The Man(di) Cave Gets Intimate (Kind of)

Turn down the lights. Pull on something more comfortable. I have a treat for you today. I’ve invited some very special guests to join me in the Man(di) Cave, and we are getting a little … er … ahem … intimate. Come on in. Sit down. Take off your shoes. Let me introduce you to my new friends (some of the best men I’ve had the pleasure to speak with on the internet.) 


Have you met Matt? I just met him this week, and he kind of blew me away. He writes with his entire heart at Must Be This Tall To Ride. You should really read his blog.


Next in line is Joe. You can find his essays at developing dad. He’s also been featured on Original Bunker Punks, Say it with a Bang, MamaLode, and Sammiches and Psych Meds.


Jeremy is a writer and editor for The Good Men Project. He’s also been seen, well everywhere, Scary Mommy, Huff Po Parents, BLUNT Moms, just to name a few, but he can most often be found at his own blog: Nerdy Dad Shirt.

So now that you’ve met these lovely gentlemen, let’s get down to brass tacks.


When you’re intimate, what is your biggest fear?

MattThe biggest? Like, I have to rank them? Because there are 17 million things I’m actually afraid of, but I’ll try to cut it down to a couple dozen. What if it’s been a long time, and I get that “Holy shit, I’m having sex!” teenager feeling before prematurely finishing and looking her in the eye with that ashamed “I’m soooo sorry” look on my face while the Price is Right loser horn magically plays in the background?

What if I get nervous or drink too much and can’t rise to the occasion? What if I’m working my way down her front (or up her legs!) and when I get to Victory Lane, it’s super unclean and smells like 143 unwashed penises were just in there and then a slimy vagina monster jumps out and attaches to my face like the mouth-impregnator in the movie Alien, and then a baby vagina alien breaks through my rib cage and jumps out of my chest and I die while never even getting laid for the trouble?

That’s probably irrational.

I’m no Eros, god of sex, but I like to believe I know how to make someone I care about feel good. My only real fear is that she didn’t like it and doesn’t want to do it again. Eight more times. Today.



I hate to jump right out of the gate all mannish and detached, but I don’t really get the question. Fear’s not really an issue. Wait. In this scenario, is there a dog around? I used to be terrified of dogs. Didn’t matter how big, but the loud ones made me particularly jumpy. So, dogs. Or terrorism. I don’t know that it poses a direct threat to me at this point, but it’s a real precarious moment we’re in, in regard to international threats hitting us domestically.

Furthermore, I’m terrible at multitasking while I’m great at multitasking normally, I have to say, when I’m being intimate (which I’m taking to mean having sex), I’m super focused, you know, in an in the moment kind of way. I’d be hard pressed to defend either of us (or any of us, depending on the scope of the guest list) if we were to be attacked at that moment. I’m not afraid of bears, but I respect them. That’s true whether or not I’m being intimate.

I’m fearful of meeting new people. It’s a mild social anxiety type of thing, but this hardly ever comes up in this situation. Oh yeah, I AM TERRIFIED OF HEIGHTS. How could I have forgotten that? Not flying or anything, but you know cliffs, high open windows, anywhere you could lose your balance and fall to your death. So again, context is everything. Of course, there’s the more nuanced and beseeching meaning of “intimacy.” That shit’s terrifying. Let’s just leave that shit alone.


JeremyWell after three kids and fourteen years of marriage, the excitement for intimacy drives out all fear nowadays. We’re an old couple, but we’re always young in love. I don’t think I’ve ever had any fear during intimacy except maybe the constant fear of another pregnancy, but we’ve trusted science to fix that one for us.

There’s the fear of the baby waking up or the children walking in (which hasn’t happened yet, but if and when it does hopefully there will be enough laundry on the floor to block the door, and we’ll avoid any kind of sitcom moment). It really is a shame that our greatest, cheapest joy in life is also the costliest when it comes to raising children and the toll it takes on our bodies (not forgetting disease too), but it’s almost never not worth it.


What is the one thing that you wish a woman would do in bed that she never does?

MattOh man. How about the fact that she refuses to gargle just-used anal beads? Or that she won’t wear the Smurfette outfit I bought her and scream “Do me harder, Gargamel!” on a live webcam? I’ve asked repeatedly to live blog the encounter with my laptop on her back but she always complains about how hot the battery feels even though she probably drips hot wax on her naked body all the time when I’m not around. What a prude.

(Just kidding. There is no “she.” I’m totally single and it often blows, but not in the fun way.)

I’ve never had someone invite her hot friend to join us. I’m not ashamed to say I’m totally cliché, and that at my most depraved, that sounds delightful.

