Is “Taking One For The Team” Just An Excuse?

"Taking One For The Team"

This post could have also been titled, The Enigmatic Mating Dance of the Human Male, because when I think about guys picking up women I am reminded of those dancing birds of paradise from the BBC’s Planet Earth series. Sometimes a guy just needs his friend to keep the friend of the woman he’s interested in company so he can “do his dance” with her complete attention.

“Taking one for the team,” usually refers to how the male’s friend keeps the female’s friend company during the enigmatic mating dance, but can also work vice versa, though it’s more rare. It is meant to help others and is thus a noble human behaviour. It is making a selfless sacrifice for the rest of humankind! I mean, how awkward and weird would it be if someone didn’t keep the woman’s friend company and she was just left standing there all alone rolling her eyes and mumbling obscenities under her breath?

That said, I have a few observations, and it has nothing to do with the true and awesome definition of taking one for the team, it has to do with using this great and noble behaviour as a ruse! Yes, a ruse! To cover up the fact that you had sex with a) someone you weren’t attracted to, or b) someone you fear your friends wouldn’t approve of.

Now I’m sure many people who’ve indulged in too much alcohol before can name at least one time they hooked up with or slept with a person they weren’t that attracted to. It does happen, and it’s just one of those things, and I totally get that no one wants to admit they got way too blasted to tell the difference. So saying you took one for the team in this case is likely just code for, “I don’t want to talk about it.” No biggie, mistakes happen. Better luck next time.

What is actually of interest to me is the use of the term to describe a liaison for which a person is similarly ashamed, but not because they weren’t attracted to their sex partner, but because they fear their friends wouldn’t approve of their sex partner even though they got their world rocked! Yeah, we are that judgmental.

What does that say about us as a culture that sex has been reduced to such a superficial egotistical expression of status-seeking and friend impressing? That we look outside ourselves for our cues to attraction rather than within? That the simple meeting of two mutually attracted bodies for the sole purpose of pleasure has to be accounted for and explained afterwards? There’s so many other layers involved in attraction, like smell and intellect and other oddities, there’s no way another person can decide who you should sleep with!

If all we’re focused on is trying to impress everyone else than I dare to say we’re literally wasting our lives and are right on track for that impending life crisis to hit. At which point, I might add, you can’t get those wasted years back! So what are you waiting for? Live! Live! When it comes to sex, trust your body, not your friends. And don’t apologize for it – ever!

“Sex at age ninety is like trying to shoot pool with a rope.” ~ George Burns

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