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Dos Factotum » Archive » Fear the Sudden Stoppage: Phrases That Halt Sexual Activity

Fear the Sudden Stoppage: Phrases That Halt Sexual Activity

September 2nd, 2008

[In which Dave Gonzales, blogger and dating enthusiast discusses when anal sex is appropriate and what exactly a Sudden Stoppage phrase is.]

Dave sexually harasses his friend Jess

If there is one thing my adult mind fears more than anything else, it’s the sudden stoppage of sexual activity that I thought was going really well. I’m tempted to say that it has happened to everyone at some point and time regardless of gender: Things are going the way of your genitals, you are quickly approaching, leading up to, pushing through or finishing up your sexual encounter and you get a red light.

Sometimes it’s a big red light, sounding something like: “Stop! Stop!”(It’s hard to articulate the tone of the double stop, since such a phrase could mean rape prevention. But, stick with me, assume that this sexual contact is mutual, something horrible has just happened in the mind of one of the participants.)

This first came up a few days ago as I was talking to my lesbian ex-girlfriend (let’s call her Sue – because so many people are named Sue these days) about anal sex. Don’t feel left out, if you ever want to talk about anal sex, just start me off on the subject and I’m fairly sure I could ramble on for a good hour. The conversation between my lesbian cohort and myself migrated to my intense fear of the stoppage of sexual activity. We were discussing how one brings up anal sex in a sexual relationship or encounter.
If I may…

…digress: The verdict of this discussion is still undecided. Sue claims (and most stories I end up hearing back this up), that it just needs to be wordlessly eased into during a certain hot-and-heavy session somewhere. I claim that it needs to be the result of a conversation – no matter how initially awkward – about taking the sex in that direction. Sue countered with the fact that no one really likes talking about anal sex, because they have a very fixed idea in their head – one usually not based on anal sex experience – of just how “up for it” they are or should be – culturally. I countered by unveiling my fear of the Sudden Stoppage: that moment when phrases like: “Oh no, you don’t,” “What are you doing? and “Nuh-uh” instantly kill the mood when you try to slip it up the tail-pipe…

…but back to the subject at hand.
I had a dream last night that involved non-anal stoppage. I was having dream sex in-between hitting the snooze on my alarm with an old crush from many years ago. She seemed all into it, until suddenly she said “Wait.”

“Wait” is pretty neutral. It could be: “Wait, I think I hear my parents coming” which would have been natural several years ago, and was one of my greater fears before the Sudden Stoppage. But, my brain was one step ahead of me, writing a new line of dialogue.

I said, “What’s wrong?”

She said, ” Do you really have to invade me like that?”


That was a Sudden Stoppage phrase. No more sex for dream Dave. Right on cue, I broke into an embarrassed cold sweat, both in and out of my sleepy-time snooze nookie.

There is only one Sudden Stoppage phrase that doesn’t send my heart racing in panic, and that is the fairly neutral, and usually justified: “Wait. We shouldn’t be doing this.”

“Wait. We Shouldn’t be doing this” is like the ultimate have your cake, but don’t allow it to finish having sex with you phrase. Or, for you ladies, it’s a nice way to ice the balls of your fling that is turning out to be less Don Juan and more…well…me.

“Wait. We Shouldn’t be doing this” is a phrase that has been used on me, and a phrase that I have used. As a user, I’m going to estimate that 75% of the time, the statement is valid. I’ve used W.W.S.B.D.T. to describe cheating on people, bad locations, stupid general timing, period sex, and – my favorite – a disclaimer.

It’s always good in an iffy situation to keep expectations low.

The other 25% or the time, when sex is actually a really good idea, W.W.S.B.D.T. tells your partner: “Listen, a dissent has been filed. It’s not my fault if the motion still goes through by majority rule.”

I have been accused of moving both too fast and too slow as far as my pursuit of women tend to go. There is a lot to be said for the slow approach. It builds healthy relationships outside of the fact that I’d love to lock the approachee naked in my windowless room for a day. I’m a big fan of the slow approach. Sometimes, this approach doesn’t work out, and the throttle is hit in an attempt to keep up with the general race. These sudden boosts in sexual velocity tend to lead up to a Sudden Stoppage situation, and once that happens, the dynamic has drastically changed. The correct Sudden Stoppage phrase can not only kill and evening, but shift relationship power to the other party.

For example, if I have been foolish enough to barrel forth into sexual activity and a sudden shift in conscience leads to the phrase: “Wait…” or “Hold on…” I will no longer pursue dominance in choosing when to engage in making out or other sexual acts. If anything, I’ll hole up and retreat, not seeing the person until I’ve repaired my ego, and that little part of me that tells me when it’s okay to invade someone vaginally. This is first degree Sudden Stoppage, and it’s a libido killer. this covers things like second thoughts on cheating on a boyfriend, bad sex your partner just can’t take anymore, a sexual act or condition coming out of left field to your surprise (see anal paragraph), and most things involving a knuckle.

Second degree Sudden Stoppage happens when there is an event that needs to halt intercourse: no protection in a situation that requires protection, erectile dysfunction (then you have a whole new set of awkward problems), interruption by a third party (or more parties, or an actual party), and sudden physical accidents (another set of stories entirely).

Falling right below that is W.W.S.B.D.T, which could be a genuine Stoppage, or could just be a Get Out Of Jail Free Card when the entire relationship goes south because of what you did, you dirty little skank.

Regardless, I fear this. The chance of a Sudden Stoppage exchange is the primary reason why I fear the opposite sex, and am perfectly happy sleeping with my friends who will let me and delving deep into the bowels of internet pornography.

No one can stop you on the internet.

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