Between 18 June 2010 and 30 December 2011, Friday meant answer time here at the ManFAQ, and there got to be enough questions asked that the FAQ needed its own page. I’ve kept the following 82 questions that women have asked me about men over the years, and as part of my parole agreement a public service I’ve answered them, to help demystify the more malodorous gender for those of the gentler. For those of you who have commented with questions from previous ManFAQs, thank you; we’ll add them to the list and try to answer them all in turn.

Got a question for the ManFAQ? Send it to – your anonymity is guaranteed!

Actual questions, posed by real women, and answered by a REAL man. What could go wrong?

Question:Why is it that he’s in the mood for Hey Hey when he stumbles home after midnight?

Answer: Since this is the last official Friday ManFAQ, I’m going to give you one last bit of truth – they’ll pull my Guy Card for telling you this anyway.

When he staggers home at a quarter to beer in the morning, he knows full well what kind of trouble he’s in. He’s been out drinking with the boys, he should have called, he should have been home hours ago – and he knows it. While Hey Hey is always on the top of his mind, he is also very aware that right at the moment he could no more have his way with you than could the local harem guards. Even in the event, unlikely at this hour, that you were willing – even if you were waiting upstairs naked spread-eagle and roped to the bedposts like in that dream he had the other night – there is zero chance that he can perform after that much booze. He knows this.

But there he is, walking in the front door and yelling, “Who wants to fuck?” at the top of his voice. Why?

It’s a ruse. He knows that if he tries to come tip-toeing in the house and up the stairs, you’re going to yell at him for being out late drinking. If you hear that, however, the chances are pretty good that you’re going to roll over and pretend you’re asleep so as not to have to deal with the idiot, which means he doesn’t have to get yelled at until the morning. Notice that he never tries too hard to wake you up.

Next time, try yelling “Oh, I do, I do!” and watch the hilarity ensue! I assure you, the look on his face will be equal parts anticipation, bewilderment, and embarrassment. He’ll probably try – he’ll want to try – but he will usually fail.

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Question:Why can’t he plan parties? I spend weeks getting ready for his special day, birthday, anniversaries, favorite football game, holidays, whatever, but when the shoe is on the other foot, it’s 10 minutes of planning on the morning of, and he spends half that on the phone with my mother. What the hell?

Answer: We don’t plan well, most of us. It’s true.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some guys who can out-plan and out-organize and out-do all of us plus Julie from the Love Boat – but those guys aren’t married to you. They’re married to guys named Steve.

You’re having to make do with your man, flawed though he is, and you’ve run into one of his major limitations – The Future. Unlike your anniversary, he really does know the date of your birthday. And he probably knows what day it is today. But without a good deal of prodding, the coincidence of “today” with “your birthday” is still going to come as just as much a surprise to him as your anniversary usually does.

For most guys, The Future is sort of a bright, shiny, poorly defined place where nice things will happen, people will get naked, and there might be beer. It just sort of happens, and when we stop to think about what’s going to be needed to make it happen, we get wrapped up in the visions of nudity and beer, and we stop thinking altogether. Suddenly it’s that morning, and Oh Shit, somebody needs to plan something!

Of course he calls your mom – his mom will yell at him, and he knows that he’s going to get yelled at later anyway, so he’s in no hurry to start now. Your mom, on the other hand, will bail him out, because she wants to make sure your day is special, and she’s always happy to have a marker on him – she can make him dance like a puppet. For his part, he likes your mom because she bails him out of these spots (at least a little), and because he thinks that she thinks he’s cute. (Trust me, you don’t want to know what goes on in his mind.)

We don’t plan well. The really smart guys know this, and keep enough “general party stuff” around the house to pull off a semi-respectable party in under 2 hours, and have the local cake place on speed dial. He cares. Really. He just doesn’t know.

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Question:Why can’t he ever just come out and ask for what he wants when he’s horny? I’m no better at hints than he is.

Answer: Before I answer this, let me tell you a story. So there I was, up at pee O’clock in the morning, only to find SOBUMD awake at my desk. We talked for a while, then I checked on the three lunatic children, removing books from sleeping fingers and turning off lights. I returned to find that SOBUMD had climbed back into bed. I did likewise, we chatted for a minute, and as I intricated myself into sheets and covers, I remarked that my “underwear was not entirely comfortable.”

“That is, I believe, the stupidest, most obsure way you’ve ever asked for sex in the 20 years I’ve known you,” she said as she shrugged out of her PJs. Now, I was really just complaining about my shorts, but Hey Hey – that’ll solve the problem too!

So look, sometimes you’re assuming that we think about Hey Hey all the time. And you’re right, we are. But we figure you’d get tired of hearing the same question asked the same way after a few hundred times, and we’re looking for ways to spice it up, make it sound like it was your idea in the first place, distract you so you don’t notice we’ve got half our clothes off already, anything. Besides, there’s oblique, and then there’s GUY oblique. It’s the difference between, “Say, you look really nice tonight. Are you busy later?” and “Nice dress, but it looks a little tight – may I help you out of it?” We don’t really do hints well; if you think he’s hinting about Hey Hey, you’re right. If you think he’s wondering about mowing the lawn, he’s really hinting about Hey Hey. He’s just trying to be a little more genteel, since he’s been conditioned to believe that just asking “Hey, you wanna go bang me?” will get him slapped or arrested more often than it will get him laid.

Remember, he’s ALWAYS interested. He’s bringing up the topic because he hopes you are.

Nice dress, by the way.

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Question:I know you’ve covered this before, but what is it about household chores? Is there some kind of genetic thing that makes strong, athletic men fall asleep when the dishes are dirty?

Answer: Do you know, I’m glad you asked. In my capacity as the final arbiter of good taste, decency, and gender equality in this country, we’re screwed I was asked to comment on an article from Time magazine a few months ago about why “Men and Women Should End” what Time magazine would like us to call the “Chore Wars.

Now, you’re welcome to refer to anything you like as a ‘war,’ but with our men and women in uniform getting shot at overseas, as the final arbiter of good taste, decency, and gender equality in this country, it is my professional opinion that Time magazine can go stuff itself with this headline.

That being said, Time is here telling us that “new research on working fathers indicates that they’re the ones experiencing the most pressure,” and this time they have science on their side. One researcher mentions, “We think men don’t do anything, but is that right? Are we systematically missing what they do do?”

Yes. Let’s face it, men have been systematically getting women to put up with their do-do for a long time. It’s dollars to doughnuts that the study that says men do as much work around the house, or its equal in the office, was in fact run by men. If you want him to clean it, hit him in the head with something. Of course he’s tired. We’re all tired. You’re tired, aren’t you? Nobody really wants to do the dishes and clean the floor, except for the Reigning Queen of Pink, and she has OCD. (And no, we don’t rent her out – who would clean our floors?)

So, is it genetic? No. It’s science. We’re really working very, very hard. Please, try not to wake him – he’s probably just got his eyes closed because he’s thinking about the office, and needs to concentrate.

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Question:Is the way to his heart really through his stomach? Does his belly really do as much of his thinking as his tonker?

Answer: Ooooh yes. One of Robert Heinlein’s characters once said something like “Study how to please a man for years, make a science of it, and as soon as I find a good one he rolls over for the first pretty face who can cook.” And she wasn’t too far wrong – most of us, much as I hate to admit it, do need to get out of bed eventually.

Even the immortal (well, he’s working on it) Jeff Foxworthy has noticed this; he once boiled down all men’s deep basic needs to two things: “I want a beer, and I want to see something nekkid.” Yep.

In the presence of food, when we’re hungry, we’re as much slaves to our guts as to our gonads. “Why did you eat that?” is often answered with something very much like “It was there.” If it’s not VERY clearly labeled, such as “this is for the party tomorrow with your mother and if you eat a slice of it before the party I will cut off your hand and feed it to the dog,” he probably thinks it’s fair game. We expend a LOT of energy during the day – stop laughing, this is a true statement. Think about it: (1) thinking requires brainpower. (2) brainpower uses up almost as many calories as exercise. (3) men think ALL THE TIME. (Granted, they’re thinking about Hey Hey, but they’re very diligent about thinking about it all the time.) (4) ergo, we’re always hungry, from using up all that energy thinking about what you look like with your clothes off.

And then there’s the whole bit about sensous eating, which is usually done with your mouth. There’s a reason we call it Food Porn, but that’s probably another post.

So yes, a degree from the Culinary Institute is as or more likely to net you a husband as one from the Courtesan College in Las Vegas.

And for the guys – remember, Contemplate Before You Masticate! Should you eat that? Maybe you’d better check! After all, you don’t want to be this guy:

I'm Sorry I Ate The First One!

A replacement wedding cake topper – because something "mysteriously happened" to the original.

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Question:Why do you all seem to lose your minds for long hair?

Answer: This is hard-wired into our subcortex from the caveman days, the blood of bears welling up in our unconscious as we notice your long tresses cascading down your shoulders. That wonderful long hair tells our caveman selves that you’re healthy and well fed, that your body is in decent enough shape to make babies.

The sight of long, strong hair falling halfway down your back tells some part of him to grab it and drag you back to the cave – which is of course confusing to the rest of him, since he can’t remember where the cave is anymore, or where he parked the mammoth. This leads to a conflicting set of instructions from the front of his mind, which is telling him to introduce himself in a proper 21st Century fashion, and the back of his mind, which is telling him to hit you over the head and drag you off. As a result, his mouth is trying to form the words, “Do you live around here often,” and “Ugga!” at the same time, and what usually comes out is “Dywuuhh he hi, um, Hi.”

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Question:Why do boys try to be funny when they’re not?

Answer: What do you mean, they’re not funny? Of course they’re funny! They’re standing there telling you jokes and clowning around and jumping like – yeah, he’s pretty pathetic, isn’t he? The short answer is that he’s desperate. There are a couple of reasons here.

KNOCK KNOCK! If he’s telling you reasonably clean jokes, doing pratfalls, and using obvious physical humor, he’s desperate for attention – even if only for someone to tell him to knock it the hell off. If you keep not laughing, he’ll eventually knock himself senseless, get tired of it, or kill him self trying. (“Hey ya’ll, watch this!”)

THERE’S THIS CAT… If he’s telling you jokes about physics (“Sorry, we don’t serve faster than light particles here.”), he’s desperate to relate to you. He wants to see if you’re on the same planet he is. If you keep not laughing, he’ll move on eventually. (“A neutrino walks into a bar!”)

MORE BEAVER! If he’s told you three ball jokes, two dick jokes, the one about the maggots making love in dead earnest, and he’s trying hard to make a pun about beavers, he’s desperate for some Hey Hey. If you keep not laughing, he’ll move on eventually. (“Do you think I asked for a twelve-inch pianist?”)

I READ THAT ONE – If he’s making literary jokes, anything with the words Hemmingway, Faulkner, or Baudelaire in the punchline, he’s really desperate for some Hey Hey. Don’t listen to a thing he says. Really. I don’t care what French restaurant he invites you to, don’t go. Baudelaire is never funny. (“Fleurs du Mal? That’s what SHE said!”)

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Question:>What’s the problem with painting? I read about a company renaming their paints “for men” – would that really get my man to paint the living room?

