“Dicks should vibrate!” I thought. The year was 2013.
The logic was that vibrators help women achieve orgasm, but penises (as a rule) do not vibrate. It seemed kind of bogus to me. But then I started to wonder if seizure-like gyrations could bring my penis closer to vibrator status. If I wiggled left and right, if I jiggled enough, would my partner climax harder? This was a real “eureka” moment, meaning I was sitting in a bathtub when I thought it.
I wasn’t having much sex at the time (it was my “weed and pizza are better than sex and love” phase. I was so naive. You can have all four!) so I couldn’t really put my theory into practice. But I did the next best thing: I started a sex blog.
I didn’t actually consider shaking my entire body violently while having sex. I just loved the image. I’ve always found sexual confidence in general to be one of the funniest qualities people possess (confidence paired with inadequacy is even better). And the thought of some dude actually carrying out this technique made me squeak like a dolphin. What kind of person would pull a move like this? I didn’t know any, so I made one up.
Steel City Sex Blog
debuted in 2014. I knew I wanted to make fun of sexual confidence, of bad writing, of sex advice and erotic novels, but as an underemployed freelance writer, it didn’t seem like the best way to introduce myself to the market. I created Darren Martin as a way to insulate myself, but also because I thought it’d be much funnier to create an entire character than to make these jokes myself.
On the site’s About page, I wrote “Darren is a 29 year old creative digital specialist, entrepreneur and seasoned lothario living in Pittsburgh, PA. He created this blog to provide men and women with practical advice for their sexual frustrations.”
Darren was not based on any real person. But not long after starting SCSB, I shared the blog with a friend who said it reminded him of the following story: someone he knew had a plan to romance a woman he was interested in, by following these steps:
1. Ask her out to a classy, dress-up affair like the opera or ballet
2. Cancel at the last second, citing a work emergency
3. Encourage her to attend anyway (this is my favorite step, why would she want to go alone?)
4. Show up late, in a tux, explaining “I told my boss this was much more important”
5. I don’t know what he expected to happen next. Heinz Hall blowjob?
This shit was pure Darren. It had all the earmarks of the character I envisioned in my head: inconceivably confident, entitled, pretentious, profoundly misogynistic, and deeply, deeply stupid. The only characteristic I added myself was Darren’s success. To me, Darren’s financial success was the driving factor in his personality, it’s what gave him the confidence to be such a dumbass.
The blog was lewd as hell. Even re-reading it now kind of grosses me out. His misogyny, satirical or not, is pretty infuriating. I feel like writers are supposed to love their characters, but I fucking hated Darren. That's what kept me going.
The format for the blog was part sex advice and part erotic novel. (Fictional) readers would write in with legitimate concerns and Darren would take that opportunity to relay a story from his sexual history that he saw as helpful, but was really just delusional braggadocio.
The first entry of Steel City Sex Blog tackled the aforementioned vibrator/penis theory. The letter writer was trying to spice things up with his girlfriend, so Darren explained his “be-the-vibrator” technique.
I invented this technique one day while I was watching an erotic video starring a redheaded bikini model shot on a webcamera. She had large breasts. I remember after she helicoptered her boobs, she reached into the hamper, and pulled out the single largest vibrator I had ever seen in my life. It was the size and shape of a large penis. She looked into the camera hotly, then turned on the vibrator. It started flopping and convulsing in her hands, in a way that I remember thinking looked fish-like.
I don’t want to pat myself on the back too much here, but I think describing a dildo as “the size and shape of a large penis” is the funniest thing I have or will ever write.
That’s when I thought to myself, “if gals use vibrations to get orgasms, then why don’t mens’ penises vibrate?” I pulled down my shorts, stood up and started mock-lovemaking the air like a human vibrator, shaking and jiggling my lower half as though I were being jiggled. After a minute, I flipped her over into imaginary doggystyle and accelerated the vibrations, letting them spread over my limbs, sort of like being electrocuted or having a seizure. My cousin Brandon has epilepsy so I know. I shook from head to toe, my arms and legs flailing passionately, while maintaining polyrhythmic thrusts with my hips and while also masturbating. It was a “eureka” moment.
I used SCSB as a vessel to air real sexual humiliations I’d endured, ones I’d imagined, and ones I’d heard through the grapevine. None of the anecdotes were entirely true or entirely false. Here a letter writer described the challenges of sleeping with women he perceived as out of his league, and the issues of premature ejaculation that had plagued him since.
Changing leagues is always tough, but even with its challenges, upgrading to a higher echelon of babe is what you’d call a “good problem.” Premature ejaculation is the easy part!
I’ve never had this problem myself, but one thing I like to do is just pretend that it didn’t happen. She won’t notice unless she sees it, so you’re going to want to make sure your penis is not exposed for her to witness exploding. Hide your penis in the vagina, or in a darkly colored condom, or sometimes I just tuck it back between my legs and cum into the blanket. They never notice.
