Do You Have A Post-Coital Thing?

Jan 02, 2010 • Culture

“Do you have a thing?” my friend Jessica asked me. We were newly spray-tanned, sprawled out on her huge Las Vegas bed, surrounded by bags from different lingerie shops, exhausted after a day of not a whole lot of anything.

“A thing?” I asked her. “What kind of thing?”

“A thing you do with guys,” she replied.

“Like a sexual trademark move?” I smiled. “Of course.”

“No, no–” she said. “After sex. Something you do.”

“Leave?” I asked, half-joking.

“Hmmm,” she said. “That’s so true. You do always leave.”

“I do not always leave!” I exclaimed.


I don’t know what bothered me more, that she thought I was the type to run perpetually, or that I wasn’t creative enough to have “a thing.”

“What’s your thing?” I asked.

She turned over and smiled, looking at me.

“Jewelry,” she said. “I always leave jewelry behind. Not on purpose, I just seem to.”

“What if you never see them again?”

She shrugged.

“Like an offering,” I mused. “That’s so… that’s really charming.”

After I left Las Vegas, I obsessed about this for weeks. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Surely I did something. We can’t help it–we’re creatures of habit. Every lover is an intensely different experience, every lover awakens in me a different sexual aspect, yes, but humans are creatures of habit. There is always something we do.

Just as I was beginning to let it go, I ran into an old piece on Hollyscoop about Lady Gaga’s morning-after ritual:

The morning after she has sex, she peels off her long fake eyelashes and leaves them on her lover’s bed as a keepsake.

She said: “Whenever I have a lover I leave them in their apartment on the pillow. Kind of like a keepsake.”

That was it. Even Gaga had “a thing.” Yes, it was a little unsettling, but it was a thing.

My phone rang, it was an ex-fiance from years ago (who left me, by the way. OK, fine, I left him first. Still).

“What did you leave behind?” he asked. “Hair. Everywhere. And cigarette ash. All over the bed.”

“That’s so unattractive.”

“No, really?” he said, laughing. “I can’t believe you’re asking. You write. You write your lovers the most beautiful things.”

Oh, how could I forget that?

Yes, if I sleep with you, I’ll write about you. If I like you, I’ll send you little missives. If I love you, I’ll build you a monument in words.

I call it the Jean Paulhan Club.

Do you have “a thing”? Is “a thing” charming or does it cheapen the experience, reducing a gesture into a meaningless act?

  • Laura

    I used to write about them. Mostly when they were terrible, which rendered the inept immortal, but the fabulous… strangely missing from the ages. Then I reversed the thing and wrote a Vixen column on my “Top Five.” It actually garnered hate mail. Can you believe it?

    • Anaiis

      You’re kidding me! Who wrote you hate mail?

  • Arrow

    Immediately after it ends, and if I’m on top, I like to lay my head on her breasts. Women tend to automatically give a little head massage.

    An ex of mine would totally jet, even when we were dating.

    • Anaiis

      Fucking and running is almost an unforgivable offense to me if I am enamored of the person. I require a debriefing after something so intense and intoxicating.

  • Arrow

    Yeah, I was never thrilled when she would leave. I rather, “debrief,” as you say.

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  • Amy

    I laugh uncontrolably… well, only if it’s amazing.

  • Tech Babe

    Never thought about it. I do get the “How the fuck did your hair get up my ass…” phone call the next day. To which I respond, “I shove it up there with a chopstick while you sleep.”

    Now after reading this, I think I’ll buy a pack of gold star stickers, like the ones in kindergarten. Then afix the star(s) on their head-board, depending on performance. No?

  • ThatGuy

    Long time reader, first time writer.

    After, I like to stroll to the bathroom and come back with a mildly hot or mildly cool moist hand towel (depends on if it’s hot or cold).

    I actually enjoy doing some of the cleaning myself if she’ll allow.

    What do you think?

  • Anaiis

    Amy: I’ve done that! And I love that! It’s unsettling especially because I don’t immediately come off as the type who laughs a whole lot. Or, like, at all.

    TechBabe: you’re hilarious. I’ve had one of those phone calls–it tends to prompt some Dashboard: “Your hair is EVERYYYYWHERRRRRRE…”

    ThatGuy: What do I think? I’d say you were a Cancer. Am I right?

  • AnotherGuy

    Interesting. I do a similar thing to ThatGuy, and I am a cancer…

    • Anaiis


  • ThatGuy

    Actually… Ares, but on the cusp of Taurus. But we can be nice too on occasion. 😉

  • Anaiis

    I have always associated cleaning with Cancers and Virgos, Cancers out of concern, Virgos out of duty. Aries, on the other hand, it feels the slightest bit tinged with dominance, and the desire to maintain one’s property. You may not know me well enough to understand that when I say that I mean it as a good thing, so I’ll come right out and say it: that’s hot.