the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Boys into Men

Back in August, Twenty Four at Heart published a post about male/female communication and sex. Most of those who commented were women, and they seemed to agree that men were crazed horndogs who thought about sex ALL the time. At the time, the comments bugged me. After all, most of these commenters were mothers of boys. How do these cute little boys become these sex maniacs? Is it genetics? Is it cultural? What is the mother’s role in all this?

I wrote this comment:

I think a few of your readers were confusing thinking and acting. I think you can be the most loving and loyal husband, a man who finds his wife the sexiest woman alive, and still thing about sex with the waitress serving the burger at the diner. This doesn’t mean that the man would have sex, or even WANT to if she actually came onto him. It just is. And frankly, if I think men were given as much freedom as women to express their emotions — cry, hug, say I love you to their friends — without seeming unmanly, they wouldn’t have to fall back on sexing up every encounter with a woman. Many men have no other way of expressing themselves.

Months later, I still remember this post. I used to think that I was different than other men, but I’m not. I also find it hard connecting with a woman without thinking of her naked at least once during the conversation.


  1. Pumpkin

    Simple fact: humans are animals no matter how we try to ignore it.

    And, to clear things up I think it is fair to say that women have dirty thoughts as well – unless they are dead! I have also known as many women that have cheated on their husbands as men that have cheated on their wives. In fact, most of the cases I have heard of both of the cheaters were married!

  2. headbang8

    Pumpkin…of course it’s true that as many women cheat on husbands as men cheat on wives! Unless a coterie of highly sexed women are doing all the work, it’s simple math.

    And frankly, I find all this female coyness about sex utterly disingenuous.

    I switched teams in mid-life, and I tellya, quite apart from better, more plentiful sex, I find that men actually are capable of greater intimacy and more sincere emotions than women.

    Women endlessly talk about their emotions, and that gives the world the impression that they have more of them, that their emotions are deeper, and that they somehow have greater emotional credibility.

    A note to women. Stop talking about your emotions, and just enjoy them. Men do. If you stop to look, you might find men are emotionally wiser than you are. Men are good at growing wise, you’ll notice.

    Neil, you’ve got me rocking on a personal hobby horse!

  3. Kelley

    I am glad you posted your comment here. It has really made me think. How true that women can literally fall all over each other with affection, yet men are taught to be more reserved.

  4. Crys

    this is perfectly normal.

    and the big news is, many women do the very same thing.

    you’re lookin’ at one.

  5. Crys

    are you moderating?
    my comment didn’t show up.
    probably for the best, actually

  6. vodkamom

    Women think about sex, too. Don’t let ’em fool ya. (wait, is it just me?)

  7. Marinka

    Depends on the person. Some people I talk to, I have mentally undressed for the duration of our conversation. Others I outfit in a burka with a beekeeping outfit thrown on top of that for good measure.

  8. better safe than sorry

    vodkamom, it’s not just you.
    and neil, does this apply to your IMing as well? oh my!

  9. kenju

    Vodkamom is right!! I like that you’re honest, Neil!

  10. kenju

    Oh, and THANKS for making me your blog crush of the day!

  11. Crys

    see? i should have just posted the comment. i was going to say that lots and lots of women think about sex all the time; perhaps not at the split-second intervals as men, but hell, pretty close.

    true, some of us are prudes. most of us are not.

    you’re lookin at one.

  12. Black Hockey Jesus

    Fucking is just a metaphor for connecting with a woman. What do they want us to think about? Holding hands and sharing feelings? I would rather fuck them.

  13. Bobbie

    Of course women think about sex, even though some won’t admit it. If some don’t, I feel sorry for them. Sex is fun! I am 76 years old, and I think about it a lot. As Moms Mabley used to say, “I may be old, but my feet ain’t cold.”

  14. cog

    I’m usually too occupied with the burka and beekeeping outfit someone keeps dressing me in.

  15. teahouseblossom

    I agree that it is tough for men in our society. They have fewer socially acceptable emotional outlets. Which is generally why they watch sports together and beat each other up instead of act catty and gossip behind each other’s backs. Isn’t it kind of why dogs hump legs? They’re just there.

  16. Brenda - SeriouslyMama

    “I also find it hard connecting with a woman without thinking of her naked at least once during the conversation.”

    Women do the exact same thing. Any female adult woman who says they don’t is lying. It all boils down to evolution and survival of the fittest. In case of a epic disaster, could I mate with you to keep our species alive?

  17. Finn

    I don’t think men and women are all that different — I just think women are taught not to be honest about it.

    I’m thinking of you naked right now…

  18. Neil

    Finn — Talk about a good motivation to go back to the gym!

  19. Astrogirl

    The nice thing about the imagination is that it doesn’t matter when you last went to the gym – trust me, our minds will more than make up for it.

    Oh, and any woman who tells you she hasn’t done the “would I fuck him” test in her head on every man she meets (or almost every man) who isn’t a blood relative, is lying through her teeth. I think it’s just not as big a deal as it is for men. After all, we’re not the ones genetically predisposed to be the hunters, sexually speaking.

    And no, I will NOT tell you the results of your test.

