Why Women Go to the Bathroom in Groups

Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree of Separation.

Men always wonder why women go to the bathroom in packs. You know how it is: a mixed-sex group at dinner and one woman excuses herself and the others quickly follow. And the men always wonder why.

The Long-Awaited Honest-to-God Secret to Being Happy

You silly men. The answer’s simple. To talk about  you.

Yep. The men are left to chatter incessantly about their latest  domination in the sports world while the women are in the restaurant’s posh bathroom discussing things like penis size and whether you were worth shaving their legs for.

No, I’m not on a date when this occurs. I’m not part of the conversation either. I’m simply another occupant of the rest- room and  trying  to safety-pin a snagged blouse together. The women in question  are  beautiful early-to-mid 30-somethings, long legs, long hair, high heels that totter on the slippery floor. They’re still at that place in their lives where they equate “good in bed” with pleasing their men and not themselves or pleasing themselves and not each other. It’s all a competition, something for their sexual resume’. Yet each one talks about how some- thing is missing in their sex lives and they don’t know what.

One of them is bored with her guy after six months and is dying to show him what she’s really interested in trying, but he’s already sneered at it the one time she brought it up. They’re talking about marriage and  she’s  worried about a future with him where she’ll never be able to be  herself in their daily life. They have a good sex life, she says, but she feels  like she’s a fraud. She loves him and wants him to know the real her, but she’s afraid that if he doesn’t approve of her non-vanilla tastes that he’ll call her a joke, hurt her feelings where she’s most vulnerable, and maybe, well, maybe she is a joke, she says.

The second woman assures her, as female friends do, that she’s not a joke, then reveals that she and her husband have never once looked into each other’s eyes during sex. She could, she admits, but she doesn’t want to. The sex is good, she says, but other than that, there’s not much between the two of them, no pun intended.

The third woman comments wearily that it’s a Friday night, and  that means another all-nighter with her live-in who spends his weekends  “Viagra-d up.” She wishes he’d skip the Viagra because she doesn’t really want his attention all night and he’s got this crazy notion that he’s not really  a man unless he can bring her to a climax right on cue. She’s spent the  last month avoiding sex whenever possible because she can’t handle the  pressure  of  his  expectations.  What  if  she  doesn’t  have enough orgasms tonight? What if she doesn’t have any? Can’t he just stop trying so hard and stop being so competitive? She’s not asking for the proverbial cuddle-vs-sex situation, just to get off stage. He’s absolutely  terrific in bed, on a technical basis, she says, but she’s seriously starting to hate sex with the man. It’s all about the climax, the Olympic competition of it every time, and that’s how he validates himself and more and more, how  she validates herself, too.

The three women finish applying their lipstick and de- part, each one eyeing me and a little surprised when they realize I’m in the same room with them. One of them smiles and says she hopes I’m not offended by their conversation. I’m not. They go back to their hunky men and glasses of wine and bleached- tooth laughter.

The thing that bothers me most is that they’re all focusing on  the  sex and not intimacy. And yet they’re wondering what they’re missing.