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I'm a Man; I Can't Help It

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"Every woman in here gets offered dick at least three times a week. 'Can l get that for you? How 'bout some dick?' 'Could l help you with that? Could l help you to some dick?' 'Do you need some dick?' Nobody offers us shit! We got to fend for ourselves."
Chris Rock on the Monica Lewinsky scandal

The masculine equivalent of The Unfair Sex. This trope features a man caught in a sexually compromising situation. If he is unmarried, not seeing anyone, or involved with a partner who, at the moment, is either unwilling or unable to grant him sexual satisfaction, he can provide the following excuse (though typically not put quite so articulately):

"As a man, I have physical urges which I must satisfy. It is unreasonable to expect me to go without sexual relations for an extended period of time."

The "extended period" can be anything from a few years to a few days. Bonus points to anyone who compares celibacy of any duration to taking vows at a monastery. Interestingly, this trope persists even if other characters in the main cast can display the ability to keep their pants zipped. Apparently some have higher libidos than others. Naturally, they never just jerk off. All in all, it's usually just a really bad excuse. But some men truly believe that they can't handle themselves better than that, an assumption that tends to become a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy.

Note that uses of this trope almost always focus on the physical gratification of sex. Our philandering boy just wants the physical sensation and release; other relationship issues that might lead to cheating (such as a lack of intimacy; the emotional distance created in a relationship where sex existed but is now gone; the idea that a man might actually want the emotional connection of making love, and so on) are rarely considered. Obviously a Double Standard at work, although a sexually neglected man, like a sexually neglected woman, will often find himself on the "good" side of the Good Adultery, Bad Adultery divide.

Very much Newer Than They Think. In ancient times (Rome, Greece, etc.) being lecherous was considered a distinctively female characteristic; All Women Are Lustful in those settings. For a man to be described as a slave to his urges was a major insult to his masculinity.

Women who want to take advantage of this tropenote  can either attempt a Lysistrata Gambit or say "I Have Boobs, You Must Obey!". See also All Men Are Perverts, Everybody Has Lots of Sex, Sex Is Good, and Sex Is Evil, and I Am Horny. Contrast Seduction-Proof Marriage, when a character refuses another's advances on grounds of a committed relationship.

Has many Unfortunate Implications: All Men Are Perverts; A Man Is Always Eager; a woman is required to provide a man with sex because she is his; if a woman is cheated on or raped, it's her fault.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • The Moonlight Lady OVA invokes this trope in a particular way; in final preparations for the Expecting Moon Ceremony, Koichi must engage in constant sex with Tomomi and Sayaka and several other random women. Suzuna, on the other hand, is left alone to masturbate.
  • This is Akira's reason for being so sexually aggressive toward his girlfriend in Ai Ore! Love Me!.
  • In the first volume of Dramacon, Matt admits that he's attracted to Christy when she tries to play it cool and ignore him.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS: Scaglietti justifies this trope to explain how the high priest who was guarding Olivie Sägebrecht's DNA got seduced by Due, who was infiltrating the Saint's Church as a Naughty Nun.
  • Domestic Girlfriend: Downplayed. Natsuo can't help getting aroused in various ways due to all the beautiful women surrounding him—many of whom are actively trying to seduce him. However, he never takes advantage, even when he doesn't actually have a girlfriend. Because of this, it takes a while for his girlfriend to get over her Clingy Jealous Girl phase, but eventually she decides to trust him no matter what, and he doesn't let her down.
  • Please Twins!: When Kousei Shimazaki reveals to Maiku that he once dated Tsubaki, he explains they broke up because he botched their first kiss by groping her breasts and she (understandably) got angry and slapped him for it. He says the reason he started making advances on Maiku was something along the lines of this trope, and even after he and Tsubaki get back together, he still doesn't learn.

    Comic Books 
  • A male character in Shade, the Changing Man claims if he doesn't have lots of sex his jaw will go out of whack.
  • Chaos War: Dead Avengers: In issue #2, Swordsman explains why he flirts even as the world comes to an end:
    Swordsman: Ah! Forgive my manners. I cannot help myself sometimes. I am french.
  • League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Orlando, after spending several months of his adolescence on a ship with a gang of horny Bronze Age sailors, discovered, once they made landfall in the jungle, that he has turned back into a female. His, uh, her immediate response was to make like Pheidippides, though she does mention that, had she run into such a woman back when she was a he, she probably would have raped herself, too.

