I was contacted earlier this month by Andrew Fiouzi, writing for MEL magazine. Fiouzi had an interesting question — What counts as a “quickie”?

Here’s his question: “I’m writing a story on the ‘quickie.’ I was hoping you could send me a few sentences based in your expertise/research on what constitutes a ‘quickie’ in the realm of sex.”

Typical me, my answer is “There is no answer!” In addition to there being no concrete concept behind what counts as a quickie (“quick” is relative), there’s also no data existing that describes a general understanding of the concept. I figured as much, but that was reiterated in other respondents’ statements in Fiouzi’s story.

You can read the entire piece here — “Technically Speaking, How Long Is a Quickie?” (published January 16, 2019) — and, as per usual, my full statement is below. Enjoy!

I said:

The commonplace understanding of a “quickie” is a brief and generally impromptu bit of sex. What really dictates what constitutes a quickie though is more about specific partners’ understandings… 

“Quick” sex – whatever that means – can happen in any circumstances, as can elaborate and planned sex. The impromptu aspect of a “quickie” could just as well be out-of-the-ordinary – a mid-day tryst in an unusual location – or some other aspect that makes the sex feel thrilling in some way. Similarly, a brief sexual encounter can occur in one’s own bed on a Tuesday night.

Like most interpersonal social interactions, meaning has more to do with what we as humans have attached to specific scenarios. A sexual “quickie” is more about what that type of encounter means to you than any set or specific parameters.   

Interestingly, after I sent this statement, Fiouzi had a “quick” follow-up question — “One quick follow up, generally speaking how long is a quickie?” — to which I replied: “I don’t think there’s an answer for that!”

Thinking on language as I write this, it’s interring to consider Fiouzi’s original question, which included the word “constitutes.” That could mean duration, which I think he was looking for. “Constitutes” in the sociologist’s mind is clearly a whole other thing! What do you think?

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Image via Mel.