I have never heard the word "dick" used more frequently, at such a high volume, or in such creative sentences about gay lovemaking than I did on the train home the other day. Six skateboarding thirteen or fourteen year old boys hopped on at Broadway Lafayette and yelled all the way to 7th Avenue about their dicks, how everyone should suck their dicks, how they suspected their friends were all sucking each others' dicks, how large their dicks were in comparison to their friends' tiny, tiny dicks, and the unbelievable gymnastic fucking they could accomplish with their dicks. The limitless permutations of dicks, mouths, and butts that these kids could put together to imply that their friends were gay but they were not (despite being able to visualize and verbalize dick-ridden scenarios for their friends to star in) were, honestly, astounding.
I am 25. I have watched drag queens turn their packages into boxes. I have seen horrific pornography. I have edited books on sex. Yet still, some of the things these little dudes were able to come up with actually had me thinking, "Hm. Would that work?"
If I had known when I was their age that out of twenty minutes of train talk, a mere thirty seconds would be dedicated to real, live girls they knew, I probably would've spent less time drafting letters to boys that I never intended to send anyway.
A few weeks ago I picked up Rob Sheffield’s small, kind of quiet memoir “Love is a Mix Tape.” It was recommended to me a few times and I was never that keen on reading it. When I found it sitting on a table next to the book I made a Barnes & Noble trip specifically to purchase, I took it as a sign and grabbed it as well. The other book, Sebastien Horsely’s piece of shit autobiography—I hated that book so much after the first thirty pages I threw it across my room and have been stepping on it since. But “Love is a Mix Tape?” Man.
The way boys think about girls is something I’ve never actually considered, because I think until very recently I took it for granted that a dude brain is the same as my brain. But in the past couple months I’ve found myself meeting, talking to, hanging around, and eavesdropping on far more boys who like girls than I’ve been exposed to, well, basically ever. My life tends to skew a little girly and a little gay. Throwing even a handful of straight guys into the mix has felt like the first week of foreign language class in 7th grade, when your teacher starts rambling in Italian as soon as the bell rings but all you can really catch is “si,” and “no,” and “Andiamo!”
I was awake for 38 hours between Tuesday and Wednesday; it was two workdays bookending a night spent with three straight guys and Jes (who is basically a frat boy. But I can be too. Proof: We got in a showdown last night in a health food store that lasted from the sandwich counter to the register, and ended with me double-flipping-off a bro who'd asked "I gotta fart, wanna smell it?" This does not happen with regularity to girls who are girls.). The dudes we were hanging out with were good dudes, totally nice guys, and when they talked about girls I had an uncontrollable urge to tap their heads like maple trees for a reliable flow of male gender insight.
The good dudes, the gross dude, the book, the boys on the train; while running the gamut in tact and eloquence, they were equally fascinating to me because each was a tiny expedition into uncharted dude brain territory.
Seriously, boys, you confuse me. You make no sense and I love you, you change your minds, you disappear, you appear, you are strange, you are loud, except some of you are silent, you are mysterious even when you are obvious, you are obvious when you’re trying to be sly, and, because I am a girl with broad and flighty taste, you are all cute.
Bitches, man. We girls have zero equivalent for that phrase when we're exaspirated and still totally devoted to the whole lot of you, so I'm just sticking with it. Bitches.