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SEX? YES Please! … or is that GENDER?

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Yes Please

Sex is bloody wonderful, isn’t it?

Maybe even better than cheesecake and chocolate … I’ll let you decide.

You know, if I truly believed that God exists, I’d suggest to you that this gender-neutral spirit wrapped us up a big box of fun and called it sex.

Sort of like… “OK, it’s Day 7, this is how we rest.

“What… and you tell me it’s used for procreation too?!”  Now that’s a twofer …

Sex is a nice silk-swaddled divine present given to us when we enter puberty and beyond. It’s like a carnal Bar Mitzvah.

It’s right around the time we grow tired of playing in sandboxes but still want to get messy and dirty and fall into a deep slumber at night without imbibing alcohol or zopiclone or warm milk.

Sex is so wonderful that a well-known kids’ entertainer even sang a song all about it:

Having sex is beautiful,
Having sex is fine.
I like sex so much I do it all the time;
Sex before my supper and sex before my lunch;
If I had a hundred sexy orgasms, I’d have them all at once.

I’m a roaming and a rambling
And a wandering all along,
And if you care to listen,
I will sing a happy song.
I will not ask a favor
And I will not ask a fee,
But if you have a sexy moment

Won’t you share it all with me?

See?

OK… he was actually singing about sandwiches but I know for a fact that sandwiches are just a euphemism for sex. Children’s stories and songs have long been filled with symbolism. But children’s performers that sing forthrightly about sex end up on Sexual Predator lists… hence? Sandwiches.

But that’s not really what I’m here to talk about today.

I have a problem. Well, more an issue than a problem. Maybe a pet peeve.

I need help.

I’m challenged by the words “sex” and “gender”.

According to the World Health Organization,Sex refers to the biological and physiological characteristics that define men and women. Gender refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviours, activities, and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for men and women.”

sex gender

These English words sex and gender have specific meanings but I still have difficulty when I hear someone querying, “Their name is Chris? What sex are they?”

OK. I kinda get it. But the word sex has a definite meaning to me.

And that is why I get so confused (and a bit giggly) when I fill out forms and questionnaires and reach the part that says, SEX.

Do I write down M or F? Nope.

I always want to fill the empty blank next door with, “Yes Please“.

Or …”Heterosexual preferred“.

 

In my head, sex is a verb or noun that sweetly describes what 2 (or more!) people do with each other when they rip the other’s clothes off.

Sex is a primal animalistic urge, a delicious mingling of the naughty bits that bursts a fire-hosing gush of oxytocin and prolactin and endorphins that gives you that wondrous runner’s high, or in this case, f****er’s high.

The world is filled with ambiguity and so I suppose I should just accept that the word “sex” can have different meanings depending on its usage.

Lots of other words have multiple meanings so it doesn’t make a slab of sense that I stumble when it comes to sex.

In reality it probably comes down to my sex … er … gender. Dammit… I’m still confused.

I’m a man.

Pretty much every study out there tells us that we men think about sex … oh … 500 times per hour.

I’ve worked hard for years and have brought it down to 300 now thank you very much. (To get real for a minute, an actual scientific-based study carried out at Ohio State University uncovered a more moderate Male sex-thought frequency of 19 times daily compared to about 10 times each day for Females).

So when I encounter the word sex, my testosterone-based malemind immediately dives into the sexual cesspool. I can’t help it. It’s a biological response. It just happens. No VIAGRA required.

So world at large … I’m asking for your help. I’m begging you please.

Going forward, can you save me the hormonal confusion and blood surges to my nether regions when you use the words sex and gender. 

  • Please use the term GENDER on any form or questionnaire or statement that is asking if I have a penis or a vagina. This saves me a childish snicker and also an internal hormonal groin sproing. It’s easy for me to write down M when you ask the proper question.
  • But if you’re gonna ask SEX on the form, well … I just know I’m gonna need to distract myself with thoughts of playful golden lab puppies or a cold shower to make it through to the end.

Your kind assistance will go a long way from keeping me on topic and off any Sexual Predator lists.

Because really?

All I want to do is eat a “sandwich” and get back to my Key Lime Cheesecake and Chocolate.

key lime

 

 

 

 

 

Wheelchair Nooky – Should We Provide It?

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WHEELCHAIR-SEX

Strange ideas pop into my head sometimes.

Like … should I jump off this cliff and break my legs?

Wait.

I’m not crazy.

There’s a reason I might consider leaping.

It’s all about the Sex Surrogates.

A long while back, a co-worker stunned me when she said that some countries’ governments pay for regular sexual services for the handicapped.

How could I not jump into this fruitful fornication fray and not find a few thoughts bubbling to the surface?

Paid Sex Surrogates enter households like Home Care workers and housecleaners, but the pipes they’ve come to clean are … well … not the ones we usually consider when it comes to household sponging and scrubbing.

Yup … these workers fall under the category of:

  • Disabled Boinking…
  • Incapacitated Copulation…
  • Invalid Intercourse.

You can call it what you will, but I’m curious to know if government-sponsored lovemaking has precipitated a rash of self-inflicted auto crashes and bungee-less jumping?

My first internal response is to be a typical hormonally-driven male looking for the fun and humour when envisioning these scenarios.

Also, my immediate view is that the storyline would always involve a gorgeous able-bodied woman servicing a less-ably-bodied man.

Such an assumption!

Do women who live in a world of incapacities not also feel a desire for sexual touching? Shamefully, I wouldn’t have considered the notion, but that’s just my in-bred societal thinking rearing its ugly head.

…………….

The Sessions is a 2012 American independent drama film written and directed by Ben Lewin. Based on the article “On Seeing a Sex Surrogate” by Mark O’Brien, a poet paralyzed from the neck down due to polio who hires a sex surrogate to lose his virginity. John Hawkes and Helen Hunt star as O’Brien and sex surrogate Cheryl Cohen-Greene, respectively.

The film debuted at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Audience Award (U.S. Dramatic) and a U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Prize for Ensemble Acting. The Sessions received highly positive reviews from critics, in particular lauding the performances of Hawkes and Hunt. Hunt was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role at the 85th Academy Awards.

the sessions

.

I haven’t seen the movie yet but I should because I need to gain a better understanding of the sexual needs, desires and frustrations of the handicapped.

One of the greatest wisdoms we can acquire, according to this Man on the Fringe, is that discarding ignorance is always useful in making the world a better and more peaceful place.

It shouldn’t surprise us that many people who are disabled continue to have a healthy sex drive. But I can’t imagine how exasperating it must be to be unable to explore and enjoy that side of life.

Sadly, many are unable to find a partner due to their disability, which leads to very high levels of frustration; in some cases, to such a degree that people have chosen to take their own lives instead of living such a life of torment.

