One of the many things that puzzles me is that, having spent at least twice 1,001 nights in hotels/motels on business and pleasure, I have only three times been given a room next door to a screamer. Either there are a lot fewer screamers in the population than is indicated by my own (rather limited) sample, or an extraordinary number of people are greatly inhibited in a public hostelry.
[quoteright]So, when Four Seasons, the movie, was being discussed late one recent night, at the tail end of a party where the mood was mellow and the group reduced to people who knew each other well enough that ego protection was not an issue, I sought to learn what I could by suggesting that the director had never been to bed with a screamer. (Four Seasons is the story of three not-so-young, fairly straight couples who have vacationed together for years and the effect on them when one of the men jettisons his wife for a such younger and less inhibited lady. In one scene, everyone is sharing a yacht in the Caribbean and the two couples are obliged to listen to the offstage vocals of the new pair making love all night.)
After some discussion, and in the true spirit of Mensa, a poll was proposed. The question being: What percent of the people you have been to bed with were screamers, and are you? That was an interesting excercise, as was some of its derivative arithmetic (One man who, to put it mildy, has not been exactly flagrant in his liaisons, claimed to have experienced only 10% screamers, while at least three of those present knew for a certainty that he had known at least two!)
That poll was so much fun that others were proposed and conducted, the subject of cost of which could not appear in this family publication. In the process, however, a mechanism had evolved whereby quite intimate subjects could be discussed while protecting the privacy of the individuals involved. ("A gentleman never mentions a lady's name.")
In the interests of science, then, let's do a poll of local Mensa members using this technique. We recognize that the result will probably be a tally of positive responses, which by itself will tell us a lot. We start with a couple of definitions.
Firstly, a "screamer" does not necessarily have to scream. But the crashing of furniture does not count, moaners and groaners do not qualify, and neither does the sweet young thing in the room next to mine last week who sped "oh-my-God-oh-my-God-oh-my-God" every hour all evening and, presumably, all night. Let us define a screamer as one whose vocal expression of pleasure in sex is loud enough to wake a medium sleeper in the next roan, assuming stud and plasterboard construction of the wall between.
Secondly, observations from one night stands and other casual couplings should not be included (after all, how much can you learn?). For purposes of this survey, let us define a lover or a mistress as a person with whom a sexual relationship has lasted at least 28 days.
Now for the questions:
The following form of reply, addressed to the editor [see Editor's Note below] of this magazine is all that's necessary:
Any other comments will, of course, be studied with interest. Replies will be tabulated and summarized in a future issue. The author guarantees anonymity.
[Editor's note: The above was all in fun involving a group of people in and around San Francisco almost 25 years ago. Please don't deluge us with your own answers as they will fall upon deaf ears. This was reprinted simply because it was a part of a print issue.]
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