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The Glebite - I'm a Man

by Franklin McWhittle

The Glebite - I'm a Man
Franklin McWhittle

I talked with my partner Cynthia before writing this column. Like that grating advertisement that seems to be running every thirty seconds on the CBC says, it's not really the type of thing that us males like to talk about for rather obvious reasons. Nor is it really a laughing matter, or at least it probably shouldn't be.

I thought long and hard before writing this column. There's a little bit of sophomoric humour to cut the tension. If you haven't already figured it out, what it is I'm talking about is, well, 'erectile dysfunction' is the euphemism they're using these days, I guess. Apparently, approximately one out of two men will suffer from this affliction at some time in their life, although I've often wondered how they come up with that figure. Who are the people who will admit this to a stranger? I don't remember being asked about it in the census…..

Schoolmates of mine always questioned whether I was a true 'red blooded male' in my youth when I never wanted to take part in their stag nights and their trips to the strip bar, and maybe they were right. I'm not exactly what you'd call a passionate man by any means, but every Saturday night, right after Saturday Night at the Movies, Cynthia and I retire to the bedroom and have our weekly 'session,' albeit in a very efficient and orderly manner. (she's of German ancestry)

Personally, unlike the stereotypical male, I've always been one who can take or leave sex, especially given my aforementioned lack of…..'drive,' but as emotionless as she seems during the commission of the act itself, Cynthia really seems to enjoy it, and I don't want to deprive her. To be honest, she seems more concerned about the impotence thing than I am.

I first knew there was something wrong when my Saturday night 'performance' two weeks ago was called off, for reasons that should be rather obvious. Then last Saturday, already feeling the pressure from the Saturday before, the same thing happened once again.

Now, I am fully aware that the accepted wisdom for treating a man suffering from impotence is to rush to the doctor for a healthy dose of Viagra and a rousing "oops, I seem to have lost my wrist watch" prostate exam for good measure. While Cynthia thinks it could be due to the seat design on the stationary bikes at the RA Centre, (I suppose I should have a talk with them and put in a request for more male-friendly accoutrements) I for one am convinced that impotence is usually attributed to stress (go on, make your civil service jokes) or some sort of blockage between the ears. Therefore, Cynthia and I agreed to hold off on the medical approach and see if a little 'visual stimulation' would help matters.

Now, when I say 'visual stimulation,' what I'm in fact referring to is pornographic films. There, I said it. Regardless of what you think of porno films, I owed it to my beloved wife to find one and give it a try in an effort to solve my little problem with the waterworks and rekindle the passion, for want of a better term, in our relationship.

Off the top of my head, I can count at least six or seven video stores in the Glebe, but not one of them carries 'adult' material. It was so embarrassing, strolling into my regular video store to return Annie Hall and in the next breath ask if they stocked skin flicks like some kind of perverted reprobate who just got paroled. If I could replicate some of the looks I received…….I guess nobody in the Glebe is interested in renting porn, or if they are, they put on sunglasses and a trench coat and head down to Vanier.

Which is exactly what my wife and I did, minus the trench coats. I have to say, the late- model Saturn station wagon really stood out in the parking lot of 'Jerry's Adult Video.' Obviously, it was with a certain amount of trepidation that Cynthia walked into the store. There must have been 100,000 different movies in there. Did you know that the pornographic film industry grosses more annually than the mainstream film industry? We didn't even know where to begin, so I looked for section headings. A very wide array of selection indeed. Every fetish imaginable and then some-I never realized that there were so many people interested in toe nibbling. Don't the 'actors' (and I use that term very loosely) ever stop to think about where those feet have been?

My research on all things porn on the internet revealed to me that there is a particular genre known as 'couples' films in the very diverse world of adult entertainment, so this is what we thought we'd look for. These cinematic masterpieces are designed for couples like ourselves who are a little afraid of the wild side. 'Softcore' is how the swarthy man working behind the counter described it, almost sneering the words out of his mouth.

We didn't want to be hasty in our purchase, but Mr. sales attendant's contempt for us was becoming palpable. The more I kept asking him about plots, scripts and character development, the more irritable he became. I was going to take his name and complain to the manager, but then I realized that might require a trip back to Vanier, God forbid, so I just let it slide, being the laid back individual that I am.

Our purchase finally made, we popped the tape in the VCR once we got back home. The problem was, everything seemed….anti-climactic from this point onward. Maybe my mind was already made up. Call me an elitist, but I just could not get beyond the wooden acting, the dreadfully awful writing, the total absence of any plot whatsoever-my God, put some effort into it people! I've seen better performances in community theatre! You're supposed to be professionals! What a waste of 11 dollars that was, not to mention all the shots I'll need to get after venturing into the hostile confines of Vanier.

Speaking of which, it's off to the doctor's office next week, for a dose of 'the big v' treatment, I guess. I hope my wife appreciates the things I have to endure for the maintenance of our marital relations.

Posted on August 10th, 2001

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