Montreal Now: Flirting with Style

After decades of teaching, Zsolt Alapi is a born-again writer, editor, publisher, who has made his home in Montreal for over four decades.

I am a lucky man
because I have the pleasure of flirting with several wonderful women, some gay,
some straight, some divorced, some single, and some married.  It never amounts to more than words, taunts, and
jeers, all coupled with great humor.  It
is the best of relationships that is nothing more than intellectual and
spiritual foreplay.  It occurs to me that
women are most interested in the head (and I don’t mean that literally), in a
man who has wit, charm, and the capacity to use words to evoke both desire and
thought:  a cunning linguist who can set
the little man in the boat afloat.

  And for those of us with a literary or
artistic bent, there is no end of sources from which to borrow or append, sources
that serve as precedent. Take the charm of e.e. cummings’ “may I feel, said
he,” or his lines that Michael Caine quotes to his sister- in- law to seduce
her in Woody Allen’s “Hannah and Her Sisters.” 
There is of course John Fowles’ The
, perhaps the greatest example of Jungian foreplay where the
protagonist only consummates his lust after over 300 pages, a scene that was
omitted in the original version.  Then,
there is Kundera’s story, “Edward and God” from his collection Laughable Loveswhere the protagonist feigns religiosity in order to seduce a
pious young virgin, yet longs more for God than for the girl after the physical
act is. Finally, let’s not forget Kierkegaard’s wonderful “Diary of a Seducer”
from his philosophical tome Either/Or,
a tale of someone who spends the entire book seducing a woman through words and
ideas and is ultimately disappointed at the moment of actual consummation. In
fact, this writer used the words of the poet Hart Crane to try to seduce a
nubile night receptionist at a Vermont hotel many decades ago.  The irony that Crane was gay should be
mentioned at this juncture.

Some decades
ago, Shere Hite wrote a book called The
Hite Report
, a study of female sexuality that was damning to the male
ego.  Not surprisingly, Hite’s thesis was
that women are rarely satisfied through traditional acts of congress with their
mates.  Hite subtly asserted that women
should work at autoerotic stimulation:  a
merging of body and mind, even independent of male partners (kind of reading in
bed with the fingers not turning only the pages).  Since this was the era of the Tolkien mania,
it was a sort of dildo meets Bilbo. 

gentlemen, some words of advice about the art of flirting with style:  pick women who laugh at the inane prose and
premise of 50 Shades of Gray, women
who find the sound of mice scurrying in the walls erotically stimulating, women
who sport raven tattoos since they love the psychological horror of E.A. Poe,
knowing that horror is the most erotic of genres, women who can find erotic
possibilities in hamburgers.  This is not
to discount tough barmaids with twelve inch biceps, Harley tattoos, and tufts
of hair under their armpits (but I digress to a personal fetish).  Above all, flirt with style and with flair
and remember these lines from the poet Robert Creeley:  “Words are pleasure/all words.”

So at night take a book in hand for a change and remember that under
the covers it is the imagination that makes it really come alive.

Happy hunting!