Answer: Do you really want to paint your living room a shade of “Porcelain Throne” in an eggshell finish? Or a bathroom with “Beer Foam” in high gloss? Yes, the short answer is those folks are geniuses, and men really will buy one paint over another because it doesn’t sound like “Desert Blush.” (The fact that I loved that shade and used it liberally in our last house is not materially relevant to this post.)

“Hey, nice paint job! What’s that color?”
“Brute Force.”

Guys focus on primary colors – most of us don’t get past 3rd Grade in our color palette. When you ask him to choose between Eggshell, Soft Ecru, Pressed Linen, or Silver Lace, he’s pausing because (A) he can’t tell the difference, (B) he couldn’t care less, (C) he’s having a hard time figuring out which answer you’re leaning toward, and (D) he thinks if he guesses right, it’ll lead to Hey Hey sooner. He’s frustrated at the lack of clear labels.

This has been an issue for a long time. Prehistoric men came home to find their wives had painted the cave in calming earth tones using urine and bird droppings, and called it “light ugga foam.” This was also the first use of the term “man cave,” by the way – when he painted the next cave over using mammoth blood, and called it “fucking mammoth blood.”

Shortly after the Woolly Mammoth died out, I myself went hunting one day in an ancient place called Hechinger’s. I was hunting for White Paint – I had orders, and they were to return with White Paint. (And yes, my orders usually include Capital Letters.) I spent about 15 minutes wandering up and down the paint aisles, reading labels and becoming increasingly frustrated with the Light Elephant, Eggshell, Ecru, Off-White, Bride’s Kiss, Caucasian Sway, Soft Linen, Lilly Ass, and all the other things that might – or might not – be what I was looking for. Finally some “May I Help You” type came over and May I Help You’d me.

“Yes,” said I, in a state, by that time, of high dudgeon. “I’m looking for Fucking White Paint, but you don’t seem to carry that. You have seven hundred and sixteen others kinds of white, but I can’t find just plain old White.” Luckily, this May I Help You had seen my type before, and without missing a beat lead me down the next aisle:

“Oh, yes sir, not a problem, it’s over here in the Fucking Aisle. Let’s see, Fucking Red, Fucking Blue, Fucking Green, here we are, Fucking White Paint. Not a problem!”

At least he was cheerful about it.

So no, most guys don’t really care what color you paint the walls, or what color you tell him to paint them – but you’ll get it done faster if you tell him you want to paint the walls “Miller Time” and the ceiling “Lilly-White Ass” than you will with “Soft Umber” and “Ecru.”

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Question:Why are boys my age so immature?

Answer: They’re not, really. You’re just noticing the difference between the ones “your age” and the ones a few years older, who are less likely to be talking and more likely – you don’t believe a word of this, do you? OK, no, you’re right.

Now, the funny thing is that while this question was posed by a younger woman, by which I mean a 3rd-Grader, it never stops being a valid question, asked by women of every age throughout history. My mother, who is in her very late 30s, has asked it of my father. Many friends, girl-type, have asked me this about their guys at one point or another, at various ages, and in fact an older woman (in her early 100s) was recently bemoaning the fact that all the men her age were either still too immature or “napping, if you know what I mean.”

Which actually answers the question. Our fear is that if we were to actually mature and “act our age” all the time, you’d throw dirt over us. The boys your age will always be immature morons, because that’s pretty much our natural state – age notwithstanding. We’re aging with you, but we’re not maturing with you. We’re not planning on maturing at all. Consider Shrek’s choice in his second film:

Shrek? You drink that, there’s no going back.
I know.

No more wallowing in the mud?
I know.

No more itchy butt crack?
I know!

But you love being an ogre!
I know! But I love Fiona more.

Now remember, that was a movie. Most of us wouldn’t drink that shit to change us into someone your parents will approve of – at least, not without a whole lot of Hey Hey involved. Itchy Butt Crack is more than just a great name for a band – it’s a lifestyle choice. We fart, we belch, then we giggle because it smells really bad in here – and we’re not planning on growing out of it.

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Question:I’m one of the guys most of the time, but here’s a guy thing that maybe you can explain: the ability to instantly reclassify the merit of an object. To wit:
Hubby: “I need a new putter. This one is a piece of shit. It never hits straight, the grip’s crap, the balance is all wrong, and it’s scuffed up.”
[buys new putter]
Me: “I need a new putter…”
Hubby: “Here, take my old one. It’s a great putter!”
Me: “…?”

Answer: As much as I would love to claim mere frugality and go drink beer, there’s more to it than that. My deep study of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity tells me that what he means – and you’re right, we all do that – is that his putter is a piece of shit in his hands, since the scuffed up balance is coming off where he grips it. You, on the other hand, might well – in fact, almost certainly will! – find that you grip it in a different spot, and so we find that it’s only a scuffed-up piece of shit relative to him. Relative to you, it’s well balanced, has a good grip, and hits straight and true as an arrow.

Remember, Darth Vader did kill Luke’s father – from a certain point of view. Is Hubby in sales, by any chance? This same ability to reframe merit based on point of view has been honed over generations of hucksters and salesmen, long before Tom Sawyer whitewashed that fence. I myself employ it regularly on Craigslist and eBay. Just as one man’s religion is another man’s belly laugh, and one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, one man’s putter…

So, I hope you took the putter and put it to relatively good use. Did it bend when you hit him with it?

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Question:I keep hearing people say, “It’s a guy thing.” What, exactly, constitutes a guy thing?

Answer: I could tell you, but it’s a guy thing. No no, OK, I’m kidding. Guy things are usually things we assume you won’t like, won’t really approve of, or that we really don’t want to have to admit to you. For example if you have more than one guy at a table, in public, and they’re watching people walk by, they will, eventually, start discussing the desirability of – and likelihood of Hey Hey with – each woman walking by. When you walk up and ask them what they’re talking about, they will respond, in near unison: “Football.”

It’s a guy thing.

Here’s another example. Yesterday a nice couple came over and bought some furniture SOBUMD was selling on Craigslist (and yes, I wrote the ad copy). They paid cash, still legal tender for many things, and the husband had a bank envelope with twelve $100 dollar bills. I’m certain his wife had told him to go to the bank and get $1200 bucks. When they left, I noticed the envelope from the bank said “Kevin, $1240″.

That’s a guy thing.

Belching, farting, obnoxious smells, football and beer and scratching themselves in public – guy things. And if you’re thinking to yourself, wait, but I do those things! – then let me assure you that guy things are not always limited by gender. You might just be one of the guys.

After all, it’s a guy thing.

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Question:Is it true what they say about men with big hands and big feet?

Answer: Yes, it is.

They wear larger gloves and they’re generally hard to buy shoes for. I’m sure that’s what you were askin – oh, it’s not? Hmmm. Well, then, speaking strictly as a man who can palm a basketball and pick it up and throw it one-handed, I’d like to say very little about this question. Of course, I’m generalizing from one example, but everyone does that. Or at least, I do.

Howard Stern was once quoted as saying, “I’m 6 foot 4 with no penis to speak of. Thanks for that, Mom and Dad.”

So, maybe yes, maybe no – your mileage may vary. If you have experiential evidence, or even highly apocryphal yet amusing anecdotes, please share them with the group. You’ll be a bigger person for it!

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Question:Why in the world would it be a problem if I were taller than you?

Answer: I’ll wager that most guys don’t mind. And by “most guys,” I mean the ones under 5 foot 3 inches who don’t want to narrow their windows of opportunity.

It’s hard to feel all macho and stuff when we’re reaching up on our tiptoes to kiss you. An inch or so, sure, no big deal. If you’re the 50-foot-tall woman, or Madame Maxine, well, you know. Also clearly, if we’re on television, it’s a huge issue.

Like the man said, “You are smaller, so I can be taller than!” Never mind the grammar, this is Hollywood!

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Question:What is it with you guys and bacon?

Answer: I’ll confess I was going to write something with great righteous indignation, along the lines of “Oh yeah? Well, what is it with you ladies and purses?” Then I remembered… the bacon weave.

I may have to go with righteous indigestion on this one.

We know from holy scripture that “There are no two finer words in the English language than ‘Encased Meats,’ my friend.” (Hot Doug, Letters to the Chicagoans, $3.16.) And we know, because I’ve told you before, that pig is yummy – it’s a good reason to go to Alabama, for instance. So, yes, I have been known to stock up on bacon. And by stock up, I mean walking into a butcher shop and walking out with 40 pounds of it.

It’s not just meat! It’s thick, juicy meat, with nice smoky flavor, and it will take whatever you do to it – brown sugar, cayenne pepper, you name it. Bacon is life. So, men are pigs, men eat pigs, men love pigs – it all makes sense. You know, somewhere.

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Question:Why do men always think they’re right / assume they’re right / and need to be right?

Answer: I don’t know what you’re talking about. I can’t believe you would even say that; how could you ask such a question? Surely our devotion to absolute objectivity, veracity, and perspicaciousness is notorious – we could never stoop to less than 100 percent certainty. (Is it her or is it me? It’s her, isn’t it?)

Right. OK, this is hard for some people to understand, and it’s not just women, and it’s not ALL guys. Some people are really, really sure of themselves. Sometimes, that surety pervades the inner lining of their brains and leaks into the infallibility chamber, which is (of course) the source of all certainty. This ability to believe so completely in our own rightness is actually a survival skill; when you exude confidence, many people will stop questioning you and just do what you tell them. (Things like, “You need to invest in my hot dog stand,” or “Turn left here,” or “Put the gun down.” Trust me that this is a survival skill.) Of course we’re right. If we didn’t think we were right, we’d never get away with anything accomplish anything noteworthy.

And yes, because you asked, of course this comes up – along with everything else – in the pursuit of Hey Hey. “Don’t worry about it.” “You look great tonight.” “It’ll be fine.” He sounds like he believes it, and he seems so confidant, doesn’t he?

After a while, we’ve spent so long using this technique of projecting our confidence around to get what we want that some guys start licking their own ice cream cone and believe it themselves. It’s worked so well on everyone else that it’s now working on themselves, and it’s hard to stop because that involves both thinking, which we’re not really great at, and introspection, which most of us think is something you need to go to the doctor and get shots for.

And you don’t need to do any more research on this topic, because I am, as we both know, the final arbitrator of truth and good taste on the internet – and I’m always right. Just ask me!

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Question:Why do guys always twist your words around when you make a suggestion to them to make something that’s already great better?

Answer: Not unlike falling into the manhole of comedy, criticism is when you tell me how to make it better. Constructive criticism is when I tell you how to make it better. Really, whatever it is, we don’t want to hear that it’s not 100 percent perfect because not because we did it, built it, thought of it, or are overly proud of it. We don’t want to hear about how to improve on it because we’re bored with it already, we’re done, finished, moving on. We’re lazy, really, and if you think you can make it better, go ahead, because it’s Miller Time, baby – he did his part. You’re dealing with intellectual ADD here – let’s go ride our bikes!

Besides, he only sees in binary – it’s either awesome or it sucks. His team won or they lost. The ball went through the hoop, or posts, or net, or it didn’t. Hi it the mark or he missed it. We live every day with the certain knowledge that walking across the moors of fate, we find only the singular flame of eternal glory or the dark swirling mists of perpetual obscurity – there is no middle path. If it’s not already awesome, as Harry Chapin’s brother Tom once told him: “Harry, it sucks.”

