Tuesday, November 20, 2007
...Meg Wood! I don’t often endorse other blogs and sites here, but I have to make a special recommendation for Meg’s Boyfriend of the Week.
Well, what I mean by “soulmate” is that Meg’s taste mirrors my own in uncanny ways. I’ll grant you, if you blog about a new celebrity you like every week or two, you will have a long, long list that most women will share at least in part. But there are definitely some guys in Meg’s pantheon that you wouldn’t necessarily expect every woman to drool over.
Naturally Meg could not be my soulmate if she didn’t appreciate Les Stroud. But she pleads to have his children ASAP, and for all the same reasons I adore the guy. She’s got a long list of my more “commonplace” faves: Naveen Andrews and Josh Holloway, David Duchovny, Sean Bean, Gregory Peck, Dominic Monaghan/Billy Boyd/Elijah Wood, Joaquin Phoenix, Johnny Depp, Ewan McGregor, Owen Wilson, Colin Firth, Hugh Jackman, Keanu Reeves, Tobey McGuire...none of those guys are overly surprising.
Now, however, for the “overly surprising” category, relatively less popular guys that I have adored and/or blogged about: the “So You Think You Can Dance” guys, Mike Rowe, Bill Nighy, Mythbusters Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, the Serenity guys, Josh Whedon and Anthony Stewart Head, Sam Neill, William Hurt, Kevin Kline, Anthony Hopkins, and Ray Walston.
Yes, Ray Walston! When I saw that name I knew Meg and I quite possibly share the same brain! Or at least libido! I couldn’t believe there was anyone else out there who had a crush on him in “My Favorite Martian” besides me. But Meg did! Will wonders never cease?
Really, there are very few guys on Meg’s boyfriend list (other than those I hadn’t heard of) that I don’t find attractive. Eric Stoltz? Adorable. Chow Yun-Fat? To die for. Morgan Spurlock from “Super Size Me”? I’ll take two. James Spader? Swoon. I even get what she means by the Pets.com Sock Puppet.
I just love that Meg seems to have developed her romantic taste, as I did, based upon a combination of science fiction, Broadway musicals, and admiration for men whose resourcefulness emulates MacGyver. She likes a lot of guys who are quirky, exotic, romantic, heroic, and ingenious. Just reading her analyses (and admiring the accompanying photos) is inspiring, because she really gets (at least according to my particular taste) what makes men spiritually satisfying to women.
Love, love, love it, Meg. I only wish we were both twelve years old and could stay over at each other’s houses making scrapbooks of our fave guys and giggling till one in the morning.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Okay, People magazine, I just don’t get the Matt Damon choice. He’s cute, funny, a good actor, but Sexiest Man Alive?
I realize there can never be any kind of consensus on an issue like sexiness, so the question is moot anyway. But a choice this weird just motivates me to make my own list. I blog about sex, isn’t that enough qualification? Okay, I know my opinion counts no more than yours...so write your own list!
Sexiest in a TV comedy: John Krasinski (Jim on “The Office”). Now that he’s got the girl (Pam), he manages to be just as adorable, charming and sexy as ever. Even playing ping pong badly.
Sexiest in a TV drama: Milo Ventimiglia (Peter on “Heroes”). I know I’m not alone on this one. Dark, handsome, goodhearted, brooding and tortured, looks great half naked and bruised, plus he is the most powerful superhero in the Heroes pantheon.
Sexiest in a film comedy: Simon Pegg (Nicolas Angel in “Hot Fuzz”). I wish I could tell you why he got to me so; I guess his being a super cop with perfect dedication to his job was some kind of turn-on to me.
Sexiest in a film drama: Daniel Craig (James Bond in “Casino Royale”). I think I’ll get some seconds on this one too. He added a dimension of vulnerability to the Bond package that intensified his allure. I would be remiss not to mention the eyes, of course.
Sexiest villain, TV or film: Zachary Quinto (Sylar on “Heroes”). Gotta give it to him this year, he just brings superpowered-blacksouled-serial-killer to a whole new level of hotness.
