October 21, 2004
We often get letters from earnest
males asking us to explain the mysteries of women to them.† Obviously, this is an ephemeral sort of
thing, but one area in which the differences are both subtle and overt is
Popular wisdom has it that women
are not as visually stimulated as men are, and up to a point thatís true.† I think the real difference is that we donít
necessarily respond to visual clues as consistently as men do.
But we do have our moments.†
Women are generally less vulnerable to popular characterizations of beauty (a
quirk for which all men should be grateful), but we certainly arenít
immune.†† There are certain archetypes I
find magnetic, though whether or not I ever act on them is something else
entirely.† While a nice ass in a pair of
tight jeans will usually earn a cursory glance, I may not be inclined to let my
gaze linger.† Still, Iím weak for a
select few Ė firemen, of course Ė and guys my friend Becky calls ďhot in a
ďcheck the oilĒ kind of way.Ē
Mea culpa.† I admit it.
One of the most rewarding parts
of living in Canada is the understanding broadcasters up here have for their
audience.† For example, we have a
program on here (on the Outdoor Life Channel) that is called the ďAll Firemen
Strength ChallengeĒ.† This is an hour
long show featuring fit, well built, young firefighters from across Canada
competing against each other by running around, carrying things, bending and
sweating and stuff.† Twice a week, I
slither onto my couch in a drooling puddle of lust and find myself glued to the
TV for the duration.† Iím sure itís all
meant to encourage bonding through teamwork and other notable Canuck values,
but I canít be sure.† I watch it with
the sound off.
Shallow? You betcha.† Pathetic? Duh.† Erotic?† Words fail me.
There is also a reality show
called ďStrip SearchĒ.† Its premise
involves holding auditions all over Canada to find 30 buff hot guys, who are
then taken to male stripper boot camp, where they learn to bump and grind and
spend most of the hour with their clothes off.†
This season- long odyssey continues until the producers whittle the boys
down to a squad of nine Ė who then tour the country.
entertainment.† Fuck The West Wing.
Women also differ significantly
from men in what they do with their sexual fantasies.† Deep down, every guy really believes that heís got a shot at that
threesome with the nymphomaniacal cheerleaders, but women are much more
realistic.† Me and Johnny Depp?† Never going to happen.† But thatís OK Ė Iím sure the real thing
wouldnít live up to the excruciatingly detailed scenario I have constructed in
my head (but then again, maybe not).
In fact, the very survival of the
institution of marriage has for centuries depended on the ability of women to
have vivid and satisfying sexual fantasies about men they know theyíre never
going to sleep with.
So Iím content to smirk to myself
every time I pass a fire hall rather than to ever act on it.† Anticipation is the sexiest part of
attraction Ė all those uncertainties, all that electricity, all those
possibilities.† Many women find that
they, not unreasonably, prefer this to the day to day grind of picking up
someone elseís sweaty socks.†
Itís all about that visceral jolt
of lust so intense that it makes your teeth ache.† I havenít had one of those in about five years now, but I dimly
recall being quite fond of them.
Natalie, who is familiar with my
life as a champion of self-denial, has been watching me lately with the same
avidity as a vulcanologist at the foot of Mount St. Helens.
ďWhatís it been now?† Five years?†
Thatís got to be your outside limit.† Youíre only human.† Itís
only a matter of time before you cull some young thing from the herd.Ē She
paused. ďMaybe we should have a moment of silence for him now.† The poor bastard wonít die quickly or even
particularly easily, but when he does, heíll be smiling.Ē
Still, I have been accustomed to
relegating these urges to the realm of fantasy Ė itís so much easier.† And given my admiration for the One Ocean Rule,
considerably less expensive.
I like men, but only on my
terms.† And I know Iím not ready for a
relationship (the very thought makes my blood run cold).† The highs guaranteed by such an involvement
would be outweighed by the complications inherent in it.† And Iím still too scared to put myself out
there.† The fact that I find anonymous
sex to be unpalatable puts a bit of a cramp in my style.
ďWell, what do you want?Ē Natalie
has asked in exasperation.† ďA
boyfriend? A fling?† Because unless you
figure that out, Iím afraid itís spinsterhood for you.Ē
HmmÖyes Ė possibly punctuated by
the very occasional and regrettable ďcheck the oilĒ encounter.† God, what a fate.
But you see, Iíve been alone for
so long now that I canít even conceive of having anyone else around.† It could just be laziness but I think the
fact that the nuns are always just one step behind me has something to do with
I think the real reason is that
Iíve been in a really good relationship before, Iíve known that sweetness and losing
it nearly killed me.† Even so many years
later, it still gnaws at me.† Iíd rather
not have it at all than to be sentenced to having only the memory of that sort
So as my girlfriends continue to
nod knowingly and check their watches, I think Iím just going to continue doing
what Iím (not) doing.
Itís either that or resort to
Till next time,