Wednesday, February 16, 2005

There's a vas deferens between us...

From Mil Millington, author/social commentator/funny guy, on the difference between men and women:
I've got this friend. For the sake of discretion, let's call her Emma, and her partner can be Juan. And let's say they live in, oh - Penzance; rather than where they actually live - which is North London. So, my friend tells a story of the moment when, after five years together, she finally knew that it was over. Juan's formerly near-constant sexual desire for her was now far less frequent, and far more moderated by the television schedules. It was almost as though their sex life had to be vetted by TV Choice.
So, she secretly does a striptease course. She trains herself in the Art of the Thong, gets an outfit, and then glides into the room one evening while he's sitting there watching BBC 2.
She begins.
He glances at her absently. At last - when she's wearing nothing but an exasperated expression and a couple of tassels - she says, "Well?"
"What?" he asks.
"What do you mean, 'What?'? I'm here. You're in, mate. I can't really make it more obvious than this."
"Oh, right... Can't you wait a bit? I'm watching Star Trek."
"What the f-... I... Hold on ­ you've seen this episode anyway! It's a repeat, for God's sake!"
"Well... yeah. But it's one of my favourites," Juan replies.
And she's left standing there: embarrassingly bestripped.

An illuminating snapshot of many a relationship five years in. But that's not my point. My point is that I've heard her tell that story many times.
If a woman is listening, then that woman will immediately say, "God ­ that's awful. How terrible for you," or, "Oh, Emma. Your self-esteem must have been destroyed. You poor thing."
But, if it's a man there, what is his instant, instinctive reply? Well (for the women reading this ­ the men have the words fidgeting in their heads already), it's always the same thing:
"Hmmm... so - what episode was it?"

That is the difference between men and women.

So, since this is about gender issues, I have to add my two dollars' worth:

POINT #1: There you see male compartmentalization in action. Total focus. Right now is time for Star Trek, not other stuff. Not even a token nod in the direction of the Big Picture. Feelings not a factor, logic rules supreme: if she waited, we could have both Star Trek AND sex, whereas this way, it has to be one or the other...

POINT #2: It must be conceded that the guy is a moron. I cannot state this strongly enough. And I myself have been exactly that moronic. We were on vacation one time, my wife came out of the bedroom in sexy lingerie, and I asked her to just wait a sec till the end of the football game. What was I thinking? The 49ers were playing for the NFC championship, and I was totally focused, yes. But that's no excuse. It's one of the stupidest things I've ever done, and I'm still paying for it today.

POINT #3: Why are the rules so disparate on the issue of proposition/refusal? How many men have propositioned their partner while she's in the middle of something else, and been turned down hard? I think all of us. In fact, we're quickly made to understand that she wants time to get in the right frame of mind, that romantic talk and all that has to come first, you can't just spring it on her and expect an enthusiastic yes.
So anyway, when a guy gets told "Not now, but later," he's happy. Later is infinity times better than no.
When a woman's ready to go, she expects to hear "Okay, I'll just put the patient's heart here on the tray and come back later to finish up."

POINT #4: The guy was still an idiot.


At Wed Feb 16, 07:30:00 PM PST, Blogger unca said...

To state the guy is an idiot is probably a gross understatement. As dense and studpid as I am I can't even imagine ME being this clueless. Men and women both know that women "need time" and men don't. It's OK for a wife to reject overt advances, it's not OK for a husband to do this. It's as simple as that. Case closed.

At Wed Feb 16, 08:18:00 PM PST, Blogger No_Newz said...

Is this your long answer to my marriage question? I woulda been really pissed at Mr. Lane too if I were her, but then again, I am not one to take a class and strip for him neither. The problem is, guys are always ready, normally. And when a man picks TV vs. T&A, well, one can't help but think, what gives? The solution, a woman must sit next to the man whilst he watches TV. She must ask a question about everything that takes place. The man within 15 minutes, will become so exasperated with her stupid line of questioning, that he will want to have sex, if nothing more than to shut her the hell up. This has been a public service announcement from Lois Lane. I am Lois Lane, and I approve this message.Lois

At Thu Feb 17, 10:26:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've long been annoyed by this double standard, but I've had no real platform on which to air my grievances. This will have to do.

If you turn your wife down, it's like the world just came to an end, and there's no reason for living to continue, if that is how it's going to be be. You can be accused of anything from homosexuality (not that there's anything wrong with that!), to being a weird alien husband who hates the idea of human sexual intercourse.