Now, some countries such as Switzerland, have set up programmes to train people to be sexual surrogates.

This shouldn’t be confused with the business of prostitution because it is designed to provide those with special needs access to someone professionally trained to provide a supportive activity that most of us take for granted (or not!).

It’s different too because many people with disabilities have no choice, it’s either a sexual surrogate or nothing.

Some can’t even masturbate because they’re not able to carry it out. Some disabilities prevent people from engaging in sex of any type. For these people, a sexual assistant can offer little more than massage and talk therapy.

Grenoble, France. On the balcony of her flat on a hot afternoon. Laetitia Rebord suffers from a genetic spinal muscular atrophy and can move only her left thumb and her mouth. She lives in Grenoble, June 18th, 2013. France Keyser for the New York times.                              NYTCREDIT: France keyser for The New York Times

It’s a fascinating occupation, don’t you think? I’m kind of curious. Just who might decide to become a Sex Surrogate?

It’s a bit dated, but a 1983 study of 54 American Sex Surrogates came up with the following data on those who choose to become Sex Surrogates:

The demographics were as follows:

  • 43 female, 11 males.
  • Average age: 39 (ranging from 25 to 61)
  • Religion: 8 Catholic; 6 Jewish; 16 Protestant; 17 other; 7 blank.
  • Religiosity: 14 are currently practicing their religion; 25 are currently not practicing it; 15 didn’t answer.
  • Race: 53 White; 1 Oriental.
  • Marital status: 11 single; 13 married; 2 separated; 14 divorced; 1 widowed; 9 non-married couple living together; 4 other.
  • Average number of children: 1.4 (ranging from 0 to 4; mode = 0 ).
  • Years practicing as a surrogate: average: 4.26 years.
  • Approximate number of clients seen per year: average: 27.2.
  • Sexual orientation: 17 exclusively heterosexual; 23 primarily heterosexual; 8 bisexual; 3 primarily homosexual; 2 exclusively homosexual; 1 blank.
  • Contraceptive normally used: 8 condom; 4 pills; 2 i.u.d.; 10 diaphragm; 3 foams or suppositories; 31 self-sterilized: 2 partner sterilized; 2 rhythm or natural family planning 

As far as on the job happenings go… the following percentages were estimated to be the amount of time spent on each activity:

  • 16% talking with client, giving sexual information 
  • 17% talking with client, giving reassurance and support 
  • 1% observing client in social situations, such as potential singles meeting places 
  • 32% touching activities, teaching sensuality and body awareness techniques, e.g. massage 
  • 16% experiential activities, non-sensual, non-sexual, such as body image exercises, sexological exam, and relaxation exercises and techniques 
  • 12% sexual activities, intercourse, cunnilingus, fellatio, teaching sexual techniques.
  • 4% social activities, such as going out to dinner with client as part of therapy

Not very much “sex” actually.

Sex Surrogates pose a tough ethical question that should be considered since the need for sex is so basic.

  • Should governments allow for “prostitution” under certain circumstances, such as disability?
  • Should a severely autistic person have the right and ability to seek out and pay for sex without fear of breaking the law?
  • Some disabled persons would be unable to have any sexual pleasure at all unless they pay for it. Is it a crime to pay for sex when that is the only way the person can experience sexual pleasure?
  • Should governments support training programmes for Sex Surrogacy?

So, I’m left in this quagmire of snicker-snicker … sigh, weep.

But finally … in the end … after I stop my foolish boy-snickering … shouldn’t everyone, everyone … have a right to feel the completeness of a whole human being … to experience the fullness of sexual encounters … the joys and release … the touch of another’s skin against their’s.

For me, it just makes a lot more sense than 50 Shades of Grey.

sad_happy_foot

I’ve Slept With a Hundred Women …

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Probably more … Yup, it’s true …

Boy is this guy sleepy or what?

Is this guy sleepy or what?

… but not as many as former basketball great Wilt Chamberlain … please correct my math if necessary, but isn’t that one woman EVERY night for 55 years? With all that “sleeping”, Wilt must be VERY well rested … maybe lots of sleep makes a fellow tall.

And this is what brings me to one of my anal-side pet peeves.

When you came across and read this blog title, did you have visions of me making my best pouty-lipped Mick Jagger sexy look, bedding down and fornicating with dozens of lovelies? I thought so. Admit it.

NOPE, not the case … it’s just a euphemism:

An agreeable word or expression substituted for one that is potentially offensive, often having to do with bodily functions, sex, or death…”

Why do we use euphemisms to describe and hide what’s really happening?

Alright, I know the answer to my own question.

We often want to soften our words and statements if things appear too blunt in their truer form. I can understand the use of caring euphemisms when we don’t want to hurt someone.

euphemism lady's bathroom

I understand using the softer “passed away” rather than dead when talking to newly aggrieved family members. I understand describing someone as “big-boned” when it comes to sensitive weight issues.

We say these things to protect ourselves or others and their feelings, much like we utter little white lies when our partner says, “Does this make my ass look big?”, or “Was it good for you?“, or “Did you enjoy my new risotto recipe?

But the expression, “to sleep with someone”?? This one bugs me every time. It’s particularly deceptive and misleading.

Who are we protecting when we say “Margaret and John slept together”?

Is it so difficult for us to say that Margaret and John had sex … made love … mated … humped their little hearts out?

I hear “slept together” and I want to know …”Oh, does John snore much?” or  “what colour was Margaret’s flannel nightie?“. We all know there was no snoring (and if there was, I feel badly for them) and Margaret likely wasn’t wearing a flannel nightie at all, am I right?

When I hear someone say they slept with another person … I’m confused.

As a youngster living in a small home, I slept in a bed with my older brother every night until I was about 10 years old, yet to the best of my recollection, we never once “slept” ie. had sex, unless I’m suppressing some unpleasant memories. Please tell me I’m not suppressing any unpleasant memories!

When my kids were little toddlers, they climbed into our big adult bed to escape their fears or to seek comfort for their sickness, snuggled under the covers, and we “slept together”.

I’ve slept with many many others e.g. school groups, relatives, fellow travellers, over the years in tents, cabins, hotel rooms, living room floors, airplanes … but with rare exceptions, while “sleeping” with these women and men and kids, I’ve not had sexual relations of any type. I just : “SLEPT”.

euphemism

Euphemisms in and of themselves are not all bad. They often add colour or texture to our everyday language. Take as an example Meatloaf‘s song Paradise by the Dashboard Light. Now there’s a wonderful illustration of great use of the euphemism.

