Because RM has been eating a lot of hormonally enhanced chicken lately we cut our usual nightly work hours short and head for bed early to allow plenty of time for sex, but just as I’m half way through a slow strip tease that emphasizes the parts of men that women are most attracted to – the face and the sense of humour – RM says, in a trippy glazed out fashion, ‘I still can’t work out how your blog is offensive to women’ which causes me to remove my Groucho Marx mask and balaclava faster than I’d planned to and jump into bed with her.
‘I know,’ I say. ‘It’s a strange one.’
Recently, I was cc’d into an email by some associates who I won’t name (because I really like them) which happened to include a previous conversation between the pair – which I hadn’t been privy to – that went something like this
Associate One – We know RD won’t intentionally offend anyone, but some of his material has been construed to be offensive to some women… as you would most likely know, so if we just steer clear of any comments that could be ‘intentionally’ offensive we’ll be fine. This of course does not mean that he has to restrict himself in any other area of his practice. Will you be careful in how you communicate this to RD?
Associate Two – I completely agree. I will communicate this to him with a fine tooth comb.
It left me a little perplexed. ‘Women share my articles all the time,’ I say to RM. ‘Just this week Jackie from Working Through It shared my article on being a stay at home Dad for 2190 days. Do you think maybe it’s because my blog is called Reservoir Dad… you know… like I’m a Dad… but I talk about sex a lot?’
‘But you only talk about our sex life,’ she says. ‘And how much you want me.’
‘Maybe it’s because I reference Katy Perry too often in my posts,’ I say, stopping her hand as her fingertips sneak beneath the elastic of my underwear. ‘Not yet,’ I say, driving her crazy with my uh-uh eyes. ‘I need to communicate first.’
‘Tease,’ she says. ‘No one’s going to care about Katy Perry…’
‘But she can sing and dance and she’s pretty. Some women might feel threatened by how amazing she is. She can do everything…’
‘Nah. You’re always writing about me drooling over Channing Tatum.’
‘Channing,’ I whisper, awed for a moment. ‘I’ll give you a leave pass on that one.’
‘I’ll take it!’ she says.
She growls a bit and tries to straddle me but I block her easily by lifting my knee. ‘You’ve really gotta take it easy on that chicken,’ I say. ‘It’s filled with hormones. A bloke I used to do weights with swore that he got bitch tits from eating chicken.’
Down the hall comes a thump on the wall and we give ourselves a moment to guess which room it came from and after deciding it was definitely four year old Tyson thrashing about in his sleep RM says, ‘Your blog has been about you mostly. Being a Dad, raising the boys, our relationship, your hatred of gender stereotypes, how unappreciated the stay at home role is… you’ve been the opposite of offensive to women…’
‘That’s what I’ve been doing my whole life,’ I say, spiralling into the misty doldrums of introspection. ‘Writing about where I am and what’s happening. Maybe I’m just an offensive character?’
‘No matter what you do, as a writer you’re always going to offend someone…’ RM says before trying to straddle me for a second time.
‘No,’ I say, knee-raising like a Ninja and running my fingertips over my bare chest, breathing a little harder then I need to, enjoying the affect I’m having on her. ‘I feel like I have to change this area of my practice.’
‘But she said you didn’t have to.’
‘I know but…’
‘You’ll be saying yes soon,’ she says.
‘That should be on a poster,’ I say, before adding, more seriously, ‘Maybe I ‘ll write a post about this…’
A hint of concern peeks through the heavy curtain of RM’s lust for me as she says, ‘You probably shouldn’t use real names.’
‘Of course not. I’ll call Ciel correspondent one and Dana correspondent two. I’ll keep it anonymous. They’ll love it,’ I say, before the thought occurs to me. ‘Shit! It was my vasectomy diaries, wasn’t it? I was really graphic about my genitals…’
‘Nah. Women love hearing about men getting their genitals mutilated,’ she says, flicking at my scrotum just hard enough to fold me up like a deck chair so that we’re both laughing when my heads returns to the pillow.
‘Oh my God that was funny,’ I say.
‘You should blog that.’
‘I will…’ I say, as she manages to free me from my underwear. ‘If I can think of the appropriate context.’
Like an aircraft breaking the speed/sound barrier RM manages to read the level of my self-indulgence, slip my defences, mount me and cover my mouth with her hand all at the same time. The seconds it takes for me to wrestle her arm away so that I can breath allows more doubt to surface.
‘Remember the House Husband Reviews… that one post where I wrote about going straight for your vagina? Do you think that was offensive to women?’
‘Maybe…’ she says, reaching between her legs and squeezing my testicals.
‘Maybe I should just stop talking about sex so much,’ I say.
‘Hey, who’s been sucking helium?’ she says, laughing.
‘I could focus more on loom bands or…’
‘Sex is funny,’ she says, releasing me and leaning down for a kiss. ‘Just keep doing what you’re doing. Now stop talking and just say yes like I said you would.’
I want to, I really do, but I also want to win the fight and so I kiss her back and give myself time to think of a way to say yes a little more subtly. When our lips part I hold her gaze with my most bedroomy eyes and say, ‘God I love chicken.’