The literary world needs more essays written by men who are disenchanted with the behavior of women. Perhaps it’s only my experience, but it seems as if publishing is rife with memoirs and self-help books and online rants about how men won’t commit and can’t communicate and how chivalry has gone the way of the Dodo, whereas similarly-themed works from the male point of view are proportionally scarce.
One reason for this might be that it’s not politically correct for men to express their baldest, gender-specific feelings. Perhaps that’s why, when it occurs, the stories lean to the extreme. In his second autobiography, A View from Above, Wilt Chamberlain, a lifelong bachelor, claimed to have had sex with 20,000 women. Since this seems fairly absurd (the number calculates to nine women a week from the age of 15 until the book was published), it becomes a caricature of male desire rather than an accurate description of it. The same with books like Tucker Max’s I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell and forthcoming Assholes Finish First. Max’s genius is to live and render his natural male inclination to such an extreme that it transcends any sort of serious deconstruction. The man is a consummate, admitted asshole and womanizer. His stories are funny to the frat boy and above discussion by intelligent women everywhere, right? Most men aren’t anything like him.
What if the more accurate claim is that most men aren’t like the above examples because they simply aren’t afforded the same opportunities? How often have you heard someone make an argument like, Well, he’s a rock star. Of course he’s going to sleep around with all those women after him.? The same for athletes and politicians and movie stars. We expect them to live the life of the alpha male because they’ve earned it, have they not? Even the local “player” who frequents the martini bar earns a certain reputation for having the look or the silver tongue to talk a girl out of her panties. And many women, we all know, are attracted to this sort of appeal. They don’t necessarily want to marry the guy…but they might. If they could be the one to tame him, they’d actually love to land someone like that.
In any case, stories about men spreading their seed aren’t even what I mean. Where are the books written by men who are tired of women being so indecisive? Who are sick of being dragged into pointless arguments? Why is it okay for you to want to tie us down but it’s not okay for us to lack commitment? Both of these desires arise from biological urges. What makes yours more proper than ours? Because you have abandonment issues? Well, we men happen to have abandoning issues. It comes with the core programming, the same as yours.
Or so a man might argue if he just had the balls. To admit that you’re a regular guy who is kind to most people, including women, but you still have an occasional (or even constant) desire to sleep around…well, that just doesn’t compute. In fact, the men who appeal the least to women are often those who say the most sensitive things. I would never treat a woman that way. Women are unique and beautiful creatures who deserve my full attention. I only want to have sex with one! My soul mate! Women, you know these men. You probably call them boys. He’s such a nice boy, isn’t he? But he isn’t the one who makes your engine run, is he?
Of course women sometimes want different things depending on where they are in life. In their 20s they may only have eyes for the panty-droppers. But sensitive men, have patience: These same women in their 30s may very well come looking for you. Or just get yourself a copy of The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists and stop feeling sorry for yourself.
I suppose you don’t see more men writing books about their problems with women because, frankly, it’s unbecoming. For all their feminist posturing, most women I know still want a man to be strong for them, to be the unmovable rock against the powerful and fluid current of their emotions. Women want to feel secure and special and loved; they want to know that no matter how many activities and friends and hobbies you enjoy, they remain the most important thing in your life.
And you know what, ladies? There’s a guy out there who wants to give that to you. Probably a few of them. It may take a while to find him, because close matches are hard to come by, but eventually you will. All you have to do—from our point of view, anyway—is lower your guard a little and be willing to accept that not every relationship you enter will be “the one.” Nothing turns a guy away faster than the instant reach for “soul mate” status. A burgeoning relationship is an interview, not a love story. At least not to us. Not yet.
But in the end, most of us want the fairy tale as much as you do. We realize the value in a long-term partnership with someone who sees the world in a way familiar only to the two of us. Just because we imagine ourselves sleeping with every hot woman in the world doesn’t mean we will actually attempt to do so.
Especially not as we lie in bed, smelling your sweet skin, listening to you breathe, your warm body asleep in our arms.
After all, this is the only time you stop talking.