Even Our Beavers Are Different

I’m a fan of a bunch of ex-patriate blogs here on WordPress (check out Ellen Hawley’s blogroll on Notes from the UK for a great list of bloggers straddling cultures), and after years months of reading these blogs study, I think I’ve stumbled across the difference between Americans and Europeans: it’s all about beaver.

See, there are only two varieties of beaver in this world, the European Beaver which looks like this:

677480_44997684and the North American beaver, which looks like this:

As you can see*, they’re a lot alike, and, according to the scientific journal Mammal Research, both European beavers and their American cousins inhabit similar ecosystems and lead similar lives, dividing their time between chewing down trees and building up dams.

Except there’s this one perhaps not inconsequential difference: European beavers are monogamous, while American beavers sleep around.

I’m an American who writes about science law Dr. Ruth Westheimer beavers sex, so this bit of information absolutely delights me, because of course American beavers are out there slutting it up. I’m sure there’s a few whole bunch of Europeans who read this blog and are nodding their heads right along with me, but for different reasons.

“Isn’t that just like an American?” I imagine them saying. “Even their beavers are vulgar.”

Since my knowledge of Europeans comes mostly from watching Masterpiece Theater, I could be wrong about what they might think. Perhaps when they hear about our sexy beavers they’ll think something like “How wonderful!” or “Isn’t that interesting?” rather than express disgust at our aquatic mammals who are unable to resist their baser instincts.

I guess I’ll never know for sure what Europeans think unless I travel outside the US. As readers of this blog know, I’ve been contemplating a trip to Great Britain where I could observe the inhabitants up close in their natural surroundings, just like the scientists who researched the mating habits of beavers, rather than long distance, via an episode of Downton Abbey.

In the meantime, I’ve been reading all these ex-patriate blogs, trying to prepare myself, and I’ve come away with the distinct impression that the rest of the world has a few problems with Americans. And South Americans have a problem with us even calling ourselves “Americans” because aren’t they Americans, too? What’s with these self-centered, self-absorbed, conceited, narcissistic  norteamericanos thinking they’re the only Americans that matter in the whole entire world?

Anyway, if you Google the phrase “American stereotype” you’ll find out what much of the world thinks of us. To them, Americans exist as a dazzling array of unpleasant characteristics.

  • We’re violent. We all carry guns and shoot one another at random.
  • We’re loud. We talk loud, we laugh loud, we breathe loud, we just have to announce our presence everywhere with noise.
  • We’re obnoxious/rude/uncouth/arrogant. Take your pick. Or all of the above.
  • We’re ignorant about the world, and most everything else.
  • We’re obsessed with money.

And maybe we are all of those things. All I know is that when I travel to Europe, I want to make sure that no one ever says after I leave a room, “Of course, she’s American.” Instead, I want to absolutely explode the stereotype of Americans in the minds of the Europeans I encounter. When I leave the room, I want them to say, “Can you believe she’s American?”

I'll even eat French food.

In my effort to prove that not all Americans are provincial, I’ll even eat French food.

I haven’t yet figured out how I’ll do this. Maybe I’ll wear a beret. Maybe I’ll chain smoke cigarettes out of a skinny cigarette holder. Maybe I’ll drop the names of world capitals into conversation. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to lose my accent, which sounds like I’m from New York to people who have never been to New York (I’m actually from Connecticut originally), but I’m thinking I might have to pretend to be mute, which would at least solve that “Americans are loud” thing, too.

So I’m prepared to do all that, and explain our lecherous beavers to them.

*The actual title of this photo, and I swear I am not making this up, is “Wet Beaver.”

Royalty-free stock photos, including the images in this post, can be found at freeimages.com.

