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Although, as I have stated in the past, men are fairly simple creatures, there is still a side of us we try to keep to ourselves.  And while it may seem we are hiding something in an effort to increase our mystique, we are, in fact, simply concealing a number of dirty little secrets that we don't particularly want you to know.  However, since you are nice enough to have taken the time to read this column, I will divulge a few of these heretofore hidden truths, so that you might have a better understanding of what's really going on inside a man's head (an area you may have erroneously thought was a barren wasteland).

First and foremost, you should know, that every man sees you naked (which is, not so coincidentally, the title of my most recent book).  And when I say every man, I mean just that.  Your brother, your dentist, your uncle, your clergyman, your father, your son, and your eighty-five-year old grandfather have all pictured you in the buff at one time or another.  And whether you find it gross, disgusting, inappropriate, or downright despicable, it is still the way we're hardwired, and like it or not, it's not going to change.  On the plus side, since we don't actually know what you look like under your clothing, our image of you is almost always quite flattering.  We men are an optimistic bunch, and therefore endow you with the best possible, most flawless features we can reasonably imagine you might possess.  So regardless of what you really look like, in our mind, your body is as smokin' hot as your relative frame allows.

Men's Dirty Little Secrets

Dirty secret number two is:  Men don't need romance.   Ever.  That is not to say we don't do romantic things on occasion.  Many of us do, with varying degrees of frequency.  But for the most part, we do those things completely for you.  It helps us get you in an amorous mood.  And we're all for that.  But men don't need anything, including romance, to get us in the mood for love.  We're almost perpetually "ready for action," (and when we're not, there's Viagra).  Soft music, low lighting, scented candles, and chocolate-dipped strawberries do little to enhance our passion.  We're kind of no-frills when it comes to getting down and getting funky.  Just say you want to jump our bones, and that's about as much romance as it takes to get us to shuck our clothes and get down to business.

I am sure that many of you have found yourself at some point in your past, asking your boyfriend where your relationship was going.  And it seemed like a fair question, given that you had perhaps been dating for quite awhile.   But you may have noticed that your guy seemed particularly uncomfortable when you posed this question to him.  And the reason for this is dirty secret number three: When it comes to their personal relationships, men under the age of twenty-nine generally have absolutely no goals.  They know they like spending time with you, enjoy having sex with you, and would like to continue doing both, but that's as far as it goes.  They have no idea "where this is going," and more importantly, don't particularly care.  It's not until they reach their late twenties and have what some sociologists have referred to as "the dawning," that men think much past tomorrow when it comes to the trajectory of their intimate relationships.  Apparently it just takes men longer to mature, than it does women.  Big surprise there, huh?

And then there's the matter of condoms.  And while it's no secret that a large percentage of males consider them a somewhat necessary pain-in-the-ass, it might surprise you to know that most men have no idea how to properly use one.  Oh sure, they know where it goes – but that's about the extent of their knowledge.  They are blissfully unaware that just "rolling on a raincoat" only marginally reduces the possibility of pregnancy and the spread of venereal disease.  Knowing exactly how and when a condom should be put on and taken off is key to their effectiveness, and most guys are clueless to this (to be fair, in this instance, guys are not trying to hide their lack of knowledge from you - they simply don’t know what they don’t know). And while I won't go into specifics about the actual protocol for this contraceptive device (I'll save that for an upcoming column), suffice it to say, condom usage is not particularly intuitive.  So, since guys have generally not read anything on "the proper care and feeding of your condom" (if such a tome exists), and men are loathe to swap helpful hints on prophylactic etiquette, ignorance and thus accidental impregnation and disease dissemination proliferate.  But ask a guy how to play the latest XBox 360 game and he'll be able to give you explicitly accurate instructions.  Go figure.

So there you have it - a sampling of hideous, hidden truths about the male of the species.  Are there more?  Absolutely.  And I'll be happy to share them with my next column (It may not be much, but that's as close to a cliffhanger as you're going to get from me).


(C)2008 David M. Matthews.  All Rights Reserved.

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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Amy L. Harden wrote Aug 15, 2008
    • kill me...this article was a wonderful treat to read on a Friday afternoon...thanks for sharing...I can’t wait to read your next column!

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Gwyn Walker Chambers wrote Aug 16, 2008
    • I am laughing hysterically imagining the fun I could have with this new knowledge.  

      And I just find this out at 46.  

      Every man?


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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Stephanie wrote Aug 18, 2008
    • What I love about your work is that you have been able to successfully paint an image in my mind that is not new to me, rather many women in real life and even movies experience. You have illustrated several good points and have me addicted to your writing!! I can’t wait for the next piece. You’ve got some serious talent!

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Donna65 wrote Aug 22, 2008
    • Sometimes I have found if you ask some of these questions you might get the truth, mostly just what they want you to hear Therefore I always take the answers with a grain of salt and of always talk to the previous female or females in his life if possable. Its amazing how the puzzle pieces fall together. Men are men and I love them, as hard as it is to figure them out. But, who ever said life did not take work. I happen to enjoy real life puzzles.  This is the first Time I have read your writing and look forward to the next.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Robinesque wrote Sep 12, 2008
    • David, you realize that if I asked Mr. Robinesque about this, he would DENY,DENY,DENY.  Hey, I would!!  Admit to the wife that I imagine all women nude, FIRST, then concentrate on what they are droning on about, SECOND?

      Oh, yeah.  I’m sooo denying.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Janna Whitley wrote Sep 25, 2008
    • This is oddly liberating. I actually love the simplicity of men, but the complexity of my hardwiring seems to measure a man’s  open-ness and romantic inclinations towards me as to where I stand with them. This is most interesting and I smile as I think about it.


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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Debby81 wrote Sep 25, 2008
    • At last, what we already suspected is confirmed...  Now can you enlighten us on this whole internet porn fascination?  I don’t know a single male who isn’t susceptible to it.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Pollux wrote Sep 25, 2008
    • I’m a man, 100% man with no ambiguities at all, well past 29, well acquainted with love, sex, romance, passion, affection, dating, marriage, from age 14 to the present, and find this column to be mostly just total nonsense.

