Love & Sex

How Technology Has Gotten Guys to Talk about Sex

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"So. About threesomes."

Dan, a man I've been good friends with since high school, messages me at 11 p.m. I know what's happening here: some polite conversation about our respective jobs, a joke about the Goldfish one of us is cramming into our mouths, and then, after a requisite 20-minute wait comes the onslaught of some serious bonafide guy talk. "So…About threesomes. I really want to do it, but I don't want to mess stuff up with my gf. Like, with a girl, I'd be fine. I don't know, I hope it works. It has to be someone cool and someone bi lol," he confesses to me in a string of five consecutive, if not vague, texts. I agree, tell him to introduce the topic gently over dinner, and, of course, give me constant updates about the situation.

It's a conversation I would have never had as we recently met up for two beers over gourmet pizza in a crammed Manhattan restaurant. We'd skirted around work, how to cure the hiccups (I had a mean case), and what genuinely psychotic losers we graduated school with, but the threesome didn't come up. I didn't wax poetic about the current state of men in my life. The guy talk had been sequestered to a blinking little box of text messages — and I think that's awesome.

In a recent article by Maureen O'Connor in The Cut, she speaks of the great digital BFF renaissance, how technology isn't keeping us apart as much as resurrecting that small bedroom with the twin bed and glow-in-the-dark star ceiling where we used to whisper our darkest secrets during weekly sleepovers. And while some may disparage the ever-presence of technology by our sides — we're all on Facebook during sex, it's madness! — O'Connor says "I, for one, am relishing the return of the Bonus Room." But I've noticed that my Bonus Room isn't filled with ladies soliciting blowjob tutorials anymore. My girlfriends and I catch up in person and in more recent post-collegiate years have adopted a "that's fine, glad you're having sex, but I don't need to hear every single detail" policy. 

Dudes, on the other hand, can't get to the guy talk talk fast enough. I don't know if I fraternize with a particularly sensitive breed of men or give off patently dudeish vibes, but in the last two months, I've received questions about having too big of a dick (that's a thing), a request for a full description of the clitoris, and a selfie of my buddy's abs asking if I thought they looked good (they did).

The only source I can peg for the impetus of this flood of man-to-female-friend confessions is the ease of the text. I'm not a bro, but all of a sudden I've been gifted a full access pass to a highly vulnerable, highly privileged world of guy sex talk, something I previously believed to be nonexistent. There have been more than a few conversations about the topic on Reddit's AskMen forum. "Do guys really talk about their sex lives with their friends?" the chain asks. The question was met with resounding nos and "not in any detail." From this, you'd expect all men spoke of sex in taciturn yes/no confirmations of the act. There have been plenty of stereotyping articles claiming the very fact that women won't shut up about the state of their vaginas while men keep to monosyllabic BFF talk.

But cavemen grunts these texts are not. Filled with an understated anxiety and intimacy ("My dick's sorta, like, curved to one side"), these exchanges of guy talk parallel the bonding I have with my girlfriends, conversations where we're just grappling what, exactly, it's like to fuck someone. So, if men really aren't making it past the odd sex boast with their other male friends, I'd like to think that guy talk texts with one of their platonic girlfriends are a conversational safe house. I want to be the resource, and hell, I want to know more about the sex lives of the gender I've chosen to sleep with. If texting is the only window to guy talk I'll ever be afforded, bring it on. And please, don't withhold the ab shots.

Image via Flickr.