You are about to meet three men your mom would be proud to see you marry, but you won’t like them from what you hear coming out of their mouths. In order to protect their identities, I’m going to say that we met working the bonobo exhibition at the San Diego Zoo. It’s the kind of big, specific lie that would throw our wives off the scent.
I’ll share more details about them later, but for now, it’s enough to know that all of us – me, and let’s call them Bart, Charlie, and Johannes – are very happily married dads in our thirties; “model husbands and fathers” is the way the papers would describe us if we all got flattened by asteroids. To the best of my knowledge, none of them has ever cheated on his wife. The reason I have to protect our identities is that we don’t want our wives to know that we spend our days doing little else besides fantasizing about cheating on them. Johannes speaks for all of us when he says, “My wife’s really smart. She’s got to have an idea how dominant sexual thoughts are in men, generally. But if she were to really think about how it’s constantly on my mind, she’d be very disappointed. She likes to think I’m more evolved than most men. But I’m not.”
My wife of five years has no illusions about me being “evolved” in any way, but that doesn’t mean I’d willingly grant her an all-access pass to my thoughts. When I walk the streets on a sunny summer day and the women are out, wearing spaghetti-strap tops and short skirts, their legs bare, the internal monologue starts. The voice in my head, by the way, sounds like Barry White’s. Oh, yeah. Oh, you like that, right? You mean you want it in there? Oh, yeah.
The running monologue, I find, is familiar to all three of my friends, but I was surprised to learn that Bart’s monologue isn’t merely internal. Unlike the rest of us, who
scope à pied, Bart, an attorney, spends a lot of time in his car. “I frequently think that if Felicia ever installed a camera in the car, our marriage would be over after one afternoon of her watching me drive around,” he tells me as he idles in front of his house, feeling, he says, “like a molester” when he talks about the women he ogles from a minivan outfitted with two car seats. Bart is objectively the biggest stud among us. He played varsity sports in high school, and accomplished women still squeal like cheerleaders in his presence. He says he checks out nearly every woman on the street. “I don’t stop the car,” he says. “And I’ll rarely turn around after they’ve passed, but I slow down a lot. And then it’s usually followed by my saying out loud some really nasty comment you’d expect from a sexually repressed 80-year-old man.” Like, for instance? “I find myself saying stuff that doesn’t make a lot of sense, but I always say it like I’m speaking to her, like, ‘I’d rip that shit off.’ “
Johannes might be best described as a “straight arrow.” Married for five years, he’s an extremely intelligent Ivy League-educated guy who, because of his work, is a recognized pillar of his community. But he’s one of the few men I’ve known who’ve actually been able to parlay a sensitive-guy image into sex with hot women. We often marvel at how women perceive Johannes as particularly enlightened, because he’s by far the doggiest of us all. For years, he’s boasted that his potency was such that, given the opportunity, he would be able to reach orgasm with any woman on earth, provided she’d had a good bath first.