      No solid, objective evidence is given, and the claims strongly conflict with ME, my brother, my three best male friends, and more.

      Men are NOT “fairly simple creatures“.  Much of our complexity is from our ambition, pride, and hard work in education and career.  One of the largest issues is love, home, and family:  Many men, as early as 15, include in their ambition, pride, and plans love, home, and family.

      Are we “simply concealing a number of dirty little secrets that we don't particularly want you to know“?  No.  This is nonsense.  I have no “dirty little secrets” and no secrets at all.  The men I know are similar, are quite willing to tell a serious love interest all about their thoughts, beliefs, fears, wishes, hopes, etc.  About the biggest secret might be that, in basketball, it is easier to dribble to the right than to the left.

      In fact generally men are MUCH more open about motives, thoughts, aspirations, etc. than women if only because men think about plans much more than women.

      That “every man sees you naked” may help sell a book but is just not true.  At age 14 before I had seen a nude female, I wondered.  That is, I was curious.  Otherwise, no.

      What men are “hardwired” for is just to look at women:  It doesn’t take much, maybe just a glimpse of 1/100th of a second from 300 yards away at night in the fog.  But the first looks are nearly involuntary and amount to nothing important.

      The biggest error is “Men don't need romance.”  My experience is that overwhelmingly men are MUCH more interested in long term, stable, romantic relationships than are women, MUCH more.  There is some variation for both men and women, but in my experience men are the ones who want long term marriages with love, home, and family, and stay with it for decades after their wives would have long since left, the marriage, the husband, and even the children, except just for the financial support.  The reason is, men are good at planning and women are MUCH more emotional than men.  Indeed, a crucial part of planning for a man must be how he is going to keep his wife’s emotions positive; he must make monitoring and management of her emotions one of his most important responsibilities.  His planning must cover not only his part in the marriage but also HER part.

      It is true that in principle “Men don't need romance.” to have sex, but my experience is that commonly women do not either.  Mostly the girls I knew, from excellent families, etc., were interested JUST in sex.  Love, affection, personal attachment, long term plans, real intimacy?  No.  Sex?  HECK YES.  For sex their main concerns were just, nothing violent, not get pregnant, no harm to their public reputation, but good excitement.  They just wanted to enjoy sex, and if there was nothing really wrong, then they didn’t much care with whom.

      But now in the US in the 21st century, that it is easy for men to have sex without romance is not very relevant because just having sex on a moment’s notice with just any female now brings big risks of medical problems, legal problems, and financial problems.  E.g., by age 20, about 20% of women have an STD.  In some large US cities, 1/3rd of the women have genital herpes.  With such statistics, I’m CAUTIOUS.

      Many times as a teenager I had to tell eager girls “No” or at least to slow them down until we were clear on (A) is she infected, (B) is she pregnant, (C) when is her next period, (D) what will be the reaction of her parents, etc.  With that much rationalism, the emotionalism usually faded.  NO WAY was I going to risk an infection, a paternity suit, a charge of rape, or a charge of sex with a minor.  I’m not going to say what I did and didn’t do, then and later, but I was always CAREFUL.  And I never got an STD, never caused an unwanted pregnancy, and never got into any legal trouble.

      For many men, including me, the “We're kind of no-frills when it comes to getting down and getting funky.” is highly misleading:  “No-frills” sex just isn’t worth all the time, involvement, risks, etc.  A serious relationship?  MAYBE, if there is enough time, money, and a suitable female.  Given a suitable relationship, sex?  Sure.  Otherwise?  Mostly NO—not these days; too risky.

      For, “When it comes to their personal relationships, men under the age of twenty-nine generally have absolutely no goals.  They know they like spending time with you, enjoy having sex with you, and would like to continue doing both, but that's as far as it goes.” absolute complete, utter, total nonsense.  Maybe there are some such brain-dead, wild animal males out there, but I’ve never known such a man.  Women?  Personally, yes.  Men?  No.

      When I was 14 I met a girl of 12 and very quickly fell very much in love with her.  As I now know, it was real love.  In another time or another society, we might have gotten married and done well.  I was in love enough with her to care about her, want to take care of her, certainly not hurt her, be very careful not to hurt her in any way, and to have the closest relationship we could.  Planning?  As much as was possible for our ages.  Again, under different circumstances, I would have tried to marry her.

      That situation continued.  When I was 24 I decided to get married and made plans, quite careful plans for marriage, career, finances, etc.  We did get married when I was 26 and stayed married for 24 years, attempting to pursue the plans, at which time she died.  There was NO shortage of careful planning on my part.

      Broadly, a lot of men, in their teens and 20s, are quite good at planning, including for education, career, love, home, marriage, and family.  To claim that no men can do this is absurd.

      For “Apparently it just takes men longer to mature, than it does women.“, this is misleading:  Men and women are DIFFERENT.  For emotional and ‘social’ maturity, women rush ahead.  For planning and rationalism, men rush ahead.

      The condom plumbing comments are total, made up, absurd nonsense.  There’s just NO problem here, no more than there is in how to plug in an electric light, how to connect a garden hose, or, indeed, how to have sex.  Any man with any mechanical sense at all, e.g., enough to change a flat tire, will see all that is necessary right away.

      This column just tries to be interesting by putting out made up nonsense.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Momof6 wrote Sep 25, 2008
    • Thanks, Glad to hear another opinion. There really isnt any generalizations for anyone or any gender.. Everyone is different and has different needs, emotions, outlooks etc

      I agree that my husband doesnt think of other women in the nude..It is quite odd actually..

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Jilljack wrote Sep 25, 2008
    • pollux:)

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Robinesque wrote Sep 25, 2008
    • Pollux, you had me until:

      “Many times as a teenager I had to tell eager girls "No" or at least to slow them down until we were clear on (A) is she infected, (B) is she pregnant, (C) when is her next period, (D) what will be the reaction of her parents, etc. With that much rationalism, the emotionalism usually faded. NO WAY was I going to risk an infection, a paternity suit, a charge of rape, or a charge of sex with a minor.”