    Fan Works 
  • Cheating Death: Those That Lived: While being chased by an alliance made up of girls he sexually harassed, Neon yells out, "Why am I being punished? It's not my fault all girls are hot!" This pisses off his pursuers even more.
  • Potion Bottles:
    Ron: George, Mia [Hermione] and I might not be together right now, but we were meant to be. Once everything calms down and she sees sense, we can settle down together.
    George: You should have thought about that before you started banging every Gryffindor from your year.
    Ron: It's typical for men to need to get that stuff out of their system. When I'm done, and she's back to being the Mia I remember, we'll get back together and get married and everything will be as it was supposed to be.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Averted in Twilight. Bella is throwing herself at Edward, but he's afraid of hurting her (because he's a vampire and all) so he refuses.
  • Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind visits brothels while married but is never considered a bad husband because his wife doesn't have sex with him so it's her fault. However when there is the slightest hint his wife might have had a moment with another man she is treated as a terrible person.
  • In The Women, Mary's mother tells her that her father had a mistress but she stayed with him anyway, and seems to blame the other woman more since she refers to her as a whore. She also outright tells Mary that she needs to expect men of a certain age to start having affairs.
  • The boys of Blue Collar Comedy fame make note of this from time to time:
    • Ron White stated this, though he went on to admit after-the-fact feelings of deep guilt and owned up to his infidelity, so might mix in just a smidge of The Unfair Sex.
      Ron White: "My wife hadn't let me touch her in three months. You can't just keep a dog under the porch for three months without petting it occasionally. If you deny me sex for three months, I'll go sleep with someone else. I know, I've seen me do it."
    • Bill Engvall has stated, "Sorry, I'm just a guy!" in his act as an excuse for all sorts of situations.
      • Surprisingly few of these involve sex—he uses it as an excuse for everything from insensitive remarks to crowning achievements in stupidity (90% of his "I'm just a guy" jokes fit under this), but from Bill, sex usually gets more than just a clever catchphrase.
  • Scream (1996) attracted some negative attention from feminist groups for its apparent position that if a boy's girlfriend won't put out after a certain time he's perfectly justified in seeking satisfaction elsewhere. As well, throughout the entire series Billy's father is never criticized for his affair with Sydney's mother; everyone, including Sydney herself, acts like it was all her mother's fault.
  • Although the character of Eddie in Something To Talk About is blamed for his cheating, he says it is partly his wife's fault for not being interested in sex anymore and she eventually agrees with him.
  • In Mirror Images 2, a man seduced by a woman he believes is his employer's wife— lit's actually her twin posing as her to frame her for adultery—blames the woman for the whole affair and everyone seems to agree with him. This is despite the fact at he was a consenting adult who participated enthusiastically in the sex. In this case though, she's less of a slut than a rapist by deception.
    • There was a similar soft porn film where the con artist girlfriend of the main character seduces his business partner to rip him off as well and the business partners blame her for the initial seduction. The protagonist, however, gets a free pass from his partner and wife.
  • Averted in Dragnet (the 1987 movie version). Friday is depicted as incredibly uptight and when a woman hits on him, he turns her down.
    Pep Streebeck: Are you crazy? Silvia Wiss wanted you!
    Friday: Now let me tell you something, Streebeck. There are two things that clearly differentiate the human species from animals. One, we use cutlery. Two, we're capable of controlling our sexual urges. Now, you might be an exception, but don't drag me down into your private Hell.
    Pep Streebeck: You've got a lot of repressed feelings, don't you, Friday? Must be what keeps your hair up.
