Sex and Manhood

How could a man say no to sexual opportunity?

I am in the middle of reading Men’s Work by Paul Kivel. Great work exploring the inner workings of masculinity. I can really identify.

I was kind of thinking about the same thing. A few years ago, a woman I was very attracted to propositioned me at a party. I don’t know her very well, but I always found her very physically beautiful.

She was being a little frisky with me and I was a little aroused. On the other hand, I just wasn’t really feeling it that night. I was slightly drunk. I wanted to go home and sleep. But I responded to her advances anyways because I felt like I must. After all, what kind of man goes running when a hot chick comes a knockin’?

Whenever I relate these incidents to my guy friends, they think I am a wussy. One of my best friend actually has a policy to try to fuck every girl that steps into the threshold of his bedroom. He isn’t necessarily interested in every women that does enter his room, but he told me that he felt less of a man if he didn’t at least try. The pursuit is what is important. The pursuit is itself the true test of masculinity.

I think back to all my friends who would go out every night, looking a lazy fuck. Actually, it was hardwork. Dressing up would take them two hours. Then, another hour of pre-drinking. What “pre-drinking” is for, it took me years to figure out — it was to numb their sense of embarrassment so that they could hit on dozens of women a night and get rejected and keep on going. I still remember all the women they would bring back. Some of them, I knew, my friends were completely unattracted to.

I remember after one such unmemorable fucks, I asked my friend about why he did it.

“I just needed to get laid,” he said, “sorry about the noise.”

He chuckled and went back into his room.

I was horrified. My friend is an upper-middle class snob that would normally blow someone off if they had the wrong socks on. Why the hell is he fucking a woman he probably won’t even talk to, he wasn’t the least bit interested in, and will probably never want to see again? It seemed neither pleasurable, nor intimate, nor something to take pride or joy in.

My friends actually kept an informal scoresheet of their sexual “conquests.” It wasn’t really talked about, but everybody keep a mental note. And do compare. My friend, GQ, averaged about one woman a week, and YM, averaged about one woman every two weeks. They were friends and often wing each other. But it was also a competition to see who can beat who this week. Or, if one can take a chick off anoher. It was all meaningless.

GQ had just came out of a difficult relationship and was still dreaming every night about his ex-girlfriend. YM was completely confused. He wasn’t sure about his sexuality at all.

Yet this nightly ritual of theirs went on for years. I was pretty disgusted and pretty sad.

I was thinking and thinking. Why do we have to prove our manhood like this? Why should anybody feel “less like a man” for listening to their body? Why can’t a man say “no?” And if he did, does it make him less of a man?


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