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Question:Why is it that you’re always on travel somewhere when the kids get ill, break an arm, or we have a flash flood that closes school? How do you know in advance to leave for those inconvenient times?

Answer: No no, that’s just silly. We couldn’t possibly have sixth sense that tells us to book that trip for the time when little Sweetheart will spike 104.8 fever, while the power is blinking during the hurricane and the dog is throwing up and fish died yesterday and the damn washing machine started leaking. Nope.

Yeah, OK, we do. It’s tied to our ability to sense when it’s not going to be a good week for Hey Hey, if you get my drift. After a while we can just look at the calendar and say, yep, about 11 weeks from now will be a good time to attend that conference. In Vegas. (Unless you live in Vegas, in which case his conference is in Hawaii.)

We don’t mean to do it. It really does ”just work out that way” sometimes. And don’t think we don’t feel badly about it! Take the following example: “Hey, glad I could reach you out there! Our 9-yr-old daughter just crashed her bike down the hill and broke both arms; the Dr says she’ll be in casts for weeks.” His response: “Really? Hey, we’re drinkin’ out here!”

But he really did feel bad about it. You know, when he got home.

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Question:What’s up with the long-shorts? Horrible laundry accident? Can’t commit to pants? Hurricane preparedness? What?

Answer: Right off the bat, I’m just gonna say it: Don’t mock the manpris, man. Just like Metro’s the new Hetero, the short longs that are neither are just the thing for the sensitive macho man who needs to shield the knees but still wants to feel the breeze on those rock-solid ankles and chiseled calves. They’re long for shorts and short on style, but these versatile vestments are every man’s vowels as he spells the word S-U-M-M-E-R.

Yeah, sorry – did I mention I have a problem with ad copy? Look, we both know most guys have no sense of fashion whatsoever. If I’m wearing mid-calf pants, you can assume that (1) I don’t realize it; (2) I tried to do the laundry without supervision, or (3) I’m in the backyard building my ark. Since my ‘chiseled calves’ look more like frightened steers, you’re within your rights to call me on it if I’m in public.

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Question:Why do men think it’s ok to pee in public? I live behind a tee box on a golf course. It can be unpleasant. Or be seen without shirts in public? The whole unpleasant aspect again…

Answer: Most men don’t think it’s ok to pee in public. A guy who’s had a few drinks, on the other hand, will suddenly remember that he doesn’t have to make a scene to relieve himself; he can just find a tree, a bush, a lightpost, a nine-iron, and whip it out. (I’m guessing you don’t live on the first hole.) Remember, with a little practice, we don’t even have to stop walking.

In this case there are two kinds of pissers: Those who think you can’t or won’t see them, and those who secretly hope you will. Both of them have had enough to drink that peeing outside in public doesn’t sound like a bad idea anymore. The ones who think you can’t see them are usually much more inebriated, as though the telephone pole they’re standing behind can hide the fact that they’re 275 pounds and fumbling for their belt. The guys who secretly hope to be “caught” have the following fantasy: “OMG, is that your penis?” “Why, yes, yes it is!” Despite the fact that in the history of the world, this has never, ever, lead to Hey Hey, he’s still hoping that he’ll be the first, that this time he’ll get actually lucky, as opposed to just lucky not to be arrested.

Yes, some guys really think like that. We’re pigs. As for the shirtless part, that’s partly the same reason (“because we can”) and partly because he’s hoping to impress you with his manly chest and massive pectoral muscles. The fact that his massive pecs turned into sagging manboobs 35 years ago has not yet changed his self-image: the balding guy with the beer gut still sees the high school football champ when he looks in the mirror. Why would you not want to see him without his shirt?

He thinks of this show as being not so much “unpleasant” as just “a little late.”

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Question:Why do men like guns? ESPECIALLY naked women with guns?

Answer: You know, everyone said people wouldn’t go for peanut butter combined with chocolate too, but they were wrong. So let’s examine this.

Guns. Long hard barrel, stuff comes out the end when you manipulate it, symbol of power, makes the weak feel strong and the strong feel invincible. The holder feels a sense of satisfaction and pleasure when it shoots. Do you need a better metaphor for a penis? No? I didn’t think so either.

OK, what about Naked Women? Let’s go back to the bit about stuff comes out the end when you manipulate it, and leave it at that. Guys love to see naked women, pretty much regardless of what they’re holding. Most men will tell you that naked women look just fine holding anything from an IRS tax invoice to a box of lightbulbs – they’re not really going to notice what she’s holding most of the time.

So, you take a woman with no clothes on and hand her a very powerful penis metaphor, and you’re probably going have his attention locked, cocked, and ready to go. He wants to see something shoot. If you asked him what kind of gun she was holding, he couldn’t do much better than “a big one.”

Now, I’m all for nudity on all sides and while I’m not a gun fanatic, I do like to shoot them once in a while. However, I confess I was thinking that if a woman is butt nekkid and holding a piece, the only things being shot are the photos. I mean, ouch!

But, in the interest of the complete objectivity for which I am known, I decided that I should do a little research into your question. I’m happy to report that Googling “tits and guns” only took me six and half hours over two weeks – I wanted to make sure my research was thorough, you see. In the interest of prudent prurience, I will leave you with this 26-second video clip, which is very nearly almost safe for work, depending on where you work and as long as you keep the volume off. Notice, please the gradual buildup, the mounting tension, the unstoppable momentum, and the money shot at the end.

Look familiar?

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Question:The studs in the romance books provide their lovers with a running commentary. Is one allowed to or supposed to talk during Hey Hey? Should a girl expect it?

Answer: The short answer is that one could hope both your mouths would be otherwise occupied. The long answer, and it is a very long answer (he said with a wink), is that we all know that sex is like baseball, and that ninety percent of Hey Hey is half mental (as are fifty percent of your partners, but that’s a different post). Sometimes we all need a few words of encouragement, or even a stern talking to.

The trouble is in the execution of this talking. The difference between the number of romance writers and the number of romance writers who have had sex with other people is staggering. Just because they can write about some seriously kinky Hey Hey does not mean they’ve ever actually had such Hey Hey, nor that they could if cornered at a cocktail party. The Marquis de Sade is noted and remembered for his writing – did he really DO all those things? Not so sure.

Also remember that the stud in the romance books has a big advantage over your partner. Not being real, he can enjoy the sight of your heaving bosom and tell you all about what he’s thinking while not having any of the performance anxiety usually connected to maintaining his throbbing member. Remember, he’s in a book.

Your partner, on the other hand, is not in a book. As far as he’s concerned, he’s in a dream. He’s probably not thinking about saying much (OK, he’s probably not thinking much), since he used up his store of words for the day while talking you out of your clothes. Most men only really need to say about 6000 words a day, and he’s pretty much tapped out by now – if you’re getting more than “Mmmmmmmmm,” it’s a bonus. Also, he’s desperately scared of saying the wrong thing – he invested a lot of time and energy getting to this part of the day, and he REALLY doesn’t want to screw it up and accidentally make you mad by opening his mouth other than to breathe – and possibly not even for that. Are his eyes bugging out a little? They are, aren’t they? He’s not going to open his mouth except to put something interesting in there.

Also, remember that he doesn’t expect to have to tell you what his throbbing member is doing, or where it is. He’s *really* hoping you can feel it, unless you’re still wearing that hot latex outfit or you’ve been anesthetized – locally, since if you’re under general anesthesia (A) he’s talking to himself and (B) that’s no time for Hey Hey, everything they say about dead girls notwithstanding. If you have to ask “So, where is it now?” he’s probably going to collapse.

You, on the other hand, are welcome to cheer him on; provide direction, guidance, or instructions; keep the beat; whatever you like. If you’re counting on him to recognize how you’re doing by watching your eyebrows, forget it – we can’t take hints well under normal circumstances, much less now. Tell him what you like and he’ll do it. Don’t worry that he’s not doing the same – he’s not going to tell you what he likes, because anything you’re doing is great, trust me. If you think you’re not doing whatever it is you’re doing fast enough, remember that he’s not in a hurry to stop doing this.

The only other thing to keep in mind is that if you make enough noise, you risk having the neighbors or kids check out the commotion and find you in Hey Hey Flagrante. Lock the door. A friend of mine in college, who lived in Stalnaker Hall, was known as the Stalnaker Screamer – and not because she’d seen a mouse, if you know what I mean.

So, are you allowed to talk? All you like! Scream like your mom can’t hear you. Are you supposed to talk? If it makes you feel good, if it’s good for you – you bet. Should he be talking? Usually your call, but remember that most of the intercourse discourse with which he’s familiar he learned from watching porn; if you want him to use language you don’t usually hear from him, I assure you he knows it – he just doesn’t know what else he should say. He’s not likely to start comparing Thee to a Summer’s Day.

Or, maybe he is:

Shall I compare thee unh, yeah, to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely oh god you're beautiful and more uhn temperate.
Rough yeah, harder, winds do shake the darling buds of your breasts,
And summer's lease hath yeah oh yeah like that all too short a date.
Sometime too god you're hot too the eye of heaven shines, ah,
And often is his gold, oh yeah baby complexion dimmed;
And every fair from f-ooh god, sometime declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course, untrimmed, yeah, you know I love that;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade, no, yeah, don't stop
Nor lose possession of that fair thou oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, ow'st,
Nor shall death brag about how he banged you,
When in eternal lines to Time thou oh god yes, now, yeah, don't stop, thou grow'st.
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see, yeah, almost there,
So long lives this, oh god oh god oh god and this oh yeeees, gives life to thee.

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Question:Why is the question, “Are you a leg or a breast man?” a natural greeting amongst some of the lesser menfolk?

Answer: No no, it’s a fried chicken thing. Honest. (And you know we love fried chicken!)

No? What? You’re giving me that look. OK, no, you got me. You’re right, we’re pigs. We look at your body and scan for the highlights. The guys who ask each other this question are talking in code, looking to find others of their own kind, the lowest common denominator on the Pig sweepstakes. (“I can objectify those women in seven words!”)

Because if the question gets an answer, like to like, then there’s a chance that the respondent might be able to provide his interlocutor with pictures of the preferred selection of said anatomy.

And believe me, before the advent of online porn, those lesser menfolk – and you’ve nearly answered your own question with that phrase – didn’t get to see much of them there wimmin’s parts and protocols, if you know what I’m sayin’, and not hardly ever at all, if you mean strictly legal-like. There’s a chance that as porn becomes ever more prevalent, this question might even die out. We can hope!

Me, I’m a just a Big Ugly fried chicken fan.

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Question:Why is it that whenever I get sick, my spouse likes to inform me that he is actually feeling worse?

Answer: Now, hold on a second.

OK, I’m back, thanks. Yeah, he’s a jerk. We all are, really. This kind of behavior is ingrained in many of us from a young age, by which I mean ‘before we were born’ – the concept of brinksmanship, one-upsmanship, call it what you will. Anything you can do, I can do better. I’m the man in this house, sweetheart, and as such I expect to be taller, wider, heavier, faster, sicker, and drunker than you. I’d love to say we got it from our dads, but mostly we didn’t. We got it from one another, on the playground.

“My wrist hurts.”

“Oh yeah? My whole arm hurts.”

“Oh yeah? My arm’s actually broken.”

