You’d think we are all beyond the birds and the bees talk by now, but if recent military news is any indication I think America might have missed out on the talk. First it was reported that Navy ships are facing a pregnancy crisis and it seems to be getting worse. Namely, that women deployed on ships are getting pregnant which then requires them to be evacuated back to land duty at a great cost to the Navy. Now, it’s not clear whether these women were pregnant before they stepped foot on ship or if it occurred while on the high seas. However, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if when two young adults on a ship were cleaning the pipes below deck, that they were uhm, cleaning the pipes in the lower decks if you catch my drift. But more impactful was the story that a group of Marines were sharing nudie pics of their fellow female Marines and the like on a Facebook group without their permission. If true, they were posting pictures of female Marines clothed, unclothed, and even giving out identifying information in some cases. This scandal has now turned into a criminal investigation and I now feel it my duty to give you the good, the bad, and the ugly about sex and the military.
The Horny Truth
When I joined the Marine Corps 20 years ago, I was but a scrawny 17-year-old with nary a hair in my special places. Oh I know we like to think of our Marines as bustling men ready for a brawl, but the truth is that you will never find a more pathetic hive of boyish nerdy men virgins than receiving at Marine Corps Recruit Depot. For most Marines, it truly is a case of a boy being thrust into a world of men. That’s the challenge and those that rise to it get to claim the title of Marine.
But in doing so as a boy, it became abundantly clear that the military and most certainly the Marines is a very sexual place. Assembly instructions often come with references to the “male end” and the “female end” and if the parts fit together you are told to put one in the other. Should we have a pretty lady at home waiting for us, we are reminded by men in positions of authority that Jody is taking good care of her. In fact, I can remember Drill Instructors insisting they get to “inspect” every picture a girl might send you for anything inappropriate.
We placed a lovely lady named ALICE or MOLLE on our backs and hike for miles while a cadence of sexual acts are cried aloud. “The prettiest girl, I ever saw. Was sipping bourbon, though a straw…” and so on. We listen to our Drill Instructors regale us with stories about shore leave in the Pacific and by the time you claim that title Marine it becomes clear that sex and the military are like two peas in a pod. I’m not asking for a claim of moral judgement on the matter but just to tell a matter of fact. The military is a highly sexualized workforce. Neither right, nor wrong, just fact.
Be Polite, Be Professional
Now, I know the retort is often that Marines are expected to be professionals. And while I agree, in this regard all Marines often take that to mean is that they need to emulate their favorite porn star. Personally, I was always a bit of a prude and feel comfortable writing this because I’m not worried babies around the world will have finally found their dad. So I’m not talking about the individual Marine as our stories vary differently. But as a culture, I don’t know how you separate the sex equation from military life. I’m not saying Marines are walking around putting their wanker on everything that moves, but I am saying the wanker is a regular topic for discussion.
Even on deployment, I can remember a room full of 20 or 30 Marines sitting around watching weird Arabic porn together and while I didn’t join in, it struck me as absolutely normal. Because 17-year-old Jeff would have been shocked, but after 6 years with Marines that was pretty much par for the course. Anyone heard of a HOG board? When Marines are on post, they stand ready to defend their brothers against any harm that may come their way. But mostly, they just masturbate. Don’t believe me, check out Terminal Lance’s hilarious post video. Just truths my friends, you can make what moral judgement of it you wish.
Seek to Understand
What I offered you above is simply context and if you have a different Marine experience feel free to share it. The Marine Corps is swift, silent, deadly and regularly excessively horny. But horny and Marine doesn’t necessarily imply criminal. But I am about to call some of you criminal so let me speak with you in my Dad of two daughters voice. If you were taking nude pictures of women without their permission or sharing nude photos online to the world without their permission then you are a criminal. Sorry brothers, your opinion of a woman’s promiscuity does not give you free reign to humiliate them online and this generation above all should know that.
The modern Corps is the high school generation of snapchat and you have been taught and extolled the dangers and criminality of online porn revenge for years. Yes, the Marine Corps is a horny place and often that would result in the passing around of nude women. One Marine throws a magazine from one rack to the next and says, “Hey Garcia, check this out.” The HOG board is a theme the older generation would know more than most. But to put these women online was criminal. Sorry bros, but it was. Just fact.
And as a father to two girls I hope my daughters will embrace modesty to the point they wouldn’t send such photos. But if they did and you publically shamed them you are going to have an old Marine come looking for you. Don’t hide behind the Marine Corps long legacy of being the most deadly deviants the planet has ever seen. The Marine Corps was just as deadly and just as horny long before the invention of the internet. But they were not sexually criminal. At least most weren’t anyway. What you did to these women is on you, plain and simple. As a Marine writer, I feel an obligation to offer insight to the world about the sexual culture of the Corp but I feel no obligation to offer Marines an excuse to victimize women. I love my beloved Corps, but any Marine will tell you there are some pieces of trash amongst us all. In this case, it was just criminal. Reap the whirlwind boys, you should have just stuck to the HOG board. And if any Marines should come to court my daughters in their later years I’m going to go ahead and say no. Sorry, but I know too many of you.
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