      Which leads me to ponder that perhaps you were so cautious due to your own insecurities, or maybe even a bit germaphobic. (Please do not take offense.)  And why were you declining “minors“?  How old were YOU that it was even a possibility?  You sound so “careful” and oh-so-cautious to ever be involved in that atmosphere.  Just saying.
      I understand that your experiences apparently were at the opposite ends of the spectrum as David’s, but that is not to say that his is the minority.  I have always been aware of the man described by David, but why haven’t we heard of your kind of man more?

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Janna Whitley wrote Sep 25, 2008
    • Just out of curiosity how many men are members of this website? I thought this was a woman’s site.  

      I tend to think that you are quite naive Polluk and if you didn’t mention marriage, I would assume you are gay. If what David is saying is “made up“, he didn’t make it up. I have heard some of this many times before. It is not uncommonly thought that women are more concerned or interested in love, family and stability in a relationship. It is not uncommonly thought that girls mature faster or sooner then boys. It is a new thought however that a 14 year old boy would be concerned about pregnancy, std’s, paternity suit????  and rape? I mean what planet did you grow up on? Are you gay?  

      I have never heard of a teenage boy worrying about “hurting” a girl he loves. Isn’t sex ultimately an expression of loving feelings? I mean at it’s best?  

      I think in addressing men’s simplicity it is not saying they are stupid or shallow. Men can be simple and educated. Simple and intelligent. Simple and sucessful.  

      I enjoyed the article and ordered the book. I look forward to additional articles.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Debby81 wrote Sep 25, 2008
    • Actually “Pollux” I am curious why you would use an androgenous name and a female icon to represent yourself. Sort of makes me feel like we‘re being spied on, or worse...

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Pollux wrote Sep 25, 2008
    • robinesque,

      Let’s be both simple and clear, in the US, for a boy 14 to 18 with girls 12 to 15:

      US society has some strong negative feelings about females that age having sex no matter what the age of the male.  These feelings are from religion, just general social norms, and in laws.  It is generally assumed a girl of that age is too young to consent and, thus, to have had sex has had something really bad happen to her; the law calls it “rape“.  Some girls are then concerned that they can no longer wear a white wedding dress—it’s happened, and sometimes for Protestant girls.  Commonly the parents can be just horrified to learn that their daughter of that age was had had sex.  Holland, Sweden, etc., are quite different in attitudes (although from the statistics I have seen, not in how often or how young girls have sex).  Beyond sex, getting such a girl pregnant is regarded as a grand disaster.

      Broadly, if person A cares about person B, then person A does not want to be involved in anything that hurts person B. Period.

      So, a boy who really cares for a girl, wants nothing bad for her, in no way wants to hurt her, who has an opportunity to have sex with her, very much has to ask himself if he wants to do that.  He also has to ask if he wants to get her pregnant:  One reason for the boy to ask is that commonly the girl is so dominated by emotions that she is not being responsible about getting pregnant.  In such a case, the boy has to be responsible or risk getting her pregnant; while this is worse for the girl, it can be plenty bad for the boy.  It is just good sense that the boy be responsible and not get her pregnant, no matter how irresponsible she is at the moment.

      Maybe her judgment is impaired by immaturity, passion, social pressure, insecurity, etc.  In some cases in practice her judgment is impaired by alcohol or drugs.  Does the boy want to ‘take advantage’ of a girl he really cares about?  Sometimes the answer is no, and that’s NOT surprising.

      More generally, the idea that every male will jump to have sex with any female whenever the opportunity is present is just silly; there are too many reasons, legal, financial, or medical, often to slow down.

      A little more generally, much of US society is totally hung up about sex:  E.g., one of the easiest ‘stories’ for the media to get attention is anything having to do with sex except in a traditional marriage.  A US President can get impeached; a NYS Governor can be driven from office; a Chair of the Ways and Means committee can be driven from Congress, all where mostly the issue that made the public conclude that the person had done something wrong was just the sex outside of traditional marriage.  Careers can be ruined.  In the US, sex outside of traditional marriage can be dangerous.

      If I were in college now and at a party and a girl I didn't know well wanted to have sex - 'hook-up' - then I would be very careful:  (A) She could already be pregnant and, then, point to me.  Then I'd be in a legal case and suffer expenses of paternity tests, legal fees, etc.  (B) She could have an STD, including an incurable one, and I could catch it.  It's happened, but NOT TO ME!  (C) She could have a steady boyfriend who tended toward jealousy and violence; she might even be married.  (D) She could be under the age of consent in which case I could be named a sexual predator for life.  (E) In the morning she could change her mind about 'consent' and accuse me of rape.  At some universities, a boy and girl can be in bed, in the dark, nude, pressed close, kissing, aroused, and then the university code of conduct requires the boy to get explicit consent from the girl for sex and otherwise be accused of rape, tossed out of college, etc.

      In the US, especially for teenagers, sex can be DANGEROUS.

      That’s not gay, “germaphobic“, male insecurities, or anything else obscure.  Instead, it’s just simple, obvious, and solid.

      To do something dangerous is not ‘masculine‘; it’s just DUMB.

      Among men I know, they just did NOT always jump at every opportunity, e.g., to have sex with a girl who drank too much at a party.  If he likes her, if he is just a decent human being, the nice thing to do is just to take her home.

      For “why haven't we heard of your kind of man more?” because it is so much more dramatic, so much better as a ‘story’ that grabs people below the belt, to go with the old myth that men are ally cats.  Some are.  Ask AIDS case basketball super-star Magic Johnson how much fun it is to have sex without being careful?


      “It is a new thought however that a 14 year old boy would be concerned about pregnancy, std's, paternity suit???? and rape?  I mean what planet did you grow up on?  Are you gay?”  Nope, not gay at all, not even a tiny little bit.  I would have to ask, do you read the newspapers?  E.g., a teenager went to a party in a motel room, had oral sex with a girl 14, and got thrown in jail.  I’m a fully 100% normal male.  But, also I’m not STUPID.  A lot of 14 year old boys are stupid; some get caught and go to jail.  It’s plenty easy for a boy 14 not to be stupid.

