Posted by Cassondra Murray Jun 5 2012, 3:03 am in Cassondra Murray, Cassondra's blogs, Highland Games, Kilts, Scottish heritage, sporrans
My father was a Murray and my mother a Grant, so it’d be hard to get any more Scot than I am(except for that bit of Cherokee thrown in a couple of generations back). I have a strong attachment to my Scot heritage, but that’s not the real reason I like to attend highland games. I’ve blogged about games–and kilts–before, but this time something kind of extraordinary happened to me. I was struck speechless by a man in a kilt.
I just got back from my annual foray to the biggest games in the region. They happen each June, the weekend after Memorial Day. It’s the one weekend I mark off, absolutely, no matter what, come hell or high water, every year. I see friends there. Ones I hold dear but don’t get to see, usually, except at these games.
But still, I’d attend even if my friends weren’t there. Because there’s another reason.
Ooooh, yeah. Kilts.
There are lots of men in kilts at the games. Dress kilts and Great kilts. Every tartan you can think of. Even some utilikilts, which have never impressed me. At least they hadn’t until this past Saturday.
We’d been at the games since early Saturday morning, so just before noon I went with two of my buddies on a search for food. We found some.
For you who’ve never been to highland games, the setups vary, but there are always the same main elements. Our games are set up with a big athletic field in the center, and clan tents surrounding it.
Then there’s another ring of tents outside of that, and those are the vendors. Food, jewelry, clothing for period costumes and reenactment. If you need a pink, pointy, cone-shaped hat with sparklies on it, a highland games would be the place to find one.
So we were on the way back to the tent with our chicken and French fries, and decided to walk close to the athletic field. There on the corner was an open space where athletes had gathered, along with some onlookers. I was chatting away when I noticed him. I about fell over my feet.
“Oh. My. God.” I said.
“What?” my friend asked? “What is it?”
“Holy cannoli, LOOK AT THAT!” I stopped, and they stopped with me, trying to see what I was looking at.
His back was to me, and his arms were crossed, feet spread wide as he concentrated on the athletes tossing a heavy weight over a high bar. He had on a loose white Jacobite shirt and a black utilikilt with some kind of leather shoes. His hair was coal black and hung almost to his waist. I kid you not. From the back (and side) it could have been this guy on the right. *fans self just thinking about it*
I actually checked my mouth for drool. It was that good.
My friends gawked at me. This ‘awestruck at the sight of a male’ behavior, you might want to know, is completely out of character for me, and I doubt they’d ever seen me completely speechless over this kind of thing, but honestly, I’d never seen anything quite like this. Not in real life anyway.
There were lots of hunks in kilts on that corner, and it took my friends a few seconds to figure out which one had caught my eye. “Really?” one friend sounded skeptical. “Him?”
“OH yeah,” I breathed. I eased forward, trying to get a view of the rest of him. If the front view was as good as the back view, the chances of me making it back to the clan tent with my brain intact were just about nil. He turned his head to speak to the guy standing next to him. Short-cut beard stubble. Just what I like. I stopped breathing. He turned away and headed off in the other direction.
I never saw him again, so never got to ogle him from the front, but I started musing about how different men are, and how women like such different types. My friends were not into the long hair. I was. They tend to like more bulk. I tend to like lean and hard.
But there is a common denominator for an awful lot of women I know. Almost any man in decent shape looks better in a kilt.
But back to the whole sporran thing.
For you who don’t know, the sporran is the little bag that guys carry (when wearing a kilt), on a belt or chain around their waist. And it hangs sort of..uhm…directly in front of their gentlemanly bits. It’s often the most decorative thing on the male Scottish outfit which means, if you’re a fan of said regalia, you could feasibly spend right fair amounts of time staring at the nether regions of men in kilts. I know this from personal experience. Yes, I do.
Some of these sporrans are truly spectacular. And, well…you kind of want to touch them. Assuming you’re not the squeamish type who doesn’t want to touch fur. They are generally made of leather that is dyed and polished or embossed, or….they’re made of fur. Sometimes intact furs. Everything from soft rabbit fur to more exotic furs.
This one on the left is kind of simple, but it looks soft and cushy.
Okay y’all, I’m a softie when it comes to animals. I grew up with a dad who hunted, but I can’t personally kill anything with fur and don’t even squish bugs if they’re not bothering me. But I’ve gotta tell ya, there’s something about a big strapping guy in a kilt with a fur sporran that makes me want to stare. And touch. And if it’s a soft, cushy sporran, I want to pet it.
The sporran. I want to pet the sporran. Y’all get your minds out of the gutter, will ya?
As I type this and reflect on my interest in these things, I think I’ve hit on one of the core reasons I’m attracted to highland games. There’s an earthiness about them. The men–at least the ones I encounter– are men. The ladies are strong women, but they have no problem letting the men be men. Appreciating the men for that intense male-ness does not make the women “less” in any way. I actually think there’s something about men in kilts that sort of accentuates the differences between male and female in some indefinable way that is really sexy.
And there’s no lack the other way either. The Scot men I know are not afraid to let a lady know she’s attractive and appreciated. And the ladies are not afraid to enjoy the attention, or to return it. In that setting, it’s almost as though we take a small step back from our culturally correct, polite polish for a bit, and allow ourselves to be more free and open. More raw.
It gets my blood going a little, in a way that office parties, primped pressed and politically correct suits and sequins do not.
I will admit that I have asked men in kilts if I could pet their sporrans.
I’ve never had even one guy say “no.”
Bandits and Buddies, have you ever attended a Scottish Highland Games or Celtic festival?
Ever ogled a guy in a kilt?
Do you think a kilt adds a measure of sexy to a guy? Or do you prefer a regular suit or jeans?
What, in your opinion, is the appeal of a kilt? Is it just that it seems a bit exotic, or is there something inherently sexy about the kilt…or is it the obvious self-confidence of the guy wearing it?
Have you ever seen a sporran that you wanted to…umm..pet?