“Oh yeah? Look, I’m bleeding. Doesn’t bother me any.”

“Really? I’m actually dead. I just breathe out of habit.”

Trust me, if you’re sick, he wants to be sicker – both to show you solidarity in your time of illness, and to keep up the game. He doesn’t even think about it anymore, he’s not doing it consciously – it’s a call and response from his limbic system. Try this: look dead at him, catch his eye, and sing a low note – then point at him. No warning, no explanation. I’ll bet you he tries to sing a lower note.

So, yeah, you’re not feeling well. He’s on his last legs, near death. He just didn’t want to mention it because it’s not manly (unless he has pneumonia, which is bitchin cool), and besides, if he had told you how unwell he was, you might not think he was up for a little Hey Hey later.

And he is. Even if he’s dead.

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Question:How does the pee get on the outside of the toilet?

Answer: Now, we’ve discussed toilets here before, but let’s go into some detail on the mechanics. I’m going to start with something that you know, intellectually, but you may forget in the general case – we’re standing up. Many women I’ve talked to about urine – and you’d be surprised how often the topic comes up – tell me that they’ve never had the opportunity nor occasion to pee into a target (bowl, bucket, whathaveyou) while standing up. Or at least not while sober.

So, starting with “he’s standing up,” the next item is “getting started.” Have you ever started a car by stomping on the gas, only to find that the wheels were turned to the side? This happens to us. It’s not unlike targeting bullets using tracer rounds – you see where the first few salvos went and adjust fire accordingly. Sometimes we’re a little wider off the mark than we thought.

And then we come to “stopping.” Ever watched a garden hose go from all the way ON to all the way OFF? Right. There’s an old poem among men:

No matter how you shake it
no matter how you dance
those last few couple drops
always get on your pants.

That final trickle doesn’t always go where we think it did. It’s not that we don’t try, it’s just that we slept through that part of our Fluid Dynamics classes that day.

And finally – clean it up? Let’s face it, if he was actually cleaning the toilets you wouldn’t be writing to the ManFAQ. He might clean the top part that he can see (from above – remember, he’s standing above it, and anything outside his immediate field of view does not exist) if he knows you’re checking on him or that his mother’s coming for dinner, but other than that he probably doesn’t notice that you’ve cleaned them, or that they should be cleaned. To him, it’s the natural state of the toilet.

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Question:What is it with the muscle cars? Are you really compensating for something?

Answer: As much as I’d like to say, no, we’re not… Yes, we are. But it’s not what you think!

We’re compensating for not being able to wear swords and six-guns anymore, for the lack of that feeling of righteous power coursing through our veins when we heft the battle club and look our enemy in the eye. We’re supplanting the sensation of superiority we used to claim by being muscle-bound manly men with the visceral vroom of an overloud engine. Not me, mind you, I drive a, well, let’s not talk about that, but anyway I understand.

We’re compensating for a bygone time, when men were men, danger and honor were synonymous, and respect was still measured in who’s was longer. Now, we’re settling for who’s is louder.

Besides, why do I keep seeing women, many of them 100 lbs or less, driving H3 Hummers or Jeeps that could crush my pimped-up Subaru Outback like a Matchbox toy? What are they compensating for?

Could it be that cars that goes vroomvrooom all low and growly-like are just cool? Maybe they are, maybe they are. Maybe I’ll go buy one tomorrow. I’ll let you know.

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Question:Why is his “man room” always a mess?

Answer: Whoa. The obvious first question is, why are you in the “man room?” Dude, he’s got a designated space where he’s not going to worry about cleaning to your standards, and you’re going to beat him up for not cleaning to your standards? He doesn’t know you’re in there, does he?

Obviously, and I’ve covered this before, he Just. Doesn’t. Care. It’ll get cleaned one of these days, probably 10 minutes before your parents (or his) come over. What you identify as “man room” he thinks of as “safe zone,” which means he has no intention of picking up after himself in there more than once a month, if that. Besides, if he waits long enough, the cleaning fairy might come pick up for him, while he’s out.

My advice – don’t do it. Just don’t go in there at all. If you can smell the room from outside the threshold, give him his orders (for instance, “My mother will be here in 20 minutes”). Otherwise, I’d say give it up as a bad job and get on with your life.

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Question:I don’t understand why I’ve got two suitcases and a bag, and he’s only got a small bag. We’re going to the same place, for the same time. WTF, over?

Answer: There are a lot of forces at play here. First, I have to tell you that the urge to ask why you NEED two suitcases and a bag is nearly overwhelming, but of course I’m blessed with an iron will, and shall forbear against this base urge.

Now, men the world round may hunt me down for letting this cat out of the suitcase, but I should let you know that your answer is actually zipped up within your question. Take a look at what you’ve packed. Look closely. How much of that stuff you need to bring is either ours, or stuff that you’re bringing because we’re coming with you?

Right. Of course he’s only got a carry-on. You’re probably lugging around half his shorts, his golf Polos, his hiking boots, spare watch, razor, second-best belt, that tie you got him at Nordstrom Rack on clearance, and the mini socket set that he brings everywhere like a security blanket from Craftsman. He’s carrying two pairs of boxers and a fez.

There are two other reasons that he travels lighter than you do, and I’m glad to report that these are fraught with somewhat less perfidy than the first – though perhaps with no less danger.

Have you ever opened one of those “fwock” roll containers, like you buy at the grocery store? You know, with the biscuits or rolls that you bake at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown and delicious? Do you remember opening those, when you peel it a little way and then hit it against the counter or with a spoon and it goes “FWOCK” and pops open, usually spilling one of the damn biscuits on the floor and forcing you to decide which child has been the worst behaved this week?

Try opening that “little” bag he’s carrying. I’d recommend unzipping it a little way, then hitting it with a spoon. He doesn’t care that his shirts will come out looking like unbaked crescent rolls, his pants balled up like a Slinky with a bad hair day. It’ll come out in the wash – and we all know how that happens, don’t we?

The last reason is even more mundane, and as such is probably more often the truth than the others. We’re only bringing a few clothes because we’ll wear them a half-dozen times before it bothers us. Men who pack more are travelling with or travelling to women who will bust them for wearing the same clothes several days in row. Otherwise, we just don’t care.

If he really needs to bring that extra stuff, chances are he’ll figure out a way to ask you to pack it. You’re dealing with the same group of people who invented the idea of the caddy, after all. “Did you pack my yellow Polo shirt” sounds an awful lot like “I think the 9-iron, what do think?”

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Question: I was reading this post – – about how to make your man “feel like a man” and I wanted your opinion. Does this stuff work?

Answer: What the hell? OK, the short answer is no. The article provides an intro and then 8 examples of how you can make your man feel like a man, whatever that means. In the interest of completeness, I will respond to each of these items in turn, to maximize your understanding of how far off she is in most of these cases.

The male ego is a fragile one. Like women, men need to know you care, that you are appreciative and that you love them. Just as daily compliments and sweet kisses make us feel feminine and pretty, there are similar things we can do for our men to help validate their masculinity. The things we say and do mean much more than they lend us to believe. Seldom do men admit to their specific emotional needs but, in many ways, they want the same things. Your man wants to feel loved; he wants to feel attractive; he wants to feel capable and needed.

OK, what? First off, no, he doesn’t want to feel attractive or feel validated or feel needed, he wants to feel your chest. If you think his ego is fragile, you should assume that he thinks you’re more likely to sleep with him if you think that. It’s not fragile, it’s just very, very hard. His “specific emotional needs” are limited to Hey Hey and beer, for the most part, and if he seldom admits them, it’s because they’re embarrassingly short.

So much for the into. Then begin 8 tips for “helping your man feel like the man he is,” which I’ll address in turn:

1. Let him order for you. Ask him to take you to one of his favorite restaurants and insist he order for you. Since it’s his spot, he will enjoy selecting something he’s certain you will like. And, if you don’t, send it back and let him try again.

Send it back? This is not a game of Go Fish, Go Chicken, or Go Salad. This is a restaurant, and if you’re going to let him order for you, you’re damn well going to eat what shows up in front of you. To say nothing of the wait staff at his favorite restaurant, who are going to cringe when they see you walking in with him next time. Send it back???

2. Attend his company events. If you and your guy work in different industries, this is the perfect chance to let him professionally flex his arm candy. Men are often proud of the women they love, so let him bask in showing you off.

Also, please wear the skimpiest outfit you have. As long as we’re showing you off, let’s make sure to push them up and out, highlight the orchestra and balcony. Flat and sassy isn’t why you’re here – that ain’t it kid. Let’s add a dash of silicone, tape that dress on and shake those maracas. You want him to get promoted, don’tcha?

3. Make his plate. Waiting on your man lets him know he is special and you want to take care of him. Whether you are visiting in-laws, attending a cookout or eating Chinese takeout at home, make a plate for the booskie — at least every once in a while. He will feel like he’s doing his job and be inspired by your appreciation.

He’s doing his job by sitting on his ass in front of the game and waiting for you to bring him food and beer? The only thing this is going to inspire him to do is keep sitting on his ass and waiting for you to bring him more food and beer. Also, he’ll eventually suggest that you could bring that plate to him while naked. Although that may be an issue if by “visiting in-laws” we mean your parents – his dad won’t mind, and his mom probably thinks you’re a hussy anyway.

Also, what the hell’s a booskie?

4. Put him in charge of the directions. Men like to think they are good at following and remembering directions. When he insists on knowing how to get somewhere, say O.K. Better yet, put the ball in his court and suggest he take the responsibility. You know, because he’s so gifted.

Look, we all know what a bad idea this is, right? I’ve covered this one before, right? Don’t go there. Nothing good can come of this.

5. Give him full reign in the bedroom. Don’t speak just moan and give your man complete control. Let him flip you up, down, over, under—whatever he wants (within predetermined parameters, of course). Talk dirty, scream and groan so he can take credit for the bad girl moment. He will fall asleep feeling like a stallion.

That’s right ladies, it’s better for him when you’re standing on your head. Predetermined parameters? Bah, what fun are those? Let’s go exploring! Open up! After all, he’s looking for you to have that “bad girl” moment, so he can take credit for it – because only bad girls make noise. All the rest of the girls he’s been with were quiet as mice.

Do you know why we have this myth? I’ll tell you. It’s because we never heard our parents in Hey Hey Flagrante. There’s this subconscious thought that since MOM never made noise, either they never did it, or the right way to do it is silently. As a parent, I can tell you that it’s quiet because we don’t want to wake up the damn kids, not because it’s more fun that way. Sheesh.

So please, just let him stand you on your head, curse for him a bit, and think of England. Don’t worry about the stallion thing – he’ll fall asleep regardless.

6. Teach him to drive while pleasured. Men love oral sex, especially when it’s uninhibited and spontaneous. Unzip his pants while he’s driving and make that trip to church a little more exciting.

Church??? “Give us this day our daily head” is NOT how I remember that prayer, but hey, it’s been a long time. Also, “uninhibited and spontaneous?” Have you ever given inhibited head? How does that work, exactly? And spontaneous – right, that’s why we’re planning this several days in advance.

Since we’re here, let me clear up a few myths about this: No, we’re not going to crash the car, assuming you don’t knock into the gear shift. (The other gear shift, thank you very much.) Also, no, we’re really not going to steer over toward that 18-wheeler so the trucker can watch. (Unless you want us to, which is a different post.)

