Hey DUDE, bro, buddy … this one’s for you!
And if you are of the male persuasion, and happen to make it to the end of this post, then consider yourself exceptional; because despite my best intentions, and those of many other writers like me, men are apparently less interested in learning about sex than women.
So why should you care … even if my opinion could be proven as fact?
Because all of the other evidence suggests that the average guy is not nearly as good in the sack as he thinks he is.
Add lack of skill to lack of ambition, and you get …. nowhere.
These are some pretty bold statements … and if they have caused any men to feel defensive, then they have fulfilled their objective. Because there is a way of thinking that too many men subscribe to. It’s a kind of blind ignorance – the kind of unknowing that can be described as “not knowing what you don’t know” or “not knowing the questions, let alone the answers”. It’s also the toughest nut to crack when it comes to convincing people that the wonderful world of sex is, in all likelihood, much more than they have ever imagined or experienced. I’m calling this attitude, the “Dude Barrier”.
The Dude Barrier began to make its presence known to me soon after I started writing about sex. As the writing began taking shape, my perspective evolved from being based solely on my personal experience, to also having the benefit of having hundreds of people share the most intimate details of their sex lives with me. As I listened to the stories, observations and opinions, it did not take long before patterns emerged, and I came to recognize that there was a big difference between how most men thought of themselves as lovers, versus the reports I was hearing from women. My unscientific observation was that about 90% of the men I spoke with, considered themselves to be good lovers, while the female perspective would have put it at more like 10-20%. Surely some of this difference could be explained by the common misconception that men are responsible for their lover’s pleasure; but that reason alone could not account for the differential – more information was required.
As I began to make further inquiries, asking men, “how do you know you’re a good lover?”, some would take pause, and engage in real conversation. All too often, however, the question would make men appear defensive, with the most common response being something like, “I never heard any complaints”! These guys were also most likely to equate good sex with frequent sex, boasting that they know they’re good because of how many women they have managed to sleep with, and how their conquests apparently enjoyed themselves based on moans, groans and so on. But rather than be disheartened by this apparent lack of awareness, I was inspired by the obvious need for education, knowing that ignorance is the easiest obstacle to overcome. I just didn’t know, how formidable the Dude Barrier would be.
Fast forward about 10 years or so, and I find myself blogging about sex and sexuality, and building an audience in a digital world. Now, all sorts of metrics are available and you are able to learn quite a bit about your readers, as well as for any other website of interest. It is this digital perspective that provided the final insight into the Dude Barrier, the element that suggests an apparent lack of interest in learning about sex. Consider these observations:
On the smallest scale is, at least for now, the building of my audience. While my initial strategy has been more about building content than audience, I did start a Facebook Page and invite my friends to join. Here, the mysterious algorithms of Facebook took over, and members started to trickle in; some I knew and some from the other side of the world. As I watched the ranks grow, I couldn’t help but notice that my audience was disproportionately female. This trend continued, and at the time of this writing, membership is more than 60% female.
Observing my stats made me wonder about other sites, so I conducted another unscientific study, checking the numbers for some of the top sites that offer relationship and sex advice. What I found confirmed what I experienced on my Page, even on sites that are targeted specifically toward men.
Statistics show the site’s audience compared to the internet’s audience:
|Change Your Thoughts||50%||180%|
|Good Men Project||50%||200%|
Let me reiterate the unscientific nature of these statistics, and the liberties I have taken in making estimates from the graphics provided at alexa.com. But any way you slice it, the numbers certainly suggest a big gap exists between the interest levels of men and women when it comes to learning what these sites have to offer.
Finally, the loop was closed, and the full character of the Dude Barrier was revealed: Men who think they are good lovers, have no idea they’re average, and have no interest in learning more than what their limited experience provides. It’s not a good pattern, no doubt contributing to some of the other numbers that suggest how much room there is for improvement. Like how 50% of all adults report being dissatisfied with their sex lives, or how 85% of men achieve orgasm during casual sex while only 40% of women do. The list goes on.
Nearing the end of my post – where I call “turning the corner” to a big wrap up and finish, and I can’t help but wonder how many dudes have made it this far. Or how many have made it this far but have yet to be convinced – perhaps wondering if there is a definitive way to tell if you are as good a lover as you might think. While there is no certain way of knowing just how good you are, there are some signs that may provide some insight:
- Attraction – Good lovers are able to easily find other people to have sex with, but so do many men contentedly sitting behind the Dude Barrier (DB). The big difference is that good lovers start from a place of respect rather than conquest, and are more apt to have return visits.
- Casual Sex – DB dudes may have plenty of confidence, and be the kind of sexy that comes from having lots of sex. It’s a potent combination that often yields plenty of opportunity for the ultimate DB score, the hookup. Conversely, truly gifted, experienced lovers have little interest in hookups, knowing that great sex rarely results. But if they should take a casual lover, you can bet it won’t be a one time event.
- Booty Calls – sometimes you gotta have it, and sometimes it’s now – not everyone’s cup of tea, but booty calls are a part of our social, sexual fabric. Whether it’s a past lover, girlfriend or wife, if you are as good as you might imagine, then you can be assured of having had your share of booty calls. No return visits, or relationships based entirely on sex – better check yourself!
- Lover To Friend – if you find yourself going from lover to friend time and again, and you’re not sure why, then chances are the DB may be a factor. Great lovers can also become friends and often do; but in such cases, both parties are happy for the experience.
Though not as unusual as we once thought, humans possess the rare quality of having sex for the sake of pleasure alone. And whether you’re a novice just getting started, a Dude Barrier dude or among the most gifted lovers ever, just about any sexual encounter will yield some degree of pleasure – the question is, how much and for whom? Only the best lovers know for sure.