Cayetana Guillen Cuervo
The right object has the power to bust you out of a dry spell and make you feel like a sex wizard. Choose wisely.
In Harry Potter (I know, I know), a horcrux is an object where a wizard stores part of his soul. Horcruxes make you immortal and powerful: even though Voldemort looked like a peen in the Harry Potter movies, he is very confident. A sex horcrux is like that, but sexy. You might already have a sex horcrux—that pair of socks that you’re somehow always wearing when you get laid, for instance, or your chick-magnet dog. (A sex daemon, technically.) In its most superficial form, your horcrux is something you can use to coyly offer an invitation to someone you don’t have the courage to proposition outright, but sex horcruxes can also be very private. Last year I was deep in a depressing winter dry spell, and on one sexless afternoon I wandered into a plant shop, where I saw a little agave plant. It was $40 and it gave me a dozen puncture wounds when I carried it to the register, but goddamn, it was the sexiest plant I’d ever seen; the Penélope Cruz of plants. I bought it and put it by my bed. Suddenly I was meeting sexy people all over the place, and I was a sexy person once more. The kind of person who owns an agave plant.
The sex horcrux is not a tool for luring people into your carnal lair—if you’re talking about romance in terms of “luring” then you don’t deserve a sex horcrux or sex—but it can be a sort of inanimate wingman. A scenario: It’s 90 degrees and you and I are sitting outside at a trendy bar. You’re Matt Damon. We’ve been talking for hours and I’m pretty sure we’re going to go home together, but we’re both too shy and respectful to put it out there. So we’re just sitting there flirting and sweating, until I remember my sex horcrux: central air.
“Matt Damon,” I say, “I have central air. Why don’t we go back to my apartment?” Then I look at you significantly until you get the point, and together we adjourn to my chilly apartment. Mischief managed.
Your sex horcrux should evolve with you. When you’re young you can get away with a fairly rudimentary sex horcrux, such as a dorm room that you do not share. In your late ‘20s, when romance comes more easily and you no longer need central air as an excuse to invite someone home to do sex, your sex horcrux becomes something that gives you the confidence to unleash the sex wizard within. The obvious choice is a sex toy, but you can do better. Perhaps you develop a signature cocktail, like Ryan Gosling in Crazy, Stupid, Love. Or perhaps you buy and rehab a decrepit mansion, like Ryan Gosling in The Notebook. If he had sex, Zach Braff’s sex horcrux would be his guitar. Whatever gives you confidence. When I was a teen towel-seller at Restoration Hardware, I was bewildered by all the men who bought expensive sateen sheet sets, always in “chocolate.” Now I know.
Sex horcruxes have always existed in the wild. [Begin David Attenborough voice] In nature, a sex horcrux may be the kaleidoscopic plumage of a male peacock, or the smooth pebble a male Gentoo penguin presents to the female in hopes of winning her favour. [End David Attenborough voice.] It is difficult to pinpoint the ancestor of the mass-market sex horcruxes we see today, but it was probably the water bed, followed by The Clapper, and so on right up to the Amazon Echo (mid-coital: “Alexa, play ‘Closer!’”). My sex horcrux, like so many women before me, is a little black dress that cost too much. I also have several secret auxiliary sex horcruxes (i.e. my agave) much like Voldemort.
Buy the horcruxes that call to you, but don’t overdo it. Going overboard with things that might appeal to sexy visitors makes you look sad. Recall an earlier episode of Friends, when Joey gets a paycheck and moves into his own apartment. He buys a bunch of sex horcruxes, including a ceramic dog and a toilet phone, but none of it helps him find love. Joey ends up playing ping-pong by himself.
Do: Buy a sex horcrux.
Don’t: Die alone with a lot of things from Hammacher-Schlemmer.