The Sally Rogers Syndrome

 

A couple of years ago we infiltrated enemy lines and found a man willing to speak, to women, about men, without being tortured. Recently we stumbled on a couple more who are open to shedding light into the straight-male psyche, or at least to letting us buy them a beer.

Joining Ask a Guy, our resident male-energy expert, are guest Guys King Leer and Sensitive New-Age Guy. These are real people. This conversation really happened.

Lady Kathy: What I have convened you for is to discuss the Sally Rogers Syndrome. She was a character on "The Dick Van Dyke Show"

Sensitive New-Age Guy: Rose Marie?

Yeah, the woman writer who is always one of the guys. 1  I would like to hear first of all what a woman does that causes her to be treated as one of the guys.

Ask A Guy: Well, you have to preface that: Does she want to be treated as one of the guys? Or is she trying to be one of the guys? Because like in our work situation we have a lot of the secretaries who want to be one of the guys.

KL: The will to be a guy.

AAG: Exactly.

SNAG: And I think being able to fart and spit helps.

I mean from your point of view if you walk into a situation, what sorts of things does a woman do that causes you to then conclude that she's one of the guys?

AAG: Her language. If she cusses...

I'm dead.

AAG: The topics of conversation...

SNAG: I think a certain ease around men. Women who are trying to put on a front all the time around you

AAG: Well, you can see right through it.

SNAG: Yeah.

KL: I think it's the things that aren't there that really clue you in. It's all the mating behaviors that go on.

SNAG: Exactly.

AAG: Women that tell dirty jokes are one of the guys.

KL: It's the verbal equivalent of shoulder punching.

SNAG: Right.

AAG: You don't have to talk sports, you don't have to talk politics, you don't have to read the sports page and regurgitate that to be one of the guys.

SNAG: I can think of a few women in particular who are very much considered one of the guys in their circumstances and they abhor sports and they make a point of not needling guys about spending too much time on it. But part of it is not showing any particular sexual interest and being relaxed and not putting up some sort of a front that says, "I don't want you to know the real me."

KL: A coyness.

SNAG: Yeah.

AAG: And not easily embarrassed either. Somebody could say something to her, somebody could say almost anything to her and it wouldn't faze her. On the outside.

SNAG: She's not gonna regard it as harassment or as some sort of obscure testing that's going on. To me I think the word that sums it up is relaxation.

KL: The first person who has to accept her as one of the guys is her.

SNAG: It's not so much wanting to be one of the guys; it's just already feeling like one of the guys. I think women who are that way like guys. And they're not carrying a lot of preconceptions, a lot of excess baggage with them into dealing with guys. They'll talk with you pretty much on your own level and for whatever you are. And they also don't get bogged down in a bunch of stuff. If it's time to go, they'll cut it off. "Yeah, listen, I'd love to talk to you but I've got more important things to do" in a way that a guy can do, you know.

AAG: Exactly.

SNAG: There's none of this

AAG: Versus emotions.

SNAG: She's not playing any of those roles like the mother or the sister or any of those sorts of things.

AAG: Or trying to play emotional games with you. She's not trying to trap you into anything or trying to hold on to you in some way.

AAG: It's more like, again, a masculine behavior. "Look, it doesn't bother me; let's go onto the next subject" or "I don't have time for this." A lot of people who have the emotional behavior, they start their emotions come out, they start dragging things out, and guys are going "Get away from this."

KL: There's less subtext between one of the guys.

AAG: When a woman is one of the guys, you can easily tell that she's not putting on false pretenses. With the girls that put on the false pretenses, you feel the defense mechanism coming up in between you. It's like I've got a wall in front of me

SNAG: The role playing that's going on

AAG: Right. "This is the face I want to outwardly project, which is something different from what I am." People see through that.

SNAG: So Kathy, are you one of the guys? Is that the problem here? You're altogether too much one of the guys?

KL: Hit rewind.

AAG: And then you have the problem with the girl who's one of the guys the guys don't want to get involved with.

That was my next question. But actually, I wanted to know, how you decide when to treat someone as one of the guys and then the next step: Once you realize that a woman has been pigeonholed into that, is there anything that can be done about it?

