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            When Mother Nature was forming us into little beings, she provided us with things called ‘natural drives’. Like the drive to eat. To breathe. Stuff like that. I like that we have those instincts. Breathing is one of my favourite things.
            And then there is the drive to mate. Personally, I think this is Mother Nature’s dirty little joke. Right off the bat, she goes and makes boys and girls anatomically appropriate for mating but doesn’t endow them with the same level of drive. Guys are all for it. All the time. If they can’t mate with one female, they move on to another. Procreation is not their main goal, either, as it usually is for us girls. Their main goal is to prove their masculinity by dominating, and if you don’t agree, spend a little time in the barnyard and watch the roosters go at it.

            Now, us girl-types are not looking to mate, we’re looking for a mate. There’s a difference. Females want a strong, alpha male to help us make babies, and if he wants to stick around after the deed is done, that’s just fine, as long as he brings home the bacon and leaves the toilet seat down. But for the most part, when the mating gives us the results we’re after, we’re pretty much finished with it. We’re not so interested in the ritual anymore, and the boy-types wonder what the hell happened.
            So I don’t get it. What was Mother Nature’s line of reasoning here? He’s still raring to go, and I’d rather go shopping.
            Survey says that most women agree with me. In fact, a full 68 percent of women, asked what they would rather give up for six months - sex or a favourite piece of clothing - chose sex. I don’t know if they even bothered to poll men. It would be pretty much a waste of energy and time. The only men who would admit they weren’t interested in sex would be a guy who just got hit in his privates on a football field, and a man whose Viagra has finally worn off after a thirty-three hour erection. But ask them tomorrow, and their answers would probably be different.
            Unfortunately, men and women are just not in sync where this natural human function is concerned. I recorded my own data with a group of girlfriends. (Stats Canada could save a lot of taxpayers’ money by inviting a few women to a fondue party. Serve some wine, a little cheesecake, and the government would have all the statistics they need. And the women could probably come up with a solution for national health care and world peace, too.)
            We are all agreed. Sorry boys, we’re not that enamoured of the whole process.
            Morning sex. What’s that all about? I’d rather have coffee. (Actually, I’d rather have warts.) I have pillow wrinkles on my cheeks and raccoon eyes. His hair looks like a bottle brush and his underarms have lost that Spring Fresh scent. When the weekend paper comes, there are a lot of really important articles to be perused - Ellie and the horoscope, among others. One girlfriend admitted confidentially that one Sunday morning, when her husband was feeling a little amorous, she didn’t bother to put her Sudoku puzzle down. She figured they were both getting a bit of joy.
            Afternoon sex? Well, that’s just out of the question. He’s going to fall asleep and then I’m going to miss dinner.
            Evening sex? We just had dinner. I’m bloated/gassy/planning to watch Desperate Housewives. Could this wait?
            Night sex. You’re kidding, right? After the day I had?!
            I have one perfectly normal, well-adjusted girlfriend who actually loves the sights, sounds and tastes of sex. She hopes she’s doing it when she’s ninety. God bless her. When Marla left her husband, she wasn’t in a hurry to find another partner. To put it delicately, she is not squeamish about looking after herself. I, on the other hand, influenced by a proper Victorian mother, wonder how long it will be before I go blind after I give myself a breast-examination in the shower.
            Marla thinks I could feel more warm and fuzzy about sex if I would stop referring to it as ‘the nasty’. I do see her point, but to be honest, I’d be more comfortable with the whole business if I could let down my guard for five minutes. What men haven’t figured out yet is that we women do not think of and/or need sex daily. If we plant one on him, caress his butt or tell him he looks good, he will read that as a signal that something is going to happen SOON. Wrong-o. He needs to accept that sometimes the kiss is just a kiss, the stroke means his jeans fit well, and the compliment means ‘thanks for not wearing that plaid shirt again’. If, and I mean IF, these can be considered pre-cursors to doing the horizontal mombo, it’s still going take several days for the message we’re sending to connect with our own sexual components. Now, things will move along a lot quicker if he would clean up the kitchen after dinner. That’s foreplay.
            I admit, once in a while it is nice to be held and caressed and appreciated for one’s womanly attributes. About every six weeks ought to do it. Even then, it’s a lot like getting sap from a maple tree. The conditions have to be just right - for about three weeks before there will be any sugaring off. Winds must be calm, not too hot, not too cold. And no sudden flash freezes to make the sap dry up. He’d better talk nicely to the tree while he’s driving in his spigot, too, and be careful where he hangs his bucket. Then he’ll reap that warm smooth syrup that dribbles through his fingers and makes him happy as a kid with a mouthful of candy.
            Oh, and he’d better not think of chopping the old tree down when its branches get brittle and the leaves get droopy. No running off to get sap from a younger, more supple maple. He might get a surprise. His axe will be a bit dull and rusty by then, even though he believes it’s as keen and handy as it ever was.