      Yes, can assume that the social norms in the US are that a girl 14 and a boy 18, going steady for some months, and in love will have sex and that there is just NOTHING in the law or on this planet that can or should stop this.  Still, in all or nearly all the states of the US, the boy is breaking the law and is subject to some serious punishment.  Did I always say “No” in such a situation?  I won’t say.

      A girl was underage, in love with a boy.  The girl’s parents approved.  The boy and girl were living together and routinely having sex in a room to themselves in the parent’s house.  The boy, the girl, and the girl’s parents were all happy.  But a local prosecutor was not, and the boy got prosecuted.  Rare?  Yes.  Impossible?  No.

      For your “I have never heard of a teenage boy worrying about "hurting" a girl he loves.  Isn't sex ultimately an expression of loving feelings?  I mean at it's best?“, can be, would, could, and should be.  But at times underage girls can seek sex where love clearly has nothing to do with it.  Instead, she just wants to have sex, maybe just to try it.  As a teenager, I knew such girls.  In one case, I loved the girl; she didn’t love me; but she asked for sex.  Now what?  I’m not saying what I did in all cases.  Given that the sex is illegal, that commonly society thinks that it’s a terrible thing for the girl, that her parents might be horrified, and that the girl herself might soon deeply regret it, what’s the boy to do?  Remember the lines in the first Indiana Jones movie:

      She:  “I was a child.”

      He:  “You knew what you were doing.”

      It’s not always clear what the boy should do.

      What is clear is that only a STUPID boy will take every opportunity to have sex.  Ask Magic Johnson.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Janna Whitley wrote Sep 25, 2008
    • I totally agree that in US society a 14 yo and a 12 yo should not be engaged in sexual activity.  But you were speaking from the perspective of a 14 yo who was supposedly in love, and not from the perspective of a mature adult. Kids having sex consensually is very different from rape and statutory rape. As for statutory rape that is sex between a girl 16 or younger and a man over 18. I have not ever read of a 14 yo who went to jail for sex with another person their contemporary unless perhaps it was not consensual.  What boy at 14 with the beginnings of raging hormones thinks about those things? If you did you are an anomaly. From my experience young boys do what they can get by with. Further,  I think the age of girls or women worrying about wearing white is clearly over.  I am sensing that you have issues with women as you clearly don’t say much to flatter them. Perhaps you have been hurt by them.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Pollux wrote Sep 25, 2008
    • debby81,

      Your concerns are totally unnecessary.

      I have no idea how icons are selected at this site.  If the site wants to change the icon they use for me to a raging bull, fine with me.

      For a name, I just picked an astronomical one, as in the two stars Castor and Pollux.

      You are not being spied on or anything else.  A search engine once pointed me to an article at this site.  I posted a response, and now the site frequently sends me e-mail.  If the site wishes to regard my reading or posting as inappropriate, then I won’t be disappointed.

      Generally I believe that there is a lot of tension, confusion, misunderstanding, etc. about men and women in the US:  E.g., supposedly over half the marriages end in divorce, and mostly people will regard that as a grand disaster, at least for the children if not the parents.  So, I have some interest in the articles on this site to see what others think on the subject.

      I don’t come to the site on my own, but I did read this article because of e-mail the site sent me.

      When I post here, it is mostly to learn by seeing what others think of some of my ideas.  For this article it was somewhat appropriate that I post a response since the author, selected by the site, is said to be a man; so, the very different view of another man should add value to the discussion and, similarly, the responses to my post might have me learn more.

      To me, at my age, and after my 24 year marriage, sex, romance, etc. are now mostly just things of the past.  So, my interest is heavily just better to understand the long ‘drama’ that I did live through.  Someday I should write a book, ‘Women 101—What Every Young Man Should Know‘, and it might actually do a lot of men a lot of good, but I doubt that I will write it.  I have a lot of interests, but the topics on this site are far down on the list for me.

      I’ll try to let you girls gossip, tell wild tails about men, and whisper little secret romantic confessions in private!

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Pollux wrote Sep 25, 2008
    • robinesque,

      No, take me quite literally.

      I’m giving it to you just the way it was without giving more details than I should in public.

      How could I have been so rational?  I’m a man, and I was a boy, and boys and men are MUCH more rational and MUCH less emotional than girls and women.  Me, I’ve long worked hard to be especially rational (an early effort to get security in response to the realization that we are vulnerable to the hostile forces of nature and society!).  As in ‘Pretty Woman‘, I went “all the way” in school; I won’t tell you the subject, but it was NOT English literature, ...!

      This old myth about boys jumping on girls at the first chance, because the boys can’t get pregnant, is out of date:  Now there is a strong legal system that can come after the boy.  It’s not 4000 years ago in the Black Forest of Germany or some such anymore.  It’s not that the boy’s emotions were beyond control; it’s just that for boys there were no consequences.  Now, with birth control, lots of girls conclude that there are no consequences, put on a pair of shoes and a mini-dress, guzzle a pint of bourbon, head off to a college frat party, find a boy’s lap to sit on, etc.

      My father said, “Measure twice; saw once.”  Mostly I followed that, looked before I leaped, etc.

      So, with some girls I didn’t when I could have and, looking back, knowing what I know now, sometimes SHOULD have!

      E.g., I thought that generally I was supposed to work top down, but two girls seemed to want to work bottom up:  They wanted to have sex, but we hadn’t kissed yet!  I was surprised!

      When I was a teenager, there was a nice book, of about 50 pages, that I needed to read but didn’t.  I still haven’t seen the book, but now I know what should be in it!

      Then, I just didn’t know.  I didn’t understand girls and women at all well.  So, I made some mistakes.

      It was actually a VERY nice time of life, and had I known more I could have had a MUCH better time.  E.g., for the girls I was seeing, there was really zero chance that they were either infected or pregnant; they were a VERY nice collection of girls.

      But my ignorance was common:  One reason fathers are willing to let a boy of 15 walk their daughter of 12 to an afternoon movie is that the father is fairly confident that the boy is so socially clumsy and awkward, so ignorant about passion and romance, that his daughter is safe.  Problem is, he should not be so trusting of his DAUGHTER!