KL: Find a new group of guys.

SNAG: Absolutely. That's the only way.

AAG: I agree, too.

So you wouldn't get romantically involved with someone that you had treated as one of the guys?

SNAG: That'd be real close to homosexuality.

AAG: Exactly.

KL: Hmm-mmm.

AAG: I agree.

This is very disturbing news.

So if a woman is honest and revealing and open and just absolutely herself around you

AAG: It depends on whether she wants to be a friend. And there is a big difference between being one of the guys

SNAG: And being a friend.

KL: The signals don't have to be completely artificial in order to say "I don't want to be one of the guys."

Okay. Care to elaborate?

[prolonged silence]

[crescendoing nervous laughter]

SNAG: There are a lot of different roles that women can play other than being one of the guys where they can also be very relaxed. One of the ones we were talking about is the sister role, the confidante, the mother, you know all of those different things. And from relationships in which you're clearly defined as a woman, it's not so difficult to make that relationship to girlfriend or lover or something else. I mean, I have certainly had women who I've just treated as friends for a long time and who have treated me as a friend for a long time and then there was some shift, some subtle change that took place in our relationship. I have never found myself in a relationship when I was out with a woman who was part of, like, the foosball gang or whatever, you know, the beer-chugging gang on Friday nights who then you ended up in bed with...That would be too much. But a woman that you knew and who never really how can I say it? never really completely squelched the sexual aspect of the relationship? If there were always just a little bit of that there, a little bit of sexual tension there I can see going on to another type of relationship. But otherwise, I agree with these guys completely. If you have established yourself as one of the guys, forget it. You need a whole new set of guys. And they may even set you up with their friends. They'll be guffawing. "He doesn't realize what he's getting in to." Not because they don't like you or think that you're worth knowing, but just the thought of one of their friends going out with you is going to seem really kind of bizarre to them.

What I find interesting is that another guy who is not present actually, several men I know have posited the theory that there is always sexual tension present between men and women.

SNAG: Yeah, I know, I've heard that.

AAG: Yeah.

You've heard that, huh?

[prolonged silence]

AAG: Well, a woman can be one of the guys, but if she displays some flirtation, she can still retain the ability to get out of that syndrome and into

KL: If initially you haven't lost completely the

SNAG: If it hasn't been squelched

AAG: It depends on the time frame. How far into it she is.

SNAG: Sure. And I've known women before where every so often the issue you know, you'd be talking about sex or sexuality every so often a woman like that would say something like "Well, you've never really had the best, have you?" or something like that. And that's as far as it goes, but that's all she needs to do to

AAG: Plant the seed.

SNAG: "I'm still a woman."

KL: But nothing can be quite so surprising as getting that from one of the guys. At the same time, getting that message, I think

SNAG: Once it's been firmly established

KL: Once it's been firmly established, that kind of thing can be

SNAG: Kind of sickening?

KL: Yeah. Or surprising, at least. I don't know quite what to do with that.

Not from what I hear.

AAG: We've got somebody in our office who's one of the guys. I mean, she talks more to the guys than to the girls, but there's always sexual innuendo in there. She's always

SNAG: Yeah.

AAG: teasing the guys

SNAG: Yeah!

AAG: so that she always leaves it open so that

SNAG: Yeah.

AAG: If she wants to go beyond being one of the guys, she can. That teasing and sexual innuendo keeps the door open.

Two of you have mentioned sexual innuendo. Is there anything else that in a woman's behavior would keep the door open?

SNAG: I think being stunningly beautiful might help.

[raucous laughter]

Thank you for your honesty.

AAG: That's true.

SNAG: Because deep down inside

AAG: There's an attraction.

SNAG: Yeah, there was always an attraction that he never really quite let go of.

KL: That's right.

AAG: But face it: if you're around a girl that's stunningly beautiful, you feel intimidated around her. Right? I mean, I do.

KL: Of course, there's that constant awareness, though, of

AAG: I don't see where a girl who's really stunningly beautiful could become one of the guys.

SNAG: It would be extremely difficult.

KL: It would take a lot of effort on both sides, I think.

