by Michele Gwynn
August 14, 2012
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Is there ever an appropriate moment to brag about sexual conquests? Some men do when “hanging with the fellas”. It might mostly be in jest and it is almost always more fiction than fact, but what about men who brag to women about their sexual conquests? Is there ever an appropriate moment for that? The answer is no: not even if the woman in question is a girlfriend, lover, or wife; and especially not if the woman subjected to this catalogue of conquests is a business associate, stranger, or relative. That pretty much covers all women, yes?
It happens more often than you’d think!
It seems like such a strange thing to do that I had to have a pow-wow with my panel of experts. The answers as to why any man would advertise his personal score-board ranged from low self-esteem to over-inflated ego.
Liz: I've always felt it was a lame attempt at getting a woman's interest...very misguided. No woman is going to say "Wow! You have soooo much experience, have slept with so many women. I want some of that!" No sir. Most women are thinking "Are you kidding? I bet you have a small penis." Ladies, am I right?
Life coach and hypnotherapist, Jami McDonald shared “I may have some haters after making this comment but I have worked with some people (male and female) who do this to help rebuild or build their self confidence -- this is usually most often when they work hard to find ways to bring it up in conversations (appropriate or not).”
These would definitely be the ones on the low-self esteem end of the litmus strip. On the other end, you have the over-inflated egotist who may or may not be “fluffing” his past experiences to make them seem like more than what they are. The term “narcissism” was brought up; that condition in which someone is interested in only topics of discussion about themselves and unapologetic self-promotion. McDonald explained “Narcissism is used to describe egoism, conceit, vanity, simple selfishness in social situations. It can be used to describe indifference or elitism. I suppose in their mind they are boosting their egos, encouraging their own vanity, and irritating others with selfish behaviors. It could definitely fall under narcissist tendencies, but do they really get anything out of exploiting most often fictitious sex stories?”
McDonald elaborated. “In other cases, I have seen adults who were raised in households where any topic of conversation was open to be discussed. This is a great idea; unfortunately, it creates the perception that behavior is okay while interacting socially with others who may not share the same viewpoint. This can impact their own self awareness and self esteem because they become socially unacceptable by their peers.”
Bruce R. pointed out the man’s perspective on braggarts. “I personally don't think anyone brings that topic up, professional setting or not, without the intent of trying to get in someone's pants, at some point, anyway. We are men after all.”
This brings us back to Liz’s point. Men want to get women talking about sex in the hope that they might get that woman interested in sex … with them. Bragging about one’s “number” of conquests seems a great idea in the male mind (for those who don’t recognize the social boundaries). It’s verbal SEO (search engine optimization). If they can utter enough words that correlate to sex, then the female human brain might pick up on those cues and either consciously or subconsciously begin to want and desire sex. In the right circumstance and situation (meaning with the right person) this can work. Unfortunately for these men, in these particular situations where the women being bragged to are not current girlfriends/wives, this actually has the opposite effect. Women are wired to accept sexual conversation in very few settings. Those settings include conversations with current lovers; new boyfriends after three dates, new lovers in the prime of the relationship; BFFs when discussing personal problems, and in safe conversations with friends where the topics are kept light and humorous. In any other setting, women view these sexual conversation as a straight-out attempt to bed them; a type of ill-advised verbal assault or abuse which is inappropriate, even insulting, therefore a complete turn off. If these conversations are brought up in the workplace, whoever initiates it, they are legally considered sexual harassment.
It just isn’t ever a good idea to brag about sexual conquests with the opposite sex. In most situations, it’s just tacky. It screams “I have nothing else to offer you.” In all others, it’s inappropriate and could lead to termination by an employer. Keep those stories for locker-room chat with the boys. That’s one of the only places left where they might be welcome as part of the ritual of male bonding and the tradition of one-upmanship.