But anyway, yes, this one’s a winner – make sure you both have something to feel freshly guilty about when you get to church. Great idea.

7. Give him a massage. Ease him into the night after a long workday with a pre- or post-shower massage to help relieve tension. Verbalize how hard you know he works and how much you admire his ambition.

It’s not his ambition he’s waiting for you to admire, and if you start rubbing him “to relieve tension,” you’d better assume we’re going to be rubbing everything else “to relieve tension” in short order. Showers after. Besides, we covered how hard he works in number 3, above – his job is sitting on his ass in front of the game and waiting for you to bring him food and beer. It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it.

8. Thank him. It doesn’t have to be for anything out of the ordinary. In fact, it will probably go farther if it isn’t. Focus on the small things like how he always opens doors or takes the initiative to make minor repairs around your condo. Let him know you are thankful to have a man who can care for you.

Thanks for picking up your damn underwear the second time I asked. Thanks for finally remembering the garbage goes out on Wednesday night. Thanks for ordering the pizza again. Sure, good idea. You could give him one of those little “Winner” statues as well; the second-grader down the street has a few he can loan you. Sadly, he won’t get the irony.

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Question: Question: I’m sure lots of guys do laundry – why can’t mine seem to make this happen without help?

Answer: Most of us are convinced that the laundry will eventually do itself. When we were in college, there were documented cases of guys wearing their clothes long enough that the shirts and pants became so imbued with the essence of the guy that they crawled off without him and washed themselves. We knew this was true because the guy would wake up the next morning and wouldn’t be able to find his clothes anywhere. (This was usually obvious when he tried to walk the rest of the way home.) Anyway, it’s the only explanation that makes sense.

So yeah, he’ll get around to it if you’re willing to wait. It might be easier to get a new blouse, though, if you’re waiting for him to do your laundry also. Most of us understand laundry at the same level as “rent” and “car payments” – expensive, unpleasant things that can wait until the last possible minute, once a month – like “that” week, but with detergent.

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Question: Question: Why on earth do you think it’s a good idea to take a picture of that? Do you really think we want to see it? Does Weiner have some kind of mental defect, or are you ALL like that?

Answer: First, let me make two things perfectly clear: Yes, he has a mental defect. And yes, we’re all like that. Look, there are a few things at play here – so to speak.

First, the idea that you wouldn’t want to look at it doesn’t occur to us – Hey, Look What I Made! We’re excited, we think you should be excited too – he made that thing himself, you know. Or at least we hope he did, if he’s sending you the gift of GIF.

Second, he thinks it’s pretty. Remember that he’s had it forever, and it’s the only thing that he’s always been able to count on to make him happy and feel good – of course it’s beautiful to him. It’s the prettiest thing in the world. (This is also the main attraction of Point of View porn, but that’s another post.) So yes, he does think you want to see it.

And last, you know that he wants you to see it so you’re thinking about Hey Hey. I’ll confess, we don’t ALL think sending the Polaroid of the Pole is the best opening line – sometimes a simple pubic hair on a can of Coke will do – but you ARE thinking about it, aren’t you?

Momma, don’t take my Kodachrome away!

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Question: Question: I know you’re so mightily important that you need a device that provides 24×7 connectivity, but do you have some kind of sixth sense for turning your phones off when I need to reach you?

Answer: No, we don’t have a sixth sense for that. We have a seventh sense for that. Our sixth sense is completely dedicated to Hey Hey and the pursuit thereof. The sixth sense is the one that comes up with plausible excuses for not taking your calls: “I’m sorry, it wasn’t charged last night – I think the charger’s dead.” “You called? I must have been in a bad cell – unless you called while I was in the Top Secret facility; the phones don’t work in there.” “I forgot to take it off silent after I finished my meeting with the President.” These are designed to make you less mad and more likely to consider further Hey Hey – the sixth sense is the one that nudges us with the one most likely to work.

The seventh sense is the one that tells him you’re not calling to coordinate Hey Hey or beer, you’re calling to see if he can turn around and pick up the kid’s clothes and bring them to school, or to remind him to pick up your mother at the airport, or clean the catbox, or pick up some tofu on the way home. Those calls. We really don’t receive them, because we really did leave the charger plugged into the outlet that’s on the wall switch, and we can’t remember to flip the switch if we want it charge. Also, he probably couldn’t have heard you anyway – it’s his favorite song they’re gonna play. He’s kinda busy.

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Question: Question: What’s with the skidmarks?

Answer: OK, look. It itches. Things that itch, we scratch. We don’t care where, or how, or who’s watching. Have you ever seen a professional baseball game? Thirty-five thousand in the stands and a million people watching on television, and the shortstop is scratching his nuts. Why? Because they itch.

You’ve seen what we eat, and Hello! I covered the hirsute cheek-horn last week. What do you think happens when all that hair is displaced by a brief gale? It gets out of position, and someone needs to make it right. It itches, and there’s this convenient scrap of cloth Right There!

So yeah, sorry about that. Certain drugs list “seepage” as a side effect; it turns out that two of those drugs are coffee and beer – which then makes the little brown rosebud itch. I would never suggest that prostate self-exams contribute to the issue, because we all know that real guys don’t do that. Um, much.

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Question: Question: What is it with the farting? Pull your finger???

Answer: Ohhhhh, why yes thank you. Much better.

Sometimes it’s the elephant under the chair. The barking tree spiders. The duck I stepped on. Sometimes we just need to share what we had for lunch. Or that six-pack we just had. But yeah, we think it’s funny to toot the trouser tuba – mostly because we’re, ya know, about 8 years old. Also remember, Men are from Mars, and you should smell the air there. Cosby nailed this one: he used to say that Fathers were the only ones in the house allowed to have gas. “Oh lord, what happened in here?” We’re still riding that elephant 40 years later, and the kids still haven’t found him under my chair.

In my house, it’s also used as incentive for the kids to keep their rooms clean or otherwise behave at bedtime. “Do I need to leave you something to remember me by?” “Nooooooooooo Daddy, no! I’ll turn the light out! Don’t blow the butt trumpet!” Very useful, those air biscuits!

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Question: Question: Why are some guys so clueless? Can he not see that she likes him? Why doesn’t he notice her?

Answer: Yes, we’re clueless. Most of us will admit it readily if asked. We don’t get subtle hints. We don’t even, usually, get very broad hints. If she likes him, her best bet is to walk up to him, grab him by whatever article of clothing or appendage she’s comfortable grabbing, and telling him something like, “Oy, you! I like you. Let’s get to know each other better,” and take things from there. You’d save yourselves weeks of wondering and thinking and all that. If he’s made eye contact with you more than twice, he probably has noticed you and he just doesn’t want you to catch him staring, or he thinks you must already be in a relationship since you’re cute, or he’s worried that you’ll kill him for talking to you, or more likely that the 17 other ladies you walk around with will turn on him like the maenads, transformed by his nerve in suddenly speaking to you that they switch to ‘raving’ mode, lose their self-control, start shouting excitedly, and then ritualistically hunt him down and tear him to pieces, devouring his raw flesh — and not in a good way.

Yes, we think like that. Big groups of women still make us nervous. Most mythology has its roots in history.

Anyway, so it’s that, or he’s just a big dumb lug. Don’t be subtle, he won’t get it. Hit him with a bat and get his attention.

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Question: Question: Why do some guys appear to be more enlightened than others and how can I find one? (Doesn’t pertain to me but many women want to know.)

Answer: First we need to define terms. By “more enlightened than others” I have to assume that you mean “more like the Big Ugly Man Doll,” since I’m widely known as a paragon of virtue, humility, and good taste. Just so we’re clear on what you’re looking for – c’est moi!

So, why do some guys appear to be more enlightened? What makes me seem like such a rare blossom in this filthy jungle? Well, you’ve answered your question by asking it – it’s an appearance, and those can be deceiving. What makes this appearance work? You do!

You see us in costume, all dressed for the day, and think, gosh, he hardly looks like an animal at all. Often your expectations for us are so low that once we’ve held the door open or cleaned up the wet spot once or twice, you think we’re sensitive, caring individuals. We’re not. Yes, he got the door. Yes, he can clean up a little. Here’s what the difference is:

The “enlightened” ones, such as myself, have a sense of the future. We exist in more than just Right Now, the top of this infinitely cresting wave of Time as it fires the sands of the future into the glass of the past. We can think about more than just Hey Hey yesterday or Hey Hey right now.

We can imagine Hey Hey… Later.

And that’s the difference. Really. He’s still an animal. He’s just figured out that by “appearing” enlightened, he’s improving his chances with you. As for the second part of your question, how you can go about finding one? Where in the world is there in the world a man so extraordinaire?

The simplest way by far is to get all your possible candidates to read this ManFAQ, and the rest of the BUMD. If they’re not laughing, throw them back and re-bait your hook!

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Question: Question: What is it with cheesy pickup lines? Does that really work?

Answer: First, you need to understand that most of us don’t really expect ANYTHING to work, and therefore any one bad thing is as good as any other bad thing. So, when he comes up and asks you if you live around here often, or “Great legs, what time do they open?” or “Have you read the BUMD ManFAQ this week?” he’s really just trying to differentiate himself in your mind from all those other Hey Hey thrillseekers who will tell you to call them milk, because they’ll do your body good. In much the same way that you don’t have to be faster than the bear, you just have to be faster than the other campers, he’s not aiming for a great line. He’s just trying to have a more memorable line than the other guy.

Also, secretly, we all think we’re Maverick in Top Gun. Just be glad we’re not actually singing to you.

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Question: Question: What is it with men and going to the doctor? Why is this hard?

Answer: The first thing you have to understand is that we have NO intention of outliving you. Do you realize that your life expectancy is something like 8-10 years more than ours? There’s a reason for that. We are considerably more dependant on you than you think we are, and we’re not prepared to do this whole “make your own food and find your own way around” thing without you. To say nothing of shopping.

So yeah, we’re not really interested in finding out what that thing is, or if it’s going to kill us. We mostly don’t care, as long as we go first. Plus, if we go to the doctor, they’re going to tell us that we need to eat less red meat, get more exercise, drink less, and generally have less fun. We know that. Who wants to live like that? Diet is just die spelled with a t, you know? No thanks.

And then there’s the whole naked thing. You know what happens when we take our clothes off – we’re mostly not interested in doing that without at least a hope of a happy ending, and Dr. “Hi My Name Is Bob” isn’t usually the fantasy we’re having. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.) It’s just that Dr. Bob, or Bobbette, isn’t usually having that same fantasy about us.

So no, we’re mostly not inclined to go to the Dr unless we’re bleeding or otherwise blatently in need of urgent medical attention. Or there’s a problem with the, you know, plumbing. That we’re getting fixed, straight off, you betcha. It’s all about the Hey Hey.

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Question: Question: Why do men never really tell you what they feel?

