Friday, February 12, 2010

What women apparently want to know about men

The Frisky asks "50 questions for men we want answered ASAP" and then has the cojones to impose a 5000-character limit on comments. This is more than twice that length. And posting it here where I suffer no such limits and then posting a link to it is so much easier and more satisfying than manually breaking it up into pieces. So here goes:

Did you really think those Super Bowl ads were funny?

This year? Didn't see them. Other years? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. The ones that try to be funny often are. Some of the ones that don't try to be funny also are.

Why do you take so long pooping?

It's mighty rich for a girl to ask a guy why HE spends so much time in the loo, don't you think? If your boyfriend or husband spends more time in the bathroom than you do, it may be a good idea to reccomend he see a doctor.

Why do you cup your balls so much?

Some guys are just jerks about it. For the rest of us...well, if they're in certain positions, it is exceedingly uncomfortable. And if they're in certain other positions, it can cause socially inopportune symptoms of sexual arousal. Which can be fun while it lasts, but have negative consequences. Politeness dictates that adjustments be done in private...if you see a guy you're not sexually involved with do it often, classify him with the jerks.

Bar soap or body wash?

Bar soap is manlier, but body wash is more convenient. Most guys I know who've tried it prefer it, but would never think of admitting that to anyone but a close friend.

Why ask for my number if you’re not going to actually call?

Because he's a jerk. I have never asked for a phone number without the intention of using it, if it's given to me.

Why the mindset that being in a long-term relationship is the end of fun?

Some guys only like the chase. Some girls act like once the chase is over, they own the guy's soul. The evil side of me is inclined to say those people belong together. But realistically they both just have a lot to learn. For a pretty fair number of us, the chase is just the price we pay to get to the long-term relationship, which is what we really want.

Why are you so convinced that sex is so much more important for you than it is for women?

Because for a man to use sex as a weapon in a game of emotional blackmail is rare enough to be newsworthy, whereas stories abound of women spending their entire adult lives doing so? I don't assume sex is more important to me than to my wife, but that's because we have a healthy relationship. In every unhealthy one I've ever had or heard about, the evidence has tended to show that _having_ sex is more important to the man, and _controlling_ sex is more important to the woman.

Do you ever fake orgasms?

It is much, much harder for a man to be convincing in the attempt to fake an orgasm. Most don't even try.

Is there such a thing as “too slutty”?

Absolutely. (Which is not to say a lot of guys won't sleep with a girl who fits the description...once or twice, anyway. But they won't respect her.) And although "slutty" is an adjective almost never applied to men, the same principle applies to them.

What percentage of your female friends do you want to sleep with?

Not counting the one I'm married to? Zero. Which is not to say I don't find them attractive. It's rare for me to even pass a woman on the street and not find _something_ notably attractive about her. And hell, I can think of a couple of female friends that in some alternate universe I can imagine myself being married to. But not as happily married as I am to my wife.

Have you cheated? How often?

I once had sex with a woman who was married to another man. It was the worst mistake of my life. (And no, we didn't get caught. To the best of my knowledge, her husband still doesn't know.) At the time, my relationship with my on-and-off girlfriend of many years was in an...ambiguous state. We weren't precisely broken up, but we certainly weren't actively together either, so it could possibly be said that I was also cheating, even though I don't think so. But other than that one time, no.

Why do you always seem to be drawn to women who are dramatic?

They can be exciting. They're also often kinda scary. For the guy who enjoys the dating process, the exciting is likely to trump the scary, since they can always break up once scary comes in and go find someone new to be excited by. For the guy looking long-term, the scary bits are more important.

Hypothetically speaking, do you remember what I was wearing when we first met?

Depends on what it was. If you were out looking to pick up guys, the odds are decent that you were dressed in a way I'll remember on the day I die. If you were going about your normal life when we bumped into each other casually, started talking, and eventually became friends and then romantically involved, the odds aren't as good.

How often do you look at porn when your girlfriend isn’t home?

