A secret is something hidden on purpose — but if the "secret" is a fairly universal behavior practiced by lots of people that the average person would find utterly unsurprising ("Cats like string") then, sorry buddy, but that is not a secret to anyone but you. Which kind of makes it not a secret at all, but like a real dumb thing that you don't even have to say out loud.
People keep secrets, certainly, like, oh I don't know, a secret family, or a secret bank account purely created to stockpile money for rogue expensive coffee purchases (what?). Not a secret? Oh, I don't know, that women wear makeup or that men sniff their own balls on Saturdays but only after they eat hot wings.
At this point, I'm pretty much going to call it and say there are no gender secrets left in the world about men or women that haven't already been revealed. Sure, there are always individual stories and preferences of people to tell, but enough already with the "secrets" men/women are finally going to tell you about what they do in the bathroom at 4:08 after a breakup. Unless it's like, craft elaborate wigs out of drain hair, I don't want to know — because I think we all already know. Is anyone left who doesn't know?
But no matter, in the lore of men and women, we have a fun narrative we love to perpetuate in every imaginable arena: Men and women are secret-hoarding disparate concepts whose habits are utterly mystifying (what's eyeliner?!?!) who on occasion have been known to merge for whoopee.
As such, never go into a relationship assuming you're simply dealing with another person, but rather a complex set of masks, performances, secrets, habits, and affectations issued at birth, oriented entirely around gender. Sounds complicated!
Good thing the ladymags pull out the big guns to decode them for you. This way you never have to actually talk about stuff. Keep your secrets, men and women, boys and girls, lest you throw the hetero harmony out of balance forever. Like that time dudes on reddit were gutted by the discovery that makeup makes faces look different.
Thankfully, ladymags are willing to take one for the team and let the string-loving cat out of the bag. It's a service. Enter Women's Health, who valiantly tried to pull back the curtain, but unfortunately, their recent roundup of "11 Secrets Men Keep From Their Girlfriends" contains no secrets whatsoever. Unless the male in question is 15 years old and the woman being kept secrets from is HIS MOM.
Seriously. This is the list:
We occasionally check out other women.
But but you said you liked her vintage clutch!
Before things became serious, we stalked you on Facebook.
Call off the dogs: Guys know how to use Facebook.
We still watch porn.
Is that what that dog-eared copy of Big'Uns was doing in the outhouse? Billy!
We love it when you have girl's night.
When you said "Honey, have fun — be safe. Call me if you need a ride," we thought you were livid and spent the entire night in tears mopping up eyeliner with tampons.
All that hair in the drain? It freaks us out.
Gloop. Gurgle. Soap scum. Ballsack. Boob sweat. Pit sniff.
We're happy when you bring up the important topics.
Just like a person with a human head would?
We notice when other guys check you out.
Weird, that was #12 on our list of secrets us gals keep, right after #11: Ear wax.
We like compliments.
Surely not about your ability to define, recognize or keep secrets?
We were nervous the first time we had sex with you.
Um, that was a game of Twister.
Sometimes we're just not in the mood.
For Big'Uns? There's other stuff out there now. Real kinky shit. On the Internet. Don't tell your mom.
Image by Sam Woolley.