Way back in October, 2005, SAILING
magazine carried an article by Chris Caswell titled, “Sailing is a lot like sex
if you take your time.” I enjoyed the
article so much I tore it out, folded it about six times so it would fit in my
wallet, and have been carrying it around ever since. In the intervening 11 years, we have moved to
the Great American Desert, which put pay to sailing, and have reverted to our
early days of canoeing to stay on the water.
Reading it again, I find the comparison applies to paddling as well sailing,
so offer the following. I’ve changed it
substantially, so don’t have to worry about plagiarism claims, but since the
subject idea and development were Mr. Caswell’s, I offer him his due.
Here is the comparison of paddling
and sex, and how, in many cases, paddling is better and safer.
--paddling is better if you take
your time. It is better if you
linger. Indeed, unlike sex, you can
continue paddling all day, all week, all month.
--you don’t have to really know how
it all works to still enjoy it. You can
do your strokes all wrong and still enjoy the ride.
--no matter how many books you read
or whitewater classes you take, the best way to learn is still by doing it,
over and over again.
--some people are naturals, while
no matter how hard they try, others will always be hackers. That’s just the way it is.
--some paddlers have a freight canoe,
and others have a surf ski.
--some paddlers like to talk, even
brag, about their exploits. However,
most admire the strong silent types that just go out and do it well.
--the ones that complain the most
about the weather, the bugs, the raccoons and bears, and seem to have the worst
time, are still the ones that tell the wildest stories around the campfire.
--paddling alone is simpler and
faster, but nowhere near as much fun.
--it isn’t scandalous to go
paddling with a crowd or someone else’s paddling partner.
--you can ask strangers to go
paddling without getting slapped.
--you can take children paddling
without getting arrested or having to enter a national registry.
--you can take all the secretaries
in the office paddling without being sued for sexual harassment.
--if you feel you need to learn how
to do it better, you can ask for guidance and advice without blushing. Indeed, many will give you advice before you
--you can solicit the services of a
paddling pro without getting arrested by the vice squad.
--no one will think you kinky or start
rumors about you because you went paddling.
Best of all, unlike sex, paddling
is something you can enjoy just as much at 90 years of age as at 19, and
without taking Viagra.
Both, however, are a lot safer with