Some other examples of euphemisms?:

  • Correctional facility instead of jail
  • Departed instead of died
  • Differently-abled instead of handicapped or disabled
  • Ethnic cleansing instead of genocide
  • Turn a trick instead of engage in prostitution
  • Negative patient outcome instead of dead
  • Relocation center instead of prison camp
  • Collateral damage instead of accidental deaths
  • Letting someone go instead of firing someone
  • Put to sleep instead of euthanize
  • Pregnancy termination instead of abortion
  • Adult entertainment instead of pornography
  • Portly instead of heavy or overweight
  • Chronologically-challenged instead of late
  • Break wind instead of pass gas
  • Economical with the truth instead of liar
  • Powder your nose instead of using the toilet
  • The birds and the bees instead of sex
  • Between jobs instead of unemployed
  • Go all the way instead of have sex
  • Domestic engineer instead of maid
  • Sanitation engineer instead of garbage man
  • Vertically-challenged instead of short

Yes, our use of language is filled with sanitized ways of saying what we really mean and sometimes I just want to yell out in frustration.

For me at least, if I’ve made love or had sex with someone, the last thing I would want my lover to pass on to others is that they “slept with Larry“.

Whaddya mean, slept!??“.

Maybe Wilt Chamberlain has laid down beside so many women that the only energy he has left is for sleep. But I’m not that naive.

I prefer to keep a separation of state in the bedroom. Sleeping and making love are two separate activities, just like cooking and eating. They may be related and take place in the same room, but they are definitely not the same thing.

Sure, I’ve slept around, so have you. I love to sleep.

But I have way too much male ego bubbling inside me to have anyone insinuating I’d been so lax in the sexual, intimate arts that we were “sleeping”.

Let’s leave it at that, shall we? …

slept around

50 Shades of … Shame …

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christian and ana

Tsk tsk Christian Grey!

Are you serious? You’re showing your face in public again with some sort of boastful, manly pride?

Here we are once more, back in the news with a Valentine’s Day release of the tawdry film 50 Shades of Grey.

Our book-inspired imaginations can finally relax now that we can gaze in stunning Technicolor at your little fantasy world of mental, physical, and sexual abuse. Oops … my apologies Christian, you’d prefer that we call it BDSM to dress it up pretty and sound sensuously sexy.

…………………………………….

I don’t know whether to worship at your feet or spank the living shit out of you.”

…………………………………….

And you, Anastasia Steel?

Ana, you will look gorgeously enticing and naive and innocent, occasionally displaying some subtle signs of estrogen-strength that will float the illusion that dominance by and submission to another… any other … is really quite empowering, somehow acceptable, yes, even dreamily romantic.

Oh Ana, get thee to thy shrink!

Anyway 50 Shades … Congratulations.

50-Shades-of-Grey-Movie

It will be a colossal smash box office event. It will.

Millions of women with submissive stars floating in their wide, moony eyes will drag their gal pals, maybe even boyfriends and husbands to the event of the year.

The sequels will be in filming mode before you can snap a whip on a woman’s ass and “playrooms” will fill with nouveau riche moviemakers sporting huge smiles.

And me? Well, I’ll still be scratching my head at the hypocrisy of what women want in this world; and also the men who believe that objectification and dominance over women is just fine, thank you very much.

In a way, 50 Shades transports me through time and history … the story’s insinuation that men can sit back and assume a controlling, dominant role, well, it takes me back 150 years to the plantation porch – back to the good old days of Lincoln and slavery and the quaint notion that having a master/servant relationship is tolerable in any sort of sane world.

…………………………………….

I want you sore, baby,” he murmurs, and he continues his sweet, leisurely torment, backward, forward. “Every time you move tomorrow, I want you to be reminded that I’ve been here. Only me. You are mine.”

…………………………………….

Almost 3 years ago I wrote a post expressing my disappointment in current-day liberated women who flocked in huge numbers to read the BDSM mega-hit 50 Shades of Grey.  Well … have I softened on my stance over that time you ask? Definitely… NO…

https://lwgsummerland.wordpress.com/2012/07/16/50-shades-of-green/

It clearly taps into a large female segment who tingle to an interior women’s world that is beyond my understanding.

Obviously, I can’t claim that 100 million readers are all mistaken in their admiration and might I say –  desire –  for a sexual fantasy like this.

We all have interior domains that thrive inside – worlds of bizarre and untold fantasy that we would never want the rest of society to be aware of. I’ll cop to guilt on many fronts where fantasy of various makes and models thrive. But never a fantasy that places someone in a lowly, denigrated position …

A Toronto Star article this week made this point: “ … it’s not the BDSM that has Joe-Anne Dusel, provincial co-ordinator with the Provincial Association of Transition Houses and Services of Saskatchewan, worried.

“The elements of isolation and humiliation that go on outside of the bedroom are serious red flags,” Dusel said, noting that in the book, Grey tracks Steele’s cellphone, follows her to work, threatens her and isolates her from her family and friends.

“These are the tactics that the women who walk through our doors report on a daily basis they are experiencing in our own lives,” Walker said.”

We read the daily news and take in the dark, disturbing stories of Jian Ghomeshi, and Bill Cosby, and Ray Rice, and Chris Brown, and Charlie Sheen and we shake our heads saying “tsk, tsk”. And then paradoxically, we fill the local theatres to watch it acted it out as a desirable fantasy. Huh????

The book’s author E.L. James has long defended her books against accusations they promote violence.

But you know what? I don’t blame Ms. James for her book or the characterizations that are portrayed.

I don’t “blame” anyone.

It merely tells me that despite ALL of the strides that Western civilization has made in terms of gender equality and respect, there is still a huge number of those – both men AND women – who believe, or at least fantasize about a world where men can exercise total control over women.

 

… leaving me wanting, unzipping his fly, and pushing me down onto the couch so he’s lying on top of me.
“Hands on your head,” he commands through gritted teeth as he kneels up, forcing my legs wider…
“We don’t have long. This will be quick, and it’s for me, not you. Do you understand?
Don’t come, or I will spank you,” he says through clenched teeth.”

And those same women will sensuously sigh and raptly eat it up with delighted visions of denigration. Denigration at the hands of a handsome muscled hunk that treats them like a spent cigar butt on the street… enjoying a puff or two… but believing that it’s really just someone else’s trash.

It just leaves me sad…

oneshadeofgrey

50 Shades Shelters

I Have Bagina Envy …

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Boy did we get it wrong. 

Who is this WE I’m talking about?

MEN.

little girl and underwear display

 

All these many Freudian decades we thought that women suffered the slings and arrows of PENIS ENVY. Ha!

It’s difficult for me to say this, but the painful non-patriarchal truth is that I, and most men actually suffer from BAGINA envy (see, it’s so difficult and painful that I can’t even say the real word!) … the Grandest of All Canyons.

