Hello, friends. It's time for another Random Hite Report! In 1976, Shere Hite dropped The Hite Report where she compiled detailed survey answers from over 3,000 women about sex, masturbation, orgasms, and relationships. It's insane to me how revolutionary this book still is. Read it, seriously. We really haven't changed that much in 40 years, and it's an incredibly insightful read.
Then in 1981, she dropped The Hite Report on Male Sexuality where over 7,000 men give detailed answers about sex, relationships, and women. It too is revolutionary, and the honesty, vulnerability, and detail in this book is so important and moving. I think everyone should read this too. So, I give you a taste every now and then to entice you to get these books. Seriously, they are both like 1 cent online.
Anyway, what I do is flip to one random page and copy the contents of that page, no more-no less, directly onto this blog. Enjoy.
The Hite Report on Male Sexuality
Knopf, 1981 pg 83
The following page is in the section called 'Longer replies about growing up male and being a man' in a chapter called What Does It Mean To Being A Man. (This is one man's response)
"My father taught more by example than words. He didn't encourage me to be tough, and he pointed out that another neighborhood father (a street fighter) was stupid to act this way. Fighting back, I learned from him, didn't have to be active. You could refuse to concede to pressure even if you couldn't change things. In fact, the stroke he suffered was the tail end of his being fed up with people who bought a going away gift for their boss who treated them all like shit: my old man wouldn't agree to it and refused to be quiet about it (it was over a set of golf clubs that he exploded).
"I cannot say whether or not I was directed on 'how to be a boy' or 'not to act like a girl.' Our universe was a local schoolyard. Boys and girls interacted a great deal - not in baseball, however. Sports created a separation.The only 'male only' activity in our house was a strange annual Communion Breakfast organized by my father's union. Only men and boys could attend. We all thought it was strange. My father (and my mother) taught me to do my part - whether that was shopping, going to the laundry, or washing the floors (my specialty!). These were my chores, my contribution.
"I liked to read as a child - which was unusual in my world (I was one of those kids with a thousand comic books, The Hardy Boys, etc. ). He encouraged me-my mother even more so. My parents wanted me to do well in school, but in absolute terms, not 'do better than Joe' stuff. Other than grades (the point of which was to graduate) there was no parental pressure to compete.
"In high school and my short time in college I didn't belong to any particular group. I was lonely - had no social life. I stayed active in Boy Scouts, teaching kids to camp, etc. Then, on bad advice, I pledged for a fraternity, as a sixteen year-old freshman. The forty-eight hours of humiliation almost killed me. Walked out in the middle of hazing, created a lie about being hurt to explain my exit. I told that lie for years.
"When I was fifteen I played in a band whose average age (except me) was eighteen. Pressure to score with girls came from them. I would become the butt of their conversations about their adventures, because I had nothing to report. I was embarrassed and had no idea as to how to make things better. Eventually, we simply parted company. But I was fairly tough and tough-acting as a kid and while I was different (not the neighborhood brain, but certainly smart)you wouldn't call me a sissy unless you wanted to fight about it (even if I lost, I'd still fight).
"Today I have more friends than I did in those days. My best male friend is the same age as I am (thirty-three). He has some physical problems - bad back, etc. - which he worsens by playing softball, etc. (I run for exercise and am in good shape.) We take care of each other when one of us needs it and we care enough for each other (1) not to butt into each other's life and (2) to pick each other up when things are a mess. We do not share details of our personal lives. For example, he does not know about my lover. But I helped him when one of his brothers split with another brother's wife - the help consisted of talking and avoiding judgments. He helped me when work pressures built up and threatened to blow my head apart: minor corporate expense padding blown out of proportion - my job was to act as the go-between for the company, the employees, the press, the law. He walked me through it."