Getting by with a little help from a sportsgasm

When Craig Venezia, the man behind the Faking a Sportsgasm blog, wrote to us suggesting that our sites had a lot in common, we were wary. On the one hand, we love that he makes fun of macho dudes who slobber and moan over balls and hard pucks. But on the other hand, we’re against faking of any kind — and it seems like Craig just wants to blend in with all the face-painted sports fans. Which would mean that slobbering macho dudes win. And on the other other hand, part of us thinks that Craig just might be pulling everyone’s leg.

But then Craig uploaded his Faking a Sportsgasm song to his blog, set to the tune of YMCA, with lyrics like “A discharge of your testosterone / You can do it when you’re all alone / But it’s more fun, when you’re with other guys / Then you can all do high fives.” Okay, so (a) that is hilarious on so many levels, and choosing the YMCA tune was a stroke of genius. And (b) the recording actually sounds really good and surprisingly professional, which leads us to think that Craig is serious and not pulling our leg. We’re still not down with the faking, but we’re totally down with making fun of sports fans in song, and so we decided to ask Craig a few questions and let him explain his mission in his own words.

So, let’s start with a definition: What is a sportsgasm?

In its simplest form, a sportsgasm is intense excitement, akin to sex, caused by watching and subsequently talking about sports. Here’s a “formal” definition that I’ve developed which, at some point, I’d like to see make it into Merriam-Webster’s dictionary.

sports?ga?sm sports-ga-zem n [NL sportus orgasmus, fr. Gk sportos orgasomos, fr. sports organ to grow ripe, be lustful (of sports); prob. akin to Skt urja sap; strength, (ca. 2010): to cause intense or paroxysmal excitement from witnessing physical activity (as an athletic game); esp: an explosive discharge of testosterone, typically induced by the consumption of starches derived from the brewing and fermentation of mainly cereal grain (most commonly malted barley) and flavored with hops. Occurs most often in front of large screen television or in stadium-like setting – sports?gas?mic sports-gaz-mik also sports?gas?tic sports-gas-tik adj

Okay, we’re with you so far. But why should men learn to fake a sportsgasm?

Sports talk rears its head daily at work and in life. Wherever you turn, someone’s always talking about “the game.” Clearly, it’s a social obsession. It doesn’t matter if it’s baseball, football, basketball or hockey. Soccer is debatable, unless you happen to be hanging out with a bunch of South Americans or Europeans.

Long ago I learned that when you talk sports, you bond with people, lots of people. Not just men but many women too. Heck, it’s a massive bonding orgy. Bonding can mean closing that next business deal, getting an invite to that hip party, making it to that critical second date and more. Unless you want to be a social eunuch, castrated by your inability to talk sports, you’ve got to learn how to fake a sportsgasm.

How do you fake one — tell us about the last time you did this…

Be specifically vague. For example, just last week I was waiting on the platform for my train when this sports talker hits me with classic “How ‘bout that game last night?” I had no idea what he was talking about so I nodded and said “Can you believe it?” The beauty of this answer was that it was non-committal. It didn’t say whether or not I watched said game and it didn’t matter how it turned out. It could have been great or lousy.

This answer also applied what I call the “reverse question block.” That is, I answered a question with a question. In doing so, I got the sports talker to do most of the talking. I just nodded every so often while parroting back what he said and adding a couple of vague phrases like “Yea, I know what you mean,” “I hear you on that one,” or, my favorite, “Don’t even get me started on that.” Worked like a charm.

Why do you think that women should fake sportsgasms?

Pretty much for the same reasons that men should — to bond. Although, thanks to gender stereotyping, there’s less pressure in our society for women to talk sports. At the very least, women should consider it when frequenting bars. If nothing else, it’s a great way to get free drinks out of guys.

Hmm… we’re going to go out on a limb here and guess that you live in Boston. Do you think there are cities where sportsgasms would seem less necessary to your personal advancement?

Wow, you guys are good. Yes, I’m in Boston. I can practically hear the crack of the bat at Fenway from my office. I grew up in New Jersey, lived in San Francisco for 10 years (during my late 20s and early 30s), then moved to Boston (I live about 15 miles north of the city) about 10 years ago.

I think it’s necessary to fake a sportsgasm in any city. That said, some cities are more die-hard when it comes to following, and talking about, sports. Those are the cities where you really need to know how to fake a sportsgasm.

So which cities are they? According to Sports News magazine’s annual Best Sports Cities list for 2009, they were: Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Boston (no surprise), Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix-Tempe, Miami, Dallas-Fort Worth and Detroit.

Has learning to fake sportsgasms improved your own love life?

Actually, it’s the other way around. My love and sex life have always been great, both when I was single and even more now that I’m married with kids. By tapping into those feelings and pleasures, I can pull off very believable sportsgasms. One of my more successful techniques is the “Moan and Groan.” This is where I pepper vague statements with “Mmmms,” “Ahhhhs,” and the occasional “Ooooh” to intensify the conversation. I call that achieving sportsgastic climax. An example being, “Ooooh, that was a great game!”

Why do you think that sports is so close to sex for so many men, and for some women?

Like sex, sports creates uncontrollable primal excitement. Ironically, this excitement comes from watching men chase each other around a field, court or ice rink, complete with hugging and rump patting. That’s why I never understood why men who are into watching sports act so macho about it. Perhaps, they secretly enjoy watching other men perform physical acts. If anything, you’d think more women would be into watching sports for that very reason. All I know is that if sports consisted of a bunch of women chasing each other around while hugging and rump patting there’d be no need for me to fake a sportsgasm. It would be the real thing.

How do you explain that — why aren’t more guys into watching women’s sports?

My theory? Most men aspire to be like the atheletes they’re watching as opposed to the beer guzzling, pot-bellied slouches they are. That’s why they’d rather watch a bunch of buff guys plays sports instead of buff women. Either that or there are a lot more gay guys watching men’s sports than you think.

Don’t you think you would be making a better contribution to society if you just flat-out refused to have or fake a sportsgasm? Wouldn’t the world become a more friendly place to those of us who could care less about sports if we all just stood up and refused to fake it? Or is there some inherent value in being able to talk sports?

Let’s face it. Sports talk will always be with us. You can either jump on the bandwagon or be left coughing in its dust. Like I said before, it’s a massive bonding orgy. Rather than sit on the sidelines, I say oil yourself up and dive in head first. You’re oil coming in the form of being able to hold your own in any sports conversation even though you have no clue what you’re talking about. That’s how you can seize life by the balls. After nearly two decades, I’ve mastered the art of faking a sportsgasm. Today, life’s balls are nestled comfortably in my hand. Everyone now and then, I give a little squeeze to make sure they’re really there. Guess what? They are.

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photo by Todd Huffman