Let's Not Fuck, Shall We
May 7, 2012 7:39 PM   Subscribe

Here’s the thing, ladies: I don’t want to have sex with you. Michael Ian Black discusses the cultural message of the male libido and how it differs from his experience.
posted by nadawi (182 comments total) 40 users marked this as a favorite

 
oh so that Pastabagel comment doesn't sum up the entire male experience.
posted by sweetkid at 7:45 PM on May 7, 2012 [18 favorites]


I wonder what Michael Ian Black thinks about the 2+1 drill...
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 7:49 PM on May 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sorry I've been making life tough for you, dude.
posted by 2N2222 at 7:50 PM on May 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


I was trying to find a link to the single page of a longer piece, but all I could find was a short article stub at the link.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:50 PM on May 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


This plus the man-boobs one just below made my head explode.
posted by sfts2 at 7:52 PM on May 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


Combine it with the "body image of black women" post above and it's just a total I gotta get drunk on a Monday kind of Monday.
posted by padraigin at 7:54 PM on May 7, 2012 [13 favorites]


Farting before sex? Really?
posted by Melismata at 7:54 PM on May 7, 2012 [8 favorites]


sfts2: "This plus the man-boobs one just below made my head explode."

You know, its almost as if men come in more than one type, whodathunkit
posted by Blasdelb at 7:55 PM on May 7, 2012 [11 favorites]


Melismata: "Farting before sex? Really?"

Nothing is more underrated than a satisfyingly cleared bowel or more overrated than sex. This man's words are wisdom.
posted by Blasdelb at 7:56 PM on May 7, 2012 [21 favorites]


Aside from the salient point that libido doesn't necessarily overshadow everything else in an otherwise healthy, virile male, this little op/ed is really kind of shallow and pointless. Do people really need to be told that men aren't always walking around trying to hide massive erections in their trousers?
posted by Burhanistan at 7:57 PM on May 7, 2012 [7 favorites]


men want to fuck. All the time. Ideally while watching shit blow up

Honestly, that sounds pretty good to me. Sequentially makes a lot more sense, but I'd settle for simultaneous bangs and banging, as it were.

Joking aside, though, I think it's pretty cheesy how limited many portrayals of male sexuality are; I definitely know guys who feel obligated to talk a certain way ("Yeah, I'd totally love to nail her") even though you can see that their hearts aren't in it even the tiniest bit.
posted by Forktine at 7:57 PM on May 7, 2012 [7 favorites]


So strange for an essay about the role of media in enforcing stupid gender stereotypes to have such an anti-woman undertone. (Even from the first sentence - "Here's the thing, ladies"). Pretty sure women are not the media overlords behind this.
posted by cairdeas at 8:02 PM on May 7, 2012 [80 favorites]


Don't tell us, dude; tell your fellow dudes who are disproportionately responsible for creating this media image.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:03 PM on May 7, 2012 [52 favorites]


That was my thinking too, cairdeas.
posted by sweetkid at 8:04 PM on May 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


And I love how even when he has devoted his whole rant to this topic, and *addressed* it to women, when it's women complaining about it, they're "bitching."
posted by cairdeas at 8:05 PM on May 7, 2012 [20 favorites]


In other words, what cairdeas said. Men complaining about the image of men in advertising and tv and movies and magazines seem to forget what boy zones those industries are. Don't tell us ladies how much you hate this shit; we can't get your fellow men to listen to us in the first place.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:06 PM on May 7, 2012 [15 favorites]


It’s a topic I never hear men discuss. Men assume each other to be as randy as baboons during red butt season. When we discuss sex at all, we talk about it in terms of desire, never a lack of desire.

Maybe he's not very intimate with his male friends? I've heard plenty discussion along these lines; bragging is something men do with other men they don't know well.
posted by anigbrowl at 8:09 PM on May 7, 2012 [7 favorites]


It can get weird when you're a guy and tell a woman you don't want to have sex. It can be taken as an insult, a blow to their self esteem. After all, if all men want sex all the time, what does it say about them if there's a guy who doesn't want to have sex with them?

It can feel strange to be that guy. Makes you wonder if something is wrong with you. But there probably isn't. You're just in a different head space or tired or something. Whatever. Don't worry about it, you're just being you, being human.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:11 PM on May 7, 2012 [57 favorites]


Aside from the salient point that libido doesn't necessarily overshadow everything else in an otherwise healthy, virile male, this little op/ed is really kind of shallow and pointless.

So you're saying that, other than the point, this piece has no point? (I am with everyone who's pointing out that blaming women for the cultural definition of masculinity is kind of dumb. But this thing does have a point, and you got it, and I don't know what else you're expecting.)
posted by gingerest at 8:12 PM on May 7, 2012 [7 favorites]


nadawi: "Here’s the thing, ladies: I don’t want to have sex with you. Michael Ian Black "

Well, duh. We've all seen Wet Hot American Summer...
posted by schmod at 8:12 PM on May 7, 2012 [9 favorites]


Farting before sex? Really?

Well, better than during.
posted by Greg Nog at 8:14 PM on May 7, 2012 [9 favorites]


You know, its almost as if men come in more than one type, whodathunkit

For me personally, it was a "god, the many ways we can fuck each other up with objectification and social expectations just never fucking ends, does it?" kind of thing.
posted by padraigin at 8:15 PM on May 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


I didn't read it as blaming women for the stereotype. I read it, instead, as addressed to women because, without this op/ed, there'd be disturbingly few places where women could learn this is true. I can definitely see the alternative reading, I just didn't get that vibe from the start.
posted by meese at 8:16 PM on May 7, 2012 [36 favorites]


Well, better than during

Dont be so gastronormative.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:17 PM on May 7, 2012 [24 favorites]


The article is not blaming women or addressed to women or even discussing women really. Sheesh, read the first sentence on the front page, gonna skim the rest. It's not always about you.
posted by Winnemac at 8:21 PM on May 7, 2012 [9 favorites]


Don't listen to him.
posted by anewnadir at 8:21 PM on May 7, 2012


Farting before sex? Really?

Trying to hold it in until afterwards usually doesn't work. And men can't say it's a queef.
posted by fzx101 at 8:22 PM on May 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


cairdeas: "So strange for an essay about the role of media in enforcing stupid gender stereotypes to have such an anti-woman undertone. (Even from the first sentence - "Here's the thing, ladies"). Pretty sure women are not the media overlords behind this."

This read to me as a complaint about the sexist and unrealistic expectations that women have had of him over the years. As someone with a penis who has had to deal with the same fucked up expectations and been gender policed by at least as many women as men, I fail to see how this complaint isn't valid.
posted by Blasdelb at 8:23 PM on May 7, 2012 [21 favorites]


I'm not 17 anymore either, but I didn't see a reason to write an essay about it.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:23 PM on May 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm not 17 anymore either, but I didn't see a reason to write an essay about it.
You must've missed
I have never craved it the way our culture has led me to believe I should, not even during my fabled Horny Years from ’91 to ’95
So, no, not about that.
posted by tmcw at 8:25 PM on May 7, 2012 [6 favorites]


As someone with a penis who has had to deal with the same fucked up expectations

Yeah, the patriarchy hurts men, too.
posted by sweetkid at 8:29 PM on May 7, 2012 [27 favorites]


cairdeas: "And I love how even when he has devoted his whole rant to this topic, and *addressed* it to women, when it's women complaining about it, they're "bitching.""

Really? This is the only part of the essay that contains the word bitching,

"Women have been rightly bitching about this for years, but men never seem to complain. Personally, I hate it."

Absolutely nothing about that sentence is a gendered insult or dismisses the feelings of women, it does EXACTLY the opposite.
posted by Blasdelb at 8:31 PM on May 7, 2012 [13 favorites]


Winnemac:The article is not blaming women or addressed to women or even discussing women really. Sheesh, read the first sentence on the front page, gonna skim the rest. It's not always about you.

No, I read the whole thing fully including the two gendered slurs he dropped in there. It's almost as he feels like he needs to regain some kind of lost masculinity in the eyes of other guys by joking about what you would or wouldn't want to do with "random bitches." Just because I don't want that much sex doesn't make me a BITCH or anything, guys.


Blasdelb: This read to me as a complaint about the sexist and unrealistic expectations that women have had of him over the years. As someone with a penis who has had to deal with the same fucked up expectations and been gender policed by at least as many women as men, I fail to see how this complaint isn't valid.

I completely believe you Blasdelb about the gender policing and unrealistic expectations. And it is valid to complain about those. But in this essay, the whole thing was devoted to talking about the media and about things said by other men. He didn't say anything about anything said or done to him by women.
posted by cairdeas at 8:32 PM on May 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


He totally had me going on this article until the last five words.
posted by koeselitz at 8:37 PM on May 7, 2012 [9 favorites]


The article is not blaming women or addressed to women or even discussing women really. Sheesh, read the first sentence on the front page, gonna skim the rest. It's not always about you.
Well, yeah, I read alllllll 21 column inches. The first paragraph is explicitly addressed to women, and at no point does he signal a change of intended audience with a new vocative expression.
posted by gingerest at 8:40 PM on May 7, 2012


I took the "here's the thing, ladies" bit to be a kind of weird way for the author to claim some space in which he can be critical of received masculinity without entirely abdicating his maleness. Really, outside of the first sentence, I don't see why this is or has to be a message to women as such at all.

That is to say, I think it's pretty revealing about the internalized constraints of masculinity that the author felt like he had to couch this message in the form of a straight dude telling women how it is.
posted by gauche at 8:40 PM on May 7, 2012 [12 favorites]


having somebody desire you enough to allow you to envelop them and wanting that person to envelop you in return

This is why he's not interest in sex - amoebas reproduce asexually.
posted by AdamCSnider at 8:41 PM on May 7, 2012 [6 favorites]


I hate the way men are stereotyped as sex-starved cock robots. It’s just such a basic pop culture premise that it doesn’t even get questioned; men want to fuck. All the time. Ideally while watching shit blow up.

So I actually agree with this, most of the way. Although most of the guys I know do enjoy things getting blown up basically all the time, they really don't want to be getting blown all the time, and they too would rather not have everyone from Big Guns McSummerFlick to Sexy Vampire Sparkle Dude to Chipper Ikea Guy bringing the humping, all the time. But here's the thing, and it's the one thing I really didn't agree with: there really are male characters that have nothing to do with sex, who have whole scenes and even movies that don't just fulfill the "sex-starved cock robot" genre. I wish he had brought in examples of what he'd like to see, rather than leaving it as this open-ended generalization.

Okay, two things. Ending it with "Unless we’re talking about BJs." Oh-ho-ho, I see what you did there! Classy.
posted by jetlagaddict at 8:45 PM on May 7, 2012 [5 favorites]


[I can't tell if the comment about Girls was misplaced or not but it seemed like it was meant for another thread, please repost if not, but maybe make it clear why it's relevant here?]
posted by jessamyn at 9:01 PM on May 7, 2012


cairdeas: "I completely believe you Blasdelb about the gender policing and unrealistic expectations. And it is valid to complain about those. But in this essay, the whole thing was devoted to talking about the media and about things said by other men. He didn't say anything about anything said or done to him by women."

He doesn't mention any form of media or the media; he also doesn't mention anything said or done to him by women, or anything said or done to him by men, this essay instead focuses on how this aspect of sexism affects him. You seem to have latched onto his tone, but there is nothing automatically invalid about who he chose to address the essay to. The truth is that women are not uninvolved in the patriarchal bullshit and if you really want examples, there are multiple men in this thread sharing their lived experiences of how women have participated in the specific sexist dynamic being explained in the original article.
posted by Blasdelb at 9:02 PM on May 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


Wow. It's like a lot of you wanted to be outraged by this. I thought it was a great article and hit on a lot of points I agree with. Could it have been written better? Maybe. But I could gather you a fuck-tonne of similar articles written by women towards men that are far more derogatory.
posted by AzzaMcKazza at 9:07 PM on May 7, 2012 [12 favorites]


It's directed at women, not because women are responsible for this issue, but because women maybe don't know about this issue.

So, yeah, here's the thing, every female person who has complained in this thread: This is not about you. At all. That's the point. Believe it or not, we don't "only think of one thing," as the cliché goes; we're nearly always thinking about something else.