SNAG: Also I think women like that have a different sense of self awareness, because they see themselves as sex objects. So their whole approach to men is different.

AAG: What was that, Kathy, the "Barbie doll syndrome?"2

SNAG: And I would think that even if they're not airheads (just because you're good-looking doesn't mean you're an airhead isn't that right, Kathy?)

Good save, SNAG.

SNAG: Their whole approach to men is going to be a lot more wary, because guys are always coming on to them.

AAG: Yup.

SNAG: They're not going to have that relaxation, that sense of "Hey, guys, what are you doing after work? What do you say we go hoist a few?"

AAG: It's a different part that somebody that's really beautiful plays. They don't have to be one of the guys. They always play the part of the tease.

KL: It's hard for them not to be aware of what they look like.

AAG: Sure.

KL: Somebody's always reminding them.

AAG: Sure.

KL: Through a stare or

Salivating

KL: Or salivating. Dropping things as people pass by.

AAG: Talking to a left one and then talking to a right one.

[laughter and applause]

KL: The center will not hold.

AAG: Are you going to print that?

[prolonged silence]

AAG: Okay. Have we beat that one to death?

It went somewhere I certainly didn't expect it to. My, my.

SNAG: Gee, Kathy, don't you have any other things you want to ask us?

KL: We branched off from what can a woman do to avoid that to being stunningly beautiful

Well, then, let's back up a second. If a woman is first getting to know you, what sorts of things would she do that would subliminally signal to you "This person is romance material?" Or "This person would go out with you?"

SNAG: When you talk to guys, and you're getting to know guys, there's a certain superficial level that goes on. There are certain boundaries, certain things you don't talk about. You don't talk about things that are real, real deep-down important to you. Except maybe if it's somebody that you really know or you're really attracted to. That's about it. Whereas sometimes with women I don't know about you guys but I know with myself with women I can unload a little bit more, a little bit sooner to them and if they can reply to me on a sort of a confidante level, then you've established a special bond right away.

AAG: Evidently you haven't had one that's just grabbed your heart, pulled it out, thrown it on the floor and stamped on it a few times. They'll use it against you.

SNAG: Oh, well, yeah. I guess what I'm saying is that's one way of establishing a relationship right away that says that you're not going to be a buddy or a guy like that. Most of the women I've known who've been one of the guys have been women at work.

AAG: Right.

SNAG: Women that I used to work with or women that I work with now. And there's already a certain hands-off thing that's in the air. Unless unmistakable signals are sent out, I'm not going to mess with them.

AAG: Most men can't talk about deep emotions. It's something that's cloaked. And really, women don't get into those deep emotions unless it's more of a bedroom atmosphere as kind of the afterglow, shall we say.

KL: Either that, or drunk.

SNAG: You've been like at a party or something and been introduced to somebody and started talking and asked something like, "Well, how do you like Houston?" Instead of saying, "Well, the weather's nice, you know, but I don't like my job," she'll say something like

AAG: "I can't meet anybody"

SNAG: Or she'll say something's that kind of surprising like "Well, my boyfriend left me and I'm wondering if I need to take some self-improvement classes or if there's something wrong with me" that's your chance to say, "Oh, you're fine just the way you are."

AAG: Let me ask a question beyond that. What if she says, "Yeah, I'm new to town, I don't have that much to do, my husband lives in another city and things are pretty dull around here?"

[incredulous laughter]

AAG: This is a real

KL: Right this way, fella.

Call 695-

KL: Call 66-Wahoo!

AAG: Would you really go after that? I'm asking from a...realistic standpoint.

SNAG: Gee, when I think of all the times that's happened to me, I've got to remember how I responded.

AAG: You know, what really shows me that somebody's interested in me is when a girl will sit and listen to you and ask questions about: YOU! Not "I this this this and this"

SNAG: Waiting for you to finish so she can start talking about her own perspective

AAG: But truly asking questions. "Well, what do you like? How was your day? Tell me about what you did." We've been through this before, haven't we?

MM-hmm.3

KL: It's called active listening.

AAG: Exactly. Guys love to talk. And I think in the column previously we've hit that.

