• Fri, Jun 15 2012

Do You Think It’s Sexy When Guys Fight? (I Do, A Little)

As has been previously discussed, super tough guy Chris Brown got beaten up the other night by a Canadian in a cardigan sweater for possibly Rihanna-related reasons. Which got me to thinking…is it ever possible for this to happen in a way that does not make you want to ex-communicate both of them for being primitive, fist wielding troglodytes? Could it ever be, dare I say it…hot? I mean, what person hasn’t fantasized about their current partner giving their shitty ex a smack or two? Especially if that shitty ex once hit her until she almost died. Especially then would it be understandable.

I’ve never had men literally fight over me, but it did take me a little while to come to terms with my boyfriend’s propensity for fisticuffs. The first month we were dating, he managed to get into fights on two separate occasions while we were out together. The first time, there was a drunk and belligerent fellow at his friend’s house party, whom his friend was trying to eject. The guy took a swing at his friend, at which point several buddies (my boyfriend included) jumped in to help subdue the troublemaker. The man left! Then my boyfriend made grunting sounds and dragged me back to his cave by my hair.

Just kidding. I yelled at him, because what the fuck was that? Couldn’t they have just called the cops or something? (They could not have, because All Cops Are Bastards.) Eventually, I came around to the idea that this was a morally acceptable fight to have had, but it still turned me off a little bit, because I wasn’t yet used to dating someone with more testosterone than me.

The other fight was less…ethical, but also involved backing up a friend whom someone had just attacked. Knowing that I didn’t want my guy fighting, my scrappy friend Jodie (who is like, 100 lbs and 5’0″) jumped up and hung off his arm like a vicious chihuahua, enduring much crossfire to try and quell the brawl. Afterwards, the dudes involved made peace with one another like nothing had happened, and, at the risk of sounding gender-essentialist, I wondered what it’s like to be a man. I know girls fight too, but I never have. I’ve been hit, but I’ve never fought back, because the mean streets of Connecticut didn’t teach me those skills. I’m pretty great at running away, though!

How could my boyfriend, an otherwise kind and intelligent man (who listens to The Smiths and reads gender theory), be okay with pummeling another man with his fists? “I’m just backing up my friends,” he said. But after much needling, I got him to admit that he actually kind of likes fighting, because it gives him a thrill. Well then!

Since then, I’ve started to semi-understand it. It helps that I’ve experienced a sneak-attack of my own in the interim. In my fantasies, I hit her back instead of cowering and crying like I did, because that seems like it would be more satisfying. And maybe more effective? I’ve always been a word person, but words aren’t going to convince someone who’s hitting you to stop, nor will they convince a mugger not to mug you. Maybe violence is useful, sometimes, if you have no other choice.

And back to the topic of testosterone…sigh. I know it’s barbaric, but it eventually started to turn me on that I was dating someone who’d stand up for my honor if, say, someone grabbed my ass at a party. Or if a girl applied blunt force trauma to my head again. Or if someone was trying to mug us. None of my other boyfriends would do that! They would leave me behind and flee, because they are cowards. The only fight my previous boyfriend’s ever been in (to my knowledge) was when he got blackout drunk and tried to fight his dad in Mexico. (Hid dad reacted by asking him if he was okay.)

Do I have any real justification for this? No, of course not. But we exist so far removed from nature that it’s nice to be reminded we’re animals once in a while. The other time this happens, of course, is sex. And I’ve found one can sometimes lead to the other.

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  • Eileen

    Maybe, if they’re Colin Firth and Hugh Grant?

    Kidding. I get where you’re coming from, and I would prefer that any man have the decency to stand up for someone being treated badly – or against anyone behaving belligerently. But I consider that just “being a good person,” and I’d prefer that of a woman, too. I don’t think fighting is sexy because I don’t like seeing anyone get hurt (no matter how awful you are to me or how many times I fantasize about slapping you, I don’t actually want to, and I don’t want anyone else to, either).

  • Lastango

    Men fight by nature – we see it in male animals almost universally during mating season. The aggression rises of its own accord in certain situations, and they go at it. However, the general instinct behind fighting underlies many sorts of responses by men to a variety of stimuli, just not as dramatically as when they fight. It’s always there.

    That said, my first advice to your boyfriend would aim at raising his awareness that fighting can easily lead to a criminal record. Unless life & limb are at stake, it’s a very poor life choice with long-term impacts.

    The urge to fight happens to every young man, but twice in one month is a bad sign. He might ask himself if he’s unnecessarily seeking out situations which make fighting more likely. For example, is he going to places where there are a lot of drunks, in the company of buddies who tend toward hostile behaviour?

    I know someone who stopped going to certain sporting events because of the number of rowdy, annoying beer-drinkers in the stands. One day, after enduring a couple of hours of irritation at their abusive conduct (they seem to be everywhere at the stadium… there’s no place to sit where they aren’t nearby), he snapped in the parking lot. He’s a well-educated, established professional, about 50 years old, and was about to do harm to one of these jerks. He caught himself, let go, and never went to another game. Sometimes, that’s the sort of choice people have to make, and occasionally they realize they weren’t really enjoying themselves at these venues anyway.

    If your boyfriend needs to get it out of his system, he might consider taking up a martial art. Training facilities do attract some jerks with chips on their shoulders, but in general people who can fight feel less of a need to — partly because they’re more confident, and more thoughtful about the process. Lots of women do martial arts, so it’s something you can do together. One caution: it’s not for everyone. People who are athletic enjoy it more, and people who aren’t get frustrated at their lack of skill and progress.

    • LR

      Women don’t do martial arts because it’s unfeminine. They want men to fight with other men over them.

  • MR

    Yeah, I can become very aggressive when pushed. Aggression without provocation needs to be pushed back hard on and quickly. That is if the Nazis taught us anything.

  • LR

    I like it when guys get into fights over me. Girls are supposed to be difficult prizes to get while guys are not. It’s nature.