Why else would we be so inconsiderate all the time?
posted by Sys Rq at 9:08 PM on May 7, 2012 [9 favorites]


"having somebody desire you enough to allow you to envelop them and wanting that person to envelop you in return

AdamCSnider: "This is why he's not interest in sex - amoebas reproduce asexually.
"
Lahr DJG, Parfrey LW, Mitchell EAD, Katz LA, and Lara E. 2011. The chastity of amoebae: re-evaluating evidence for sex in amoeboid organisms Proc. R. Soc. B
posted by Blasdelb at 9:11 PM on May 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


rough, hairy beasts with eight hands!
posted by elizardbits at 9:12 PM on May 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


I wish I could remember where I read this, but I definitely remember being surprised to learn that in the Victorian era in Britain, it was generally assumed that women were much more desirous than men, and that they were generally dragged around by sexual thoughts and/or feelings, while men experienced fewer "base urges" and also were more in control of their thoughts and emotions. Anybody know if that's true?

If so, it's an interesting reversal in cultural stereotypes. It seems that many of the societal trappings of sex and gender have changed very rapidly over the last 100 years. As far as I understand it, pink for girls and blue for boys simply wasn't a "thing" until mid-century (and I read one article that had a reference stating that pink, being a sort of diluted red, was more manly than blue). Boys used to be dressed in frilly dresses in early childhood. I'm sure there are many other examples.
posted by Cygnet at 9:13 PM on May 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


My apologies, Blasdelb and Sys Rq. I should have known that an essay that begins "Here's the thing, ladies" like clearly NOT ABOUT ME as a female. In fact whenever that drops I should know that's my cue to STFU, the men are speaking. Bowing out, enjoy.
posted by cairdeas at 9:13 PM on May 7, 2012 [18 favorites]


You know I thought Michael Ian Black's smarmy persona was grating, but the new earnest "deep thoughts" Michael Ian Black is downright insufferable.

There's an extended interview with him on last week's episode of Jesse Thorn's Bullseye. Have a listen if you enjoy his humorless observations on getting older!
posted by malphigian at 9:20 PM on May 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


I should have known that an essay that begins "Here's the thing, ladies" like clearly NOT ABOUT ME as a female.

Just because something is addressed to you doesn't mean it is about you. Same would go for an article about rape or sexism from a woman's perspective written to men. I would understand it would be a call for the read to listen to whats being written.
posted by AzzaMcKazza at 9:20 PM on May 7, 2012 [5 favorites]


Here’s the thing, ladies: I don’t want to have sex with you.

I thought everyone knew this; he's far more interested in that $240 worth of pudding.
posted by knave at 9:20 PM on May 7, 2012 [19 favorites]


I wish I could remember where I read this, but I definitely remember being surprised to learn that in the Victorian era in Britain, it was generally assumed that women were much more desirous than men, and that they were generally dragged around by sexual thoughts and/or feelings, while men experienced fewer "base urges" and also were more in control of their thoughts and emotions. Anybody know if that's true?

If so, it's an interesting reversal in cultural stereotypes.


Is it a reversal? That actually sounds consistent with current norms. It's more accepted for women than men to use sex toys. It's more accepted for women than men to be wildly, loudly vocal during sex.
posted by John Cohen at 9:21 PM on May 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is worse than any single one of those fifty-seven T-Nation articles on triple-reverse-pec-dec-holdover-flange-lunges. Ostensibly they address issues that are of pressing concern to certain subsets of malekind, but really it's just a big distended scrotum being rolled back and forth across a keyboard. Distended because the author is just slick and slippery with ovulate secretions but is so "over" sex he feels the need to write to us about it. Fuckin'...sliding around in his chair dodging all the moist clumped-up panties being thrown at him. Men don't look at women as unavoidable spunktrenches any more than somebody looks at the gun on a policeman's belt and feels like they've just been shot. We're still getting all our intel on how other people work from Vice magazine, rather than from actually interacting with other human beings. What was I saying?
posted by tumid dahlia at 9:21 PM on May 7, 2012 [8 favorites]


I think you're wrong about this, Blasdelb (for a change).
Never have I been at a backyard barbecue and heard, “Man, what I wouldn’t give to not fuck Angelina Jolie.” Or “Bro, given the choice between having sex with some random bitch or reading a good book, I’d probably choose the book.”

But that’s how I feel. I just don’t want sex that much.
"...sex with some random bitch" is anti-woman.
Consequently, my lack of nymphomaniacal tendencies has always left me feeling embarrassed and emasculated.
Using "nymphomaniacal" when he could have more properly said 'priapic' is anti-woman.
posted by jamjam at 9:25 PM on May 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


As I have aged my sex-fantasy world moved beyond the actual act of congress to the whole setup part as I actually figured out that there was a whole preamble period that was somewhat necessary to actually getting laid. And then as I got older still the whole setup period in my fantasy life got more and more complicated until fantasy sex became quite a chore and I pretty much got to the same point as the author here.

Sex is great, but damn, it can be a lot of work. And an affair? Who has the fucking energy (excuse the pun)?

Using "nymphomaniacal" when he could have more properly said 'priapic' is anti-woman.

While I suppose you're technically correct, I'll personally attribute this to a vocabulary failure versus misogyny. And isn't "nymphomania" the term psychologists use for all people, regardless of gender?
posted by GuyZero at 9:29 PM on May 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


"...sex with some random bitch" is anti-woman.

He's quoting an imaginary bro-douche in an imaginary bro-douche conversation to highlight the unlikeliness of the bit of that sentence after the comma.

Using "nymphomaniacal" when he could have more properly said 'priapic' is anti-woman.

Priapism is a purely physiological condition that has nothing to do with sexual appetite.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:34 PM on May 7, 2012 [26 favorites]


I am highly offended that this article perpetuates heterofascism and doesn't even address non-binary people.
posted by modernserf at 9:35 PM on May 7, 2012 [8 favorites]


The first paragraph is explicitly addressed to women, and at no point does he signal a change of intended audience with a new vocative expression.

Actually, yes, he does. For the rest of the article, he refers to women (and men) in the third person, not the second person.

Using "nymphomaniacal" when he could have more properly said 'priapic' is anti-woman.

Not every imperfect word choice in an article about gender is sexist. He probably wanted to use a word that would be familiar to most readers. Also, it might be relevant that Michael Ian Black is an actor who sometimes adopts a surprisingly effeminate persona out of the blue (if you've seen the TV series Stella you know what I mean), and he might have been applying this approach to his writing by taking a word that people think of as woman-specific and then applying it to men. If I had written this article I would have made some different choices too, but just because the article is flawed doesn't mean the author is a misogynist.

The pushback against this article is very interesting.
posted by John Cohen at 9:35 PM on May 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


I don’t understand who the people are who pay so much attention to stupid media stereotypes and take it as a personally insult. Is this guy saying his friends make him feel bad about his low sex interest, or women in general doing it, or "the media"? He either needs new friends or he’s kinda weird.

And am I supposed to believe that every man in the media is really portrayed as a sex maniac? I think someone is overly sensitive and reading too much into things. I bet if you start naming male TV show characters the majority of them are not sex obsessed, or even ever raise the subject of sex, at least the shows I watch.

Then again, I can’t really relate to anything in this article, including his "top five attributes of what it means to be a man":

• Providing - I do this because I have to, I mostly don’t give a shit and the satisfaction I get is not being homeless. I would gladly let someone else provide.
• Producing - Producing what? Not sure what he means, too vague.
• Strength - As in how much you can lift? Possibly a good one, too vague.
• Loyalty - OK, that’s a good one, but I’m not sure it’s a "man" quality.
• Farting - WTF? He’s evidently someone I don’t want to know.

I agree that sex is not on my list of what it means to be a man, because I don’t even understand how that would work, or what it means. Where did he even get this idea? If a woman wants sex she’s being manly?

This was a pretty stupid article all around.
posted by bongo_x at 9:36 PM on May 7, 2012 [6 favorites]


I don't care for the anti-robot language in this article. Carbon privilege is unconscious.
posted by michaelh at 9:37 PM on May 7, 2012 [22 favorites]


I think vocabulary failure is almost as likely, GuyZero, and I think I've seen 'erotomania' when all sexes are intended.

Sys Rq, that's why I included the following sentence where he says "But that's how I feel."

Also, you may be right about "priapism" but I wrote "priapic":
relating to or preoccupied with virility or male sexual excitement. Origin of PRIAPIC. Latin priapus lecher, from Priapus. First Known Use: 1786.
posted by jamjam at 9:52 PM on May 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


I just went through something related to this. I've always had a high libido and a very mutuality satisfying sex life. For 3 weeks I had no drive and no erections (nice breeze usually did the job before).

I had never felt so broken, depressed and like less of a man in my life.

It's funny looking back at it now because it's such a frivolous thing but I still don't quite have it all put into perspective.
posted by zephyr_words at 9:55 PM on May 7, 2012 [5 favorites]


Actually, yes, he does. For the rest of the article, he refers to women (and men) in the third person, not the second person.

You have a point, there.

And overall, a single 625-word Vice piece from Michael Ian Black is not my choice of battleground about misogyny or gender roles. I only even know him from ancient VH1 I Love the [decade] shows, where he's got sort of a Steven Wright thing going on, and this seems like a comic essay to pay the rent, y'know? Until now, I didn't actually know that his object of desire, whatever its level, was women. (Not that I was assuming he was gay, either, or asexual or omnisexual or whatever. In the absence of any data, I try, and admittedly often fail, to avoid assumptions about sexual orientation.)

I find it interesting how fast "It's like a lot of you wanted to be outraged by this" flips me into stabby GRAR territory.
posted by gingerest at 9:55 PM on May 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


You know I thought Michael Ian Black's smarmy persona was grating, but the new earnest "deep thoughts" Michael Ian Black is downright insufferable.

Well, nobody is forcing you to listen to or read him, and, if you do not wish to address the subject of his discussions, but instead focus on how grating you find his personality, perhaps it would be best if you just steered clear of him altogether. I imagine it's relatively easy to do.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 9:55 PM on May 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Here’s the thing, ladies: I don’t want to have sex with you.


That's cool, Michael Ian Black, we don't wanna have sex with you either.
posted by louche mustachio at 9:55 PM on May 7, 2012 [9 favorites]


jamjam: ""...sex with some random bitch" is anti-woman."
It is, absolutely, and he also wrote it in the voice of a sentiment that the article is explicitly attacking.
"Using "nymphomaniacal" when he could have more properly said 'priapic' is anti-woman."
On preview, you're right, erotomanic probably would be best because the 'nymphomaniac' really is loaded with all kinds of gendered baggage that make it a really poor choice, I suspect he hasn't had the benefit of a formal feminist education. The article could have been written better, however, this ALWAYS happens with threads on gender issues, the tone/vocabulary/grammar is never perfect enough. If he had written around those two points, I'm sure there would be something else.
posted by Blasdelb at 10:05 PM on May 7, 2012 [9 favorites]


Here’s the thing, ladies: I don’t want to have sex with you.

So don't. No one asked you to.

Personally, if I were male I'd be more upset about how men are portrayed as idiots in the media rather than how their sex drive is portrayed. It annoys me that the media portrays females as cold, sexless bitches but I don't write articles saying "Here's the thing, guys. I do want to have sex with you."

Of course, that might be taken the wrong way.
posted by Malice at 10:05 PM on May 7, 2012 [6 favorites]


That is to say, I think it's pretty revealing about the internalized constraints of masculinity that the author felt like he had to couch this message in the form of a straight dude telling women how it is.

You guys know Micheal Ian Black is a comedian right? And while many comedians are very aware of the mores they're prodding with their work, for the most part the reason for 90% of the way they say things is for laughs, right?
posted by midmarch snowman at 10:06 PM on May 7, 2012 [8 favorites]


Building of Cygnet's comments, I was fascinated when learned in a theology class in college that cultures where the local religion is heavily dominated by a monastic streak (think medieval Buddhism and Catholicism) a lot of the blame for impure thoughts is laid at the feet of women, y'know for like, walking and existing, those vile creatures. According to my prof (I never dug into the primary sources myself) a lot of the moral writings coming out of some monastic orders is just filled with pent up frustration which is then blamed on the wanton sexual nature of women... because, you know, it's their fault we want to make out with them.

