There are many factors to consider when contemplating the quickie. In a previous article I wrote, we talked about quickie erotica: passionate stories of sex between strangers (or pretend-strangers) that spanned from carefully planned public scenes to uncanny moments of voyeurism. Though I found the concept of erotica under 2,000 words extremely attractive, one thing that kept coming up for me was that the editors failed to actually define the quickie. So, dear readers, what is it?

We know that time is a factor, and possible constraint. Understanding your limitations (including temporality) is always a factor in good sex; negotiating hot, fast, and mutually pleasurable sexy times that take into consideration the impediment of time can be a fun addition to every couple’s repertoire. What can you do in twenty minutes?

The copy room at lunch time may not be the best time to pull out your super sweet Double Pretzel Twist, but it is a good time for utilizing uber-powerful vibrating sex toys, like the fail-safe Hitachi Magic Wand, super slick lube like Sliquid’s Sassy, and plush Velcro handcuffs. The rapidity of the situation makes for perfect hostage-takeover roleplaying, and the threat of discovery can only fuel the captive fire.

Thinking of getting down in an elevator in a very high building (like, say, the magnificent elevator in the Westin Saint Francis in San Francisco’s Union Square)? Dress accordingly. Your quick sex may be mind-blowingly inventive and suspend disbelief, but physics are still a factor. For the more feminine-presenting of the crowd, I suggest sturdy and accessible hosiery—thigh-highs with a thick welt and no panties. StockinGirl makes fabulous, vintage-inspired legwear for (seemingly) that exact purpose. For masculine-identified people, loose pants with long inseams (crotch-zippers) make for quick access and an easy way to hide small toys.

One aspect of quickies that can prove additionally challenging is societal, and difficult to unlearn. In a phallocentric society, it is difficult to imagine pleasure outside of the realm of penetration, or sex outside of the conceptual dick. In high school my sex education teacher (a domineering psychologist with a sexy swagger and an arrest record) delivered some appalling news: women (or female-assigned-at-birth individuals) had staggeringly, earth-shatteringly, unbelievably high percentages of never achieving orgasm.

And though many, many, many people like penetrative sex, Felice Newman/Cliteracy/Helen O’Connell has taught us that the clitoris is a vast iceberg ever-awaiting multiple explosions. Though equipped with these magnificent organs, it is difficult because of body shame, social conditioning, and stigma for many women to achieve orgasm in a fast-paced quickie setting. This is where comfort and negotiation can come in extremely handy; encourage the clit-bearing partners in your life to demonstrate for you the best ways they get themselves off. How can their maneuvers best serve you both in the short window of time you have to enjoy one another?

Not a voyeur? Shy about exhibitionism?

If shyness is your jam and it works for you, you can still enjoy the occasional romp between meetings. Pick a spot that is comfortable for you and your lover, a spot that you know will be quiet and uninterrupted. Lock the door to your office: you can still pretend someone is going to walk in any minute. Comfortable sex is all about confidence, and if you need a one-inch deadbolt to give it to you, more power to you.

Shy and want to be more forthcoming about your urges? Carol Queen writes an amazing book that helped get me from in front of my full-length mirror to in front of a crowd in pasties called Exhibitionism for the Shy -- exhibitionism is showcased in this book as a “consensual erotic pleasure and a means to overcome shyness and body image issues. Featuring suggested exercises and discussions of erotic dress, talk, personas and roleplay, involving your partner, exhibitionism, female escorts and the sex industry, and more.”.

The quickie is different for everyone, but one thing is for certain: it always breaks up the mundanity of a work day, brings a just-got-fucked glow to a dull complexion, and allows us as sexual creatures to move outside our notions of foreplay to pure carnality: eat the cake before dinner. Keep the door unlocked. Meet in the library and bring all the books down with you.