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Wise Guys: He Looks at Other Women But Gets Jealous If I Ogle Men

Tue, Dec 29, 2009

Advice, Wise Guys

man_ogles_women_cropphoto by makelessnoise

Advice from three of our guy friends. This week they answer the following: My boyfriend claims it means nothing when he looks at other women, and yet he gets jealous when I look at other men. Why is that?

joel_derfner_100Gay Engaged Guy (Joel Derfner, author of Swish): It’s a combination of insecurity and a double standard. When your boyfriend looks at a woman who isn’t you, chances are he’s really just appreciating her, like you might appreciate a strawberry-rhubarb pie on the table — even though you’re really enjoying the piece of red velvet cake you’re already eating. But when you look at someone who isn’t your boyfriend, he can’t see that you’re probably just appreciating too, because he’s terrified that you might decide the other guy is better — that you might realize the strawberry-rhubarb pie is smarter than the red velvet cake, or makes more money, or has a bigger penis — and dump him, half-eaten, in the trash, so you can ride off into the sunset with the pie.

anonymous_suitStraight Married Guy (Figleaf):¬†Funny you should mention that. I’ve got a woman friend who flirts shamelessly but almost blacks out with jealousy when her partner so much as asks another woman to pass the salt. Her answer for the double standard is a lot like men’s: ¬†She knows she’s not looking to change relationships, so it’s okay for her, but not having the same insider information about what her partner’s thinking, she sees it as a total threat. Something similar is probably going though your partner’s head.

But that’s just the general case — there’s a more specific case related to what we “know” about men and women in relationships. We “know” that women are all “naturally” monogamous and men are just as “naturally” promiscuous, right? And so all your boyfriend’s cultural messages are that it’s really harmless for him to eye other women. He’d at most want a one-night stand, but we all “know” he wouldn’t want an emotional attachment. Meanwhile, though, all the cultural messages about you as a woman say that if you’re looking, it’s because you’d rather be with them. Forever! So he “knows” you’d really “only” want an emotional attachment and not a one-night stand. And as Em & Lo’s survey showed back in September, both men and women feel way more threatened by emotional infidelity than sexual infidelity. Is it fair that women are thought to be “naturally” monogamous and men are thought to be “naturally” promiscuous? No, but a lot of things aren’t fair, and jealousy will probably always be with us. The bigger question is whether it’s true? No, it’s not. Which is a bigger problem, but one that, unlike jealousy, we can get over.

anonymous_suitStraight Single Guy (L.A. Chris): That’s because men are, in general, babies. I think almost every guy has this double standard when it comes to jealousy.¬†He’s jealous because he’s jealous, but he’s telling the truth when he says it means nothing. Men deeply believe that sex and love are unrelated. Totally separate. Like apples and roller coasters. When a man ogles another woman, it has nothing to do with how he feels about his girlfriend or his relationship. A guy may stare excitedly at a bulldozer or a flame-thrower, but it doesn’t mean he wants to own one. So if you catch him glancing at a passing hottie, don’t feel threatened. He’s not shopping for a new girlfriend and he doesn’t love you any less.¬†However, I think that most guys suspect, deep-down, that when a woman looks around, she is probably shopping around for something better.

Our ‚Äúwise guys‚ÄĚ are a rotating group of contributors, some of whom wish to remain anonymous and some of whom like the attention. This week‚Äôs Gay Engaged Guy is Joel Derfner, author of Swish, and our Straight Married Guy is Figleaf, the guy behind RealAdultSex.com. To ask the guys your own question, click here.

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10 Responses to “Wise Guys: He Looks at Other Women But Gets Jealous If I Ogle Men”

  1. Doug Says:

    The guys hit on it a little bit, and it all boils down to insecurity. I feel the same way about the guys that hold this double standard as the girls who read romance novels and watch chick flick marathons and freak out when their guy uses porn to masturbate. The problem here isn’t with the girl who looks, it’s the guy who can’t handle her looking, just like the aforementioned problem isn’t the guy who uses porn, it’s the girl who can’t handle the guy looking.

    Everybody has fantasies; some people just try to make themselves feel better by pretending their partners don’t. From a rational standpoint, the idea that you can fantasize about someone else but your partner can only fantasize about you is patently ridiculous, but so many people, men and women, adhere to this kind of faulty double-standard. And they only do it because they can’t handle knowing that they personally are not the be-all end-all of their partner’s existence. It’s selfish, childish and extremely insecure; guilting your partner into not looking only makes them less likely to share themselves with you, it drives a wedge of delusion between yourself and your partner. That’s the kind of wedge that grows with time, and I would bet has ended many promising relationships. All because one person couldn’t recognize that the other one was human too.

    I wish people didn’t just assume that thought, that everybody is human, was common sense. Although, perhaps I just wish this common sense were a little more common.

  2. johnny Says:

    Men sexually fantasize about the women they ogle. Women sexually fantasize about the men they ogle.

    Everybody does it, and it’s normal. You’re allowed to fantasize. As for whether it means that your ogling partner would actually cheat on you, I think you have to consider them innocent until proven guilty, given the fact that YOU DO IT TOO.