Anyways. Human beings are messed up, it's kinda wonderful.
posted by midmarch snowman at 10:15 PM on May 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Holy crap. What a dick.
posted by Skygazer at 10:15 PM on May 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Here’s the thing, ladies: I don’t want to have sex with you.

Malice: So don't. No one asked you to.
"

If only as a reasonably famous and not unattractive comedian, I see no reason to distrust his implicit assertion that he hasn't lacked for askers.
posted by Blasdelb at 10:17 PM on May 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


He totally had me going on this article until the last five words.

Absolutely. Completely retarded, or just a terrible attempt at ending with a joke?
posted by jacalata at 10:18 PM on May 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


argh, hit post and remembered people objecting to that use of the word 'retarded'. Sorry!
posted by jacalata at 10:19 PM on May 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's a parody of an ultra-douche is what it is really. I hope no one takes it seriously.
posted by Skygazer at 10:19 PM on May 7, 2012


Personally, if I were male I'd be more upset about how men are portrayed as idiots in the media rather than how their sex drive is portrayed.

Here's the thing, ladies: We can be upset about several things at once, and still talk about one at a time, especially when others have been discussed to death.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:21 PM on May 7, 2012 [6 favorites]


What about us fellas, Micheal Ian Black? Are we also out of the running for the sweet sexy times?
posted by sharkbot1957 at 10:23 PM on May 7, 2012


As a woman, I actually found this blog post pretty interesting, and it's been something I've been sort of curious about lately - it seems pretty impossible to me that men are quite so debilitatingly obsessed with sex as culture would have you believe. I'd love to hear from men in this thread - offensiveness aside, do you agree with his premise?
posted by the essence of class and fanciness at 10:26 PM on May 7, 2012 [6 favorites]


Yeah seems like he was trying to 'compensate' for his lack of hornyness with 'extra manliness' in some arias, and also trying to be "funny". Thus the blowjob and farting "jokes". The farting one was stupid and the BJ thing totally undermined his point.

On the other hand the article wasn't written for people who spend all their time discussing gender issues on the internet. nit-picking his use of "nymphomaniacal" rather then "priaptic" as being anti-women just seems ridiculous. I mean, Nymphomaniac is a far more common term, I think there's a good chance it might not even be in his vocabulary - in fact I had thought it was mostly related to having an erection, not being horny in general.

I think some people get caught up in their own little world on this that they totally don't realize the vast majority of the population, both men and women think about male and female sexuality in terms of common stereotypes. He's obviously writing the article because he's had to deal with women having unrealistic sexual expectations.
oh so that Pastabagel comment doesn't sum up the entire male experience.
I saw that comment linked for the first time the other day by a genuine, bonna-fide PUA. What I found hilariously off base personally is the idea that women would be just horrified to hear that kind of talk. In the real world, lots of women not only aren't bothered by crude sexual discussions (with people they are comfortable with, obviously) but actually enjoy it and engage in it themselves. Obviously there's the issue of jealousy lots of girls don't want to hear that someone else is more attractive to them, or that their boyfriends want to have sex with other girls - but the same thing is true of lots of guys, in fact it could be even more true with them.

There's actually a scene in Eyes Wide Shut that's the complete inverse of the story: Tom Cruise's character eggs Kidman's on and she ends up telling him about two dudes she really wanted to fuck, in graphic detail - and then Cruise gets all upset

(Or something like that. I only got like 1/3rd of the way through that movie, and that was a long time ago. But I think the actual setup was something like Cruise expressing the idea that women didn't think about sex the way guys do, and Kidman used her own thoughts as a counterpoint, Anyway, it was a lot more interesting then that "3 and a half men" grade sitcom writing)
posted by delmoi at 10:26 PM on May 7, 2012 [6 favorites]


Sys Rq: "Here's the thing, ladies:"

We really don't need to do this here.
posted by Blasdelb at 10:28 PM on May 7, 2012 [9 favorites]


"Or 'Bro, given the choice between having sex with some random bitch or reading a good book, I’d probably choose the book.'”

"...sex with some random bitch" is anti-woman.


jamjam, he's satirizing stereotypical bros. Bros call women "bitches" while addressing each other as "bro."

Seriously people? It's a serious essay written by a comedian, of course it's going to contain satire and hegemony-referencing jokes.
posted by bumpjump at 10:32 PM on May 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


If only as a reasonably famous and not unattractive comedian, I see no reason to distrust his implicit assertion that he hasn't lacked for askers.

Touché good sir/madam.
posted by Malice at 10:33 PM on May 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


edit: Blasdelb said it better
posted by bumpjump at 10:34 PM on May 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Here's the thing, ladies: We can be upset about several things at once

Spread your lies elsewhere, everyone knows men can't multi-task.

I kid, I kid. Just can't take any more "Here's the thing, ladies".
posted by Malice at 10:36 PM on May 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


As a woman, I actually found this blog post pretty interesting, and it's been something I've been sort of curious about lately - it seems pretty impossible to me that men are quite so debilitatingly obsessed with sex as culture would have you believe. I'd love to hear from men in this thread - offensiveness aside, do you agree with his premise?
As a guy, it's something I've never had a male friend tell me about. The last time i read something about a guy with low libido it was a reddit thread from a guy who had his libido permanently damaged by taking Propecia (a hair loss drug) and he was pretty miserable about it.

Then there's the whole issue of "Herbivore Men" in Japan. I wonder how much of that is true "low libido" vs. just not wanting to deal with women. There was a thread on the "World Champion" Masturbator in Japan. This guy had a girlfriend, who would monitor his practice sessions, but neither of them seemed interested in actual sex - and he would watch amine porn rather then real porn because he simply seemed grossed out by the 'physicality' of sex itself. Pretty fucked up. But he obviously doesn't have a low libido.
posted by delmoi at 10:37 PM on May 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Using "nymphomaniacal" when he could have more properly said 'priapic' is anti-woman.
[..]
I think vocabulary failure is almost as likely, GuyZero, and I think I've seen 'erotomania' when all sexes are intended.
No, vocabulary failure is vastly more likely. Also, the equivalent male term is not "priapic", but probably more accurately "satyromaniacal". I was not even aware of the term until I looked it up -- which actually lends some credence to his point, if you think about it.
posted by smidgen at 10:40 PM on May 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Nymphomania in men is known as satyriasis.

Pssst...I learned that from The Big Lebowski.
posted by Skygazer at 10:47 PM on May 7, 2012 [11 favorites]


Bleah, I'm totally wrong about the word. The dictionary definition is a little -- imprecise. I suppose one could use satyromaniacal for effect, but priapic seems to be much more common.
posted by smidgen at 10:50 PM on May 7, 2012


We really don't need to do this here.

You're right. I'm sorry for quoting from the article we are discussing.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:53 PM on May 7, 2012 [7 favorites]


I'd love to hear from men in this thread - offensiveness aside, do you agree with his premise?

Since you asked: I think my libido is higher than average men from talking to my friends, but it's possibly... surprising?... what can turn me off from sex. When I was in high school and college I played sports which actually turned down my libido quite a bit, I would actually go weeks without any sort of activity. Also, social expectations have a lot to play as well. I actually have turned down stuff a few times worried about my partners emotional response or blow back from social contacts. I don't want to get labelled as a slut or a creep.

Also, I have to be in the mood. Which I think was surprising for a lot of my girlfriends. The stereotype for men is we're always in the mood, but I think that just gets perpetuated because most of us respond to visual cues, and girls mostly send out visual cues without having to think about it. But one serious girlfriend I had would only initiate activity in bed with the lights off, which was murder on my sex drive cause it took me a while to get from "what? this normally means sleepy time for me..." to "okay, ready to go."

But yeah, a lot of men are variable, and I think my friends do admit to it kinda... One friend is fine going a year without, most have trouble after a couple months... others, fit media stereotypes.
posted by sharkbot1957 at 10:57 PM on May 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


Re: misogyny etc, I dunno, it doesn't seem that weird to me that parts of the article would get some peoples' hackles up. The danger of trying to satirize misogynist/racist/whatever voices by using them is that it's pretty easy to just end up flubbing the satire. I think it's pretty easy to see how the satire fell flat for some readers and - even if you don't think it's the case - this sounds like the dude blaming women for societal attitudes about male sex drive.

I think it's possible that if you went to the dude and said "so... do you blame women?" he'd be like "psh, no!"

But again, I definitely think the article gives off an "I blame women" vibe. Maybe you didn't feel it, but that doesn't mean it wasn't there.

Personally, I dunno. I have no understanding of my libido. Or at least very limited. I've said in the past that it's higher in the spring and lower in the winter, but who knows? I might just have told myself a convincing enough lie that I believed it.

I notice attractive men, but tbh I don't especially want to sleep with them. I look at porn but I don't actually want to have sex with the people in it. The person that I actually want to have sex with is my boyfriend, because that's who I love. Seems to just be how I'm wired.

And hookup sex has been, in my admittedly limited experience, pretty crap.
posted by kavasa at 11:07 PM on May 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


The article brings up a few good points, though it tends to try quite hard to defeat itself as others here have pointed out. In any case there are probably more interesting things to discuss than the writer's vocabulary.

I think that the article brings up two worthy points (to my mind, anyway): It it rejects cultural stereotypes that all males constantly think about sex, and that anyone who says otherwise is really just complaining that the grapes were sour anyway. The latter part isn't really brought up in the article, but I feel it is the main impediment to discussing the issue. In practical consequence of the above, all men must constantly be in the mood. Therefore, unwillingness to have sex tends to be considered either a failing of the partner's attractiveness or as a symptom of something being wrong.
posted by Zero Gravitas at 11:16 PM on May 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


Michael Ian Black is most likely kind of a sexist stain, from all evidence. But on the other hand he makes a good point. On the other other hand, as a woman I have issues with my libido waning and waxing, and feel like "less of a woman" when I don't get aroused, or like an imperfect woman when I'm not being porn-y enough in the act of fuck itself. When I went on antidepressants and started feeling more arousal, I felt simultaneously much more female and much less feminine, because suddenly I was very sexual but also more aggressive, and I don't know, it's all a bunch of bullshit. Easy to be culturally manipulated in the media theater we live in.

I have dated guys who were less sexual than "average" (what we're supposed to believe is average), and it was difficult for me, as a woman, to internalize that at first. Because it is a blow to your self-esteem when the same advertising & media are telling you all day long that you need to spend money and buy products to be irresistible to a constant universal male arousal that will validate you. (After having my first relationship I didn't really have trouble understanding that men and women are not actually so dissimilar on these grounds.)

His points about advertising complement that idea and seem spot on. In my experience, male sex drive is highly variable among different men, as you might expect, but it does make sense from an advertising standpoint to make constant sex appeal = constant fulfillment.

And yeah, comedians are not always the most socially enlightened of beings-- they're usually adept at pointing out hypocrisy and being assholes in ways which seem shocking and funny. Not usually sensitive social critics, or even good people.

