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View Full Version : Hey men out there - what is considered out of bounds?



Perks
12-12-2013, 09:07 PM
Here's a strange question that needs anecdotal attention. In this particular instance, I'm talking about heterosexual males in modern Western culture -in your experience, is it ever on the okay side of joking around to question a friend about how his wife or girlfriend is in bed? Non-rhetorically, I mean. The question is asked in expectation of an answer and the people in company are reasonably close friends.

Would such a line of questioning ever get answered or only earn the ask-er an irritated look or something more up the scale of offense?

Or does it just depend?

Go!

ironmikezero
12-12-2013, 09:17 PM
IMHO, it's totally inappropriate, period. I'll admit I'm old school about this sort of thing, and do not condone it under any circumstances. I would not find it amusing despite any attempt at humor - an inquiry best ignored.

Edited to add: This is the sort of thing one might hear from a very immature person. I think it smacks of adolescent behavior and thinly veiled insecurity.

Taylor Harbin
12-12-2013, 09:36 PM
I agree with Ironmilk, it's not cool. These days, it seems like there are no hard and fast rules on what you can or cannot talk about. Since it's usually seen as a generational thing, the age of the character might be a deciding factor.

williemeikle
12-12-2013, 09:42 PM
In your experience, is it ever on the okay side of joking around to question a friend about how his wife or girlfriend is in bed?


It's happened several times over the years in my group of close friends, usually when somebody gets a new girlfriend / wife and after a few beers have been swallowed. It's usually done jokingly and is part of our male bonding pattern - certainly not out of bounds.

Bufty
12-12-2013, 09:44 PM
That's just not on as far as I'm concerned - wife or girl friend.

Only a complete lout would ask that of his close friend.

I think it's more to do with respect and common manners than any generational thing.

quickWit
12-12-2013, 10:04 PM
I'd never ask such a question of my friends and can't imagine one of them asking me.


Hmm?
Yes, I have friends.

Once!
12-12-2013, 10:04 PM
One vote for "it depends", I think.

In my circle of friends it is an absolutely no-no. You just wouldn't. Heck, we find it hard enough to talk to a doctor if we have a problem with anything south of the belt-line. We are hardly going to share bedroom details with a male friend.

But ... that is simply reporting from my perspective. I am aware that there are parties out there which involve putting car keys into a bowl. Not sure if this happens before the canapés or afterwards.

Never been to one of these parties. Fairly certain I wouldn't go if asked. But I am dimly aware that they exist.

Ditto ... ahem ... dogging. I live in a beautiful part of the world - the North Downs in Surrey. But where I go out in the countryside to enjoy the countryside, there is a growing group of people who drive to certain secluded car parks for what we might describe as a bit of nocturnal hows-your-father.

A true story. Some years ago I was driving in the middle of the day when my phone rang. I pulled over into a layby to take the call. As I was chatting, I couldn't help noticing the other cars and drivers all around me. Men would drive up, park their cars and then disappear into the woods next to the layby. At first I thought nothing of it. Presumably they are taking a leak. But they seemed to be gone an awfully long time ...

Now, what I cannot do is to speak for someone who is part of one of those groups. The norms that my circle of friends apply - ie that you don't talk about what happens in the bedroom - may not apply to people with different sexual tastes.

Putputt
12-12-2013, 10:11 PM
Mr. Putt: (in his fancy-pants English accent) "One simply does not ask that question in Oxford."

:rolleyes

Perks
12-12-2013, 10:12 PM
Okay, most of that is pretty well in line with what I expected. Here's a follow up question -

Would it be wildly out of line for a friend, in a group of buddies, to toss out a teasing comment about another guy's girlfriend or wife being good-looking? If your buddy is married to or dating a reasonably indisputably good-looking woman is it kind of like him having spinach in his teeth - nobody wants to mention it?

Trebor1415
12-12-2013, 10:14 PM
Yeah, I'd consider it out of bounds as well. It's definitely never come up, even jokingly, among my friends.

Now, among friends, you *might* joke around a bit about one of your guy friend's abilities to please his GF/spouse, in a "I'm just breakin' your balls" kinda way. That's different though and definitely not somethign every group of friends would do.

Putputt
12-12-2013, 10:17 PM
Mr. Putt: "That's all right."
Me: "O rly? Who have you said that about?"
Mr. Putt: "Peoplesaythattome!!!!"
Me: "Mhmmm."
Mr. Putt: "I'm just sitting here, playing on my xbox..."

Once!
12-12-2013, 10:17 PM
That would still be difficult to talk about with the majority of my friends. You wouldn't want to give the inference that you were interested in more than just looking.

Fruitbat
12-12-2013, 10:20 PM
I'm not a man but I've lived with one for long enough to somewhat know his evil ways (kidding), if that counts. First, as I'm sure we know, it's different in different circles.

But in my second hand experience, it would be much more likely and more acceptable that sex recipient would be the one to bring it up (whether boasting or complaining) than for his buddy to ask.

Also, if it was asked, it would much more likely be asked about a new girlfriend. Wives get more respect (or so I'm told, haha). A long time ago, someone asked my then-boyfriend that question about me (yes, they were drinking). But when my boyfriend asked the same question back about the other guy's wife, other guy got offended and told him to watch his mouth.

Alpha Echo
12-12-2013, 10:22 PM
I don't know. My husband must have a very different relationship with his friends. They would certainly say, "She's hot!" if talking about a friend's new girlfriend if meeting her for the first time.

As far as asking how she is in bed...they don't do that. But I do know they are really open with each other. I've been there and heard it. Whether one wants to brag about some exotic place he and his wife had sex or whether one wants to complain about his girlfriend's lack of sex drive...those are the kinds of things I've heard. And it's no big deal. They don't ask each other this kind of stuff, but they aren't afraid to share it.