(If my mom or grandma somehow read that, one or both of them literally just died. Thought you should know.)


Stop pointing and laughing.
Once that’s over … I don’t know. I’m pretty sure that adventurousness is something I’ve only really found with my wife. I’ve been really open with her about what turns me on, and she’s been the same with me. It sounds all scandalous when you don’t know what it is. You fill in all these blanks, but once you break through that anxiety about sharing it, it becomes almost matter of fact that these awesome things become the norm.


Then, wait, eventually, you get curious about something else. Maybe it takes us a while to express it since the intimacy is a much more stilted conversation these days with two little ones, but it eventually comes up, you try it, and everyone’s happy. Sometimes being afraid to say it is a litlte exciting, you know? Maybe you wait a little while.


If you need me to give you a specific answer I’ll say this: For me, for the rest of my life, there is only one woman. I wish, just once, she’d split into two women so one of them could belittle me and judge me during the whole thing, fully clothed and all made up, paying only enough attention to me to ensure I know that she’s uninterested, dismissive, judgmental, and mean. In my mind’s eye, she’s smoking a cigarette, wearing sunglasses, and her hair’s pulled tight. What can I say? I’m pretty much like every man.


 Besides letting me sleep in? Oh, you know the usual–foot rub or a back rub (I think we all know how back rubs go). But I’m not a piece of meat, you know. I’m more of a big bag of meat, neatly organized. And we all need a little tenderizing.

What is something you wish your partner knew but you don’t want to tell her?

MattTrue story: I was married for nine years. And not one time during those nine years was I forthright and transparent with my wife about sex. Sometimes when you’re raised in super-conservative environments (like me), you develop beliefs and complexes about sex. Guilt and shame follow. If you know anything about guilt and shame, you know that bedroom activities don’t benefit from them. There are a variety of behaviors and activities that can elevate ho-hum married people sex to Yessssssssssss. That. Wow. Holy shit. I need to smoke. And then we should do that again.

But when you have guilt and shame complexes and are too afraid to open up to your spouse on intimate matters, you pretty much guarantee you’ll never achieve it and can be fairly certain you will probably get divorced (also like me).

It was a hard lesson to learn. I was afraid to talk about it. And everything broke and we died.

So, next time? If there’s something I wish she knew? I’m just going to tell her. Unless it’s about her hot friend she never invites to join us.


JoeIf this is still in regard to the ‘intimacy’ area of life, then I’d say that I’d love for her to know how much my tastes have changed, as we have, both individually and as a pair. I still like the same things, still want the same things but my reasons for wanting her have changed in real and, I think, good ways.

I don’t know how many of you are familiar with the ‘pornography’ genre of cinema, but it’s a fairly popular, practically universally appreciated form of visual storytelling for men. At least the stuff I’ve seen. I’m to understand there is an equivalent for women. Give it a whirl it’s titillating. Anyway, sexual druthers are sorted and categorized and you can search by preference.

Well, turns out, now that I’m here, I like different things then when I was elsewhere. This is more surprising to me than to anyone else. What makes you, ready, what makes your body react, you seem to think it’s hardwired and unchanging, but it isn’t. I’m totally turned on by women my wife’s age my wife. I’m a fan of her ‘MILF’ness. Her caring and nurturing are a turn on, as his her age and her changing body. Finding this out is like a fountain of youth! I’m crazy turned on by my wife BECAUSE she’s had kids, has a new body to explore and has a warm motherly aura. I understand how Freudian and kinky this sounds. I’m okay with it.


JeremyYou mean something I not only wish she knew and that I don’t want to tell her, but I’ll go ahead and tell her anyway as well as thousands of readers? Sounds good! The whole “til death do us part” applies to these kinds of things, right? I guess it would have to be something along the lines of how beautiful she is and how much I love and want her, regardless of how she thinks of herself.

This seems to be a common theme for the sexes since middle school–one half spends all their time self-analyzing body image while the other half spends all their time slobbering over the other half, no matter what height or shape. Men’s favorite past time is looking at women. It’s pretty simple. And when you’re in love and you want the person, you just want the person, regardless of what she thinks of herself. I realize I’m oversimplifying here, but I think most men (and women) just want their partners to know they want them–skin, warts, imperfections, missteps, bad breath, and all. Not that my partner has any flaws. But I think my wife knows all that. She’s wicked smart.

Thank you Matt, Jeremy, and Joe for your sweet, candid, and funny answers. You’ve been great sports. How about we continue this titillating discussion in the comment section? What do you think? Did they nail these questions? Did they leave you wanting more? Anyone else leaving with a bit of a crush?