And and and, if there are dudes who don't understand why feminists get upset when someone uses the tone argument or the "if she had just been funnier I'd see her point" argument, this is why.
posted by stoneandstar at 11:20 PM on May 7, 2012 [20 favorites]


It's just a stupid comedy piece. Does anyone really think these are his honest thoughts? I don't.
posted by ReeMonster at 11:23 PM on May 7, 2012


It's just a stupid comedy piece. Does anyone really think these are his honest thoughts? I don't.
Really? It seems plain as day to me that these are his honest thoughts. He really does think men are expected to have an always-on sex drive, and he really doesn't have one. You would have to come up with some pretty intensely compelling arguments to convince me otherwise.
posted by kavasa at 11:31 PM on May 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


Ok, ladies (if you women are even reading this, i know how hard it is to read when all you wanna think about are babies). But here is the thing, our thing, the guy thing, its the thing you girls don't get it. Calm down, don't get hysterical. The thing is, about us men, is that we are dudes, and you girls, are gals. I hope I am not going too fast for you babes. I know how much you all want to go back to your "soaps" and "feminism classes," and other hen house affairs to gossip about us men and preen, but show some respect and keep reading. We all know ladies got different needs. Biology is all different, hell, like a different species down there (am I right guys?). But you dames might not know a thing or two about sciences, I know you like your schooling simple. So, lemme give you birds a primer on us worker bees. For one thing (sit down girls this might come to you all as a shock), but, us dudes, we have penises (you know what I'm saying, fellas). And what will really rub you the wrong way, I'm sure. But, the fact is you broads don't, I know you girls think women are the whole world, but kittens, you don't understand what we have to go through. Now don't go and faint on me here, this is some heavy stuff, and I know you chicks love to cry, but hang in here, keep reading. The thing is, penises is the one good thing we got going in this big media saturated world. But nobody respects us for it, nobody respects us none. And we know cause you ladies don't get it (maybe you girls can't neuroscientifically, but try, girls, try). Lemme explain. You broads have chick-lit, chick-flicks, chick-chick-chick: but what do us guys have? You know what I want to see, guy lit, guy flicks, guys on guys, maybe a little something called masculinism (like feminism for men, get it?), maybe a little honking and hollering after us while we walk down the streets (no one compliments us on our clothes). And you know what else? Sometimes we too just want to feel pretty, why can't we wear dresses for you girls, feel sexy, why can't we, you tell us that ladies. You can't cause you birds don't know what we dudes go through. You think we ignore you and watch television demanding food and the house cleaned because we feel entitled? No, ask any dude, any honest dude, we yell at you because it is the one time we feel like equals. You girls just get it great, get all the respect, and us dudes, all we get are our penises, that is all we got, no makeup, no knights in shining armor saving us from our evil stepmothers, no beauty of childbirth, no breasts, no vaginas, no specialty underwear, no nothing, just penises. And, sure, maybe sometimes we can put our penises somewhere nice (dudes out there know what I'm talking about), but that is your choice, ladies, your choice, not ours. You ladies just don't understand, sometimes we just want to feel special.
posted by TwelveTwo at 11:33 PM on May 7, 2012 [20 favorites]


Good lord, so much of this thread is socially-aware self-parody I dont even know where to begin

Michael Ian Black has made a career on being almost imperceptibly sarcastic. He's also very clearly progressive on identity/gender/sexuality issues. He started the column with "Listen here, ladies..." as a joke. He's being sarcastic.

The idea that anyone would ever write anything that starts like that is so self-evidently funny that he feels no need to actually say that it was a joke. (Doing so would ruin it.)

The point here is that the hyper-masculine "I wanna FUCK!" role that culture assumes for men is ridiculous. That there's no real reason for men to be the Axe-buying, Miller Lite-drinking simpletons that we're told to be.

He's arguing against sexist ideas and implicitly being extremely feminist.

If you are offended by the first line, or the word "bitching", or "nymphomaniac", you're missing the point entirely. Properly understood, the only people who should be offended by this are cartoonish alpha males.
posted by graphnerd at 11:38 PM on May 7, 2012 [45 favorites]


Yeah, it seems to me that he was using an opening rhetorical device to grab attention in a "man bites dog" way... like if a woman author started an article saying, "Here's the thing, guys: I don't want to be 'Just Friends'," and went on to complain about cultural expectations of the female sex drive.
posted by taz at 11:41 PM on May 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


FWIW, there are women who, when i see them in public i would, in the abstract, want to have sex with them. i suspect that these are also the same women who make opinions, which is how i think is how the idea he's referencing got started. i read the whole piece, i think what he's saying make sense.
posted by cupcake1337 at 12:15 AM on May 8, 2012


It can be taken as an insult, a blow to their self esteem. After all, if all men want sex all the time, what does it say about them if there's a guy who doesn't want to have sex with them?

Oh, man, this was me. I had a roommate at one point, a rather pretty young woman, who kinda sorta threw herself at me one night. It was just the two of us, and we had been drinking--me a little bit, her a lot more--so I was putting on the brakes all night. Plus there was the fact that I just wasn't all that attracted to her. I don't know why, exactly, but us being roommates I suppose had something to do with my hesitance. And I just, frankly, found her to be pretty boring. She was cute as a button, and knew it, and there are times I kick myself for not doing it. But there it was, my ambivalence towards this girl.

So when I declined to play hide the salami that night, her attitude towards me spun on a dime; she had a grudge against me that gradually turned into a quiet ball of hate. I understood why she didn't like me--who the hell likes being rejected--but it was tough to take her resulting shitty attitude toward me. Even our friendship didn't outlast that.
posted by zardoz at 12:22 AM on May 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'd love to hear from men in this thread - offensiveness aside, do you agree with his premise?

I'm sort of generally sad that this discussion hasn't been about this, but instead another meta analysis of the true intent of the article.

So yah, I do agree with the article quite a bit. It hasn't been such a problem for me in my life, as I've always had such an independent streak that I've never cared too much about the expectations of others or culture at large, but yes, I've felt defensive about my sexuality.

The weird thing is, as I want to say 'defensive about my low libido' but I don't even think that's right. Sometimes I get really horny. I love that beginning phase of relationships of multiple times a day constant sex. But I'm also fairly okay with the occassional year long breaks I've had here and there, and that I lost my virginity when I was 22. This last point I definitely was uncomfortable admitting up until recently, for the kinds of reasons mentioned in this article.

But even though I turned down a lot of sex during my earlier years - and I do often look back and do a facepalm and pull a "what the hell was I thinking?", in general I'm pretty happy with my sexuality. Because I waited until I really figured it out for myself, I would go into sex understanding my sexuality and also being able to understand the girl's as well. Which is pretty great. Because female and male sexualities are equally as complex and variable as each other, and it's great to see that revealed when all that cultural garbage is cleared away.

Another datapoint about prefab sexuality: So the overwhelming majority of girls I've been with - all except one - did not shave their pubic hair. Some didn't even shave other places. And personally, in my head, a woman is something with hair on it. And I find this tendency in porn towards total hairlessness really irritating and distracting. But when I tell guys that basically all the girls I'm sleeping with aren't shaving, they're often pretty floored. *But they all do now!*

How does that work? On the very least I guess, I'm very attracted to women who are independent and don't play into prefab sexuality - ubiquitous blonde hair and black eyebrows also irritates the hell out of me - so yah, here's a big datapoint from a guy who just doesn't plug it at all (at least to the extent that I'm aware of) what culture expects of my sexuality.
posted by Alex404 at 12:22 AM on May 8, 2012 [6 favorites]


So when I declined to play hide the salami that night, her attitude towards me spun on a dime

Oh and I did want to mention that too. It *is* very difficult to turn down a woman without them taking it personally. I've definitely been pushed into sex a few times when I tried to make it kind of clear that it wasn't the best time. I didn't feel at all violated in the end or anything, but if our genders had been reversed the situation would have definitely been not cool.

The feeling of being hurt from her side has presumably come from the idea that "but men want sex all the time so he must really think of fucking awful", which is prety poisonous for everyone involved.
posted by Alex404 at 12:27 AM on May 8, 2012 [5 favorites]


You know I thought Michael Ian Black's smarmy persona was grating, but the new earnest "deep thoughts" Michael Ian Black is downright insufferable.

It's a schtick. He is trying to be grating and/or insufferable. I find it pretty amusing in small doses, actually.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:35 AM on May 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


It seems I rate sex somewhat more highly than this fellow. His basic point is sound, though. Even I manage to think about other things once in a while.
posted by Decani at 2:41 AM on May 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Libido arrived when I was 12. My drive had nothing to do with my penis, and everything to do with other penises. I suffered horribly. I was, quite literally, dizzy. I did not understand the idea of "relief" for myself, and that part of the problem lasted most of a year.

I would say, my libido is probably much stronger than average, from the things I hear. I'm 55 now, and have sex with my partner (of 14 years) on more days than not, and I have it alone most of the other days. But I'm what I call a "sexist", and think that sex is not only good to have, but deserves a high priority. I think it's crazy to act like sex is something to do if you have left over time. NO! Left over time is what you have after sex.

I am deeply concerned that any notions to the contrary are left over baggage from the Puritans.
posted by Goofyy at 2:44 AM on May 8, 2012 [7 favorites]


Huh, I really approach this from the opposite direction: people often don't actually believe that I have a high sex drive. It's often assumed to be a show to attract men, or get attention, or as a result of low self-esteem or childhood abuse...

Basically, women are not supposed to have high sex drives. It's interesting because it plays into the ongoing theme in pornography and society at large that sexual pleasure is super valuable to men and not valuable to women, so sex is something men do to women, who have to be tricked, cajoled, forced, paid, etc. The perceived disparity in sexual desire ends up contributing to rape culture (and men not being able to find the fucking clitoris, for fuck's sake, but I digress).
posted by the young rope-rider at 3:03 AM on May 8, 2012 [15 favorites]


I don't have a problem believing that lots of people, both male and female, have different levels of libido...but, well, I always thought sex was a spectrum of acts, with oral sex being part of that spectrum. So saying you're only horny for oral sex would mean to me that this is the sort of sex you like or want, rather than you don't like or want sex. I guess I'm going to have to rethink that assumption, going by the end of the piece.
posted by lesbiassparrow at 3:13 AM on May 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


But again, I definitely think the article gives off an "I blame women" vibe. Maybe you didn't feel it, but that doesn't mean it wasn't there.

A vibe isn't something that an article can have. It's something that happens when you read it. It's the combined effect of the words in the article, what definitions of them you recognize, what connotations, what memories you associate with them. Sometimes authors try to evoke particular vibes, but it's very difficult to do this reliably, as there are always (no exceptions) readers who recognize connotations that the author never heard of. When Shakespeare compares someone to a summer's day I think of summer days in Los Angeles, where even if it isn't roasting out, you still want to stay inside, because outside you can't see shit for all the glare off the white concrete.

It's fine to talk about the vibe, and it's fine to try and identify the words that got you it. The words are not to blame. Not even insofar as it's sensible to blame inanimate objects for anything. The vibe wasn't there. Never is.
posted by LogicalDash at 3:22 AM on May 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Goofyy: Libido arrived when I was 12. My drive had nothing to do with my penis, and everything to do with other penises. I suffered horribly. I was, quite literally, dizzy. I did not understand the idea of "relief" for myself, and that part of the problem lasted most of a year.

I wish someone had explained to me what the heck was going on, I thought I was going bananas. Thankfully, I did know about how to find relief, although as a Catholic it was always a bittersweet experience of polar feelings of pleasure and shame, and thinking God was gonna find a way to cream your ass just as soon as you stopped wanking it for the fifth or sixth time...

Christ, adolescence... male fuckin' hormones...yeesh....

I sometimes think the male libido is just all that momentum teenage boys build up in those years basically trying to stick their johnsons into anything that doesn't have an electric current running through it, and even that sometimes seemed like a good idea, so yeah, right all this momentum just keeps going and going even if you're now much older and ahem your equipment is nowhere near that divinely abled supercharged teen gift of durability and performance and mindless bonking...
posted by Skygazer at 3:38 AM on May 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


As for the piece, it's obvious he's a dick, because he's pretending to need all sorts of emotional and physical space and doesn't want to be judged as being an insensitive dick or as any less of man for being more laidback about his libido, but what it really comes to is not that he doesn't like sex, it's that he's a self-absorbed, self-centered lazy rude macho gross (farting? WTF? HA!) asshole who doesn't care about being a good lover or "provider" or any of that asshole stuff guys pretend to be when they want to get laid, he just wants his dick sucked with as little inconvenience as possible.

So yes, it is funny. Because he's a caricature of a massive doucheBag.
posted by Skygazer at 3:48 AM on May 8, 2012


Metafilter has illustrated to me many times that some otherwise extremely intelligent people can't detect sarcasm, or if detected, understand its purpose. My favorite posts are the ones that use sarcasm to attack what is actually sarcasm... I mean, you'd think there would be no excuse for someone snarking not to pick up on snark, but no.