Women get so used to being the sex gate-keepers, that it can lead to total melt-down when they want it and you don't. Well guess what? I'm not that good with directions or spatial relationships, so if she tells me that we're going the wrong way, that's ok with me. That's something I should *supposedly* tell her, but hey--it just didn't work out that way. So yes, I see that you are prancing naked in front of the TV, with 22 seconds left in the 4th quarter. If you could prance just a skinch to the left or right, that would be optimal. thank you.

At Thu Feb 17, 11:15:00 AM PST, Blogger anya ransuns aka Roxy said...

"prance just a skinch" :-)

At Thu Feb 17, 11:30:00 AM PST, Blogger Stephanie said...

OK, first off, I did NOT have a traditional "female" response to your story. I did *not* feel sorry for the wife. Which just goes to show you, people don't fit into gender boxes.

My response was, in fact, to think that this wife was an idiot for wasting her time taking a striptease class before first getting a clue as to what her husband really wanted.

On the surface a striptease may sound like something every guy wants, but I assure you (and I'm not even male!) that if the wife had gotten older and let herself go, and now was a shapely 200 pounds instead of her initial 120, the striptease was not going to have a good effect.

This whole "stripping for average women" thing is a big joke precisely for that reason. Do men care so much that strippers DANCE for them? I hardly think so. A man is not excited about the dance itself - he is excited that some strange exotic young nubile woman is flashing her tits at him. The dancing is optional.

A sexy, gyrating hip on a 20-something is one thing, but on 40-year-old woman with cellulite it is completely something else.

She should be happy that her husband loves her enough to stay with her despite her growing age, and be content that they have a nice relationship together.

At Thu Feb 17, 02:44:00 PM PST, Blogger bryan torre said...

Unca -
Agreed, he shoulda known better. Women are irons, men are lightswitches....

Lois -
Thank you for your tireless efforts on behalf of the public.

Anon -

Hi, Roxy!

Steph -
You're definitely right that people don't fit into gender boxes. (They fit into iron boxes with airholes in the top that I keep down in my basement, tho, bwahahaa...)
And yes, I think that
a) the dancing is optional, and
b) both men and women should listen harder to figure out what their partner wants, rather than continually giving them what they THINK a woman/man should want and being disappointed when they aren't thrilled.

At Thu Feb 17, 02:53:00 PM PST, Blogger bryan torre said...

Oh, and speaking of listening for what your partner wants:

Is it my imagination, or are women more guilty than men of thinking "If he really loved me, he would care about me enough to know (or figure out) what I want without me explicitly laying it out for him"?
I think most men would be really glad if
a) women were more direct about what they wanted, and
b) if women asked their men what they wanted.
I guess we really lack imagination in some areas -- we're not big fans of guessing games; we operate best when things are spelled out. Maybe it's about us wanting things concrete, compartmentalized, nailed down, conquered instead of fuzzy-wuzzy, touchy-feely, up-in-the-air.
We're SO happy when we have a definite direction, a task, a project, a quest, a purpose, something to DO. When all we have is a moment to BE in, when we have to deal with too much emotion, when we're supposed to just listen & FEEL instead of FIX, it makes us nervous.
Gimme the sword and show me the dragon -- just don't ask me how I feel about it.

At Thu Feb 17, 07:30:00 PM PST, Blogger unca said...

"Gimme the sword and show me the dragon -- just don't ask me how I feel about it."

Well put, Bryan. I hope you don't mind if I use this one.

At Fri Feb 18, 01:44:00 AM PST, Blogger mamacita said...

Although this is not a comment pertaining to just the sexual foibles in a relationship, I would like to recommend an excellent (in my opinion) book called "The Five Love Languages" by Gary Chapman. You can find it at Barnes and Noble or any Christian Book Store. Don't worry,even if you are an atheist, or maybe a Shiite Moslem, you will still benefit from this book!!
That is all for now.

At Mon Feb 21, 11:50:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yea the strip tease thing is pretty corny and cheesy.

Here are a couple of hints for the ladies:

Situation: Husband watching Star trek
How to seduce your husband:
Come out wearing a skimpy little alien costume with pointy ears on.

Situation: Husband watching football:
How to seduce your Husband:
Come out with a short little football jersey on with some of that black stuff under your eyes.

In both occasions tell your husband to leave the TV on
Your husband now has the best of both worlds.
He will be so impressed that he will give you more attention than you have ever received before.

You can read more of these valuable hints from the book called
Blogballs Book Of Love. Available on


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