The Other 6 Seconds: What Men Are Thinking About (Other than Sex), Including Robot Women, the Proper Way to Handle our Fame in the Future, Spartacus, Our Picture in Field and Stream Magazine, Cape Colors, Getaway Cars, Whether Our Resume is Up-To-Date and the Usefulness of Pet Giraffes for Yard Work

By David Drury


After watching too much Oprah the other day my wife directly accused me: “all you men do is think about sex!”  Following this was the usual pause while she waited for me to reply.  She cocked her head into my field of vision and said a bit louder, “Did you hear me?” 


Frankly, I was startled a bit.  I sensed that she had just said something important and I had missed it and my ignorance would betray me as an unloving husband who doesn’t listen to his wife.  But I didn’t have time to guess what it was considering the context.  So I just told her the truth—though perhaps not all of the truth.  I blurted out, “Sorry, I didn’t hear you… um… could you repeat it?  I was busy thinking about something.”


We men have a reputation for thinking about sex.  I think we might be getting a bit of a bad rap.  Yes, from time to time we men do think about intimate relations.  A story even developed over the last decade that researchers found men think of sex once every seven seconds.


I know what you’re thinking…


What about the other six seconds?  So am I.  What are men thinking about when they are not thinking about sex?  Well, I’m here today to break the code of silence among men and share with the world six things that we are thinking about with our other six seconds—if the myth about the seven seconds can be believed.


Most women believe the fact that we men think about sex is the most embarrassing thing about us, but it’s not.  Our secret is that this is the least embarrassing thing we think about.  It’s just a cover for far more embarrassing things we are thinking about with the other six seconds.  Here’s the list:


  1. We’re thinking about how cool it would be to have super-powers. All men think this in one way or another but they just keep it to themselves.  If you observe smaller men, which are called boys, you’ll notice that most of their play-time involves imagining what it would be like to have super-powers and acting out accordingly, such as putting on a cape and mask and jumping off their treehouses.  Grown-up men (which is an oxymoron of sorts) continue to think how cool it would be to have super-powers but it becomes socially awkward, unless they are drunk, for men to share such inner feelings, or for them to wear capes, which also requires drunkenness, unless the man is from France.  However, all men desire super-powers.  From Da Vinci to Bill Gates all great men have devoted their lives to seeking super powers.  Most scientific inquiry and technological advancement has been secretly devoted to enabling a creative male (Da Vinci) to fly or for a nerdy male (see Bill Gates) to create a super-human robot woman (see the movie Weird Science if you doubt it.)


  1. We’re going to quit our jobs soon.  This is what we’re thinking about with our next left-over second when we’re not thinking about sex.  Of course, if we had super-powers it would be easier to quit our jobs.  Being able to read minds makes our jobs needless.  Plus we’d have to move into our secret fortress of solitude.  However, even if we are not awarded super-powers most men think secretly of quitting their jobs soon.  Each week has its ups and downs at work and during the downs we’re thinking of an exit plan.  Some men actually update their resignation letters once a month—then stop at printing them off and delivering them.  We’re not actually going to quit our jobs, we’re just dreaming about it.  We imagine what it would be like to walk into the office of the boss, give him a piece of our minds, then walk out giving well-deserved high-fives to our co-workers, becoming modern day Spartacus for the workplace.


  1. We’re thinking that it would be awesome to be involved in a heist.  It may shock you to think that we spend a whole one second out of seven considering the intricacies of such a random thing but we men would all love to be involved in a heist.  First, a heist involves wonderfully detailed planning by a crack squad of diverse people.  Yes, the man in your life may be a boring accountant but he is also dreaming of how a team of 9 criminal masterminds may be in need of a gifted accountant to be their money-man.  Second, a heist involves carrying automatic weapons and wearing masks—pretty cool.  Thirdly, a heist involves a getaway car and walkie-talkies, both of which are more exciting than our jobs, which we are already thinking of quitting (see above.)


  1. We’re thinking we are better at hunting, fishing & sports than we actually are.  We fantasize about the size of buck (a.k.a. “grown up Bambi”) we’ll bring down next fall.  On average, we increase the size of the fish we caught by 50%.  We really believe that if we purchase a new pair of shoes we will be able to dunk a basketball.  Inside all of us men is a desire to have a cheering crowd consider us to be the most amazing physical specimen on the field of play.  Whether it be a furry animal, a fish or the guy wearing the other color jersey—we want to win and be cheered.  We want to see our picture in Field and Stream magazine next to a mammoth creature of God that we have slain.  We can close our eyes and imagine what the fame would be like.  We think through how we’ll handle being so famous, how we’ll cope with the grandeur.  Just to reassure you, we’ve decided that we’ll still be “regular guys” after we’re famous—unlike most sports heroes.  This is so far removed from actual reality that it’s embarrassing for us to admit.  But we do it.  We dream of being the ultimate sports icon or sportsman.


  1. Perhaps ranking as the most juvenile and embarrassing on the list, we men are thinking it would be great to own a wild animal as a pet.  Seriously.  We men secretly think it would be totally wicked to own a wild animal.  As evidence of this notice that many single men will own, right in their living room, a large Python.  Other single men will have two aquariums: one for the piranhas and one for the fish they’ll drop in the piranha tank for entertainment on poker night.  Married men do not own pythons or piranhas.  They are too embarrassed to tell their wives they would rather buy a baby elephant than a Yorkshire terrier.  But deep down if allowed all men wouldn’t mind owning a giraffe.  We wouldn’t even need to buy that long-handled tree-trimmer anymore.  And the ultimate guy-pet is a monkey.  Yes—no woman in her right mind would get a monkey for a pet.  The list of reasons a woman would come up with on why a monkey is a horrible pet is longer than my arm.  But men are still thinking about it, when they’re not thinking about sex.  Monkeys are cool.  Period.


  1. The sixth thing men are thinking about is a bit more complicated.  You see—whenever psychiatrists take polls or give people tests something happens called the “Hawthorne Effect.”  The observers themselves affect the outcome of the test.  People don’t give fully honest answers.  So, if this test ever happened that discovered men think about sex every seven seconds the outcome would likely be off a bit.  And of course many people have said that this “seven seconds” thing is false… a total myth.  That’s true.  I agree.  There’s no way that men sitting across the table from a young female researcher from the university would tell the truth about how often they think about sex.  In reality, we men know that those men polled lied like crazy.  They lowered the numbers.  In reality they were thinking about sex TWO TIMES every seven seconds.  So, the sixth thing that men are thinking about is, of course, sex, as well as the seventh thing.


There you have it.  This is what men are thinking about.  Yes, from time to time we think of world peace, getting a promotion and caulking the bathtub—but as you can tell with how well those things are going, we don’t think about them much.  We’re embarrassed by our actual thoughts, so I now confess them to the world so that we can more fully become ourselves as man-beings.  Men—we should be proud of who we are men!


I need to go now because Oprah is on in 5 minutes so my wife will be distracted while I stage a fight in the basement between my monkey and the python.  My money is on the primate—of course.  Monkeys are cool.



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© 2006 by David Drury


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