Girls can be fun to hang out with, too

Published: Thursday, January 16, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 16, 2003 at 12:48 a.m.

My friend had just dumped on me and worked through an insecurity in the process. I was honored to be the dumpee - really I was.

He got up and headed for the door; he was off to have some fun. I didn't have time to get my shoes on - and besides, I wasn't invited.

Many men find it easier to open up to women than other men, especially about issues that other men might perceive as feminine. But when they're ready for fun, these same men may leave the women behind and run for the guys.

"When a guy thinks of having fun, he thinks of doing something - playing racquetball, hunting, cutting loose, maybe making an ass of himself," says Ann Weber, professor of psychology at University of North Carolina at Asheville.

But guys can do all of these things with women, meaning that guys can have fun with women. I know this firsthand - as do many guys, but other guys are still figuring it out.

Before you point the finger at the "other guy," think about it. How do you define fun? And how often do you have it with women versus men?

If you're in a relationship, it might be interesting to compare notes with your partner. You might be surprised to find out what he or she thinks of as fun and how seldom you have it with each other.

You can have fun with each other, though - maybe in some ways you haven't thought about - and you can have it as often as you like.

If you're one of those guys who hasn't really learned to have fun with women yet, you may want to ask yourself why. And don't be surprised

if your answer represents a belief you no longer hold.

"Men who spend a great deal of their time in all-male contexts are more likely to be homophobic; they may be emphasizing an aspect of their personality that they don't want to be challenged," says William Marsiglio, professor of sociology at the University of Florida.

If you want to spend the bulk of your free time with the guys, go for it. But please don't do it for fear of how somebody else might perceive you - and please send the right message, one you really believe in, to your sons.

If you love to fish and you prefer doing it with the guys, go for it. But don't do it under the guise that women don't like to fish. If you love to shoot hoops and you want to do it with the guys, cool. But don't do it because women can't compete. At least give me a chance to change your thinking in a game of H-O-R-S-E.

Now, about the dumping, your sweetheart probably doesn't mind being dumped on. She probably wants that type of intimacy. She probably also wants to dump back occasionally (intimacy is best when it's two-sided). And there's a really good chance that she also wants to have fun.

You may have grown up thinking that women were more desirable in the bedroom than on the basketball court. I won't argue that, but please don't try to keep women in the bedroom or the kitchen or with the children and exclude them from your fun.

Women are likely to escape whatever box you put them in; and when they do, they may run away from more than the box.

And you could miss out on the most fun you have ever had.

Jan Denise Soroka is a columnist, author and speaker based in Ormond by the Sea, Fla. Please e-mail her at, or visit her Web site at

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