But please note: they have been friends for several decades. They have been there with each other through so much shit and seen each other in many compromising positions that nothing is off limits. They have led crazy lives (which is so funny because my husband is the most calm, introverted guy I know. I don't think I would have fallen in love with the guy he was! LOL)

ETA: Everything Fruitbat said. :)

quickWit
12-12-2013, 10:23 PM
Okay, most of that is pretty well in line with what I expected. Here's a follow up question -

Would it be wildly out of line for a friend, in a group of buddies, to toss out a teasing comment about another guy's girlfriend or wife being good-looking? If you're buddy is married to or dating a reasonably indisputably good-looking woman is it kind of like him having spinach in his teeth - nobody wants to mention it?

If you mean saying something to suggest her being too good-looking for him then yes, absolutely. I'd even say it would be expected.

Perks
12-12-2013, 10:26 PM
Shit. Did I really write "you're buddy"? Dammit. I'm turning in my typing fingers. I obviously can't be trusted with the adult-sized ones.

quickWit
12-12-2013, 10:28 PM
But your so pretty, though, Perks... :)

Perks
12-12-2013, 10:31 PM
My pretty what?

quickWit
12-12-2013, 10:33 PM
Decorum prevents me from answering

Perks
12-12-2013, 10:35 PM
You're such a man.

quickWit
12-12-2013, 10:37 PM
You're such a man.

I'm just going to keep this...

:D

Shadow_Ferret
12-12-2013, 10:42 PM
The white line... that's considered out of bounds, so if the ball or your foot touch the line, that's out of bounds.

What?

Wicked
12-12-2013, 10:42 PM
Would it be wildly out of line for a friend, in a group of buddies, to toss out a teasing comment about another guy's girlfriend or wife being good-looking? If your buddy is married to or dating a reasonably indisputably good-looking woman is it kind of like him having spinach in his teeth - nobody wants to mention it?

At hubby's work, where there is a mix of everything from eighteen year old Airmen, to sixty-ish retirees, not only is it done, it's almost mandatory. Especially if said girlfriend/wife is in the room.

Actual examples I've heard:

"Hey, John, how did you get such a good looking wife?"

"You know, Bob, your wife is way too pretty for you."

"Your wife must have been from a really small town, huh?"
"Why?"
"Because she is way too hot to be married to you."

"Why would you bring your daughter around all these young Airmen? You know they're going to start hitting on her."

Ona Mission
12-12-2013, 10:54 PM
I've heard men tell both hubbies - ex and current - with me standing right there, that "he's a lucky man". It usually ended with a punch or pat on the arm.

Ex hub was known for doing the same. They weren't always great pals when it happened, and no one minded when it occurred. It was just a compliment.

However, if any man I was with EVER said "Damn man, your woman's HOT!" Well, kick right in the testies.

As for sex...complaining about lack of, or bragging rights are somewhat normal fare for some relationships. Hell, I've vented or bragged with my lady friends...mostly the former. So, it happens. But asking flat out...rude.

WeaselFire
12-12-2013, 11:00 PM
Gentlemen don't discuss relations. Men don't discuss relationships. Drunks and sailors brag about their whores.

'Nuff said.

Jeff

Perks
12-12-2013, 11:00 PM
All of this I understand. Except that the focus is on the man and whether or not the woman is actually standardly good-looking is almost irrelevant. Do you know what I mean?

I guess what I'm asking is something more geared toward a sideways acknowledgement that one guy thinks another guy's wife or girlfriend is really good-looking. Like, uhhhh,


Guy 1: We're buying over on Eagle Crest.

Guy 2: You're paying double for the view, but get less house for it

Guy 1: Well yeah, but not everybody has your naked wife for a view, so we do what we can.


Lol! Not that, because that's stilted and ridiculous, but do you see what I mean? The focus is not hassling the guy, it's the gal.

My guess is that this would be off-limits as well, but I was curious more than anything to hear AWers react to imagining the scenario. Because I'm not writing any of that, but I'm curious to know how candid men are with their friends about these things.

It seems that how good-looking an "other" might be will be a hot topic, but as soon as "other" is attached to the group, the subject becomes off limits. It's interesting.



At hubby's work, where there is a mix of everything from eighteen year old Airmen, to sixty-ish retirees, not only is it done, it's almost mandatory. Especially if said girlfriend/wife is in the room.

Actual examples I've heard:

"Hey, John, how did you get such a good looking wife?"

"You know, Bob, your wife is way too pretty for you."

"Your wife must have been from a really small town, huh?"
"Why?"
"Because she is way too hot to be married to you."

"Why would you bring your daughter around all these young Airmen? You know they're going to start hitting on her."

quickWit
12-12-2013, 11:09 PM
In your scenario I'd say it depends on
A) How secure/insecure Guy 2 is in his ability to keep his sooper hawt wife happy and
2. How repulsive Guy 1 is

I could see it, though.

Wicked
12-12-2013, 11:21 PM
I guess what I'm asking is something more geared toward a sideways acknowledgement that one guy thinks another guy's wife or girlfriend is really good-looking. Like, uhhhh,


?
One of the guys bought his wife breast implants for their anniversary. He regularly gets teased about going home to his "twin comforts" (paraphrasing).
Is that what you mean?

Shadow_Ferret
12-12-2013, 11:27 PM
Gentlemen don't discuss relations. Men don't discuss relationships. Drunks and sailors brag about their whores.

'Nuff said.

JeffAs a current drunk and a former sailor, I'd have to say this really depends on the company.

Military types stationed somewhere away from home probably would talk about how hot each other's wife is. Sailors out at sea for an extended period would probably say, "I wonder who's banging your wife, because she's to hot too be home alone."

But I've never hung around those type of people, then or now. So I've never been in on a discussion of wives, hot or otherwise. Its not something that's brought up no matter how drunk we are and I've never blurted anything out even with my ADHD.

