Why athletes are better lovers?
I've always had a thing for the skinny guy. Bookish and uncoordinated, he was the last picked for kickball in the third grade, and—poor guy—he never quite got past it, staying far away from the track in high school and the volleyball court in college, far away from any reminders of his shameful history. The guy I tended to date was not the guy who joins the gym and never bothers to go. Instead, he was the guy who scoffs at the idea of gym membership altogether.
In this healthcentric era, he takes pride in the fact that his body is a repository for Twinkies, Spaghetti-Os and Philly cheese steaks. He cannot do 10 push-ups. I can do 10 push-ups. I can do 20 "real" push-ups, legs straight. I love the gym, mostly because of yoga classes, but also because of the treadmill.
I don't know what attracts me to men with concave chests, but I do know why I've never been one of those women who wants to go running with her boyfriend: I'm too competitive. If he could run farther than me, I'd feel bad. And so, until recently, I'd never dated an athlete, or even anyone who owned an athletic supporter
The jock—let's call him Max—and I met at a party. He played tennis and hockey and had been, of all things, a phys. ed. major in college. The first time we kissed, bodies pressed together, I noticed something different: Max was discernibly bigger than I was, and not just taller, but broader. He nestled up beside me with ease—no awkward elbows. The relationship progressed...well, not so much, but we ended up sleeping together. And sex with Max was better than it had been with the distinctly unsporty men of my past. I don't mean better in the traditional sex-was-better way. Sex with Max was prettier.
I felt like we were dancing. Not dancing in a catering hall at a wedding in New Jersey, but dancing like Fred and Ginger. In all his years of chasing pucks on the ice, Max had learned to move his body. Movement wasn't just something that happened to him because of gravity or an urge to change the channel; it was purposeful, lissome. If voyeurism is an intrinsic part of carnal pleasure, then that explained it partially, but there was also more: Sex with Max felt so effortless, so graceful, like breast-stroking through a big pool filled with really warm water. For a little while, I was as athletic as he was.
My relationship with Max didn't last and my quest for strong, supple men proved equally as ephemeral. I'm back to bookish, bard types, who tend to be less agile and carry loads of Sartre in their skinny little heads. I fantasize that someday I'll find a man who has both the superior poetic ability of a playwright and the skillful stoke of Patrick Rafter.
Why athletes are not better lovers?
I've never been a sports groupie. No Bull Durham-esque fantasies for me, though I will admit that Derek Jeter is a hottie. During my flaming youth, however, I had my share of amateur athletes and hard-body wannabes. My amazing discovery? Physical fitness is no more an indicator of out-of-this-world sack time than big feet are of a monster bulge in the Speedos.
Take The Bambino, the guy who took my virginity and, ultimately, my heart. He was heavily into the company softball team. So into it, in fact, that when I invited him to engage in a little afternoon delight one day, he gave me a shocked look and yelped, "But I have a game tonight!" (The "no sex" rule is one I've never been able to comprehend. I'd think a coach would want his players shacking up with their significant others the night before the big game. That way they'd immediately roll over and fall asleep instead of going out carousing and getting arrested on assault/drug/weapon charges.) Anyway, The Babe's team ended up losing that evening, which I saw as poetic justice. (Saved all that juice and still couldn't knock it out of the park, huh, slugger?)Then there was Ironman, a compulsive exerciser who made Lance Armstrong rolling into Paris look like a slacker. Ironman's ideal date was a 5-mile run on a brisk day or side-by-side treadmills at the health club. And talk about picky eaters! His concern with carbs, fat grams, and fiber counts made a spur-of-the-moment dinner out impossible. He certainly had lots of stamina in bed, but the proverbial straw that broke Cupid's back turned out to be the box of Tiger's Milk energy bars I received as a Valentine. Besides, I'd already decided I couldn't go on dating someone whose abs looked better than mine.
So I gave Ironman his pedaling papers and watched him ride off into the sunset to face a future of low sperm counts from tight bike shorts. Even armchair athletes are problematic. It's disconcerting to see a guy throw his arms over his head and yell, "Score!" while my toes are curling. Which is why I'm happily married to a fellow who works out when he remembers and who has an increasingly failing memory. When his waist gets too wide for me to circle with my arms, I'll suggest hitting the Gut-Begone. But for now, when we're having sex, I grab his love handles, close my eyes, and fantasize I'm bungee jumping.