So if she feeds your ego and it doesn't seem to be forced or phony, that's a good thing.

AAG: Exactly. Feeding ego: "Tell me about your day. Tell me about what happened here." And if a guy gets a chance to get things off of his chest and be able to talk to somebody I think this goes back to what you were saying of being able to say things to someone that you wouldn't be able to tell other people. It's a vulnerability. "Gosh, I really had a bad day and let me tell you why." You wouldn't go telling people in the office about that necessarily, but to be able to tell somebody else that

SNAG: That makes you special.

KL: But at the same time it puts the guy at center stage as well.

AAG: And at ease.

SNAG: On the other hand I must say I've read plenty of those things where they say the same thing about men; you know, in men's magazines they always say: "Do you listen to her? Do you ask her questions about herself? Do you really care about her day?" And they say, well: NO. Just bring yourself to pretend to and you'll be doing so much better than all those other guys.

It sounds like three things so far. If you find yourself unexpectedly opening up to someone, someone opens up to you or someone takes a great interest in you three things that might indicate that this person could be romantic potential rather than a guy, right? It also sounds like the environment has something to do with it. You meet a women in a work environment, you tend to

SNAG: You meet a woman in a bar, assuming you meet her at all, there's going to be a lot of hackles raised immediately. One of the best ways to meet somebody is through somebody else. That's why I like parties, because there's a certain legitimacy for you being there. You've got no excuse for being in a bar on Saturday night by yourself; come on. And you could be any rapist or

AAG: That's why all the bars do such good business on Thursdays and Friday nights.

KL: At least someone thought well enough of you to invite you to a party.

AAG: At least you know this person's probably not going to come over to your house and boil a bunny rabbit.

KL: You can't rule that out until the third or fourth date.

AAG: This person doesn't have a fetish for knives.

SNAG: At least you know who to blame if she does.

How much interest can a woman show before you start backing away, feeling like you're being chased?

SNAG: Being assertive and being aggressive are two different things. I must say I've met a lot of women, especially lately, who seem to think that the best way to impress a guy is to tell him all the stuff they don't want in a guy. It's a real turn-off.

AAG: It is. It's a big negative.

SNAG: Exactly. Getting a whole catalogue of "I don't like guys who..."

KL: Because any moment you could be pegged.

SNAG: "I've got a little of Number 35, but not much of Number 40."

KL: "But I'm working on Number "

AAG: Do you like being near someone who's giving negatives? You want to hear positives.

SNAG: Sure.

KL: You don't want to be tested, either.

AAG: Yeah, that's true.

SNAG: And if you really are kind of interested in somebody and she says, "I'm looking for a guy who loves to paint" you'll find yourself saying, "I always kind of wanted to draw. Yeah, I think I could do that. Sure! Maybe a cartoon strip or something."

I'm thinking in terms of showing interest. At what point is her showing interest or extending an invitation suddenly become too much? One thing I've finally realized is that the best, seems to me the wisest policy is an attitude of receptivity and letting men choose timing and letting them issue invitations.

SNAG: They've got to know you're interested. You can carry this receptive stuff too far.

I understand that.

SNAG: A lot of guys are real shy.

AAG: True.

SNAG: Nobody wants to make a fool of themselves. Listen: this happened to me. I met a woman who was introduced to me by another friend. We were tending bar together at sort of a charity function and this woman spent the entire evening with me walking around and talking and we talked about all the things that we both had in common and all the stuff we enjoyed and at the end of it all I said something like, "You know, I really like you. I'd like to get your number. I'd like to call you" and she said, "Oh, okay" and she gave me her number. I don't know why she did because she refused to ever, ever go out with me after that. You know?

I know about this. Wasn't me!

SNAG: I thought you'd get a kick out of it.

Thank you.

SNAG: But no, I mean, you'd want to know that a woman's interested and if she's not, you don't want to waste your time, either. The older we get, the more gun-shy we get.

Okay. Well, say there have been exchanges of interest, there have been meaningful glances, there has been strange, peculiar sharing of details about people's lives back and forth, back and forth, growing over a period of months, and the woman issues an invitation --

SNAG: It's time to start sharing diseases at that point.

