Hello Lurkers! My name is Loryn Stone, age 35, and for the past… well… 35 years floating somewhere over my head, I have worn the title of “One of the Guys”.
So, what does that mean? At least for me– because remember, this is my personal experience and opinion.
As with many things in pop culture and society, the decision to sit down and write a post about this topic stems from a place of annoyance and confusion. Being ‘One of the Guys” has never bothered me in the least– I think it’s very cool when certain men in my life, especially those whom I know hold men’s company in higher esteem (like in the training and fighting circle), say that I’m “Like a guy, tougher than most men, Loryn basically is a guy,” and so on. Thus, do I think that title is cool? Absolutely– who doesn’t want to be respected by a collection of badasses?
Does this title define me? No, not in the least at all.
I remember when I was around 12 years old people started calling me a tomboy. And other than the fact that I hadn’t realized that denim skater shorts and oversized band shirts weren’t particularly feminine or flattering, I didn’t really do anything that could qualify me as a tomboy. I didn’t hop fences, I wasn’t especially scrappy, I never played a single sport in my life, and I’d already started falling behind in the world of video games once they had started going 3D. What about me was ‘tomboyish?” I really didn’t understand. In retrospect, perhaps it is the narrow view and limited perspective of the word tomboy that my (also 12 year old) peers had, but I never really knew why that word was being projected onto me.
Except that my potty mouth could blast your face to the moon. Then again, it was the late 90s- we were all bungholes.
Going back even further to about seven years old, I’d always tried to have male and female friends. I noted the differences between boys and girls that boys, like me, liked to play video games. And while my girlfriends were meaner (I can’t count the number of times Jessica dumped me for the most braindead shit), they also liked to play Barbies. And I liked to play Barbies. So that was good enough for me. Plus, I could hand them off to my older sister whenever they wanted to play sticker books or arts and crafts.
I wish the differentiations between sex and gender existed when I was a teenager, but unfortunately, I wouldn’t hear those words until I was about 22 years old and in college. It was a whole new world. What are my labels and identifying titles? I am a cis-gendered woman, bisexual, who likes to play with clothes and presentation. I suppose I am loosely gender fluid. Not in the way that I want to ever pass as male, I do not. But more so in the ambiguously queer sort of way. It’s not very deep or complex, but it is a middle ground that keeps me comfortable. I realized I was different at age 15 when I wanted to take weight lifting instead of PE (which didn’t happen) and I wondered if a military career was in my future (also nope, chickened out).
More and more, my interests were more in line with what “guys” liked, and more and more the company surrounding me turned male. Since I had been titled “One of the Guys” at such a young age, I began deconstructing and examining those words pretty much all the time. I started looking at the differences between the people who were given that title, versus the girls who declared themselves “One of the Guys”. And if it’s a title with which you gift yourself, how do you conduct said self amongst male company, presuming that you are sexually attracted to men in some capacity?
Girls liked me before guys did– that is fact. I remember, for whatever the fuck reason around 14 years old, girls started showing up out of nowhere with crushes on me. I’m not even kidding– every girl at school that was queer, gay, bisexual, or curious started giving me the eye. I was asked out on dates all the time, and just like in animes, girls asked me to be their first kiss. It was like a freaking tsunami of teenage girls and I couldn’t even keep track of all the ladies who wanted to date me. It was overwhelming and I wish I had the confidence to realize how cool that was. Because that will never happen again with adult women!
With men, things were simple and more complicated at the same time. If I went to a comic book shop, the nerdy guys would treat me like their bud and hang all over whichever female friend I brought with me that day. The only exception to that would be like one guy who liked me. The ratio was always low. I didn’t date guys in high school– I would hook up with older men off site. People who didn’t know me, or any “One of the Guys” politics. No one who met any of my friends. Just random hook ups. Because in a group of friends when I was in the 16-20 year old range, guys just didn’t dig me. But you know what? I was always their confidant. I guess that’s the curse of the “Fat Friend”. Men like your personality, but they don’t want to be with you. The same for the guys who feel like they get “Friendzoned”– the girl likes you, but she doesn’t want to be with you.
Which makes me wonder– is “One of the Guys” the female version of the Friendzone?
Now, where we stand today, the word Friendzone has been ripped apart, deconstructed, and shamed together like a mutilated public hanging. People argue that in order to feel like you’ve been Friendzoned, you need to have a certain level of entitlement that you deserved to be more to said female. That you, from the start, Girlfriendzoned her, because you assumed that via your friendship with her, that you were going to be an automatic receiver of the pussy. These are specifics that I can’t really argue here– I’ve never Girlfriendzoned anyone and I can’t recall a situation where a guy accused me of Friendzoning them. I guess we were all just zoned together.
