Family members? Go away. You can come back in a few days. I'm talking about stuff you don't want to hear this week.
To all my readers, if sexually explicit references offend you, please come back on Tuesday. To my male real-life friends, this post was not written about you.
I recently read an article discussing the communication gap between men and women. I found the article amusing. Unfortunately I was leafing through several magazines at the time and I don't recall which one the article was in so I can't quote my source. I hate it when I do that. The article made me laugh, but it also left me concerned. Many of my favorite friends are men. If the article is accurate, my friendships with men might be in trouble.
According to the article, men read sex into just about every form of communication a women transmits. Here are some examples.
I say "hello" and he thinks, "She wants me."
I ask, "How have you been?"
He thinks, "She can't leave me alone … she wants to give me a blow job!"
In reality? All I'm thinking about is running to the store for tampons after we finish our pleasantries. Maybe I'm thinking about the dirty kitchen at home. Your personal pleasure stick? It's not really on my mind. I hate to break it to my male readers, but that's how women think. We are mentally running through our to-do lists during our every waking moment. Sometimes even during sex if you aren't performing well enough don't distract us enough. (Distract us, distract us!!)
I wish I had the article in front of me as I write this, but the statistics quoted were staggering. During a brief male/female conversation they say men are thinking about sex or sexual references 80 – 90% of the time. For women, I think it ranged around 10% of the time.
When I'm at physical therapy and I say, "I'm really wet!" I am referring to the bag of ice that melted on me. The man sitting across from me, however, is instantly alert and extremely attentive. In fact, he's falling all over himself to start up a conversation. We are not on the same page.
When that same man says to his PT, "Hey, stop rubbing my thigh you just gave me a hard-on," I definitely glance over. (What? You wouldn't??)
The difference being, he is clearly making a reference to something sexual and I absolutely am not.
If I send an email to a male friend saying, "I was thinking about you today, how are you?" it does not mean I want to do you desperately this very minute. Also, I'm not sitting at my laptop thinking about giving you head. (Sorry, I'm sure it would be a titillating experience and all, but …!) No, it just means something reminded me of you and I thought I'd check in to hear how you are. That's all … honestly. And by the way, I hope you're doing great.
According to the article, a female complimenting a man is interpreted by the man as hot, steamy, moaning, desire. (Okay, so I got carried away and threw the word "moaning" in. Don't ask.)
I'm now afraid to even say, "I like your shirt" to a male friend. I don't want him to think I'm gearing up to strip off his clothes, rub myself all over him, and start sucking on his … earlobes. Really I'm just thinking his shirt might look nice on my son, RC. Or maybe I'm thinking it's the same shade of blue I'd like to paint in my upstairs bathroom.
I tend to be a complimenter, but not an insincere one. I'm very genuine about giving compliments. I know most of us don't get patted on the back nearly as often as we deserve. I make a point of praising people on their positive traits. In the case of my male friends, are they interpreting those compliments as lust on my part? This particular article says yes, they are.
If a male friend tells me he fixed a broken pipe and I say, "It's great you're so handy," does he think I'm saying, "I want those handy hands on me … now!?" Or maybe, "I want and need your pipe!?"
If he spends a day working on his car, I might tell him that's an admirable trait. Does he instantly think I want him to lube my engine?
What if I say, "I really enjoy our conversations, you stimulate my mind?" Is he thinking, "She said I stimulate her. I'm a stud. All I have to do is talk and she's all hot and bothered." Is he thinking sex toys while I'm thinking Obama's economic recovery plan?
What happens when words like come, head, member or "throbbing member" innocently occur in conversation? (Oops … maybe not throbbing member, what's wrong with me today?) The article said men will focus on those words in particular, females may not even hear them.
I'll be honest. I don't want to believe the magazine. If the article is true, I don't know how comfortable I can feel with my male friends. I treat my male friends like I would a best girlfriend. How do I know if the article is true though? I only have my own very female perspective. I think I have strong, nonsexual, male/female friendships. Am I kidding myself? Do men read sex and lust into every communication with females?