Im sure there are men who talk like that, and probably still pick up men's magazines, too, and who treat women as property, and probably think the 1950s were ideal. I certainly don't hang out with them.

robjvargas
12-12-2013, 11:28 PM
Dirty little secret: Men gossip. We like to call it guy talk. But we gossip something fierce in the right situations. Guy A talking to Guy B about Guy B's wife, essentially off limits. But talking about Guy C's wife?

It happens far more than we like to admit. Especially with a pint or two involved.

Shadow_Ferret
12-12-2013, 11:33 PM
I must hang around with a different group of guys. They're all happy just talking sports, politics, or beer.

No gossip.

Ona Mission
12-12-2013, 11:33 PM
Dirty little secret: Men gossip. We like to call it guy talk. But we gossip something fierce in the right situations. Guy A talking to Guy B about Guy B's wife, essentially off limits. But talking about Guy C's wife?

It happens far more than we like to admit. Especially with a pint or two involved.

That's how hub explained his "work gossip" to me. He's not a drunk and I'm sure as hell not a whore...but I know I've made the rounds.

ETA: Laverne is a PERVERT! :ROFL:

That was supposed to be innocent!

Perks
12-12-2013, 11:36 PM
Dirty little secret: Men gossip. We like to call it guy talk. But we gossip something fierce in the right situations. Guy A talking to Guy B about Guy B's wife, essentially off limits. But talking about Guy C's wife?

It happens far more than we like to admit. Especially with a pint or two involved.See? That's more to the heart of what I was wondering. Thanks for your candor.

Wicked
12-12-2013, 11:37 PM
"Those types of people"

M'kay.

Perks, you are welcome to PM me if you think I could be of any help.
I'd hate to further taint this thread with my presence.

Putputt
12-12-2013, 11:41 PM
Dirty little secret: Men gossip. We like to call it guy talk. But we gossip something fierce in the right situations. Guy A talking to Guy B about Guy B's wife, essentially off limits. But talking about Guy C's wife?

It happens far more than we like to admit. Especially with a pint or two involved.

Me: Would this happen? *reads out robjvargas's post*
Mr. Putt: (pause) Yes, other guys have often talked about how hot my wife is.
Me: Okay smartypants, I'm talking about when the guy whose wife they're talking about is NOT there.
Mr. Putt: Huh? *innocent look*

quickWit
12-12-2013, 11:42 PM
See? That's more to the heart of what I was wondering.

Then why didn't you just say that?

Silly, silly wimminz

Shadow_Ferret
12-12-2013, 11:55 PM
"Those types of people"

M'kay.

Perks, you are welcome to PM me if you think I could be of any help.
I'd hate to further taint this thread with my presence.
Would "people like that" have been more acceptable? I'm not sure why you found that was offensive.

oakbark
12-13-2013, 12:15 AM
It happens. Depends on how close you are.

On the joking/light side, I suggest the male may hint at his own GF/wife´s abilities.

You play tennis. You beat your friend easily. In the locker room you tell him, man you were a bag of potatoes today, what's up? Friend shines up, it's the missus.. she wears me out.

You will see this in movies and read it in novels and there's a reason for it - it happens.

On the serious side. If the friend seems depressed, stops talking about the GF, whatever - if he is down a lot - a good friend might inquire if everything is ok in bed. (yes, that really matters in real life, that's why the family doctor/therapist asks about it)

If you are really tight friends, or relatives, details may follow. which have less to do with the activities or quality thereof, and more to do with problem solving and supporting your pal.

If you are asking if men talk about each other's GFs and wifes when it comes to superficial looks.. that's a solid yes but but not lewdly, not seriously, which might invite trouble, or excommunication.

It's a way of saying - you two go together well, or you've found a good match, or you're lucky Mary found you. It is mainly done as a way of giving compliment and comradely nod. How explicit the wording depends on how much you trust each other, also depends culturally.

Close friends and relatives. But not with strangers.

If a stranger, work associate, neighbor, etc ever said anything even hinting about a partner's looks *with a nudge* that person would instantly become a social outcast. People know this -so it isn't common.

We (men) don't often say stuff like "you look great" to each other, but we might say "your wife looks great" which is a way of saying:
1) she must be happy (you are treating her well [no, not just sex, in all ways])
2) your wife looks great (I am comradely envious)

I had a GF who was pretty upfront with disclosing what the girls were talking about in private.
I'm not sure I could choose one camp were the gossip was more explicit - ours or theirs.

Disclaimer: I live in Sweden where people can be pretty explicit, but are also very discrete. Most know pretty well how big the sphere of information sharing / friendship is. Outside of that is a nono.

Amadan
12-13-2013, 12:23 AM
You're geting a lot of answers from women who are horrified and insisting that no decent man would ever be so vulgar or off-limits.

Reality: Yes, it's crude, disrespectful, not something a guy with any sense would say where his SO could hear (or hear about it), and a lot of men wouldn't, period.

But a lot of other men, especially young and/or with a few beers in them, and depending on the relationship, yeah, those types of conversations are things that happen.

Fruitbat
12-13-2013, 12:50 AM
Amadan, I thought the ones saying it was vulgar and off-limits were men, if it matters.

Gilroy Cullen
12-13-2013, 12:58 AM
I hate admitting this, but I'm in the "Depends" camp.

Does the conversation happen? Sure, but not near a lady or someone whom is considered possible marital material. (I'm so sorry.)

Hell, I have these types conversations with my FEMALE best friend. She'll joke about the quality of the arm candy and I ask about her latest matress ride. (Fortunately, our relationship does allow for such crudity. But we can destroy each other with the secrets we know.)

But remember a lot of it is based on the relationship of those involved and situation of the question. If they are best buds, in a bar, it is almost guaranteed. If, on the other hand, they are boss and subordinate, at a company function ... yeah, no. Not unless both are so wasted they have no clue what they're saying.

wendymarlowe
12-13-2013, 06:17 AM
Okay, coming at this as a woman who is close friends with a group of other women, but I'm guessing some of this still applies:

1) It's totally fine, among close friends, to "brag" a bit about your partner's skills, both in bed and out. It's NOT okay to ask, or to imply in any way that you're truly curious about someone else's husband, but if they bring it up it's okay to keep the conversation going.

