Cool Story, Bro.

It was a quarter past two when we left the bar. I had been drinking with a friend from work and his roommates. Alcohol can play tricks on the mind and at that point my beer goggles could have made Gary Busey look like Channing Tatum. This may have been the reason why I agreed to leave with my friend’s little brother. He was, of course, an unapologetic bro, complete with a cut off tank top and a backwards hat. He wasn’t my usual type but after a long night of tequila and cherry bombs my standards had dropped tremendously.

I don’t remember what we talked about on the long walk to his house. For all I know we could’ve been walking in complete silence. Although, I was probably talking he may have only been responding with grunts or nods of agreeance that said, “I don’t care, but I look like I do.” In reality, we would have had nothing to say to each other. I’m a free thinking modern feminist and he well, likes to wrestle when he’s drunk. The first time I met him I was taped to his best friend. We were playing edward forty hands and our hands were taped together around two forties of warm Budweiser. He was on crutches because he had recently had some kind of surgery. He hobbled up to me, lifted his crutch up off the ground and poked me in the crotch with it. He didn’t even blink as he continued to crutch me in the crotch. He just stared at me for a moment before putting his crutch back on the ground and hopping away. I must have forgotten this strange little incident when I decided to go home with him.

When we got to his house, things got weird. He didn’t say much, he just walked straight to the back of his house, found his dog, and hugged it for a very long time. I started to feel uncomfortable, as if I was intruding on some shared romantic moment. I walked into the kitchen and asked the first person I saw if I could use a cup for water. He looked at me and said, “Well we don’t have any clean cups, but we have bowls.” So there I was, standing in an unfamiliar space drinking from a bowl and watching this guy practically make out with his dog.

We stumbled up the stairs and upon entering his room he announced with great pride, “Isn’t my room great?” He was being serious. “Uh, yeah.” I managed, fighting back the laughter, “It sure is something.” Still reveling in the glory of his bachelor pad he turned on his speakers and proceeded to play dub-step at max volume. Nothing dries me out faster than wompy beats and base loud enough to rumble an entire house. I was sitting on his bed trying to keep my head from exploding as he stood with his back to me. His arms were stretched out horizontally with his hands clenched into tight little fists as his head bobbed up and down to the music. It was easily one of the strangest things I had ever seen. Just when I thought he might stand there forever, he turned around and ripped off his shirt. He stood there for a moment and stared at me. No one had ever made me feel like prey the way this kid did. With out blinking his eyes seemed to say, “You ready for this?” and I know mine must have been saying, “Oh god, no.” He grabbed a condom and jumped on the bed.

With the condom still in hand he kissed me. He kissed me until someone kicked open the door. It was his roommate, “Hey dude, you got any rubbers?” “Here, take this one!” I offered up the one in his hand. “Oh damn, you’re not using it?” He winked at me, “nice!” I explained to them both that I actually needed to leave because I had much more important things I could be doing at 4:30 in the morning like, not having sex with this gorilla. His roommate left and he looked defeated. “Are you serious? That’s so dumb.” He wined. “Yeah I’ve got to go but thanks for having me!” Before I could even sit up he was on his feet standing at the side of the bed. He dropped his pants and began to move his hips in a semi-circle which sent his penis wagging back and forth. My mouth dropped. “You don’t want this girl? Are you sure you don’t want some of this?” Oh yes, I’m quite sure I don’t want that. I was absolutely speechless. I’ve witnessed men do a lot of strange things but this one took the cake. If this was some kind of strange new dating ritual I wanted none of it. He must have noticed the disgust on my face because eventually he stopped and pulled his pants back up. He laid down on the floor and began to pout. I tip toed over him grabbing my jacket and then my shoes. When I bent over to grab my purse he stuck is arm in the air and grabbed my left butt cheek. He started slapping and grabbing it. I jerked my head around to look at him and still he continued, with out blinking and with out emotion. Okay, this is getting weird. This guys a psycho and I have to get out of here. He was still laying on the floor when I jumped over him and scurried out of his room and into the night. It was warm so the mile and a half walk wasn’t bad. I was comforted with the thought that at least I wouldn’t be sharing a bed with a horny robot.

