I am here to praise tubaists. (Or, at least, one of them.)

16 02 2007

The British music magazine Muso recently conducted a survey on the sexiness of orchestra players and their, um, instruments. (I know this, by the way, because WNYC’s excellent music program Soundcheck featured the survey on Valentine’s Day. You can find the Soundcheck piece here.)

Among the results: Cellists were found to be the best lovers, and—naturally enough—respondents thought cellos were the sexiest instruments. It must pay off to, well, spend so much time with something that large between your legs (blush)…. Survey respondents also thought violists, of all people, had the most sexual partners, were most likely to have sex on the first date, probably had had the most sex in the last week, and were most likely to be gay. Gosh. I had no idea.

The news wasn’t as good for tubas and tubaists. Tubas were found to be the least sexy instrument, while tubaists were thought the most likely to be single.

Well, that’s just wrong, and I’m here to tell you about it. Over a decade ago, before I met the Soulmate-Who-Got-Away or the Ex, I dated a professional tuba player. It didn’t last all that long, but we had a beautiful spring together. The Tuba Player (T.B.) was a little bit inexperienced, but he was passionate. On a sunny weekend day, I remember, we drove into the country, his territory, and he showed me things and places he cared about. There were old country homes, a riverbank, a very old cemetery. I remember, too, that there was a sort of electricity whenever we touched. Hell, it was there when we even just brushed up against one another.

T.B. was (and is) a handsome man—tall, dashing, physically remarkable in, um, a variety(!) of ways. But maybe the best thing about him was his lips. It shouldn’t have been surprising, I suppose. Since childhood, T.B. had spent hours and hours of every day with the tuba, practicing his technique, using his lips. T.B. knew how to work his lips. And maybe even better, his lips were incredibly, incredibly soft. T.B. knew how to kiss. In my life, T.B. is the benchmark for kissing. He’s the A+. He’s the 100%. He set the curve on the kissing test.

T.B. and I weren’t meant to be. He was just finding his way as a gay man. I had to leave for a summer, and we unraveled over those months. It was sad for me, but it wasn’t unexpected. I think of T.B. as my first real love, and I think of him fondly.

So, anyway, don’t be misled by stereotypes about the tuba. Tubaists don’t have to be “tubby.” They don’t have to be awkward. And if you find one that’s single, I bet he can kiss like hell.




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