This is the straight guy column-as in that manly-man-who-likes-nothing-more-than-a-shaved-vagina-and-a-pint-of-beer column. I have such a crush on the straight guy. Sure, I appreciate some sensitivity from time to time. But give me a guy who slaps my ass in public over a crier any day. My best friend and I have an unofficial straight-o-meter by which we measure every guy we meet (the worst received the unofficial title of "j-sans balls"). Don't get me wrong: there's nothing bad about loving the less-than-straight, gay, or even flamboyantly gay guy. It's all about preferences.
Straight guys kind of get the shit end of the deal: these kids are often dismissed as assholes and left to fend for themselves. Cultural and academic studies aren't particularly concerned with them-LGBTQ and women's issues are obviously more pressing. There isn't a "men's studies" section at Barnes and Noble.
I am of the completely unaccredited, non-psychologically-based opinion that straight guys deserve more attention than we give them. So I asked a bunch of straight guys to fill me in on the ultimate, mostly female-related, apprehensions and offenses. Number one: shaved vaginas are important. Hairy vaginas feel like the 1970s. It's not just about aesthetics-it's much more pleasant to go down on a girl when she's shaved. Plus hair plain smells bad. Number two: blow jobs mean more than just aggressively bobbing your head up and down until he comes. Take your time, use your hands, try to deep-throat. A little cough-and-gag never hurt anyone. Think twice before making out after you finish (some guys hate that), and no matter what you do, always return the favor.
Number three: confidence is key. Girls who know how to talk back during sex are fantastic. But it's not necessarily your fault if he doesn't get hard. Feel free to advise a guy as much as you please. Number four: just because he doesn't call you for a day doesn't mean he's no longer into you. Also, it's not his fault if he can't remember all of your girlfriends' names. Number five: short skirts in the springtime are a gift from God.
The cold, hard truth is that most straight guys don't want to talk to girls about any of this. Yes, they talked to me, but that's only because I asked them to be as offensive as humanly possible and swore myself to secrecy, or at least promised not to share names. As one straight guy put it, "I feel like if a chick I was dating was like, yo, shave your balls, I would go and do it and not really think twice. But a girl would be disgusted." Girls get offended and difficult way too quickly. "Many girls wonder why guy wanna casually hook up and not have involved relationships," another straight guy told me. "To address this, they decide to have deep, long talks about it. I don't think [they] see the irony there." In other words: keep it short, keep it simple, and don't ask a question unless you're prepared for the answer.
Girls' reactions have plenty do to with the difficulty straight guys have with talking about these things, but there is also something inherently different about the ways in which men and women think about, discuss, and have sex. Of the 30-odd sex columnists, college and professional, who have sprung up in the last few years, only two have been male-one of whom is gay. Will Leitch, author of the recently released novel Catch and editor of the sports blog Deadspin (www.deadspin.com), commented in his Life as a Loser column (titled "This Column is About Sex"), "I can't write a sentence about [sex] without cracking a lame, backpedaling joke or hitting delete immediately before anyone has a chance to make fun of me ... of course [sex columnists are] always women; a guy's columns about sex would always have the same predictable, abrupt end, and they'd all run about 150 words." Pop culture would have us believe men are wired a certain way; straight guys, especially, are not meant to talk about sex, emotion, or insecurity. Whether men are actually wired this way remains to be determined. But so long as the idea that men are wired as such prevails, men will be not be expected to talk about anything remotely intimate, sex-related or otherwise.
Of course, this makes it far too easy for the straight guy to get away with his asshole-acts. Then again, there's a bit of a double standard here. Girls-including myself-bemoan the asshole-who-just-stops-calling on a regular basis. Yet when girls drop off the face of the earth without warning, it's perfectly legitimate: if a girl can't find the words to explain herself, there's no reason she should have to, right?
In the end, shaved vaginas have nothing on gay marriage rights. Straight guys will survive-with or without the "men's studies" section at Barnes and Noble. But there is something to be said for thinking about the less obvious, not necessarily marginalized, aspects of our sex lives. Sexuality is about embracing whatever you like best, without hesitation.
Excuse me while I go put on my miniskirt.
Miriam Datskovsky is a Barnard College junior majoring in political science and human rights.
Sexplorations runs alternate Mondays.