Not very applicable, since my wife and I both work from home, and I think it's been a year since we were more than 50 feet apart for more than three hours at a stretch. Which is not to say that I don't still enjoy my particular flavor of erotica. (You wouldn't know it was porn unless I explained it to you, even if you were staring right at it. But then, I'm a weirdo about porn.)

What is going through your head when we’re annoyed with you?

Assuming I even KNOW you're annoyed with me, I'm wondering why the hell you're annoyed with me. Often I _don't_ know you're annoyed with me, although I can usually tell you're annoyed, and whether it's with me or not, what's going through my head is a collection of possible ideas on how I can fix it.

Do you actually notice when it’s laundry day and we’re wearing old/unattractive panties or do they all look kinda the same to you?

I notice your clothes are all dirty when you tell me they're all dirty and that we need to do laundry. But in most of my relationships, I've been the one to run out of clean clothes first.

Seriously, isn’t watching six straight hours of football a bit too much?

I only watch the Super Bowl for the commercials, so you'll get no argument from me here.

Why do you continue to eat spicy foods if it only makes you feel sick?

It doesn't make me feel sick. If it makes your boyfriend feel sick, he should see a doctor about that.

What makes you think we will go see movies with guns/bombs/explosions if you will not go see rom-coms with us?

I see movies I'm interested in seeing. I have no fear of rom-coms as a category, and no special interest in guns/bombs/explosives per se. If the movie is unoriginal and stupid, I'll want my 2 hours back, whether it's a guy flick or a chick flick. If I want guns, I can go to the shooting range.

If your mother started an argument with me, whose side would you be on?

Yours, unless you were being completely unreasonable AND we were just casually involved. I hope you're my future, and pray night and day that she stays in my past. No contest. The only plausible exception would be if siding with you meant burning a bridge that I might need later...and if we're serious, I'm going to assume I don't need that bridge as badly as she does.

What do you have against special facial cleansers?

Define "special". If it's sufficiently better than ordinary soap as to justify whatever price premium you pay or utility gain you sacrifice by only being able to use it on your face, I don't have anything against it. I have yet to see evidence of this in action, but if it's your money, I don't presume to tell you how to spend it. I'm sure I spend money on plenty of things you don't understand.

What does it feel like when you fall in love?

It feels like the voice of God booming in your head, saying "HER! THIS ONE! GRAB HER UP NOW BEFORE SHE REALIZES YOU'RE ONLY HUMAN!"

What are you really thinking during sex?

"Is she really enjoying this as much as she seems to, or just pretending for my sake? I guess I'll never be 100% sure, but I hope this feedback is honest, or else I'm never going to make her happy." And similar thoughts along those lines.

What is the one thing you wish girls did in bed that they never do?

I've had girlfriends about whom I'd answer "tell me what she's really thinking". And I've had girlfriends about whom I'd answer "shut the hell up and let me sleep when I'm obviously too tired to think straight and probably won't remember this in the morning anyway". There's nothing that "girls" never do, only things that particular and individual women don't ever seem to do, and each one has her own quirks in this regard. Some of them are annoying, some of them are adorable, some alternate between the two based on the situation, and some manage to be both at once.

What do dudes talk about when they are alone?

Girls. And work. And Girls. And sports. And Girls. And hobbies. And Girls. Did I mention girls?

Why do you just disappear? If you don’t want to keep dating me, why not just say something?

Chances are I do want to keep dating you, and you're the one who lost interest and disappeared. (Seriously...I dated a girl on and off for almost 15 years, and the "off" periods always began when she'd mysteriously stop calling me and not return my phone calls for months on end. Until she'd decide to call again, and then we'd be back on. The only thing that stopped this pattern was that the last time she called to get back together, I told her I was about to propose marriage to the woman who's now my wife.)

Why won’t you just buy a new pair of shoes?

Because the old ones are still perfectly good, and they're more comfortable than new ones. If you can convince at least one heterosexual male of our mutual acquaintance that my definition of "perfectly good" is invalid as regards the shoes currently on my feet, I'll go out and buy a new pair.

