A couple months ago, a friend of mine (“Jack”) shared a story where he ended up sleeping with someone he knew he shouldn’t have slept with. The woman (“Jane”) had been a close platonicÂ (Ha!) friend of his for several years. They shared dating war stories, knew each other’s families, and even occasionally attended church together.
But, one night a few months ago, a “let’s hit this happy hour after work”Â text turned into “eh, this happy hour is wack, do you still have that bottle of honey jack from the last game night”Â leading to “i’m too f*cked up to drive home, do you mind if I crash on your couch?” andeventually ending at “do you have any condoms?”
After breaking the seal, they’ve had sex at least once a week for the last three or four months. Apparently, she had feelings for him for some time. And, although she knows the feelings aren’tÂ reciprocated—a fact he made very blunt after they slept together the first time so she wouldn’t get “the wrong idea”—she swears she’s perfectly fine with the arrangement. They’re still cool, they still share dating war stories, and they still (occasionally) go to church together. Only difference now is that he knows that, if theÂ spiritÂ moves him and he wants to get some ass, he can go over there at any time. And, not only has he hit her up after going on dates with other women, he’s gone over to her place before dates as well.
I imagine that most people reading this story have come to the conclusion that Jack is a major douchebag. Even those who might envy what he’s been able to do probably still think it takes a special grade of douche to sleep with a woman (a friend!) who has feelings for you even though you know they’re unrequited, and an evenÂ specialer, enhancedÂ grade of douche—douche crack, I guess—to openly and brazenly date other women in her presence.
But, believingÂ Jack is a limited-edition douche means that you’ve made another assumption—an assumption many of us also make even if we don’t want to make it and don’t realize we’ve made it:
Jane is a liar.
Our perception of Jack’s douchiness directly correlates to Jane’s feelings. We know Jane has feelings for Jack, so even though she swears she’s a-ok with being his f*ck buddy, we know she’s lying. She can’t possibly be telling the truth. There’s no way the satisfaction she gets from being a 3am on a Wednesday night booty call of a person she wants to be with is worth the shame of being a 3am on a Wednesday booty call of a person she wants to be with.
And, why are we so sure that she’s not being honest with herself? Well, she’s a woman, and, well, she’s a woman, and since she’s a woman, she’s not telling the truth cause that’s not how women “think” and “feel” about sex.
Now, if we believed Jane was being completely honest, Jack wouldn’t be seen as a douche, and this would just be a story about two adults who’ve decided to have some fun with each other in a mutually agreed upon and mutually beneficial way. But, since Jane is a woman—and since bothÂ socializationÂ and experience has taught us that she’s probably not being honest with her feelings—the socially palatable (read: good) way for him to have dealt with this situation is to assume that Jane’s gender makes her completely unable to be honest about stuff like this. Basically, the only way for Jack to avoid being considered a douche is to assume Jane—and any other woman who’d say “I’m cool” in aÂ similarÂ situation—isn’t reallyÂ a-ok with the arrangement, and not sleep with her. Basically, to be a “good” guy, sometimes you need to assume that women are liars.
I can imagine that many of you don’t think this is a fair assessment. Shit, I said it and I still don’t. But, it’s only unfair because, out of me, you, Jack, and Jane, Jack is the only one we know is telling the truth.
—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)