2) As a result of this, I know some rather interesting details about the quirks and turn-ons of some of my friends' husbands. (Not all the women in my group are comfortable talking about their partners in this way, but enough are that it's a fairly common topic of conversation.) Because of that, sometimes it's okay to make a comment as sort of an in-joke, when it comes up in conversation. (For example: a friend has mentioned how often she and her husband end up making time in the car after a "date" because the kids and babysitter are still inside. She got a new car recently, and we all teased her about how it would be nice to have a bigger back seat.)

3) A few rare times, it's okay to compliment someone else's partner on some not-actually-sex-specific trait, like having gorgeous hair or how the hours he's been spending at the gym are really paying off. It's a hard thing to get exactly right, though, and I'd say it's a firm "no" if there's any hint of ". . . and I find that sexy" in the comment.

4) Teasing and jokes about sex, such as when someone has to go home early (speculating about what that last text message might have been . . .) or when their spouse has done something to get himself in the doghouse (guess he's sleeping on the couch . . .) are fine, as long as the friend you're talking to is not the butt of the joke.

So yeah, that's my experience with women, but I'm guessing the same principles ring true with men as well. It's fine to admire someone's relationship, fine to be happy for them for having a sexy partner, but absolutely not fine to insinuate jealousy in any way.

Perks
12-13-2013, 06:31 AM
I had a friend come right out and tell me that had she lust issues over my husband. At first it was stunning and then it was hilarious. It was a running joke that she absolutely should not be left alone with him because she couldn't guarantee her decorum.

I suppose that wouldn't work everywhere, but for some reason it was fine.

ECathers
12-14-2013, 12:55 AM
My ex had no problem discussing this sort of thing with his friends and one of them even propositioned me for a threesome once. (No, I wasn't interested.)

That's just one of the reasons he's my ex.

Ken
12-14-2013, 01:45 AM
in your experience, is it ever on the okay side of joking around to question a friend about how his wife or girlfriend is in bed?

... wow. Asking something like that of my friends would be the equivalent of asking for a fight no matter how it was phrased. Totally inappropriate. Definitely a line not to be crossed.

Am sure that isn't typical though. These days everything is discussed.

Heck. Wouldn't be surprised if a guy posed the question and their pal said, "Why not find out for yourself."

!

Nivarion
12-14-2013, 11:19 AM
Some of the lesser heckling would probably get a grudging pass, but I would probably be pretty upset about questions about her in bed or naked etc would probably cause trouble.

I'm not married yet. In fact, I'm single at the moment, but in the past I've been, uh, hyper protective of my girl friends and their dignity. One of my friends kept making jokes about me getting in bed with her. I slapped him in the jewels.

I'm not one to talk about things I consider private, and don't like being approached about them.

NeuroFizz
12-14-2013, 06:16 PM
Guy 1: We're buying over on Eagle Crest.

Guy 2: You're paying double for the view, but get less house for it

Guy 1: Well yeah, but not everybody has your naked wife for a view, so we do what we can.

Take out the word "naked" and the conversation might be okay between good friends. Insert that word, and it heads over the cliff of inappropriate.

It's okay to compliment a woman on her appearance or attire, in the presence of her man or to the man in the absence of the woman. But if that compliment takes on a sexual context, it's over the cliff as well. As an example, commenting on a wife's cleavage is equivalent to commenting on the husband's crotch-bulge.

Anything that objectifies a person should be off-limits when discussing a man or woman's partner.

Teasing is kind of tricky, but it reveals much about the ethics and moral fiber of the person giving the piss. And, it also reveals the same about the person accepting it. If my woman were to discuss the size, shape, and activity of my male member with her friends, joke about it, complain about it, or tease about it, I would seriously consider whether this woman was the right one for me. And that wouldn't depend on whether the comments were flattering or "deflating."

Some things should be rooted in interpersonal emotional and physical bonding, and since those things lay bare our most personal and vulnerable issues and actions, they should be honored privately and with great respect. Sharing these things cheapens and trivializes them, and weakens the partners' mutual bond.

Maxx B
12-14-2013, 07:26 PM
Surely context defines what is right for the characters to discuss. It's clear there is a range of acceptable interchanges. I'm sure there are some more no-one is admitting actually happens. The point is, we don't know if the characters involved are misogynistic boors, to whom this topic is normal locker room / bar chat. Or if the conversation take place on the golf links with the boss. Guys do behave differently in public or mixed company than when they are alone with close friends.

To generalise like this, asks us to put all men, from different socio-econominc groups, education and culture into a single group that share the same moral view point, it doesn't happen. Given the right circumstances the conversation could be as normal as discussing the guy's new car. It all depends on who your characters are.

Perks
12-14-2013, 07:36 PM
To generalise like this, asks us to put all men, from different socio-econominc groups, education and culture into a single group that share the same moral view point, it doesn't happen. Given the right circumstances the conversation could be as normal as discussing the guy's new car. It all depends on who your characters are.

Actually, I'm not writing characters having this conversation at all. This is researching for a bit of exposition in a non fiction essay.

I'm trying to figure out how, briefly, to depict this perceived difference between men and women with some insight and was looking for someone to say something that would kickstart my free-association machine.

As such, and as usual, this board and its responders have been very helpful to me and I'm enjoying the different angles represented here.

From my experience, it doesn't seem all that unusual for women to be quite candid, both kindly and unkindly, about bedroom matters, but it would be off-base to tease another woman that she wasn't hot enough for her good-looking husband.

In a gross generalization, almost the opposite seems true with groups of heterosexual Western men.

It's interesting.

I'm aware that when writing fiction you can twist up the dynamics to suit whatever your story requires.

