An Ordinary Man

Or, Men 101

Month: August, 2016

Oprah: Gotta Love Her After All…

I’ve never been a particular fan of Oprah Winfrey – not when she gave those cars away and certainly not when she hosted Tom so he could declare his (temporarily eternal) love for Katie. Of course, being in my sixties, I’m not in her deme, either.  But a quote from her regarding her recent weight loss run in the NY Post, citing People Magazine, caught my eye and endeared her to me:

I can straddle him without breaking his back

What refreshing openness about something that is and should be a key part of our lives.  Even at 62, which we both are. Perhaps that is one of the reasons they’ve been together 30 years. Oprah, I’m impressed.

Walk a Mile in Their … Bra?

Guys often get it wrong when it comes to women so I have to hand it to Belgium-based PrimaDonna bra manufacturer’s CEO Ignace Van Doorselaere for having his male staff members don weights mimicking the weight of E-cup breasts so they could learn something about physical – if not emotional – support.

The video that was posted along with the article in the New York Post is priceless.

Reminds me of the time my wife had me carry a 35-pound backpack for a day to make me more sympathetic to her pregnancy weight-gain ….

I Love the Female Form, BUT ….

burning man lady

… a 55-foot tall sculpture of a nude dancer being erected on a technical school campus in Northern California, as reported by, is a stunningly bad decision.  Nude and half-naked women have graced many public venues and are nothing to be upset about: the Paris Opera House, the US Department of Justice, Highland Park in Pittsburgh, but this one goes too far in my opinion.

It sets an impossible standard, and is an affront to sensibilities.

What is a guy in a non-sexual relationship with a woman supposed to do if they are walking together and encounter a statue like that that is the height of a five-story building?  Talk about trying to ignore the 800-pound gorilla in the room: “Hey, let’s meet by the naked lady [hint, hint, wink, wink].”

For that matter, what is a guy in a sexual relationship walking with his lover supposed to do?  Chances are way better than even she doesn’t ‘measure up’ to this and will be unavoidably, and perhaps uncomfortably, aware of that.  What aesthetic can this possibly serve?  What is its point?  A stand-alone sculpture like this, of this size, can not avoid in-your-face sexual connotations.

Would I want to tour that campus with my teen-aged daughter? No.

I understand it comes from Burning Man and was well-received there, but what is fine for a week-long party in the desert is not fine as a permanent addition to any town or city.  There is a time and a place for everything, as well as a context and a scale – this is not it.

photo from

With Apologies to Amy Schumer

sometimes sex is just its own reward

In discussing her new book, The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo, the comedienne Amy Schumer revealed that she used a one-night stand with a handsome fellow-traveler to restore her sexual confidence after finding out her lover was gay.

In my book, An Ordinary Man, I make the point that for Richard Wilson and his wife Liz, ‘intercourse had always been the salve they applied to those minor [marital] scrapes, to keep them from becoming infected,’ but I really like Amy Schumer’s observation that sex can be its own reward.

Do it for either or any reason you want, but just do it.

read the article by JESSICA SCHLADEBECK at

Happy Accident, or …?

Dr. Richard Wilson, the biology professor and ordinary man of my novel’s title, is an adherent to the Elisabeth Lloyd theory of the female organism – that it is a happy accident – but researchers have once again put forth a function according to the NY Times.

Their theory holds that the female orgasm was once necessary to trigger ovulation in females that did not encounter males regularly enough to make a periodic cycle worthwhile, it being expensive, biologically speaking, to produce an egg for fertilization.  Looking at animals with an internal clitoris, they hypothesized that penetrative sex would trigger orgasm, which would release hormones associated with the release of an egg, helping to ensure that random, chance sexual encounters would result in the pregnancy needed to carry on the species.

I don’t know enough comparative anatomy to say other than “that’s interesting” – especially with respect to an internal clitoris – but remain convinced that something about childbirth and the rearing of offspring tamp down the female sexual response quite a bit, to the new father’s dismay.

Someone needs to look into that, because Dr. Wilson is a fictitious character and cannot and real-life relationships are being ruined.