If you lose control and she happens to witness the ejaculation, play it off like it’s pre-cum. If she acts like that’s not a thing, tell her to “look it up” and shoot her a mean glance, but don’t try to explain what pre-cum is, you’ll sound foolish. If she doesn’t believe that it’s pre-cum, just tell her it’s pee.
Then there's this, I’ll admit, fairly autobiographical letter about a guy who has trouble peeing in public …
Sorry about your weird problem. That’s no way to live. I bet it’s a brainpenis connection disruption, probably somewhere in the torso. Lucky for you, I’m profoundly “in-the-know” on this subject, so if you take my advice word for word, by tomorrow night I’ll have you peeing like an Australian: outside.
You see, bladder control is the cousin of sexual discipline. Once you’ve mastered pee and poop, taming your cum is like a walk in the park. So, here are a few ways to get your public pissing fears under wraps:
1. Hold it indefinitely.
2. Tell everybody you have diarrhea and just stick to stalls. You’ll have to sit down to sell it and farting also helps.
3. You only get one of these, but in a pinch, just go in your pants and play it off as a funny gag or an impression of someone you know who pees their pants.
4. Hold it until pee is literally dripping from your penis, then run to the nearest acceptable location and let it rip. More on that later.
5. Tuck your genitals back like Buffalo Bill. It works.
6. Suck it up and just pee on the fence with your friends like a normal person. If one of your friends makes fun of your probably small penis, just call him a “gaywad.”
*If you’re also having problems pooping in public, most of these suggestions still apply.
My final entry, dated Nov. 12, 2014, dealt with a dude frustrated that his girlfriend would only give him hand jobs.
In the olden days, handjobs were sex. The penal-vaginal sex we know today didn’t popularize until the middle ages. Until then, it was all hands. Perhaps your lady is a history buff?
This reminds me of a girl I once dated, who had a similar passion for manual evocation. She was super into jacking me off. Her name was Tabitha, and throughout the two months we canoodled, we didn’t make it past third base, and not the sloppy kind. It was my Handjob Summer, capital H.S., and I was grateful to have it. We’d meet behind her cabin after lights-out and she’d just go nuts on the thing: passionately pulling, eloquently squeezing, twisting terrifically. Every girl has a fetish and Tabitha’s was handjobs. I loved her for it. Later she got sent home for blowing one of the counselors.
I shared SCSB with maybe five people. I tried my best to promote it but it’s pretty fucking hard to promote in a vacuum. There were two challenges: one, I wanted to keep my identity a secret and two, Darren wasn’t in on the joke, so there was no way to get people to read it to get that it was a joke (or at least meant to be).
I got burned out pretty quickly. As anyone who’s ever poured themselves into a frivolous project knows, it’s taxing. I was happy my few friends read it, but it started to feel like I was running out of material and starting to lose the voice a bit. So I gave up and to be honest, haven’t really thought about it until recently. I mentioned it to my girlfriend at some point early in our relationship, just in case she was a mega-fan (turns out she wasn’t). Then I found out we were doing a sex issue and I thought that now would be a good time to talk about it.
Frankly, I wrote the headline before I thought about what I learned, so that’s taken me a few days to think it through. Here’s what I got:
It’s good to talk about sex. Repression can do a lot of damage. I’m not for a second suggesting we all make our deepest sexual desires and histories public, but goddamn it feels pretty good to get it out there and laugh at yourself.
Sex is unifying — and not in the two-bodies-becoming-one sorta way. Talking about the embarrassing, personal details of your sex life is a great way to make them feel less embarrassing and personal, more normal and universal, like “Everybody Poops” but for sex. In researching for this issue, I read a lot of online articles about sex, people telling their most embarrassing stories. It’s great. I love it. Even the things I can’t relate to at all feel relevant. Everyone should do it, even anonymously.
SCSB also inspired my two favorite things about writing: lying and writing poorly. Some of Darren’s writing is so offensively bad that I have trouble reading it to this day. I’d like to think it’s all on purpose, but I know I can’t blame Darren for all of it. Some of it is just me being a shitty writer. As for the lying, I look back on my pieces for CP
this year and all my favorites are fictional (fake bands, fake octathlon, fake solutions for improving Kenny Chesney concerts). I’m not trying to pat my caboose here, I’m just happy that I got something concrete out of SCSB. It’s always good to remember that there’s no such thing as a pointless endeavor when it comes to writing, art, music, whatever. Everything goes towards something.
Lastly, I learned how to pee in public. Thanks, Darren!
Read Steel City Sex Blog here and check out our Love and Sex Issue out on Wed., Feb. 8.