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Sonomantic Sonoma and the Tile of Denial

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Daedalus Howell/Index-Tribune

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According to Travel + Leisure, Sonoma ranks No. 8 among “America’s Most Romantic Cities.” Apparently we have myriad “couples-friendly enticements,” which sounds more like a Craigslist “casual encounters” ad than is probably meant.

Besides enticements, the magazine cites Sonoma’s “noted lack of kids” as contributing to our romantic ranking. Naturally, there are kids in Sonoma – somewhere, I bet – but they’re not allowed to fraternize with the grown-ups who visit.

This could all change tonight. A Retail Advertising and Marketing Association’s Valentine’s Day Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey suggests that 11,000 kids might be conceived on this most auspicious of days. Incidentally, that’s about the same number as the population of the City of Sonoma-proper. At first glance, this numeric symmetry brought to mind some interesting mathematical possibilities if everyone in town got it on tonight. Then I remembered that the total number of women of childbearing age in town is, like, five, and they’re all single and openly kvetch that the total number of acceptable male breeding partners in town is, like, three. And one of those guys is gay. Another is married. And the last one is just scared.

Dating in Sonoma isn’t so much a contact sport as it is a kind of mind game that requires someone else’s body. And yours too, if you’re lucky. This leads to semantic anomalies around handy verbs like “screw.” The difference in the progressive aspect, “screwing,” and the past-tense, “screwed,” can indicate the relative success of one’s evening. To wit, one can get screwed-over, however, it’s difficult to get screwed-under, though many in town are purportedly under-screwed – if the stoop-shoulder dregs shuffling out of Steiner’s at 2 a.m. are any indication.

Surely, somewhere there’s a mating manual called the Sonoma Sutra. In it there are sexual positions cultivated over the decades by the Sonomans of yesteryear. These include the “back at ya” wherein both partners, after a night of drinking, lie on their backs and hope the spinning of the room lands one atop the other.

Another popular position in Sonoma is known as the “The Tile of Denial,” which requires one partner to lie on a tiled bathroom floor curled around the toilet while the other partner stands by the door with a glass of water. This position can be sustained for hours and is often considered a “tantric” style of lovemaking with sessions often lasting into the wee hours of the morning.

The “Blow-n-Woe” is an oral exercise that requires copious amounts of wine, a car, a cop and a breathalyzer test. ’Nuff said.

So, yeah, the Great Sonoma Population Boom just went bust. Most notions regarding men and women in Wine Country go bust – like the local marriage counselor who considered writing “Men are from Napa, Women are from Sonoma,” until he sobered up. It’s just as well, otherwise we’d end up with some activist men’s group –  the “Sonomen” – set on “taking back” the town with some dumbass slogan like “’Noma Pride!” Until their wives tell them to shut up.

Sonoma should start campaigning now if it wants to get closer to the Travel + Leisure’s coveted number one spot on next year’s “America’s Most Romantic Cities” survey. (Incidentally, We also ranked among the top ten in a reader poll for having “quirky locals,” which we can completely attribute to city councilman Ken Brown.)

This year’s top ranking romantic locale is St. Simons, Georgia. In a small way, the victory is also ours – after all, the wine list from J. Mac’s Island Restaurant on the isle boasts a bottle of “J” Sparkling Brut, which is at least Sonoma County. Sure, that’s like getting cubic zirconia instead of diamonds – but it still sparkles, right?

Daedalus Howell gets screwed at DHowell.com.