-- to the man to come to a small, not overbearing, a small gathering at her house. It's clear that it's not a date situation; it's just "come to my house, meet some of my friends." The man says yes and doesn't show and never explains.

AAG: He's not interested yet.

SNAG: He's not interested, and I think that's bad form. That's kind of a slap in the face; that's a way of really letting a woman know he's not interested. Who is this guy, Kathy?

KL: Several months is a long time, anyway, really for an introductory sort of a getting-to-know- you before the first date.

AAG: If you've been running into each other in social atmospheres, crossing paths previously and the opportunity to meet like that in a very mutual position...it's not like "come over to my house, I'm cooking dinner for you" where you feel trapped. This is a very, very neutral ground because you can come and go as you please. If you miss that opportunity, then the person's not interested. If they were interested, this is their opportunity to get to know that person better and test a little bit more. If you're invited to a party, you come, you enjoy yourself, stay till after the rest of the group leaves. If you don't even come to the party to see what's going on, there's no interest there.

SNAG: And if you don't even call, I'd consider that slightly insulting. I hope I'm not hurting your feelings, but I do.

KL: Except for the far-fetched notion of some complication that is embarrassing in and of itself.

SNAG: Then you'd make up a lie.

KL: Well, that's true.

SNAG: "Oh, my cat chewed my leg off while I slept."

KL: "And I had the damnedest time getting it back on."

AAG: "My grandmother died for the fourth time."

SNAG: "Just then a group of Nazis submariners came up through the sewers..."

KL: Surfers, yeah.

This brings to mind another question. Once when I was in high school, I went out with someone, had a fairly decent time, never called, never called, never called. Years later told me that he had procrastinated calling for so many weeks that he felt like he could never call. So he just stopped.

All three: Yep.

So the question then becomes, leading out of this: say you're starting to cross paths with someone and there's sparking, what's the period of time within which you would ask her out or just let it go?

KL: Gosh, after a couple of weeks, things start to get a bit

AAG: Disagree. It can go up to a matter of several months. It depends on what type of schedule that person's keeping. That person may have a horrendous schedule.

KL: Besides schedule I guess it depends on how much time has been spent with the two of them, together. Or is it an occasional thing?

AAG: The weeks start melding into each other and you lose track of time. I would say more three months, versus weeks.

KL: Pretty soon though I think that embarrassment idea does start to kick in. "Well, gee, why am I asking someone out after two and a half months?"

SNAG: I met a girl at a party once and we hit it off really well and at the end of the night as I was leaving the party I got her phone number from her. She said, "Give me a call" and I said "Yeah" and I wanted so badly to call her the next day. And I waited this was a weekend party to call her until about Wednesday the following week. She was happy to hear from me and we ended up getting together and going out and having a nice relationship. But she later told me, "If you had waited one more day, I would not have had anything to do with you; I was so pissed. I had gone off to work Monday, told all my girlfriends about this neat guy I'd met over the weekend and how he was going to call me up and every day they were saying, 'Where is this guy? Isn't he interested?'"

AAG: If you had said, "I will call you," that's a different thing.

SNAG: That's true. But how do you get a girl's phone number without saying, "I will call you?"

KL: That has certain implications.

SNAG: "I'd like to have your telephone number because I'm putting a telephone directory together and I will sell you some..." I mean, that's what I always say: "Give me your number and I'll give you a call sometime. I'd like to see you."

AAG: Well, you're committed at that point in time. There's a difference between being committed and maybe I misunderstood the question? the non-commitment.

SNAG: Then there's the other thing where there's something like you're interested but you're not that interested; you're not sure how interested she is but there's this one thing you're both interested in and it's, like, Civil War chess sets and you say, "Listen, the next time I happen across a really good one, I'll give you a call, okay? Give me your number." That's wide open. And we'll talk about: Civil War chess sets.

AAG: Then you get to the case where you're at a party and you meet a girl and she says, "Hey, let's get together some time" and she starts calling you and you said, "Hey, yeah, let's get together" but you don't want to hurt her and say, "No, I really don't like you and don't call me." You say, "yeah, that's fine," thinking that she's going to blow you off and then she starts calling the next week and you're thinking of excuses. "Oh my God, this girl's calling; I don't want to go out with her."