Sexiest dancer: Danny Tidwell (runner-up in this year’s “So You Think You Can Dance”). The looks, the body, and one hell of a samba. Honorable mention to third place Neil Haskell who shines mostly by humor and charm, but pulled sexiness out of his tights a time or two as well.
Sexiest singer: Les Stroud. I’m not about to deny Les his due here, and if you don’t believe me, listen to “Nice Tattoo.”
Sexiest speaking voice: Mike Rowe (“Dirty Jobs,” “Deadliest Catch,” Ford commercials, etc.). The rest of him ain’t bad either, but I could listen to him talk all day, even about poo and crabs.
Sexiest in a reality show: Les Stroud encore (“Survivorman”). Call me biased, but I really think a national vote (wait, let’s include Canada) would back me up. The commentary in the blogosphere sure suggests it.
Sexiest entertainer who doesn’t sing, dance or act: Criss Angel (“Mind Freak”). We all find magic sexy but this guy blows away all competition. He’s one of a kind, this one.
Sexiest sports figure: Mark DeRosa (Chicago Cubs). I have to qualify this by admitting I’m a rabid fan of the Cubbies, but Mark deserves the title. He’s hot, nice, talented, hardworking, and a team player. Honorable mention to Peyton “Laser Rocket Arm” Manning who may not be sexy but steals the show both on the gridiron and any commercial in which he appears.
Sexiest guy, mature category: Edward James Olmos (Admiral Adama, “Battlestar Galactica”). At age 60, E.J.O. has a strong, wise, gentle dignity about him. As Adama, he can be father figure and alpha male all at once. Works for me.
Sexiest guy, barely-legal category: Shia LaBeouf (actor, “Disturbia,” “Transformers,” etc.). Okay, he’s 21 now but he doesn’t look it. Shia has a shy, youthful charm with just enough innocent sexiness to attract without freaking you out. Runner-up props to 18-year-old Corbin Bleu (“High School Musical”), who in my opinion totally outshines Zac Efron.
Sexiest person if you base your choice on Google searches leading to my blog: Cody Willard (Fox Business Network, hedge fund manager). 2.3% of searchers, people, can you believe it? I have a feeling all those hits are due to the fact that investors are so surprised to see the third result in Google for Cody is a blog called “Erotica with Soul.”
Matt Damon, eat your heart out.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
I guess since I haven’t had anything current to blog about lately, I got to thinking about the past. Every once in awhile I get nostalgic for the distant days of yore, the formative years of she who would eventually become a peculiar sort of romance writer. Ah, first loves! Is there anything like the way we felt during those first infatuations, when the opposite sex was so mysterious and interesting? So come back in time with me, to 1970 when the sexual revolution was in full swing and hippies were singing the praises of free love, and I was an intimidated ninth grader trying to make sense of what was going on in my body.
The musical “Hair” was in its heyday. While I had no idea what most of those naughty words in the songs meant, there was a strange appeal in the shows two stars, Claude and Berger, as they appeared in photos on our album jacket. The drugs and nudity and the pall of Vietnam frightened me, but there were songs in that musical about love, and that I could understand. So I was drawn to Claude and Berger, and frightened by them, and that was how I felt about sex, too.
So...ninth grade. Chris, the guy who sat in front of me in geometry and across from me in study hall, was not my “first love.” I’d been sweet on Jeff since fourth grade, but redistricting had separated me from my grade school crush with the big blue eyes. Anyway Jeff was a little kid thing; Chris seemed altogether different. My interest in him crept up on me, even as puberty did. At first I was simply intrigued by him because he was so shy. The boy barely spoke to anyone. I wondered why; my imagination invented all kinds of alluring mysteries. And as I studied him, for the first time in my life I began to notice masculinity.
