Women aren’t really from Venus. They make up more than half the Earth’s population. You share your bed with some of them. Yet, even after years of friendship or working together or dating or fucking or love or marriage, most men still don’t seem to understand some of the more basic things about women. And I don’t blame you for not knowing this stuff, even if other women might. I mean, you can’t guess what you never knew. And who are you supposed to ask? Certainly not women, because they’ll judge you for your lack of knowledge.
You wonder why she’s always worried about things that aren’t happening. You wonder why she’s always cold when you’re always hot. You wonder why she gets so upset over what seem to be little things. You don’t understand why she never stops planning in advance or sniffing out strange odors that you never even smell. You don’t understand why she needs to be in constant communication, when you just want a little goddamn silence.
The thing is, she wonders all these same things in the reverse about you. Plus the bonus enigma of why, after all these years, you don’t seem to know how to touch her clitoris with the sensitivity it desperately begs for. So many of these mysteries are pretty simple once they’re explained, and I’ve covered them in this book. The fantastic thing is, once you learn the answers to these questions and many more, you can begin reaping the benefits of your knowledge by living a much more peaceful life. One that includes...
So. What are my qualifications? Well, I do know the parts because I’ve owned the equipment all my life. I mean, if you were born with a Rubik’s Cube in your underpants, you’d sure as hell figure out how to master it over time. I’m not only referring to the parts here; I’ve also owned the temperament. It comes free with the vagina. Like the set of steak knives you get as a bonus if you “act now.” Plus, I’m gay. So, just like you, I’m attracted to women. Yes, I’m also occasionally confounded by my own gender, but I am one, too, so I do have quite a bit of insider information.
* * *
The idea for this book came to me while I was a writer for a half-hour TV show. Often, these comedy rooms (the “writers’ room”) are a bastion of boys wearing hoodies in various states of elbow-holed disrepair. Testosterone, fear, competitive eating games, and flatulence fill the air. These types of rooms are all basically the same. An old conference table coated with SunChip- (née potato chip-) greasy fingerprints and ghosts of old jokes (“Frasier, your girlfriend is as young as this Beaujolais!”). The room has been repainted so many times, it’s exponentially smaller because of it. Lots of guys sitting around in Dockers and pocket T-shirts, wholly unaware of any changes in fashion in the past decade, stuck in a time-bubble from before Banana Republic used gay-boys to do their ads.
I’m usually the only female writer (maybe one of a few) in a room filled with a dozen people. And I have a very privileged window into a world that most women don’t get to absorb. I sit with them, and we all share the most intimate details of our lives. Invariably these rooms devolve into discussions of when was the last time you had sex, who you did it with, whose wife/girlfriend allows them rear privilege, and how much would you have to be paid to eat out the bunghole of the pot-bellied location scout. (“Did Gary bathe recently?” “How long would I have to eat it for?” “Does eating Gary’s asshole make me gay, or just a whore?” “Do I have to get him off with my hand, or would he do it himself?” “Tax-wise, do I have to declare this as income, or would it come in bricks of cash in a shoebox?”) Conversations that don’t usually come up at work.
At some point in this decadent unproductive soup, the boys ask me to share every single sexual experience I’ve ever had. (“Because of two pussies!”) One show I worked on made this a regular thing. They asked me to regale them every Friday. Like a library story-time for pervy dudes who missed out on sex in their teens because they were studying for their SATs. They called it “Lesbian Fridays,” and they pined for it with the same kind of longing they had for dim-sum dumplings. Which, not so coincidentally, were also delivered on Fridays.
One of them always played moderator for this weekly occurrence of the discussion of my sexual escapades. He was like a no-sock-wearing, bespectacled, Jewish hipster Charlie Rose. One day, right before Christmas break, another one of the guys chimed in and offered a morsel about his own sexual prowess regarding his brand new bride: “Last night, I fucked her hard. Played with her clit—” And then I watched as he pantomimed his accompanying action. It looked like he was rapidly flipping on and off a very loose light switch. Like the signal to come back from intermission at an amateur playhouse.
