Sunday, August 20, 2006

Canuckophilia


Yes, today I'm here to blog about the sexiness of Canadian men.

Back in the day when I published my weekly ezine "Hockey Snacks," I coined the term "canuckophilia" to mean the love of Canadians and the Great White North. I got a ton of reader mail on the subject, and there were an awful lot of American women with "eh?"-fetishes. (Meanwhile, my male Canadian readers were astonished to learn this and many planned trips south to find out for themselves if they could get chicks by saying "aboot.")

I retired from the Hockey Snacks gig in 2002 but remained a fan of Canada. Lately, embroiled as I am in my most serious celebrity crush in a long time, I am rediscovering my old tendency toward canuckophilia. I used to be fascinated by Canadian hockey players, and now that it is a Canadian survivalist instead ("Survivorman" Les Stroud), I see some recurring themes.

According to the fantasy at least, Canadian men are tough, resourceful, real guys. In hockey, it seemed the Canadian players were the ones who could augment their skills with sheer determination, and hang in there when other men wussed out...qualities one certainly finds in my hero Les. There was also an unsullied, unsophisticated, genuine niceness about most Canadian players. It was almost as if life in the simpler, closer-to-nature environment of the north made for men of character.

In my day job I sometimes deal with Canadians on the phone; they are typically warm and friendly and completely oblivious to my romantic enjoyment of their Canadian accents. Part of the charm of these guys is that they have no idea that some Americans are canuckophiles and actually find them sexy. They don't realize some of their southern neighbors fantasize about Canadian men who can play great hockey, subdue the wilderness, and curl. I've blogged before about the sex appeal of curling, that other great Canadian sport, and I likewise doubt that Brad Gushue has a clue. (Pete Fenson may be the closest thing to a hot Canadian man that the U.S. has to offer. LOL) So not only do Canadian guys have all this going for them, they are humble and self-effacing to boot.

There is also a kind of exoticism about Canadian men which I'm sure they would never understand or acknowledge, but which some American women perceive. While we all live in North America, and speak the same language (and there's a whole nother sexiness going on with the francophones up north), Canada is still different from the U.S. We may make jokes about the McKenzie Brothers, Molson-swilling lumberjacks, and hockey players missing teeth and "puttin' on the foil," but there is still a romantic mystique about those who in a country that contains vast wilderness and extends far above the arctic circle. Okay, so maybe only 10% of Canadian men live more than a hundred miles from the border...still, there are guys up there who are tough enough to deal with cold temperatures, outsmart bears and moose, and hit 75-mile-an-hour slapshots.

The archetype of the Canadian man doesn't appeal to everyone; he's no James Bond, no Vampire Lestat, no erudite, sophisticated, or overtly sexy hero. But for those of us attracted to ideals like self-reliance, humility, strength of character, kindness, determination, and competence, that guy in flannel with the fishing gear or hockey equipment can be mighty alluring.

It's nice to be crushing on a Canadian again....

6 comments:

Mel said...

Oh yeah, I know a few guys like the ones you describe. They are something else, aren't they? And you don't have to go that far outside the city, or even leave it in order to find men like them.

I'm glad Canadian men are done being portageurs, lumberjacks and raftsmen, out there in the bush, busy urbanizing the wilderness and whatnot, 'cuz what, oh what, would we women do? Pack up the RV with our various forestry and fisheries research degrees and join them, most probably. :-)

But are Canadian men that different from American men, in your (or anyone else's) experience?

Diana Laurence said...

I've gotten to know a very few Canadian men and I have to say, overall they varied from good to bad just the same way American men do. On the good end, I have a quebecois friend is loyal, generous and kind hearted and has done many very nice things for me over the years. On the bad end, I had a little "internet affair" (with my husband's permission of course) some years back with an Ontario native who turned out to be pretty cruel...the commonplace sort of guy who for weeks is obsessed with you and then goes weeks without a word and then dumps you.

When it comes to "real life" there are all kinds, nothing is black and white, there are no hard and fast rules. When I blog about "Canadian heroes," as when I blog about ANYTHING heroic, I'm talking about archetypes and fantasy, the things we dream about and put in story and song.

So there is the "dream Canadian guy," and there are real Canadian guys, and they both have the accent...but real life men never live up to the archetypal hero.

Still, on average over the entire population, I do like to think Canadian guys may be a little more polite, a little more resourceful, maybe even a little more considerate than Americans. No way to know for sure of course; and since one always deals with individuals rather than "averages," the point is moot anyway! :-)

But one thing is for sure--Canadian guys are better on skates.

Erica said...

Diana, once again you've struck a chord with me. How do you do it? Are you secretly a mind reader? I'm beginning to think so.

You know how I feel about my favorite Canadian (Hayden). {SWOOON}. Yes I've still got it bad, with no sign of relief in the near future. I have to say I agree with everything you said about Canadian men, or at least those I've met, and or those I've heard a lot about (such as Hayden). He is all of those things, and it's his sense of humility despite his sexy looks, and sexy accent that really seem to draw me, and all of the other ladies who I share this obsession with into his thrall.

Yeah, Hayden is my first Canadian crush, but he's also my biggest ever. Is it because he's Canadian that I fell so hard? I don't know... but based on what you've said here, I'm thinking this might be exactly why.

Thanks for another wonderful entry.

Diana Laurence said...

You're welcome, Erica! Good to have you post again, I always enjoy what you have to say. I forgot Hayden C. was among the many illustrious Canadian celebrities...just one more reason for his appeal I'm sure!

Jenna-Lynn said...

so this has to be the best topic ever ... lol i live up here in the great white north and completely agree that our men are HOT lol. The whole hockey player look is sexy... even more so when they are in their skates lol cause then most of them are taller than me lol. And i live out in the boonies on a farm surrounded by other farms so i get to see a lot of the flannel and coveralls which i personally think is the hottest look ever lol. Anyways if you guys think the canucks are so hot you should move up here ... maybe then i will finally meet you !! lol and next time dont forget about mentioning those hot canadian women with their ehs and tractor driving skills lol

Diana Laurence said...

Jenna-Lynn, don't even get me started on the hockey player look! I know it gets ripped on a lot, as if all hockey players are missing teeth and wear mullets, but real life is another story. These guys seem disproportionately good-looking and they definitely have the best physiques in pro sports...you have to, be athletic enough for the game. And seeing as the majority of Canadian guys play hockey, that's bound to give them an edge right there!