Just for a day, I think it would be quite interesting to be a man. For all kinds of reasons, actually. I mean, what does it actually feel like to get an erection? Let alone have sex from a man’s perspective. What’s it like, as a man, to give a woman an orgasm; what is foreplay like from a male perspective? But that’s just the obvious ones. What’s it like to be able to pee standing up, for the really unladylike curious side of me?
But actually there are other things I wonder about just as much. What’s it like to be taller than most people around you, rather than shorter? What’s it like to be able to carry a computer, a chair, heavy shopping, without feeling like your arm is going to fall off afterwards; what’s it like to be able to lift your own weight and do a full pull-up? I’m assuming that I would be an averagely fit sort of a man, here, because I’m reasonably fit for a girl (though not terribly strong). What’s it like, worse, to struggle with carrying something or whatever and to not be able to admit you’re struggling because that isn’t manly and wouldn’t look good, where I can merrily get any man around me to carry my stuff – from friends and my father and so on to station staff and even total strangers – if I’m struggling.
What is it like to be able to drink four pints of beer and still quite easily remember where I live and how to walk so that I can get there? What’s it like to try on a really sharp suit and tie and cummerbund and things and look like James Bond rather than an extra from Cabaret or Generic Insane Lesbian Sociopath Character from an Agatha Christie drama? Or to be able to sleep in just boxers, or slop around in jeans and a t-shirt and not feel like you should have made more of an effort, or to only own about four pairs of shoes and all of those shoe-choices being based on comfort within a given situation? Or to be able to swim in baggy shorts rather than a string bikini which will doubtless fall apart if a wave hits it at the wrong angle?
And, more interestingly still – do men really think differently? Is it a literal, direct turn-on to see a good looking girl in flattering clothes, rather than – as it is for girls seeing an attractive man – a precursor, something to make you prick up your ears, and make the effort to get to know Attractive Person, so that the being-turned-on happens later? Are women really more perceptive in a given social situation? Honestly more interested in the psychological ins-and-outs of a good piece of gossip, or their own personal circumstances? What is it like within society as a man? Women and men after all still have stereotyped and expected roles and patterns of behaviour with which we feel we should conform – so what are the expectations we still place on men?
And furthermore, what would being a man for a day teach me about myself as a woman? Other than the fact that I would probably very quickly miss having thirty pairs of shoes to choose from at any given moment… .