    • Played with in the ending:
    Pep Streebeck: Hey partner. I tried to call you up till midnight. I didn't know the Christian Science reading rooms stayed open so late.
    Joe Friday: Not that it's any of your business, but I spend the evening in the company of Connie Swail.
    Pep Streebeck: Don't you mean "the Virgin Connie Swail"?
    [Friday looks at Streebeck as the Dragnet theme starts]
    Pep Streebeck: Wait a minute!
  • Edward Ashburnham in The Good Soldier. Even his own wife buys into this trope.
  • Mentioned in City Slickers and not played for laughs, even though it's a comedy. The girl Phil was having sex with shows up at Mitch's birthday party after a missed period and reveals the affair to everyone there, including Phil's wife. They have a very bitter shouting match that ends with the following exchange:
    Arlene: You're crazy!
    Phil: Yeah, not having sex for twelve years will do that to you!
  • The ringleader of the gang rape in the original I Spit on Your Grave uses this excuse. The victim doesn't buy it. She lures him back to her house, castrates him, and locks in him the bathroom to bleed to death.
  • In the Mexican film El Crimen del Padre Amaro (The Crime of Father Amaro), the eponymous priest says this when his affair with the teenager, Amelia, is discovered by the Father Benito:
    Father Benito: You are a Catholic Priest!
    Father Amaro: And I'm a man too.
    • This is also brought up in an earlier scene, in which Amaro and other priests discuss the idea of abolishing the Catholic Priesthood's vow of celibacy, as they ponder that it may be unrealistic to expect for a man to stay celibate for the rest of his life, only for the idea to be dismissed by the Father Benito as nonsense.
  • In a World…...: Moe's clumsy attempt to seduce an attractive neighbor is Played for Laughs. It's unclear how far he would've been willing to go if she'd been at all interested.
  • While being tortured, one of the victims in the Rape and Revenge film Bad Reputation claims, "You were lying there, just... available like that. Any man would have done it! You don't understand! Women aren't the same!"
  • In Elle, the rapist leaves message invoking this trope on Michèle's laptop (along with semen all over her bed) a week or so after the rape.
  • In the Soviet adaptation of And Then There Were None, Lombard invokes the trope to excuse his rape of Vera, saying that coming to a man's room at night and then screaming for help was downright silly (Actually, the woman was frightened out of her wits by hallucinations of the child she killed and wanted some real-life person to protect her).
  • In A Guy Thing, after his bachelor party, Paul wakes up with an attractive dancer in his bed. He's horrified, since he's normally a quiet and devoted guy, who would never cheat on his fiancée Karen (as it turns out, he never actually cheated, having passed out before the clothes came off, but he had intended to cheat while drunk). Throughout the movie, he finds unexpected support from his best friend, complete strangers, and even his future father-in-law (and boss). As far as they're all concerned, men are hunters, frequently waving it off as "it's a guy thing". He ends up calling off the wedding when he realizes both that he doesn't want to be one of these guys and that he doesn't want to always pick the safer option (Karen). He ends up chasing down Karen's wild cousin Becky.
  • In Plymouth Adventure, the Mayflower sailors constantly harass the Pilgrim women, which Captain Jones dismisses by saying that's just how lusty sailors are going to behave when there are women onboard.
  • We're No Angels: Downplayed in the remake. The chief deputy cheats on his wife with Molly the local prostitute whenever his duties take him away from his wife and near Molly's house for prolonged periods of time. He blames this on the "constant state of temptation", but clearly agonizes over it due to his religious beliefs and blames himself for dragging Molly into sinful activities rather than blaming her for enticing him into them. Molly finds the whole thing annoying (he apparently calls himself "filthy" and "swine" while they're having sex) and wishes that he'd just stop visiting her or stop making such a big deal about it.

