It being the year of our Lord 2020, you can expect pretty much anything to be possible. But Gaelic games being the sexiest thing on the planet? Not sure anyone would have seen that one coming.
In June, you may recall, the actor and footballer Paul Mescal sent the fashion world into a tizz gadding about London town, occasionally wearing not much more than an insouciant air and his Kildare GAA shorts. A teenage laundry-hamper staple the length and breadth of the country they may be, but Mescal's shorts were so admired that Gucci soon released a €550 pair of similar white nylon shorts (trimmed with the Mayo county colours, but nobody's perfect).
And now word reaches us that hurling is so sexy across the world that it has, somewhat improbably, become an actual sex aid.
The New Society for Wellness, or NSFW, club has issued a set of rules and behavioural guidelines to enable it to host sex parties that adhere to social-distancing protocol, as the city moves into the next phase of its own roadmap out of Covid-19 lockdown. Sex acts can happen but only in a well-ventilated area, with lashings of hand sanitiser on hand to keep things virus-free.
The New York Post reports that the club’s founder, Daniel Saynt, is responsible for disinfecting NSFW’s sex aids. Saynt is photographed giving a hurling stick the sanitising treatment.
“I’ve learned a lot more about hurling this week,” Saynt notes down the phone from New York. “A lot of people have been, like, ‘Oh my God, you like hurling!’ But of course it means something different over here.”
Saynt notes that the stick, which he refers to not as a hurl but as a paddle, mysteriously arrived at his club two years ago, possibly left by a benefactor member.
“A lot of toys end up here, and this appeared at the clubhouse without any explanation as to where it came from,” he says. “As soon as I saw it I was, like, ‘This is great! I love it!’ A lot of people use it.
The sex club's founder says: 'I use it as a paddle and a cane. The long thin end is great for impact play, and the nub at the handle makes for a great tool for teasing your partner'
“We definitely have some Irish members, and since the [New York Post] story came out a lot of people have been asking where they can buy one.”
The club’s hurl, in case you might be wondering, is used primarily for spanking. “I use it as a paddle and a cane. The long thin end is great for impact play, and the nub at the handle makes for a great tool for teasing your partner,” Saynt says.
You and I might be more familiar with the 38in ash camán in its natural habitat: being used to transport a sliotar to one end or another of Croke Park in a 70-minute run for glory. Perhaps it’s because memories of rainy Sunday mornings on the pitch and unending PE lessons are baked into our bones that I am somewhat sceptical about the hurl’s kink quotient.
Would any Irish person, mindful of the Mayo curse and Michael Donnellan’s solo run and Seamus Darby’s last-minute goal, ever be able to buy into the idea that any GAA accessory could be an instrument of kink?
In any case, all of this is likely to come as a surprise to the hurling and camogie players of Ireland, whose scene has suddenly and without warning been sexed up a bit. They always believed they had the It-factor, of course – it was merely the rest of us who had to realise it.