OK, it’s probably not envy so much as worship. It’s like the control centre of our universe. We always thought that Captain Kirk (Penis) was at the helm of the Starship Enterprise, but really, all along it was Commander Uhura (Bagina), the Communications Officer.

UhuraTellsFerrisKirk

Yup, the Bagina is in charge…

We can’t help it. We just can’t help it.

It’s not a conscious choice where we men sit ourselves down at the conference table one morning and say, “Today I shall lay myself at the blessed altar of the bagina.” Unh-uh. Some joker of a mind programmer inserted a viral chunk of code in our heads that dictates, “you must have the Bagina, the more the better”.

There’s a ton of science behind it all.

Many have addictions to drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, race horses (for betting, not carnal relations) … these are isolated, one-or-two-off dependencies for select individuals. ALL heterosexual men have an addiction to the big V, bar none. Why are porn websites so popular?… yup, worship of the bagina.

But are women as beholden to the phallic member of their male brethren?

By the popularity of BDSM literature like 50 Shades of Grey, you might be tempted to think so. But really I think that women are more attracted to the romance and desire inherent in the stories … a penis just happens to be involved – perhaps this is one more instance where a man is incidental to the true lusty lure.

Women say that men don’t understand them, which is probably true. Of course it works the other way around as well. Just as Men Are From Mars and Women From Venus, women don’t necessarily understand the primal sexual urge that propels the male head(s).

men-and-women-brains

The appeal of visual porn for men and written erotica for women reveals the differences between the needs of the two genders. Men are viscerally turned on by the mere sight of female skin – foreplay be damned – show us a bagina, and we’re 95% of the way to steamy liftoff.

Women say “hold on … talk to me, hold me, tell me I’m desirable, touch me all over, not just on the naughty bits. Let’s make this performance a full-length feature, not just a 30 second commercial break.” 

…………………………..

Women know the formidable power that resides in their nether regions. Men have guns and swords and big bicep muscles for weapons. Women carry an arsenal that’s far different. They wield a softer, furrier form of authority that they carry with them at all times and can never set down or misplace. Men fear, yet yearn for it more than they fear or covet the sword.

…………………………..

To be in possession of a bagina confers automatic membership to an exclusive club, no boys allowed.

It’s a whole secret organization, a club for bagina owners, like the Freemasons or the Knights of Pythias (what the hell is a Knight of Pythias anyway? … is there some connection to urine worship here?)

There are pluses and minuses to Bagina Club membership, but the real bottom line of the clique is that its members secretly rule the world, a sort of  The DaVinci Code.

vagina-club

Men have no Penile Club to belong to where they share genital inside information with their comrades … no “I’ve got penile cramps”… no, “I’m a week late”, no, “is it hot in here, or am I just having a hot flash?”. NOPE, nothin’.

Women share the mystery and glory of their private parts as cooperative partners with other women. They carry spare tampons and pads for those stranded in distress. They nod compassionately and offer Midol to those in cramped discomfort. They visit restrooms (something they call “Powder Rooms”) together.

The closest men come to this clubby sort of atmosphere resides in the urinal line-up where we huddle in straight lines, hand-on-member, looking bored into a cold, tiled wall 6 inches from our nose … sure, 6 inches is really more like 3 inches, but we boys have difficulty determining true length. Talking is frowned upon while urinating because it just feels too intimate to be chatting to another guy when you have a penis in your hand.

Yes, to men, the bagina – and its club – are mysterious. The bagina is, like the Wizard of Oz, hidden behind a lacy curtain and all powerful.

Here are some of the features, tenets, advantages, and disadvantages of belonging to the BAGINA CLUB. I can’t know them all because I don’t have a membership card to the coven of adherents (and obviously never will):

  1. Women have monthly menstruation … until they don’t, then another set of complications arises.
  2. Women have hysterectomies – this is the easy way out of the complications mentioned above.
  3. The bagina doesn’t protrude like a pistol when excited.
  4. Women need options: Birth control pill, the ring, IUD’s, hormone shots, sponges, diaphragms, even female condoms. It’s like a shoe closet for the bagina.
  5. There are whole aisles of product set aside in supermarkets for the care, scent and maintenance of the bagina … no penis aisles. OK, one shelf of condoms, but men don’t really want to use the product, so who is it really for?
  6. There are special spa treatments for the bagina… Brazilian waxing, bikini waxing, sugaring, threading, bidet rinsing.
  7. Sexual performance isn’t complicated … the emergency backup method is a bottle of lube, and if it’s still there in four hours, you don’t have to consult a physician.  You just wash it off.
  8. Cutesy names: Peach Pit – Velvet Office – Temperamental Tunnel –  Garden of Eden –  Pride Lands –  Love Cushion –  Nappy Dugout –  Kitty Kat –  Mystical Fold –  Pandora’s Pink Box – Box Office

So for all the men who have derogatory comments about the one place they are constantly, actively trying to enter, and for all the ladies who are the gatekeepers of such an exclusive location, listen up.

I think we can all agree that women are not going to give up the “pit of power” anytime soon. So let’s shelve the Freudian pretense that women envy and want what we have and accept that girls have a more desirable “Playhouse” than boys.

The consolation? We boys still have control over the power tools  – at least the ones that reside outside the bedroom – the TV remote and the BBQ.

What more could we want?

Yes, you are the king here, and THIS is as good as it gets!

Yes, you are the king here, and THIS is as good as it gets!

What’s It Gonna Be Girls, 50 SHADES or BITCHES? You Can’t Have it Both Ways…

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Today’s WORDS OF WISDOM:

Before sex, a man isn’t thinking clearly and a woman is thinking clearly.

After sex, it reverses. The man is thinking clearly and a woman isn’t.

 

Ana and Christian

Prepare yourself … Christian and Ana are coming to the Silver Screen …

50 Shades of Grey Moments:

Anastasis Steele: “You’re a sadist?”
Christian Grey: “I’m a Dominant.” His eyes are a scorching gray, intense.
“What does that mean?” I whisper.
“It means I want you to willingly surrender yourself to me, in all things.”
I frown at him as I try to assimilate this idea.
“Why would I do that?”
“To please me,” he whispers as he cocks his head to one side, and I see a ghost of a smile.
Please him! He wants me to please him! I think my mouth drops open. Please Christian Grey. And I realize, in that moment, that yes, that’s exactly what I want to do. I want him to be damned delighted with me. It’s a revelation.

…………

“It slips down my throat, all seawater, salt, the sharp tang of citrus, and fleshiness…ooh. I lick my lips, and he’s watching me intently, his eyes hooded.”