Nivarion
12-16-2013, 01:19 AM
[side rant]

It is most likely the MRA (I find it ironic that I'm labeled one since I'm against a lot female role typing as well.) in me, but I've noticed that there is in western culture a dominant programming in men that they are disposable, but the women and children need to be protected and it's their job to do it. I've also noticed that women seem to get a similar programming to look for assets in potential husbands.

Your current findings are in line with what I've noticed. The men would be more likely to protect their wives/girlfriends because that is what they have been taught to do.

Women have been culturally taught to look for assets in their husband/boyfriends and would then look at it to compare and understand what they actually have. I'm sure we'll see that change as women have a head start on removing some of the cultural programming, though it seems to me that some of it is, misdirected.

[/side rant]

All of the above is also gross generalization.

Fruitbat
12-16-2013, 02:18 AM
[side rant]

It is most likely the MRA (I find it ironic that I'm labeled one since I'm against a lot female role typing as well.) in me, but I've noticed that there is in western culture a dominant programming in men that they are disposable, but the women and children need to be protected and it's their job to do it. I've also noticed that women seem to get a similar programming to look for assets in potential husbands.

Your current findings are in line with what I've noticed. The men would be more likely to protect their wives/girlfriends because that is what they have been taught to do.

Women have been culturally taught to look for assets in their husband/boyfriends and would then look at it to compare and understand what they actually have. I'm sure we'll see that change as women have a head start on removing some of the cultural programming, though it seems to me that some of it is, misdirected.

[/side rant]

All of the above is also gross generalization.

From what I've seen of MRA, it's Ku Klux for the sexes. Yuck.

With or without qualifiers, let's not even start with the dim half-truths that slant everything to poor men while conveniently ignoring all the ways they benefit from how things are, okay? What goes on these days is some correction of gross (straight, middle class, Christian, white) male privilege, which is a far cry from mistreatment.

Such men would of course never keep earning steady raises while women often lose hugely due to time off, not for themselves, but actually for that small matter of raising the couple's children. And let's conveniently overlook that all this alleged gold-digging actually comes from women not being allowed a career at all. Or that it's still not a level playing field, childrearing duties aside. And men would never be guilty of an equivalent offense of choosing only the best looking female and disregarding their other qualities or finding them disposable for a newer model later on, and etcetera.

That cherry-picking view of the world is inaccurate, entitled, and offensive.

Amadan
12-16-2013, 02:48 AM
With or without qualifiers, let's not even start with the dim half-truths that slant everything to poor men while conveniently ignoring all the ways they benefit from how things are, okay? What goes on these days is some correction of gross (straight, middle class, Christian, white) male privilege, which is a far cry from mistreatment.

He said flat-out that it was a gross generalization. (Note: generalizations are not necessarily untrue, they are just not universally true, a distinction most people miss.)

If you really don't want to go there, then don't try to define allowable avenues of discourse while injecting your own in the same vein.

Fruitbat
12-16-2013, 02:49 AM
He said flat-out that it was a gross generalization. (Note: generalizations are not necessarily untrue, they are just not universally true, a distinction most people miss.)

If you really don't want to go there, then don't try to define allowable avenues of discourse while injecting your own in the same vein.

I'll call out misogynistic bullshit whenever I please, thank you.

Amadan
12-16-2013, 02:55 AM
I'll call out misogynistic bullshit whenever I please, thank you.

Fair enough. And I'll call out your name-calling, since I didn't see Nivarion post anything misogynistic. I am not an "MRA," but I found your post more ridiculous, slanted, and full of generalizations than his.

Fruitbat
12-16-2013, 02:56 AM
Fair enough. And I'll call out your name-calling, since I didn't see Nivarion post anything misogynistic. I am not an "MRA," but I found your post more ridiculous, slanted, and full of generalizations than his.

I really can't help your lack of reading comprehension skills.

ECathers
12-16-2013, 04:55 AM
Okay, coming at this as a woman who is close friends with a group of other women, but I'm guessing some of this still applies:

1) It's totally fine, among close friends, to "brag" a bit about your partner's skills, both in bed and out. It's NOT okay to ask, or to imply in any way that you're truly curious about someone else's husband, but if they bring it up it's okay to keep the conversation going.

2) As a result of this, I know some rather interesting details about the quirks and turn-ons of some of my friends' husbands. (Not all the women in my group are comfortable talking about their partners in this way, but enough are that it's a fairly common topic of conversation.) Because of that, sometimes it's okay to make a comment as sort of an in-joke, when it comes up in conversation. (For example: a friend has mentioned how often she and her husband end up making time in the car after a "date" because the kids and babysitter are still inside. She got a new car recently, and we all teased her about how it would be nice to have a bigger back seat.)

3) A few rare times, it's okay to compliment someone else's partner on some not-actually-sex-specific trait, like having gorgeous hair or how the hours he's been spending at the gym are really paying off. It's a hard thing to get exactly right, though, and I'd say it's a firm "no" if there's any hint of ". . . and I find that sexy" in the comment.

4) Teasing and jokes about sex, such as when someone has to go home early (speculating about what that last text message might have been . . .) or when their spouse has done something to get himself in the doghouse (guess he's sleeping on the couch . . .) are fine, as long as the friend you're talking to is not the butt of the joke.

So yeah, that's my experience with women, but I'm guessing the same principles ring true with men as well. It's fine to admire someone's relationship, fine to be happy for them for having a sexy partner, but absolutely not fine to insinuate jealousy in any way.

IMO again as a female talking about our relationships with other females.

It highly depends on the degree of involvement.

For instance first date: How was he? What's he like? etc is all up for grabs. At that point we may get graphic details on him and how he's hung, how aggressive/gentle/playful he is.

Once stuff gets serious at the beginning we may continue to share info but more in the tone of "we had amazing sex last night but now he's wierding me out by not calling."

By the time they're serious, few graphic details.

