The Average American Male by Chad Kultgen has been hailed as a brutally honest insight into the typical male mind. As a woman, of course this caught my attention. A book written by a man that shows what men are really thinking? Seemed worth a read to me. So when I saw it on the bargain rack at my local B&N, I picked it up. Several hours of reading later, what I gained from Kultgen’s supposedly honest depiction of the average man is an overwhelming sense of gratitude that I happened to be born female because if most men really do think this way, it must be mind-numbingly boring to be a man.
Having been a woman my whole life, there is no way for me to know with any degree of certainty whether this novel truly does do men justice but it seemed to me an exaggeration for shock value. I know men think about sex A LOT and probably more than most women but according to this book, it’s damn near ALL they think about. And not just simple thoughts like, “Whoa, she’s hot” or “I’d like to fuck her” but bizarre details like, “I wonder what her asshole looks like.” Really? Never in my life have I wondered what someone’s asshole looks like. Not even my own. The twenty-something male protagonist of this story directs his perverse thoughts at EVERY. SINGLE. WOMAN. he meets. During a chance encounter with a mentally handicapped woman, he privately wonders if she even knows how to suck cock. In fact, he wonders this about every female he comes across, even the mother of his girlfriend. I didn’t actually count, but I’d bet the phrase “suck my cock” (or a variation of it) probably showed up 375 times in this less than 200 page book. The same can be said of the term “blow my load.” These things didn’t offend or repulse me so much as they quickly bored me to death. If it weren’t for the book’s short length, I doubt I would have been able to finish it.
Because – here’s the other thing about this novel that made it hard to get through – NOTHING happens. Every chapter begins with the narrator going out somewhere, coming across any number of women and having the same two or three thoughts. After chapter 3 or 4, reading about this guy’s curiosity over every woman’s ability to suck a dick or willingness to take it in the ass got really old. By the end of the story, the only thing that had changed was that the unnamed main character had switched out one girlfriend for another. Though he claimed to have no interest in marriage or parenthood, he proposes to his girlfriend on the book’s last page because he comes to the realization that all women are essentially the same. They’ll all want a wedding and babies eventually. They’ll all get fat. They’ll all stop sucking his cock after a few months or maybe years. They’ll all lose interest in sex. So, why not marry the one he’s with now since he knows he’ll never find a woman capable of fulfilling his sexual needs over the long-term? And this is the only shred of honesty, of true insight that The Average American Male has to offer. On its very last page.
Whether it’s a true look into the male psyche or not, I can’t recommend this book to anyone. Maybe Kultgen’s lead character is a satirical exaggeration. Maybe it’s meant to be funny. Maybe I just didn’t get it. This may very well be the case. I think this book was a best-seller and has since spawned a sequel, The Average American Marriage. (Needless to say, I won’t bother with that one.) The Average American Male even has a youtube video that is quite popular as well, so it seems something here went over my head. Like, wayyyy over my head because I didn’t find a word of this book entertaining or intriguing in the least. None of the characters were developed enough to make me feel anything and there was literally no plot. The vast majority of the time, I was bored and had to force myself to get through it. So, for now, it’s back to the classics for me.