One time I heard a radio interview in which an author was promoting her book about sex. Sorry, I haven’t the slightest idea of the title of the book. But I did get a good laugh when she talked about a few studies in which researchers tested rats (or was it mice?) while they were getting it on.
Now first off, there is something particularly unseemly about being a voyeur to rat fornication. On so many levels. Not the least of which is because rodents having sex means even more rodents on the horizon. And those rodents will then repeat this wildly reproductive behavior, and so on, and so on. Having fended off my share of mouse infestations over the years, I believe that anything involving insidious rodent procreation should be vigorously avoided at all costs.
But also, there’s a very strong ick factor involved. Little teeny rats (or worse yet, bloated possum-sized black ones like from the movie Ben) doing it in a laboratory simply elicits a sense of repulsion in me. Especially when I learned that one of the tests the scientists performed involved the rats donning polyester pants—miniature rodent disco-wear—so that they could determine the effect of polyester on sperm count.
I wonder who drew the short straw to have to count the rat sperm? And probably worse yet, who had to ensure there was rat sperm to count? I know I’d have volunteered immediately to whip up a few hundred pair of the tiny pants on my sewing machine at home—far, far away from the lab—thus assiduously avoiding those other menial tasks, such as rat-wanking. Though I do love the idea of watching researchers with PhDs hoisting plaid polyester pants onto rat bodies, securing them with Jethro Bodine-like rope ties at the waist.
By the way, in case you were wondering, polyester did in fact decrease sperm count. So there you go, Tony Manero Rat. Disco must be dead for a reason.
But the test I especially enjoyed learning about involved the little buggers in the midst of mousely mating (in the heat of passion, if there is such thing as rodent ardor), only to have the scientists introduce a diversion.
You see, there the mice/rats/whatever were, in lock-and-load mode, when the researchers dropped in some yummy cheese to see what would happen. While the boy rats just kept on doing the nasty, the girl rats? Well, consider it the “filing-your-nails-while-in-the-missionary-position” tactic. Yes, they were far more girls interested in chomping cheese than getting some lovin’ from their man. They walked away in flagranto delicto in favor of in flagranto delicious! Talk about coitus interruptus! All for a little Velveeta. I don’t know about any other women out there, but I think I’d have held out for something a little more upscale. Say, a chocolate soufflé with crème anglaise sauce.
Nevertheless, I think those researchers were onto something. And if it takes luring vulnerable girl rats away from their paramours to prove it, well, then, so be it.
Because I suspect we human females have something in common with our rodent cousins. And it’s not whiskers (as long as there’s waxing, tweezing and electrolysis at our disposal), nor twitching pink noses, and certainly not creepy snake-like tails. None of that. We don’t particularly crave cheese either. Except perhaps those women who eschew carbs and then what’s left to eat but cheese?
What we do share is this: females don’t want a wham-bam-thank-you-rat experience. They want to be wooed. Wined and dined, made to feel wanted, to feel as if they are the most important thing in the world to their man. Sure, any old creature can get it on. But copulation without representation is not the goal. Well, you know what I mean: sex without passion, without amore, without a modicum of emotion, or (dare I say) adoration, and certainly respect. I’d say most of us would settle for the cheese over that and tell that dirty rat “Good day, mate.” Most days, at any rate.
Any old rodent can have a quickie on the petrie dish (that would be the rat version of doing it on the kitchen table). But when it comes to the long haul, perhaps a lot of men can learn from this rat survey, and figure out how to appeal to the cheese-lover in their woman.