  3. Metoo Says:

    To figleaf: Yep, that first paragraph was right on the money!

  4. narutod2nd Says:

    What you see is what you get? Isn’t it right, men get jealous if you gals start to stare at other guys. Am i right or wrong? But, when we guys start to stare at other girls. You, ladies want to tear our heads off. Agree…

  5. Julie Says:

    Of course fantasizing is something we all do. I do think it is disrespectful though to ogle at anyone when in public and in the presence of your significant other. I don’t think thats too much to ask from either men or women.

  6. Spes Says:

    I agree with Julie. Oggling in public or around a partner who wouldn’t be comfortable with it is quite disrespectful, even though it can be quite harmless.

    Also fantasizing and checking someone out are two very different things. One may admire the features or sexual air of another without necessarily including that person in their fantasies.

    Lastly: Damn, reading this post makes me feel like I’m totally weird. Not everyone fantasize about people other than their significant other. I don’t. I’ve even tried to, and found that I can get as far as a kiss before I find myself feeling slightly nauseated and I start losing my focus. Even fantasizing about my husband can be difficult, and I’m usually fairly unsuccessful except once every few months. And yet, just soft sex scenes in regular movies are a huge turn on as well as reading of such, so it’s not like I can’t appreciate sexual imagery. Bottom line, I suppose, is this: we’re all different and we need to be wary of over- generalizations, especially concerning people’s sexual natures.

  7. Cinster Says:

    Ok…all this being said…I get it. I know men look. Women feel threatened by the possibility that their partners will throw them out in favour of the piece of pie that just walked by. Women look…some men don’t care, some get jealous and feel threatened for the same reason. What fans the flame of jealousy is the unknown…if that’ what I’m understanding…we get jealous because we also get afraid…because we don’t know what’s going on inside the other’s mind. So our mind messes with us – whether we are men or women….but my problem isn’t that he looks…it’s in the way it has happened. I felt hurt…I was trying to talk to him about something very important to me when all of a sudden he “shushed” me…only to tell me he had to shush me because 2 hot 20 year olds with nice t*ts were jogging by and he wanted to see them b*uncing…and he would not have listened or paid attention to what I said. I think what choked me the most was that last part “would not have listened or paid attention to what I said”…when we were in the middle of an important conversation. So do I have a right to be jealous or am I being stupid as some people seem to think? I felt disrespected…and I’d like both men and women’s feedback. Men – do you treat your women this way? Women – is this just a guy thing your men do to you?

  8. Lisa Says:

    I had, had the same problem with my ex. We went to the zoo and some woman was jogging and in mid sentence I was intereupted by “oh a woman with bouncing boobs”. I said what? after I had seen this woman coming closer to us. I had stopped the woman and asked if she cared that my fiance was checking her t*ts out while bouncing and asked her if she wouldn’t mind lifting her shirt so he could have a picture of what intriged him so much that my talking to him about our wedding plans took second place. She right there slapped him across the face and asked “why disrespect the woman you are going to marry”.I corrected her at this point and said was going to marry. Funny thing is she asked me if I wanted a ride home and I accepted and left him at the zoo without keys to his car or house. I had them for a few minutes untill we got on the highway and tossed them with my 2000.00 engagment ring. So men by all means look while your woman is standing there but don’t be supprised at what happens. There is no reason for that sort of behavior. Yes I know they say looking is natural….Fantasies are suppose to be natural bs. People do this sort of stuff because the one they are with isn’t doing it for them. What is between my legs is mine, how dare any male put another face on me while he is lets say in me. NOWAY

  9. Nancy Says:

    So many soft, kill the relationship, kill the filing here. People are jealous because we know when people are shopping, I mean looking it will result in them becoming disconent and judgemental about what they are missing out on – grass is greener. Doesn’t hurt? You are only fooling yourself at the expense of your eventually ruined relationship. When it comes to sex and infedelity – the blah, blah, blah about men say it is just sex and they still love their partner – Good golly what a line of BS. Yes, I still love my ex but I also love my other and you know how well we all share!!! We share our time, finances, energy, etc and you know most barely have enough of that for one otherwise they tend to half ass it. So the entire it is just causual sex that means nothing argument, is just a load of crap we try to sell someone to continue to do what we want. You probable will only get your other to buy that crap one time so use your pass wisely.

  10. Jessica Says:

    I used to be one of those females, when I was younger, who would fly off the handle if I saw my boyfriend looking at another women. After going through a terrible marriage, I realize there are far worse things out there your man could do. As long as my boyfriend doesn’t stare for a longer period of time then normal, or try and talk or smile at the other women, I’m o.k. Let’s be real ladies, we look at men just as much as men look at women and our “girl talks” would make any man blush if they knew what we talked about. I enjoy admiring a beautiful women too. Women are physically beautiful and so are men. Porn is healthy, get over it. My boyfriend and I enjoy it together and when we are a part. If you restrict someone so much, they are going to do something far worse then watch porn. So ladies lighten up a bit and enjoy your man. As long s he isn’t cheating on you or lying, you have a good one.

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