      In my case, I really did start out much like the hoy in the first ‘Parent Trap’—clueless, confused, awkward, speechless, when the girl was confident, articulate, comprehending, at ease, etc.

      And the father shouldn’t be so trusting of his wife’s hopes for his daughter:  Eventually I figured out that the mother was living her life again through her gorgeous daughter and HOPING that she was having a good sex life!  My brother saw a similar situation with a girl he was dating.

      Another case, finally it became clear that the girl’s parents were happy enough of our, apparently at least rather passionate, relationship because it looked like it might be the way their daughter could marry a college graduate just as she graduated from high school.  Alas, I wasn’t ready to get married; the girl knew it; and she had to go to college for a year to get her Mrs. degree.

      I had a good time, but it COULD have been MUCH better!

      But I liked the girls, and I’m glad that I never made one cry, as far as I know.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Robinesque wrote Sep 25, 2008
    • Awww, Pollux.  Don’t be like that.  I am always happy for another view of EVERY topic.  Including yours.  Hang around and see how much more fun this gets!

      Anyway, I think that I will just say that, while it is a unique teenager, raging hormones included, that can “just say no” at that age, I believe that this is your Present/Older/Wiser self speaking to your   Younger self.   That is my impression, and I totally respect your defenses and explanations.

      Pleasure to meet you!

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Janna Whitley wrote Sep 26, 2008
    • I realize that this conversation is futile, but honestly Pollux, I feel embarrassed for you. Not only do you not know women, but you don’t know MEN. It is no secret that men tend to be more rational, but it is also no secret that when it comes to their penis, they are not at all RATIONAL. Women, who you are portraying to be careless, promiscuous, irresponsible and even a siren at 12 are more rational about sex in general then men are. You make me laugh with you idea that you could write a book for boys about girls, when you clearly don’t know either one. My impression of you is cold, frigid and rational to the point of being unemotional. That is scary to me. For you to say that at age 58 romance and sex is “mostly a thing of the past“, only underscores to me that you have serious issues. I know many men your age and older who are still very sexually active and passionate. At 46 years old which is what I am, I would be very depressed if I thought that at your age 58, sex was a thing of the past for men.  

      I also take offense at your attitude toward us women (gossiping and telling wild tales about men)  since if you didn’t get it you are on a ALL WOMEN’s SITE!!!!!!

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cristi_b wrote Sep 27, 2008
    • (C)Wow, I have to say that this article, first off, made me laugh.  I find a lot of truth to it, but I also think there is a lot of comic effect to it.

      As far as the comments made by Pollux and several of the women here...I understand that everyone has a different experience as a teenager, and I’m no exception to that statement.  However, I was a good girl, and came from a good family, and I dated a mix of guys.  The difference in their behavior was a personality issue, and then an issue of respect for me.  I put it out there is the beginning that I wasn’t going to be having sex, I wanted to have fun and date, and that didn’t mean that I wasn’t interested, and things did get heated, because they did.  When I was 16/17 I fell for my first real boyfriend, and he was a good guy, but let me tell you, I had just as many future plans as he did, and I moved forward with those plans, and didn’t stop when he gave me a promise ring at 17 as I was moving to go to college.

      I’ve been divorced once already, and I’m in the process of a second divorce, and recognize that it takes two make it work, and make it fail.  Guys do look, and look hard, but so can women, and we do.  Does that mean that everyone that is looking is going to be jumping in the sack just because—no, not if we have any self-esteem, and care for our health.

      As far as the statement that Pollux made about the mom's wanting their daughters to have great, fulfilling sex lives....That one is so far beyond me, I can't even begin to understand that statement.  I have two girls, 18 and almost 17, and I can tell you that I don't want them having sex at this point in their lives.  I want them to wait until they have reached a maturity that allows them to deal with the emotional and mental responsibility, not to mention physical responsibility, that comes with sex. Do I believe they are going to wait, no, because I'm realistic and remember what its like to be that age, and "in love".  I even discussed this article, in general with my 18 year old, and she couldn't believe the position that you've taken.  I can only wish that more boys were responsible enough to think that far ahead, and see the bigger picture.

      So basically, I think that any one can be the way the article described, but I do believe that anyone can be responsible for their behavior.  Just not so much as teens, their frontal lobes haven’t developed completely to see the bigger picture.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Pollux wrote Sep 27, 2008
    • cristi_l,

      For your daughters, if I were 30 years younger and $100 million richer, then I’d ask you to introduce me!


      Marriage can be an enormous advantage in life; it’s very much correct to want to be married.  The main objective is to have a good life; for that, a big part is a good marriage.  So, in relationships, the big point is MARRIAGE, not dating or ‘hook-ups‘.

      The husband needs to see the marriage as THIS important; if he just wants a trophy wife, a live-in house keeper, etc., then she should look further.  More generally, the marriage has to be seen as an important objective in itself and not as just an expendable stepping stone to other objectives.  Similarly for the wife.

      Still, not everyone wants to, or should be, married, and it’s dangerous to ignore this point.

      Your daughters very much should believe that many men (A) very much prefer (although these days may not expect) to marry a virgin and are quite willing to wait until at least until engagement and maybe to marriage, (B) very much want a solid marriage with the connection mostly between the ears and not just below the belt, (C) very much want to follow traditional marriage vows about “for better or worse, forsaking all others, ‘till death do we part“.

      If your daughters haven’t found such men, then they should keep looking and find some good places to look, e.g., NOT in a bar.

      There is hardly a man on the planet who would rather marry a sexually experienced and ‘skilled’ woman.  A man is perfectly willing to teach his wife or learn with her.  Thus, long term, there is no upside and a big downside for a woman to have sex before marriage.  Simple:  DON‘T do it.

      On the “‘till death do we part” stuff, most men will also have a qualification:  She has to try.  If she just gives up and messes up and keeps messing up, then he may give her a month to get back to functioning; if that doesn’t work, send her for counseling for a month; if that doesn’t work, file for divorce.

