Canada’s prolific pop historian Pierre Berton quipped: “A Canadian is someone who knows how to have sex in a canoe.”

I know: That’s dumb and not funny. We’re usually funnier. That line only got funny when someone (likely a foreigner) finessed it:

Drinking Budweiser is like having sex in a canoe: It’s fucking close to water.

When you hear the word “Canada,” chances are that “sex” isn’t the first thing you think about. Hell, it’s not the first thing we think about. “Sex” ranks way below “hockey,” “coffee,” and “lottery tickets” (and non-watery “beer”).

The climate discourages scanty fashions and potentially arousing parades of public nudity. Except for our numerous supermodels (and sometimes not even them), we’re a homely race of people.
Most of us would rather have sex with a canoe than each other. When the subject makes national news, it’s never one of those cringe-inducing British-style scandals à la Profumo. The closest we’ve had to one lately was—I’m serious—a cabinet minister leaving his briefcase on his girlfriend’s coffee table.

(Yes, “Maxime” is the guy. And don’t get too excited: 2007’s “In and Out” scandal is as triple-X as Teapot Dome.)

I’m not sure what this inadvertently reveals about our elite media, but headline-making naughtiness trends toward what might be termed “spectator masturbation”—intercourse once removed, more recreational than reproductive.

“When you hear the word ‘Canada,’ chances are that ‘sex’ isn’t the first thing you think about.”

The Supreme Court just heard two such cases. So you may want to change your vacation plans, because as of last May, a woman in Canada “cannot give advance consent to sexual activity while unconscious”; that verdict “restores the conviction of an Ottawa man who regularly practiced consensual erotic asphyxiation with his longtime girlfriend.” (The most arousing part of that story is the phrase “split decision.”)

Then this month, the court unanimously ruled it a “violation of addicts’ basic rights to life and security” to deny them access to “drug rehabilitation at no charge.” Ha! Just joshing: That should read “free heroin.”

Experts say “the ruling’s logic” (I know…) may apply in a prostitution case now making its way to the court. Like abortion and pot, prostitution is legal in Canada, but:

…most related activities, such as advertising services or living off the proceeds of prostitution, are against the law.

(Except not really.)

The recent case, brought by a dominatrix and other sex workers, argues that these laws put sex workers in danger. Judge Susan Himel agreed in a ruling that struck down the laws, noting, for example, that the laws make it illegal for sex workers to hire body guards.

Again: don’t ask me.

(Also? Don’t get too excited: This is the dominatrix.)

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