by Dr. Hercule Maelstrom
art by Clayton Luce
I am a man, a man who is attracted to women. I am not a feminist or a male rights activist, though I can honestly see the points of both ideologies. I write about things I know with the intention of informing other people. In the discussion of gender there is a lot of talk about the heterosexual male, but I am going to give you a personal insight into the mind of one. We can only get through the gender problem by being positive about our differences.
RECIPE for A healthy heterosexual, biological man
A father present during his childhood.
At least 3 instances of toughness
A proper cologne, aftershave, and chosen implement for shaving
A work ethic
An urge to defend women and children
Some quality that makes him interesting to the opposite sex
Composure (note: men are highly emotional creatures)
A good cry every now and then, but always in private
A worthwhile cause
A set of tools. The Lord loves a working man.
A place where a man can be a man.
Mix all these things, or as many as you can get, into a mixing bowl. Stir carefully, letting enough air get into the mixture. Feel free to include more ingredients. Mind that many other ingredients that make a healthy human will be very welcome in the mixture. Shape into the form of a man. Be aware that men come in all sort of shapes, but try to give him great arms if you can; the ladies seem to like that.
* * *
I was seventeen when I became a man, according to a lot of men that I knew, because that is when I first penetrated a vagina with my penis. This was a goal regardless of whether or not it made me a man, but I was hoping that it would have gotten me the respect of my peers. I was surprised to learn that it was not enough for them. Now, my father had told me that you become a man once you know the pain of paying rent and having to be useful to a woman. My peers, a motley bunch of idiots, insisted that a proper rite of passage involved me getting my red wings.
If you don’t know what that is, fret not, because I had no idea either. I only was aware of the brand of boots, or the professional hockey team. Not being a complete fool I asked a friend.
“You earn your red wings when you make love to a woman in the filthiest way imaginable: when she is on the rag”
I took this the worst way possible. I focused on the wrong part of his words. I imagined the worst thing possible.
The males of the Western world have initiations, or rites of passage, that are socially expected of them. I make no judgments on these rites, so I will not condone or condemn them. Some rituals involve hazing and a trial of hardships. When I graduated junior high I was bullied into pushing a penny around the lid of a toilet seat. I refused and was beaten up by four seniors. Oddly enough I was given more respect for denying them then I would have for just giving in.
Perhaps one of the reasons for a male rite of passage is one of humility. And there is nothing more humbling than giving Aunt Flow a French kiss, except for seeking out said kiss. I actively sought out a woman to perform this deviancy on. After many slaps to the face and missed connections, I found my Bloody Mary at a house party. We hit it off and engaged in an innocent game of truth or dare. Word had gotten around about my quest and Bloody Mary decided to test my determination. We set a date, I arrived at her house, met her dad (awkward), and readied myself.
RECIPE for a fantastic Bloody Mary
2 ounces of Vodka
3 ½ ounces of Tomato Juice
1 squirt of lemon juice
½ ounce of Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon of Louisiana hot sauce
1 pinch of celery salt
1 pinch of salt
1 pinch of pepper
Line rim with lime juice and apply margarita salt. Add ice. Pour all ingredients in mixer, stir slowly, and pour into glass. Garnish if you wish. Add diced tomato if the flow is heavy that day.
* * *
The experience was not as humbling as the embarrassment I felt upon telling my peer about my victory. I had dived in head first and instead had gained the ridicule of my idiot friends. However I earned the respect and affection of Mary and was never disgusted by uterine lining again — except for the taste, which reminded me of when I placed my tongue on a D cell battery when I was a kid. It was much better than the beating I took in that bathroom and far more rewarding.
Many years later, I’m not sure I am yet a man. But I am, with utmost confidence, sure that my old man was right all along.