Anybody who’s ever slipped away for a romantic winter weekend in the frozen north—and who hasn’t fantasized about a special anniversary getaway in Moose Jaw?—is well aware of the ins and outs of sex in Canada. “Pulling the Goalie,” “the Bernie Faloney,” and “the Queensway” are as familiar to Canadians as the missionary position is to their American partners in shame. But to fully understand the Canadian way of love and romance is to give in to your inner cold person. Herewith, some of the men behind the classics of The Canadian Kama Sutra. (Available in paperback at all Tim Hortons outlets and throughout the entire Canadian Tire chain!)
Canadian Love Oil
You’ve got to hand it to Fergus Ferguson, the “Rudolph Valentino of Canada.” Fergus’s brilliance? Back in the 40s, he takes maple syrup, then just a regional breakfast topping, and with a bit of humbuggery and some clever marketing, turns it into an amorous love potion—with a northern twist. Sold like hotcakes! (In fact, it was often sold with hotcakes.) Thus was born Canadian Love Oil. Motto: “Smooth, sweet, and doesn’t freeze. Plus, in a pinch, it can substitute for 5W-40 motor oil!”
As much as it was a hit north of the border, international sales didn’t fare so well. Something about Canadian Love Oil didn’t tickle the American or European fancy the way it did Ferguson’s fellow Canucks. So he starts discounting it to goose sales. Yanks skipped the sex application and just used it on their waffles. Presto—the south-of-the-border market for Canadian maple syrup is born!
It’s not what you think. This is Canada, after all. Well, it’s sort of what you think. Imagine a game in a cold mountain cottage where the partners play cover-up with the various parts of a single Royal Canadian Mounted Police uniform. The leather boots, the wide-brimmed campaign hat, the red serge tunic, and the jodhpurs are all used to sexual (and sometimes comic) effect. As its creator, Tavish McTavish, once said, You try keeping the hat on your body without the use of your hands or head. In sub-freezing weather no less! Hudson Bay locals call it the Hat Trick. The Mountie was a wildly popular after-hours activity on Parliament Hill during the Diefenbaker years. When he was prime minister, Dief was known to scream “Red serge!” as a signal for Parliamentary aides to begin helping him mount his secretary.
The Musical Ride
This is a group subset of the Mountie—or subsex, as the wags would have it. The Musical Ride was the inspiration of Tavish’s U.C.C. roommate, Gordie Scott, and it’s the closest Canadians ever get to group commingling. The Ride, named for the famous R.C.M.P. synchronized equestrian extravaganza, involves four or more couples, the elements of two to three R.C.M.P. uniforms, a case of 24, and dancing in a circle near the fireplace. Group hat tricks are a high point for the gents. Needless to say, they’re also a high point for the ladies. Encore!
The Beaver Tail
This is the one that got Mackenzie King into such hot water during the debates over the Munich Agreement in the late 30s. It’s all pretty much what you would expect, according to its creator, Douglas McHowe—but with a Canadian flourish. Intercourse does not ensue, repeat does not ensue. It’s more of a northern mating ritual. Female participant lies on her back on a bearskin rug. Male participant uses slide rule, divider, and compass to map her uncharted nether regions. Millennial Beaver Tail aficionados post their findings on Instagram!
It’s all outdoors and it’s coooold. So, not a lot of actual sexual activity—or contact, for that matter. That said, it’s a quick way for partners to pledge their affection for each other by leaving their names, or a simple heart, in the snow. Yellow ink, the locals call it. Legendary yellow-snow master Belangier LaFleur always told the story that Jean Chrétien wrote “Fuck Trudeau” outside the Parliament Buildings one winter evening after too many Molsons. DNA proved it was indeed Chrétien’s “ink.” Trouble was, it was in Margaret Trudeau’s handwriting!
The Rocket and the Pocket Rocket
This is a popular guy thing among the Canadian male cognoscenti, according to Canadian Kama Sutra scholar Ogilvy Simpson. Participants’ “hoser handles” are measured along the length of a hockey stick. The marks are judged by a female third party. Winner gets the stick for his basement rec room—as well as the hand of the third party! Loser buys the wedding-celebration Labatts.
The Tinder of Canada. The papers say founder Guy DuBrasse is the Mark Zuckerberg of the north. Works like this: users post their curling scores and ice-time availability. Viewers sneeze when they see something they like. Just two years old, Tundra’s the most popular hookup forum in the country!
A particular fetish thing, especially among fans of the Montreal Canadiens. As Colonel Martin McMartin describes it, foreplay is limited to the amount of time it takes for the participants to untie their CCMs. When they get their blades and hockey socks off, as Les Habs fans say, “It’s all bare feet on open ice, eh?” He shoots—he scores!
Johnnie Maclennan hits Boca Raton with fellow swinger Bruce McDoran—back in the mid-80s. They’re wearing Brut and looking for action. Seeing a sign for Hooters, they think it’s an owl sanctuary—a notion that flutters the heart of any good Canadian lad. Lo and behold, after a few dozen visits they get wise to the double entendre.
Arriving back in Thunder Bay, Johnnie and Bruce come up with the idea for Hosers. Same idea, except here the guys go bottomless. A clever publicist with an eye for what sells alerts The Globe and Mail. It backfires big-time, and you can guess the rest: red alarms everywhere. Place closes in a night. Story lingers, though—in the courts. Two waiters whose privates were accidentally dipped in Hosers’ trademarked hot sauce sue for injuries. As Doug wisecracks to the boys in the Beaver Club: “And I have to pay for the briefs!”
Pike or Pickerel?
This one’s an Angus Ogilvy classic and a favorite with the ladies. Based on the bulge in the hockey pants, girls in the stands try to guess whether the player is a pike (uncut) or a pickerel (cut). Since hockey pants rarely come off, no need to declare a winner. Perfect Canadian pastime!
Godfrey Daniel is the Fields scholar at the Royal Canadian College of Sexual Studies