Why won’t you ask for directions?

Because most people suck at giving directions. I get my directions from the internet before we leave. Before Google Maps and Mapquest, I had local and regional maps in my car. When I discover that the directions I already have are defective, I'll usually stop and ask a local for better ones...knowing in advance that even people like gas station attendants who get asked for directions all the time usually suck at giving them, and often don't know critical things like the cardinal compass directions, names of nearby streets, or distances to the turn-off I need to make.

What are your expectations of a romantic partner?

Love. Fidelity. Honesty. Emotional support. A willingness to have any arguments we must have ONLY in private, between the two of us. A willingness to actually HAVE an argument when an argument is warranted, rather than just expecting me to agree with whatever you say because you say it, or (even worse...far, FAR worse) expecting me to agree with whatever you think even if you DON'T actually say it.

Why do you enjoy video games so much?

I enjoy video games a little bit. Probably less than you do. :)

Why don’t you ever change the toilet paper roll?

I change the toilet paper roll more often than you do. I don't mind doing this.

Do you hate it when we ask you to kill the bugs or does it secretly make you feel kind of macho?

I am willing to kill the bugs when it's reasonable for me to kill the bugs. If I'm in the room, I'll kill the bug. If I'm in another room but returning soon, I'll kill the bug if you feel like waiting for me to kill the bug. If I'm asleep, or in the bathroom, or busy working, you can either kill the bug yourself or learn to live with the bug being alive until I get around to killing it.

Have you ever slept with a prostitute?

I have never had sex with a woman who'd describe herself as a prostitute. I have, however, had relationships that turned out to be based entirely on my ability to provide her with material goods on a regular basis. The major difference between those relationships and prostitution is that an actual prostitute will probably leave quietly when the business at hand is done, and won't particularly care if you stop trading your money for her sexual favors.

What is my favorite flower? C’mon, surely you’ve been listening.

No clue. Sorry. But honestly, it hasn't often come up.

Do you really like the way we taste down there?


If she cheated on you, would you take her back and try to save the relationship? If not, would you expect the same from her?

If she cheated on me, I'd absolutely try to save the relationship. I'd go to borderline-insane degrees to do so, and have done this in the past. (Seriously...ask me about my ex. I dare you.) If I cheated on her, I'd hope to be eventually forgiven, but frankly wouldn't expect it nor claim to deserve it.

Do you have a hard time if she’s more successful financially?

My wife came into the marriage with half a million dollars in cash and a quarter million in real estate from her inheritance. I came in with...a day job. Which I don't have anymore. I don't care who has how much or who earns how much, as long as we have enough. I _do_ care, however, that the needs of our relationship take precedence over the needs of either of our jobs. (The reason I don't have my day job anymore is because I was no longer able to hold up my end of that bargain unless I quit it. If she were in the same situation, I'd expect her to make the same choice.)

If a woman gives birth, do you have a hard time seeing her as a sexual partner?

Well, my wife and I don't have kids yet, so it hasn't been put to the test, but I really doubt that I'd ever stop seeing my wife as a sexual partner. "How to keep the kids out of the bedroom while we're busy making siblings for them" is a tougher question, though. :)

Why do you want to stick it in our butt so much? Don’t you think about poo?

As far as I'm concerned, the anus is a one-way street. I guess gay guys, since their partners don't have vaginal cavities, have to make do somehow, but why any straight man would want to do his girlfriend anally is a question that puzzles me too.

If you were with a woman who never let you near her butt, would you be cool with that?

Fondling of buttocks (strictly in the exterior sense, I add) can be nice, but I could live without that if she had some sort of issue with it.

What’s worse: Marriage or loneliness?

Loneliness is the closest approximation of the tortures of the damned which can be experienced by those still alive. Marriage is wonderful. No contest. (I think many more guys are scared of weddings than are scared of marriage. Having been through one, I can see their point.)

Do you care if they’re real boobs or fakes?

