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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Wall Street Journal: What We Talk About When We Talk About Pizza

But before all that, the voice of legendary New York Yankees announcer Phil Rizzuto interrupts to provide a familiar play-by-play for their progress: “There’s the windup, and there it is, a line shot up the middle/Look at him go, this boy can really fly, he’s rounding first…”

Baseball has long been the classic American metaphor for describing sexual activity.

And it still is. Since 1999, I’ve been teaching a class on human sexuality at a private high school just outside of Philadelphia. As we study the interaction between sexuality and society, my students often discuss their lives and relationships with great candor.

What have I heard from them? The “bases” still refer to specific sexual acts that are performed in a strict order. You can be a “pitcher” or a “catcher,” depending on whether you perform or receive a sexual act. You can “score” or “hit a home run,” or be a “bench warmer” if you’re a virgin or someone who isn’t “in the game.”

But the baseball model is hugely problematic. It’s competitive, it makes sexual intercourse the goal, and it assigns strict and unyielding roles for “the players.” It doesn’t do anything to help young people develop healthy ideas about the place of sexuality in their lives.

But metaphors—and in this case, euphemisms—serve a purpose. Baseball won’t go away as our all-purpose model for talking about sex until we have an alternative to replace it.

Tripon Posted: March 18, 2012 at 04:28 PM | 23 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: amateur, history, music, rumors

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   1. Bhaakon Posted: March 18, 2012 at 05:38 PM (#4083713)
But the baseball model is hugely problematic. It’s competitive, it makes sexual intercourse the goal, and it assigns strict and unyielding roles for “the players.” It doesn’t do anything to help young people develop healthy ideas about the place of sexuality in their lives.


Sounds like it reflects reality pretty accurately, then. Unless your goal is to undo thousands of generations of evolution and completely re-write human nature.
   2. Fancy Pants with a clinging marmoset on his Handle Posted: March 18, 2012 at 05:47 PM (#4083717)
Sounds like it reflects reality pretty accurately, then. Unless your goal is to undo thousands of generations of evolution and completely re-write human nature.

Awww, I came here to make that point. Now you beat me to it, and I am not going to get laid tonight...
   3. Tripon Posted: March 18, 2012 at 05:48 PM (#4083719)
Have a pizza.
   4. Hooray for Everything Posted: March 18, 2012 at 06:08 PM (#4083733)
Have a pizza.


How DARE you.
   5. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 18, 2012 at 06:19 PM (#4083737)
Baseball won’t go away as our all-purpose model for talking about sex until we have an alternative to replace it.


Football?
   6. Guapo Posted: March 18, 2012 at 06:47 PM (#4083758)
Hopefully the sabremetric revolution will eventually extend to the sexual metaphor so we can all accurately calculate our respective FARPs.
   7. valuearbitrageur Posted: March 18, 2012 at 06:52 PM (#4083764)
Why are we linking to this fascist rag I already read every day?
   8. asinwreck Posted: March 18, 2012 at 06:53 PM (#4083766)
All I know is the Cubs are always f*cked.
   9. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: March 18, 2012 at 07:29 PM (#4083791)
I read the title as "..when we talk about Piazza"
(and we do)
   10. Swoboda is freedom Posted: March 18, 2012 at 07:45 PM (#4083801)
I read the title as "..when we talk about Piazza"

Backne. Which hurt his chances of scoring.
   11. Downtown Bookie Posted: March 18, 2012 at 08:04 PM (#4083811)
But metaphors—and in this case, euphemisms—serve a purpose.


Presuming that's what he metaphor.

DB
   12. Wins Above Paul Westerberg Posted: March 18, 2012 at 09:01 PM (#4083858)
I've long wondered when and where the baseball/sex analogies started. There's a great Woody Allen stand-up bit about "thinking about baseball players" to "prolong the moment of ecstasy" from the mid-'60s, but I'd guess it's probably older than that, right?
   13. tshipman Posted: March 18, 2012 at 09:03 PM (#4083860)
You know what'd be great? If this turned into a Raymond Carver thread.

How much credit should Carver get for the revitalization of the short story genre, given that it's since fallen back into decline?

"What We Talk About When We Talk About Love"--best work, or just catchiest title?

Does reading a bunch of shorts with alcoholics make you want to drink?
   14. Bob Evans Posted: March 18, 2012 at 09:54 PM (#4083906)
Does reading a bunch of shorts with alcoholics make you want to drink?

Make mine a double.
   15. Dock Ellis Posted: March 18, 2012 at 10:01 PM (#4083913)
My favorite kind of pizza is pepperoni.
   16. Karl from NY Posted: March 18, 2012 at 10:44 PM (#4083936)
What have I heard from them? The “bases” still refer to specific sexual acts that are performed in a strict order. You can be a “pitcher” or a “catcher,” depending on whether you perform or receive a sexual act. You can “score” or “hit a home run,” or be a “bench warmer” if you’re a virgin or someone who isn’t “in the game.”


Please note that absolutely nowhere in here is a designated hitter.
   17. Don Malcolm Posted: March 18, 2012 at 11:09 PM (#4083954)
Any "pizza" references to be found in Raymond Carver's oeuvre? (And why does oeuvre suddenly sound sleazy in the context of this stinkin' thread??)
   18. jwb Posted: March 18, 2012 at 11:30 PM (#4083968)
No pizza references I can recall. An excellent story about death and cake, though.
   19. base ball chick Posted: March 19, 2012 at 12:04 AM (#4083988)
dear mr vernacchio,

STOP RAHT THERE!!!! AH WANNA KNOW RAHT KNOW

what you think of personal size pizzas
   20. tshipman Posted: March 19, 2012 at 12:14 AM (#4083990)
Any "pizza" references to be found in Raymond Carver's oeuvre?


Yes. In "Fever" after Carlyle comes home and catches the baby sitter with a bunch of boys, he promises his kids to take them out to pizza.
   21. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: March 19, 2012 at 12:41 AM (#4083995)
My favorite kind of pizza is pepperoni.
Not that there's anything wrong with that.
   22. Tripon Posted: March 19, 2012 at 01:08 AM (#4084007)
LET US HAVE A SAUSAGE PARTY.
   23. Twoey Guillen Posted: March 19, 2012 at 07:11 AM (#4084057)
Knead my dough. Put the sausage in the oven. Sure.

30 minutes or less, or it's free. Why not.

Avoid the Noid. Sounds good.

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