KL: "Actually, I'm married in seven other states."

AAG: But you do have this girl that's calling you. "Hey, let's go out." How do you let her down? Do you really want to tell her, "No, you're ugly, I really don't want to go out with you?" Most guys don't want to hurt somebody and say

SNAG: But why'd you give her your number then?

AAG: If a friend of hers knows how to get in touch with you and starts calling you

SNAG: Oh. Okay, yeah, I had something like that happen to me once and I think I just told her she said, "So what do you think? Should we get together?" I said, "I don't think that's a very good idea." And there was a long silence.

AAG: That's a hard thing to say. And a lot of guys won't say that. They'll say, "No, I'm busy this weekend." She'll keep calling.

KL: Or go invent another woman.

AAG: Aaah. That's a good point.

KL: "I'd feel pretty bad about it. She lives in Pittsburgh."

AAG: I've used that once. "Yeah, I'm involved with this girl and she's in another city..."

SNAG: "That's great! That's exactly what I want: a relationship with no strings attached! Let's get together "

KL: "Tomorrow!"

Well, this is fascinating.

The question was: What would a woman do in your first couple of weeks of getting to know her that would indicate that she's romance potential? Dating potential?

AAG: Slight physical contact.

SNAG: Hiking her skirts whenever you're around.

By the same token, if a guy finds excuses to just kind of touch your arm a bunch while he's talking to you

AAG: I don't like guys touching me on the arm. I'd rather not.

KL: You get that message, don't you?

AAG: You understand a message there and you leave!

Besides physical contact, how about prolonged eye contact?

AAG: Eye contact says a lot.

SNAG: It says a lot, yeah. You don't want to be corny about it. You don't want to swoon.

KL: Or play blinking contests.

AAG: Well, it goes back to what I was saying about if the girl asks the guy a lot of questions "Tell me about your day" then she can give you that prolonged eye contact. That's flirting. It's more of a "tell me about yourself." Boy, does that open it up. All she has to do is just sit back and stare at him or watch his eyes and that's a flirtatious activity.

KL: Also all of my jokes seem to be a lot funnier than they are to ordinary civilians.

SNAG: I'd keep the physical stuff down to a minimum. That can scare people off.

I'm not saying things to do. I'm saying: What signals, what to you says, "ahh, this person's interested."

AAG: How about something like this: A guy grabbing a girl like that on the shoulder or touching nothing wrong with that but that opens it up right there. Or vice versa.

KL: That opens up ambiguity.

AAG: Or a girl grabbing a guy, kind of on the shoulder or every once in a while putting the hand on the arm

SNAG: But again, I'd keep that stuff down to a minimum. You really are sort of violating space. And you can send out too strong of a signal.

AAG: You can overdo that.

SNAG: You really can overdo that. I think you're right: I think eye contact. I can usually tell if a woman's interested real quick just by eye contact. And then I'll be surprised if it turns out a woman's interested and there hasn't been any eye contact. As far as the other thing about I have actually had that same experience. In fact, there's a really pretty woman that I was interested in a long time ago. I met her and got her phone number and shortly before I was going to ask her out I met somebody else who I ended up getting involved with and having a long-term relationship with and I've still got this other woman's telephone number. Now I'd be really embarrassed to call her up and say cause she knows

AAG: "Do you remember me?"

SNAG: that I only got around to her after I was through with somebody else. It's too embarrassing.

AAG: If you could find a way to meet her in a public place or a party or something like that, you could always

SNAG: If I was having a big party or something I would say, "Listen, I have a whole bunch of people coming over; I'd love you to see my house; I've just redone it. Why don't you come on out?"

AAG: That would do it.

SNAG: "Sure, I'll bring Rex!"

AAG: "Vito!"

SNAG: "He plays for the Rockets!"

I'm the one who brings Rex.

AAG: Are we on page 10 of the Compendium now?

I think so! Any final non sequiturs anyone cares to throw out?

AAG: On this question or ?

SNAG: [recites his phone number]

KL: That number again!

