Thursday, October 14, 2010

Creature Connection

This week we take a look at what makes a man sexy. Fortunately for us foxchasers, it turns out that a key ingredient is the horse. Actually, with the possible exception of spiders and snakes (as  per the old Jim Stafford song), the ability to relate to any animal can go a long way to endearing a man to a woman’s heart. Which brings us to Tip #4 from The Foxhunter’s Guide to Great Sex:

Tally-Ho Tip #4:
When a man whispers to an animal, a woman listens.

Describing “Buffalo Bill” Cody in The Colonel and Little Missie, Larry McMurtry makes an adept observation: “…it is hard to overestimate how far a man can go in America if he looks good on a horse.”

Allow me to tweak that comment just a tad: It is impossible to overestimate how easily a man can get laid if he looks good on a horse.

The image of a man on horseback as romantic, sexy, and powerful goes back to the earliest days of recorded history. A knight in shining armor would have been just a klutz in a clanking can without his mighty charger. A man’s status, and thus his appeal to the fairer sex, was greatly enhanced by how many horses he owned (sort of the old-time version of a garage full of Bentleys and Maseratis). When European explorers arrived on the shores of the New World mounted on horses, the local inhabitants, having never seen a horse, thought the combination was one god-like creature. This may have been the first time a woman, eyeing this strangely stimulating sight, used the phrase, “Hung like a horse.”

Sheiks on their fleet-footed Arab steeds, legendary warriors like Genghis Khan and Attila the Hun, Alexander the Great and his trusty equine partner Bucephalus — these and thousands more have, over the centuries, made the man on horseback one of the world’s most enduring figures of power, confidence, achievement, and, no matter the era, one downright sexy dude. (Is it merely another etymological coincidence that the second half of “Bucephalus” is just one “l” shy of “phallus”? Was the great Alexander perhaps trying to make up for being not-so-great in one critical respect by implying that he was hung like his horse?)

In American culture, the equation man-plus-horse-equals-sexy is embodied by one iconic figure: The Cowboy. Now, I realize foxhunters may seem a far cry from cowboys. But they share more in common than might be apparent at first glance. Forget the difference between Wrangler jeans and tailored breeches, leather chaps or scarlet coats. What they share is an ability to relate to another sentient creature, to be dominant yet supportive, firm but gentle, to sense the subtlest non-verbal cues and respond in a way that bridges the communication gap.

And that, pardners, is sexy!

One of the best selling books of recent years was The Horse Whisperer by Nicholas Evans. It’s sold over 15 million copies since it was published in 1995. An estimated three copies were bought by men. Robert Redford directed and starred in the 1998 movie version. Approximately seven men saw the film without being dragged to the theater by a wife or girlfriend. (Six of them actually bought tickets to Lethal Weapon 4 but wandered into the wrong theater at the Multiplex and were too lazy to get up and leave.)

What was it about this book and movie that drove women wild? It was the hero’s blend of self-confidence, strength, humility, ruggedness, and, above all, his Creature Connection, his ability to inspire a sense of trust and compliance from one psychologically damaged horse. When Redford, as Tom Booker, whispered to the horse, Kristen Scott Thomas got hot. When he started whispering to her, every woman in the theater got hot. Booker took sexiness to the next level: He became a Woman Whisperer.

The fictional Tom Booker was cast as a Montana cowboy. But if the story had been set in hunt country, he’d have definitely been a foxhunting man. Foxhunters have developed their Creature Connection in triplicate. Not only can they relate to horses but they also must be able to communicate effectively with a pack of hounds while understanding the natural ways of the fox. Bring all that together into one fellow who can communicate with his horse, loves hounds, and respects wild animals, and your typical foxhunter leaves even the sexiest cowboy in the barnyard dust.

One of the best ways you can demonstrate that you’re in tune with your primal self is to develop your ability to relate to animals, to be both dominant and nurturing, to connect to another thinking, feeling carbon-based life form as a caring individual without the aid of intricate verbal communication. If you can attune your senses to pick up on the subtlest cues from your partner — a necessary skill for cowpokes and foxchasers — you’ll be one step closer to mastering what horsemen have known throughout the ages: When a man whisperers to an animal, a woman listens.

© 2010 J. Harris Anderson

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