Something to the effect of "I'd like to sleep with your guy," is pretty much NEVER acceptable among close girlfriends. Once he belongs to one of us, we don't compete. However if one of us throws him away, others may date him IF they have prior permission.

Mutive
12-16-2013, 05:16 AM
Dirty little secret: Men gossip. We like to call it guy talk. But we gossip something fierce in the right situations. Guy A talking to Guy B about Guy B's wife, essentially off limits. But talking about Guy C's wife?

It happens far more than we like to admit. Especially with a pint or two involved.

I've seen a lot of this. Have worked primarily in 90%+ male environments and yes, men gossip every bit as much as women do. About the same kinds of things, really. Including SOs.

Depending on the person + situation, some things are off limits. Almost all things are from what I've seen, with the right person in the right situation.

(Then again, from my own observations, women tend to be if anything more explicit. Like, they'll actually go into genital configurations, much to the horror of those around them. Not all, but some, sometimes.)

This, again, is just my own experience. But yes, definitely some men will discuss damned near anything. (As will some women.)

CrastersBabies
12-16-2013, 05:44 AM
It depends on the age. When I was younger (twenties), it was all up for grabs. I'm a woman and I spoke with my female friends about sex. My male friends I KNOW did the same. But, I don't think it was ever a thing where a guy said, "Hey, what's your GF like in the sack?" The information was usually just offered up by the BF.

In my case (with other women), it was usually something like this:

Girl 1: God, I'm so glad I'm not with X anymore. Total "minute man."
Girl 2: Really?
Girl 1: Yeah. Thankfully, my current beau doesn't have that problem.
Girl 2: Do tell.
Girl 1: (a few more details).

I know that guys talked as well. They talked around me (I was considered "one of the guys" with a few pals). I also fooled around with one male pal and another male pal told me that he "heard about something I did once."

It depends on group dynamics, friendships and so forth.

BUT, as I got older, this changed considerably.

I do have a few close female friends that I might talk with, but mostly now it's stuff like, "Hey, have you tried X toy? Or Y position? You need to! oh my Gawwwd!"

Nivarion
12-16-2013, 02:35 PM
From what I've seen of MRA, it's Ku Klux for the sexes. Yuck.

Hmmm. What I've seen of them, they're much different than they've been portrayed. And you know, I've actually been on the inside.



That cherry-picking view of the world is inaccurate, entitled, and offensive.

Indeed.

I would be glad to hold this conversation, but I believe it would be best held in PMs. Not in this fairly (read highly) unrelated thread.

Once!
12-16-2013, 03:30 PM
Overheard between two women (early 20s) when I was a callow youth of 18.

"He fumbles. I do so hate it when they fumble."

"Yes, me too. I know exactly what you mean."

robjvargas
12-16-2013, 06:07 PM
Take out the word "naked" and the conversation might be okay between good friends. Insert that word, and it heads over the cliff of inappropriate.

It's okay to compliment a woman on her appearance or attire, in the presence of her man or to the man in the absence of the woman. But if that compliment takes on a sexual context, it's over the cliff as well. As an example, commenting on a wife's cleavage is equivalent to commenting on the husband's crotch-bulge.

Anything that objectifies a person should be off-limits when discussing a man or woman's partner.

Teasing is kind of tricky, but it reveals much about the ethics and moral fiber of the person giving the piss. And, it also reveals the same about the person accepting it. If my woman were to discuss the size, shape, and activity of my male member with her friends, joke about it, complain about it, or tease about it, I would seriously consider whether this woman was the right one for me. And that wouldn't depend on whether the comments were flattering or "deflating."

Some things should be rooted in interpersonal emotional and physical bonding, and since those things lay bare our most personal and vulnerable issues and actions, they should be honored privately and with great respect. Sharing these things cheapens and trivializes them, and weakens the partners' mutual bond.

This seems to be to completely ignore the comfort and privacy that many people perceive among their closest circle of friends. Maybe that perception is accurate, maybe not. But there *are* people out there other than our spouse/partner/SO to whom we've assigned our highest level of trust and comfort. And those people will, from time to time, "hear it all."

It's not always crassness, and it's not always objectifying. It certainly *can* be both. But it can also be a kind of intimacy with another person. Intimacy can happen without romance.

I had that kind of friendship with a guy once. I could tell him ANYTHING. There was even a time where a woman I was particularly attracted to fell for him. He and I continued to joke about my attraction. But it was safe, because we both knew I didn't stand a chance (which is also why I had no hard feelings about it). She was all about knuckle-dragger machinist mates, not us lofty, intellectual electrician mates :D.

I haven't found another friend like that after he got transferred. Someone where my internal filter can rest and relax for a bit. And I think having people in your life where that filter isn't necessary, that's a good thing.

Maze Runner
12-17-2013, 12:00 AM
I guess what I'm asking is something more geared toward a sideways acknowledgement that one guy thinks another guy's wife or girlfriend is really good-looking.

My experience, in gen-er-al

Mike: John, your wife is really beautiful.

John: Thanks, Mike. She is, isn't she?

Mike: John, your wife is really sexy. How is she in the sack?

John: Hey, watch your mouth, and mind your f*ckin bizness.

Mike: John, your wife's a killer. I'd like to...

John: What?! You mutha!!!!!!!! Slam, bam, boom, pow, crash. Get up you bastard, I'm not done with you yet!

I'm curious to know how candid men are with their friends about these things.

My experience, men are less detailed than women. Might say something vague like, "Jesus, last night, what a session." Whereas, from what women have told me, they spare few details with their close female friends.


The other week, I asked an old friend by email, a guy I've known forever, but he's a lawyer and very Catholic, but very much on the liberal side, so I thought it would be okay.

Me: D'you get laid last night?

He: Uh, that's confidential.

Me: Yeah, I didn't get laid either.