      Since you mentioned ‘respect‘, I’ll give each of your daughters a secret scorecard that will help them know if some man really loves her.  The ‘secret’ is that nearly no man understands the scorecard!  There are five parts:

      (1) He should care about her, care about her happiness, welfare, security, etc., and show it.  Men are not as big on empathy as women so his reaction to her getting a cold may be “leave it alone, and it will be over in two weeks; take medicine, and it will be gone in 14 days.“, but at least he should bring blankets and Kleenex, and, if she likes, orange juice.  Maybe he should get a pot roast ready for dinner:  (Men, coat the bottom of a pot about 11” in diameter with a thin layer of cooking oil, brown a chuck roast in the pot, add reasonably good, dry (no sugar), tannic (acidic) red wine (e.g., say, Chianti from Italy), canned beef stock, canned tomatoes, in roughly equal volumes, enough to nearly cover the roast, cook covered in the oven at 325 F until tender, add some (peeled, coarsely sliced, common yellow globe) onions, chunks of peeled carrots and potatoes, cook until potatoes are done, add salt and pepper to the liquid until can just taste them).  If she has a serious medical problem, then he should use all his professional connections, Internet search skills, judgment about people, determination and skepticism, and scientific and medical understanding to find the best possible medical care for her.

      There is no room for his trying to exploit her, manipulate her, take advantage of her, use her, etc.

      (2) He should tell her about himself, his thoughts, desires, hopes, fears, beliefs, plans, etc.  This way she can better know him and, thus, ‘connect’ with him.  Also, knowing so much, it will be much easier for her to trust him.

      (3) He should respect her.  There is no room for contempt, derision, intimidation, etc.

      (4) He should respond to her.  The old cartoon image of him at the breakfast table totally blocked by a newspaper is his not responding to her.  If she has a question, concern, problem, desire, then he should respond genuinely, enthusiastically, etc.

      (5) He should be honest with her and trustworthy, in all large things and nearly all small ones.  She very much needs this.

      Uh, the man also needs these five from his wife.

      Homework exercise:  Check out this list with relationships and marriages you know something about.

      The marriage vow, “for better or worse” is important because it is likely to be needed.  Uh, since should get a written estimate for car repairs, should also write down the marriage vows and keep copies, signed by both.

      The vow “‘till death do we part” is important because often there is a LOT of investment for the future, e.g., one helps the other get through graduate school.  If the ‘contract’ does not have an assurance of a future, then there is no reason for the investment.  No one should “make a long term investment in a short term asset“.  Why work to put a spouse through graduate school if they are just going to use their new career qualifications to leave?  To do well in parenting, this vow is IMPORTANT.

      Having a marriage last can be terrific:  Get to enjoy and take pride in the joint accomplishments to date.  Get lots of nice days, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, religious holidays, (in the US) Thanksgiving, birthdays, prizes, graduations, engagements, marriages, births, etc.  Commonly the average is more than one such nice day a month.  Add Super Bowl Sunday, the World Series, etc., and it can be a LOT of fun.

      She needs to understand that women very much seek ‘change‘, MAKE-overs, even for no reason at all and that men do NOT and do NOT understand this in women:  E.g., the two of them can go to a restaurant.  Next time she says, “I don’t want to go back because I didn’t like it.“, or, “I liked it but I don’t want to go back because I want to see if I will like a new restaurant.“.  There’s hardly a man on this planet who won’t be outraged by this!  Men commonly want to find some restaurants they like, declare the problem SOLVED, and then just keep going to those restaurants and NOT revisit the problem.  Got to set aside the MAKE-overs for no good reason, or at least restrict them to hairstyle or some such.

      It’s true that early in dating commonly a woman responds to a man appearing strong, confident, prosperous, in control.  Alas, up close, 24×7, likely he will often not look that way, even if he is one of the best in the world.  Instead, he will have doubts, struggles, failings, etc., mostly much more serious than leaving the toilet seat up or his running shoes in the living room.  She has to keep her emotions in check, continue to respect him, keep down contempt, and not conclude that “If I had known, then I wouldn’t have married him“.

      She needs to see the first ‘State Fair‘:  Actually the girl’s first boyfriend was a MUCH better bet for marriage:  He was in position to by a farm, had loved her with devotion beyond any dog since they were both 12, had since then done everything with her in mind, etc.  Instead, she went with a newspaper reporter with a skill at romance and on the way to Chicago just before Al Capone took over.  She was likely to end up back at her parent’s farm, a single mother.

      Your daughter should understand, “Men and women deserve equal respect as persons but are not the same.“.  So, she should not expect to be just the same.  There are differences in emotionality, rationality, interests, talents, etc.  The big push for ‘feminism’ where men and women are regarded as just the same, which really means that women should be just like men as much as possible, is DANGEROUS for women.  It isn’t just that women won’t be playing in the NFL and NBA.  In a good marriage, the ways women are different are mostly features, not flaws!

      She should understand that women are MUCH more emotional than men.  Men have a SUPER tough time understanding the emotions of women.  She need not be surprised that at times he will not fully understand her emotions.  E.g., she may conclude, possibly correctly, that she even understands his emotions better than he does; this is a reason for her to contribute to the marriage and not just to have contempt for her husband.  That she understands his emotions better than he does and helps him can cause a man to have love and respect for his wife beyond all bounds.  In the interest of doing better in work, battle, etc., men are good at suppressing nearly all emotion, becoming mechanical, and getting success.  Men commonly grow up having learned VERY well the lesson, “How I FEEL about it is from totally irrelevant down to debilitating.  I will NOT pay ANY attention at ALL to how I FEEL about it.“.  In a good marriage, this isn’t a flaw, it’s a feature.

      Tell her that feminine emotions in marriage are like fire, can warm a home or burn it down.

      If she is competitive, then let her compete with people outside the family.  She should NOT try to undercut people in the family in order to compete with them.

      Dr.  C. Nadelson described traditional marriage as about “offspring, security, and caretaking“.  Getting away from this description is risky.

      Heavily marriage is about getting some security - emotional, financial, etc. - in life from a good partnership.  It's usually two people in a small canoe crossing rough waters in bad weather, and that can be much better than just one person per canoe.  It's better if the two people agree on the destination and both paddle as best they can.  There is no room for one person doing something destructive like punching holes in the bottom of the canoe.

