Building Bridges

Issue # 29 of 43 

David LeClaire
By: David LeClaire

Pigs and Princesses

How many times a day do you think the average guy thinks "I'd love to have sex with her,"regarding a woman he's never been intimate with and probably doesn't even know?

During a recent informal survey with a variety of men of different ages and from different walks of life, I found the common answer to hover around five. Frankly, I think most tended to underestimate in order to not sound too much like sex starved perverts.

When sharing these results with women, most reacted somewhat violently, with some initially enraged at this illustration of how men really are pigs. "How could men be so shallow, so superficial?" they would demand. "You're talking about women they see on the streets, at work, in school, or wherever, right?" Yes, that's right. "Look," I would reason, "you know men are VERY visual by nature. More so than most women. Why does this seem so weird?"

Regardless of any explanation or rationalization offered, most women seemed irked by this whole concept. Many denied that "their man" would answer that way. No way were their boyfriends or husbands that sick. And they were partially right, the guys wouldn't tend to answer with such a number in their presence. But without their lady's presence, they answered significantly higher.

Here's a hypothetical situation. Joe is walking through a mall and passes a good looking woman. He says to himself, "Nice. She'd be a lot of fun!" He keeps walking, looking for a Christmas present for his fiancee. Behind the make-up counter at Nordstroms he notices a particularly stunning woman, and says to himself, "Now she's delicious. Wow!" Of course he says nothing, just walks on, and doesn't think anything of it.

Many women would be horrified. It wouldn't be unusual for them to say, "How can he think that? He's engaged!! Men are unbelievable!" Yet I ask, is this really so strange? Joe sounds like a pretty typical guy to me. Men constantly evaluate women they see throughout their days on the basis of if they'd like to have sex with them or not.

Men walk into the gym, a party, a concert, some even at church, and unconsciously scan the crowd for the most intriguing women. And it has nothing to do with loving their partner or not. It's habitual, a routine they don't even notice. To men, the thought of what they'd like is entirely different than what they will pursue. And since they usually have no intention of taking any action on their desires, these thoughts seem meaningless and incidental.

However, to a lot of women, when they are in love, their interest in other men often dwindles dramatically. Many women have told me they rarely find themselves attracted to other men once they find someone they're deeply interested in. Because of this, they assume it should be the same for men too. And since it isn't, these very women usually misinterpret the man's wandering eye as a flaw in his character (and it is if he blatantly watches or flirts with other women while in her company).

I find it humorous that quite a few women were shocked and appalled to hear men tell them they thought about being interested in sex with other women at least 5 times a day on average. Those same women, when initially asked the same question, tended to reply with something like, "Maybe one man or two a week, if that. We don't trust men so even when we see a good looking one, our first thought is, I wonder if he's for real, or just another slime-bag." But when pressed, giving them examples of where they may run across men that they didn't know, most of the women admitted to a slightly higher figure, roughly once or twice a day, (this is actually thinking about it, but for heaven's sake not planning on doing it!)

This is once or twice a day they see an unfamiliar man and think to themselves, if everything was different, and I was single and available, and so was he, I'd be interested! Frankly, I believe the number would be much higher for women too if they were more comfortable being honest with such a loaded question. But there's this social taboo for some women to admit they think about sex as much as men do. And the fact that for tons of women, sex is just way more complicated than it is for guys, it's closely interwtined with intimacy and feelings. Not to mention that women aren't always so moved visually and it often takes more than that. For men, it takes one or two good features and ........

Now mind you, most women have a higher set of morals than most men, and usually the idea of random sex doesn't intrigue them as much as men. (And when they do have fantasies, they are often much more detail-oriented, not just the last 2 minutes.) Women tend to be more inclined to add a few more levels of complexity to this, thinking in broader terms such as pursuing a relationship instead of just having their way with them. Anyway, this makes for good conversation the next time you are in a large social gathering. See if men and women that you know are really that far apart on this issue.

Ask around the office, or ask your friends (but not your parents) at the dinner table. How many times a day do they think they'd like to have sex with someone just from looking at them?

David LeClaire has spent much of his time teaching at community college and private school, and lead communications training for Fortune 500 companies. Now a popular and active Seattle area sommelier, this graduate of Central Michigan University led seminars for a wide variety of organizations. LeClaire is the author of "Bridges To A Passionate Partnership." He can be reached at

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Text © 1998, David LeClaire. Part of the original Sideroad.
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