In metafilter-ese, the first sentence of the editorial should be escaped with a sarcasm tag, the proverbial HAMBURGER tag:

"Here’s the thing, ladies: I don’t want to have sex with you. {/}"

... but that's not clearly enough, as some that have interpreted the sarcasm as being directed toward women. So, we will need a sarcasm redirect tag, to indicate that women are not actually being addressed, and he's being sarcastic to someone else:

"Here’s the thing, ladies: I don’t want to have sex with you. {/}->"

And the redirect looks like one of those little toothpicks with a flag on it, so we will call this variety of sarcasm the CLUBSANDWICH tag.

I'm still working on the irony subtags, that may take a while.
posted by Slap*Happy at 4:32 AM on May 8, 2012 [7 favorites]


Whatever the merits of the piece itself or the author, the issue is real enough.

My first partner got really neurotic when I did not properly perform according to her internalized script of what sex should be. Which of course leads to stress, which leads to other problems, and then just turns the whole thing into a mess.

Expectations and scripts are unpleasant to my mind, especially when it comes to sex which seems to be better when it's improvised moment-by-moment.
posted by seanmpuckett at 4:41 AM on May 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


As a college professor I am both amused and horrified that students today don't seem to be aware of or care about the things they say in ear shot of faculty (irrelevant aside to students......it matters, when you ask me to write that letter for you that hateful comment I heard you say about another student is imprinted on my brain forever). But I digress. So I squirm when I hear groups of males outing themselves as misogynistic assholes. But I have been surprised to hear equally hateful comments from the mouths of female students. Once in a while they have this vain (although not usually stated so cruelly--although I did hear this):

"He couldn't even get it up....he must be a faggot".

So there it is. I will leave it to the sociologists and gender experts on MF to unpack the source of this sentiment.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 4:42 AM on May 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Here's the thing, Michael Ian Black: I don't want to have sex with you, either, ever.

That was my reaction to this article. I've occasionally found MIB funny in the past.


This article, while I see what he's getting at and how it could/can be funny
...I think the tone may be wrong for the intended audience (vice.com)
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 4:46 AM on May 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


And and and, if there are dudes who don't understand why feminists get upset when someone uses the tone argument or the "if she had just been funnier I'd see her point" argument, this is why.

I'm so glad someone said this. To me, both reading the article and reading the thread, what jumped out was how typical some of the responses were. If roles had been reversed (a woman writing about some woman thing, directing it towards men even if sarcastically) the response here would've been old hat. "Well, she shouldn't have been so mean." "That wasn't funnier at all." You know, instead of actually talking about the thing he wrote about.

This guy's underlying point is so clearly right (i.e. hey the patriarchy hurts us all man) but it's said in a way that can easily be considered offensive or wrong. Please note that him being a comedian is not explicitly stated anywhere except in the tag 'comedy' in the article, so if you don't know who this guy is--and I'd imagine a lot of people don't--this wasn't clear. And believe it or not, there are a lot of people with sufficient cognitive dissonance to write a piece like this without any sarcasm or sense of irony.

In addition, a lot of the responses (and my immediate reaction to reading it as well) were things along the line of 'well I'm not a woman who thinks that', but if you read some of these ("Don't tell us, dude...") they actually do address the article and the underlying issue: our patriarchal society. I feel like in a lot of ways this is the same thing that comes up in rape threads when people address large groups of people, but in those threads there is often a distinct lack of actually addressing the underlying complaint. Quite often men will get up in arms and say 'well I'm not that kind of guy!' and women get (I think rightfully so) irritated because then the conversation is about them again and the complaint is forgotten or undermined. Re-reading this thread, I think some of this happened here, but most of the comments still make a salient point rather than only crying foul.

I don't really think you can blame people for being offended by this given the lack of context some of us had. In addition, women actually have to deal with these dudebro comments all the goddamn time, and I personally get so fucking sick of it that even if it is a 'joke' it's not a joke. It's all feeding into the same crap.

So in short: I didn't like the article because I did feel offended. But the guy is right, and you can't really deny that.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 4:55 AM on May 8, 2012 [9 favorites]


There's actually a scene in Eyes Wide Shut that's the complete inverse of the story: Tom Cruise's character eggs Kidman's on and she ends up telling him about two dudes she really wanted to fuck, in graphic detail - and then Cruise gets all upset

(Or something like that. I only got like 1/3rd of the way through that movie, and that was a long time ago. But I think the actual setup was something like Cruise expressing the idea that women didn't think about sex the way guys do, and Kidman used her own thoughts as a counterpoint, Anyway, it was a lot more interesting then that "3 and a half men" grade sitcom writing)

I can't recall a film in recent memory where interpretation was so closely aligned with gender; with each thinking the other more culpable for the couple's woes.
posted by wensink at 5:00 AM on May 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh, and to clarify why this might be offense to people regardless of whether or not they know he's a comedian (addressed to the general 'you'):

You can say racist shit to your POC (or otherwise!) friends under the protection of 'ironic free speech' all you want, but you shouldn't expect them to laugh about it with you. Because you just got away with saying racist shit, and may have even gotten to laugh about it. To do this requires a boatload of privilege that the speaker is oftentimes not aware of. And that kind of sucks for the person who is lacking those privileges--sometimes it's not as fun to hear degrading or reducing things about yourself for the laughs when that is your life and you have no choice but to live it.

This guy addressed a bunch of sexist shit (couched in humor) to the internet which is full of strangers. I really don't think anyone's wrong to be offended.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 5:12 AM on May 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Human gender politics: each thinking the other more culpable for the couple's woes.
posted by Catfry at 5:13 AM on May 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


But I have been surprised to hear equally hateful comments from the mouths of female students.

Why surprised?
posted by the man of twists and turns at 5:23 AM on May 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Slap*Happy, please reach out to the W3C folks now. You may only have 1 or 2 decades left to get your very important tags added into the final HTML 5 specs.
posted by nowhere man at 5:31 AM on May 8, 2012


As a woman, I actually found this blog post pretty interesting, and it's been something I've been sort of curious about lately - it seems pretty impossible to me that men are quite so debilitatingly obsessed with sex as culture would have you believe. I'd love to hear from men in this thread - offensiveness aside, do you agree with his premise?

As with all questions about people, the answer to this is basically "it depends." I don't spend much time talking to my male friends about their libidos, but I know enough about a few of them to say that the variance is high. I, for one, am of the "almost crippling libido" persuasion. That pastabagel comment is a slightly exaggerated parody of me when sober and a fairly spot on portrayal of me when drunk. I also know people who are happy to have sex if the opportunity presents itself, but are also happy to go years without. On the other hand, I know there are women across basically the same range.

Since my own sex drive is basically what Miller Lite wants you to believe about men, I don't really find myself that personally offended by the pop culture portrayals of male sexuality. Still, the portrayal is also pretty damaging to everyone. Hell, even as someone who has a very high sex drive, I'm not skipping work or letting houses burn down or whatever else it is that men in commercials are doing because there's a chance to get laid. If I had my way, I'd probably be having sex three times a day, but that leaves plenty of time for tending to basic life stuff.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 5:38 AM on May 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


If roles had been reversed (a woman writing about some woman thing, directing it towards men even if sarcastically) the response here would've been old hat. "Well, she shouldn't have been so mean." "That wasn't funnier at all." You know, instead of actually talking about the thing he wrote about.

There is so much stuff on the Internet that you could probably find an article just like that. Something of quality that wil generate interesting conversation, like how, say, this article is about a man with a low libido and how that clashes with societal expectations of men.

You could then see how the conversation goes.

It might be more rewarding than judging this entire community based on a fictitious FPP with an entirely hypothetical comment thread populated with imaginary text by posters that exist only in your mind.
posted by Shepherd at 5:54 AM on May 8, 2012


What someone says and what you interpret them to mean are two different things. In terms of your own interpretation - you actually have a choice to be more or less charitable to the speaker. A whole lot of people in this thread seem to be deliberately taking the most uncharitable reading possible.

Women give phone numbers to men for lots of reasons - to either mess with them or to spare their feelings (if fake) or because they legitimately want them to call. Less talked about - men pay attention to women - but why? The assumption is because they want to fuck her - which is often true. But it can also be because of lots of other reasons. Speaking personally, there were more than a few occasions where someone expressed real hurt that I had never tried anything with them.

There are lots of expectations placed on men that individual examples may or may not have signed up for. There's no greater example of continued gender imbalance than the fact that there is simply no real (or comparatively very little) space to talk about that as a man without sounding like an asshole or a douche. That's MIB's point. And he's right. Not even with other men, because any formulation of the idea that you don't want to be with a woman (especially if that woman is desired by many other men) is treated as not a real problem.
posted by NoRelationToLea at 6:04 AM on May 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


Oh, and I'll also add that another weird thing about being a man with a stereotypical sexual desire. I'm married, and sometimes my wife acts like my attraction to her is just a manifestation of my generic desire to fuck all the things rather than anything personal. I get that. I do feel like fucking a huge number of the women I meet, but I want to fuck her more than them. It can be hard to get that across since I, in some ways, fulfill society's image of Man: Mindless Sex Monster.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 6:13 AM on May 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


It might be more rewarding than judging this entire community based on a fictitious FPP with an entirely hypothetical comment thread populated with imaginary text by posters that exist only in your mind.

... I was just talking about how interestingly this conversation has gone and how I felt like it paralleled or seemed to on parallel on the surface a lot of things from previous MeFi threads about articles/opinions penned by women.

I wasn't trying to say that the responses were exactly the same; in fact I was saying that they're subtly different. There have been threads that have followed that hypothetical I proposed, but I in no way claimed that the entire community was in the wrong. If you want me to provide the examples I was thinking of might be able to find them; one was the tech thread about the woman who tweeted with an expletive about her poor customer service and got a lot of dismissal because she'd said a bad word (mostly outside of MeFi but also from some MeFi users).

I was trying to add to the current conversation actually happening here about tone and gender dynamics and etc.; we're over 100 comments in so I didn't feel like I'd be hijacking the conversation that had started when I went to sleep and was still waiting here when I got up in the morning.

Did you read the rest of my post?
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 6:21 AM on May 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


@shepherd
Tone argument? In gender studies threads?
posted by modernserf at 6:27 AM on May 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I want to be a good man. I feel like I am a good man. I’m just not a horny man. Unless we’re talking about BJs.

This last graph seals my impression that the entire article needs a last psychiatrist deconstruction. "Sex is boring. Real men place more importance on farting and desiring infinite BJs" - really pushing human culture forward there, bro
posted by crayz at 6:27 AM on May 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


And the geeklist sexism thread.
posted by modernserf at 6:29 AM on May 8, 2012


Thanks, modernserf. Those were actually exactly the three I was thinking of.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 6:35 AM on May 8, 2012


Raising my hand... man here, I've had several decades now in which being obsessed with sex made my life much more difficult and awkward than necessary. During my 20s especially (which were an improvement of course over the teen years), sex pretty much occupied 60% or more of my waking thoughts. As in, more than half of my time and energy. Food? Art? Friends? All secondary. Not much fun actually, because so much of that energy was always about frustration: I'm a shy, ethical, introverted guy. However, as I've gotten older, thankfully, my libido's dropped quite a bit. So far, that's a good thing. But losing that big part of who I was leaves a strange void and makes me feel, very much against my better judgement and in a visceral & hurtful way, like less of a man. I don't even watch TV, but that stuff is trained deep into us at a young age. None of us are normal enough to feel normal.