  • And Eternity: when a pair of female characters are turned male, they are barely restrained from raping the first woman they see. They come to the conclusion that all the men they've ever known had almost superhuman levels of self-control for keeping that urge in check. This is par for the course in a lot of Piers Anthony's work — that a man's default mental setting is "RAPE" and only the most noble can resist those urges for reasons other than "fear of getting caught".
  • Arly Hanks: Mayor Jim Bob's philandering is so much a part of his personality that, when his wife asks him why he's come home late, the only trace of guilt he ever feels is for lying about why: the possibility he might not sleep around never even crosses his mind.
  • Played with in A Brother's Price. While Jerin always acts the perfect gentleman, he is unable to say no when a woman tries to seduce him, which is a problem because he could be considered to be Defiled Forever. It is his eldest sister who invokes this trope, by pointing out that they never taught him how to resist a woman's advances, so it's not his fault.
  • Josiah Ferraby does not use this excuse in The Comfortable Courtesan. After his beloved wife nearly dies in childbirth, he is entirely willing to wait until she goes through menopause to have sex again, the only way to be truly safe in their Regency setting. However, she is worried that such prolonged restraint will negatively affect his health, and invokes this trope on his behalf, advising him to find a mistress, which he does in the titular courtesan.
  • In Crime and Punishment, there's a bit of this in Svidrigailov's justification. He's now free and unmarried because he may have poisoned his wife, and those 18-year-old (and 15-year-old, and 13-year-old) girls are just so cute— he can't help himself.
  • In Gone with the Wind, at one point Rhett points out to Scarlett after she tries the Lysistrata Gambit that he'll just go to the brothel if she won't do her wifely duties.
  • Brothel madam Xaviera Hollander writes in her memoir The Happy Hooker that the wives of her married clients are often the ones to blame and that a wife who doesn't like sex anymore should allow her husband to see a prostitute.
  • Knowledge Of Angels: One character defends some shepherds gang-raping a twelve-year-old girl, claiming that because they hadn't seen females in a long time, and she'd been running around naked that their actins were inevitable.
  • Older Than Radio: Sense and Sensibility has Willoughby trying to explain his appalling behavior to Colonel Brandon's ward with this excuse. It doesn't work. Unsurprisingly, as Colonel Brandon is a man, too, and his ward is his first love's illegitimate child, but not fathered by him. Let's just say he is not the one to be easily fooled by this excuse.
  • In the magical land of Xanth, Humanoid — and sometimes other body type — males literally cannot look away from the attractive exposed flesh or movement of a humanoid female. They become weak and even paralyzed the more turned on they get, and freak out in mind and body if the lady exposes her undergarments. Gender Flipped examples only happen if the woman is really turned on or grossed out by a male. One example where this is made pretty explicit is a scene in Crewel Lye in which a male character and a female one switch bodies. The former woman is overcome by hormones and can't resist planting a kiss on her old body. She concludes that men just can't help their pigish instincts, and gains new respect for the male character when she realizes how restrained he has been.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Big Love, at one point Sarah discovers a flirtatious message from an ex-girlfriend on her boyfriend Scott's phone. She jokingly says it sounds like they hooked up, which he confirms. When she gets upset, he uses this as an excuse (Sarah and Scott are not sexually active at this point). Their entire relationship was never treated as healthy - it was treated as Sarah running away from home in a socially acceptable fashion just to get away from the walking traumatizer that was Bill Henrickson.
  • The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: Will has sex with the mother of the woman he is dating she gets all the blame from his family. Will's defense to his girlfriend is that her mom has a hot body and to his uncle he puts his actions down to being young and making mistakes.
  • Desperate Housewives:
    • Brie, Lynette, Gabrielle, and Edie have a conversation where they all agree that when a man cheats on his wife the other woman is to blame, calling the woman a "man-eating scum-sucking ho-bag" and a "homewrecker" and saying "if these tramps weren't laying out the buffet they wouldn't be chowing down."
    • When Julie and Austin's relationship gets serious, Julie is slightly aprehensive about losing her virginity to him and Austin is apparently understanding and promises to wait. When Julie discusses this with Danielle, she immediately claims that guys in these circumstances are invariably lying and that they're getting sex elsewhere. Julie eventually does sleep with Austin and it's revealed slightly later that he had been sleeping with someone else behind Julie's back: Danielle.
  • Game of Thrones: This is Gendry's explanation for why he let Melisandre have her way with him, and Davos admits he can sympathize.
  • Homicide: Life on the Street: Munch uses this as an excuse after sleeping with his girlfriend's roommate.
  • In a rare use of this trope within a gay context, in I May Destroy You Malik offers this as his excuse for raping Kwame after the latter had refused to have bareback sex with him:
    What can I say? I'm a bad boy.
  • Frank Gallagher in Shameless (UK) tries to invoke this to blame the other woman for his infidelity. His counterpart from the American remake also invokes this on occasions.