Put that thought away, she’s just eating oysters!

 

Why Men Love Bitches Moments:

“Relationship Principle 1:
In romance, there’s nothing more attractive to a man than a woman who has dignity and pride in who she is.” 

…………

“That’s the big picture, your happiness. And health. You should never care what a man thinks of you — until he demonstrates to you that he cares about making you happy. If he isn’t trying to make you happy, then send him back from “whence” he came because winning him over will have no benefit. At the end of the day, happiness, joy…and yes…your emotional stability…those comprise the only measuring stick you really need to have.”

Why Men Love Bitches

 

Are you feeling and smelling the slimy contradiction here?

Sometimes when I’m at work I sit in on coffee breaks and listen to my female co-workers chatter excitedly about their latest reading conquest. It’s fun to be the boy-fly-on-the-wall and catch the girly gossip.

Last year, the long white table surrounded by floor to ceiling windows and overlooking the busy Kelowna street was filled with talk of the lady, or Mommy porn prose of E.L. James. You may have heard of this little sensation – 50 Shades of Grey.

I’m not sure I’ve met a woman yet who hasn’t read at least a part of this beyond-bodice-ripping book.

It surprised me that non-street walking women were feeling quite comfortable admitting they had read the book (or the full series). After all, where was the timidity and reticence of the good girls to admit they were enjoying porn BDSM literature?

Could it be that women have come out of their sexual-inhibition closets?

women-reading-fifty-shades-of-grey

 

This year I’m cocking my ear to the sounds of discussion over another popular book called Why Men Love Bitches.

Bitches, written by Sherry Argov, is like the anti-Christ retort to the 50 Shades Bible, a liberated and strong view of how a woman should want to be treated by a man, and where to bury him if he crosses the bitch-acceptability line.

When I first saw the title to the book, I thought to myself: “Oh, come on … What man loves a bitch? What idiot wrote something stupid like that?

We all know a bitch or two – a spiteful or unpleasant woman – a witch, a shrew, a hellcat, yeah – A Bee-OTCH!

Do you remember how I tricked you by using the word SEX in last week’s blog title? Well, this author hurls out the word BITCH in order to trick us into reading her book.

It’s sneaky deception – she ain’t talking ’bout bitches like you and I know bitches.

But could she sell a book that was titled Why Men Love Strong, Confident, Independent Women?…BLAHHHHH! Boring!

And yet, this is exactly the type of women that she writes 272 pages about. The sensible, strong, sexy, charming, independent, loving woman that yes … many, if not most, men LOVE.

There are no perfumed hints in Why Men Love Bitches of the 50 Shades Ana that comes to thrive on submission to Christian’s every physical and emotional desire:

Christian lays it out to Ana:

 The ownership thing, that’s just terminology and goes back to the principle of obeying. It’s to get you into the right frame of mind, to understand where I’m coming from. And I want you to know that as soon as you cross my threshold as my submissive, I will do what I like to you. You have to accept that and willingly. That’s why you have to trust me. I will fuck you, any time, any way, I want – anywhere I want. I will discipline you, because you will screw up. I will train you to please me.

CFMs on face

Give it back to him Ana!

SUBMISSIVE or BITCH?

Strangely, I’m pretty sure the reading audience for each of these books is similar.

What the hell is going on here … this doesn’t make sense, does it?

Trying to understand the wickedly confusing female psyche, I made myself read both books – such torture for a man to read about explicit sex with beautiful women.

Obviously, I’m now an expert peeking over the other side of the fence knowing exactly what women REALLY want in their men and relationships.

And the short answer is? I have NO IDEA!

Actually, that’s not true. I do have an idea, so hear me out.

Our GREY girl Ana is subservient and plays the submissive princess in the Grey castle where he holds the economic clout and other levers of control. Eventually, like a hostage with Stockholm Syndrome, Ana comes to love Christian and his sexy wicked ways.

The BITCH girl is no one’s bitch. She pays her own way and supports her own castle. As the BITCH says: Work=Money=The ability to choose the way you want to be treated=Personal Control=Dignity. 

These are two hugely popular books with enormous numbers of (predominantly) female followers. And yet, two very different views of how men and women relate on a personal and intimately sexual level.

Contradictory? Yep. But it comes down to this:

We love fantasy as a way of spicing up our lives.

We daydream, we nightdream, we fantasize, we blush inside and conjure up erotic images that we share with absolutely no one – I mean no one – in our real-life world.

It’s a little sweet, chocolate treat we give to ourselves to make our sometimes daily drudgery of working and shopping and cooking and cleaning and vanilla sex tolerable.

50 Shades, like many movies we adore, floats those forbidden fantasies that dwell down deep upwards to the surface and scratches the nagging itch of our inner kinky beings.

But even fantasy-driven people come back to their steady, earthly selves when reading BITCHES, knowing that life – REAL LIFE – is about respect and equality.

Think of it this way:

  • 50 SHADES OF GREY is the Lusty Lord of the Rings trilogy, Star Wars of Sex, Indiana Jones of Intercourse.
  • WHY MEN LOVE BITCHES is the PBS documentary NOVA or Nature of Things or Home Improvement episode.

Sex Wars

 

Before a woman starts into 50 Shades, she’s a rational, documentarian bitch, a librarian with glasses and hair tied up prim and proper.

But find her a couple of chapters into Ana and Christian Grey’s story and the BITCH bondage of her updo transposes into the 50 Shades bondage of wrists and erotically lustful unbounded submission.

It’s a beautiful contradiction, and maybe you CAN have it both ways.

………………..

One last thought.

I can’t resist pointing out the appalling writing contained within 50 Shades. Who can write this stuff and STILL sell a billion copies??:

Ana: “And from a very tiny, underused part of my brain – probably located at the base of my medulla oblongata near where my subconscious dwells – comes the thought: He’s here to see you.”

 

 

 

 

I Want To Be A Prostitute Too!

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Have you ever had the Prostitute dream?

WHOA, what a dream.

For a man (perhaps other than Brad Pitt, Bradley Cooper, or George Clooney) it’s great to be an object of sexual desire to women. To dream that people might actually want to pay you to get naked and live out the porno world lifestyle? Try as I might, it’s all very hard to imagine and absorb.

Forgive my laughter because PROSTITUTION just isn’t funny.

But the dreams I have about being a male prostitute are.

Fred Garvin Male Prostitute

Women have all the luck…they get to be prostitutes.

Men climb all over each other -so to speak – to pay women to satisfy their carnal needs. And on the plus side, use of prostitutes is an egalitarian sort of activity. Guys paying for sexual services is a class-free, stationless event where the lowest of the low and the highest of the high partake more or less equally. There is a sort of Gucci vs WalMart approach as the price points and quality of services rendered vary tremendously (I’m told!).

