Wednesday, May 18, 2016

"The Copulatory Gaze" and the Body Language of Flirting

Whenever I'm around this one guy I know, I feel my head tilt to the side and my hand reach out toward him, as if to touch him. I try to stifle these gestures because they are sexual "tells," that is, unconscious moves signaling unspoken thoughts or intentions. And these particular gestures, I must confess, are universal mating signals. In terms of biological signaling, I may as well be breaking out the landing gear lights and guiding him to my gate, so to speak. I don't actually wish to mate with this dude (oh hell no) but, clearly some part of my subconscious is thinking he's fine. Real fine.

That's what's interesting to me about these mating gestures. I don't wish to signal anything to this guy, but my body certainly does, and I wonder what mechanism is at work there. I mean, why him? I am fascinated by how my body responds to him automatically and unconsciously. I don't mean to do the whole head tilt thing, it just happens. And although I'm not going to act on it, I have to admit that it's fun to feel my body react, feeling the pull of attraction and knowing I'm part of a timeless biological dance.

So what am I signaling exactly? Well, Grasshopper, a head tilt does a few things. It makes me smaller, for one, and exposes my vulnerable neck. These indicate "I am harmless." (Note: I may or may not actually be harmless.) Appearing harmless is a good thing, mating-wise, according to Helen E. Fisher in her completely fascinating book, Anatomy of Love: The Natural History of Monogamy, Adultery, and DivorceMen also try to appear harmless. All of their initial mating gestures are geared to convey the basic message, "I am here; I am important; I am harmless."

Writes Fisher:
"Men tend to pitch and roll their shoulders, stretch, stand tall and shift from foot to foot in a swaying motion. They also exaggerate their body movements. Instead of simply using the wrist to stir a drink, men often employ the entire arm, as if stirring mud...And the whole body is employed in hearty laughter--made loud enough to attract a crowd."

In the 1960s ethologist Irenaus Eibl-Eibesfeldt used a secret camera to document female flirting behavior around the globe. No matter who he was creepily spying on scientifically studying, a universal flirting pattern emerged. Again, here's Fisher:

"First the woman smiles at her admirer and lifts her eyebrows in a swift jerky motion as she opens her eyes wide to gaze at him. Then she drops her eyelids, tilts her head down and to the side, and looks away. Frequently she also covers her face with her hands, giggling nervously as she retreats behind her palms."

Of all the courting gestures, to me, the most potent is the so-called "copulatory gaze." In cultures where eye contact is permitted, potential lovers will stare into each other's eyes a second or two longer than is necessary (generally two to three seconds) and, if interested, their pupils will dilate. Eye contact seems to trigger a primitive part of the brain, notes Fisher, calling forth one of two basic emotions--approach or retreat. "You cannot ignore the eyes of another fixed on you," she writes, "You must respond."

Many of these courting gestures are present in animals as well. Female possums do the coy look/head tilt move. Snakes, frogs and toads inflate their bodies to draw attention to themselves, and "pygmy" chimpanzees at the San Diego Zoo look deeply into the other's eyes for several moments before having sex. (No documentation exists on whether they also make each other mix tapes.)

My favorite animal courting move, however, comes from the chimps observed by the lovely Jane Goodall at the Combe Steam Reserve in Tanzania. When a female is in estrus (heat), a dominant male doesn't muck around with the loud laughing and notable drink stirring, he gets right to the point. "A male will stare intently to get a female's attention, sit with his legs open to display an erect penis, flick it, rock from side to side (and) beckon her with outstretched arms."

Yes, it's kind of comically direct, but I can see how with the right chimp, or my case, human male, it would be quite heady to be so courted. Although it would have the unfortunate side effect of eliminating the wholly enjoyable pastime of analyzing and dissecting a potential lover's moves. "Okay, so last night, Fred was staring intently at me, displaying his erect penis and flicking it. What do you think he meant?"

Thus we get to your questions of the day. One of the reasons I'm so fascinated by this subject is because I was always bad at interpreting such signals. What about you? Do you consciously use these gestures, or have you noticed yourself doing them? Do you notice when a potential suitor is doing these things, feel a general intuition about their intentions, or what?

