Every married or cohabiting couple will tell you that there is a certain amount of space and tact granted to a partner or spouse with regards to his or her “solo activities.” And before you go on a long rant about how your beloved man or woman “doesn’t do that anymore” and “hasn’t done it since we started living together” let me stop you right there and say:
Look. I don’t want to pee in your soup. But the fact of the matter is that in any shared living arrangement there’s going to be a suspiciously long shower here, a dog-eared copy of 50 Shades there, and sparkling clean browser histories everywhere. How you respond when you stumble upon these things is up to you, but I personally feel it’s best to navigate these occurrences with respect and discretion.
And maybe the tiniest smirk.
Unfortunately, no matter how perfectly you may deal with these situations, it is the very nature of the universe to fuck with us. So even if you are the most tactful and understanding partner in the world, even if Dan Savage has an oil painting of you in his house with the phrase “Good, Giving, and Game” inscribed underneath, even if you announce your entrance into every room with loud, stompy footsteps and a dozen “shot across the bow” warning coughs, accidents will still happen.
It’s inevitable. At some point you will catch your lover in the middle of some straight-up self love.
Let me tell you about when it happened to me.
On what started out as a boring night about two years ago, my husband and I were in separate rooms doing separate things. I was reading quietly in our bedroom while my husband was watching football on the family room TV with the volume up to ten million. If you need any help visualizing this scene of domestic bliss, here is an expertly-drawn diagram that illustrates exactly where we were with respect to one another:
Time passed. Then, suddenly, I thought to myself: “Hey, I don’t hear the football game anymore.” The house was eerily quiet, which seemed unusual because as I previously mentioned, the TV had been at volume 10 million. I lifted my head from my book for a closer listen. Didn’t hear anything. Listened harder. Still nothing. Wondered if my husband had just turned off the TV and fell asleep. Deemed it likely. Returned my attention to my book.
Now, it’s hard to accurately write out the sound of an orgasm, or the sound of an approaching orgasm. But one of those two things is certainly what I thought I heard. A loud sexytimes groan of a very intense nature and possibly helped along by Skinemax On Demand.
My immediate thoughts upon hearing this sound:
- So that’s why the volume is turned down. DUH.
- Damn, husband! You gonna wake up our son with that racket!
- Wait a minute. Is he masturbating on the sofa? In front of the huge windows that overlook the street?
- What the actual fuck is going on?
But. Remember what we discussed earlier. Respect. Discretion. I put my book down and eased off of the bed, gently and quietly, the better to preserve my husband’s privacy. I wanted to investigate what was going on, but if it turned out to be what I thought it was, I wanted to fade back into the bedroom as if nothing had happened.
I stepped softly into the hallway, where my view of my husband *should* have been limited to the back of his head, like so:
What I actually saw, however, was my husband’s entire glorious backside. He was standing in front of the couch, in full view of the open windows and indeed our entire neighborhood, completely and 100% buck ass naked. And he was wiping his junk off with his boxers.
I was in such shock that I couldn’t speak. My husband had never been so flagrant with his “me time” in all of the ten years we’d been together. Not that I minded, of course — in theory it was totally hot. It was just super out of character for him and I’m not particularly good at processing change.
So I stood there for a second with my mouth kind of hanging open, until eventually my husband got tipped off that I was standing behind him. Which is when he turned to me, red-faced, agitated, and clearly mortified. Completely naked. Crumpled boxers in hand.
But just as I was about to say something along the lines of “What the fuck are you doing jacking off in front of the living room window with no god damn clothes on?” he gestured to his crotch with his dirty boxers and wailed:
“I JUST FELL ASLEEP WITH A HOT COFFEE IN MY LAP AND SPILLED IT ALL OVER MY FUCKING BALLS!”
And I never laughed so hard in my entire life. Well, first I made sure his balls were okay. Then I never laughed so hard in my entire life.