It’s a strange quirk of nature that men begin the vigorous hunt of sexual partners from the moment they nudge puberty, looking to sow their seed in any and every flower bed they can find. Most women are taught by their mothers (and maybe even more quizzically so, their fathers) to hold sex as a judicious tool in their quiver, only to be unleashed at rare moments, like Sasquatch or Loch Ness Monster sightings.

It takes a mature man to look at the unfortunate lives of others who shovel in the sexual sandbox to pay their monthly rent bill and still find empathy and deep respect.

In today’s post, I just don’t happen to be that mature man.

You see I’m a typical sort of guy who only sees the romantic shiny veneer of something as dark as prostitution. The ability or opportunity to have sex multiple times each night is like … well it’s like offering sex to a man multiple times each night. I can’t think of a simile/metaphor to top that.

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I believe that sex is one of the most beautiful, natural, wholesome things that money can buy.”  Steve Martin
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Woman paying for sex

What a peculiar world we live in where women, who as often as not, would prefer to cuddle with a one-and-only and yet have the opportunity and saleability to erotically nosh with just about any mouthbreather going.

So, what is it really like to be a prostitute?

Pay-for-Sex is more often shown in the TV and movie genres as glorious, enjoyable, desirous activity.  Just a few tidbits of fictional examples of prostitutes like Dan Aykroyd’s Fred Garvin, Male Prostitute on Saturday Night Live or shows like Belle de Jour or Secret Diary of a Call Girl show us how remarkably fun and joyous playing with others in the buff can truly be. Just who wouldn’t want to drink champagne and cavort on crisp, clean hotel sheets with another well-toned, libidinous looker, AND get paid all at the same time. 

Secret Diary of A Call Girl

There’s never any thought given to possible pregnancy or brothel sprouts, it’s all just good pristine fun and games shared with a desirable stranger without any clothes or hangups or back stories.

I live a very sheltered existence and rarely if ever encounter someone who is or has used the services of a prostitute. Of course, I did have some teenage male friends who claimed to have regular rendezvous with the fairer (professional) sex in back alleys and massage parlours. But, just as many men enjoy reading sci-fi fantasy novels as adults, I suspect my teenaged buds were living a touch of lustful fantasy world inside their heads at the time … just sayin’ guys.

The only real life moments even remotely close to the concept of prostitution occurred in my early years living in Yellowknife in the far north. I was shocked that “good” girls could be so forthright and forward in asking for sexual partnering. For a young, naive kind of guy, this was simultaneously shocking and splendidly exciting.

Part of my personal self-esteem is tied to the thought that I might be physically desirable to someone… yeah, anyone! It’s nice to be respected and desired for intellect or personality, but there’s a lower base sort of idea inside that says my physical products could still make the sale in the personal section of Craigslist or Cowboys4Angels.

No woman has ever thought to pay me to be her bed buddy! And truthfully, I don’t think that one ever will. This, despite my ability to pose languorously, seductive-like, and lick my lips just like the most expensive seasoned sexual pro.

I guess that my Happy Ending doesn’t involve pay-for-service, except late at night in the private sanctity of my whoring dreams!

Cowboy4angel

Sexy Man in the Kitchen

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SexyVegeMan

I love to cook, but it wasn’t always thus…

…turning the clock back…

There was a harmony of delicious scent when I excitedly pushed my way through my family’s back door on chilly winter Sunday afternoons.

I was still wearing the ice skates that shrouded my icicly-frozen toes. My friends Larry (yep, another Larry…to avoid confusion, he called me Lawrence, I called him Larry), Dave, Jerome, Hugh and I had just finished a game of hockey “shinny” across the road on the seasonal ice rink the city workers built for us each winter in the school park.

Mom was in the kitchen cooking, the dining room windows were hazy with steamy condensation from vegetable water boiling on the stove and all was well with the world … it just was.

From the living room, I could hear the sounds of the black and white console TV and my Dad’s raucous laughter at something a little tyke had said on “Tiny Talent Time”, a prehistoric version of the many “Idol” or “Talent” shows that litter our current TV screens. If I came in a few minutes later, Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom would have a roaring lion or a soaring giraffe crossing the screen.

There were pan-roasted potatoes with a delicious salty-caramelized outer surface sizzling in the oven. A heady beef gravy smell wafted like a culinary aphrodisiac, saturating every room in the house. The dining table was set and soon an oblong ceramic dish would be laid down with large, dark slices of roast beef that occupied centre stage every Sunday evening in our house like a specially-invited dinner guest. I would feel a surge of pleasure when the plate was placed at the table.

downton_table

I’m pretty sure this is exactly what my family’s Sunday dinners looked like…

Idyllic memories aside, there were some downsides to this heaven-on-earth. Squishy piles of pumpkin-orange mashed turnips that I love so much now were a decided turnoff as were insipid soggy pale-green peas delicately served from a Green Giant tin can.

There are what we call comfort foods.

This is what I would call a comfort meal.

It was a warm, friendly, dreamlike scenario that played out once a week, every week. My parents and my brothers and sisters and maybe their partners gathered around a family table. We shared a roast beef and we shared the stories of the past week, both good and bad. This was the scene of many many middle-class WASP families in Canada of the 1960’s and 1970’s.

There were no cookbooks in sight or for that matter anywhere in the house. Food preparation was something handed down from mother to daughter with time worn recipes (sometimes hand-written on cards) that were part of the DNA of any woman worth attracting a man of substance.

But we boys and men didn’t cook. We might help out a bit on the side mashing fluffy potatoes or carrying plates to the table. And on hot summer weekend days, men held dominion over outdoor cooking on the BBQ where clouds of charcoal smoke, beer and red meat encapsulated the spirit of manliness.

danger_men_cooking_

But real cooking belonged to the girls.

In yesterday’s world, men were the bread winners and women were the bread makers.

And yet, something that was taken for granted just 50 years ago, that is, that woman do the cooking, has been totally turned upside down.

Today, I love to cook. Lots of men do.

The reason? Men have finally learned one of the great secrets in life.

Good Male Cooking = Sex

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I first came to enjoy cooking as a way into a young lady’s pants.

Some guys build big vein-streaked muscles or hunch over greasy car motors to attract cute girls. For those of us non-hulky young fellows lacking any sort of mechanical aptitude, we had to resort to other means to draw sweet bees to our hives.

I developed two strengths that assisted in my often weak attempts to seduce and capture the hearts of young women. I learned to strum the guitar. And … I learned that cooking for the fairer sex could be a powerful aphrodisiac. Go figure.

