By Skyler Ash
My parents met at a bar. On the crowded dance floor of The Ports, a Toronto bar that’s long been closed, my father saw my mother across the room, leaned over to his friend and told him, “That’s the woman I’m going to marry.” They danced for the first time while “Tainted Love” by Soft Cell played, talked all night and exchanged numbers. After three dates, they were engaged. And after almost 35 years, they’re still married. The pants my mom wore the night she met my father are still in her closet, and they both have pins from the bar that say “I got lucky at The Ports.”
They have coffee and toast at the counter every morning, compare their Fitbit stats with fierce pride, go boxing together three times a week and my dad sits with my mom while she falls asleep on the couch. They carry photos of each other in their wallets. They are in love.
I want a love like my parents have. In almost every stranger I see, I try and picture our lives together, and I wonder if we could be as happy as my parents are. They have five kids and still manage to have fun. And I want that. I want to have toast with my partner in the morning, I want to fight about who got more steps that day, about who did better at boxing and to fall asleep on the couch with someone.
I thought I was in love once, but it didn’t end very well. But maybe I just haven’t walked into the right bar yet. And that’s OK. I’ll walk in to every bar if it means I can be so wildly in love like my parents are. Because growing up watching my parents, I learned love should be fun. Love should be playful. Love should be singing old advertisement jingles in the car together and practicing your boxing in the kitchen and accidentally giving your husband a black eye (true story).
And that’s what we wanted to do with this issue. We decided to have fun. We decided to play. And we decided to explore what love and sex can look like. Having sex isn’t always about love. Sometimes it’s just about exploration and lust and fun. And we should try to have fun whenever we can. We decided to write about what people can look like in love and how love, sex and sexuality can affect an individual. Sometimes it’s dysfunctional, uncomfortable and unexpected.
So eat toast with the people you love. Give them an accidental black eye in the kitchen and then serve a beautiful dinner to your family. Keep the pants you wore when you saw the person you were going to spend the rest of your life with. Because it’s fun. It’s love. And those pants were pretty sexy.