The next morning his brother called me, expecting I would still be at his little brother’s house. When I explained that he had terrified me with his wiener dance so I left, he seemed hurt. It was a how could you not fuck my brother kind of disappointment that I was unfamiliar with. I don’t know what turned me off more, his actions or the fact that his eyes were glazed over with a brain dead haze the entire time. Either way, this experience begs me to ask the question: What is wrong with young men? Seriously, why do they think they can just run around like horny animals all the time? It’s sick, but what’s even sicker is I’m sure there are girls who actually sleep with guys who act like this. When did the college sexual experience trade in a mutual exchange of pleasure and emotion for 5-7 minutes of mindless jackhammering, or is this the way it’s always been? My point is that most young men seem like they could care less about making the woman they’re with feel good. Sex has become less of a partnered act and more of masturbation with the help of a vagina. So ladies, next time you’re standing at the bar or waiting around a party clenching your red solo cup and a beefy guy in a pink polo catches your eye, keep walking. You can do better, and you are no bro hoe.


Bromances: A Challenge to Hyper Masculinity

It was mid May, a Saturday and the kind of day that most college students designate for drinking before 2:00pm. My male companions were no exception. My friend and I stood on the steps of their front porch and watched two of them wrestle drunkenly under the warm spring sun. “Look!” I snickered and nudged my girl friend’s arm. “Oh my God, this is priceless!” she responded and sipped her beer, pretending to enjoy it’s dull flavor. “Awe, now isn’t that just the most precious thing?” I tried my best southern drawl. “They look like kittens playing. My heart is melting.” I agreed, “Yes, like two gigantic drunk kittens.” We laughed in unison and finished what was left of our stale beer.

Now, if one were to see two grown men wrestling on the ground all the while gazing longingly into each other’s eyes he or she might be able to assume which team they’re pitching for. On the other hand, contrary to most straight male fantasies, two women pillow fighting in their underwear is less likely to be seen as lesbian behavior, no matter how close they get. So why is it that women can touch, play, and occasionally blur the borders between hetero and homosexuality but men cannot? As our society becomes increasingly open minded we’re beginning to feel more comfortable disregarding the categorization of female sexuality. It is a cultural expectation for many women that we able to openly show affection for one another. Learned affection can be seen as important form of social conditioning that has been historically enforced in order to teach women how to become proper caregivers. Real affection, hugging, holding, and physical contact of this nature often enough has nothing to do with sexuality. Rather, it has more to do with love.

My friend has a theory about male sexuality, she thinks that all men harbor secret homoerotic fantasies. “All men are truly gay deep down.” She spoke so confidently that I choked on my wine. “What? What does that even mean?” I giggled and swallowed hard. “No, You know what I mean. Like, I would bet money that when we’re not around men dance around naked and have drunken sword fights.” I thought of my friends, the ones posing in the picture above, and decided that for them that was probably the case but that it doesn’t necessarily mean they want to have sex with each other. I asked her to remember back to middle school when we would all take turns flashing one another at sleepovers. None of us became lesbians later on in life, we were just curious. Can’t men share the same kind of curiosity without having to be branded as “gay”? Shouldn’t men be allowed to freely express affection and curiosity the way that most women do? I would think yes.

We live in a society with a hyper masculine idea of what men should and shouldn’t be. Our culture has decided that any form of same sex affection is automatically entangled in sexual desires. Most of the time this is simply not the case. We as women cannot expect to break our sexuality and love free from the cages and categories that bind us if we continue to perpetuate the stereotypes for men. There is a deep longing within every human regardless of gender or sexual orientation to feel physically comfortable with their peers, so let them. I’ve learned a lot from observing bros interact with one another but I believe that the most important less thus far is that real men hug it out.