There is no real way for me to keep a straight face when I say men don’t think about sex as often as you might think. I’ve read articles that say men think about sex every seven seconds, that men think about sex more than women, and that women think about sex more than men. But as a man, I can say, “Yeah sure, we think about sex a lot.” The truth is, we are not just sex machines.
Here are some things going on in the minds of men that are NOT about sex.
SAFETY AND SECURITY
Men feel a drive to protect, so we keep an eye out for security risks. But it goes beyond the home. When I’m driving through my neighborhood, I have an eye out for suspicious behavior. I take notice if there is broken glass. Watching the news, we are calculating the risks of danger coming to our door. We’re not paranoid, we’re protective.
RUNNING TOWARD ORDER
When chaos and demand surround us, we fantasize about going away where we get to be king. Growing up in the loud Bronx, my personal escape was always up in the country among nature. I used to camp a lot. It was a little bit of ‘escaping from the city,’ but honestly it was more like ‘running toward’ those special environments where time slows and there is order and peace.
Men are planning out the hunt. We must acquire meat for the family (or parsnips I guess if you’re vegetarian, I wouldn’t know). Sure, we’re thinking mostly about what we want. But for every man I’ve ever known in my family–when he gets for himself, he also gets for everyone else. And I apologize in advance if my one slice with anchovies makes the rest of the pie taste like anchovies, but I brought enough for everybody!
OK, so according to behavioral scientists men like sports because it mimics the male dominant rituals in the animal kingdom. Sports usually involve strong, healthy males (hey, I love women’s gymnastics and the WNBA) being strong and healthy. Running fast; knocking things down; penetrating the opponent’s defenses; logos; bright colors; screaming fans; acceptable levels of violence – it’s all about celebrating dominance. And for better or for worse, that’s in us big time.
ONE THING AT A TIME
I don’t mean we only think about one specific thing, I mean that we think about only one thing at a time, or at least try to. Men wander the universe as a series of tasks. We enjoy pouring our focus into solving problems. Sometimes that’s sex, sure, but it could also be the billion other things going on in our lives… just one thing at a time.
I know this is a hard one, but men are quite capable of thinking of nothing. There’s a brilliantly funny video about this by Mark Gungor that explains (humorously) the difference between men’s and women’s brains and how it is we fellas can think about nothing.
So if you want to know what a man is thinking about, ask him. Just be ready to accept the answer even if it makes no sense.