cried out, “Noooooooh, Grandma!”

Why don’t younger people generally submit footage to the series? “The older you are, the more comfortable you are with your body?” guesses sex maven Kim Airs, who started the annual series You Oughta Be in Pictures seven years ago.

So what, exactly, is going on in the house/apartment/dorm room next door circa 2006? It’s probably no big shocker for a generation that came of age during Lewinskygate that oral sex is the new second base. “It used to be that you had to be in a serious relationship to get it — and you had to ask for it,” recalls one 28-year-old male living near Inman Square who recently emerged from the second of two consecutive long-term relationships wide-eyed and blinking. “Now you just get it. Sometimes, I’ve been fooling around with a girl and the situation has just gone there when I wasn’t expecting it.” He adds, “I’ve actually had to stop it.”

It’s also not surprising that given such cultural references as The L Word and a 2003 New York magazine–anointed term “hasbians” (“women who came out of the closet only to end up in heterosexual relationships”), sexual orientation among straight-leaning younger women has become increasingly fluid. Girls who sleep with boys don’t limit themselves to terms such as “straight,” “bi,” or “lesbians until graduation” anymore. There’s also the increasingly porous distinction of “mostly” (“mostly straight”), a modifier loaded with possibility.

Even a well-heeled female friend who has long been a good litmus test for gauging those moments when trends merge with the mainstream announced recently over beers, “Did I tell you? I finally made out with a girl!” This is someone in her late 20s who has had fewer than five male partners and now lives with a long-time boyfriend who’s a lawyer. She was talking about kissing a girl as if it were a rite of passage among the sort of people who use the word “edgy” to describe tattoos. And so how did it feel to swap spit with a lady? She frowned. “It was sort of gross.”

Girls making out with each other “is obviously a social phenomenon now,” says Mary (not her real name), a “mostly straight” 25-year-old who has on separate occasions invited a female friend and a gay-male acquaintance to mess around with her and her boyfriend of nearly five years. Mary’s boyfriend, Jonathan, “has less experience with dudes than I have with girls.” Even so, Mary says, “my whole hardcore sexual experience with girls is limited — like, really limited.” She acknowledges that Jonathan is among the minority of men willing to admit to messing around with another guy. “Girls are way more comfortable with it than guys,” she says.

The sexual orientation of straight-leaning males doesn’t seem to be quite as openly mutable as it is among younger women (no matter how many dudes saw Brokeback Mountain). Certainly a lot of people have witnessed super-drunk “straight” dudes sloppily kissing in the corner at parties, but those same guys don’t usually run around calling themselves “mostly straight”: they talk as though they’re loyal to one team or the other. Poke around Boston’s Craig’s List, and you’ll find plenty of men who are “st8” but “curious,” looking to meet other men discreetly. All of which increases the quiet mystery surrounding the “bro job,” a term defined in the Urban Dictionary as “oral sex between two allegedly heterosexual male friends, particular [sic] when said friends are wasted.” (Usage example conveniently provided by someone from Cambridge, using the pseudonym Freddie Cougar: “So are you, like, gay now that Ernie sucked your wang?” “No! It was totally just a bro job. I loves the ladies.”) Tales of the bro job have been whispered around these parts for months, although “straight” men willing to own up to giving or getting one have been elusive.

