The Look of Love

Ottawa XPress – Shotgun – August 18, 2006

Do I look like I’m getting laid? Pass me the mirror; let me see this.

Inquiring minds want to know. Online reader Brad Thomas wrote, “Last article [I’ve Been So Lonely, Baby, July 21] you were looking for eye candy in Quyon, and now you’re writing an article [The French Connection, August 4] to celebrate all things French. Am I right to conclude that you got laid on the Québec side?”

Thanks for the question, BT. Let me answer that one.

Do I, as they say, glow? Am I giving out positive love vibrations? A rosy hue to my cheeks? Walking funny and tired on Monday mornings?

Fucken right – but the physiological effects are from hooking up with my good pal, CLR, and getting a workout scrubbing away tile grit while straddling the bathtub instead of the sexy beast known in previous columns as the mysterious Crush Boy, who is, BT will find it uncanny to learn, indeed from Québec! Montréal, to be precise. But he’s actually a transplanted Albertan. Giddy up, cowboy!

What a roll in the hay he’d be, eh?

Did I just say that out loud? I can hear you asking: “Tell us, Shotgun! How would you know?” Now there’s a better question. To know if a guy is good in bed, I’ve turned to the “all-woman” and “maddeningly exciting” lady named “J.” She’s the author of the 1969 Number 1 bestseller called The Sensuous Woman. In Chapter 10, she instructs you on “How to Tell in Advance If a Man Will Be a Good Bed Prospect.” Let’s start!

According to J, a guy gives off a number of clues to his

sensuality and sexual talents through his appearance and mannerisms. You must read these cues accurately and early on to know if he’s a keeper or if you should leave him at the Aloha Room.

J says it’s all about – check this – “weeding out the clinkers.” Weed them clinkers, sister! We don’t want no hurt feelings around here just ’cause you couldn’t figure out by the song he requested that he’d suck ass at cunnilingus!

So first, watch his eyes. J thinks it’s a good sign if a guy’s eyes “caress and undress your body with obvious pleasure.” Yet, I met an eyeballer-devouring type one time at a function. The girls and I placed him as a Pierce Brosnan type in a make-believe comic strip where our hero shoots semen from his eyes – he’s that sexual. We giggled, picturing women screaming for cover from his sex-spray.

Thing is, J says, if you get the feeling that “he never really looks fully at your body” even when your back is to him, watch out! She says this kind of man is probably ashamed of the sexual act and will give a “perfunctory performance.” Be just as wary of guys who try to con you with “eye games,” as J calls them – “penetrating stares that make you feel he can see all the way to your palpitating heart and quivering clitoris, or long soulful looks designed to melt you into mush.” This is no indication of superior skills but perhaps those of a second-rate lover.

I had a boyfriend who stared. At first, it turned me on. Then I realized his fixed gaze was really a drunken haze. Dude would be three sheets to the wind and lock eyes on a barmaid shaking her martini. To me, his long stares signalled a casting call for the imaginary skin flick rolling in his head. So inappropriate.

But if he passes the eye test, you move on to his kissing style. “If he is slobbery, he isn’t sensual,” says “J.” “Men who are good lovers invariably use their tongues imaginatively in the early kissing stages,” she adds. “If he uses his tongue badly or not at all, he is going to be equally dull in bed.” Also, how does he treat your breasts? Your skin? You get the idea…

In addition to using superficial stuff to decipher a man’s sexual competence and compatibility, what is nature and biology telling you? According to Deborah Blum, a Pulitzer Prize winner and author of Sex on the Brain, who spoke at the Museum of Nature back in March, “we have a strong genetic influence that urges us to choose people not genetically similar to us.” The idea here is that mixing genes breeds a stronger offspring. Blum explained how in one study, women were drawn to the smell of the stinky T-shirts only on men whose genes were most dissimilar to their own.

Well, whether we choose our sweet-smelling prospective lover consciously or instinctively, it all comes down to waxed balls. How can you read clues of them gems upon a guy’s face? You can’t! And maybe that’s the point. When it comes to hoppin’ in the saddle with a new lover, their “look” may reveal a few things, but in 2005 are we any more able to tell a book by its cover than they did back in ’69? A bit of mystery can be a good thing-especially when it comes to disclosing to Ottawa if I got laid on the Québec side.

A guy can have a lusty look, but it’s as simple as A-B-C for me, BT. Without the look of love-ain’t no one over here shooting his shotgun.

– Sylvie Hill