I care about the woman, not the tits. But going out and getting fake tits says some unnatractive things about the woman's personality.

Do you secretly wish we were virgins the first time we slept with you?

Not necessarily. But I do care about how choosy you've been in your prior selections, and what lessons you've taken away from the fact that you're not with them anymore.

What does being kicked in the balls really feel like?

Like being kicked in the balls. To those who know, no explaination is necessary. To those who do not know, no explaination is sufficient. I won't claim women are incapable of experiencing comparable pain (you'd NEVER get me to go through childbirth!) but there's really no adequate frame of reference to _explain_ the feeling more specifically than "it hurts. A lot. Way more than you'd think it would. Be glad YOUR gonads aren't hanging around outside your body, OK? Evolution wants us to protect them even slightly more than it wants us to _survive_, so when we fail to do so, it punishes us."

What do you think about when you’re going down on us?

"Is she enjoying this enough to make it worth the unpleasant smell and the sticky stuff all over my face? Couldn't I do this just as well with my fingers, and have a lot less of a cleanup job afterward?"

Does your mom really like me? Do you care?

I care that she likes you enough that #20 doesn't come up very often. Any more than that is nice, but not especially important to me. If she doesn't like you, though, you'll have no difficulty figuring that out. But that's OK...she doesn't usually like me very much either.

How was your first cunnilingus experience?

She was pretty happy with it, I think. I spent 20 minutes in the bathroom washing my face afterward, and the taste stuck around in my mouth for a week, despite a diet high in salt, garlic, chili peppers, chewing gum, and cigarettes.

Have you ever fantasized about one of my friends? A guy?

It's rare for me to SEE a woman within 20 years of my own age and not entertain at least one sort of fantasy about her. I've never fantasized sexually about a guy.

Does your dick feel like a dangling appendage when you run?

Briefs. Or those new "boxer-briefs" that Hanes makes. (I love those!) Otherwise, yes.

Have you ever considered milking the prostate? I’ve heard it’s the jam!

Eh? Never considered it.

Hope that helps. :)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Pate Chinois

I'm what you might call a classic, all-american mutt. This story derives from a fight between two of my great-great-grandmothers...the French one and the Irish one.

The dish starts out as something most people would recognize as a slightly modified Shepherd's Pie, but the story begins when it was served at a typically-contentious family gathering, shortly after my great-grandparents were married.

GGGM Lilly (Irish), sets down a plate of it on the table, at which point GGGM Anne (French), immediately asks "Zo vhat iz zees? P√Ęte Chinois?" ("Chinese Paste"). GGGM Lilly promptly responded "ZEEEEEEEEES is Shepherd's Pie, not...not...Chinese Pastry!"

What with the worst insult you could offer an Irish-American of that period being to compare their work to the Chinese, and the worst insult you could offer a French person of that (or any other!) period being to misunderstand or mistranslate their language, an inter-family fight immediately ensued. As was typical, for such gatherings.

As was not so typical, the dish acquired a new name in my family.

Yes. "Chinese Pastry". Which is famously neither of those things.

Depicted here, as perfectly executed as ever I've seen. Done by me, about half an hour ago.

The perfect food for proud amateurs. Really, in so many ways, the perfect food, full-stop.

Here's the thing about this blog.

I'm an amateur, at all but one of the things in life that truly interest me. (And I won't be spending much time talking about that one exception...the world has enough techbloggers already, thank you!)

But I'm an amateur economist. I'm an amateur theologian. I'm an amateur political writer. I'm an amateur cultural commentator. I'm an amateur book and media critic, as well as an amateur fiction writer. I'm certainly an amateur chef. I'm even an amateur husband (not that I'd ever particularly want to meet a professional one!).

I've never been credentialed in or meaningfully compensated for my skills in any of these fields, and don't particularly want to be. Yet I have them. And sometimes it seems like the world needs them. And sometimes I just feel like writing about them.

Guess what?

Blogging was invented for people like that.

So here I am.