You gotta lotta ‘splainin’ to do, Laura Roberts

My guest is Laura Roberts, a ManWARrior who writes about sex and travel, one of which is a familiar topic to regular readers of this blog.

Laura knows what she’s talking about, as she wrote a column called V is for Vixen, which chronicled the real-life sexcapades of the apparently very horny people of Montreal, before moving to southern California and turning her talents toward fiction.
As I read Laura’s book Naked Montreal—and how can you not read a book with that title?—several questions emerged. So I asked her to do some ’splainin’.
I’ve been told that women don’t wear makeup to please men, yet when the narrator of Naked Montreal works as a cam girl, she wears makeup to please the men who watch her online. So, what’s your take on why women wear makeup?
I only wear makeup for photo shoots or when attending important events where I will be on display, so my view of makeup is that it’s for projecting a certain image. It’s like donning a costume; I have the license to act like someone else while the makeup is on. It’s theatrical.
In Naked Montreal, Frankie wears makeup as a cam girl because of theatrics. She’s taking the stage as an object of desire, so she enhances her natural assets for the camera. Everyone on TV wears makeup—even the men—so I don’t believe that women wear makeup for men alone. They wear makeup for everyone who looks at them because they enjoy being seen in a certain light and to project a certain image.
Why does bateau mouche sound like something they could have done in Fifty Shades of Grey to break up the monotony and spice things up a little?
I never thought of it that way, but you’re right! French words are popular in the bedroom—or boudoir—especially when you get into more hardcore erotica. Ménage is probably the most well-known. Bateau mouche sounds very S&M to me. I picture a man spanking a woman who has to pretend to be a sled dog, and if she moves out of alignment he shouts, “MUSH!”
In reality, though, a bateau mouche is an open-air excursion boat on the Seine in Paris, or on the St. Lawrence River in Montreal.

Who hangs out more in Montreal’s “slutty side,” men or women? And why?
There’s a bit of a gender dividing line when it comes to strip clubs vs. burlesque performances. Generally, women love burlesque because it’s artistic, whereas men love strip clubs because it’s less art, more sex. Women performing burlesque often come from the stripping side, and some move freely between the two.
Ultimately, Montrealers don’t view sex or sexual activities as “slutty.” They accept sex as a normal, natural part of life, and see no reason to hide it from view. There are strip clubs and sex shops on the main drag, and no one finds it offensive. These are just options amongst many types of entertainment the city has to offer.
I’m from Wisconsin, and we have 432,338 words for cheese because we have 432,338 kinds of cheese. So, is it really true that “once you’ve tasted one pate poutine, you’ve tasted them all”? I mean, why wouldn’t poutine made with plain cheddar curds taste different from poutine made with jalapeno or garlic and chive curds?
Ah, therein lies the rub! There’s only one kind of cheese curd sold in Montreal, so the poutine purists get riled up if you try to sell them something without said curds. There is a shop in the city that sells different takes on the dish, but even they don’t stray from the traditional curd unless you pay extra for mozzarella, feta, goat cheese or whatever “vegan cheese” is.

It’s an interesting conundrum, because Montreal has tons of different kinds of cheese, but you never find them in poutine. I suspect it’s because poutine is considered low-class dish, and “pate poutine” is an attempt to elevate it. I’ve actually never tried pate poutine, though I have enjoyed many other variations on the theme, including the slightly sacrilegious Italian poutine, which replaces the gravy with Bolognese sauce.

I don’t know about you, but to me, French fries smothered in cheese sounds pretty American, regardless of whether you use cheddar or Cambozola. But if it’s recipes you want, do a Google search. If you want to find out what goes on behind closed doors in the land of Celine Dion and the Royal Mounties, click here to learn more about Naked Montreal, and here for its sequel, Naked Montreal: Porn Stars and Peccadilloes.

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