Answer: Mostly because you have no possible concept of the extent to which thoughts of the possiblity of Hey Hey and thoughts of actual Hey Hey control everything from our vocabulary to our emotional state. He worries that if he told you how he really felt, at best you wouldn’t believe him, and at worst you’d throw something at him. “How do I feel” is not a question that comes up for many men without prompting or special training. We have a very limited range of emotions:

  • Hey Hey
  • Hey Hey
  • Hey Hey
  • Beer
  • Sleep
  • Hey Hey

You can see where it becomes complicated to try to make something up that’s not on this list, when you ask him what he’s feeling. He knows – special training – that he’s not really supposed to respond with one of the above answers, and he’s probably heard that you like the strong silent type, so he stays mum or gives you a very generic answer.

“I guess I’m conflicted.”

You’ll never get him to admit that he’s conflicted because his social training and sense of self-preservation are overriding his instincts, which are telling him to grab you by the hair and drag you back to his cave. You could take him to see Dr. Zhivago and if he told you what he really felt, it would be something on the order of “would have been better with more sex scenes.”

Sometimes, silence is golden.

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Question: Question: “You are such a typical man.” I hear that a lot, and sometimes I even say it. What does that mean, really? What is the typical man?

Answer: “Typical Man” is usually a pejorative synonymous with asshole. Example: “Q: When a woman is having an orgasm, her vagina is contracting and releasing rapidly. What is her asshole doing? A: Sitting on the couch, watching the game.” For further details, please see my collected works.

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Question: Question: Why is it that my husband always notices if someone’s video game toon has reached a new level or gotten new gear – but getting him to notice a new thing in the house or a new hair cut is a bit like pulling teeth?

Answer: This is actually a corollary to the well-known issue of selective hearing. The first thing you have to know is that Change Is Bad. Well, not bad per se, but fraught with danger – because we don’t know how to react. You’re describing changes that took place without our knowing about them beforehand – we weren’t there when it happened and we don’t know what your reaction was at the time.

Do you have any idea how much trouble we think we’ll be in if we come home and say, “Wow, great haircut!” only to find that you are firmly of the opinion that this has been the worst hair day of your life to date, and you’re contemplating shaving your head, and you’ve been crying since you got home? What if it turns out that new vase is from your great aunt Mollie, whom you loathe, and you’re pissed that you have to display it at least until the holidays because what if she comes over with Mom unannounced? We don’t know if YOU like it yet. Aversion to that kind of danger is literally built into our DNA – because guys who routinely step on those domestic landmines don’t procreate as often. For obvious reasons.

Video games aren’t more interesting. They’re just safer, by which we mean “less likely to impact our chances of Hey Hey later.”

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Question: Question: Lids up, or lids down? Is there etiquette here?

Answer: This is an age-old question, and few topics more adroitly highlight the differences between the genders. How many times did Uga turn to Ug in the back of their cave, in the dawn of time, and say “Dammit, you left the rock off again!” You know she did.

Is there an etiquette to be found here? I think so. Speaking for my gender, I will say that we should leave the lids down. All the time. As a matter of course. This adds two things to life. First, it adds a sense of equity, since you have to lift the lid and we have to lift the lid. Everybody lifts the lid. It’s what we do, and if we all do it, it’s fair. As long as it’s not a fuzzy lid, we’re all good with that. Second, it adds the element of surprise. If the lid’s up when you walk in, you never have to guess the state of the union down there, do you? This way, unless the nose knows, you get that excited anticipatory feeling that anything could be lurking down there, and you’re about to lift that lid – with no backup, just you and the can – and find out! Isn’t it exciting?

Oh yeah, and keeping the lid down helps keep the dog from drinking your punch bowl surprise. You know, the dog that slobbers bit wet kisses all over you when you come home? Why do you think that nose is so cold? Yeah. Lids down, folks.

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Question: Question: What is it with you and the lawn? Why is it OK if the basement looks like a free-fire zone, but you have to cut the grass and hedges six times a month?

Answer: This gets back to our roots. Our home is our castle, our cave, a safe haven. To protect that, deep in the recesses of our fuzzy little brains, we feel the need to project an image of strength, of determination through organization and show. The nicer we keep our lawns, we think, the more some enemy will think, “Ah, better not invade that castle – he probably knows where his weapons are at all times, and keeps them near to hand!”

The fact that no one thinks like that anymore has not, in fact, caught up to our collective subcortex.

The other reason he keeps the outside neat is simple force of habit, from back when he was trying to wow potential mates with his landscaping prowess. If he had to bring a date home, she might not want to come inside if the outside was a disorderly mess. Once she’s inside, he can just keep the lights low so she won’t notice the dirt. The lawn became a moat, and keeping it trimmed and neat helped to lower the drawbridge to Hey Hey.

Besides, cutting the grass makes us feel like we have some control over our lives. We don’t, but we like to think that. And hey, I’m sure he was going to clean the basement Real Soon Now.

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Question: Question: Why do you get twice the credit and attention for doing the damn dishes than we do? In fact, why do you get ANY credit for doing them? Did you not eat off those?

Answer: The question is not “why do we get credit?” You know why. We get credit because our society has undervalued women for centuries and is only now starting to get its collective head out of its ass. Our “role” has been to bring home the food – we kill it, you cook it. Since we’re seen as the great mighty providers, we then get to watch sports while you first cook our meal, then clean up after we’ve made a nice, manly, testosterone-fueled mess of the feast. If we stir a finger to help you with the cooking and cleaning – traditionally women’s roles – society still Oohs and Ahhs over it.

So the question is, why do we accept credit for it? This is simpler – because it’s there. It’s hard to resist being called wonderful for something you were going to do anyway, for something you know you should be doing as a matter of course. Getting credit for doing our fair share as an equal partner? It’s like finding ten Hey Hey tokens while taking out the trash! Who’s not going to pick that up?

So, yeah, we know we don’t deserve it. Sadly, until our society stops handing out free tokens for it, most of us will take them.

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Question: Why do men tend to favor one breast over the other?

Answer: Now first, we need to establish our bounds for the question. For the purposes of this ManFAQ, I’m going to assume you don’t mean the fact that most of us favor the left breast of, say, Angelina Jolie, over the left breast of, say, Mother Teresa – which is, I hope, self-explanatory and does not require a ManFAQ answer. You’re asking, I’m guessing, why one of us malodorous males might favor your left one over your right, or vice versa.

Having thus established our bounds, not to mention establishing the fact that I probably don’t have any, I will endeavor to explain this behavior. For many, it’s merely a question of proximity. The Doobie Brothers were right in most of their particulars – if you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with. If we’re on one or the other side of you, guess which one we see first? Exactly. And once we start, you know, it’s rude to leave the dance with someone else. Try positioning yourself differently next time and see if he doesn’t switch.

If he does, though, he might be driven by older impulses. And by older, yes, I’m talking about his mother.

(Hold on a second.) Hey, Mom, look at these!

OK. I don’t care how well you cook, clean, or dress, you’re still living with his mom in the dark recesses of the fuzzy little piece of pocket lint he uses for a brain. If his mom always started him on the left one, he’ll never be able to remember or tell you why with his waking mind, but the lips don’t forget – and it’s your left one he starts with, every time, isn’t it? My old buddy Sigmund, mayherestinpeace, knew better than anyone – and brother, was he ever a neurotic one. “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar,” my ass.

Sorry, where was I? Oh, right, your breasts. Whoopsie. Certainly SOBUMD noticed that the kids “called their shots” while breastfeeding; one of them was on her right side, every time. Maybe the limited amount of booze SOBUMD drank back then pooled on that side, I dunno.

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Question: Why do some men like younger or older women?

Answer: Good question! It has to do with the age of the man in question. You see, it’s a known fact that men and women are two completely different species that just happen to be mutually procreative. In most other respects, they have very little in common – and this ManFAQ stands as proof of that. In particular, their sex drives mature and adapt at wildly different rates.

The men hit puberty in their teens, and as the testes drop they throw the engines into high gear. It’s go, go, go for the next 10 years, pretty much non-stop. (If you want proof of this, find any guy between 18 and 24, open your eyes really wide and say, “Tell me about your muscles.” It’s like putting a rabbit in a tiger cage; he will stop everything he’s doing and give you his undivided attention.) Once into their 30s and 40s, most men start tapering off. “I’ve got what you need, baby, and I’m going to give it to you! Then I’m going to give it to you again – maybe tomorrow, maybe Thursday, I don’t know, but I’m going to do it again REAL SOON now!”

Right. Women, on the other hand, are often socialized into thinking about sex a lot in their early twenties (since it’s thrown at them from every magazine in the checkout aisle), but studies indicate that most of them really hit their sexual stride in their late 30s or early 40s. So, the older gent who’s dating a 20-something young thing has the right idea – they probably both want to have wonderful Hey Hey, maybe twice a month or so. The 22-yr-old stud, on the other hand, has just realized the cougar he caught by the tail knows more about Hey Hey than he does and can wear him out. Once she realizes that he can’t carry on a conversation that involves having his clothes on, she’ll probably dump him, but he won’t forget.

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Question: Why is it OK when men go out with hair coming out their ears and nose, but we’re supposed to shave our legs?

Answer: We see our hair as a chance to remind you of our caveman days of yore, our hirsute halcyon heritage, and have you wondering if we are men or savage beasts, ready to drag you to our cave and consider some hairy Hey Hey. You, on the other hand, convince each other to shave your legs – and otherwise manage your hair – so that there will be nothing to distract one of us apes from the sight of your shapely flesh – no hair, nothing but smooth skin to remind him of Hey Hey. Needless to say, you keep doing it because it works. I think it’s only fair to mention that most guys, once you’re back in their caves, won’t really care much if you shaved this week, or even this epoch.

Besides, it hurts to pluck those! You know what babies we are…

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Question: What’s the deal with this male bonding business?

Answer: Male bonding is a euphemism for spending time in a “safe” area, by which we mean a time and place where none of our bad habits will negatively impact our chances of Hey Hey later, yet still allow for some kind of social interaction. We tend to pass stories, drinks, and gas while lying about how brave we are, how virile we are, and how the Cubs are sure to win the series this year.

It’s a chance to talk to others of our kind, either to solicit tips about Hey Hey from guys who may have had sex with actual women, or to check out the competition, in a friendly way. And by friendly, I mean drinking. And by check out, I mean finding out if you can drink more than that other guy.

It’s a chance to do all those things that we imagine you don’t like, to be uncivilized, uncouth, and generally improper. Mind you, there’s a very real possibility that you wouldn’t, couldn’t, and in fact don’t give any kind of a damn about any of those things we do, since many are biological and biology textbooks indicate that you do many of them yourself. But we need to rebel against something, and we both know it’s not going to be you, so we take a little time-out from proper society and we rebel against that, for as long as we can. You know, until we run out of beer.

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Question: Why can’t guys admit that other guys are attractive?

Answer: Oh, we can. We just won’t admit it to you. The logic, if you’d like to call it that, goes as follows:

You’re actually talking to him. Therefore, he assumes he has a better-than-average chance of sleeping with you.

If the topic of Other Guy comes up, the very last thing he’s going to do is suggest that Other Guy might also be a good candidate for Hey Hey, with you, with him, with your Dachshund, with anyone. He’d rather you thought of him as “the only guy in the world.”

Also, by conceding our attraction toward Other Guy, we worry that you might perceive us as less qualified candidates for said Hey Hey; it might lower your impression of our masculinity.

