A Self-Made Man

Jim said he thinks Vincent came into the experiment with some misconceptions about men. "I think she expected to find like a bunch of guys just talking about women's private parts and a bunch of racists and, you know. I think, kind of, that's what she came into this thinking," he said.

Vincent agreed. "They really showed me up as being the one who was really judgmental, because they were the ones who took me in, not knowing anything about me. They were the ones who made me their friend ... no judgments attached," Vincent said.

Sex: 'For a Man, It's an Urge'

Cracking the mystery of a "boys' night out" is one thing, but understanding the explicit world of a man's sexuality is quite another.

To gain an understanding of what some might consider the quintessential male experience, Vincent went to several strip clubs with a male friend. She describes the experience as hellish -- demeaning for the strippers and even worse for the men.

"I saw the men there. I saw the looks on their faces. This is not about appreciation of women, of course. It's not about appreciation of their own sexuality. It's about an urge and ... that's not always that pleasurable, really," she said.

Vincent said strip joints are about pure sex drive -- completely empty of any meaningful interaction, even when a woman is gyrating on your lap.

Even though Vincent is attracted to women, she said she was never aroused during her visits to the clubs. "I really ran smack up against the difference between male and female sexuality. It's that female sexuality is mental. ... For a man, it's an urge," she said.

"At its core, it's a bodily function. It's a necessity. It's such a powerful drive and I think because we [women] don't have testosterone in our systems, we don't understand how hard it is," she said.

Vincent even dabbled in the art of picking up women and agreed to wear a hidden camera for "20/20" during her exploits.

She was quickly reminded that in this arena, it's women who have the power, she said.

"In fact, we sit there and we just with one word, 'no,' will crush someone," she said. "We don't have to do the part where you cross the room and you go up to a stranger that you've never met in the middle of a room full of people and say the first words. And those first words are so hard to say without sounding like a cheeseball or sounding like a jerk."

Vincent encountered some pretty cold shoulders in her attempts at the bar, but she did manage to go on about 30 dates with women as "Ned," mostly arranging them on the Internet.

Vincent said the dates were rarely fun and that the pressure of "Ned" having to prove himself was grueling. She was surprised that many women had no interest in a soft, vulnerable man.

"My prejudice was that the ideal man is a woman in a man's body. And I learned, no, that's really not. There are a lot of women out there who really want a manly man, and they want his stoicism," she said.

Three Weeks at a Monastery

Vincent didn't limit her exploration of masculinity to just friendships and sexuality. She said she found differences in every walk of life, including shopping for a new car at a dealership.

Going in as Norah, the salesman's pitch quickly turns flirtatious, but when she returned to the same salesman as Ned, the tone was all business and the talk was all about the car's performance.

Page
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...