Off-Brand Sex

It looks just like regular sex; that’s intentional on the manufacturer’s part. The name is even designed to look the same as long as you don’t read it; completely different-sounding word, similar shapes. It’s kind of a feat of graphic design. You don’t really notice until you take it home and it tastes and feels completely different. It’s a texture issue. You vow never to buy off-brand sex again. But it’s not bad enough to throw away, so you think you’ll use it up. You’re not made of money.

But then the next day your mother comes over, to your shitty apartment. She notices you’re using off-brand sex and she gives you a lecture about responsibility and buying quality. You snap back that some people can’t afford fancy sex, and she says that some people should have thought about that before getting a dual degree in printmaking and French.

Once she’s gone, you try off-brand sex again. It’s not that different, really. Your mother is just being prejudiced, which is so like her. She’s never had to live in the real world.

You start buying almost exclusively off-brand sex. Even when you land your big job and can afford better, even when you move out of the shitty apartment and into a much nicer loft. Buying off-brand sex keeps you connected to your roots, you tell yourself. People see it in your apartment and think you’re down to earth. Sometimes at night, you wake up craving the name brand, but you fix yourself a serving of off-brand sex and fall asleep with its slightly metallic taste in your mouth.