CrastersBabies
12-17-2013, 09:28 PM
My male friends talked quite a bit around me. And yeah, they didn't go into huge details. Just,

"Yeah, she gave me (crass word for oral sex)."
"Good?"
"Oh yeah..."
"Hey, turn on the football game."

I mean, I rarely heard them go into any kind of detail. At all. Men--mysterious creatures they are--just seemed more concerned with their other male buddy's general sexual happiness. The rest was just not important.

But again, my experience.

I get where people are saying, "Hey, this is off limits!" Some people are very private about their, uhhh, private moments. But many people share with close confidants. Some share with anyone who will hear it.

There are three people I can think of that I would talk to about my sex life with my husband--but only because we've had those types of conversations before in the past (about their significant other or about mine). It's not that we hunker around and give explicit details. It just comes up in conversation. And we're all very open and respectful to one another.

And (again) others are very VERY open. Some of my fellow PHD classmates and I went out to a wine bar and we were pretty drunk. One said something like, "God, X, your husband is just gorgeous! How do you handle that with other women hitting on him?"

And she said something like, "He IS gorgeous. Holy cow. And good in bed. And screw those other women." (Then the conversation shifted)

These moments come in many forms. I can't remember a time when I gathered my chick-crew together and said, "Okay, let's go around the table and talk about our husbands and how they are in bed." It just kind of pops up. Maybe it sticks around a few minutes. Maybe it doesn't.

I think it's up to the writer to say what type of character they have on their hands.

Torgo
12-17-2013, 09:36 PM
in your experience, is it ever on the okay side of joking around to question a friend about how his wife or girlfriend is in bed?

Wife? No. Punch-in-the-mouth time. Girlfriend... how long-term? This gets less and less acceptable the longer the relationship is, and it's starting from a place where you assume the guy isn't already deeply invested in the relationship, and thus their liaison can be the subject of banter. Casual sex? One night stand? Men have been known to discuss such things. It's a continuum.

Of course I would never bandy a woman's name about, still less any intimate detail. Code of the Woosters, don't you know.

Maze Runner
12-17-2013, 09:44 PM
It is interesting to me, just what is the fundamental difference here, between what men/women will share with their friends, and what will be seen as off limits to men vs. women. Since, according to the summation of this thread anyway, there does seem to be an innate difference, wonder what biological or societal factors in men vs. women are responsible?

Maze Runner
12-17-2013, 11:23 PM
Since I posed it, I guess it's only fair that I try to answer first.

The best I can come with at the moment, is that men still tend to put their women on a pedestal, and so to betray that by airing our most intimate details is a direct affront to that notion. We still want to think you're angels, though yeah, you do those things we like in private, you know, but still...

Also, I'd say there's the territorial issue. If I tell my male "friends" how delectably sexy my woman is in the bedroom, they may try to find out for themselves. Funny to me, that women don't seem to have this same fear.

Chris P
12-17-2013, 11:55 PM
Also, I'd say there's the territorial issue. If I tell my male "friends" how delectably sexy my woman is in the bedroom, they may try to find out for themselves.

Huh. That's NEVER crossed my mind, even after having lost a few potential love interests to friends.

Romance and sex has always been intensely private to me, even since my first real crush back when I was ten years old. The secrecy started from a fear of being teased ("You like HER? Oh my god that's so funny!"), but in my adult life is a respect for the private moments she's chosen to share with me alone. I kiss but don't tell not only out of respect for her privacy but also because I don't like a braggart and don't want to be one.

As to your question about biological versus societal factors, I lean to the societal side on this issue. I don't think the sexes differ so much in what they do (share info with friends) as much as how they express it (level of detail, tone, etc.). And that is all learned behavior.

Maze Runner
12-18-2013, 12:19 AM
Huh. That's NEVER crossed my mind, even after having lost a few potential love interests to friends.

Romance and sex has always been intensely private to me, even since my first real crush back when I was ten years old. The secrecy started from a fear of being teased ("You like HER? Oh my god that's so funny!"), but in my adult life is a respect for the private moments she's chosen to share with me alone. I kiss but don't tell not only out of respect for her privacy but also because I don't like a braggart and don't want to be one.

As to your question about biological versus societal factors, I lean to the societal side on this issue. I don't think the sexes differ so much in what they do (share info with friends) as much as how they express it (level of detail, tone, etc.). And that is all learned behavior.

Well, I'm glad you have something to brag about.

No, I mean, this seems consistent with what I've seen. For whatever reason, men simply for the most part won't do this. While women, I think, sometimes and to a certain extent will. Now if it's just a one night stand or something of the like, I think men might talk a little, if someone asked anyway. There's not the loyalty or territorial factor there is with a wife or a steady girlfriend. But for me at least, I don't think it has much to do with how close a friend is. I've got friends I've had since we were kids that if they asked me direct questions about this kind of stuff, I'd be somewhere between angry, offended, and shocked. I don't know why this is but I'm interested. I'm always interested in the 'why' of things, and I don't know "why" that is either. Once when as a kid I asked my father another "why" question, he said, "why, why, why! WHY are you such a pain in the ass?" Anybody want to field that one?

Maze Runner
12-18-2013, 12:19 AM
Sorry for the double post. Don't know "why" that happened either.

Torgo
12-18-2013, 12:30 AM
Sorry for the double post. Don't know "why" that happened either.

Don't worry mate, it happens to everyone from time to time.

robjvargas
12-18-2013, 12:40 AM
Huh. That's NEVER crossed my mind, even after having lost a few potential love interests to friends.

Romance and sex has always been intensely private to me, even since my first real crush back when I was ten years old. The secrecy started from a fear of being teased ("You like HER? Oh my god that's so funny!"), but in my adult life is a respect for the private moments she's chosen to share with me alone. I kiss but don't tell not only out of respect for her privacy but also because I don't like a braggart and don't want to be one.

As to your question about biological versus societal factors, I lean to the societal side on this issue. I don't think the sexes differ so much in what they do (share info with friends) as much as how they express it (level of detail, tone, etc.). And that is all learned behavior.

