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Friday, January 06, 2006

Love Spam

A lot of our popular culture is driven by sex: getting it but mostly talking about it. The pop vernacular for the act has never been more vulgar than it is today. "Freakin’ on a Ho" is supposed to be synonymous with intercourse. I looked at some of the lyrics of current chart-toppers and found examples of even less charming ways to describe sex. My favorite is when sex is used as a verb as in, "The boys they wanna sex me." The same song goes on to use the word ‘hump’ over three dozen times. I suppose that the word 'fuck' is just old fashioned these days. "Wishing to be the friction in your jeans." I’m not even sure what that means but it’s probably something dirty.

You have to wonder whether or not hip hop artists really talk like they do in their song lyrics or if it’s just an act to get dumb suburban kids to buy their music. I don’t object to the current slang out of prudishness; I just think that it is puerile and incredibly unromantic—even anti-romantic. They make sex sound about as appealing as dental work. All that I’m trying to say is that if these people make love as clumsily as they write lyrics, someone could get an eye poked out—maybe worse.

Now that I am into the third paragraph in my diatribe against crude pop music lyrics, I realize that my own dialect for sexual activity is also fairly childish. I would imagine that part of sexual intimacy is developing a linguistic intimacy, creating a language only understood by two people. To steal a couple of lines from my uncle, Marc Bernard, the winner of the 1942 Prix Goncourt, "Bientôt je serais le seul dépositaire de nos souvenirs. de nos secrets, d'une langage que nous n'étions que deux à connaître, avec des références à des faits connus de nous seuls, de tout ce qui lie secrètement deux êtres qui se comprennent avant même d'avoir parlé...." [Soon I would be the sole possessor of our memories, of our secrets, of a language spoken only by the two of us, with references and things known only to us, of everything secretly binding two beings who understand one another before anything is spoken.]

I, too, have developed my own secret language that I have used with the women of my life. I would like to think that my own patois for the language of love is not nearly as vulgar and course as that employed by the pop artists, but I’m absolutely positive that it is pretty stupid. I will list a few of these phrases and euphemisms and let you be the judge.

"Honey, can you come in here? I think I have something in my eye." Probably a little more subtle than “I wanna sex you” but every bit as straightforward.

"You must be freezing to death. Let’s get you out of those wet things." You can’t blame a guy for trying is what I always say, although I don’t think that defense will get you very far in court.

"Would you like to come up and look at my etchings?" Since I have neither an upstairs nor etchings, only the most naïve of women could fail to see the sexual innuendo in that proposition—especially a woman I have been dating for several months. Although it’s kind of like the bedroom equivalent of those emails from the Nigerian minister of finance, you would be astounded at how often women fall for that one. Then again, maybe women agree to “take a look at my etchings” just to shut me up.

I suppose that I should apologize for my earlier condemnation of pop music lyrics. I don’t want to sound like the old guy complaining about the music those young punks are listening to these days. I freely admit that the lyrics to my own songs won’t win any awards.

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