Q: There's been a lot of buzz around the Shocker, or as they say, "Two in the pink, one in the stink." But the maneuver doesn't seem to be useful for anything other than confusing your partner. I've tried it twice and the responses have been either a blank stare or "What are you doing?" Am I doing something wrong, or is the Shocker all talk?

--Shocking in Minneapolis, 29

A: The Shocker has never been fully addressed in this column, so I'm thrilled you brought it up. I'm sure many a man has committed this serious bedroom faux pas, and it's high time to put an end to all the suffering.

The Shocker, for those lucky enough to have never experienced it, is performed by holding out your hand with just the ring finger bent down. The idea is that the clitoris is tickled by the outstretched thumb, the vagina is penetrated by the index and middle fingers and -- here's the "shocking" part -- you also get a pinky wiggled in the butthole. It's sort of like a hearty genital handshake, except that it's not really enjoyable at all.

The ridiculous notion that the Shocker is erotic or arousing is what makes it so funny to talk about. (My kickball team, the Toxic Shockers, has a logo that I won't even try to describe here.) But too many people have mistaken the humor and sarcasm for real enthusiasm, and the threat of the Shocker continues to loom over the nether regions of women everywhere.

I can only speculate as to what sitting atop a trident feels like, but I imagine it's something like being subjected to the Shocker. It's just all wrong. The thumb hardly has the range of motion or the stamina to stimulate the clit properly. The index and middle fingers should be able to bend forward toward the front vaginal wall, not just poke upward at the cervix. And the anal exploration, if she's even into it, is best enjoyed as constant, gentle pressure rather than a wriggling afterthought.

While no one knows for certain the origin of the Shocker, I tend to believe it was created by three or four high school-aged boys, bored on a Friday night, hormones sufficiently soused from splitting a case of Milwaukee's Best (in my version, they are also from rural Wisconsin). Perhaps they were in need of a gang sign to signify that they all drove the same model of tractor to school. Maybe they were lucky enough to get their hands on a VHS of double-penetration porn. There are a lot of truck stops in Wisconsin, after all.

Where it originated is irrelevant, though. When giving your special lady manual stimulation, continual strokes to the clit will yield the best results. Every girl appreciates a well-executed finger bang, as long as you don't take the "bang" part too literally. Once she's well-lubricated, slide two fingers into the vagina, moving them up and down like you're making a tiny bunny-ears shadow puppet, with your fingertips facing forward to move against the G-spot. And before giving anal attention, first ask her if she likes it (not every girl does), then take things nice and slow if you get the green light.

Always use both hands (or a small vibe or butt plug) for dual stimulation -- not only to hit all the right spots, but because once your fingers go in the back door, they're not allowed through the front. Any bacteria you pick up in her poop chute can wreak total havoc in her vagina. Same goes for those fingernails, Lestat, so keep them trimmed to stubs and clean. You're not a doctor scraping for a tissue sample, you're a guy who just vowed to never employ the Shocker again.

  • Got a shocking question about sex, dating or relationships? Send it to Alexis McKinnis at advice@vita.mn or post it discreetly via her blog at www.vita.mn/alexis.