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  Topics: Lifestyle Features , Culture and Lifestyle , Relationships , Sexuality ,  More more >
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Sex (Circa 2006)
I just can't believe that sex in our society has become so impersonal. If this is really the current state of sex amongst 18-34 year old singles, the atmosphere is ripe for STDs to spread. The real problem is the uncoolness of not having sex, as if you're denying yourself something that's your right. Sex with the right person is worth waiting for.
By Veector on 05/31/2006 at 9:00:46
Sex (Circa 2006)
I disagree that sex has become impersonal. I think it's a good thing that today's youth are less sexually repressed than generations from before. Just because they seem more vocal doesn't mean that they are ripe for disease or otherwise sex-crazed whores. Sex is a good thing and I'm happy that society has seemed to outgrown the 'sex is dirty' mindset.
By projconn on 06/12/2006 at 7:11:56
Sex (Circa 2006)
One cannot say sex has or has not become impersonal; everyone treats it differently. As long as people are enjoying themselves in safe ways (not harming themselves or others), their sexual preferences and practices are natural and their own business. Granted, not everyone is safe, and that is unfortunate. But someone who fools around with twenty people in one month could be using protection while another person who has 1 partner in/for six months may not. These kinds of generalizations, assumptions, and judgemental mentalities (positive +/or negative) are unnecessary, unfair, and couldn't possibly be accurate for everyone in an entire group of people.
By boston23 on 06/21/2006 at 2:50:56
Sex (Circa 2006)
But that's my point, if people continue to behave in a medically risky and unsafe way, it's everyone's business, because eventually, society pays the price. Also, the attitude shift of people towards sex and how young girls and guys are anxious to lose their virginity makes sex less meaningful. Doesn't that deserve some kind of commentary? And towards the point that someone using protection is more safe than someone else, that used to be the case when just transfer of seminal fluid was enough to get you an STD, now herpes and other STDs can be spread with even just oral-to-genital contact. Celebrating or encouraging the freeness of a non-monogamous lifestyle is detrimental on so many levels.
By Veector on 06/26/2006 at 10:01:18
Sex (Circa 2006)
This all has to do with a serious lack of education about sex and it's consequences. Monogamy is not for everyone and boxing people in is just as detrimental to the human condition. Promoting abstinence, which is the preferred means of birth control for our conservative administration, is ineffective. The fact that today's youth learn sexual ideas and behavior from TV is serious cause for alarm as well as the administration's blatant disregard for research in favor of subjective morality. And that's not opinion, that's research.
By projconn on 06/28/2006 at 9:02:29
Sex (Circa 2006)
Well said.
By boston23 on 06/29/2006 at 12:45:20
Sex (Circa 2006)
"Monogamy is not for everyone" Are you kidding? I'm not trying to promote abstinence. I'm just saying that young girls and boys, when they're ready to have sex, do it in a safe way and stick with their partner for long periods of time. I don't believe in having sex just for fun.
By Veector on 06/29/2006 at 11:37:59
Sex (Circa 2006)
Lack of education my ass. I apologize if "inappropriate" language is discouraged here; there was no ToS at registration to throw that in my face, so I'll be loose tounged for now. Let me know if it is, please. Now for my say; as a literate, non-judgemental, introvertive and "libido-less" fifteen year-old, I feel it neccesary to mention something. There is education. Fact is--when it's being taught to you in eighth grade when half the kids in the class have already "done it" , "bare back" or "under cover", by an over-weight, extremely humourful woman who, though very nice, looks like she hasn't been laid or plans to for years...Who do you think is going to listen? The education is there, it's simply unheeded. The more you try to push today's teenagers, the more they're going to turn their backs on you; they'll feel that, rather than taking them seriously and treating them like adults--which in a way, you actually are--you're trying to shelter them. Because honestly...when you were that age, wouldn't you rather listen to jimmy with the sweet talk and the killer smile than your old man? But you're right. Sex has gotten alot more like a trend or "the thing to do" than something meaningful or sacred. I pity those who don't care about it, or use it as a tool--but honestly? It's their business, and not anyone elses. Sure, you can blame the AID's epidemic on nonmonagomous teens and careless adults, but you have to think about it. Even the most careful people can catch it--it's that one time that makes the difference. And Veector--the world is moving into an odd generation that promotes oddities as much as it promotes straight-edge. The world is trying to become more "out of the box" and "free-thinking", and the fact that people with mindsets like yours exist is one of the reasons it is trying so hard. It's the age-old cycle of one generation trying to differentiate, become its own self. Sex has become a game. Sexuality has become fluid--as said in the article, I believe--and the lines and drawers and boxes or whatever you care to define the differences as, are becoming more and more blurred as time goes on. But not all teens or adults are sex-crazed fiends. It's true that the majority experiments alot more, but like I said; the lines are being blurred. And so what? If it leads to everyone really finding out who they are and feeling more comfortable about it, great. Less gay teen suicides. So, I believe this is a good thing, this...evolution. I do wish that people would be more careful, yes. But when there is the availability to protect and still have "fun", why try to hamper people in and say "monogamy only"? Hopefully, like an experimental "tween" or "teen" or even college student, this generation will discover itself, define itself, and start being more "mature" in its decisions. That's all I've got to say, but I hope you listened instead of just ruling me off as "just another teen". There are those of us that think before we act.
By [-Scorpio-] on 06/30/2006 at 3:49:37
Sex (Circa 2006)
Also, I apologize for that humongous chunk of text. This is my first time using the site, so I didn't realise it didn't recognize paragraphs.
By [-Scorpio-] on 06/30/2006 at 3:51:10
Sex (Circa 2006)
I understand your points. I can see that change is always in the wind from one generation to the next, but change is not always a good thing. When you talk about vast changes in culture, these are the types of things that can eventually lead to the disintegration of a society. I'm not just talking about sex, it's about a lot of things, but sex is one of those things. I agree that what everyone does is their own business and I'm not suggesting that there should be legislation to stop anyone from doing anything sexually in their own private lives. I'm just commenting that I feel that this kind of behavior is too risky. It doesn't matter how protected you feel, when culture relaxes and lets dangerous behavior become socially acceptable, the family suffers, society suffers. I don't see it as an out-of-the-box version of thinking vs conservativism. I see it as a "why don't we promote safe behavior" vs "glorifying our freely sexual culture because it feels good". I think that's a very irresponsible type of line to take.
By Veector on 07/10/2006 at 9:38:16
Sex (Circa 2006)
I'm glad that the people interviewed were able to come to terms with their sexuality, and that they were able to find other people who were willing to help affirm them in this way. In my case, I could not find anyone to so affirm me when I decided at the age of 33 that it was time to get the job of handing off my virginity done - despite the fact that no one had ever offered. To avoid the looming risk of suicide because of the self-perception of not being desirable to anyone, I went to a licensed brothel in Nevada. Looking back, and based on additional information and research since then, I would urge anyone else trapped in the unfotunate situation I was in, I would suggest that they instead see a surrogate. Surrogates always work together with a psychotherapist, which would have been a lot more beneficial to me than the (at first) disbelieving licensed prostitute I hired. She eventually did believe my situation of being a late-blooming virgin, but again, it would have been nice to have been affirmed from the start.
By GentlemanBear on 07/25/2006 at 7:18:10
Sex (Circa 2006)
I'm surprised you didn't mention about sagging. We've really lowered way down to our butts now at the back and pubes at the front
By razor on 08/04/2006 at 8:19:12
Sex (Circa 2006)
This is a test. <p>This is only a test</p> <p>If this were a real emergency, you would have been instructed to return to your nearest balm shelter. End of massage.
By TwoFourFixate on 08/26/2006 at 5:30:23
Sex (Circa 2006)
incest is only relative?
By on 03/23/2007 at 10:48:13

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