I'm with you on that last. We talk in different ways, men and women. But I suspect *about* a lot of the same things.

As for your privacy point, I think it's a question of finding those rare individuals that gain your complete trust. There's a whole host of SitCom episodes revolving around the secret that nobody is supposed to reveal yet everyone knows. Friends *do* exist that become worthy of our most intimate secrets. Or, at least, that we believe they do.

Among friends like that, it's not that (in your mind) you're revealing the secrets of your partner/spouse. It's *your* secret that you're letting out.

Sometimes.

There are those among us who simply can't keep a secret. :D

JimmyB27
12-18-2013, 07:36 PM
:nothing

Just this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ona-RhLfRfc).

Anaximander
12-23-2013, 07:16 PM
I'd say it depends very much on the people involved and the situation they're in.

For example, I have some friends who'll just nod and go through the usual pleasantries, even when I can tell they're dying to ask. I wouldn't volunteer much information to some people, either, because I'd feel uncomfortable, it'd make them feel uncomfortable, and I know my girlfriend wouldn't like me telling them either. We stick to the "socially acceptable" trivialities and everyone is happy.

With other friends, however, it's a different story. My closest friends will sometimes ask more personal questions, trusting that I know them well enough to understand the sentiment behind the question and know they're not aiming to offend. Sometimes when a conversation steers towards sensitive topics and I can tell they want to ask something, I'll gently prompt to let them know I'm happy to answer. This is only with my closest friends, mind - the people that I trust to not judge harshly or do anything malicious with the information.

Somewhere in between, there's the sort of conversation that comes out at parties and/or when we've been drinking. This is usually best described as harmless banter, and will mostly be more risqué than outright explicit. Innuendo, hints, and the odd detail thrown in as a punchline. This is still with people I feel comfortable with; not necessarily the "inner circle" as I mentioned earlier, but definitely not anyone I don't know so well or consider more of an acquaintance than a friend. This stuff is also filtered somewhat to just cover the bits that people could probably guess; real private details are kept out of it.

In all cases, there are of course some things that are always kept private, and if at any point I suspect the asker's motives for asking, then I'll stop answering. That's pretty rare for me personally - luckily my close friends are generally trustworthy folk - but hypothetically speaking, if I thought the information would be used in a joke or prank, or would reach anyone I didn't want it to, or even if the question was being asked because they just want to pry and not because it's in any way relevant, then I won't answer. The line between "prying" and "being curious" is fuzzy, but it boils down to how close I am to the person asking and how much I trust them.

Alpha Echo
12-23-2013, 08:27 PM
It's funny to me to read from so many men that they are private about their relationships.

My husband is an introvert. He has very few friends, but those he does have are very close. He'd give his life for them, and they for him. He doesn't give details, whether I'm there or not. But he does like to brag, especially at the beginning of the relationship when everything was still new. Or if we do something different. As others have said, it's not like they sit down and decide to talk about sex or the attractiveness of their partners. It's more of a quick mention of something we did or somewhere we did it.

Others have mentioned that the big difference between men and women is the level of detail, and with that I agree. My best friend and I can talk about and discuss anything. Again, we don't sit down to talk about sex. But if something happens that we want to share, we share it.

Also a difference - asking for advice. I think that women are more apt to go to their girlfriends for advice on a perceived issue in bed than men would be. In fact, I know my husband would never go to one of his friends to ask for advice.

iLion
01-04-2014, 01:45 AM
As a guy... I am impressed with all that Alpha Echo has said here. I find it all 'spot'on', as they say. It is no wonder Alpha Echo is a writer. You are very observant, and express it all very clearly, Alpha. :)

Things said so well by Anaximander and others also point to the most important aspect of all this: You will ultimately have to base conversations about sex on the characters you build and the situation in which they exist. Most reponses I've seen here assume a high degree of "normal", which may or may not suit you.

Perks
01-04-2014, 02:10 AM
You will ultimately have to base conversations about sex on the characters you build and the situation in which they exist. Most reponses I've seen here assume a high degree of "normal", which may or may not suit you.

It's a non-fiction piece, so it's not about characters. But you're right, this discussion has been very valuable in lighting up the spectrum of cultural norms.

akiwiguy
01-06-2014, 03:03 AM
I'd find it very offensive to be asked what my partner is like in bed, and my friends simply wouldn't think of doing it, nor would I dream of asking them.

Recently I was chatting to a very close friend (going back to our first day of school) and made a comment about the sexual chemistry shared by my partner and myself...but it was in the context of discussing my relationship of the last year with a woman with whom I'd had a brief relationship with in my teens and re-met after almost 40 years. And he has a similar situation potentially developing, and was interested in how our experience has been. So I was describing a whole lot of aspects, such as a deep soul-mate connection etc.

But even in that context I'd have never said something like "She's hot in bed"...I was really explaining that every aspect of the relationship has an unusual intensity. My friendship with the guy in question is mature enough that I didn't feel it was strange to touch on our sexual chemistry (which is quite different I think to bragging about a partner's prowess), and it was in the context of his genuinely wanting to know our experience of rekindling an very old relationship.

Meditate
01-06-2014, 04:32 AM
Reading this thread I felt I needed to widen what might fall into a "normal" response to sexual questions in social settings.

The cultural shift from country to country is immense.

I live in Argentina and if I've known you for a week and you haven't talked in detail about a sex encounter is because you are not having sex. Nobody will ask you anything, it's just something that we all talk about openly with friends, like soccer or politics.

My circle of friends wouldn't think about asking about your girlfriend because they assume you told them already anything interesting, sex just isn't that taboo a subject. It can be for some people, just not for college students in a big city.

I lived a few months in the States and it was always hard to explain. Just be aware that there are groups of friends where sex is just another subject to talk about. The younger they are the more common this is. This is also normal, depending on where you live.