Men have a fairly difficult time expressing their feelings. There is usually a lot of shuffling of feet, looking up at the ceiling and perhaps a barely audible sentence. Women have spent centuries trying to get their guys to open up their hearts, their minds and their feelings; often with very little success. Couples therapy is designed to foster an atmosphere where a guy can be perfectly honest with his mate. Why do they always have them in stuffy offices though? All you have to do to get them to open up is give them a six-pack. This is called being emotionally handicapped.
But with all this angst and frustration that comes between the lack of reciprocity between men and women, it bears mentioning that women are so anxious to hear feelings of love and affection from their guys because they know the guy has the capacity for these emotions. She’s seen it so much she can taste it. It just hasn’t been directed towards her. This is because she knows he has no problem sharing his love with his guy friends. She understands there is a special bond that can never be duplicated by a woman, only emulated. This is not to say that the love of a woman isn’t one of the most wonderful, fulfilling things the world has to offer, because it is. But for all the guys out there, you know. It’s just not the same without the boys.
Now even in the utopia of the male social circle, there still exists a small margin for anxiety. Guys have the need to share pretty much everything with each other. This can range from an amazing dump they took to step by step instructions on the best way to conceal an unscheduled erection. But sometimes you need to share things that, if taken the wrong way, could be a little weird. You know… personal things. I’m talking about guys sharing music with each other. I’m talking about Covert Mixtapes.
We’ve all made a mixtape for a girl or guy we liked because of the emotional connection between music and our personal lives. That song reminds me of that girl or that power ballad reminds me of that time that guy and I danced at Freshmen Splash Bash. Even the most cold hearted of cynical bastards has had romantically emotional reactions to songs and, at the very least, compiled a theoretical playlist to give to the object of their affection.
Now, given that guys have spent all of middle school and at least half of high school letting everyone know that they were, in fact, not homosexuals, sharing music, which is a decidedly non-platonic affair, can be rather awkward. To combat this awkwardness, it’s important to figure out what the most heterosexual, but also intimate forum where guys can exchange music? How can they share something they love with other men without it being considered a move pregnant with non-platonic intent? The answer: guys drinking beer together. If you’ve seen commercials for beer you will understand that beer commercials are the paragon of heterosexual activity while also taking on a very personal setting.
Whether it’s drinking before engaging in heterosexual courtship rituals or participating in the hyper-masculine activity of watching tons of men in tight uniforms pile on top of each other for nine sweaty hours, guys will often be drinking beer and therefore lowering their guards and inhibitions.
Now it’s always a little varied, but a guy can introduce the music he loves and wishes to share with other guys by having a conversation like this :
[It is important to keep in mind these gentlemen have been drinking lots of beer]
Gary: I’m very excited to go out tonight. I feel like I haven’t seen you and the guys in forever. It’s just like old times.
Paul: Totally man. Hey, this is a pretty good song. I really like it. I heard this amazing song the other day and I thought of you.. er.. I thought you might like it.
Gary: Sounds good. Put it on.
They key when taking the music reins is to assure the previous DJ that you approve of and admire their music choice. It is exemplary and is to be praised for it’s totally dope flavor. Once this formality is observed, Paul is free to tentatively share even more of himself with Gary. Gary, subconsciously understanding that what Paul is doing is a very intimate and important gesture in their friendship, acknowledges this and smoothly hands over the reins of whatever music playing device they are currently utilizing.
It should be noted that sometimes males, specifically middle class white males will engage in music sharing that is not meant as gesture of affection and sincerity which lands it outside the realm of a Covert Mixtape. White males will in engage in Competitive Mixtapes which is the closest thing white people can get to battle rapping. It is a back and forth between two males who are showcasing their knowledge of independent music, obscure remixes, mash-ups, first releases and underground music. This is an activity in letting your friends know that you are the one who is the most anti-conformist of the group. If you don’t know what I mean, take a look at this video:
Competitive mixtapes aside, what is valuable about these kinds of exchange is that it a completely verbal exchange of information without any evidence of any quasi-romantic gestures. Let’s say there were to be a fall out between Gary and Paul, had Paul produced a tangible mixtape, Gary would have on his hands some gayvidence.
Gayvidence is a tangible object that could be used in a court of law to suggest that a man, the creator of the object, is actually a homosexual which runs contrary to what everyone initially thought. Due to the Nile River of homophobia that runs through American culture and male social circles, gayvidence could lead to truly earth shattering revelations.
However, the flip side of gayvidence is that it raises questions such as, “Why was Gary holding onto this mixtape after Paul made it for him?” or “Seriously, why did you save the mixtape?” This line of questioning could lead an independent party to believe that both Gary and Paul were indeed homosexuals. It is for this reason that it is best to not have any evidence at all and any sharing of music be completely covert in nature.
What we can take away from this is that men are indeed capable of love. They are fiercely loyal creatures that innately understand the unconditional bond they have with other individuals, they just have a very difficult time being explicit about it. The reason they are more open with their guy friends is because they trust each other completely because they know every single one of their most embarrassing moments, failures and shortcomings. With women, men are on a constant job interview. Yes they might have already gotten the “job” with a woman, but the performance review is 24-7. Men are loyalists to a fault, but women are rationalists. Women understand that men need to be performing at a certain level to be worthy enough to be with the, but men will often keep a guy in their social circle simply because they appreciate his ability to fart on command. Sometimes it’s just nice to have the bar lowered a little.
Men love women probably more than women will ever understand, but ladies, you need to understand it’s a lot of pressure cleaning our bathrooms for you, not scratching themselves, watching sports, pretending to like tapas, seeing romantic comedies, and moving your furniture. Every man needs a release valve and that’s what guy friends are for.