Have you ever had a moment of realisation during sex? Have you ever, even for a moment, snapped out of your impassioned stupor and stepped away from yourself, and seen yourself from a different perspective, like a disapproving parent regarding their mischievous child’s chocolate-covered face?
When we have sex, we are ridiculous. We are grotesque and twisted and reckless and we don’t even know it. Only occasionally does our mind remove itself from the intoxicating pleasures of the body and we see ourselves in all our bizarre surreality, all legs and arms and grimacing faces, like a horrific cloning experiment. These moments of clarity are fleeting.
I treasure them. After sex, I often lie back and smile while I remember the moment when I suddenly came round for a few seconds, with my foot round the back of my neck, my elbow in my mouth and my pelvis twisted through 180 degrees – my partner similarly contorted – and in that moment, looking at myself from some other space, I think, “what the fuck am I doing?” Good sex is like an obscene game of Twister, in which the instructions are things like “left hand pillow, squat thrust, pull face like surprised goat licking vinegar off an electric fence.”
Because, when you think about it, when sex is done well, it’s because it’s done stupid. Sex is best when inhibitions are shed, when you do things you would never normally do, say things you would never normally say, pull faces like you’re walking over hot coals and try harder than usual not to break wind.
These moments of sudden lucidity during sex are like drinking yourself sober. You drink and you drink and suddenly you realise that you’re drunk and acting like a tit. You have sex and have sex, and suddenly you realise you’re having sex and acting like a tit.
And the best part is, in both cases, you don’t care. You just smile and carry on.