AAG: Free delivery ... installation ...

SNAG: You know, to get back to something you said early on: I think it's important for a woman to know some idea of what she wants out of a guy. Otherwise she's going to be sending him mixed signals. I don't mean that she should have it all planned out, but she should have some idea of "Do I want to be just pals with this person or with this group of people? Do I want to keep my options open? Or does this guy make my heart beat faster every time I look at him?" You need to sort of have an idea of how you want to relate to him before you start getting into this other stuff. The woman who sort of made me feel like "Yeah, I'd love to go out with you" and then refused to ever go out with me, even to the point of giving me her telephone number... You talk about being confused and actually having your feelings hurt. You feel like you sort of put your ego on the line and she sort of played along with you and then she sort of rejects you. You don't even know me; how can you reject me?

KL: Especially when you initially put that hat up on the stick and held it up and it wasn't shot.

AAG: I knew a female attorney that was sort of one of the guys

KL: Tell us the story. Please!

AAG: And she could sit and talk. She loved sports; her dad brought her up as sort of a tomboy. She was gorgeous. She was a blonde, blue-eyed Joyce Davenport 4 from "Hill Street Blues." She could talk to guys just like any of the other guys but I tell you: she was a real vamp. People fell over her; she was beautiful; she was very intelligent. But most of the time she asked more questions about the person again, more "tell me about your day; tell me about this." She could drink like the rest of the guys. I tell you, you just hoped she would say something like

SNAG: Jesus, where do I meet this girl?

KL: Yeah, I was going to ask.

AAG: Well, she's married now. She's one of those that we said that she had seasonal boyfriends. She would date a guy for three months and get rid of him; pick up a new one, date him three months. And there was an actual fan club, as we called it, really an alumni club that used to meet, of all of her exes and eventually she went through most of the men around her and got married to somebody in another city.

SNAG: That makes sense.

KL: Yeah, it does.

AAG: Her reputation got around. Fantastic in bed, but people soon learned about what her modus operandi was: date a guy for three months, squeeze out of him what she wanted to and then go on to the next one. It's funny; she would

KL: Leaving a dry husk behind.

AAG: She would usually drop guys right after Christmas, right after her birthday in May, right after holidays

KL: OOooooooo.

AAG: You've got the idea?

KL: It'd be a little less suspicious before, wouldn't it?

AAG: She was one that if you went out for dinner on a Saturday night and dinner was less than $60, she wouldn't consider spending the night with you. But if you spent over $60 with her, she would consider spending the night with you. Very expensive girl.

KL: This was empirically worked out over a number of different-seasoned guys.

AAG: And once the alumni association was established, a lot of these things came out. It was every month, every two months. We had this room set aside at a bar that most everybody went to. The alumni association would get in there and we'd just "She did this and this oh, yeah, when she was in bed, would she bite you on the neck, too?" That type of thing. We always thought that some time we were going to invite her to an alumni association meeting

SNAG: As a guest speaker

AAG And watch her walk in and go, "Oh! I know you, you, you, you, you, you, you, you."

KL: "What do all these people have in common? Me!"

AAG: But she was one of the guys! But she was also a vamp.

SNAG: So let this be a warning: If you do this to men, you will get talked about.

AAG: You will have alumni associations.

Thank you, thank you, guys.


What's this? Why, it looks like we have a flit-in...

Ask a Gay:5 Being usually unwilling to intrude, I could not help but interject. My explanation of just about all straight male behavior is that fundamentally, straight men are bored and have far too much time (and very little else) on their hands.

Copyright 1993, 1995 by Kathy Biehl. All rights reserved. Permission is granted for electronic replication of this article only if you include the copyright notice.

Excerpted from Ladies' Fetish & Taboo Society Compendium of Urban Anthropology
Vernally '93,
Vol. VI, No. 1

1 Who pined for the really dynamic, attractive men but only got asked out by Herman Glimmscher remember? We do. Sigh.

2See Vol. IV, No. 2, p. 4.

3 See "Ask A Guy," Vol. IV, No. 2, p. 3.

4 Edx. note: For those of you following along at home: not Lady K. Definitely not Lady K.