Guys’ Night Out - What Men Really Talk About

Think those dudes at the bar are chatting about sports? Yeah, right! Ladies, come listen to what men are really saying about love, sex and (yes) you.

By Jonathan Wilde

et's admit it: When men get together at a bar to throw back a few beers, it isn’t always pretty. When women aren’t around to keep us in check, the conversation can, well, devolve a few thousand years. Raunchy jokes, gripes about girls we’re seeing and furtive exclamations of “Dude, check her out!” abound. But what I’m here to say is one hour of eavesdropping on these clandestine conversations will give you more insight into the male mind than a semester’s worth of cramming in the relationships section of your local bookstore. And so, at the risk of being branded a traitor to my brothers, I’m going to break the code of silence. I invited three of my single buddies to a bar in New York, bought a few rounds and got them talking about women they’ve dated, women they’d like to date (many of whom were right in front of us) and women who, to be honest, make us want to run in the opposite direction. Listen and learn, ladies.

The guys:
Brendan, 24, freelance illustrator
Beecher, 25, art manager
Joe, 25, art director

Q: So, guys, in an ideal world what do you hope will happen tonight?
Beecher: Nothing specific. Eighty percent of the time I’m just here to drink and hang out. Ten percent of the time I’m actively looking to snag a woman. And then the other 10 percent of the time I’m here just to flirt. You know—to keep my game strong.

“80 percent of the time, I’m just here to drink and hang out; 10 percent, I’m looking to snag someone; the other 10 percent, I’m here just to flirt.”
Joe: Yeah, because you’ve got so much game.

Beecher: Shut up.

Brendan: My goal is to kick everyone’s butt in that video game Deer Hunter. Otherwise, I want to get drunk. As for women, if I meet one who’s worth the effort, great. If not, no big deal.

Q: Which women in the room catch your eye, and why?
Joe: The short brunette to my left. She had the good taste to check me out when I came in; I watched her look me up and down. Pretty face, OK body. I like a girl who isn’t super-attractive—it’s less intimidating that way.

Brendan: I like the same girl who caught Joe’s eye because she has a crook in her nose. I like large noses, maybe because I have one too. I suppose it may stem from some deep desire to make love to myself.

Beecher: The same girl and her friend caught my eye. I’m guessing neither of them is taken, since they’re sizing up all the guys in the room, including, sadly, Joe. But on further review, those chicks are bony. Neither of them is as cute as the brunette with the pink scarf over there. She has curves. I love curves.

Q: Does the way a woman dresses matter to you?
Beecher: It has to do with how she carries herself. She could dress preppy as long as she looks comfortable. On the flip side, she could dress like a hipster and seem more concerned with how she looks. And that’s a turnoff.

Joe: Exactly. It’s not the clothes—it’s the attitude. She just has to have her own style. Besides, if she was wearing a $100,000 outfit, I’d have no idea.

Brendan: I don’t want a girl who’s wearing a lot of Gucci. That just says high-maintenance.

Q: Can a girl dress too sexy?
Beecher: I don’t like a girl showing too much. I want something left to the imagination. I
“I don’t think women can be too forward—just too forward a little too quickly.”
like cleavage, but too much is distracting. I wouldn't be able to look at her face.

Joe: Not a chance. Though I suppose she could be naked, and that would be a little bit too much.

Q: What convinces you to approach a woman?
Beecher: I’m all about the quality of eye contact. The more there is, the more I’m willing to introduce myself.

Brendan: I know a woman is worth talking to if she has a great laugh. Not deep, not snorting, not high or annoying. Melodic, maybe? I don’t know. I know it when I hear it.

Joe: When I’m attracted to a girl, I’m attracted to the way she’s having fun. I want the one who’s having a ball.

Q: So your first move is…
Joe: If she’s been dancing, I’ll go up to her between songs and say, “Hey, I think you’re a really good dancer.” Then I’ll pick out a move she did and mimic it. “I really like that slide you were doing before.” If she can’t pick up on my jokes, laugh, and have fun with me, then forget it.

Beecher: I almost never make the first move. I’m reliant on the conversation being directed at me. I’ve thought about hanging out nearby and waiting for a good time to jump in, but that just seems creepy. I’ve got no guts.

Brendan: Not me. I’ll just go up and introduce myself. I still think the best pickup line is, “Hi, I’m Brendan.”

