Sam Wilson

The question of half sex

2004-07-12 10:01

The other night I was sitting on a bar stool next to my friend, Richard. I believe in having male drinking partners. Not only do they give one a fresh perspective on things, but they tend to feel obligingly responsible for getting you home to your husband in one piece.

We were having the kind of discussion platonic friends have in bars in the wee hours of the morning. We were counting up previous sexual partners. His total was clearly downsized for my benefit, whilst mine was embarrassingly paltry. Also, my total included a half, which made him snort derisively into his drink.

"But what does that MEAN?" he said. "You can't count up your previous sexual partners and find a HALF. There is no such THING. You have either slept with someone or you haven't!"

"Oh course there is," I slurred, hoisting myself back up on my perch. (Slippery things, bar stools.) "Many, many women I know have people they have half-slept with. How could you not know this? This is a COMMON thing. You know? half sex. Weirdo."

"Well, no woman I have ever slept with considers herself half-shagged, that's for sure," blustered Richard.

"Hah," I snorted. "If the buttons on my phone weren't so inexplicably small right now, I would phone around to check. Braggart."

"I can always tell when you are drunk because you start calling me names as a way of supporting your arguments," said Richard wryly. "That and well... I must tell you - that falling off the bar stool thing is also a bit of a giveaway."

"Nonsense," I said. "I am at my most lucidly insightful after a few drinks. And you are being a narrow-minded idiot. Not only are you being a narrow-minded idiot, but..."

"Okay, okay, then give me details," interrupted Richard, knowing that I am capable of continuing in that vein for quite a while.

"What do you mean details? Details of the bewilderingly many ways in which men can be idiots?" I hedged, super-craftily.

"No. You have told me those before. I mean, tell me the technical details of an experience which you would classify as half sex," said Richard. I hate it when a drinking partner retains the ability to follow a train of thought. It is exceedingly poor show.

"No," I replied. "I am NOT telling you that. That would be, um... telling. You will just have to believe me."

Richard raised his eyebrows at me, and gathered up his car keys.

"Fine. I tell you what," he said. "I am going to take you home and you can tell your husband all the technical details. Let him decide if it was sex or half sex or quarter sex or whatever... and then get him to phone me."

Half an hour later.

Ring. Ring?

"Hello?" answered Richard.

"It was SO sex," said my partner Andreas. "She is deluding herself."

"Thought so." Click.

Khuh. What is it with men? My women friends with whom I have shared this particular story all agree with me, and often have similar tales to impart. You know: you pretty much did, but not quite, you almost did, but then... I don't see why the myriad of possibilities here seem to miss most men. And anyway, isn't this an entirely personal call? And surely the one who was there gets to call it?

Nothing else about sex is that clear, and I don't think the boundary between did and didn't is any different. Occasionally, it blurs.

What do you think? Send Sam your comments

  • Sam Wilson is a columnist for a variety of print magazines and a strategist for a contract publishing company.

    Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24.

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