While most blokes would probably rather hook jumper leads to their gonads than go shopping with their partners, new research has revealed the shocking truth about men’s intolerance to something much more repulsive – the gruesome reality of being alone.
The research, conducted by the University of Virginia, involved a group of men left alone in a room with nothing to do but the ability to give themselves an electric shock. And what do you think happened?
In a result unsurprising to any woman ever born, two thirds of the participants got so bored after just a few minutes that they decided that giving themselves an electric shock was actually a very good idea. In fact, 12 of the 18 men gave themselves at least one shock during the 15-minute period. One man gave himself 190 shocks. An interesting dude with an electrifying personality clearly. But in all fairness, there was a female equivalent experiment where six of the 24 women gave themselves a different type of buzz than they were probably used to.
Being alone has long been a scary concept, especially if you are a woman. Indeed the term “spinster” has actually been around since the mid-1400s and according to Wikipedia means: “an older woman who has never been married or never had children. To be a spinster, a woman has to be approaching or past the age of menopause without having ever formed a human pair bond”.
While thankfully the term spinster has gone out of fashion – well today you’re just called choosy or perhaps even (God forbid) a career woman – the art of being alone is becoming less and less well known.
Modern technology means we’re forever online via our smart phones or iPads. These days there are also wifi hotspots bloody everywhere. There’s even one on my walking route along a riverbank, just in case I wanted to share the view with my virtual or actual friends instead of actually enjoying it myself, you know, in real life. But I digress.
Am I shocked that so many men gave themselves a shock when faced with the absolute torture of being alone? Not in the slightest. In my experience, I’ve encountered plenty of men (and women) who seemed so scared of being alone that they stayed in toxic relationships for years too long. And as someone who’s had more than her fair share of Alone Time, I can understand that fear, misguided that it may be.
My sister is also not surprised at the propensity of men to serve themselves up some electric shock treatment or some self-love, as in a phone call that just interrupted the writing of this blog, she suggested that men left to their own devices for too long would probably also just have a wank. I tended to agree.
However being completely and utterly alone – something that the mother’s in my friendship circle desire above almost anything else – is not easy. Nor is it easy to listen to your jumbled, and sometimes irrational, thoughts when the only thing you can hear is your own heart beating. Why else do you think that social media is so popular? Anything to occupy your time instead of listening to your own mind is surely the tonic for today’s generation. Yet it’s only in silence that great ideas become visible to us.
But when it comes down to it, if left alone in a room for 15 minutes with nothing to do but contemplate what an electric shock feels like, would I do it? Hell yeah! The temptation to try something outside of societal norms or moral acceptability has long held an attraction to me, which might also explain some of my previous boyfriends.
The shocking truth about men it seems is that I am sometimes a little like them – just without the testicles.