As a man: Affection, the greatest aphrodisiac
So there I was at a stop light along Lady Musgrave Road in St Andrew, when a man rides up on a bicycle, a bulging sack balanced on the handlebars. I look across through the open passenger window, expecting anything from a request for a 'smalls' to being cursed for obstructing him - even in his imagination.
What I get is a product offer. "Guinea hen weed, good fi yu eyesight and sex drive," he says, making direct eye contact. Grateful that he is not assessing the other target area, I decline gracefully and he rides off.
As I drive off, I rub the grey hairs on my chin and considered life. Why me, I wondered? Was it a random approach or are my needs blatant as I age? Or has dearly beloved been telling tales out of what Buju Banton calls the promised land - "me 20-foot divan"? Truth be told, I do need glasses, so maybe he saw me squinting to see the road and said "Aha! There is a man who my product will assist!" But how did the sex drive drop in?
I comforted myself with very recent memories of enjoying the Three Little Birds effect (you know "rise up this morning/smile with the rising sun") and tootle my way to work at North Street. By the time I get there, I have moved from personal concerns to the general concerns for Jamaican manhood.
While I do not have many experiences with watching television in other countries, I have not seen advertisements for a bedroom tonic like the ones which ran during the recent Olympics coverage.
Though not as frequent as big bird proclamations of patriotism, they were frequent enough to reinforce the message. Then there are things with names like Strongback, Put e Back, Front End Lifter and Magnum (more than one type, the Harry Josephs variety is a legend). Many a man has their personal concoction of suspicious colour in a quart bottle, twisting the cap off to an audible sigh from the product and person.
For regular maintenance, there is always a hot Guinness and couple handfuls of raw peanuts.
Beyond a sample, I have never had any of these drinks guaranteed to put lead in the pencil and "make you daughter walk and talk", as Pluto Shervington said of ram goat liver. I don't know how to open an oyster shell - I will not be pouring anything alive down my throat. I know nothing of the supposed virtues of conch soup or purported benefits of rhinoceros tusk; have never seen or taken Viagra or Cialis (although I hear that even young men who are not experiencing droopiness below the belt are chomping on these pills for extra upthrust).
And I ask why. It seems to me that this obsession with turgidity should begin with keeping in good heath - you know, high pressure is required to make a hose bulge, but high blood pressure will guarantee a male faucet difficult to turn on.
From experience as a man, actually having affection for your partner is the greatest aphrodisiac. And this is having affection for her as a person, which is a combination of respect, appreciation of her mind and character, your history together, and whatever other elements contribute to actually liking the person, including looks.
However, there are women who try so hard with looks and have the false personality which goes with those efforts, who are guaranteed mental and front-end depressants. Think about it. How come so much 'hot gal' single, or man no stay wid dem?
So men, before drinking that next Irish moss shot, think - am I doing this to go the extra mile to satisfy someone I really like, or do I need a mental prop to get it on with someone I really dislike or even despise?