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Falling in Love and Having Sex in Spanish

In Spanish penis is polla, chicken is pollo. And you have no idea how many times I’ve ordered a dick sandwich. 🙂

We were back at his apartment after a long night of partying in my Madrid barrio, La Latina. On his couch, kissing sloppily, with our arms reaching and grabbing at body parts in the dark, I got my hands down to his belt buckle and undid it with a ferocious appetite. He exhaled a long drawn out “siiiiiiiii.” I flicked the button to his pants open and pulled down his zipper with what I thought was surprising dexterity, considering just how many vinos blancos I had.

Then thinking I was the embodiment of sexuality itself, I slowly made my way up to his ear. Breathing heavily, I placed my lips up to his lobe as I felt a shiver run through his body. Then in my best Spanish and with all the confidence in the world, I said: “Mmmm … I want to suck your chicken.”

You see in Spanish, the words for chicken and dick are extremely similar. I guess it makes a certain amount of sense: what is a chicken but a cock by any other name? In Spanish penis is polla, chicken is pollo. And you have no idea how many times I’ve ordered a dick sandwich. These are just some of the issues you run into when you are screwing/dating/in a relationship with someone who doesn’t speak the same language as you. On the other hand, lovemaking with a language barrier can also be a beautiful thing.

I moved to Madrid, Spain in 2010 right after college. The U.S. was in a recession and I had a degree in anthropology and political science. I figured I’d rather live in a different country working at a job I was overeducated for than in the States working such a job. So some friends and I got our TEFL certificates, packed our bags and set out to be English teachers in Madrid.

I hardly spoke a word of Spanish when I arrived. My high school Spanish was long forgotten, and I took Russian, a language I was already fluent in, as my required language in college for an easy A. The first month or so in Madrid was stressful. My friends and I tried to maneuver around the city, asking for directions to job interviews in bastardized Spanish and lots of hand gestures. We eventually landed our first jobs and got a shithole apartment with no windows in La Latina.