Please, do tell.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Pool Noodle Homemade Sex Toy, a London Lover, and Assdazzling

Note: Photo contains acceptable level of nudity
Crap, now I need to cover everything I just put in the title so let's just get to it, shall we?

1.  Pool Noodle Violation:  The lovely and smart Enlightened Sexpot wrote, "Your balloon phone sex post made me think of pool noodle sex" and sent along "Pool Noodle Girlfriend" by Patrick McGuire. It's a strangely fascinating interview with a guy who rigged up a pool noodle so he could have his way with it. To make the pool noodle even sexier, he stuck it to the bathroom mirror with a plunger so he could watch himself. Because what could be hotter than seeing himself--a guy living in his parents' basement. Fucking a pool noodle. In his parents' bathroom. 

Here are some of my favorite excerpts:

Did you try those more traditional methods first?
Yeah, and I looked for other materials around the house but I never really found anything. The last place I looked was the garage, and that's where I found the pool noodle. I thought, "Oh wow, that's got a nice texture to it.”

So it called out to you?
Yeah.

OK, then what did you do?
I cut it up while I was on the can so no one would ask me what the fuck I was doing. I was shoving a condom into this thing, and then I saw the plunger and one thing led to another. I think I was plunging the condom into the slit with the plunger and I thought, "Ahh fucking hell! I could stick this to the mirror.” And that's pretty much it.

How long ago was this?
Probably five or six years ago.

And you've been violating pool noodles ever since?
No, I think I only had one pool noodle and making that contraption takes about a third of it. So I think I only did it two or three times because I didn't want my parents to be like, "What the fuck are you doing to all our pool noodles?"

How would you describe the experience then?
It's fun in the making and in action. It's a large item... so what do you do with it afterward? You want to hold onto it but you don't want to buy it breakfast or anything. You kind of think "Maybe I'll keep this thing around for another go, but then you're like "Fuck it, it's garbage day tomorrow, I have to put this in the can.”


Is your pool noodle a dirty dirty slut? My only advice is to check your pool noodle for warning signs: staying in its room a lot, loss of interest in activities it once enjoyed and sobbing at the curb after being rejected on garbage day.

2. Update from Dusky: Dusky, you may recall--if not click here ("I have had one great love and one great lover and they are not the same man"), then here ("I am going to see that old lover")--is a married woman from a country where "agonizing" is amusingly spelled as "agonising." She was sharing insanely torrid emails and texts with her old lover, finally jetted to London to visit said lover and...it was tepid and weird.

I am happy as can be, because at last my London lover emailed me.  He agreed that things hadn't gone as expected, and basically let me down very gently and kindly, suggesting that he and I would always be kindred spirits and friends.  It caused me a final little heart-break to have it all officially OVER, but at last it finally is.  I'm no longer agonising over what I did wrong and wondering what he's thinking - he has given me the perfect closure.  Bastard as he is, his ability to write a perfect email is a damn fine skill that I can't help but adore him for.  Most wonderfully for me it means that I can again remember that early affair fondly, without feeling that it is tainted.  We've simply proved that it doesn't exist anymore, because those younger versions of ourselves no longer exist.  But from time to time I will think of those two lust-crazed people with joy, and it's lovely to know that he will too.

So, closure. Which is good. Or goodish, at least.

3. Your new business. Your welcome.



 
A Misguider Googler recently found IBWMW via the search terms "picture of assdazzled" which made me think of this brilliant idea--Assdazzling. It would be a service similar to vajazzling, but for your butt.

My husband said to this, as did Kirkegaard, "There are some things that should not be bedazzled."

Unfortunately, as a World Renowned Anal Bleaching Expert (this, unfortunately, is actually true), I already am quite busy in the ass-related market. So if you are looking for a business opportunity, and enjoy working with both sphincters and tiny pokey rhinestones, I bequeath the Assdazzling market to you.*

xoxoxo
jill

*For a modest donation, I will name you the IBWMW Minister of Assdazzling, which would look mighty fine on a business card.

photo: Herbert List - Sans Titre, 1937

ps circa 2016: this is a rerun, so there are some comments about a part I deleted (re: tiresome ranting on google, sigh, bein' a dick again). 
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