The Curses and Blessings of The Human Male Mind

Summary: Male energy is a wonderful and silly thing. Well, at least I think so.

A couple of years ago I’m walking out to waves to go surf. It’s low tide so it’s a pretty long walk along rock reef that’s full of nooks and pits. I’m up to my knees when I see a two foot salmon dart across my path.

So what was my first instinct? Stab it with my surfboard. The impulse was clear and strong. I even cocked my arm back. It all happened within milliseconds.

Now here’s the funny part. I’ve been a vegetarian for 24 years and I’ve been allergic to fish for 27 years. So I have no interest in killing a fish nor any use for dead one. Not only that, to replace my surfboard should I snap the nose off, would cost over $400. Even with all these factors, my initial instinct when presented with a wild fish swimming across my path was to kill it – or more specifically, spear it with my surfboard.

Now of course, I didn’t stab the fish. But in the first fractions of a second that’s what my brain was primed to do.

If I see a ball rolling or flying by, my instinct is to catch it. Rock in my path? Well of course I’m going to kick it. If I see a bottle sitting on a wall I want to knock it off with a stone.

I don’t always do it, but that is the very first thing that pops into my head and I can feel my brain and body instantly prepare for those actions.

I can no more stop my eyes from tracking a moving ball than a dog can stop themselves from following a stick. It’s hardwired into our most primitive brain structures.

My partner never feels these impulses. She can walk right past a rock in the gutter and not have the slightest desire to kick it. She can watch a ball roll right past her and off a cliff and not feel anything. Fast object are something to avoid, not track and catch. Fire doesn’t excite, nor do explosions.

Not wanting to play with fire? How can anyone not like to play with fire? If we’re in a restaurant with candlelight settings I always check to see how hot the holder is. Then I pass my fingers through the flames. Then maybe hold my hand over the top to see how long I can hold it there before I feel the burn. I don’t know why, I just do it. It calls to me.

My partner, however, never plays with flame and fire. It doesn’t even cross her mind. I know, shocking isn’t it?

Give me a firecracker and I immediately start thinking of all the things I could blow up. I’m forty-four years old, have a seven-year old daughter, I’m self-employed and been with the same woman for twenty-two years. Yet, I still get excited over a firecracker.

I like filling the kitchen with dry ice fog. It never gets old. Putting a chunk on a metal spoon and listening to it “scream” as it turns from a solid to a gas always cracks me up.

I like spitting off a bridge or cliff.

I like to bend something until it breaks. I’m actually not trying to break it. I’m just curious how far it can bend until it does break.

I like big industrial machines that perform little simple tasks. It cracks me up to see a  four thousand pound machine the size of a living room who’s only job is to put a paper label on a six-ounce can of tomato paste. It’s hilarious and also amazing. It’s ingenious yet wonderfully excessive.

I like watching guys hurt themselves doing foolish things.

I like the sound of a Les Paul through a Marshal stack and MMA fights.

However, these things do nothing for my partner. Right now she’s watching a Lifetime Channel movie about some woman who has a dad who thinks he’s Santa. I’m serious, someone made that movie. And someone’s actually watching it. Now if it was a Cohen Brothers movie about a man who thinks he’s Santa I’m sure it would rock, but Lifetime movies are basically after school specials for women. Everything about them repels me including, but not limited to, the lighting, the framing, the sets, the soft focus, the music, the editing, and the dialog. My sensibilities are offended by Lifetime production methods. I’m so disinterested I don’t even want to be in the same room as I can’t help but mock it – which would be very unfair to her.

So I wrote this blog post instead. Which is way more manly that watching a Lifetime movie.

Yes, male energy is a wonderful and silly thing indeed.

File Under: The Curses and Blessings of The Human Male Mind – How Guys Think – Men and Women Thing Differently

4 Responses to “The Curses and Blessings of The Human Male Mind”

  • carter8839 Says:

    You are really overgeneralizing based on the experiences of two people here. Is being irrational a curse of the male brain too, or is that just you?


    Straight Dope Dad Reply:

    Actually it’s based on all the men and women I’ve known my entire life plus the latest in brain research. Run this by any couple. The men will go, yep I get it. That’s how my my brain works. I’d be interested in where all these women are who have strong impulses to chase balls, set things on fire, blow things up, attack animals and kick rocks. Because I certainly have not run across them in the last 46 years and neither has any of my male friends.


    Lauren Reply:

    I not only think this article was entertaining, but absolutely true.

    Of course there are exceptions to the rule, so those who say they do this or that or don’t do this or that, the article is not for you.

    For the rest of males out there, including ALL of the men in my life, or have know in all my 30+ years on this earth, this article is the absolute truth.

    I was able to relate to it, to the point where I was saying (while reading it aloud to my mom and sister), yep, daddy does that or my nephew does that or my son does that.

    I loved it! Enjoyed the read completely!

    And now I have it bookmarked for other friends to read.



  • Mariko Says:

    I think what you published here entertaining, tho somewhat incorrect, for example I am female I love to play with fire much in the same way you do, I like to examine bugs and figure out what kind they are ESP spiders, I see a rock in my way and feel pone to pick it up and check it out possibly keep it. I find little interest in TV unless its something about the world at large or about astronomy. But then again I’m not exactly a girlie girl, raised by a great dad I tend to be a tomboy. Anyhow good article and take care.


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