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Black Lamb

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The sexiness of spring & summer explained

April 1st, 2011

BY TERRY ROSS

Women think men don’t talk to one another — or that they talk only about sports — but it’s not true! We talk. Talk all the time. Talk about this, talk about that. Even talk about panty hose.

horsehead.pngNot too often, but the subject does come up. And when it does, there isn’t a man jack of us who has a single good thing to say about ’em. At least I’ve never met one who didn’t prefer an old-fangled pair of stockings to panty hose, or, for that matter, who didn’t prefer bare legs to stockings.

Panty hose! Why, back when I was a boy, this loathsome article of clothing didn’t exist. Show me a man who isn’t nostalgic for those days of regular, old-fashioned stockings — the ones that stopped, deliciously, somewhere along the thigh, the ones that were held up by garter belts and those little rubber and metal contraptions — I say, show me a man who doesn’t wish those wonderful sheer leggings had never been replaced by the despicable one-piece nylon chastity belt, and I’ll show you a court eunuch.


One of the most gratifying things about warm weather, about spring and summer, is no more panty hose! With stockings long since banished to museums and mail-order catalogs, that means bare legs. With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonny no! Even pre-tanned, even white as a grub, there’s nothing better than a bare leg, a woman’s naked leg, under that skirt, emerging from those shorts. Nothing like it.

Is it any wonder that we males of the species feel the old sap rising when the balmy breezes blow? I mean, look around you, lad, and what do you see? You see females, yes, the same females you’ve been seeing all winter long. But all of a sudden, without preamble, on the flimsiest pretext, they’ve taken off most of their clothes!

One day it’s 20º F.; the next day it goes suddenly mild, and Katie bar the door! Bye-bye bras and slips, hello shoulders, collarbones, necks, arms, calves, thighs…. Enough. Let the mercury climb, let spring hold out its warm, moist hand in welcome, and damned if all the women in Christendom (I can’t vouch for the others) don’t unfasten an extra button on their blouses.
Why? we males ask ourselves in mute gratitude. What comes over them? It’s warmer! shout this writer’s female colleagues. It’s not comfortable to wear lots of clothes in hot weather. To which I reply pish and tosh.

It can’t be just comfort, whatever they coyly shout. No, there is a zest to this stripping, this flaunting of bodies, that belies mere practicality. The clothes, after all, don’t come away gradually — they fly off, all at once. One can’t help suspecting that there’s more to it. Something biological. Something seasonal, cyclical. What did my friend Nola say about her Catholic school days? “Girls get really crazy in the spring.”

And here I must take issue with one frivolous authority, Mr. Gilbert. His lines “The flowers that bloom in the spring, Tra la, / Have nothing to do with the case” couldn’t be further off the mark. The flowers that bloom in the spring are most emphatically germane, as anyone who has taken the trouble to look at them can attest. A more artful display of genitalia cannot be imagined.

I digress. Or do I? Was it not T.S. Eliot who wrote, “April is the cruelest month, breeding / Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing / Memory and desire, stirring / Dull roots with spring rain”? There’s the ticket: breeding, and stirring those old dull roots. Cyril Connolly once commented, “Spring is a call to action.”

Something is cooking as the weather warms. The “dull roots” are getting all stirred up, something’s calling us to “action.” And we all know what that means. It means sex, what we used to call one of the “drives.” Remember the Sex Drive, the Hunger Drive, the Video Drive?

The fact that sex-for-procreation has become a rarity since T.S. and Cyril had their say doesn’t conceal the naked truth. All that sex — the uninhibited, mad sex, the wild, mindless, hot and crazy sex, the open shameless, anonymous sex, the weird, inexplicable, sweaty, pointless sex of the warm months — it’s all there so that we can make little babies. It’s a drive. ’Nuff said.

Nothing against babies, but there’s a conclusion lurking here. If females go nuts in warm weather, if they get all sexual and feel an overpowering need to show parts of their bodies that they don’t feel like showing in the winter, and if this feeling on their part inspires us unimaginative males to propose uninhibited, mad, mindless, etc. sex, then I’m not sure how the female human being, as an organism, is a whole lot different from the female horse, for example, or the crab apple.

Because both horses and crab apples, and most other creatures, faunal or floral, procreate in seasons. And that looks like what we’re talking about here: being in heat.

Granted, women are fertile all year round. But so what? Here’s how the explanation goes. Human women, see, although further up the evolutionary ladder than females of other species, are nevertheless transitional creatures. They’ve moved to a condition of continuous fecundity without having entirely abandoned the seasonal rhythms that drive lower forms of life. In botanical terms, they’re perennials and annuals. They can do it any old time, but they don’t want to when it’s cold.

Well, maybe they do, but we men can’t tell. Until the warm weather comes, the femmes don’t put out the signals that turn us sluggish but always ready hombres into well-oiled sex machines. Which is why warm weather is so popular among us mere males and has inspired so many of us to utter or write some of our finest utterings or writings. “Standing on the corner watching all the girls go by,” sing the Four Lads, and we rejoin, “Hot dog!”

So with the ladies rampant in the streets and parks, or loitering suggestively in the cafes and bars, or crossing and uncrossing their bare legs in the offices and waiting rooms, let’s forget gloomy old Coleridge, who once wrote in a letter, “Summer has set in with its usual severity.” Rather, bring on the Bawd of Avon in The Winter’s Tale, with his “…summer songs for me and my aunts, / While we lie tumbling in the hay.” Let’s let that old sensualist Walt Whitman be our inspiration and make the most of the “mad, naked summer night.” •

Posted by: The Editors
Category: All Women Issue, Ross | Link to this Entry

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