Dating, Relationships, & Sex, Lists, Theory & Essay

“White Lie Leeway” and More: Things Men Appreciate Much, Much More Than You Think We Do

***Check out “The Charger and The Nerd” — The Champ’s latest at The Good Men Project. It’s worth the read, just so you can tease Champ for eating pheasant.***

"Since no one bothered to compliment my new tie, I'm just going to sit here and keep farting"

After yesterday’s discussion shed light on how much we (men) truly love the rare and elusive unsolicited compliment from a woman, I decided to take it a step further.

Besides the usual (steak, morning blow jobs, porn stars with Flickr accounts, etc), here’s four more things we appreciate much, much more than women think we do.

1. White Lie Leeway

What exactly is white lie leeway? Lemme explain.

Ok, so imagine that it’s nighttime, and you’re laying in bed with your girl. She’s dead asleep. You’re feeling a little restless, though, so you get out of bed, scoot over to the next bedroom, and start messing around on your laptop. You check the local news, ESPN, Twitter, etc, but while you’re on Facebook, the page of an old high school classmate with a striking resemblance to Roxy Reynolds puts the “maybe I’ll go check out my favorite porn message board” bug in your head. You go to BGOL or ASR, one thing leads to another, and now you’re sitting in your computer chair, lube in hand, ready to rub one out.

Yet, despite the fact that you tried to make as little noise as possible, you managed to wake your girlfriend up. (I don’t know how they always manage to do that. Seriously, I think KY serves as a female smelling salt after 1am.) She notices you’re not in bed, gets up, and walks into the spare bedroom. You hear her coming, so you stop tickling your Elmo, but even Ray Charles could see that you were just masturbating.

Of course she asks “What are you doing?”

Now, she knows you were just masturbating. You know she knows you were just masturbating. In fact, she knows you know that she knows that you were just masturbating.

But, although there’s an open bottle of Astroglide on your desk and your left hand is greasier than Shawn Kemp’s face, of course you say “Nothing. Just chillin.”

(Why do we lie in this situation? I have no f*cking clue. I mean, it’s not like we’re doing anything wrong. There’s absolutely no reason to be dishonest. But, I do think “Nothing. Just chillin” rolls off the tongue a bit better than “Fantasizing about an electric razor, a stack of corn, the planet Jupiter, and this (hopefully) 19-year old WorldStarHipHop stripper, that’s all“)

White Lie Leeway” is her ignoring the white lie, saying “Okbabe,” and going back to bed.

Now, I know some women absolutely abhor the white lie. In their minds, a white lie is nothing but a gateway to bigger and better lies; weed to the serious lie’s smack. But, while that might be true with women, with men, a white lie is just a white lie, and we need to keep em in our pockets to keep us sane.

2. Hearing “Thank You”

The context of the thank you doesn’t even matter. It could be sex-related. (“Thank you, babe, for that amazingly eclectic orgasm.“) It could be serious. (“Thank you for saving me from that pack of rapey-looking meth addicts.”) It could be sappy. (“Thank you for being the sweetest boyfriend I’ve ever had.”) It could be sappy and backhanded. (“Thank you for being the sweetest boyfriend I’ve ever had this month.“).

Either way, like the compliment, the thank you is so rarely heard that a man might just start bawling uncontrollably when he hears it, so make sure you thank him in a private place.

3. Space

Now, I know that wanting occasional space from your mate isn’t a gender-specific concept. There’s a reason why y’all spend five to seventeen hours at a time in the hair salon, and it aint got nothing to do with texturizer. What (usually) separates man space from woman space, though, is the fact that we (usually) let you have as much of it as you want. We (usually) don’t take it personally when you decide that you want to hang out with your girls all night, and all we ask is that you extend us the same courtesy.

Also — and I think this is an important point — “space” doesn’t mean “extended separation.” Sometimes it could just be us hanging out undisturbed in our man cave for a few hours while you’re still in the house. Sometimes it could just be a 15 minute drive to the store. Sh*t, sometimes it could just be us being “allowed” to channel-surf during the commercial breaks. We need those mini-vacations to survive, and we need you all to give us enough room to smell our own farts sometimes.