My obsession with Chris’s masculinity took very interesting forms in my innocent psyche. I memorized his shirts. They were knit pullovers and cotton oxfords, and for the first time I realized males wore their clothes differently than females. I was fascinated by the colors and patterns of Chris’s shirts, and on days when he wore my favorite striped oxfords, I was happy. I still remember those fabrics. Chris was the first male to allure me by turning up the cuffs of his shirts to reveal his wrists. At fourteen he was barely a man by any standards, but there were definite signs.
I loved to pile my books on my desk in geometry class, and set my hand on top, close enough to Chris’s back to feel his body heat. It was inexplicably thrilling. The warmth that came off of him seemed so different than what came off me, as if it had a different chemical composition, as if one could get drunk by feeling it.
How I yearned to know the secrets of this magical creature! I shared a table in study hall with Chris and a talkative nerd named Rich (nicknamed “the Bod” based on an odd last name which shall remain unrevealed here). Every word I said to Rich was meant for Chris’s ears, and I longed for some sign that he recognized I was alive. But he kept to his strange silence, working away on his assignments as if no one else was in the study hall.
Was there anything particularly attractive or amazing about this boy? Not really; he was fairly plain, with a decent physique, and with no unusual attributes except intelligence. I never learned about his hobbies or interests, never knew the bands he liked or the TV shows he watched. So he remained in effect a blank slate, a young everyman upon whom I could project my budding fantasies about masculinity.
Chris was the first boy to make me feel like sex was not necessarily a bad thing.
His was the face and body and voice that maleness wore as it changed my mind about the sex act. What had previously seemed, as it does to all children, as repulsive and bizarre and inexplicable, began to have strange appeal. I felt that with this one person, it was possible such intimacies could be not horrifying, but rather pleasant and exciting. I could do it with Chris, only with him; he alone could make me want to explore such things.
So how did it all end? Well, sadly, upon graduation from our junior high, Chris and I were destined for separate high schools. As despondent as I was about this fact, I was determined to raise the courage for one final act of devotion before we were parted forever. I would ask him to sign my yearbook, and pray that he would respond in kind. I composed a few words that I hoped would convey my affection without embarrassing me; I wish I could tell you what those words were, but I don’t recall. The final day of school arrived, and trembling visibly, I asked Chris to sign my yearbook. We swapped books and wrote, and said goodbye, and I got on the bus to go home. On the way home I finally dared to look at what my beloved wrote.
It was: “Diane, you sure seemed to like the Bod. Have a good summer, Chris”
I realized too late that the boy of my dreams had totally misunderstood me! How devastating! And there was nothing to be done about it. Fantasy and reality collided and my little heart was shattered. There was really very little about my devotion to Chris that was founded in reality, but I didn’t understand that then; I couldn’t grasp that he had never picked up on the tiniest wisp of the roaring passion I had harbored, right behind him in math, right across the table in study hall.
Sad ending notwithstanding, this boy was the tool that nature used to urge me along the bumpy road to adulthood. And even if it was nearly all me and very little him, I still feel a pang remembering how he played that part in the awakening of womanly feelings in me all those years ago.
So whatever became of Chris? Thanks to the wonders of Google, I can tell you. He’s a very successful chemistry professor at a prestigious college.
And in the photo I found of him, he’s wearing an oxford shirt.
Sunday, November 04, 2007
I pride myself on being a semi-expert on erotic celebrity-obsessions, and I dare say the one man on the planet currently dominating that category could well be mentalist/illusionist Criss Angel. As a student of pop culture who blogs about sex, I would be remiss not to post about this fascinating figure and how he has captured the imagination of so many. How does he do it? Let me count the ways...
1. I had never even seen Criss perform on TV until about ten days ago, but it has been hard to miss the commercials for his show "Mindfreak" these past couple of years. I count myself among those people attracted to the long-hair, eyeliner, rock star look, and from first glance I found Criss to be pretty intense. He is a very handsome man with an amazing physique, and knows how to "accessorize" those assets. The hair, the makeup, the clothes, the poses...he could be anyone and get attention looking like that.
