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September 20, 2003

Gina on Gal vs. Guy Groupies

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Friedrich --

The actress Gina Gershon is a looker and a hot number. And, because she's starred in such films as "Showgirls" and "Bound," she has as many female as male fans. (She's also performed a few times as a musician.) Maxim magazine asked her to describe the difference between female and male groupies. Here's her response:

The difference is that female fans are a lot more intense. They're really forthcoming in what they want from you and what they want to give you. Guys are like, "Hey, what's up? Liked your flick. Can I take a picture?" Women are like ... they tell you everything -- what they want to do for you, what they think about you, their sex lives, everything. So I can see how that would be a trip for male rock stars. Because when I did that show in New York, the female fans were -- I can't even describe it -- they were out of control.

Gals! Guys! Gina!



posted by Michael at September 20, 2003


Doncha think that's just a further extension of the man/woman thing?

As Dave Barry once said:

"What Women Want: To be loved, to be listened to, to be desired, to be respected, to be needed, to be trusted, and sometimes, just to be held. What Men Want: Tickets for the world series."

Posted by: annette on September 20, 2003 6:00 PM

I think that what she is describing here is actually a twist on the whole gender thing. Women are forthright and aggressive about their sexual fantasies about her, whereas her male fans are just goofy and relaxed when they meet her.

Posted by: Martine on September 20, 2003 7:36 PM

The phenomenon that Ms. Gershon refers to was illustrated for me one day 30 or so years ago at, of all places, the Michigan State Fair. Tom Jones was performing. My 6' 3" brother, his 6' 4" friend, my little sister and I (6' 1") attended, as the show was a freebie. We three guys were the only men at the show. When Tom Jones appeared on stage, all of the women (mostly middle-class housewives, by the way) went berserk. You could barely see the stage for the underwear flying through the air. Within minutes, all the women had jumped up on their folding chairs to see Tom better. We couldn't see anything, so we also stood on our chairs. The women behind us (whose view we blocked) were on the verge of being homicidal. In fact, we left because the whole scene was a crazed estrogen-fest. I've never seen a group of men even close to being as out of control as those "ladies." Ever since, the Greek myth of the ecstatic women accompanying Dionysus who tear a man into pieces has struck me as, if not literally true, reflecting a certain truth about female sexuality. In fact, it made me rethink my previously dismissive attitude toward certain Victorian customs, like not letting women see horses mate.

Posted by: Friedrich von Blowhard on September 21, 2003 1:01 AM

Are there any changes in this extreme "feminine response" when higher education and/or religious experience is added to the equation?

I've gotta figure there would be. How about age? Would this out of control behavior be limited to a pretty specific group of gals?

I think I support it when women choose to flip-out. Ha! So it's not that I'd like to limit the emotionality of women. After all, we ARE from Venus. But I guess it's obvious that many many women would opt out of the behaviors described here.

Still, it's good info to be aware of.

Posted by: laurel on September 21, 2003 7:39 AM

T think FvB's comment about not being able to see the stage for all the underwear flying though the air is pretty darn funny. The fact that Tom Jones was the object of this is pretty darn pathetic. (The best thing I ever heard Tom Jones sing was "You Can Leave Your Hat On" which is the song the guys strip to at the end of "The Full Monty." Even then I managed to get through watching it without shrieking once or throwing panties).

I think one thing we shouldn't lose sight of here is that there is a particular type of personality who goes crazy upon seeing a well known person/rock star and actually APPROACHES them. I've never approached one. The whole idea of "groupie." This ties in with Laurel's comment.'s perfectly possible men didn't want women to see horses mate because they didn't want to be shown up!! :)

Posted by: annette on September 21, 2003 11:58 AM

Is there a difference between a "looker" and a "hot number"?

Posted by: Xhenxhefil on September 21, 2003 1:38 PM

In my small experience of these things, guys at strip clubs or topless places are generally pretty well behaved. Maybe not appealing or appetizing themselves, god knows. But respecful of the performers. They'd better be, or they'll get bounced pretty quickly. Where I've heard from people who've seen shows at Chippendale's that the gals in attendance there often go absolutely wild. Maybe part of it's that for guys the whole ogling-gals thing is pretty routine, where for many gals ogling-guys is a special night out on the town, and so why not let rip?

But maybe also many gals just do (and throw themselves into) "sensual abandon and frenzy" a lot better and more completely than most guys do. Or is this just me hoping it's the case? But, just between us friends here, isn't part of the wonder of luv-making from the guy's point of view the experience of being with a gal and marveling and thinking, "Wow, what she's experiencing is something so complete that I can only dream of it. I'm really glad to be here and keep her company!" I realize as I stare these words that I'm sounding a bit like Barry White here, so go ahead and laugh. But still -- isn't it? Is there really any guy who thinks that what he experiences in sex is a match for what a gal (sometimes) seems to experience?

I'm not sure how that connects with what we were just talking about ... Oh, the capacity for sensual abandon and frenzy, that's it. Gals, huh? On the one hand they kind of police life and enforce morality and make us guys behave nice. On the other, look out. (All said fondly and admiringly, of course.)

I think the class-and-women-and-behavior question is really interesting. Remember the awful sexual-correctness days, was it back in the mid-'90s? When everyone was terrified of lawsuits and dirty jokes and flirting? (And then Monica and Bill put an end to it, thank god.) Anyway, one of the funny things I noticed at work was that the yuppie-ish, Ivy-ish careerizing gals were real Nazis about it, and obviously figured they were upholding standards for womanhood generally. Where the more working-class gals still wore tight jeans, showed off cleavage, and more or less insisted on being flirted with before they'd do any work for you. I move back and forth between the two crowds at work, and it's a hilarious and striking contrast -- all these "liberated" Democratic ambitious gals who are really controlling and prissy on the one hand, and down-to-earth, cheerful, this-is-what-life-is, tell-me-a-joke gals on the other. Real upstairs-downstairs stuff. Has anyone else run into this at work?