      There is an idea now common in popular culture that (A) men regard sex as just a hundred seconds of friction with no meaning or consequences, (B) with birth control pills, women are just like men, (C) women should look at sex the same way.  That view, held by either the man or woman, is DANGEROUS for a marriage.  It is far better if sex is a means of intimacy, ‘connection‘, of love, at least affection.  Why?  Because the much more important need is the secure relationship, not 100 seconds of friction, and sex can be some ‘glue’ for the ‘connection‘.  The point is obvious:  The intimate physical connection, cooperation, and happiness can be a metaphor for the rest.  If the sex is meaningless, then the marriage loses the metaphor.

      She needs to understand that there’s a LOT to getting along with a spouse and, really, she will bring to her marriage a LOT that she learned, often just implicitly, from her family.  Then she needs to appreciate that her husband will likely have had different implicit lessons that will lead to surprises.  Uh, his family often did things not just the same as her family.  Expect this and accept it.

      She needs to understand that for her the whole marriage will not be just passion with sex, pregnancy, nursing, all repeated through the whole marriage.  Instead, she needs things to do a year or so after the last baby is out of diapers.  Retiring to a back bedroom to live on whiskey is NOT a good option.  Net, she needs something more than just a continuing river of oxytocin to keep her marriage going.

      One promising path is for him to have a local business where she can work beside him and help.  Then the kids can also learn, and learning a good local business is one of the best starts in life.

      Commonly women are very concerned about their physical appearance, but here’s some good news:  Actually men are total ignoramuses on why women are beautiful!  Except possibly for some dancers or hair salon workers, men don’t know ANYTHING at all significant.  My late wife explained to me, the important points are just weight, skin, hair, and clothes.  Get those okay, and that’s mostly enough.  For weight, eat what is commonly regarded as good nutrition in moderate quantities and walk (or run if nothing hurts) about 6 miles 3-4 times a week.  Don’t have to TRY to walk quickly; instead, will be so eager to be DONE that actually WILL walk quickly!  Not so easy to gain weight walking 24 miles a week!  Right:  Just add up the calories per mile, and it’s not so much; still it works!  For skin, learn about makeup or, if there is a real problem, see a good dermatologist.  Currently there is a GREAT opportunity with clothes:  Somehow the current fashion fads are to make women look like tramps, sluts, or whores (I exaggerate not, and the men I know are outraged, turned OFF); it’s EASY to look MUCH better than that, and the difference will be INSTANTLY appreciated by ANY man worth marrying.  Don’t have look like Grace Kelly in her first scene in ‘Rear Window‘, but that would devastate nearly any man.  Sarah Palin is a good example:  Apparently nearly all men, including me, regard her as nearly irresistibly cute (it also helps that she’s NOT neurotic).  But, one level deeper, just why is she so cute?  Being a man, I don’t know, but I suspect that a LOT of it has to do with her seeming to be happy—her smile, posture, voice fluctuations, etc.  Since I don’t have a clue what she looks like below the neck in a bikini, she does 99 44/100% of it just from the neck up.  Net, don’t have to have a perfect figure, etc.

      What is REALLY attractive needs some examples:  Somewhere I have a JPG of Cindy Crawford where she’s an astounding example of perfection, but the smile on her face ruins it:  She looks obsessed with just her physical appearance and not interested in being a good wife and mother.  Such a woman promises to be a weak, sick, or dead limb on Darwin’s tree and, thus, actually is NOT very attractive to men.  Hollywood knows MUCH better with their many westerns with women just in frontier dresses.  Yup, one of those women can easily be more attractive than the Crawford JPG.  Yes, Teri Garr in ‘Young Frankenstein’ is tough to resist, but often she seems a bit empty between the ears, and that could be a SERIOUS problem.  Shirley Jones, a VERY pretty woman, in ‘The Music Man‘, especially in the blue dress in the ice cream parlor scene, tries to be colder than the ice cream but, actually, can be more attractive than the Crawford picture; eventually in the scene she has such a good smile and is so supportive of the man, struggling against long odds, that she’s nearly irresistible.  Grace Kelly in ‘Rear Window‘, gorgeous beyond belief, is supposed to be flawed and is:  She wants him to give up his career and be her toy doing fashion photographs from her contacts; instantly, correctly, he wants nothing to do with it.

      One man I know says, “Never marry a wimpy woman because she won’t be there for you when you need her.“.  So, for a woman to act all helpless and easy to dominate isn’t always attractive.  More generally, this guy is NOT looking only for something like the Crawford JPG.

      Here’s something more attractive than the Crawford JPG:  She’s wearing a printed cotton house dress and an apron with ruffles and is carrying a large platter of hot, good food!

      Here’s something else attractive:  Her hair is long and washed within the last 24 hours; her clothes are neat and clean; she’s just had a shower and is wearing a little perfume.

      The idea that all men will jump at the Crawford JPG as the ideal wife is total NONSENSE.  Instead, serious men consider all they can know about a woman, MOSTLY above the shoulders and between the ears.

      Serious men, any man who would make a good husband, think, they REALLY do, as HARD as they can, and they do it between their ears and NOT below their belts.  What men think?  E.g., the ones who worked hard to get good SAT scores; ones who get through medical school, law school, get a math, science, or engineering Ph.D., get a Harvard, Chicago, or Stanford MBA, etc.

      I don’t know ANY man who wants to marry a slut.  “The oldest profession” shows that many men are eager to be with a slut for an hour, but only a small fraction of the men I’ve known are like that, and they certainly don’t want to marry a slut.

      A ‘hook-up’ is the Pacific Ocean between a woman and a good marriage.  So is getting drunk or ‘high‘.

      In picking a husband, she should understand that some recent science suggests that to some extent a good marriage is based on some hormones from some genes.  There is evidence that there is some variation in these genes.  So, if some man doesn’t seem to be responding well, then likely there actually isn’t much hope.  So, don’t just blame yourself and keep trying with him.  Instead, keep looking.

      Might assume, or conclude from a lot of solid evidence, that, sadly, a LOT of people will NOT be successful.

