It’s Different for Guys: Writing About Sex

by Greg Andersen

A funny thing happens in an editorial meeting when you ask writers to pen on a topic as ubiquitous as sex. The women grab at assignments like lingerie at a Victoria’s Secret One Hour sale. The guys…not so much. Yep, pretty sheepish all of a sudden.

And for what reason? Writer Monique Roffey theorizes, “Men, by and large, leave this subject alone. Somewhere, it’s a given that men don’t have anything too reflective to say about sex, or they feel silenced by feminists. Where is the male Suzanne Portnoy, the male Melissa P? What men will write honestly about their highs and lows, their triumphs, their sexual sorrows? What man is brave enough to express himself freely about his desires? Few.”\

And now, the dirty, rotten, and disappointing truth: my sense is that Roffey is largely correct.  Hell, I sure didn’t want to write this damn piece, but here I am, short straw in hand.

Not only am I not particularly reflective about sex, but I am pretty dubious about dudes who say that they are. I mean, who told these guys that we are somehow inferior, just because we like sex just for what it is…sex.  Seriously, my fellow bro-heens, take note that many a lady feels the same exact way: just liking the play for what it is.

This is not to say that we men are unreflective as a gender; talk with any of us about a woman we have loved or that we have lost.  It is just that for most of us, sex is just plain fun. If sex is also expressive, then so much the better. But it is plain-ass flippin’ fun regardless.

Then why are guys so sheepish to write on the subject? You would think we would want to say something, for God’s sake, even if only to make a request.

I don’t believe it is feminists that leave us silent, as Roffey posits. I am not prepared with a ready hypothesis, but I have a few blind alleys as possible explanation.

Sex contextualizes itself as infinitely as the type of relationships it can live in. That is a lot of possibilities, so maybe this messes with our sense of precision. It could be that because sex does seem to have something to do with objectification, for both men and women. We men may have been raised to be ashamed of that. But, it does not entirely explain why women are so willing to write on, while we guys go all silent.

The answer could be simpler than any of this. It could just be that we, being keenly aware that it is the woman that will decide how any given evening will ultimately end, would just prefer not to rock the boat.

I mean, damn. Can I just go back to writing about cars now?