Archive for the ‘sex’ Category

Bent Double, Like Old Beggars Under Sacks

February 23, 2011

There is little less masculine than a profession of love for poetry.

No one can claim ownership of the words masculine or feminine. Some things in this world are rough, tough, and angular (or handsome, ruthless, and stupid, in Dorothy Parker’s idealized conception) and some are soft, bending, and curvy. Whether those extra broad generalizations can be safely applied to men and women is outside the domain of this discussion. Suffice it to say: dogs are boys, cats are girls, PCs are boys, Macs are girls, and for whatever reason you care to cite, we all seem to agree.

Poetry is graceful, pretty, emotional, and flowery. The flow of the words; the sound they make when repeated back to oneself is paramount, and while it is inescapable that poems have meaning, for words mean things, deciphering the hidden meaning, if  there is any to be found, is missing the point at best. However, a man’s love of things graceful or pretty or emotional or flowery is supposedly limited to what he can fuck, and any further pronouncement of joy at the sight or sound or experience of delicate waff, makes him a poof, a nancy boy, or a fag.

Nothing new in the above. We are all too aware of the reputation risked by any boy brave enough to carry Emily Dickson without camouflage, but the cliche to my limited experience is abnormally felt, and I wonder at the cause. Men like music and lyrics, can appreciate a turn of phrase wittily and adroitly presented,  read books, and seem to run the gamut of stuttering neanderthal to elegant wordsmith with the same frequency as women. Social pressures, no doubt contributing, cannot possibly explain everything. There must be something specific to the art form or its reputation making the males in my social group bored at the mere prospect.

Boring. There it is. That word. There is nothing worse than boring (perhaps homicidal or smelly if we are talking about people). I was manifestly uncomfortable and terribly annoyed at being forced to read E.E. cummings or Robert Frost in high school. And rightly so. The beauty of language is not a subject worth discussing with partially developed minds, and Shakespeare elicited a similar response. No, what the dreary high school matron (my English teachers were invariably dull and female) was left with was a search for meaning. An accounting of facts. An exercise in: “Well, why the fuck didn’t he just come out and say it then?” Sure, some of the students were ready for poetry, and genuinely enjoyed it. They tended to be girls. No, not tended, were girls.

But I loved books, and was perfectly happy to engage fully with a difficult metaphor and not feel in the least put out for having to decipher it. Be that as it may, the contradiction in finding poetry irritating for failing to be direct, and not holding literature to the same standard, has only recently struck me.

Nowadays, I can approach a poem without any precedent angst, but it required a genuine effort to displace the notion that deciphering meaning was the task. I was never scared of being called a fag.

Try this. I dare you not to get a little moist.

Robin Lindsay




August 26, 2010

Below is a heavily reworked piece, originally titled Finishing Each Other’s Sentences

Originally published, May 2009

The next time you find yourself awash in dangerous toxin and in dire need of a means to induce vomiting, I suggest clicking here.

The E-Harmony ad campaign, with its noisome Jazz-pop and impossibly handsome couples, is such obvious fantasy that I dare say no one is fooled. The men in the ads are especially hard to believe, with their fashion model looks, interesting careers, sensitivity, and artistic streaks, are the archetype for the love-interest in any feminine masturbatory aid you care to name.

The conceit is that E-Harmony, unlike the balance of the online dating sphere, will match you based on “compatibility.” Aside from sidestepping the obvious question “by what means other than compatibility can one be matched?” the actors (or, “real couples,” if that is to be believed) have such universal appeal, that no talk of compatibility is at all relevant in their cases. Can we get a show of hands from the female readership that would reject a handsome chemist who likes to paint, is vulnerable but decisive enough to drag you off to the closet for a grope, and is interested in something stable? Some types are almost universally attractive, and any talk of “compatibility” is neither here nor there.

It is plain to all and sundry that E-Harmony is selling a fantasy. However, buried under the nauseating love-in is a subtle message: online dating is okay. Look at these successful people; they are busy, sick of the bar scene, and have excellent reasons why they are 30 and single. These people aren’t losers and neither will you be. There is nothing to be embarrassed about.

Twenty-five years ago you were a social outcast by definition for merely owning a computer. Now that it can get you laid, the computer is well established as mainstream and girl-friendly.

Robin Lindsay


I Like it Vanilla

August 20, 2010

Below is another reworked piece, originally titled Wake Up Blitzen.

First Published April 02, 2008

My favourite flavour of ice cream is vanilla. The typical responses by my peers to my simple assertion of preference span the chasm of shocked disbelief to bemusement. Those who delight in two scoops of Triple Chocolate Orgasm cannot fathom why someone might choose to forgo such an overwhelming sensory delight in favour of a bonne bouche that is entirely non-diverting.

The fear of condemnation for being boring and possessing the sexual charisma of a limp husk, led me to query the etymological connection between “vanilla” and “plain” or “ordinary.” It began in America in the 1970s, and most commonly meant “conventional, of ordinary sexual preferences.” Using “vanilla” today still describes the ever broadening list of common sexual practices, and the metaphor of an all white dessert of simple flavour standing in for three and a half minutes of missionary sex is a natural one.

However, if one mines the encyclopedias and dictionaries with perseverance, one finds an odd nugget – a most curious accident of history. The word “vanilla” derives from the Spanish word “vainilla” which finds its roots in the latin “vagina.” Named by 18th century conquistadors for the plant’s resemblance to our favourite part of the female anatomy.

Our unassuming dessert choice finds its origins marked by an overt sexual reference. Double Fudge Brownie Explosion may cause women to press their knees together while their eyes roll back in ecstasy, but cannot claim any definable connection to the world of sex, unlike trusty vanilla.

So I await my next dessert date down at the Malt Shoppe, where she will undoubtedly spoon mouthfuls of Rocky Road and I, meek and mild, will just as surely have a bowl of naturel. But with a raised eyebrow and a grin, I will draw her attention to a spoonful of my ice and ask “remind you of anything?”

Robin Lindsay


Gawk & Snicker

August 19, 2010

Below is a heavily reworked piece originally titled The Wonderful and Frightening World of The Fall

First published March 13, 2008.

A stable relationship comes bundled with many hidden costs. One easily overlooked charge is the inevitable boredom couples radiate around them – their well defined sexual status slacking the tension that is otherwise palpable when people of the opposite sex mingle. The only exceptions to this banal state of affairs are the new or unhappy pairs. Foundations yet to be poured or beginning to crack are grist for the sewing circle and card table alike, but the well established tandem is passed over for having nothing to contribute to the mill of chatter and assumption.

The high wire act is invariably made less interesting for having a safety net. The skill and talent and concentration of the acrobat is no less impressive for having insurance, but the drama of the event is all but removed. Something similar can be said when a couple arrives at a party. In the majority of cases they will arrive together, and will spend their first moments unconsciously making known they are taken and by whom. From this unmistakable jumping off point, they are free to unyoke and disperse, and even gently flirt with the opposite sex, all the while knowing that across the room is the warden, ready to reinforce and reestablish the relationship with a pet or a peck should it be thought necessary.

The single person at the same gathering is forced to work without a net, and in full view of their peers. Their encounters with those whose body parts fail to match but are nonetheless perfectly compatible are rife with dangerous potentiality. They must at the same time flirt with desirable mates, be prepared to gracefully extricate themselves from undesired consideration, and handle the embarrassment of having to do so while their friends exchange knowing glances. Forgive my repeating myself for saying again that such an act is a tightrope.

The single person instills genuine intrigue for being a variable. The attached are whole numbers, countable and mundane.

Robin Lindsay


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