In Praise of the Quickie, or Why It Doesn’t Have to Be “All Night” To Be Good

The derision of quickies as not "real" sex needs to end

Koldunova Anna

The quickie need a rebrand. The term tends to conjure up the thought of a few different scenarios: First, two vanillas in their golden years tittering over the thought of stopping home between work meetings for an “afternoon delight.” Next, maybe a pair of exhausted parents in apple juice-stained sweatpants trying to sneak in some time to “get it in” while their toddler is on a timeout. In short, quickies have been marketed solely as something done by adults who are strapped for time. Quickies are thought of as not “real sex,” but “it’ll do.” After all, five minutes is better than nothing.

And that may be true—fitting shorter sexual encounters into your schedule when you can is better than neglecting your sex life completely—but it doesn’t need to be viewed as an inferior sexual encounter. In a longer, “typical” sexual encounter, sex in our society follows a script.

In Dr. Laurie Mintz’s book Becoming Cliterate, sex in American culture follows a script that is a series of steps: 1. Foreplay (kissing, fondling, maybe oral—but no one comes). 2. Penetrative sex. 3. Person with penis climaxes. 4. Sex is over. Besides perpetuating the orgasm gap, this script intensifies the negative stigma of a quickie when we think of a short sexual encounter as simply running through this script in a compacted amount of time. A quickie doesn’t need to viewed as a Sexual Encounter Lite™. Besides putting a ton of pressure on the person with a penis (and if we know anything about the human body, feeling pressure to achieve and maintain an erection in a short amount of time is the absolute least productive thing on the planet), it centers the entire encounter on their pleasure.

But what if a sexual encounter didn’t require you getting hard? What if only the woman orgasmed during the encounter? Ask yourself: If there were no script, what could sex look like?

Instead of trying to rush 10 minutes of penetrative sex and worrying about cleanup with wipes that are totally marketed as “getting a cleaner feel” after pooping when we all know they’re for sex (just like how a Hitachi Magic Wand really isn’t for a lady’s neck and shoulders), what if we threw the pretend rulebook out the window?

We must step away from the idea of penetrative sex being the only sex that “matters,” and from seeing all other sexual encounters as not “real” sex.

A quickie doesn’t have to be penetration alone. (Penetration alone with no foreplay is like giving a vagina a rug burn if you don’t carry packets of lube around with you.) A quickie can be fingering your partner. A quickie can be two minutes of penetration and then licking a clitoris for the other eight. A quickie can be using a toy on your partner and a hot makeout sesh. A quickie can be a blowjob and anal. Because there are no real scripts! For quickies or for sex in general!

Maybe one person orgasms. Maybe both do. Maybe no one orgasms. And that’s okay (as long as both people were invested in each other’s pleasure and the lack of orgasm wasn’t due to flippancy or negligence) because bodies are weird sometimes! That’s sex, baby.

We must step away from the idea of penetrative sex being the only sex that “matters,” and from seeing all other sexual encounters as not “real” sex. (I still laugh over the memory of an ex sulking about the last sex us having being anal because it wasn’t “real.” Anal isn’t like the tooth fairy, you guys. It was very real.) If it requires consent, and you can’t do it in front of your grandma, guess what? It’s sex.

When it’s understood that good sex doesn’t need to be a two-hour production, quickies can help someone with a higher drive stay happy without their partner having to make a big time commitment.

Also, quickies are a wonderful way to close the orgasm gap in general, and can be godsend for straight men who have partners with a higher sex drive. This kind of lopsidedness is often perceived as a “broken” relationship and taboo, but it isn’t. Given that we’re equipped with an organ (the clitoris) that allows us to orgasm as many times as we can without any kind of refractory period, it makes sense as to why quickies would work well for people with vulvas.

In a relationship where the woman has a higher drive, it can be frustrating because one party feels bad for not being able to “keep up” (and don’t get me started on the cultural messaging that equates a lack of sexual drive as emasculating or how we shy away from conversations regarding mental health and the effect of certain medications—psychiatric or not—on the libido), while the other feels the unintentional sting of perceived sexual rejection. When it’s understood that good sex doesn’t need to be a two-hour production, quickies can help someone with a higher drive stay happy without their partner having to make a big time commitment or feeling the pressure to get hard.

So you don’t have to wait until you have a free two hours to have sex! Adding in quickies can be a great way to augment an already thriving sex life or to help even the playing field in a partnership between two people with different sized drives. And if quickies are the only way you can fit sex into your life right now, think of a quickie as a golden opportunity instead of as a pitiful last resort or “not real” sex. If it required consent and was relaxing, fun, pleasurable and comfortable for both parties—congrats! You, fine sir, just had good sex, regardless of whether it was 10 minutes or 10 hours. Because our genitals aren’t parking meters, sex shouldn’t come with time limits.

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