  20. Twenty Four At Heart

    I loved you before and now I love you even more. Maybe we should have sex because, being female, I think about sex all the time. All.The.Time. Thanks for the link Neil! And personally, I think men are horndogs. That’s why I like them. I also think they are capable of talking, communicating and deep emotion. That’s another reason why I like them. Most of my bestest friends are men.

  21. wendy

    I don’t daydream about the guy undressed..but I have daydreamed about the guy undressing ME…

    and as far as the naked conversation thing goes…everyone but me, right Neil????

  22. churlita

    I have only once met a guy who had a higher sex drive than I do. My problem is that I’m a relationship girl. I don’t really like having casual sex. unfortunately, I live in a town where relationships are hard to come by.

    I don’t really get excited about seeing men I don’t know naked, but I do get excited about seeing the man I’m in a relationship naked. I think that’s the difference between me and a lot of guys I know. I can’t say how things are for other women, because I’m weird in general.

  23. schmutzie

    You are being featured on Five Star Friday:

  24. All Adither

    Women do it too. Constantly.

  25. Neil

    Wendy — Well, we did go see “Wicked” together.

  26. Not Fainthearted

    Hey Neil,
    I have to add my voice to the “women think that way too” column. But I feel like I’ve reached a goal when, after several conversations with a male friend, I can STOP thinking about that. Successfully suppress it, I guess.

    Maybe I should make another appointment with my therapist….

  27. Shelly

    Many of women do the same thing. Just today, for example, I had the opportunity to fantasize twice. And the day is still young. 😉

  28. Ginger

    Puh-lease…I’d venture to say that I fantasize about sex as much as any guy. I love sex and I don’t think there’s a darn thing to be ashamed of by admitting it! 🙂

  29. Margaret (Nanny Goats)

    24’s post still lingers with me too. She sure riled people up with that one. And I liked your comment. Chalk one up for honesty!

    Great post!

  30. Jane

    Strangely, I think about you having sex all the time, too.

  31. anymommy

    Marinka’s comment might be one of my favorites ever.

    I never think about sex. I find it shocking that you’re all walking around undressing people and letting them prance about naked in your minds.

    Lies. Of course, I think about sex and sexuality and sexiness, etc., etc. when I interact with men. Not every time, but enough. I think it’s biology and it’s exciting and fun. Plus, it’s flattering and enjoyable to connect with someone like that, even just in a flirtatious conversation. And, I’m a loving and loyal wife who would never betray my husbands trust. So there you go, it runs both ways.

  32. Kathy

    I read this somewhere: there are more differences among the sexes than between them. Yeah, it’s a long-held belief that men think of sex more, but also men are allowed to think of sex at split second intervals, or at least, expected to.

  33. HeyJoe

    Whenever I ride in an elevator with a group of women I’m always thinking:

    “If the elevator got stuck and I had to have sex with one of these women, to get out, who would it be?”

    Doesn’t everybody do that??

  34. Poppy

    Hmm. I guess I support your claim. I don’t think about men naked when I’m talking to them. I didn’t know that Men in General think about me naked when they talk to me, although I can totally tell that you do that. 😀

  35. deidre

    I don’t really picture men naked while talking to them but I do think about specific body parts (and not the ones you’d think I’m sure!). Like I wonder if his t-shirt gets the stretch marks around his shoulder blades or how his hands would feel against my skin and so on.

  36. Neil

    You women are shocking. I thought you just thought about knitting and cats.

  37. Twenty Four At Heart

    Hi Neil! Me again. OK, ever since I read your post early this morning, I’ve been undressing every man I see. Mentally. Not physically. I’ll be writing another sex post for Monday and be linking to this one …..

  38. formerlyfun

    I don’t mind being objectified a little, as long as it’s not going to influence someone giving me a job or a line of credit. I love that most of my male friends have imagined dirty things about me and I’m sure I’ve been the starring player in a good wank or two. Go ahead, look at my boobs, they’re lovely aren’t they? Just don’t linger there, it’s creepy.

  39. Memarie Lane

    Shoot, I do the same thing, and I’m neither male nor interested in sex.

  40. schmutzie

    If it helps, Neil, I regularly imagine people naked and having sex with them, and I am technically female. I don’t like to commit such extreme binary stereotyping, because there are so many other factors that make a human being aside from the construct of our physical genitalia.

  41. Dagny

    LOL. We think about men who don’t mind that we knit or own cats. And if these men are OK with this in our minds? Well then we start going through the Kama Sutra in our minds. So yeah, perhaps you should hit the gym.

  42. stacy

    At least you are honest.
    p.s. I am starting a gift exchange and think you shoud join. You can find the details here

  43. Poppy Buxom

    Sheesh, so here I am, the biggest prude in the virtual hot tub that is Neil’s comment box. You know, the one still wearing her bathing suit.

    I hardly ever think about having sex with anyone I’m talking to, and I sure as hell hope they’re not thinking about having sex with me. I mean, come on. The guys around here are gross. That balding Mr. Potato Head look-alike who comes to my house every quarter to prevent mouse incursions? Who keeps trying to get me to hire his brother to do odd jobs? Ew.

  44. leah

    i second your response to that post, especially the part about men being given the freedom to express themselves.

    i’ve often wondered that myself, and if some of the aggression in males would even out.

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