Q: How do you show a woman you’re into her?
Joe: For me, it’s heavy eye contact and touching her as soon as possible.

Brendan: See, if I’m talking to a girl I like, and I have to go to the bathroom or something, I’ll make sure she knows I’m coming back. But if I excuse myself and don’t show that I’m interested in talking further, then I’m cutting it off.

Q: What can women do to turn you off?
Beecher: Play too hard to get. And I don’t like women who put themselves down a lot. It feels like they’re fishing for compliments.

Brendan: I think the flipside is a woman who’s way too into you. Interest is great; fawning isn’t.

Joe: I don’t know what would turn me off. Honestly, I can’t remember the last time a woman annoyed me.

Q: Ever been picked up by a woman? Do you like that or would you rather make the first move?
Beecher: Doesn’t scare me one bit. They’re being forward about something I want. It’s kind of like going to a cake store to buy a cake, and when you walk in they offer you a free one. It’s like, “Thanks, that’s exactly what I was looking for.”

Brendan: A big yes to that one. I guess it’s because I’m more of a relationship guy, so I’m not usually looking to hook up with a random girl. I’ve been interested in women, and they’ve been far too forward, or alluded to getting physical way too quickly. If within the first three drinks she says, “Hey, let’s go back to your place,” I think that she’s probably done this with tons of other guys.

Joe: Yeah, this woman I met at a bar recently did something like that. I don’t think a woman can be too forward—just too forward a little too quickly. Once I think it’s in the bag, it’s no fun anymore. There’s no chase.

Q: How far will you guys go that first time you’re together?
Joe: All the way.

Brendan: How far would I go, or how far would I go and have a relationship afterwards? Because if I get everything the first time we’re together, I probably won’t be calling her back.

Beecher: That’s horrible. But I will say that if she’s willing to hook up on the first date, it says something about her attitude.

Joe: For me, it wouldn’t matter. I’m not going to judge her based on whether she goes all the way, because, to tell the truth, I will if she will.

Beecher: It’s not a deal-breaker. If she makes me wait, so long as it’s not too long, that’s fine.

Q: How long is too long to wait to do the deed?
Beecher: Three dates.

Brendan: For someone I really liked, I’d wait months.

Joe: To tell you the truth, I haven’t had to wait any longer than three or four dates, so I don’t really know. But I’d have a very hard time waiting as long as Brendan.

Q: Who here would be great in bed, and why?
Joe: It’s a shot in the dark. I’ve been with women who were social dynamos but really conservative in bed. And I’ve been with women who were shy, but when they’re in the dark, it’s a whole new ballgame.

Beecher: It’s the quiet ones you’ve got to watch. Also good: women who are comfortable in their bodies. The brunette girl with the scarf isn’t flaunting anything. She’s not dressed in a very sexy way. But she’s using her body in a great way. She keeps crossing and uncrossing her legs, which I find really hot. And I’ve seen her lick her lips a few times, which is hot, too. She uses her body to get a guy’s attention, which means she thinks she’s sexy. That confidence means she’s probably fun to fool around with.

Q: Ever end up in a relationship with someone you’ve met at the bar?
Joe: Yeah, plenty. I’m not picky about where I meet a girl.

Brendan: I haven’t. It’s not that I’m against meeting a woman in a bar. I just don’t date that many people, and the ones that I end up dating, I tend to know through someone else.

Beecher: Same with me. I tend to date within my social network. Friend-of-a-friend. But I have had a couple relationships that kicked off in a bar. Women I knew beforehand, but when we got a few drinks in us…

Q: Do guys’ nights out change once someone in the group has a girlfriend?
Beecher: Not for me. I’m just going to do what I want.

Joe: I love going out with friends who have girlfriends. That means less competition. It also means I’ve got a wingman to help me out.

Brendan: Yeah. As long as there’s one single guy in the group, it’s fine. Everyone lives vicariously through him.

Q: And if you’re that guy with a girlfriend, where do you draw the line at what you will and won’t do when you’re out with your buddies?
Brendan: Well, I wouldn’t cheat on my girlfriend, if that’s what you’re asking. My rule is, “Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do in front of my girlfriend.”

Beecher: I might flirt a little, though. No harm in having a little fun.

Joe: If I were in a serious relationship, I would keep it clean, definitely.

Beecher: Except you never consider any relationship “serious.”

Joe: Doesn’t change my answer.

Jonathan Wilde writes for Maxim and other publications.
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