Love & Sex

When Guy Code Goes Too Far

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"It's a weird thing to live outside the jurisdiction of Man Law."

Locker room talk is a myth, ladies and gentleman. I know women want to believe that guys are in there for hours, standing around a dry erase board filled with crudely drawn diagrams of sexual positions and rating the bedroom skill levels of women they’ve most recently had their towel-covered junk inside. But really, men just want to get the hell out of locker rooms as quickly and with as little eye contact as possible. The only guys who are in the locker room in excess of 90 seconds are men over 80 whose bodies are a grey, sobering look into the futures of our genitals. (I’m pretty sure gyms hire these older gentlemen to drag their drooping geriatristicles around all day to motivate younger guys into working out.) Because seriously, no way is my ass ever gonna do that weird, smushed up hamburger meat thing.

But outside the locker room, guys do have this one conversational habit that I don’t think is common among women, which is that they will feel totally comfortable sharing the most disgustingly graphic sexual details with other men they’ve literally just met. And when I say “guys,” what I mean is “bros.” Dumber, baser, more Neanderthalish men who have aged but not actually grown up. Guys who get barbed wire armband tattoos and bathe in Axe Body Spray. They abide by what’s called Guy Code. Or Man Law.

Call it what you want, it centers around the belief that tales of lady-boning, no matter how fabricated, are sexual currency. Infidelity seems to add a triple point score. Section 6.9 (LOL, “69”) of Guy Code states that all men are required to introduce themselves by proving their self-worth in the form of wildly exaggerated stories of a sexual nature, or failing that, a complicated handshake or bro-pound.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I like to bro down. I saw both Expendables movies in theaters on opening nights and will probably do so again if Stallone, in his infinite, vascular wisdom, sees it fit to make a third. I’ve participated in, and won, several eating contests. And at baseball games, I am not above taunting an opposing team until I am escorted out. But as far as swapping stories about ladies who’ve been generous enough to let me sweatily writhe around on top of them, well, that’s just one Vin Diesel movie too far for me on the bro-ometer. 

That’s not to say I never ever kiss and tell. I’m not above getting into the occasional sexual escapade-topping match with other dudes. Because not to brag, I’ve been on top AND on bottom, high five! But usually, I limit this sort of conversation to close friends or guys I’ve known for at least 5 minutes. That might not sound like the most refined act of social etiquette, but believe me, it is saying a lot more than some dudes I’ve encountered.

It’s a weird thing to live outside the jurisdiction of Man Law. It’s like visiting another country but refusing to comply by any of their customs. I feel like I’m in Japan and everyone is barefooted while I’m dragging my muddy sneakers through their homes and not giving a damn. It has put me in some weird and uncomfortable situations. 

A few years ago, for example, a friend dragged me to a hotel bar to hang out with two of his bros. They were the type of Wall Street, ex-frat boy d-bags I’ve never been able to connect with on any sort of social level. To avoid conversation with them, I did what any normal person does in these situations: I took out my new phone and started dicking around on it. I was on my own blissful planet of Bejeweled and sports scores, when one of the bros struck up a conversation. “Is that a Droid?” Woah! Maybe I had this guy all wrong. Maybe we might actually have something to talk about. “That phone is magic,” the bro said, very bro-edly. “Yeah, it’s a cool phone,” I said, preparing to swap suggestions for hot apps and battery life tips. But no. He was headed in a different direction with this. “Nah, you don’t understand. That phone is magic. I was at a Ferrari dealership…” Oh christ, this conversation had taken a sharp and terrible turn. “…And they gave those phones away as free gifts for test driving the car. Now, I can’t use it. I need my Blackberry because I get so many important e-mails…” At this point, my brain packed its bags and went home to leave my body sitting there to deal with this weird-looking man-child in a Brooks Brothers shirt.

I’m going to fast forward this story a bit to spare you the mind-numbing bro-ery, but essentially, this guy found himself getting chatted up by a woman about the Droid and he bartered to give it to her if she could give him the best BJ of his life. Was it the best? “It was good enough for a free phone!” Again, I had just been introduced to this guy 3 minutes ago, and this was the very first story he chose to tell me. But wait! The punch line of his story was that weeks later, his girlfriend asked where the phone was after he had given it away in exchange for anonymous oral sex. So, he had a girlfriend the whole time. Gadgets. Oral sex. Infidelity. Skeeviness. Glaringly obvious fabrications. A twist ending. This story had everything!

I seriously hope this is male-specific behavior because I like to think of women as lovely, angelic creatures and it would shatter my universe to imagine a bunch of ladies trading stories like, “And so anyway, all I had to do was I buy this jabroni some Jason Statham Blu-Rays and next thing I know, he’s goin’ down on me in the back of my Volkswagen Beetle! Gimme a pound, sis. But listen, don’t tell my boyfriend, ok?” But women are likely better than this sort of behavior and, guys, so are we. Not by much, but we can definitely come up with better conversation starters than wildly overblown sex tales. And let’s add a man-mendment to the Bro-stitution that states that we will stick to lying about trivial things like how much we can bench press. (315, bro.)