As far as my mum is concerned.
(Photo via AbbyNormy, Flickr)
The last thing you want from the woman whose vagina you once came out of is unsolicited sex advice. But if your mother is anything like mine that sentiment means absolutely nothing, and you're going to have to listen to her tell you things about boning that you’re not particularly interested in knowing that she knows.
Most of the time, my mum tells me gross things to scare me. You know, she'll tell me about placentas and crabs and shit. But sometimes she drops a little nugget of golden sex wisdom, and I have to concede that all the openness and communication is worth it.
When I was younger, I was dating a boy who had some issues in the bedroom. Around the same time, I found out that I had a nasty case of the HPV virus. As my mother castigated me over tea one afternoon for having “too much sex”, i.e., the reason I had HPV, I felt like it was a good time to talk to her about my boyfriend’s problems to show that my sex life wasn’t as dirty as she imagined.
“I knew it,” she said, shaking her head.
“Eww mum, what? You think about him having sex?”
She laughed, “No, no, not like that. It’s just the way he eats his food.”
I stared at her.
“Well you know,” she continued, “he doesn’t put his whole mouth around the fork. He just uses his teeth to pull the food off. It’s like he’s afraid of it or something.”
I continued to stare right at her, eyebrows beginning to arch.
“You can tell what a man is going to be like from the way he eats” she explained.
“You know” she said, frustrated that I didn’t innately understand what she was talking about, “when a man is passionate about his food, and he uses his hands and slurps and does things you think are disgusting. That’s how you know he’ll be a good lover. When they eat like birds they have sex like birds. And no one wants to have sex with a bird. Except for other birds, but you’re not a bird.”
Ladies and gentleman, I present to you my mother.
Never mind that I still can’t watch my stepdad eat without being completely sickened, but, as it turns out, mother is always right. Looking back, there was only one boy whose particular eating habits I could remember well: my boyfriend in college, captain of the rowing team, vice captain of basketball and staunch Catholic. I remembered how he ate specifically because he did it immaculately. He would sit bolt upright, elbows never on the table, knife and fork always in his hands cutting his food into tiny, perfect bite sized squares that he would daintily push into his mouth and chew silently. He would never speak with his mouth full.
I used to think it was a blessing. There is no more foul sound on earth than a person chewing with their mouth open. But armed with the knowledge of mother’s sex wisdom it all came into stark relief: the repetitive missionary sex, the need to shower afterwards, the hesitant pussy licking and inability to watch my reverse cowgirl in the mirror. All I really needed to know about a man’s sexual practice I could learn from his eating habits. This was a formidable weapon to wield, indeed.
Mum’s philosophy, thus far, has never let me down. Years later, in Paris, I met a boy that disgusted me every time he ate. He chewed like a cow in a field, ate everything with his fingers and got sauce and crap all over his hands and under his fingernails. I wanted to vomit every time I saw him eating. But I still wanted to fuck him, because, you know, mum.
And fuck him I did, because no manners at the dinner table means no manners in the bedroom. Here was a guy who made me wretch at the sight of him pigging out but who threw down like a champion. It was the best sex I’d ever had. Between the sloppy, muff diving, the way he ground his hips against me and how he spat on my tummy (what?), everything about it was as passionate and filthy as I’d imagined it would be.
So now I watch. And if you ever find yourself sitting at dinner across from me, with me eyeballing you, alert to your every move. I’m not being creepy. I’m just trying to figure out what you’d be like in bed.
Follow Kat on Twitter: @Kat_George