2. But to be more than a guy whose pictures you collect for the "Criss Angel" folder on your hard drive, the man has to have talent. And that he has, a-plenty. He's another "Renaissance man" who writes, produces, acts, and even has musical talent. His expertise sets him apart as someone special and noteworthy, someone capable and confident. His looks get your attention; his talent holds it.
3. And, of course, there is the nature of his area of expertise: magic and mentalism. There's no denying there is a strong connection between these subjects and sex. Magicians and hypnotists have strong erotic power to a lot of people. Women, who traditionally find submission arousing, are easily turned on by a man who can make them feel overwhelmed, irresistibly influenced, mystified and enchanted. Magicians and mentalists seem to possess alluring power, and for many women, this is the ultimate kind of sex appeal.
4. Criss is clever enough to understand the elements of the magician archetype most rich in erotic appeal, and has crafted his on-stage persona accordingly. His employing the term "mindfreak" is not accidental; it's the "polite" form of the implied "mindfuck"...meaning in part simply messing with the mind, but also the sexual interpretation. The word is deliberately meant to suggest that while Criss cannot have intercourse with your body, he most certainly will insert himself in your mind and have his way with it.
So, in Criss Angel we have an extremely hot guy, who is fabulously talented, and plays the role of a powerfully magical, influential being who may or may not have a unique connection to the spiritual world. As a result, droves of women (and droves cannot begin to convey the multitude) idolize him.
Now I want to elaborate on that: I'm not talking about mere fans here, people who simply enjoy the man's performances. I'm talking about people who feel a deep psychological connection to Criss, and on a daily basis are affected by their feelings for him. This is the animus phenomenon at its finest; for what I mean by that, please read this post to be enlightened. All you have to do is poke around a few Criss Angel tribute sites, blog posts, and MySpace pages to see the animus phenomenon happening everywhere.
Women are saying things like "Criss Angel saved me," and "I feel him within me." They give him credit for inspiring them, leading them, easing their pain. They refer to him as an angel or even a god. They immerse themselves in watching him, listening to him, writing poetry about him or drawing pictures of him.
These behaviors are not disturbed or deviant...they are the most natural, normal thing in the world. Criss Angel has a gift for capturing the imagination, and as Carl Jung taught and I firmly believe, it is the imagination that opens up the contents of our subconscious to us, the hidden world within us and beyond reality, whence our deepest longings spring and our greatest source of power and enlightenment lies. These women are connecting with their animus, that hidden and fabulously important part of themselves, as he manifests himself through their individual visions of Criss Angel.
He is simply an ideal animus-bearer.
When perusing these various websites and postings, you will find both positive and negative themes. On the positive side, women are truly inspired by their fascination with Criss, energized and enabled. This is the result of their connecting with power within themselves that is finding a new way to manifest itself. The joy and excitement they find, through Criss Angel and their fantasies of him, gives them energy. It can be a comfort, a pleasant distraction, a call to action. On the negative side, however, there is the common problem that it seems to Criss's fans that it is he--the actual man--who is the source of this joy and power, rather than their animus-related experience of him. That of course creates acutely painful longing, frustration, disappointment, and so on.
Having experienced both the positive and negative effects of celebrity-infatuations, I wrote my book Living Beyond Reality: A Jungian Primer for Enhancing Your Life. The theories of Carl Jung were tremendous help to me in learning to avoid the negative and utilize the positive, and many other people struggling with their own "obsessions" have been helped by the book.
Interestingly, I think Jung and Criss Angel would have gotten on quite well. Both are/were rational, scientific men who meanwhile had an appreciation for the connection between mind, body and soul. They both have found an excellent balance between accepted reality and the just-as-real but empirically evasive world beyond reality.
On a more personal note, I must say I'm glad I didn't encounter such a potent guy as Criss twenty years ago when I was not so equipped to understand this stuff. As it is, I just can't help putting him up on my wallpaper and indulging in a fantasy or two...sigh.
(image thanks to http://www.angelofillusion.net/)