Time to time, I see a girl walking down the street (or jogging in spandex) and I flick my wrist as if to spank her ass from 15 feet away. I’d say rarely, rarely, is that appropriate. A lot closer to never. Yet still, every once in a while, I curve my hand in a way that oughta put palm on cheek and fingers between legs; take a half step into it; and swing at the air. I’ve never gotten much guidance on what to think of this, but I’ve been doing it since I was 13. Yeah, 13-year-olds are disgusting.
And it is a totally unconscious reaction to a shapely girl. I don’t even know I’m doing it at first, like when you’re playing a racing video game and you lean when you turn. I’m working on pure impulse until my hand is ten degrees past the bottom of the swing. If a girl were actually standing there, that position would be called “Contact.” A split second of imagining beautiful, warm, fleshy impact, then words start coming to mind. Loudly.
“Hey! You live in a society! With other people! With whom you need to get along and not treat badly! Miming ‘sexual-assault-of-a-stranger’ counts as ‘treating-people-badly!’ Even if this were in any way appropriate, the simple fact that she’s jogging makes her way too good for you! You are in public! Where people can see you being a creep! Find some way to cover it up!”
Then begins the cover-up, the style of which depends on the size of the gesture and the momentum left in my still swinging arm.
- Motion isolated in wrist – Smallest and most common. Keep up the hand movement and pretend to be talking to yourself. There’s a good chance you don’t need to pretend.
- Elbow is involved – Much larger fake ass-slap. Turn it into air guitar and if there are people around mumble some rock lyrics. Nothing cool about air-guitar, but it’s far preferable to air-spanking.
- Whole arm swinging – Jesus, what happened to you? Well, you can snap your fingers and turn it into a “Damn, did I forget my phone/appointment/mind?” If you miss the window of opportunity to snap your fingers, scratch behind your ear opposite the swinging arm. Or swat at imaginary bees around your head. Either way, follow it up with a blog post.
It’s weird that this has got to be fairly common but isn’t really addressed. You’d think it would have come up in middle school sex-ed: “BTW, you’ll spend the rest of your life occasionally acting out sexual fantasies as you walk down the street. No one wants to see it. There’s very little you can do.” So the only times I can remember it coming up is when some remorseless, doucebag guy does it and claims, “You know you love the compliment.” Well, I slap imaginary asses, too. Most people probably do, and we really try not to be jerks about it. But we’re probably breathing through our mouths and doing something weird with our tongues. Sorry.