Do Not Get Sick in the Sink, Please Holiday Gift Guide 2013: Tickets to Becoming Dr. Ruth


Today, for the second installment of the Do Not Get Sick in the Sink, Please 2013 Holiday Gift Guide (you can find out what to buy that neighbor who fed your cat while you were on vacation in the first post), may I suggest tickets to the new off-Broadway show, Becoming Dr. Ruth?  Here’s a description of the play from the show’s page on www.broadway.com:

Everyone knows Dr. Ruth from her career as a pioneering radio and television sex therapist. Few, however, know the incredible journey that preceded it. From fleeing the Nazis in the Kindertransport and joining the Haganah in Jerusalem as a scout and sniper, to her struggles to succeed as a single mother coming to America, Becoming Dr. Ruth is filled with humor, honesty and life-affirming spirit of Karola Ruth Siegel, the girl who became “Dr. Ruth.”

Long time readers of this blog are aware that Dr. Ruth shows up in these pages with an unusual, and alarming, frequency.  I’ve written about her before in the post Super Bowl XLVII Sex Tips and again in the post Orgasms and Acting, so you can imagine my terror delight when I was traveling through New York City a few weeks ago and I came upon a billboard advertising the play.

I guess Dr. Ruth lived an interesting enough life to warrant having a play produced off-Broadway about her, what with the escaping the Nazis thing, and the Jewish paramilitary thing, but mostly (admit it!) for that radio and television thing she did as an old lady talking about sex.

And I think that’s where I’ve gone wrong in my blogging career.  I started writing about sex way too young.  I imagine if I waited until I was eighty–no, ninety–before I started blogging about sex I’d probably get a lot more traffic on this blog.  I mean, there’s probably a whole bunch of people out there who want to hear a ninety year old woman (or man) reminisce about losing her virginity, or having her first orgasm, or all the places she’s had sex in public, right?

You can catch performances of Becoming Dr. Ruth at the West Side Theater through the end of the year (and beyond!).  For schedule and ticket information, click here.

The Becoming Dr. Ruth poster is taken from the play’s media page.

Orgasms and Acting

The lighting was all wrong!  Let's try that take again!

Lights! Camera! Action! Fake that orgasm!

I may be the last woman on earth who has never faked an orgasm.  I actually considered doing it one time (please, just stop, already!) but then decided against it because I didn’t think I could pull it off.  I’m not much of an actress and I’m also the world’s worst liar, which may explain why my legal career never took off.

In the third grade, I had a supporting role in The Littlest Christmas Tree as the medium-sized Christmas tree.  I think I had more stage time, but not as many lines, as the large-sized Christmas tree, but, of course, as you may have guessed, the real star of that show was the littlest Christmas tree.

Fast forward to high school where I did not audition for any theater productions but found my niche running cross country and playing volleyball.  I wasn’t any better at sports than I was at acting, but it’s way easier to land a spot on the bench than on the stage when your high school is full of girls (81%) and gay guys (47%).  Ok, I’m making those percentages up, but what other reason could there be that Peter Wallinger didn’t ask me out?  He had to be gay.

And for my next performance, I'll also be fake laughing at your dumb jokes.

That woman was faking orgasms longer than Cats played on Broadway.

So why am I thinking about orgasms and acting?  I just read this question a reader sent in to Dr. Ruth Westheimer’s syndicated column.

Q: I am unable to have an orgasm with my husband. We have been together for 13 years, and I’ve been faking it for that long.

Good God, this woman deserves a lifetime achievement Academy Award for maintaining this ruse for so long.  You think faking orgasms would have fallen by the wayside in a marriage after that long, like wearing nice underwear and closing the bathroom door.  At a certain point, don’t you just stop caring?  And I’d love to be the attorney handling that divorce.

Soon-to-be-Ex-Wife: You’ve never made me climax, not once in thirteen years!

Soon-to-be-Ex-Husband:  What?  You came every time!

Soon-to-be-Ex-Wife:  Never!

Soon-to-be-Ex-Husband: I’ve been bragging to all my buddies for years about how great I am in bed and how horny you are!

Soon-to-be-Ex-Wife: And tell your friends to stop calling me!