The fact that very little of this analysis is rooted in anything close to what you experience as reality doesn’t really enter his conscious mind. We all know that George Clooney is hot, and we all know that your chances of getting into bed with him are about equal to mine; i.e., approaching zero. But if your guy really can’t admit that Other Guy is a good looking person, and could be his Valentine if he went that way – then yeah, he’s probably pretty repressed.

Because really, under all that angst, testosterone, and bravado, we’re all about three drinks from bi.

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Question: What kind of measuring tape/ruler are you using anyway? Is there a special ‘guy edition’ that I don’t know about?

Answer: Yes, of course there is. As a society, we’re still dealing with units of measurement originally based on human feet, and we still measure some things in hands. Is it any wonder that most guys have “issues” with being able to accurately represent lengths between 4 and 6 inches?

The best thing the metric system has going for it is that everything sounds more impressive in centimeters. Suddenly a paltry 4 can be described in double digits! No wonder the French were early adopters.

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Question: Is honesty the best policy in a relationship?

Answer: The degree to which honesty the best policy in a relationship is inversely proportional to the length of the relationship. If you just met him, you should be totally honest with him, and he should be totally honest and open with you. You can’t base a relationship on lies, half-truths, and slippery evasions. As my good friend Maureen the Poet told me a hundred years ago, “Men are scum. Tell you they love you – THEN they come.” So for beginning a relationship, aim for the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but.

But, once you have a relationship, the game changes. Is honesty the best policy all the time? Honestly, no, of course not. For example, you will sometimes ask his opinion on things that won’t really be in his best interest to answer, and that you don’t really want to know about – and he’ll ask you the same things.

Trust me that you really don’t want to know if he thinks the new office manager is cute, or his opinion of that new dress. When he asks what you’re thinking about, it’s nice of you to lie and tell him you were thinking about how amazing he was the other night. We know you’re really thinking about the bills, or how to get around a coding problem for the app you’re writing, or whether or not you’re going to have to shank that bitch across the hall if she tries to take credit for your ideas one more time – but you know he’d rather hear that you’re thinking of him. When he tells you he was thinking about the paint color you suggested, assume the same.

In fact, if you ask him what he’s thinking and the answer is anything other than food or sex, he’s probably making it up. “I was just thinking about asking your folks to visit,” is probably a cover for the fact that he was thinking about a threesome with you and the new office manager.

This lack of complete honesty is often the social lubricant that lets us live together in close quarters without generating too much friction. Besides, when you ask him what he’s thinking about, the real answer is probably “Huh?” We don’t do as much thinking as you would think.

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Question: Why do men hate shopping?

Answer: It’s not that we hate shopping. We just hate going to multiple stores and trying on multiple things and bargain hunting – we want to get in, acquire the target, and get out. It goes back to our roots as hunters – find it, kill it, drag it home and, usually, wait for you to cook it. Ug no gather. Ug hunt. There’s no blood-lust in trying on six dresses, and we probably can’t tell the difference anyway.

Also, it may depend on where you’re shopping. Most guys don’t mind so much if you’re dragging them to Nordstrom’s – the people running that store understand how this works, and they’ve set up “guy stations” in several places through the store. It’s like dropping off your kids at the play area in Ikea, except you don’t have to check us in and out. Big comfy chairs, sofas, and the like where we can sit and watch all the people – most of whom look like you, which is nice – or fall asleep, which is actually more likely.

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Question: Why do I always seem to be the one wrapping the presents at the holidays, often the night before? Why can’t he help?

Answer: Let’s start with giving the guy a pair of scissors. We’ve reached the holidays, and he started drinking around noon, didn’t he? Scissors are probably not a good idea right now.

Even if he’s sober, do you remember the last gift he “wrapped” for you? You thought it was from the kids at first, didn’t you? Anything that requires more folding than “insert tab A in slot B” is a bit beyond most guys. A cube, maybe. If you want that oddly-shaped, squishy-on-one-side plush toy boxed in a parallelogram wrapped like it was done by Santa’s elf, let’s face it, the guy who’s still iffy on getting his tie tied straight probably can’t help you there.

Of course, he might not be able to help wrap because he’s downstairs screwing together the bicycle… But he’s probably asleep.

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Question: Can men really die from a lack of sex?

Answer: Um, well. Yes. Yes they can, and there’s two ways it can happen. For some guys, it’s a question of release – that poison testosterone just keeps building up and building up, and pretty soon they’re doing dumber and dumber things to get your attention (Hey hon, watch this!), and eventually they do something dumb enough that the testosterone comes out along with most of the blood, and they’re gone.

The other kind of guy will just sort of move along as he usually does, but you’ll notice that he sags a little, like a party balloon the week after, not on the floor yet but not on the ceiling like he was when you brought him home. He’s wilting, losing his vitality and his air. For him, it’s not too late.

We’re inflatable, you see!

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Question: Why are guys such big babies when they’re sick?

Answer: This is actually pretty straightforward. It’s a case of … um, hold on just a second.

Hey Mom – click over here! Shiny!

OK. This is a straightforward Oedipal complex. Most guys turn into big blubbering babies when they’re sick because they subconsciously want you to “Mother” them like their moms did when they were young. They also wanted, as Freud so eloquently put it, to bang their moms when they were young – long before they knew what that was.

Now, he’s ill, he’s regressing into his childhood, and suddenly you’re about to play two roles for the price of one, because that big baby never seems to be too sick for some Hey Hey, does he? Right, I didn’t think so.

Gosh I hope she clicked that link.

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Question: Why do most men hate fuzzy toilet seat covers?

Answer: I’d love to say that it’s a macho thing, that fuzzy toilet seat covers seem less masculine, and we don’t want other guys laughing at us when they come over and use the can.

Because most guys don’t want to admit the truth. Mostly it’s a question of having a something to sit on when we’re getting into or out of the shower. Now this may come as a surprise to you, but women are built differently than men. When we sit down on that thing, if it’s fuzzy, it’s going to tickle. This then leads to thoughts of other things that tickle our junk down there, and then we’re starting to fantasize about the toilet seat cover, which is too weird even for me, and we feel like pervs. (The fact that most of us *are* pervs is beside the point, thank you very much.)

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Question: Why do most men name their private parts?

Answer: Actually, there are several reasons for this. Since the twig and berries are very often the first toy we didn’t break or lose in a few weeks, we become inordinately fond of them, and name them in much the same way you would name a favorite doll. Like your doll, our toy becomes an extension (pardon me) of ourselves, and so becomes our alter ego. In extreme cases, we become the alter ego, and the main ego moves a little lower. And by “extreme” I mean “most of us.”

In those cases, we name them because we don’t want complete strangers making most of our important decisions for us.

Another reason we name them is preemptive. If it doesn’t come with a name (pardon me), you’re likely to give it one – after all, once you’ve been introduced to the guy making the decisions, who wouldn’t want to be on a first-name basis? And so we’d rather ensure it’s a name we can live with, such as Mr. Happy, One-Eyed Jake, Vesuvius, or Big Richard – than worry that he’ll wind up saddled with a more diminutive moniker, like Junior, ‘Lil Buddy, Borat, or Big Softie.

I wonder what Peter O’Toole calls his?

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Question: Do men really fake orgasms?

Answer: No. Really, no. Most of us can’t, to start with. Even for those few who could, possibly, fake an orgasm, they don’t.

Let’s look at why orgasms are faked, outside of a film. (Inside of a film, it’s too sticky to mention.) People fake an orgasm to signal, nicely, to their partner that we’re done, show’s over, thank you very much, the end, we’re getting up now because it’s time for lunch, or time to pick up the kids, or I’m tired and some of us have to work in the morning. But the fireworks come at the end of the scene – if you see fireworks, that’s the end. Now let’s look at why a guy would do that.

He wouldn’t.

Do you know how long it took him to get here? He’s really not interested in ending this show before the grand finale. Regardless of how often you do this, in the back of what he’s using for a brain right now there’s a little voice that wonders how long it will be until the encore. You get no guarantees in Hey Hey land, so once we’re there, we tend to stay as long as we can. (Mind you, “as long as we can” may only be 2-3 minutes, but still.)

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Question: Why do men always assume it’s that time of the month?

Answer: Statistically speaking, he’s got a one in four shot at being right, and since most men will put entire paychecks down on odds worse than that, of course it’s a go-to line. Second, it gives them the chance to blame something other than ourselves for you being angry – after all, thinks, he couldn’t possibly have done anything to piss you off that badly, right? If he can rationalize your mood by calling it something else, then he doesn’t have to change his behavior, which would probably involve getting his own beer.

He could also just be projecting – as we know, we have our own version.

Of course, there’s also that element of flirting with danger – if he assumes it’s that time of the month, and he’s right, and he mentions it, he knows there’s a decent chance you’ll come over there and snap his neck like the weasel he is. It’s an adrenaline thing, although it’s not usually an inherited trait – a lot of those genes don’t get passed on, if you catch my drift.

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Question: What does it mean when men tell you that they prefer women who don’t wear a lot of make up?

Answer: For some of us, it’s a time thing. We know that you could look great if you went in the bathroom and stayed there for 45 minutes doing all that stuff you do. We just don’t want to wait that long – as long you look pretty good to start with. If you look like you were rode hard and put away wet, he’s probably not telling you that he prefers women who don’t wear a lot of make up.

The rest of them mean that they prefer women who don’t look like they’re wearing a lot of makeup. Chances are, if he saw you rolling out of bed in the morning, he wouldn’t recognize you. He doesn’t know you spent 10 minutes putting your face on, he was probably looking at your chest. As long as you don’t look like Tammy Faye Baker, you’re doing it right.

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Question: Why do men hold their penises when they are just sitting around, watching TV, etc.?
Strength training. Also, mostly we do that if there’s no beer. If you bring him a beer, he’ll probably let go long enough to hold that instead.

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Question: Why does the waitress always seem to give you the check?

Answer: This is a tough one to answer, since it involves the ManFAQ trying to get into the mind of the waitress. This is not the part of the waitress that we have a lot of practice trying to get into. So, we will resort to baseless speculation.

I have to assume that a good old fashioned waitress will think that most men are eager to pay for dinner so that they can look chivalrous and prove that they are, or can be, good providers. Of course, we want to do this because if you think we can be a good provider, you will consider us more favorably when deciding on a life-mate. Since most guys are incapable of differentiating between “deciding on a life-mate” and “looking for some Hey Hey later tonight,” we perceive this as a right-now decision that we’re hoping to influence.

And so the waitress will look at him, look at you, and make a snap judgment about who’s side she’s on, and who’s more likely the better tipper. She knows that by giving him the check, he will think that the waitress is trying to help attach his harness and carabineer onto the Hey Hey zipline, and he will usually pay extra for that. If the waitress herself is good looking, he’ll probably tip a little extra on top of that, in case things don’t work out with you.

You, on the other hand, probably won’t tip her more just for being liberated enough to hand you the check, or for looking like she’s about to spill out of the silly uniform they make the waitstaff wear. So there’s a good chance that she’s handing him the check based on an unconscious cost-benefit analysis that tells her “he can pay, and he’ll pay me for it.”

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Question: Why do men shave and say they cleaned it up, yet there is still hair EVERYWHERE?