So, I found this article irritating in tone, but he's still saying something important and I'm glad he's saying it (opening phrase notwithstanding) to Vice readers, since as far as I can tell the whole rest of the magazine is basically "Dude! Check out your boner!"
posted by Erroneous at 6:37 AM on May 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


Every time I read a pointless essay like this, I swear at myself for not spending that time reading Gore Vidal instead.
posted by Capt. Renault at 6:43 AM on May 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


So saying you're only horny for oral sex would mean to me that this is the sort of sex you like or want, rather than you don't like or want sex. I guess I'm going to have to rethink that assumption, going by the end of the piece.

i believe it is another ill-received attempt at presumably-ironic humor.

perhaps he is attempting to underscore his point about how ridiculous of an idea it is that "some men are not (as) obsessed with sex" actually comes as a surprise, given that a lot of people seem to be taking at face value these final five (seemingly intentionally offensive) words, despite their following an article written about how some men (the author in particular) do not find themselves constantly contemplating/pursuing sex... or maybe it is internet click baiting

regardless, i believe the point of the article is (1) it should not come as a surprise that not all men are preoccupied with sex and (2) pop culture suggesting otherwise is ridiculous and offensive. these points do not seem particularly insightful.

finally, it does not appear to be a good idea to attempt to ironically couch disdain for misogynist nonsense within misogynist nonsense.
posted by lulz at 6:48 AM on May 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


During my teen years well into my 20s, my disinterest in dropping everything I was doing to fall into hysterics every time a reasonably attractive woman happened often led to my male friends asking about my sexual orientation, because "dude, I'm not like, saying anything, but like, you never talk about chicks" It's also awesome when girls take your lack of interest in them as a dating partner, and then turning down sex from them as a reason to insult you, regardless of the reasons for your hesitance. Double fun when subsequently, your otherwise intelligent guy 'friends' pile on you because "DUDE, why didn't you fuck her?", and then reference your apparent ability to "get laid" as disqualification of complaining about anything else in your life ever ("Your cat died/lost your job/car broke down? I don't get why you're bitching, at least hotties want to fuck you!" )

What's interesting is because of this Axe-scented wall of machismo and repression, if you dare to talk openly about erectile disfunction or performance issues, the group may not join in, but on extended car trips or quiet asides at a bar, you become Charlie Bartlett.

While I like Michael Ian Black, I don't think this article is his best work, but for a lot of people it really IS shocking just how much guys internalize this shit, and how little it is ever discussed.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 6:56 AM on May 8, 2012 [6 favorites]


I don't particularly identify with the article, but the underlying point is not wrong. There is a strong cultural assumption that men want sex all the time, and I think a lot of people don't realize that it's just not true, even for men who want sex most of the time. This leads to a lot of unnecessary misunderstanding and resentment in the world.
posted by Nothing at 6:58 AM on May 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


sweetkid: "oh so that Pastabagel comment doesn't sum up the entire male experience."

Link, please?
posted by falameufilho at 7:15 AM on May 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


"misogynist nonsense"

also probably not a good idea to use phrases like that...
posted by lulz at 7:17 AM on May 8, 2012


>>So saying you're only horny for oral sex would mean to me that this is the sort of sex you like or want, rather than you don't like or want sex. I guess I'm going to have to rethink that assumption, going by the end of the piece.

>i believe it is another ill-received attempt at presumably-ironic humor.


I read it as a semi-joke, but also an expression of desire for totally passive sex. By and large, heterosexual men don't have the option of having sex while being totally passive, even inert. Even with the woman on top positions, you still have to "perform" in the sense of getting it up, etc. Laying on the bed and getting a blow job is the only form of totally passive sex most heterosexual men can imagine having -- even if you don't get an erection, it still feels nice, for example.

So I'm reading his article as not just "I have a low libido and that should be ok," albeit with irony cues that he might really have a stronger libido than he is saying, nudge nudge wink wink, but also as a desire for being able to have a more passive role and still be seen as a man. Overthinking that plate of beans, maybe, but I know plenty of guys who could relate.
posted by Forktine at 7:19 AM on May 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sounds like Low T. Get a scrip for AndroGel, wuss.
posted by Zerowensboring at 7:20 AM on May 8, 2012


"oh so that Pastabagel comment doesn't sum up the entire male experience."

"Link, please?"
sigh
posted by Blasdelb at 7:22 AM on May 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is the pastabagel comment that's mentioned. It's got a ton of favorites and is, genuinely, pretty amusing (my wife and I still make comments to each other about wanting to lick jogging girls' sweaty midriffs), but it's also problematic for the reason outlined in this Metatalk thread.*

*Full disclosure, the comment I linked to is by my wife, but I think it's pretty spot on, even if we have different opinions about how big a problem people other than me not wanting to have sex with her is.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 7:24 AM on May 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Aside from the salient point that libido doesn't necessarily overshadow everything else in an otherwise healthy, virile male, this little op/ed is really kind of shallow and pointless. Do people really need to be told that men aren't always walking around trying to hide massive erections in their trousers?

I wish some dudes would get that message. There was this woman I had an interest in, but I suspected she had a boyfriend and was treading carefully (long story). I knew she did have some interest in me. I asked her to meet me at a bar, and a guy I know from that bar was trying to chat her up when I got there. We met and hugged and then she wanted to use the washroom. Dude asked me if we were on a date and I said I didn't know, explained the situation and he said he would back off (no idea why people feel like they need to have this conversation, but whatever). It didn't work out between me and the lady.

So anyway, last week I saw the same guy, who was there with a friend. Inexplicably he started talking me up to his buddy, talking about how beautiful this woman was etc. He asked me if we had hooked up and when I said no, he got all wound up and claimed I had told him to "back off" and I should have jumped on that. I told him he was entitled to his opinion, but I never said that. He raved for a minute or two on how I was supposed to get on that, etc. A distressing scene.

Seriously, other guys need to stop acting 14 and telling guys they need to go out and get this that or the other woman. So tedious.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:31 AM on May 8, 2012 [8 favorites]


Do people really need to be told that men aren't always walking around trying to hide massive erections in their trousers?

Actually, yeah, some people do. A friend of mine was feeling a little weird for a while because he just plain didn't dig sex as much as he thought he should. He thought there was something wrong with him because "guys are supposed to be all about sex, aren't they?" He's past it, but it was an uneasy time for him for a while.



(It was also one of the reasons why I realized a tiny crush I had on him wouldn't ever go anywhere, dammit)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:35 AM on May 8, 2012


Women give phone numbers to men for lots of reasons - to either mess with them or to spare their feelings (if fake) or because they legitimately want them to call. Less talked about - men pay attention to women - but why? The assumption is because they want to fuck her - which is often true. But it can also be because of lots of other reasons. Speaking personally, there were more than a few occasions where someone expressed real hurt that I had never tried anything with them.

Re that story I just told--I had gotten her number after flirting and never called because I forgot. She confronted me angrily outside a bar months later and was genuinely pissed I didn't call.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:35 AM on May 8, 2012


I just want someone to make funny faces with for hours at a stretch, possibly followed by some cuddling (couch or bed is fine). And some occasional "banging."

Srsly, ladies who like making funny faces, bring your A-game. Email's in profile.
posted by Eideteker at 7:52 AM on May 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Joking aside, though, I think it's pretty cheesy how limited many portrayals of male sexuality are

Compared to female sexuality? Are you joking?

Consider movies (just off the top of my head, and I'm sure this says something about me)

* Clarence from True Romance
* Harold from Harold & Maude
* Jeffrey from Blue Velvet
* Frank from Blue Velvet
* Henry from Henry Fool
* Any male character in Boogie Nights
* Jerry Lundegaard in Fargo
* Brad from Fast Times at Ridgemont High
* Numerous popular films about gay men
* Ghost Dog in Ghost Dog
* Elliot from Ghost Dad

You could pick 1,000 movies and not get anywhere near the level of variety of sexual personas for women characters.

I like MIB, but this column is total BS. And, yeah, the lame BJ joke at the end completely fails.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:54 AM on May 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


"finally, it does not appear to be a good idea to attempt to ironically couch disdain for misogynist nonsense within misogynist nonsense."

You know this appeared in vice.com, right?
posted by etherist at 9:07 AM on May 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'd love to hear from men in this thread - offensiveness aside, do you agree with his premise?

I don't agree with his general premise, though I honestly can't tell if he's joking or not. I guess that's OK. I think a wide variety of male sexual personas are presented in popular culture, far more than those of women.

Also, I am now 40 years old and I still pretty much do want to have sex all the time, minus obvious refractory periods and reading and music time. I don't really enjoy watching things blow up, but as mentioned previously, I do enjoy dinosaur fights.

It has been a known feature/bug of my personality for a long time. I was a sperm donor when I was young, and my count was off the chart. Acne, premature balding, considerable body hair usually = high testosterone. I am a nice, non-aggressive guy, but I like sex A LOT.

I've always struggled with slight (self diagnosed) OCD, and my sexual personality is fairly compulsive and obsessive too, so I've always wondered whether I had an "addiction" but fuck it.

I've found that smoking weed helps.

What were we talking about again?
posted by mrgrimm at 9:17 AM on May 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


And, not to share too much, but this book was an eye-opener for me: When Your Sex Drives Don't Match: Discover Your Libido Types to Create a Mutually Satisfying Sex Life.

(The title is a bit misleading. They should have just gone with the subtitle, but that was probably a marketer's decision.)

I always assumed--as MIB also seems to assume as a premise in this article--that everyone's sexuality worked the same, but at varying degrees, i.e. some people are hornier than others, but they all get turned on the same way.

Sure, once you get your X in her Y (or your slippery hand on her clit) it's usually all good, but getting there is not always so easy (especially for long-term partners), and human sexuality contains multitudes.

Aside from the obvious pleasurable physical and emotional feelings, that's also why I love it. It is still truly a mystery to me in so many ways.

The book linked above isn't fantastic, but it reading it was an epiphany for me, to realize that cuddling and hugging for someone might be the equivalent of my balls-out orgasm. It has improved my relationship quite a bit, I think.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:25 AM on May 8, 2012


He totally had me going on this article until the last five words.

Absolutely. Completely retarded, or just a terrible attempt at ending with a joke?
posted by jacalata at 1:18 AM on May 8 [1 favorite −] Favorite added! [!]


argh, hit post and remembered people objecting to that use of the word 'retarded'. Sorry!
posted by jacalata at 1:19 AM on May 8 [1 favorite +] [!]


A beautifully ironic example of how those last five words happened. Piss-poor, but perfectly human, self-editing: for the finale, he felt compelled to throw in an easy-laugh joke (completely out-of-tone with the rest of the article).
posted by IAmBroom at 9:35 AM on May 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'd love to hear from men in this thread - offensiveness aside, do you agree with his premise?

I think that the mismatched libido questions we get on AskMe here bear out his point. While answers are, of course, all over the map, "my boyfriend never seems to want sex" questions contain a fairly significant number of responses to the tune of "he's gay" or "he's cheating" or "DTMFA." "My girlfriend never seems to want to have sex" questions, by contrast, tend to contain a lot more answers focusing on things like doing housework. These are not ironclad, of course, but that's my (admittedly anecdotal) sense, as someone who reads a lot of human relations AskMes
posted by Ragged Richard at 9:53 AM on May 8, 2012 [8 favorites]


Sure, if his point is that there is a wide array of libido types and that individuals don't have to conform with stereotypes (even if rooted at least partially in truth), I certainly agree with that premise.

If (as I think it is) his point is that males are unfairly characterized in pop culture as wanting sex all the time, I don't agree.

I suppose I'm just interested in the subject and was disappointed to find a ~500-word throwaway blog post from a comedian I generally enjoy that may or may not be not-funny-at-all satire.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:10 AM on May 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


For what it's worth, I'm a male with low libido, and I DO feel that society (or mainstream pop culture or what have you) pushes a one size fits all view where the default attitude of men is supposed to be, "I'd tap that." And I do find it discomfiting. So, despite the issues people have pointed out with the article, it resonated with me.

Also, MIB is great with Tom Cavanaugh on the MATES podcast.
posted by Jubilation T. Sockpuppet at 10:32 AM on May 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


He raved for a minute or two on how I was supposed to get on that, etc.

I have tried many times to explain to some women what douchebags many, many guys are, with anecdata such as this. It is cultural and bravado but it also leads to real-world behavior. It is extremely rare that women will believe the extent of explicit, borderline violent misogyny present in many male-only conversations. I've had men I just met tell me their serious desire to commit clearcut statutory rape on more than one occasion
posted by crayz at 10:45 AM on May 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have long thought that Women's liberation needs be joined into something termed Human Liberation. We all of us need to be free of the pop cultural assigned roles
posted by ahimsakid at 10:50 AM on May 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


This article made me a bit sad, for a couple reasons.

One, I've been guilty of this kind of thinking, especially when I was younger. My husband and I were just 16 when we got together, equally inexperienced, and both hormonally overwhelmed. We had a lot of assumptions about how our sex life was supposed to go.

I liked sex, and felt good about that. I was proud that I didn't let other things get in the way of our sex life, that I considered sex a priority.