Women chefs cook with their hearts and souls in pursuit of nourishment of the body and their families, while male chefs cook with their head and their private parts in pursuit of … well, you know. An exception to this is poutingly-hot TV cook Nigella Lawson who has cornered the sexy female side of food preparation. I would devour uncooked scorpions from her fingertips.

My go-to dish was French Onion Soup.

French Onion Soup with Stringy Melted Cheese 500

It was my fishing lure of choice in the sea of attraction. The broth was dark and rich and tantalizingly fragrant, with a hint of fresh thyme. It had the whiff of European sophistication that layered me with a hint of cosmopolitan elan. And there is something very pre-orgasmic about a dish that has a guy and a girl eyeing each other across a table with gooey strings of molten swiss cheese hanging teasingly from a spoon.

I used my cooking skills on one or two (OK, maybe 3!) occasions in my teen and early 20’s years to lure and seduce. Did it always work? I would say yes, although to be honest, I didn’t normally cook for someone until the outcome was almost 100% secured. Cooking just sealed the carnal deal!

Years have passed, and now that I’m older and happily coupled, cooking is a pleasurable part of my everyday existence, and not just BBQ’s! I love to combine spices and flavours to make something exciting to look at, savour, and taste.

My kids don’t see anything sexy or alluring about the dishes I set at the table, which is a good thing. While it’s all simple and straightforward, the colours and textures of foods are still a sensual experience of pleasure.

The sight and scent today of a plate of steaming roast beef at the table takes me inside myself to a warm time of family pleasure and the company of my long-gone parents. I longingly wish that I could make pan-roasted potatoes or apple pie that compared to my Mom’s.

Life has its cycles and rhythms. Yesterday my son in Nova Scotia phoned while walking on his way home from purchasing fresh beets to make Borscht … hmm … could this be his “seduction” dish?

If my kids only knew the thoughts that course through my head when we sit around the table together and I sip a spoonful of French Onion Soup … well, I can hear them now…EWWWWW!

When I grow up, I'm gonna cook sexy food just like Dad...

When I grow up, I’m gonna cook sexy food just like Dad…

 

The Worship of Power and the Need for Love and Admiration

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Lovers help each other undress before sex.

However after sex, they always dress on their own.

MORAL OF THE STORY:

In life, no one helps you once you’re screwed.

Frank Underwood

It’s strange, but I kind of like Francis (Frank) Underwood. Frank loves power. Frank loves sex. Hmmm … maybe it’s not so strange after all.

He’s this nasty, conniving, charismatic, shrewd, cruel, pragmatic guy. He makes things happen, occasionally ethically, but more often in a calculated, cold manner. He’s not diabolically evil like Batman’s Joker; he doesn’t really want to destroy people or their reputations, but if accomplishing something he deems important requires collateral human damage, then so be it.

Sex is a currency and an urge that he exercises and uses and loves and loathes, all at the same time. It reminds him – and he needs frequent reminders – of the power that he commands.

Sex is his currency of being someone who matters.

Frank Underwood isn’t wickedly handsome like Christian Grey (Fifty Shades of Grey), but both of these men thrive on a raw sexual power awarded to them by their political or financial strength.

Power to him means magnetically attracting smooth young skin and exposing the hidden tender parts of the women he both desires and hates. So long as he can plant his penis in the fertile feminine fields of those who might find him unattractive or perhaps even repulsive, he can arrogantly perch in front of the mirror, look himself in the eye, and know that he holds influential sway.

So who is this Francis Underwood?

He’s fiction. He’s a made-up character portrayed by actor Kevin Spacey that resides on the Netflix-produced political drama called House of Cards. Underwood is the Majority Whip (ie. boss) of the Democratic party in the U.S. Congress. He’s Washington’s version of conniving JR Ewing (from TV’s Dallas).

Men are drawn to desirable women like little boys to ice cream cones. Women are drawn to famous or powerful men like little girls to Barbie.

Girl with ice cream

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Sex as a currency is not a new concept.

Women realize this very well.

Women know that if there is absolutely no other way to buy the milk to feed their infant child or pay the overdue rent, there is ALWAYS a willing buyer of sex.

We men will always be there when sex is in play.

There is reassurance and implicit threat for both women and men who know they hold a swollen wallet of currency either through physical attractiveness or power.

Writer David Foster Wallace, in his 2005 commencement speech at Kenyon College said:

Worship power, you will end up feeling weak and afraid, and you will need ever more power over others to numb you to your own fear. Worship your intellect, being seen as smart, you will end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge of being found out. But the insidious thing about these forms of worship is not that they’re evil or sinful, it’s that they’re unconscious.”

frank zoe g string

Frank scouting his Zoe…

In a scene separated just millimetres from rape, Frank Underwood plumbs the literal depths of Zoe Barnes (an ambitious Washington reporter) from behind up against a wall. Within the accelerating huffing and gutteral grunting, there’s no pretense or semblance of tenderness or lovemaking in this sex act. This is pure primal animal pleasure and power privilege.

Frank gets his rapturous moment of physical release and a reaffirmation of his power; in return, Zoe reaps “Deep Throat” insights into the backrooms of political authority that feed her own need for media power.

A perfect illustration in the real world of the appeal of power and fame is the almost-elderly Mick Jagger, who hypnotically continues to attract and make women of all ages swoon. Skinny, outright ugly (in my view!), average intelligence … THIS is a Chick Magnet?

Would any women feel the heat of desire for old Mick if he were a truck driver or a mailman?

So, in the real world where we all live, does power and the need for love and admiration have any true meaning?

I can only speak my own truth and leave it to you to decide for yourself where you reside.

As an example, the very fact that I write and post these blog articles tells me that, as David Foster Wallace says, I am subconsciously seeking love and admiration. If I wasn’t, I would just sit here at my home office desk and pound out my ideas to be saved only to my own hard drive.

But no.

I WANT you to read my stuff. I want and hope that you’ll appreciate at least some of what I have to say. Some of my musings might rub you the wrong way, but I kind of want that too. I have my Walter Mitty moments where I grow my facial hair out a bit and envision myself as some Hemingway-esque romantic writer creature.

I plot out my ideas and write and revise and edit some more, and then … I tentatively hit the “PUBLISH” button that tosses my words out into the internet ocean to anyone and everyone who might care to take in my meanderings.

Mesage in bottle

It’s all very narcissistic and ego driven.

There’s no exchange of money, so I don’t do it to pay my bills.

There are no agendas or advertising that are part of a larger scheme to influence your buying habits.

I’m no better or worse than Sally Field standing on the Oscar stage saying, “You like me“… except I’m saying, “I HOPE you like me“. And in payment to you, I hope that when I explore things about myself, that you are able to occasionally peer within yourself and say, “Yeah, I’m like that too” or “Something similar happened to me last week“… or maybe even “WTF“!