I was shocked. As a woman who has sex with women, and as a woman who receives sexual pleasure, no part of me identified with the extreme finger calisthenics that he was demonstrating. I didn’t want to shame him, but this had to stop. I had to put an end to this and probably other horrific things that, I could only assume, were being perpetrated in the bedrooms of men such as this.
I brushed powdered sugar Donette crumbs from my mouth. Took a sip of Coke, swishing the fizzing brown liquid all over my teeth. I stood up, resolved to set them straighter than they already were. They wondered what was happening as I closed the door of the room. Some asshole balked: the one who always shoved a New York Times in his back pocket on his way to the men’s room, literally telegraphing his impending bowel movement. “Quit wasting time,” he said. “We’re so close to finishing the scene.” But knowing that he probably needed this information more than anyone else, I picked up a dry-erase marker.
I told them to please be quiet. I congratulated them: “You guys are at the right place at the right time.” I told them they were about to receive an early holiday gift; one that I’m sure even Santa Claus needs to hear. “Trim the beard, Kringle! Lighten up on the liquor, and stop hosting children on your elderly lap!”
Then I drew a picture of a vagina on the dry-erase board. Not the funny caricatures we’d all done on this same board for years. Not an animated South Park–style vagina with funny eyes and a country-western twang coming out of her sarcastic buck-toothed vagina-mouth.
I’m no artist, but I drew a crude rendering of what this thing really looks like; like I was inventing Braille for the blind, or a map for people who have never even heard of maps. I told these lucky men that what I was about to teach them would help them. Change things for them forever. That they should clear their cache of everything they ever thought they knew about pleasuring women. I began. I gave them step-by-step instructions on both the physical and the psychological levels of fucking ladies. A guy with too-curly black hair who went to Stanford dutifully took notes on his iPhone. I admired his courage in a roomful of professional mockers.
Later, when I opened the room up for questions, some asked specifics. You know the expression “there are no dumb questions”? (“Where does your pee come out?” “When you have your period, is it like a faucet that pours out blood?” “Why is the clit on the outside when my dick goes on the inside?”) There totally are dumb questions, but I pretended otherwise. That particular writers’ room usually greeted the dawn based on script deadlines. But this time, as the sun came up, these men walked into that new day fortified with something much more substantial than the hangover of poorly crafted puns.
A week later, there was a Christmas party for the show’s cast and crew. Amidst the yuletide cheer and open bar, three of the writers’ wives and two of their girlfriends approached me, thanking me for my frank lecture and tips. They were giggly and content, their men slightly swaggering. As I watched these couples connecting on a new level, I felt good. Proud to have been of service. And then I was suddenly overwhelmed by the thought of the many other men out there who also needed this information.
And that’s why I’m here; why I’m compelled to tell this story. Not for the thanks—but because I never knew there was such a famine of knowledge. A fucking drought of well-fucked women.
I’m not digging wells to provide clean water to African children, but this is my charity. Women shouldn’t need to be gay for their vaginas to be eaten properly. They shouldn’t have to give detailed, emasculating instructions, either. This body of wisdom should be like the sacred Torah, passed down from generation to generation. Studied faithfully and practiced in earnest. I want to help you to pleasure your women in a way that many of you have no clue how to do. And why would you? How could you, if someone who owns a vagina doesn’t offer some helpful hints and tricks?
While I was having sex with myself or other girls, you were masturbating at a speed that’s the opposite of what’s good for women. So I have an advantage, and it’s time to share it.
You’re trying to fuck a woman; I get it. I’ve done it. I aim to do it again in a couple of hours. But you’ve got to ask yourselves, “What’s my goal here?” If you’re just in this to put your penis in a vagina, there’s plenty of alcohol and women with low self-esteem who will probably allow you to. But I would like to get you up and fucking, and to keep doing it until it actually feels like something more than just a sexual act; something like love.
This will require a new system.
Excerpted from "How to F*ck a Woman: An Insider’s Guide to Love & Relationships" by Ali Adler. Available from Weinstein Books. Copyright 2015. Cartoon © Liza Donnelly