Answer: This is actually a corollary to the “5-second” rule, which states that dirt and germs don’t begin to accrue on an object until 5 seconds have gone by. Cleaning the sink involves dirt that just got there, so of course it doesn’t need to be cleaned right away. We’ll make a few halfhearted swipes with the other side of the tissue we just used and move on with our lives. If you leave it there long enough, we’ll probably get to the rest of it.

Also, you have to remember that our minds work like 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon, except with sex. You see our manly hair, it reminds you of us. You’re in the bathroom, so there’s a chance that you aren’t fully dressed. Now you’re thinking about us, and you’re not fully dressed. Now, in our minds, you’re associating ‘thinking about us’ with ‘not being dressed’, and once again, it’s a zipline to the Hey Hey.

Yes, most of us really do think like that. The idea that you’d be pissed that we forgot to clean up from shaving gets washed away in a tidal wave of hormones and testosterone. The surprise you see on his face when you yell at him is genuine – you’re mad because he didn’t clean the sink, and in the back of his mind he’s wondering why you’re dressed.

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Question: Why do some guys insist on using the word “stroke” in places I wouldn’t expect?

Answer: I really want to ask you about places where you don’t expect to be stroked, but you might figure out where I live, get through my security systems, and disarm my attack cats. So instead I’ll tell you this: Guys like the word stroke because it sounds nice and masculine, all those Ks and Rs and Ss, like Strong. “What did he die of?” “He had a stroke.” It sounds more manly than some wussie heart attack, anyone can die of those.

And then there’s the verb, which is (A) fun to say, (B) fun to do, and (C) more likely what you’re talking about. We don’t like having strokes nearly as much as we like stroking – and being stroked. Why do you think there are more teen pregnancies on crew teams than cheerleading squads? “Stroke!” “Why, yes please!” “Stroke!” “Oh, cockswain?” Once we’ve gotten you thinking about stroking something – of yours, or of ours, and really, any part of our anatomy is pretty much fair game, we’re not picky about where you start stroking – we’re pretty much on the zipline to the Hey Hey. And as we know, it’s all about the Hey Hey.

Of course we have to be careful – if that actually worked, more of us would probably be having strokes!

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Question: Why won’t men read instructions, ask for directions?

Answer: To actually pull over and ask someone where I’m going is to admit, in front of you, that I’m an idiot. Not to you – you know I’m an idiot – but to another guy. This makes us think (deep in the id) that they’ll be able to put the moves on you with their strong directional foo. Better not to risk it – besides, we still have almost a quarter tank of gas left! Plenty of time; I’m sure it’s just over this hill. Didn’t you say you were going to bring the directions?

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Question: Do I give you too much credit?

Answer: If you mean “you” as in “most men” then yeah, you probably do give them too much credit. And trust me, we’ll take it – credit with you is like money in the Bank of Hey Hey. If you mean “you” to refer to me personally, the answer is no way, baby, you know me – I totally meant to do that. Trust me.

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Question: Would it hurt to change the toilet paper roll and make certain the paper is coming off the roll from the top instead of the bottom? (Is that too picky?)

Answer: Yes. If your man has changed the toilet paper roll at all, you have empirical evidence that he uses the toilet paper. Be content.

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Question: Do you have your own version of PMS that makes you moody?

Answer: See the note about why we’re such adrenaline junkies. When we crash from that rush – or from sex, in that post-coital haze of dopamine and delirium – we do get cranky, assuming we lived through whatever we found so exciting. It’s like our biorhythms, except harder to plot, less accurate, and less useful. Try chocolate or beer. Also, taking your clothes off will usually brighten our day. Showing up wearing nothing but a cold six-pack will always get us out of that funk!

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Question: Does it do your ego good when women ask you to do things like opening the jar of pickles or killing the bug, which we are perfectly capable of doing ourselves, or would you rather us be self-sufficient?

Answer: Depends on proximity. If we’re there already, we love showing off how macho we are to the gentler sex. If you want me to open the pickles or squash the bug while I’m watching the game or catching a nap, please work on the self-sufficiency thing. Or at least bring it with you for me to open or kill or whatever. And why don’t you grab me a beer as long as you’re coming over here anyway? Thanks, hon!

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Question: When you meet a woman for the first time, seriously, what is the first thing you notice? Is it a stereotype that the first thing is really the two things below the chin and above the belt?

Answer: Depends on the size. If they’re much bigger or much smaller than we expect, yeah, that’s probably the first thing we see. Next your hair, again depending on size. To your credit, mostly the first thing(s) we notice are whatever you’ve personally decided to highlight today. Your short skirts, high heels, purple hair highlights, nail polish, piercings, etc – it works. If today’s highlight movie reel is Central Cleavage starring the Gazonga twins, by golly that’s what we’re going to notice. If you’re trying to draw attention to part of your body, our eyes will go where you direct them. We’re pretty trainable like that.

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Question: Why do they not admit their shortcomings? My man is so anti-Mr. Fix-it that I get insanely worried when my he gets within 20 feet of the toolbox. Just admit that you cannot do something so I can let the landlord know before you seriously break it!

Answer: This is the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle in action. If you weren’t watching, we’d call someone. Or more likely, we’d just leave it broken. If you didn’t need it all of last night, it’s probably not that important. But, since you’re there, we feel that we need to remind you that we’re better, more manly, more suitable as a mating partner than the maintenance guy – not just in bed, but everywhere. After all, if he tried doing my job, he’d get fired and probably sued, or killed. But we could do his job, you betcha. “Hey ya’ll, watch this!”

The best part of this is the look on our faces when we give in, admit that we’re not going to get around to whatever that is – not that we couldn’t, mind you, we’re just too busy – and when the professional comes to make it all better, it’s a woman. Most of us just totally short-circuit, particularly if she’s cute.

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Question: I want to know if the ability to relax amid clutter and dust is acquired or inborn. If acquired, how can women cultivate it…i.e. is there a 10-step program? Seriously, I would absolutely love to perfect my skill in this area. I think out of level 1 to 10 I’m at about a 6, and it isn’t enough. I want to achieve real man status on this one.

Answer: First, you need to drink more. No no, more than that. Make yourself a good Cosmo and splash some around – you’ll need a “starter mess” to get used to. Then find yourself some good chocolate; you know you deserve it. OK, deep breath, now exhale. Put the wrapper on the floor. Just drop it. Deep cleansing breath, the first step can be the hardest. Just let the wrapper fall. Let it go.

Someone else will pick it up eventually; that someone else might even be you, several hours from now, but that person’s not here yet. Did you just finish that Cosmo? Have another drink. Good. Now, find a nice comfy chair where you can still see that candy bar wrapper on the floor. Sit down, eat the chocolate. Mmmmmmmmmm, it’s good, isn’t it? You’re going to relax for a moment, just eating the chocolate, taunting that mess over there with it. You’re getting the hang of this! Now remember, if anyone walks in, you were just in the middle of cleaning up. Literally in the middle of cleaning. You were just taking a break for a minute. You were going to get to back to it real soon.

Mmmmm, chocolate.

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Question: Why can’t you put the clothes IN the hamper? You can sure throw them on the floor NEXT to it – what is the aversion to IN the hamper?

Answer: There’s no glory, no incentive. If you put a backboard on it, he’ll try harder – no man can resist taking a fadeaway jockstrap jump-shot as he’s skinnying out of his skivvies. Mind you, we’re not all Michael Jordan – but the percentage of clothes in the hamper versus next to it will go up if there’s a backboard.

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Question: Why do you leave your underwear on the bathroom floor after taking a shower? Do you think I have nothing better to do than pick up after you?

Answer: Your second question could have ended at the third word, and the answer would still be a resounding NO. He just got out of the shower, and he’s naked. Naked men do *very* little thinking.

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Question: Why are men such adrenaline junkies?

Answer: Ah, a TOUGH question. Why is it that the two most common sets of “last words” that men say just before they die are “oh shit” and, running a close second, “Hey ya’ll, watch this!” In large part, this is showmanship. It’s not just the chemical adrenaline rush – although that’s a big part of it.

It’s the audience. If you weren’t watching, we’d probably be content to scratch our balls and look at something shiny on television. But we know you or someone like you will be looking, or it might be another guy watching. If it’s you, we want you to see how tough, how brave we are – something deep in our genetic code thinks you’ll be impressed, and the other guys intimidated. Never mind that quit working about 8,000 years ago. (Well, it quit working on women. Most guys are still intimidated when we see another guy do something really crazy and live through it.)

Then, once you’ve done it, you find out what a great rush it is. Like most drugs, you need more to reach that high a second time, so you have to do something crazier! This is why the most hard core adrenaline junkies don’t breed often – they crash into something before they impress enough women.

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Question: Why do men have to wring out their penis after a shower? Does it really suck up water like a sponge?

Answer: Nope. We only do that when you’re looking, just to make sure you’re thinking about it. “Hey, hey, look what I found!” only works once, twice if we’re lucky – this way you’re wondering about the one part of our bodies we *want* you wondering about most of the day. Call it an investment.

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Question: Why do they keep their hands in their pants in public?

Answer: Again, we only do that when you’re looking, so you’ll think about sex more often. Most of us would just hang it out there, but you keep calling the police.

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Question: I have always wondered how is it that when looking for something, men can never seem to find it? Why don’t they actually move other items to look for whatever it is they are seeking? My man did this at least 3 times this weekend! I would walk over, move 1 piece of paper and there it is! Shocking!

Answer: As one of the great imponderables, this has been vexing the gentler gender for ages. Some ascribe it to “Male Searching Syndrome,” which provides a name but not an answer, and some assume arrogance – the expectation that a man’s needs should be served at every moment in time. The Bottom Line: If he can’t find your G-Spot when he’s laying right on top of you, why would you think he can find anything else?

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Question: Do you talk to your friends about what we do in bed? (answer at your own risk).

Answer: If the subject comes up at all, you can be assured that we don’t tell the truth. Since we all know that none of us are going to tell the truth on the topic, mostly it doesn’t come up.

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Question: Are you glad you got married or do you miss the single life sometimes?

Answer: There is a myth that married men don’t have sex as often as single men. This is a myth that married men perpetuate to keep single men from poaching their wives. There are no good reasons to be single.

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Question: Why do they always want sex at the most inopportune times? e.g.,…when I’m getting ready for work/appt…etc. He has 12 other hours of the day to want some but only gets horny when I’m getting ready to leave?

Answer: If by “inopportune” you mean “when you’re changing clothes,” I suggest you read your question again, tilting your head to the side this time. He doesn’t get horny when you’re leaving; he gets horny when he sees you half naked. So do several other guys – fix your blinds.

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Question: I would like to know the percentage of times a man gives a woman a compliment because he means it, versus the percentage of times he gives the compliment hoping for hey-hey later.

Answer: It’s actually an inverse relationship to how deserved the compliment is. If you’re ugly, he probably means it. If you cause traffic accidents just by crossing the street, it’s all about the hey-hey.

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Question: Why can’t you change the baby’s diaper without me asking you to? You can smell that noxiousness as easily as I can – even commenting “Pee-u, you stink girl” – but not change it?

Answer: Men are from Mars, and you should smell the air there. You’ve noticed that when we tilt cheek, all the guys laugh and all the girls leave? We know she stinks. She smells like we do most of the time. It’s one of the evolutionary traits that reminds us she’s part of our tribe. We don’t change them because it doesn’t bother us until long after it’s bothered you.

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