      I’m in business, doing some software (quite advanced, beyond much of the best of the computer science research community) for an important problem all the world knows about, and will be trying to raise venture capital.  So far we’ve done well:  We have 30 venture firms interested in seeing our work once it’s done.  We got these 30 responses out of contacting about 258 firms, one in 8.6, pretty good.

      Here I’ve learned a good lesson about success in business and maybe in life and marriage!  The venture firms do commonly get relatively high return on investment, but still it’s not easy for them to do better than 20% per year.  Even to do this well, they are VERY selective!  Commonly in a year they will invest in maybe five proposals out of 2000!  Even of those investments, they expect only about one in 10 to be a big success.

      Yes, to get these 2000, this “deal flow“, they DO work at it!  They get a LOT of publicity; they have VERY well done, inviting Web sites, etc.  And, after a deal, they STILL work hard and smart at the investment.

      Net, assume that success in marriage and in life requires being VERY selective from a LOT of ‘deal flow’ and, then, working HARD and SMART for the life of the investment.

      Struggle?  Yes, and Just from 24,000 miles in orbit can see why:  Out of Africa 40,000 years ago, could live along a body of water and, for dinner, just pick up some shellfish.  Some old sites still have mountains of empty shells!  One of the best ‘standards of living’ ever!  But, humans walked, along the shores, and, then, inland, so fast that soon they had gone across Siberia, the Bering Strait, down the coast of Canada, the US, etc. all the way to Patagonia near Antarctica.  They also walked east to the Atlantic.

      Why did they spread so fast?  Sure:  They quickly over populated where they were.

      Now there’s a big, HUGE problem:  We can’t just live off shellfish we pick up out front, and we can’t just walk to unoccupied land.  Instead, we may travel to a big city.  There we are forced to live in ways far different from how people lived even 100 years ago.  E.g., I’m certainly the first among my ancestors to write computer software.

      The good news is that humans do have a lot of versatility.  Amazing.

      The bad news is that we keep having to do things that are new and, possibly, not the same as what we are good at.

      So, the broad lesson is, what works soon results in population pressure that means soon much of it doesn’t work.  So, we are nearly always having to do something we are not good at and, thus, struggling.

      So, expect some struggle.

      Hope your daughters have good lives; this is about the best I can tell them,

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Ebyenoh wrote Oct 2, 2008
    • I’m just getting around to reading my email,  which is the reason I’m making such a late reply. When I originally read the "Men's Dirty Little Secrets" column I was amused, disgusted, intrigued and outraged all at the same time. I actually considered taking a drive to Barnes and Nobel to purchase it. Then I read the comments and they were much more interesting, especially Pollux's comments which only proves something that I already knew, men may be simpler than women, but it does not mean that they are not complex.
      I think the appeal of wanting to read a book like "Every Man Sees You Naked" is that it helps women to understand a subject that often confuses us, men. It's just that men are not quite as simple as Mr. Matthews would have you believe. Pollux is a case in point, and before you jump to the conclusion that he is just an anomaly, I would like to state that I have been married for almost twenty-three years to a man much like him. My husband is very much and has always been heterosexual. He has been extremely sensitive about looking out for my best interest, even before we were married. He very much wanted to have sex before we got married but would not, because it was not in my best interest (it was his idea to wait, not mine). We have three teenagers (two boys and a girl) between the ages of nineteen and fifteen, all three are virgins. They understand the importance of sex, and that it is a level of intimacy that cannot be shared with just anyone. They want to have sex and they are looking forward to the time that they will, they know that it is an incredible gift and that it is very much worth participating in. It's just not a recreational sport and something to do to pass the time. They have come up against some perils they have to watch out for,  because he looks so young, my oldest has always been attractive to very young girls (12 -15 year-old’s), it was one thing when he was 16, it's quite another now that he is 19, he avoids them like the plague. My middle child who is a girl is navigating being on a very liberal college campus where moral standards are not very high to say the least. She very much sticks out, she is extremely attractive but she does not date which confuses a lot of people and sometimes makes them uncomfortable. But she is not alone, she has met other students, not a lot, but she has met others, both guys and girls who have decided the same thing. My youngest son deals with what I would call aggressive girls, they know what they want and they are not afraid to tell him what it is. It does cause him difficulty and he has to deal with it everyday. Again, he is attractive and not gay so he confuses girls, he is friendly, outgoing, funny and smart, so they wonder what his problem is. He is not like his sister who is out spoken about her decision to wait, nor like his brother who is not as outgoing and more driven to participate in sports so he can kind of avoid girls when the pressure gets intense. Pollux thank you for your comments, I appreciate another perspective being put out there. My sons probably think about sex every blessed day, but they keep it in perspective and try not to be driven by it. I decided against buying the book, it doesn’t seem that interesting after all.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Momof6 wrote Oct 2, 2008
    • Ebyenoh,

      Glad to hear that there are also other teenagers/College Kids out there today that also are being raised this way& are practicing it today! It seems that every seemingly clean cut, young person in my office is living with their boy-friends or who want to.
      Just curious if by any chance you live on the East Coast, cuz on the West Coast it doesnt seem to be the same..
      We live in an area near a State College, and the parties, where they get drunk, & high, & the fraternties, the way they dress seem like a big sex party..

      My kids look at these “College” Kids, and say to me..’ Mom, You went to “College“? They are getting a very negative impression of what College is all about.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Ebyenoh wrote Oct 2, 2008
    • We live on the East Coast, actually in the Southeast. My daughter’s college is the same way as you describe the one you live near. We did not shelter our kids, we protected them and set limits but we did not shelter them. Even so my daughter is shocked at what is considered “normal behavior” at her college. She went to a public high school but that was nothing compared to what goes on at her college.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Janna Whitley wrote Oct 2, 2008
    • Guess with such a background it is hard to reconcile porn?!?!

      “If I have a husband who has never looked at another woman, not dressed inappropriately ever (maybe since he was a teenager) due to his religious beliefs, other than his wife, and one night while doing his work, I happened to notice a website of some photos of not so appropriate looking women, what does this mean?”

      I think this just underscores what “every man sees you naked” is about.

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