I’m not talking about the act. That would require, at the very least, TWO girls.
No, I’m talking about the ubiquitous drink that you have probably either ordered or watched someone order at a bar at some point in your life: vodka, peach schnapps, orange juice, and cranberry juice. Fruity, sweet, and delicious.
Have you ever seen a straight guy order one without a good deal of irony? No, probably not. In fact, all of the sweet, dessert-like drinks are also considered “girly” drinks: the cosmopolitans that were made famous by the ladies on “Sex and the City,” the pina coladas that the object of Rupert Holmes’ affections was partial to, the mudslides that my mother downed three of on a night that ended with the two of us jumping out of a moving bus – all considered too feminine for a man to order and be taken seriously.
On the other end of the stick, beer and other non-sweet alcoholic drinks are often marketed toward men, whether it is by objectifying an attractive, scantily clad woman in their commercial, displaying the adventurous exploits of a well-groomed hero, or merely by suggesting that NOT drinking their product will make you into an actual woman. Such is the division of beverages: if Denny’s could use it to flavor pancake syrup, it’s for women. All else is the domain of men. Essentially, the less tasty a drink is, the more manly it is considered to be. Have you ever had a Sex on the Beach? You can barely tell there’s alcohol in there. If they put it in juice boxes, you might unwittingly give one to your child.
So why are our male friends banned from enjoying these delicious treats? The solution is not as difficult as you may think. It begins with the undeniable male tendency to subject themselves to unpleasant sensory stimulus for entertainment. When was the last time you hung out with your female friends lighting your farts? Or daring each other to eat the spiciest dish available at your local Mexican place, followed by the biggest coffee Starbucks sells? Basically, it is the mortal purpose of men on this earth to cause themselves pain or discomfort for the sake of entertainment and the proof of their ginormous testicles.
Drinking nasty-tasting alcohol falls right into this behavior pattern. Men are expected to order beverages that burn going down in order to display their Spartan tolerance. They don’t need Dirty Girl Scouts or White Russians! A White Russian to them is like a hug from your mom – comforting, but not something you accept in front of your friends.
In a way, this might all make perfect sense, biologically. It has long been suggested (and backed up by research) that women have a lower pain threshold than men on average, meaning it takes less stimulus before we begin to feel pain. Not only that, we may have a lower pain tolerance, meaning that the point at which pain becomes unbearable comes sooner for us than for men. So we could be more sensitive to the burning, nauseating sensation of downing a shot of Jim Beam. Plus, we are more likely to feel emotions that are inextricably tied to sensations of pain, so when we feel pain or discomfort, we experience negative psychological associations more than men do.
Next time your guy friends are making fun of you for your inability to open your throat to a shot of Jose Cuervo, just remind them that you know people who have pushed a watermelon through a keyhole, and therefore the entire female race is a lot more badass than we seem when sipping away at bad tequila.