Nothing wrong with that, right?

Except I put a lot of pressure on myself, and on him, because I assumed that, of course, being a man, he wanted sex all the time. When we got married, I didn't want to be the stereotypical wife who lets the sex go after marriage, or kids. Which meant that, in addition to being a perfect wife and perfect mother (this was the nineties, when marrying and having kids was the norm), I also had to be perfect in the bedroom.

I bought sexy lingerie, suggested new positions and toys, initiated sex frequently--and I basically never said no to anything, ever. I had to keep his supposedly constant sex drive satisfied, you see.

Which is why, after both my c-sections, I jumped right back to frequent sex, arguably way too early for my own health, because otherwise I'd be letting him down.

And when my endometriosis made sex so painful that I couldn't enjoy it any more, I put off going to the doctor far too long, for his sake.

And when post-partum depression or Hormone Replacement Therapy killed my sex drive, just killed it dead, even though I was suffering too, and doing everything I could mentally and physically to get it back, I beat myself up incessantly all the while for disappointing him.

I remember being floored when we talked about this, years later, and discovered that not only did he not remember that we'd had sex only a couple weeks after the c-sections and the hysterectomy, it wasn't even as big a deal to him that we get back to our sexual frequency as it was to me.

I realized I had even resented him for pushing for the hysterectomy, thinking he just wanted me to be back to my old sexual self. Which he did, but only so I wouldn't be in pain during sex.

It's ridiculous, the pressure we all put ourselves under. If I was ever rejected by him, I'd feel terrible, because he's a man, and he should want me sexually all the time, right? But I'd also feel terrible if I ever turned him down, for the same reason.

I can only imagine how hard it must be on the other side of the equation, feeling like you have to perform at a moment's notice. It's like you are expected to be a machine, always ready to go.. If you don't want to have sex, no matter what the reason, you have the girl will feel rejected. She might really be hurt. You feel like a heel for hurting her.

And along with that comes the worry that she's going to tell her friends you're "a faggot" (that's absolutely appalling, and says more about her than you anyway, but still), or that because you "couldn't get it up", you're somehow less of a man. You either feel judged, or pitied. Or both..

Oh, and just as I felt I had to always be sexually available, men are now expected to just magically know how to satisfy their partners, too. Because even if the man has the same level of sexual experience going into the relationship as the woman, he is expected to be sexually experienced, and notmonly that, sexually adept. He is supposed to please "his woman", or have to worry that she'll leave him for another guy who can.

But of course all women are different, so he doesn't know how to please every one of them! Obviously. But if he messes up, there is also an assuption that it's because he's been masturbating too much to enjoy sex with a real woman, or has totally unrealistic expectations because he's been watching too much porn. Or both.

Seriously, that has to suck.

That's the other reason this article makes me sad. I wish this guy had said all that, better than he actually did. I wish he hadn't sabotaged his point, which is valid, by ending with the sophomorish blow job line that belies what came before it. There's definitely a discussion worthy to be had on how men and women are affected by these (excuse the pun) overblown stereotypes.

(Sorry this went so long.)

Bulgaroktonos, I did not realize until just now that you were Mr. Pterodactyl! I have had a girl-crush on your wife for ages, and now I wish the contact options included, "cool internet couple I'd like to hang out with in real life".
posted by misha at 11:18 AM on May 8, 2012 [35 favorites]


It is extremely rare that women will believe the extent of explicit, borderline violent misogyny present in many male-only conversations. I've had men I just met tell me their serious desire to commit clearcut statutory rape on more than one occasion.

I think a lot of women would believe it, but if they're anything like me, they'd never want to leave the house again if they did. It's just easier to sleep at night, and interact with the men around you on a day to day basis if you can assume they're all decent human beings (despite evidence to the contrary, sometimes)
posted by peppermind at 11:26 AM on May 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think he goes wrong here:

But for me, fucking isn’t even in the top five attributes of what it means to be a man.

I quite like sex. My libido is strong. I don't want to have sex with random women (just not my gig), but I lust after my wife to a point where it is a bother. I definitely think about it more than I'd like to. But never, not even once, has it crossed my mind as being something that is involved with "being a man". Theses things are orthogonal. I love food too, but don't think that makes me less or more of a man. Every mammal, male or female, fucks. In fact, I'd say fucking is high on the list of things that makes me a mammal, but seems entirely unrelated to being a man (not being unique to being a man, after all).
posted by Bovine Love at 11:41 AM on May 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


misha,

My wife will be super psyched to learn that someone has internet girl crush on her; seriously, it will probably make her week.

Also, I think you're totally right about the pressures that the assumptions about men's sex drives have on both men and women. Honestly, it's hard enough getting your libido to match up with another person's over time without each of you also worrying about a hypothetical set of libidos that neither one of you actually have.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 11:51 AM on May 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


the essence of class and fanciness: "I'd love to hear from men in this thread - offensiveness aside, do you agree with his premise?"

Yes. It's often used to create a "safe space" that encourages discussion that is misogynistic, racist, and usually heteronormative.
posted by yaymukund at 12:48 PM on May 8, 2012


Great comment, Misha, and thanks for the honesty. Of all your interesting points, one stood out:

I remember being floored when we talked about this, years later ...

That just kills me, and not because my partner and I are any better. I likewise have kept sexual secrets from her for years.

A lot of it has to do with the taboo about talking publicly about our sexual lives, but goddammit people, let's talk honestly about sex with our partners more. I blame my parents. ;)
posted by mrgrimm at 12:54 PM on May 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


> That just kills me, and not because my partner and I are any better. I likewise have kept sexual secrets from her for years.

I think a lot of that kind of secretiveness or unwillingness to go into sexual histories stems from a couple's desire to have a relationship that is theirs, and not tainted by the baggage of the past. It certainly varies with personality, but beyond ensuring there isn't an STI issue, I think that full disclosure doesn't have to happen all at once in order to preserve a (perhaps illusory) sense of belonging to each other.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:03 PM on May 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


i wanted to give this thread time to grow before i came back and gave my opinions or impressions...

i posted this because i have had guy friends bring this concern to me - that there was something wrong with them because they didn't need sex the way that tv, friends, and advertising said they should. i've likewise had female friends who felt unloved, or ugly, or unappealing because their guy couldn't get hard or turned them down when he was tired or plain just didn't initiate because it wasn't as important to them. i admit that i've also had that comment by pastabagel on my mind when i came across this piece and thought it was an interesting counter point (and written in a similar style, which is maybe why i didn't think the tone would be such a stumbling block).

i admit that i (mistakenly) thought michael ian black was more well known than he appears to be and i didn't account for people reading sarcasm differently than i did. if i had a redo - i probably would have not posted this or found another essay that made the same point in a less prickly manner.
posted by nadawi at 1:37 PM on May 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Wait, why are you apologizing because other people brought their baggage, or their axes to grind, to this thread? I'll admit it wasn't a perfect article, and the sentiments misha posted a few comments above express the key points much more articulately... but still, an article by a man, for men, about an issue men face... it's not your fault that a few people can't read the sarcasm in certain areas, or neglect the sincerity.
posted by hincandenza at 4:40 PM on May 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Misha, yes, thank you. I think you've stated fairly well what couldn't happen early on in this thread. There was way too much discussion on the semantics of a passage clearly written in the vernacular possibly most guilty of propagating these stereotypes. I do, however, agree that the BJ, and to a lesser extent the farting comments, largely undermined his point.

This type of stereotyping sucks for both genders (albeit for different reasons), and it'd be great if public perception was a bit different.
posted by Slurgi at 9:04 PM on May 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


but still, an article by a man, for men, about an issue men face

When it starts out addressing women I sincerely doubt it is an article for men alone.

Not that I think there's anything particularly wrong with the article. Everyone is free to say what they feel.
posted by Malice at 10:46 PM on May 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I like comedy, I like MIB, and I agree with what he's saying, but it's REALLY hard to "properly" read the sarcasm in that piece. Even knowing what his comedic persona is often like, I wouldn't be so smug about it. I honestly still don't know exactly what he was going for. Semi-serious, semi-joking, is all I can tell, and it's hard to pin down exactly where.
posted by stoneandstar at 10:58 PM on May 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah sex can be a little overrated... maybe a bit too much work sometimes. But lust... lust is like a nice bottomless shot of vodka I carry around inside my head all day long.
posted by danl at 12:05 AM on May 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


My apologies, Blasdelb and Sys Rq. I should have known that an essay that begins "Here's the thing, ladies" like clearly NOT ABOUT ME as a female. In fact whenever that drops I should know that's my cue to STFU, the men are speaking.

The Schroedinger's Rapist blog post began: "Gentlemen." It was subtitled "a guy's guide," and it was addressed entirely in the second person, to men. Yet when it was posted here, it was seen as very bad form for men to criticize the piece as blaming them for the problem presented there. The idea was that men should listen, and not interject their experiences and opinions, because the piece was about women's experiences, not men's. And most of us thought that the thread was very informative because it was allowed to develop as a collection of women's experiences, as opposed to an ongoing argument about whether any individual man should feel offended by the ideas in that blog post.

Can't men get the same consideration here? I feel like there's a serious chilling effect when an early comment dismisses the piece out of hand as "anti-woman" and gets 70-plus favorites. Why would any man want to praise the piece, or talk about how it speaks to his experience, once it seems that the community is united in thinking the most important aspect of this piece to talk about is its anti-woman "vibe"?

And it's especially unfair to present the male commenters here as saying to you, "STFU, the men are speaking," when all they're suggesting is that men are really the best positioned to talk about what it's like to experience cultural pressure caused by the stereotype that men are always up for sex. The piece was addressed to women because it was asking women to listen.
posted by palliser at 1:06 PM on May 9, 2012 [15 favorites]


Having stepped away from the thread for 2 days, I'm not sure if I should reply to this. But I have a genuine question for you, and for any community members who were bothered when I commented about what was, to me, the anti woman slant of this essay (which wasn't based on a "vibe" I felt, but based on the words and content of the essay.)

Here's my question. When one demographic group writes something about their experiences, should it be seen as "bad form" and inconsiderate for any other group to bring up bigoted or offensive aspects of that writing? Or aspects that are similarly troubling to them.

For example, when Jamaican men talk about Jamaican problems with pedophilia, and express that they are against homosexuality because they associate it with pedophilia, would it be bad form for gay MeFites to comment about the bigotry there? Would it be bad for to do anything else but discuss the problem of pedophilia in Jamaica in reply to those statements?

I am dead serious with this question. I will refrain from ever bringing up feminist issues in threads by anyone who is not a white-Hispanic female, if the community really feels this way.
posted by cairdeas at 3:16 PM on May 9, 2012


there's a difference between saying, "hey, maybe there's something to listen to here" and "you should shut up forever." i think you know that so i don't know how serious your question really is. it does seem like maybe your point has been well made by now. i don't think anyone in this thread is confused about your position. i do wish this thread had been more about the subject and less about the tone, but that's metafilter, this post stopped being mine as soon as i made it.
posted by nadawi at 3:23 PM on May 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Okay, if this is just going to be a catty barb-fest, forget it. Enjoy.
posted by cairdeas at 3:39 PM on May 9, 2012


i don't really understand your response, but i am sorry this thread/post angered you. it certainly wasn't my intent.
posted by nadawi at 3:44 PM on May 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Coming back to this thread, I'd like to apologize for coming on so strong.

cairdeas: "Here's my question. When one demographic group writes something about their experiences, should it be seen as "bad form" and inconsiderate for any other group to bring up bigoted or offensive aspects of that writing? Or aspects that are similarly troubling to them."

Aside from perhaps Sys Rq, I don't think anyone in this thread is saying that the article was entirely unproblematic or that problematic aspects arn't worth pointing out, regardless of the perspective we each bring to the table. Where I objected to the two comments you made at the top of the thread is that they seemed to mischaracterize the intent and language of the article, and more importantly seemed to do it in a way that is common to just about every thread we've ever had related to gender or privilege.