My hope with this piece, which I’ve really wanted to write for a long time, is that it doesn’t come across like I’m a crazy person harboring resentment for my teenage years when I was The Fat Friend, The Funny Friend, or Like a Guy. No, guys didn’t want me as often as they wanted my friends. Yes, their boyfriends came to me for advice. Yes, I’ve been in situations where guys were literally going back and forth between me and my best friend, or me and my sisters (fuck every person stupid enough to be like this) and I was cast off for not being the hot one. What can you do, right? I cherish my female friends and have a special place in my heart and in my work for women, protecting women, teaching women to defend themselves, but one of my fears is that I harbor internalized misogyny because of this treatment.
Perhaps that is an examination for another article.
To get to the nitty gritty before my lurker ass rambles on too long– being “One of the Guys” means (to me) that you conduct yourself without any need to be an object of desire to the men in your life. It means you can truly just be friends with guys– even as an adult. Your power doesn’t come from sucking up the attention of men, who you hang out with because “women are crazy” (IE, I’m different, don’t you think I’m cool?) or “you don’t like girl things”.
The idea for this piece really culminated in my head the day I had the misfortune of meeting a young woman who I can truly say is literally one of the stupidest people I’ve ever met. The sort of person with too many opinions and just keeps talking until someone is either impressed by something she says or tells her they want to fuck her. I remember speaking with her briefly, and she went on some anecdote about how all of her male friend’s girlfriends/wives/whatever don’t like her.
Glancing down at her enormous tits spilling out of her ill-fitting form-constricting dress (I’m sure the dress fit her better 70 pounds ago), I asked her why she felt her male friend’s ladies didn’t like her. After observing her giving fuck-eyes to anyone that would look at her (seriously, this chick thirsted for attention like a dry bucket of sand) and her face painted with blank eyed confusion anytime more than three syllables were uttered in a row, complete with her mouth hanging open (sexy, I guess?), she said it was because she was “One of the Guys” and the women must have felt threatened by that. Cynicism washed over me like adrenaline before a fight and I crossed my arms with a smirk. And I truly regret not saying out loud the thing I thought in my head:
“Bitch, it’s not because you’re “One of the Guys”– they don’t like you because you look like a writhing blow up doll.”
When I was a teenager, there was a (white chick) who went by the name Eiko because Otakus. She was around the same age as me and my buds and had a reputation for being this cool girl, the sort that people on the convention scene called “One of the Guys”. But then, the gossip came out that she coerced (the word forced is too harsh) all of the guys in her circle to go down on her. To this day, I don’t know how much of it is true, but it made for some fun, judgmental controversy. In some ways, yeah, this is probably something “One of the Guys” would do; how many straight guys do you know who convinced their female friends to touch their dicks? Probably more than you could ever imagine. But in the way that “One of the Guys” shouldn’t present like an object of desire to their guys friends… did she fail? Did she succeed? Is “One of the Guys” an identity? Or a label given to you when others don’t know what to make of you?
The truth is– I don’t know. I’ve been part of this world too long to properly examine it. Plus, because of my age, I grew up in a time where there were greater divides in what it meant to be male and female. I’m sure boys still get bullied for wearing dresses and nail polish, and yes, there is butch erasure with more and more young women thinking they are transgender. Is “One of the Guys” a category for young women anymore, or is it an expired notion? The one thing I know is that when you are an adult woman with (platonic) male friends, be kind and respectful to their wives. Treat their women like queens and never present or behave in any way where they would think you are a threat.
If your male friend is unattached and you really want to be “One of the Guys”, just be a fucking regular person– be their friend. You can’t be a blow up doll, an attention whore, a chick waving her pussy around for attention and then demand you want equal male footing. It doesn’t work that way. If that’s what you want– fuck it, be direct. If that’s your kink and game of Cat and Mouse, that’s that. But don’t pretend it’s under some guise of friendship, of being in an equal footing platonic ass relationship with men. In the same way men shouldn’t automatically objectify women for their body parts, women shouldn’t show off those body parts and then insist they want to be your “friend”. You don’t have to be consistent– just don’t be a fucking hypocrite.
Statement: PopLurker is not owned by a corporation. It’s just me and a select group of writers trying to create content that will make the internet a happier place. When you share our articles or kick us down a donation in our tip jar, you’re helping out the little guy who just wants to make your day awesome. Please contribute so we can keep creating hilarious content!