I think I never got into the habit of faking orgasms because I didn’t know that I wasn’t having them when I first started having sex.  Like, you don’t know what you don’t know, right?  So I would lie there afterwards and wonder if I’d actually had an orgasm.  I mean, sex felt good, so maybe what I was experiencing was an orgasm?  Could this be what everyone has been going on and on about?  If so, color me unimpressed,  I remember thinking.

Then, during my junior year in college, I dated this guy Mitch who was a graduate student and had a bushy blonde mustache that tickled when we kissed.  We had been interrupted by one of his roommates while making out on the saggy futon in his apartment one night so instead of going back to his place after our next date, he drove his Honda Civic to a spot near the Schuylkill and we watched the moonlight reflect off the river’s surface.

And I found out what everyone had been going on and on about.

You can read more about Dr. Ruth Westheimer in the post Super Bowl Sex Tips and the lousy sex I had in college before meeting Mitch in My Sophomore Year of Celibacy.

Royalty free stock photos including the images in this post can be found at Stock.XCHNG

Super Bowl XLVII Sex Tips

Go Giants!  Oh, wait . . .

It is believed that the use of this image is permitted under the Fair Use doctrine and is not an infringement on copyright. There. I sound all lawyerly and stuff.

If you’re like me, you probably had the same reaction on reading this headline Dr. Ruth Has Some Super Bowl Sex Tips for You:

Isn’t Dr. Ruth dead?

Turns out, she isn’t dead.  Instead of being dead, she’s out there giving sex tips on Twitter.  Hmmmm. I wonder if she’ll return my follow if I add her.

If you’re brave enough (are you that brave?  Are you???), click the link and you’ll see Dr. Ruth suggests that you and your partner pretend you’re being attacked by birds (the Ravens are playing the 49ers this year, so I guess the Ravens=birds.  See? There’s the half-assed connection to the Super Bowl, at least in Dr. Ruth’s addled brain) and try to have sex before the birds peck your private parts, or something.

I swear I am not making this up.

Since I don’t think Dr. Ruth’s Super Bowl Sex Tips are going to improve my love life (but it does make me wonder why Netflix doesn’t list Hitchcock’s The Birds in the Romantic Movies section.  Oh, wait.  Now I remember), I thought I would make a list of my own for all you to try out after you’ve stuffed yourself full of buffalo wings/nachos/pizza and watched your team win/lose/Idon’thaveateamIjustwatchforthecommercials.

Dr. Ruth’s Do Not Get Sick in the Sink, Please’s Super Bowl XLVII Sex Tips

  1. Melt some Velveeta cheese in the microwave.  Stir in a can of Ro*Tel® tomatoes.  Smear over your partner. Serve with tortilla chips.
  2. Attach pom poms to your tatas (or your Charlie Browns*) and do a handstand every time your team scores.
  3. Have your partner put on a pair of shoulder pads and a helmet (and nothing else) and role play this scene:  You are the football coach who just cut your partner from the team.  Explain what your partner must do to earn back a position.
  4. Reenact the infamous “wardrobe malfunction” scene from the XXXVIII half time show, adding this twist: the male in your relationship must play the part of Janet Jackson, and the female must play Justin Timberlake.  If you are in a same sex relationship, you can both play John Madden.
  5. Get into a three point stance and hike an imaginary football to your partner.  In the nude.
  6. Go deep.
  7. Grab a hairbrush and pretend to interview your partner from the sidelines.  In the nude.
  8. Draw a diagram of a complicated sexual move on a whiteboard and explain it to your partner.  Wipe the board clean before your kids see it.
  9. Put on a half time show for your partner during the actual half time of the big game.  Include pyrotechnics and back up dancers.

And a final tip, guaranteed to improve your sex life:

10.  Turn off the TV.

You can watch Super Bowl XLVII this Sunday, February 3. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:30EST/5:30CT on CBS.

*Arrested Development returns for its fourth season in May, exclusively on Netflix.