As I type this, the San Antonio Spurs are a quarter away from winning the NBA championship¹. Aside from the fact that they basically play perfect offense—and aside from the fact that someone obviously injected Danny Green with shark blood before the series started—much of their success is due to the style of defense they’re playing on Dwyane Wade and, most importantly, Lebron James. There are quite a few complexities involved, but it basically comes down to crowding the lane and forcing Wade and James to beat them by shooting semi-contested jumpshots. They’ve struggled (at times), and (at times) the Heat’s offense has struggled with them.
From a logical point of view, these should be relatively easy shots. There are instances where the Spurs are playing a half-dozen feet off of James and Wade when they receive the ball, and anyone who’s watched either of them play have seen them each hit hundreds—thousands even—of much more difficult jumpshots.
But, as someone who has played before—and is prone to somewhat streaky shooting—those “easy” shots can actually end up being the hardest shots you can actually take. You’re so used to having to work to even get a decent look at the hoop that when someone basically says “Go ahead, shoot. I won’t even bother you. Be my guest” it can mess with your mind and make you uncharacteristically passive. Basically, it flips the dynamic you’re used to and have spent countless hours preparing for.
Some players welcome this change. Some adjust quickly. Some are slow learners. And, some never learn.
Anyway, watching Wade and James take turns trying to solve this “easy” defense makes me wonder if some men really know what they’re asking for when they say sh*t like they “wish more women approached” or that they want women to have the “exact same types of sexual urges, desires, and drives as a (stereotypically) typical man.” (They actually already kinda do, but that’s another topic for another day.)
Just as the shots attempted by Wade and James seem easy and more attractive, I’m sure they imagine an “easier” navigation through the dating and relationship morass as women adopt certain roles traditionally held by men. But, a shift in that dynamic results in other, less attractive shifts, including the fact that if women were to collectively wake up tomorrow morning and start acting more like “men,” men would have to start to fulfill certain duties traditionally expected of women.
These duties include:
Seeing our mate value disproportionately tied to how physically attractive we can stay for the first, I don’t know, 60 or so years of our lives. No more couch-potatoing. No more letting ourselves go. No more hanging around and hoping she eventually grows on you. No more being a 4 or 5 and still having a somewhat realistic shot at locking down a 7 or 8.
Learning how to deal with being relentlessly approached, propositioned, pulled, whispered to and hollered at by women you’re not attracted to (…and not being approached by the ones you actually are attracted to)
Of course, many men don’t think about this. They think that a women being more “male-like” sexually means that the woman they’re currently involved with will want to have more sex with him, not considering the fact if she were more male-like—and was turned on by the same things he’s turned on by—she may have never even given him the time of day. Just because she’s more open about wanting it doesn’t mean you’re the one she actually wants it from.
Also, as I’ve stated numerous times before, we (men) tend to talk a pretty good game. But, as I’m sure many women with higher libidos will tell you, possessing that level of sexual drive/confidence has a tendency to make men passive. Not all men, obviously. But, for all the sh*t we talk about putting it down and breaking backs and laying pipe, encountering a woman who’s a bit more aggressive than we’re used to can trigger an anxiety that passifies instead of arouses. I remember the first time a woman told me that she wanted to sleep with me (Her exact words: “I’m going to f*ck you tonight”) and I honestly had no f*cking clue how to react to that. I think I might have even giggled. And farted².
I know evidence based on personal experience doesn’t really count. But, although anecdote doesn’t really count either, stories I’ve heard from women and men both tell me that type of reaction is more common than we (men) let on. There are a couple possible reasons for this passivity, but I think it has more to do with performance anxiety than anything else. Basically, instead of the main effort being “getting her in bed,” when meeting a woman who possesses the same type of sexual aggression we tend to associate with men, there’s more implied (and, occasionally, just outright demanded) pressure to perform well.
Some men welcome this change. Some adjust quickly. Some are slow learners. And, some never learn. All, though, need to be mindful of the same quote.
“Be careful what you wish for, cause you just might get it.”
¹I started typing this when the fourth quarter started, thinking that I’d be able to write while watching the game (Ha!) and not realizing that I was about to witness the most nerve-wracking 17 minutes of basketball I’ve ever seen.
2. We did eventually sleep together that night, so I guess I did manage to redeem myself. Either that or the fact that the only thing that scared me more than she did was word of me being scared getting out on campus.
—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)