I have always felt for a pig in heat. For those few days every month their whole world turns upside down. Their gluttony shifts from food to sex, from filling their gut to filling holes further south and nothing else interests them. They don’t eat. They don’t run from strange things. They stand and stare and hope that each passing creature — be it a tractor or a man or a dog — will have what it takes to scratch that itch. Their impulse for self preservation — maximize caloric intake, fear potential predators — is short circuited in favor of making babies.
I can commiserate.
At 22 I left city life behind to learn to farm. Don’t ask why. Something about peak oil and self determinism. But my life became following the seasons, moving from farm to farm in search of experience and mentors, one rural community after another. My friends called me a migrant, my family thought I was on drugs, but I was happy and humming with novelty.
Only the sex was not great. And by not great I mean non-existent. There was a void. Food and physical exhaustion filled that void for a time, but like the sow I would one day wake unfulfilled in some basic biological way. How was I to find my lady-boar?
Tinder does not work in the stix. The sample size is too small within any reasonable distance and there is no incentive for a woman in the city to search for suitors 100 miles away. No one has a fetish for hours long commutes just to see someone, and as I found out, few have farmer fetishes. (This was a let down. I began my contrarian career thinking it would get me laid a lot. Wouldn’t women love the fact that I work with my hands and wear boots, that I work 12 hour days and make pennies, that my clothes are stained with sweat, blood and animal feces?) So while friends in the city would report back with tales of promiscuity and casual hookups from the front lines of the Tinder revolution, I was left in the country polishing my musket, waiting for the revolution to come to me.
It never quite made it. At least not by scale. The endless options, the T-holes, swiping left or right for hours on end, this would never become part of country life. No, the opportunities for an affair on the farm are far more fleeting.
There are, of course, gals that grew up in the country. Only they never seem too impressed by my career choices. “Oh, you went and paid for college, got a degree and what, thought it’d be fun and romantic to come live the life that bankrupted my family.” Also, they’ve been tossing around bales of hay since they could stand and are in all ways tougher and more practical than me. In short, ideological differences have kept us apart.
These ideological differences also could explain my hesitancy to join farmersonly.com, where the tag line is “City folks just don’t get it.” I am after all a city folk at heart. I don’t have traditional family values or Christian morals. I don’t own a gun. But still, I don’t have to be lonely, do I?
There is in all this isolation one last bastion of hope, one magical revolving door of wide-eyed idealists, of hippie vagabonds, Europeans and college girls “figuring it out.” Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) gives city folk the chance to experience life on the farm in exchange for a little labor. It also gives farm laborers the chance to creep on said city folk.
When a farmer announced we were expecting WWOOFers my heart would swoon. But most WWOOFers stay only a week or two, so you’ve got to act fast without seeming desperate. This is a lot like telling that sow in heat not to seem so desperate. It doesn’t really work out.
But there were blissful nights when it did work out. Then, eventually relationships with farmer girls down the road, or on the same farm. And actually, the sex got good. You're surrounded by fertility on a farm, whether its pollinating birds and bees, dandelions casting their seeds in the air, or those sows so eager for a boar. Everybody is looking for love, just don't forget about your farmers.