The conversation always seems to get derailed by a few voices from a conversation about what is being said to one about how it is being said, and the 'how' conversation seems to never be informed by the 'what' conversation. Upthread when you characterized the author as being dismissive of women's complaints and seeing them as "bitching", that was aggressively deaf to the message he was conveying in favor of the superficial tone. The context of the rest of the sentence shows that he wasn't dismissing the complaints of women at all and that the word was, if anything, used in an attempt at solidarity. It wasn't even terribly clumsy.

I don't think that in this example, almost all feminist ones, or in your illustrative hypothetical Jamaican one, that members of unaffected demographic groups should be silenced from pointing out problematic aspects in the language of affected demographic groups. However, I do think that it is appropriate us as a community to hold folks from either example to a higher standard in doing so because it is way to easy for folks with privilege to aggressively ignore it by attacking the tone of someone sharing their experience.

This thread is pretty confusing to me because you are so often so great at pointing this out to Mefites boy-zoning feminist threads in the same way.

cairdeas: "Okay, if this is just going to be a catty barb-fest, forget it. Enjoy."

On preview, that is a profoundly unfair, and incidentally awfully misogynistic, way to characterize nadawi's honest answer to your pretty fighty-ly framed question; WTF? That is kind of non-sequitor territory.
posted by Blasdelb at 4:30 PM on May 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm mostly just glad that the thread re-railed enough that so many folks, of various genders, were able to share their experiences with how this dynamic has affected them. Thanks for posting it nadawi, I'm also glad that there is another counter-point to pastabagel's comment on the site.
posted by Blasdelb at 4:42 PM on May 9, 2012


FWIW, I agree that the piece suffers in all the ways described in this thread.

I just think that derailing this thread to discuss those parts rather than the actual subject, which is worth discussing, is a bit of a dick move.
posted by Sys Rq at 4:46 PM on May 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Here's my question. When one demographic group writes something about their experiences, should it be seen as "bad form" and inconsiderate for any other group to bring up bigoted or offensive aspects of that writing?

No.

But I didn't really see anyone saying it is bad form to do that. What some people are saying is, "Yes, this is a thing, and I'm glad someone is addressing it."

Even that first line, "Here's the thing, ladies, I don't want to have sex with you," which has naturally resulted in some, "Well, we don't want to have sex with you, either!" responses, is being misread, because it's being taken out of context. The very next sentence explains the motivation behind this editorial: "I know that I am supposed to."

That's not being angry with women, that's apologizing to women for not being the Super Sex Machine the media has made all men out to be. At least, that's the way I interpreted it.

cairdeas: "Okay, if this is just going to be a catty barb-fest, forget it. Enjoy."

cairdeas, you are taking some comments here, like Blasdelb's, as personal attacks. I really don't think that's how they were intended. And I really don't like "catty" any more than "bitchy". Both have gendered connotations that don't belong here.

Sys Rq: "FWIW, I agree that the piece suffers in all the ways described in this thread.

I just think that derailing this thread to discuss those parts rather than the actual subject, which is worth discussing, is a bit of a dick move.
"

I agree.
posted by misha at 4:49 PM on May 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


Okay. First, I sincerely apologize, nadawi. My earlier comment to you sucked. I was thrown for a loop after asking a sincere question and reading an almost instant reply that seemed to imply that the question wasn't sincere and was seeking to further my points and position from earlier in the thread. Just wasn't expecting that but it doesn't make my comment okay and I am sorry.

Secondly, if anyone who has been participating just now starts feeling like this is no longer the time or place for this discussion, I am happy to just walk away. I stayed away until the thread seemed to have run its course, but still, please say so if you feel that way and I'll walk away.

Blasdelb: your pretty fighty-ly framed question

Disappointed it came off that way because that was not at all the intention. Feeling apprehensive since I'm about to disagree with some people, so just want to say that's not the intention now either.

However, I do think that it is appropriate us as a community to hold folks from either example to a higher standard in doing so because it is way to easy for folks with privilege to aggressively ignore it by attacking the tone of someone sharing their experience.

Honestly, it seems like a severe and extremely troubling misappropriation and misuse of the concept of privilege, to say that when for example a woman objects to the "humorous" use of "bitch" in an essay by a rich white male entertainer, she's operating from a place of privilege. That is not what privilege means and that's not what it's about. It has a specific meaning. When patriarchy is hurting men, that doesn't suddenly make women the ones with privilege. It is still men.

So I think it is a really slippery slope to start using that kind of language in that way, and it obscures what privilege really is and who has it.

Upthread when you characterized the author as being dismissive of women's complaints and seeing them as "bitching", that was aggressively deaf to the message he was conveying in favor of the superficial tone

It is also a very, very slippery slope IMO to start expanding the definition of what "tone" is. Use of a bigoted slur is not a "superficial tone." Also use of a bigoted slur is still bigoted even when you go on to express that you agree with the people you just slurred. I'm pretty sure my family would be offended by a sentence that read: "Hispanics have been rightly yammering in Spanglish about this for years, but whites never seem to complain." The argument that the author was actually being supportive and validating of them by agreeing with what they were "yammering" about would not hold much sway. And I do not think they would be being "aggressively deaf to the message the writer was conveying" by being offended. In fact someone who wrote a sentence like that would probably be fired from any mainstream media outlet. But I think women are always expected to kind of be maximally understanding and go along nicely.

It's also a slippery slope to keep expanding when we are not allowed to object to tones. I saw a user on MetaTalk being extremely nasty, making all kinds of gratuitous jabs to people, and then he had the temerity to say with a great deal of self-righteousness, when people objected, "don't make a tone argument against me." That misappropriation of "tone argument" is extremely offensive to me as a feminist. Tone argument doesn't mean that people can speak however they like to us and we have to take it. It doesn't mean that they can make offensive and disrespectful statements to or about us and we are not allowed to say anything about their tone or language. Or it's not okay for us to ever object to anyone's tone period. One of the biggest issues in feminism has always been the TONE that people in this society use with us as women, and how we are working to change that. I think the day is not far off when Rush Limbaugh indignantly tells people to stop making tone arguments against him for when he called Sandra Fluke a slut. It is a corruption of what that means.

As a woman, it's actually kind of frightening when people imply that you're being too inconsiderate or disrespectful or silencing to a man and men like him by objecting to his use of the word bitch. Especially when they are some of the most progressive people you interact with

On the issue of whether bringing up these issues is an inconsiderate or disrespectful derail and they should just be ignored, and we should focus instead on the larger point, that seems like the biggest slippery slope of all. If that's how we should operate, that includes not only the Jamaican example I gave above, but also,

- In threads about PUAs, it will be derailing for us to bring up the sexism in PUA material, and only respectful to focus on the experiences, perspectives, and worldviews of PUAs and men who sympathize with them. Because men who have problems finding sex are not in a privilege position in society.

- In threads about Men's Rights, it will be derailing for us to bring up the sexism in their communities, and only respectful to focus on the perspectives and stories of men in the Men's Rights movement. Because men in the family court system are not in a privilege position in society (in their opinion).

- In threads about Minutemen who hunt down undocumented immigrants, it will be derailing for us to being up their racism, and only respectful for us to talk about the unfair shake they feel they get in this society as jobs have left the country, and other people are coming taking their jobs and their tax money, etc.
posted by cairdeas at 6:28 PM on May 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Okay, and to palliser's post:

The Schroedinger's Rapist blog post began: "Gentlemen." It was subtitled "a guy's guide," and it was addressed entirely in the second person, to men. Yet when it was posted here, it was seen as very bad form for men to criticize the piece as blaming them for the problem presented there. The idea was that men should listen, and not interject their experiences and opinions, because the piece was about women's experiences, not men's.

I do not think there is anything approaching equivalency between this and the Schroedinger's Rapist post. That post was explicitly created to speak to men about a horrific and extremely traumatizing social situation which is without question created and perpetuated almost entirely by male members of society. The post was explicitly intended to outline, to men, better ways to respond to this situation. A situation where men, male family members, male authority figures, male police, male judges, male community members, and male strangers have historically disregarded what women have to say about it. Which in turn has caused millions of women to be traumatized to the point of mental illness. The post was earnest and dead serious.

I do not think a joking/sarcastic post about an issue that is also largely caused by the male power structure, but is addressed to women, needs to be treated with anything near the ballpark of that level of deference. I do not think it's at the level of being critical in Schroedinger's Rapist, to say hey, maybe the people responsible for this aren't the ones you seem to be addressing. I also do not see what's speech-chilling about that.
posted by cairdeas at 7:15 PM on May 9, 2012


Accidentally posted too soon. The point is, does everything written by every social group, regardless of whether it's a humor piece, offensive, etc., need to be treated by all the other social groups as if we're in Schroedinger's rapist and they are the female sexual assault victims.
posted by cairdeas at 7:19 PM on May 9, 2012


I do not think a joking/sarcastic post about an issue that is also largely caused by the male power structure...

Seriously? What, men can't be victims of other men? Male power structure?

It WAS NOT ADDRESSED TO WOMEN. It was PHRASING FOR EFFECT. "Guys, I don't want to have sex with all women and that's ok" doesn't have the same punch. NOT EVERYTHING IS LITERAL.

Oh, and

I will refrain from ever bringing up feminist issues in threads by anyone who is not a white-Hispanic female

Is extremely fighty-ly. It would require willful blindness to not see that. Tell me your feelings were all serene when you wrote it, and anger was not involved. Sincerity is not the issue.
posted by Bovine Love at 7:39 PM on May 9, 2012


Bovine Love, you're taking me to task for my tone and your perception of what my "feelings" were when I wrote that. The irony is overwhelming.
posted by cairdeas at 7:43 PM on May 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


[Seriously maybe this should go to email or MetaTalk at this point? cairdeas you're sort of turning this into you vs everyone.]
posted by jessamyn at 7:46 PM on May 9, 2012


Okay Jessamyn, I'm walking away.
posted by cairdeas at 7:50 PM on May 9, 2012


cairdeas: "I stayed away until the thread seemed to have run its course, but still, please say so if you feel that way and I'll walk away. "

I just realized that I forgot to thank you for this in my last comment, I'm really glad the thread got a chance to breathe before it died down and give space to all the folks who shared their stories. I'm also happy to drop it if that is the consensus.

cairdeas: "Honestly, it seems like a severe and extremely troubling misappropriation and misuse of the concept of privilege, to say that when for example a woman objects to the "humorous" use of "bitch" in an essay by a rich white male entertainer, she's operating from a place of privilege. That is not what privilege means and that's not what it's about. It has a specific meaning. When patriarchy is hurting men, that doesn't suddenly make women the ones with privilege. It is still men.

So I think it is a really slippery slope to start using that kind of language in that way, and it obscures what privilege really is and who has it.
"

Privilege Olympics are rarely productive, but obviously the author is coming from a great deal of privilege in many areas. However, in this instance, he is talking about an aspect of gendered oppression that affects him as well as many other people, including several who have self-identified in this thread. That you have never had to directly deal with the specific variety of gendered oppression being referenced is privilege, and that is worth acknowledging before dismissing what he has to say about it. The relative sizes of our invisible backpacks arn't nearly so relevant as acknowledging what is in them.

Separately, I certainly don't find his use of the word 'bitching' in the essay funny, and I doubt that either he or anyone in this thread does.
"Why is sex such a dominant cultural theme now, and why does it seem to only be getting worse? Women have been rightly bitching about this for years, but men never seem to complain. Personally, I hate it. I hate the way men are stereotyped as sex-starved cock robots. It’s just such a basic pop culture premise that it doesn’t even get questioned; men want to fuck. All the time. Ideally while watching shit blow up."
He is being dead serious, and making a serious point. Whether he knows it or not, he is also expressing solidarity with important aspects of second-wave feminism. He is indeed identifying female complaints as "bitching" but what you left out of your hypothetical Spanglish example is the next sentence where he identifies himself as a co-bitcher. Whether the word "bitch" is ever is I suppose something on which reasonable people can disagree, but to say that this use in this context is a bigoted slur is absurd, would you say the same of hermitosis' use in the last Meta on the topic was also a bigoted slur?
posted by Blasdelb at 7:52 PM on May 9, 2012


[Whoops, sorry Jessamyn, should have previewed, I guess this is the end of the thread then. I'm always available by memail if anyone wants me, though I may be slow to respond]
posted by Blasdelb at 7:54 PM on May 9, 2012


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