“She Was Cute, Like an Ice Cream Cone”

Who likes sex more, men or women? An ancient Greek dude would tell you would tell you that women enjoy it, like, a thousand times more. (If you need confirmation, just check out this myth — yes, Sophocles fans, it explains why Tiresias the blind prophet has boobs in Oedipus Rex.) But if you pose the same question to the average person in today’s late capitalist society, they’ll tell you just the opposite. Males, they will say, are single-minded because they’re biologically driven to pursue sex.  Devoid of finer feelings, they comport themselves in much the same manner as sperm competing for an egg.   So simple are males, so in their quest for poontang, that they offer nothing to the analytical mind.  “It’s a waste of time trying to understand US!”, men will say.  “We’re all dogs!”

By contrast, this theory (call it the “men are horny, women are corny” proposition) paints females as complex and mysterious — their sexuality a mere facade, a smokescreen behind which lurks a roiling turmoil of feelings, thoughts, and finely-calibrated emotional needs.  Oh, no!   That sounds so boring!  But can the theory be true?

I say no.  And it turns out insight into male complexity can come from surprising places. Case in point: the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.   I used to have a big problem with this magazine.  The reason why is obvious: I considered it intellectually dishonest. Masturbating isn’t really a sport. (Insert 50,000 jokes here about sports injuries, mouthguards, shin splints, balls, bats, nets, baskets, bases and home runs, pentathlons, varsity vs. junior varsity-level athletes, what you played in high school, what you played at summer camp, shuttlecocks, bowling pins, fencing masks, boxing gloves, ping-pong tables, and cheerleading.) If pornography is what you want — my reasoning went — go to the porno shop and buy some! You’re not fooling anyone! Do you think you’re too upper-middle-class to go to the Hustler store? God, you’re so bourgeois!

Who cares, though, really?  The magazine provides work for models in today’s challenging economy, and it’s good for the Jews because there’s an Israeli on the cover.  More important, though, is what happened when I mentioned this objection to my friend Isaac.  He had something interesting to say: “For some men,” he explained, “that’s part of the turn-on.”  Appreciating the magazine in a sexual way comes with more of a perverse, illicit thrill because “it’s not really ‘for’ that.”  The women seem innocent and unsuspecting. And “believe it or not, boobs have to have a context, even for guys.”

Boobs with a context

Boobs with a context

Oh, I believe it. What an unexpected nuance! But for every worldly man like Isaac, there are ten guys who want to reduce human sexuality to black and white.  The subject of today’s story kept insisting that men and women are fundamentally different, because in the world of sex, “women choose, men are chosen.”  Does his story bear out that claim?  Let’s find out.

“Sigmund” is a Jew from New Jersey.  He grew up in New York and moved to L.A. as a young man to pursue acting. In 2002, he met “Cherry” in a bar where he worked. They got friendly because they were co-workers. “She was cute, like an ice cream cone.”  They had all kinds of rapport because they had the same favorite movie (The Karate Kid).  Also, “I taught her how to text.”  During that historical epoch, most people were confused by text messaging; having mastered the skill demonstrated that he was an alpha male.

His strategy bore fruit a few weeks later, when Cherry was out on a date with some other guy, but was “texting me through the date.” It’s unclear what the matter was with the date. “It didn’t even suck, I was just better.”

So inevitably, he asked her out.  He rented both the Karate Kid movies and she walked over to his apartment, because they both lived in East Hollywood. They got halfway through the sequel before they started making out. After a while she was like “I have to go home,” and he drove her home. But then they had sex on another date a few days later, on the same movie-watching sofa. (“I slayed many on that couch.”)

He was wearing a black crew-neck shirt, Levi’s, and Vans, with muttonchop sideburns and long curly hair.

Black t-shirt

Black t-shirt

Slip-on Vans

Slip-on Vans

They kept on dating for six months. In this story, Sigmund defeated his male rival and won the girl,  so it looks pretty good for his sperm-and-egg theory.   But what if we look closer?  Cherry must have really liked this guy, because it seems like she went out of her way to make him jealous.  Going out on a stupid date with another dude she didn’t really like, then sneaking away every 10 minutes to text him?   It totally worked, though.  Guys, look at how much effort it takes to seduce you.  You can’t be all that simple.

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One Response to ““She Was Cute, Like an Ice Cream Cone””

  1. This post makes me think about a recent NYT magazine article–VERY originally entitled “What do women want?” –in which some researchers stuck probes all over a bunch of men and women’s private parts and then showed them saucy pix and asked them to rate how turned on they were. Apparently women like watching monkeys fuck, but don’t know that they do. So how does that work for the horny/corny theory?

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