Big Boys Don't Lie

Category: Points Of View

Author: Benjamin Davis

People like to think they’d have been the ones to discover gravity if Newton hadn’t beaten them to it. I can watch an apple fall from a tree, they think, and—they might think—I’d give it a cooler name, like ‘Mike’s Fally Stuff’. But that isn’t how it works; there are just some things our brains won’t get to without a little help. For example: masturbation. Sure, as a young boy I’d rub up against things, flop that little sucker around, and cry with fear when it got hard until my mom came running in to say, “HAHAHA. Sorry sweetie, it’s perfectly natural.” So, there was no getting around admitting my ignorance when my friend came and asked, “Do you know about masturbating?” I couldn’t say, “Pssh, yeah, I know!” because how would I? Had I been experimenting, tugging on each part of my body bit by bit to see if it tingled? No. So, I had to admit, I had no idea. 

After that though? All lies. 

It’s awful that girls in high school had to spend a lot of their time fighting off lies, while boys spent their time desperately making them up to sound cool. A blowjob? “Yeah…yeah, a girl from blew on it last week; it was awesome!”

The first lie, of course, is the sperm lie. I don’t know if this was an isolated outbreak at my middle school but there was this desperate dash to be the one to produce sperm before other boys. I remember being on the bus at 12 years old as this kid, AJ, talked about how he’d “cum” and “it went everywhere”. I never wanted sperm so bad before (or since!). And, obviously, every boy on the bus started saying, “Me too!” “Yeah, it was so sticky!” “It went everywhere!” And AJ laughed, said, “Fuckin liars!” and we all gasped because he’d said “fuck” so loud the teacher up front turned and said, “AJ!” but he didn’t care, he’d won. 

“It’s awful that girls in high school had to spend a lot of their time fighting off lies, while boys spent their time desperately making them up to sound cool.”

In movies, they always show boys lying about having sex with specific girls but that wasn’t my experience. In fact, the more anonymous, the better. If you said, “Becky blew me!” and Becky then said, “What, you mean like on a paper cut? Are there cuts down there?” Then everyone would know you’re lying, no contest. Because being the most sexually experienced boy meant you were not the boy; you were the man. This might be cute and innocent, if it didn’t create a lot of learned habits around sex for boys, young men, and eventually, ‘men’.

I remember being a kid and having adult men claim to have had a wild threesome with two college girls just last weekend. We were so impressed. It wasn’t until later in life that I realized the 40-year-old paunch-factory who worked at the video store probably did not have a wet and wild threesome over the weekend, but was instead trying to impress young boys because men his age didn’t believe him or find it impressive anymore. 

Most men I know don’t lie about sex—I think, I hope—most are in committed relationships so they don’t tell, and I don’t ask, for updates on their sex life. And, if an adult is lying about sex, that’s a pretty huge red flag. I was more curious about how old they were when they stopped lying about sex (if they did) and what their biggest lie was.


For me, it was in college. I was 18, a virgin. I was painfully embarrassed about this, so I claimed I’d already had sex with two women. Well, when a woman finally brought me back to her apartment and dragged me into bed, I shakily fumbled around with her bra for about 30 seconds before she asked, “How many people have you had sex with?”

I froze—I reached for the lie but it kept dancing away. Eventually, I managed to say, “Uh…two?” And she laughed, rolled over, and said, “Right.”

Oof. Still hurts. 

A lot of lies I’ve heard men admit to are like that. The main ones? When they lost their virginity; how big their penis is; how long they last in bed; how many women they’ve slept with. Far and away the most common lie I’ve heard fessed up to is the last one. And most of them stop in the early college years. But the one thing all of these lies have in common is that they come out of misconstrued notions of masculinity. I was kinda hoping I’d have more men telling me how they used to lie about sleeping with Jennifer Love-Hewitt or something, but—alas—no. The big sex lies boys—and some men—tell, boil down to a lot of insecurity and a lack of imagination. 

Boyhood lies are (usually) innocent enough; they’re based on the misconception that sexual experience equals manhood. However, this rotten (and often self-destructive) little bud blossoms in a lot of nasty ways: men thinking they deserve sex as a man, men lying in harmful and targeted ways, men having misguided notions of appropriate sexual behavior, a shit-load of penis insecurity (penilcurity, peniscurity?)… Maybe if we stopped idolizing men that fuck a lot, we’d have a world with a few less fuckers.

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