"Looker"? "Hot stuff"? Hmm, probably I'm just being overcaffeinated and verbose...

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on September 21, 2003 4:11 PM

All I can say is the cleavage-showing-flirt-with-me-or-I-wwon't-do-any-work-for-you type is a nightmare for a woman to work with, at least in my personal experience (Maybe not always). A woman can have the most urgent memo in the world, a man in the office can need his paperclips organized, and guess what's getting done? Maybe there is one more reason for the tight-ass attitude of the "upstairs" crowd: maybe they are actually just more professional and sick of getting screwed over by the bubble gum popping chickies. Maybe it isn't just a carrying-the-banner-for-womankind thing (although I agree that sometimes there is an element of that).

Posted by: annette on September 21, 2003 8:18 PM

"Looker" vs. "hot number": "Lookers" are just that -- lovely to look at. "Hot numbers" would be lots of fun to play with in the sack. The two frequently go together, but not always. J.Lo, for example, strikes me as a "hot number" but not much of a "looker," while Meg Ryan is a "looker" but not a "hot number." (Or to move a little closer to home, B.Af strikes me as a "looker" but not a "hot number," while Jack Black might be a "hot number" but is certainly not a "looker.")

"Oh, and another thing": I suspect this is true enough for American women, but somehow I doubt it applies equally to women elsewhere. Not all women have the sense of innate privilege and entitlement that most American women seem to possess. (Just try to tell one she might -- just might -- possibly be a little bit mistaken and watch her claws and fangs come out! Eeeyikes!!)

Posted by: Tim Hulsey on September 21, 2003 8:51 PM

"Lookers" are nice on the eyes. "Hot numbers" get the blood pumping. A looker isn't necessarily particularly sexy. A hot number needn't be conventionally pretty.

I went to law school (arg) in the middle of that early/mid 90s sexual correctness. (double arg and another shout out to Billy C for getting us over that. . .)

Anyway, my class was majority female, and an icier, less sexy, humorless bunch of females you've never seen in your life. I still have a rule: I won't date anyone with a law degree.

Posted by: dude on September 22, 2003 1:16 PM

Hey Dude---don't have a law degree so my ox isn't being gored, so to speak. But....were the men less icy or sexless than the women? Or should women apply your rule to male lawyers, too?

Posted by: annette on September 22, 2003 2:01 PM

"a man in the office can need his paperclips organized"
I can see how, in an environment where a man can both need his paperclips organized and expect that someone else would do that vital job, it might be a nightmare to work with support staff who like a little social interaction - talking sports with the mailroom guys, dishing the Emmys with the conf call booker, or bemoaning kids these days with the office manager. Or even chatting with a gal who dresses a little flashy and doesn't mind a compliment.

Upstairs downstairs? Oh yes, M. Blowhard, I have run into this at work. In fact, I may be part of this at work. In my experience, it doesn't pay to be open and loose at work if you are a woman. If two guys in the copy room are talking about Grand Theft Auto, and they spent most of the weekend trying to find the last helicopter, and I know where it is, I wouldn't pipe up to say so unless I am absolutely sure those guys respect me. Women are held to an entirely different standard.

If a team, especially a team who is working out of town, has to pull some late hours to prepare for an early morning presentation, it's no big thing - in fact it might be a good thing - if a couple of the guys look a little worse for the wear, a little rumpled. A woman has to look like she was just dressed and coifed by a professional stylist. Women are held to an entirely different standard. See, for instance, "Working Girl." Even though she still talks like a Chatty Kathy doll and seems only slightly more intelligent than a compost heap, plucky Melanie Griffith is able to rise to the top with a haircut and a conservative wardrobe.

It's all about roles, I think. Men have a clearly defined "being a hound dog" role. Women, until recently, didn't. So, women went ape for Tom Jones and whoever else and that going apes seems to be the accepted role for bachelorette parties. I know a number of good Christian women who think nothing of going to a male strip club with a bride who has condoms pinned all over her dress…

Posted by: j.c. on September 22, 2003 3:12 PM

The guys were pinched and humorless too. Being a guy though I pretty much ignore other guys as far as possible so I don't have as many observations in that regard.

I figured my experience in law school was good sample of "professional" female behavior in the early/mid 90s so I thought I'd throw my $.02 in on that.

Posted by: dude on September 22, 2003 3:24 PM

Good lord, Annette and JC's tales seem to come from a different country entirely than the one I inhabit. In my corner of mediaville, guys are weenies. Straight guys are, anyway -- the gay guys are busy dynamos. Gals (of the clueless-about-life, upper-middle-class, no-flirting-here, I-know-what-'s-good-for-you, sisters-and-daughters-of-Hillary type) run the roost, and have for a decade. I think of them as the superego gals.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on September 23, 2003 12:07 AM

Wait! M. Blowhard - you think of "of the clueless-about-life, upper-middle-class, no-flirting-here, I-know-what-'s-good-for-you, sisters-and-daughters-of-Hillary type" as superhero gals? I think of them as a plague on all our houses, and hate myself for going along with that program to the extent that I do. You're starting to make me think mediaville may be the most corporate corner of the corporate world.

Their brothers and sisters in the MBA over-laywered way of life are responsible for Enron, among other evils, you know. Fried had a wonderful post about the "punishment" given to a certain member of that class.

Posted by: j.c. on September 23, 2003 12:07 PM

JC -- Not "superhero" gals but "superego" gals. I could be wrong, but it seems to me we have the same view of them.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on September 23, 2003 10:47 PM

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