I’m a user.

I’m using you to help me develop my writing skills.

Week in and week out I write so that I can become just a fraction of an inch better at developing imagery and concepts that will make me a better, more interesting writer. Writing that may take me into composing short stories or a novel a bit later, or just supply my own muse in enhancing my songwriting attempts.

I see it as part of a process, and I’m using you to carry me forward. In the run-up to publishing a blog posting, YOU are my finish line.

When I watch Frank Underwood screwing others – figuratively and literally – on House of Cards, I find myself  revelling in some satisfied sensation of moral superiority, until I realize in at least some small way…

Frank Underwood is me … I am Frank Underwood.

He's had sex with 4,000 women, what sets HIM apart?

He’s had sex with 4,000 women, what sets HIM apart?

Everybody Loves the Sound of Train Sex*

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Italy. Summer 1979. Overnight express train from Milan to Brindisi.

milanocentrale

My travel companion John and I were clickety-clacking southward to catch the ferry boat cutting away from the heel of the Italian boot across the blue Ionean Sea to Patras, Greece.

Our vagabond student backpacking wandering was into its third month.

I was so young and pliable that I’d started to talk with a slight British accent after only a month hitchhiking in England and Scotland. If the Queen had invited me for tea, she might have mistaken me for one of Prince Charles’ good buddies, in those pre-Diana days.

John and I had been 2 friends from high school, three years into our professional careers, living thousands of miles apart with a common desire to travel Europe.

The relationship between John and myself went off the rails almost immediately after we landed in England from Toronto. Within a week together, we could barely agree on whether London was north or south of Edinburgh.

Fortunately, we had an equal relationship. We were both equally certain that the other was a total ASSHOLE. Our tense “marriage” crumbling, we took to separating for a week or so and meeting up at pre-determined locations for a day or two before splitting off once again in different directions.

One thing we could agree on was that we were both keen on visiting “cheap” Greece. So, while knocking back huge frothy steins of beer, and lustily shouting eins, zwei, g’suffa in the huge Hofbrauhaus in “expensive” Munich, Germany, we agreed to meet a few days later in Milan so we could travel in tandem to Athens.

Hofbrauhaus

A then-cheap Eurail pass gave us unlimited train and boat travel in western Europe. We used the landlocked cruise locomotive not only as transport but also a place to crash on the nights when hostels were filled and there were no stable-rooms available at the inn. It provided all of the necessities for efficient travel. Our goal was to access as many European ruins, cathedrals, art galleries, and museums as possible in the time before our return flight to Canada.

We agreed to catch the overnight train from Milan to Brindisi and then jump aboard the morning ferry boat to Greece. In the Milano train station, we waited in a line for about an hour anticipating the train’s arrival. There were 30 or 40 of us young 20-something kids from various countries, festooned with our heavy backbacks and hiking boots.

Conversations ensued.

Just in front of my friend John and myself were 2 young girls, our age, Canadians we quickly discovered.

One was dark-haired and studious looking, the other, knockout gorgeous with short blonde hair and an “I’m ready to party” attitude about her. Woody Allen’s movie, Vicky Cristina Barcelona has two female characters (Rebecca Hall and Scarlett Johansson) that could have been these girls’ close twins.

vicky-cristina-barcelona

As Canadians, there was a commonality that led to excited chatter about where we lived and what we did when we weren’t backpacking… soon, a bit of flirting and suggestive talk arose between John and “Scarlett”.

As dusk began to settle in, the train arrived at the station in a cacaphonous mixture of brake squeals and diesel smoke. Together, we four Canadians climbed aboard.

A quick bond had formed between us, as so often happens when we travel. Strangers become friends in a flash in a foreign country. We stuck together and found an unoccupied compartment to share. John and Scarlett on one side, “Rebecca” and I sat on the other.

Train compartments were always cozy with their heavy sliding entrance doors and long plush-weave bench seats that faced each other on either side. When there were no other itinerants occupying the adjoining spot on the bench, we could stretch out on them to sleep. Drop-down windows allowed us to gulp in huge mouthfuls of fresh air when smokers shared our space and to hang our heads out like dogs in speeding cars to take in the gorgeous Italian countryside. Orchards filled with ripening olive trees or reach-to-the-sky sunflowers refreshed our mental cupboards when they were filled to overflowing with cathedrals and museums.

train compartment

Soon, the train began to inch forward and the compartment lights were dimmed so that we could see only shadowy outlines of each other in the darkness.

Like some magic, as the lights dimmed, John and Scarlett’s ardour rose.

The mere act of turning down the compartment light seemed to draw something intense from their inner sexual urges. Neither Rebecca nor myself were interested in creating our own “liaison” with each other.

Conversation died off and the sounds of physical connection took over. Oohs and ahhs and slurps and smacks rippled across the dusky compartment in little waves. Shuffles of clothing being removed or pushed up or down. The unhinging of bra and pant buttons and zippers. Each new note of voice or clothing sound increased my discomfort. Making casual conversation with my benchmate Rebecca seemed inappropriate somehow.

What to do, what to do.

Rebecca and I became unwilling and uncomfortable voyeurs-in-the-dark.

Feigning sleep at this point seemed to be the only option.

I closed my eyes as the level of lust and fast paced rhythmic intimacies intensified. The blending of the train’s steady staccato beat and our companions lovemaking merger was like a beautiful artistic aria in an Italian opera. I remembered that I didn’t like opera.

The train’s rhythm continued pulsing on but the movement and sounds on the opposite side of the compartment soon swelled … and peaked … and then receded. The night returned to quiet, except for the incessant click-clack beneath us.

The sun rose hot and bright early the next morning and the train pulled to a stop in Brindisi. We sleepily poured ourselves off onto the station platform. We stood chatting a bit awkwardly together. Scarlett and Rebecca said they planned to stay a day or two in Brindisi before taking the ferry across to Greece. Mailing addresses were exchanged (e-mail in 1979, not a chance!).

We said our goodbyes to the girls and ambled in different directions down the platform. John and I were soon aboard the ferry bound for Greece and seeking new adventures in a new country.

We didn’t talk about the night before.

There were uncontrollable trains that merged and passed in that night and on that trip. We hop onto one train, enjoy the journey, and travel to a destination that suits us. Then a station comes along and we decide a new destination will fit us better than the one where we’re headed.

I never saw or heard from either Scarlett or Rebecca again after that day.

A few weeks later we boarded the plane returning from London to Toronto.

I never saw or heard from John again.

(*with apologies to Paul Simon for hijacking lyrics from his song “Train in the Distance“)

 Man Looking Out Train Window

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