Read On For The Best Sex Advice You'll Ever Get
Everyone needs sex advice! Everyone! No matter how sexy someone may appear to be, everybody is lost and confused, a walking jumble of parts that may not exactly fit perfectly with everyone else’s parts. We all could use a light to guide the way.
So thank god for former Rookie editor Amy Rose Spiegel, whose book Action: A Book About Sex, takes a humorous, kind, and informative bent on humanity’s most popular and most confusing activity. Action, while relatively short, is wildly thorough, covering everything: flirting, the mechanics of sex itself (including all people of all genders), porn, snacks to feed one’s sexual partner, and yes, consent. Spiegel is an excellent stylist, and the book is warm and cuddly, like a particularly revelatory therapy session. I love both her tendency towards using all caps for EMPHASIS, and her use of silly puns (“Jesus H. Cam’Ron!”). She doesn’t hide from anything, writing about her encounters both wonderful—a particularly sensitive and gentle Republican, a rapper with a fetish for sneezing, an incredibly sexually skilled human who lives in the Trump Tower—and horrifying (those that crossed the boundaries of consent).
Reading Action can, of course, be a sexy experience; I happened to feel particularly libidinous when flipping through it while drinking a martini alone in an upscale basement. But perhaps even more than acutely understanding the act itself, Spiegel has a real gift for making the silliest, most vulnerable parts of sex come to life. Much of reading the book felt like the equivalent of a particular moment that comes when sex is at its most comfortable; the sort of laughter that overtakes you when something goes particularly right (or wrong) and you’re with someone that makes you happy. That’s all a very roundabout way of saying that, above all, Action is deeply compassionate. As Spiegel wrote in a chapter about fetishes, “The whole point of being an adult is discovering the weirdness of others with love instead of fear.”
Read on for her thoughts on the best post-sex candy, extreme Morrissey fandom, and “loins.”
You give such deeply felt advice. Have you always been an institutive person?
My sisters, growing up, made fun of me a lot for being very sensitive. My first boyfriend called me Senstivo as my nickname. And so I think that that kind of sensitivity to things… can backfire when your sisters play a prank on you and you’re like, “This is an indictment of your love for me. How can you do this?” But it works out in a great way for people who write, like you and me, because you’re on a different frequency or something. So I’m really grateful for that, even though it makes me sob when my sister plays a prank on me.
Did you have any reservations about sharing any of your personal stories?
I don’t think that there was anything that jumped out as something that I shouldn’t write. There were things I discovered about past experiences in writing them. Like [in] the last chapter, which is called “On Sluts,” I discuss one day from when I was 19, and I slept with three different people in a day. And at the time I didn’t feel that there was anything wrong with that, but I thought I couldn’t talk about it, I couldn’t tell anyone or else my life was kaput, just over. That’s obviously not true!
“I have a piece of Morrissey’s shirt at home in a mayonnaise jar.”
I do I do. Oh my god. So I have a piece of Morrissey’s shirt at home in a mayonnaise jar—it’s a washed out mayonnaise jar, important clarification. I’d seen Morrissey for five days in a row at the Harrison Ballroom. I was 15. And he always throws his shirt into the crowd, and so people fought for it and I had a tiny shred. I was walking the other day on Ludlow with my friend Scott and he goes, “Smell my shirt.” He was wearing Morrissey’s cologne, and he smelled exactly like the mayonnaise jar. It’s Comme des Garçons Incense! For everyone who wants to smell Morrissey or smell like Morrissey, it’s Comme des Garçons.
Ha! So, something I love about the book is that you put such an emphasis on manners, and how to treat overnight guests.
Hell yes. People wake up at my house and I’ll have nice things for them. When you wake up in the morning with somebody new, sometimes it can feel a little bit uncertain. Who knows what you were doing the night before? So, if you don’t know them, it’s cool to have this reminder that you like each other, that you care for each other, that this is all totally fine.
“Just me and Ivanka Trump scissoring all night.”
And you wrote that the best lay in New York lives in the Trump Tower? Is it…
Yes. Yes. Yes. I have to say it’s Ivanka Trump. You know, just me and Ivanka Trump scissoring all night.
It’s a person who cannot be farther from a Trump temperament. But definitely, the best lay lives in Trump Tower—or in my apartment now, with me, as my boyfriend.
You’ve said that your boyfriend is really supportive of everything.
He’s amazing. He’s the best. I actually met him in this building. I met him at Milk Studios at the Jeremy Scott show. He chased me down to the Starbucks across the street after and he was just like, “Can I have your phone number?” and I just said, “No. Why. You didn’t tell me I had lipstick on my teeth so that’s just not going to work.” But we somehow made it through, and he’s still with me and just my best friend and I love him.
While researching, have you come across any really funny names for sex positions? Anything particularly entertaining that stands out?
They all are, they all are. I feel like just talking about sex is inherently funny sometimes. I recorded my audiobook in the studio where they also do the Harlequin novels, like the really racy romance novels where they talk about throbbing loins.
And Fabio is on the cover.
Hell yes. So I think that’s my favorite, when people really cheesecake it up with sex talk. I had a lot of fun playing with that in the book. The other day I was on a panel about sex writing and people were asking for advice on how to do it well and the only advice that I had was don’t use the word loins. Everything else is fair game, but just don’t do that.
It’s a very cheesy and hilarious word.
I think it’s great, but imagine somebody were in bed with you and you used the word loins. The way that you would use a word for somebody’s genitalia otherwise, [but] I was like, “Oh yeah, my tight loins.” It’s horrible, it’s like saying lap. Lap is the grossest word. Loins and lap: disgusting. I’m fully shivering right now.
You keep Take5 Bars in your freezer for guests, right?
They are the most criminally underrated candy. They are the most slept on candy in the world. For those of you who don’t know and are sleeping on Take5 bars, they are peanuts, peanut butter, caramel, chocolate, and pretzels. When you keep them in your freezer and you have great sex with someone, you are then able to walk nakedly to your freezer and casually extract one of these things and blow their mind further. And blow your own mind also in the process because they are really the best. It is the perfect one-two punch. Why shouldn’t you have a life that includes great sex following a Take5 bar? Everyone needs to give themselves this gift.
I think that might be the best advice that you give. But overall, what do you really want people to take away from the book?
I want them to Take5. [Laughs] I want people to feel as though, no matter what they’ve done in their sexual history, it’s normal, it’s okay, it doesn’t have to mean anything either, about your past or future. You don’t have to continue to do things one way because you think that it’s the way you’ve always done them. And you don’t have to think that, because I’ve had this experience, because I’ve slept with three people in one day, or because I’ve never had sex, or because x, y, whatever that things can’t change for you. Also things don’t have to change. It’s all whatever. As long as you’re loving and sweet to people, and perhaps if you’re inclined, make them a breakfast. You’re gonna be good to go. There [are] as many relationships to sex as there are people in the planet, so you’re fine as long as you’re being good to people.
Action: A Book About Sex is available for purchase here, and we really, really suggest buying it.
Stay tuned to Milk for more sex, writers, and sexy writers.