4. You

Yup, despite us needing space, never receiving compliments, never hearing thank you, and lying to your face about our midnight jerk sessions, we (usually) do appreciate you presence and sh*t much more than you (usually) give us credit for. And, we’d appreciate it even more if you closed the door when you go back to bed so we can “play our piano” in peace.

Anyway, men of, did I forget anything? Can you think of anything else that we appreciate much, much more than women think we do? How about you, ladies? Is there anything you all appreciate much, much more than we think you do?

Also, I’m sure some of you will disagree, but is white lie leeway really such a bad thing?

—The Champ

Filed Under:
Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a columnist for and EBONY Magazine. And a founding editor for 1839. And he's working on a book of essays to be published by Ecco (HarperCollins). Damon is busy. He lives in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes. Reach him at Or don't. Whatever.

  • Corey

    Hey please don’t hit me with the 404, but I’m in southeast CT and I REALLY need to get something done to my locs. I haven’t been able to locate any non-flaky folks up to now. So if anybody knows somebody that knows somebody or whatever, please tell me SOMETHING. Thank ya kindly.

  • when a woman takes the time to cook my favorite meal. bonus points if she’s not too fond of that particular meal. i really appreciate that.

    i also appreciate unsolicited coitus. that one was a little bit obvious though.

  • Corey

    LMAO @ Shawn Kemp’s face!! Funny all by itself!

  • Queen Elizabeth

    this is probably something that’s heard over and over, but all that gentlemanly stuff. i love it when a guy puts me on the inside of the street, or puts his hand in front of me if i step off the curb. things like that i really appreciate.

  • Mo-VSS

    When White Lie Leeway goes wrong….

    1. When your girl asks if you used condoms on that bender you went on back when you and her were mad at one another and you say yes…but the child on your doorstep says, “maybe not.”

    2. When we ask how we look and we have on an ensemble pairing yellow with purple (not gold and purple…but like big bird yellow). You need to speak up cuz the little white lie will piss her off when she goes out and gets heckled.

    When it’s okay though….it’s great.

    Things like “yeah baby, you’re the prettiest girl I’ve ever dated….or seen for that matter”…”no sex tonight? I’m not’s only been 3 days so I’m good”…”naw girl, that chicken wasn’t dry at all. I just used the olive oil to coat my sore throat.” Those all fall into the category of “female approved white lies.”

  • I very much appreciate these things too. Especially the space one.

  • Corey

    As bad as it may sound STFU is frickin awesome. I’m one of those people who can’t constantly hear buzzing in my ear or I start ignoring EVERYTHING. Even the important ish. Women who know when to turn it off are always going to be in good standing with me. Sometimes silence really is golden. Get your Mr. T on.

  • Rog

    This pretty much goes along with space but

    Letting me and my Xbox 360 have some alone time together W/O the “Whats happening now?” questions or the “Why do you have to shoot that person?” inquiries.

  • I appreciate when a man compliments me especially when I KNOW i look a mess. I may act all verklempt and sh*t but I appreciate compliments much more on my grungy days. I thank all the fellas in the Giants across DC for making a sista feel hot in some sweats & a messy bun :-)

  • Also, I’m sure some of you will disagree, but is white lie leeway really such a bad thing?

    Given the scenario you just gave? No. As a matter of fact.. I think some women know good well what you were doing, but wanted to just put you in the awkward situation of having to answer. If it was me, I would have let you keep going, and kept on dreamin.

    I think a commenter had said that before in terms of women catching men in a lie. Sometimes we ask, just to confirm what we already know and to see if you would tell the truth.

    I believe some white lies are okay. As long as you both know one of you is lying about something that isn’t that serious, so you let it pass because you need to keep the peace. However, if that is not the case, there is some validity in wondering just what else you are lying about..

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