Sex and Pizza, Pizza and Sex

So, yes this one is about the old cliche… “Pizza is a lot like sex. When it’s good it’s really good, when it’s bad it’s still pretty good.” I always enjoyed how Adam Carolla of the early Love Line years would yell at befuddled young women who had yet to understand this ‘fact’ of our existence, “There is no bad pizza! Did you hear me! There is no bad pizza. For a guy, any sex is good sex.” While I do get the underlying truism of this statement, as a lady I have doubted its Universal validity. Please let me explain…

My second hometown, from the age of ten, was a rural-cosmopolitan-turn of the century place called Clinton, in Hunterdon County, New Jersey literotica. While living there and spending plenty of time in New York City (family) and sometimes Philly (friends) I sampled a lot… a lot of pizza. If it was made by anyone besides a national chain, it was anywhere from good to great in quality. Even after sampling all the ‘real’ pizza I could stand in Italy the summer before college, I still found East Coast pizza to be its own special brand of kick ass. From this introduction I hadn’t imagined pizza was something you could really get wrong. Then I learned that this is simply not true. I learned that different regions really do specialize in different cuisines even in the USA and that its worth knowing what you will and will not settle for.

Upon graduation from high school in 1995 I moved to Seattle, WA and started taking photography classes at the University of Washington. Some time after settling in, I spent an afternoon roaming around Pike Place Market taking pictures and generally getting lost. I had only a couple of bucks on me and of course being excited had not actually prepared to be away from the refrigerator all day. I saw a sign that said “Cheese Pizza Slice + Soda $1” in the window of a reliable establishment. (I will not throw them under the bus by stating their name here. It will suffice to say that they are a well-respected Italian foodstuffs purveyor in Seattle.) I purchased the slice mentioning what a good deal I thought it was to the cashier. I did not initially comprehend his smirk in response. Mouth watering and hopeful, I picked up the single picnic-style paper plate. Immediately I knew something was very wrong…

Where, I ask you, was the slice I had dreamed of? The slice with the points of its triangle hanging over the edge of the two or three plates it takes to hold it up. (Nearly too much to handle with one hand, to be devoured in any reasonable fashion one must fold it in half lengthwise.) The salty, cheesy, indescribably appetizing treat that taste so good you don’t care how you look wrangling it into your mouth. And as you finish this delightful piece of heaven the body high sets in. What once were plates is now messy paper all soaked through with stains, there’s sauce at the corners of your mouth and grease dripping down the inside of your palm to the edges of your sweatshirt sleeve. And you… you are smiling.

That was what I had in mind and here was this slice of “pizza.” Oh so small, small enough to fit entirely, squarely at the center of the plate, the sauce to cheese ratio was inverted towards overly tomato-y, both were dried out and room temperature looking, the crust was thick – all over, the plate too light. My first bite I was taken aback, was it previously frozen or something? After a second doubt filled try, that slice, my 1 of 2 dollars was placed on the lip of a nearby trash can. Maybe someone else, who was hungrier than me, would be as grateful to see it as I was not.

This naivety in connection to pizza did cross over to my understanding of the available levels and quality of sexual encounters. So, I found myself (also after leaving home to go to school and after being married a short while there) having all different sorts of sex. The ‘bad’ sex was much like the bad pizza… was it still sex? On a technicality, sure it was. Actually, in my book it was more just rubbing body parts together because it felt some pleasurable. Like when I was three or so and figured out that waiting to pee felt like a completely different type of feeling good. Thing is, once I experienced good sex, and then really great sex… the kind that lights your whole being up from toes to hair follicles and beyond to the edges of your energy bodies, that makes you laugh out loud when you cum, that stops your brain function (except for the part that says do it again, do it again) that puts you in touch with what you are here for, that makes you see God… once I found that there was no going back.

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