Thursday, March 19, 2009

Shy and secretive

The trail is like a progressive peep show right now. The squirrels are especially busy--playing their erotic chasing games, chattering dirty to each other. I keep wondering when one of them is going to fall on my head as they leap from tree to tree. It’s all very sweet. One of the charms of spring is all the procreative energy it sets loose.

So I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised recently when I saw a used condom draped over a rock. It was lying next to the trail along the lake shore, a delicate remnant of transient shared frenzy. (I hope there was shared frenzy. I hate to think of some poor woman hiking all the way out there for nothing.)

It was only after I thought about it for a while that I realized I’ve never seen a discarded rubber in the park before, and how odd it is that I haven’t. This park is in a rural area, not many miles from the little town where I grew up, and anyone around here can tell you it has always been a favorite refuge for horny teenagers, or any couple looking for an alfresco tryst. Virginity loss, infidelity, casual prostitution, not to mention good ol’ recreational sex—it’s all going on in those woods.

And yet, in spite of all the hours I spend out there, wandering down side trails and exploring the secluded spots along the creeks, I never saw any direct evidence of human sex until a couple of days ago. It’s not as if people are disinclined to leave other signs of their presence. They leave beer cans and cigarette butts, fast food wrappers and used Kleenex. Anglers are the terrible about dumping bait tubs and tangled line. But the fornicators are a tidy bunch. If they were as careless as everybody else, the park would be fairly littered with condoms, their wrappers, forgotten thongs, etc.

For all the complaints about our porn-soaked, hypersexualized culture, we’re still very secretive when it comes to the real thing. Unlike those skunks I blogged about a while back, and the squirrels cavorting through the treetops, we crave privacy for coupling, and even hide anything that might give us away after the fact. What a shy, quaint species we are.

Angélique et Médor, Agostino Carracci (1557-1602). Image from Wikimedia Commons.


jmcleod76 said...

I actually once stumbled upon a couple of strangers having sex in the woods. I was 15, and walking my normal route, not far from my house. I look back on it now with a mixture of amusement and titilation, but at the time I was horrified, and even a little frightened. Yeah ... at 15. I was a bit of a prude; thank you, Christianity. Funny thing is, I'd been toying with the idea of "going all the way" with a boy I was dating, but seeing the act in all of its animalistic splendour scared me off. Poor boyfriend ... Poor me. Didn't know what I was missing.

BitterGrace said...

What a funny/sad story. FWIW, I think a lot of kids, both sexes, are prudes. It's a defense against the hormonal onslaught.

After I read your comment, I was trying to think of when I've seen people having sex in public, and the only thing I can really remember is an incident in a bar on Beale St. I must be forgetting something...

Mary said...

The skunks! I wonder how many little ones they made! :)

BitterGrace said...

Well, if enthusiasm is any indicator, I'm sure they were very successful breeders.