I suppose I’m inquisitive by nature. Even as a kid, I was always reading non-fiction or researching something. I loved the library. I could sit there at the card catalog or walk the stacks and learn about absolutely anything I wanted. And there was always something I wanted to learn. I suppose that’s why I always thought I’d be a journalist. Research and writing combined? Total dream job. It’s also probably why I love the internet so much now.
Completely unrelated (mostly), I also have this problem that I want to be the absolute best at anything I do.
So, of course, as you might imagine, when I started having sex, I immediately started researching how to be better at it. Despite lots of experimentation in high school, I didn’t actually lose my virginity in the technical sense until my freshman year of college (Good Friday, right after church). It didn’t take long before I started wondering how to be the absolute best at it and where were the orgasms, anyway?
So, off to the university library I went. I spent hours with the microfilm and microfiche, reading up on the scientific details about why guys have the advantage when it comes to orgasms. I used up all my dimes, printing out the pages. (Kids these days have it so easy. They’ve never had to cross-reference and pull out drawers and load up the old dusty machines. All they have to do is type a few words.)
I also hit the bookstore. I was looking for some real how-to advice. I found this book — I probably still even have it somewhere — all about how to be great in bed.
It was about that time that I started a summer internship with a repertory theatre company. I worked in set construction and we worked just about every hour of every day until our bones hurt and we fantasized about getting into some terrible set construction accident so we could go to the hospital and rest for just a little while. The “repertory” part involved two theatres, about a half hour apart. Once we got all the sets built and the shows were in production, we spent every night tearing down a set at one theatre, loading it up on a trailer, and driving it over to the other theatre. We rotated six shows between them, and the sets involved lots and lots of heavy steel and plywood. No one had warned me about the steel and plywood.
My only downtime came during the drive between theatres. So, that’s when I read. Hey, I had to read sometime. I became known among the interns for my reading choices. And my ability to make gaffer’s tape work like a weld, but we didn’t mention that part to the actors. Of course, all you can really get from reading is theory. Theory needs practical application to really work. So, I set out to practice.
I think I read up on sex advice all throughout the next year. I was never really sure how well I was doing at it. How can you know, really? Eventually, I put aside the research and concentrated on practicing, although even now, I still hit the internet every so often to see if there’s anything new I should know. (And there’s always something new, although possibly I shouldn’t know all of it.)
You can never do too much research, really. And probably the same is true for practicing.