  • In Footballers Wives several characters use the "men can't help it" argument. Tanya Turner blames her husband's mistress saying that men only cheat because of the sexual availability of football groupies like her. The character Ian Walmsley also tries to excuse himself for having a threesome despite having a wife and children by saying the women were all over him.
  • In the Farscape episode "Out of their mind", Crichton is stuck in Aeryn's body and cannot resist the urge to experiment a bit. Of course, he gets caught.
    Aeryn: (in Rygel's body) You are mentally damaged.
    Crichton: (in Aeryn's body) No, I'm a guy. A guy... guys dream about this sort of thing.
    • Inverted at the end of the episode, when it is strongly suggested that Aeryn also took some liberties when she was stuck in Crichton's body.
      Aeryn: You were in my shoes... and I was in your pants. (walks away, smirking)
      Crichton: (grins and darts after her)
    • He also uses this as an excuse as part of his pleading with her when they were afflicted and Chiana, her libido cranked up to about 302, tried to jump his bones only for Aeryn to walk in.
    • He uses this exact phrase when she discovers he's on drugs to forget her.
  • In one episode of NewsRadio, Lisa discovers issues of Penthouse Magazine in Dave's desk (who was simply keeping them hidden until he can figure out who left them on his desk). When she frets over why Dave would keep such things around, Beth tells her that a man can get sick if they don't look at porn frequently enough. That's what her boyfriend told her. In the end, they turned out to belong to Beth, who was doing research for a Penthouse letter she was writing that "Starts out about golf, but then it meanders..."
  • Scrubs: According to Turk, responding to J.D's irrational hookup, if a man hasn't had sex in a certain amount of time, he's not accountable for who he sleeps with.
  • Hannah Montana: Inverted with this explanation as to why Hannah did not want to bring her overprotective bodyguard with her on dates:
    Hannah: I'm a girl. I have needs.
  • Glee: Puck is kind of a jerk, but at least honest and up-front about it
    Puck: I'm sorry. I tried to resist Santana. I did. But I'm young. And girls have this power over me. But hey, it's all good.
    Quinn: It's definitely NOT all good. I thought you wanted to be with me.
    Puck: I do. Like A LOT! But you haven't given it up to me since the night I knocked you up and, baby, I'm a dude. I have needs.
    Quinn: You expect to raise a baby with me and text dirty messages to every other girl at this school if I don't give it up to you everyday?
    Puck: No! Just the hot girls. Look, I'm gonna be a good dad, but I'm not gonna stop being me to do it.
  • In Home and Away the character Noah is forgiven very quickly by his brother for having sex with his girlfriend and another character comments that it "would have been really hard to say no". The girlfriend even says it was her fault not his.
  • In EastEnders the character of 'Aunt Sal' goes back to her cheating husband after only a few days because she decides that she is partly to blame for not "making more of an effort".
  • Gossip Girl: Chuck Bass uses this as his excuse when he beds everything with a pulse to keep himself from feeling the hurt of Blair leaving him.
  • Coupling In the episode, "The Girl With Two Breasts", Jeff is asked out by his hot coworker, Wilma, and since he's not the best at speaking, he wears a wire so the other members of the group can listen in and give him advice. Wilma propositions him for sex which Jeff is resistant to, since he's dating his boss, Julia. However, Wilma says she's also seeing someone and is just looking for some fun on the side, asking, "How can you say no to a night of unconditional sex?". Susan is furious when she hears this and demands that Steve tell Jeff the reason he can say no, but Steve is unable to think up a reason, eventually blurting out, "Jeff, don't. It might be a trick", leaving Susan quite angry with him.
  • Jerry Springer and Maury are the same in this regard. Watch any given episode and you'll see cheating men offering this as their defense.
  • Mad Men plays with this trope. Men are blamed for not resisting their urges, and women are blamed for luring men to fall prey to their urges, but the show itself demonstrates that everyone has these desires and people are complex and flawed.
  • Discussed in Misfits, where Nathan claims that "The siren call of a blow job renders all men powerless."
  • An episode of The Mentalist plays this with a twist. The wife of a professional athlete says she's well aware that her husband has cheated on her in the past, and she claims her grudge is against the women he cheats with since he, as a man, doesn't "know any better." This not only paints their relationship in a disturbing light but makes her look more suspicious in the murder investigation, since she suspects the victim was sleeping with her husband.
  • In The Tudors, Queen Anne Boleyn refuses to have sex with her husband, the king, when she is pregnant. He immediately has sex with another woman. When Anne complains to her father, her father explains that it is natural for a man, and expected for a king.
  • The detectives of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit generally act as if this is a universal truth that's written in stone and handed down by God itself. More than one of their "early-in-the-episode red herring suspects" are only suspects because they said something along the lines of "Yes, believe it or not I actually turned down a chance to have sex when such a chance became available to me", and the detectives react with a "Pshh... right... sure you did, you lying bastard."
  • Seinfeld:
    • The infamous "The Contest" episode, where the main characters have a contest to see who can refrain from self-gratification the longest. When Elaine wants in on the bet, she has to take double stakes because, as Jerry puts it, it's easier for women to refrain, whereas with men, "it's part of our lifestyle." Possibly averted when Elaine comes in third place, beaten by Jerry and George. She does beat Kramer, but that's not saying much.
      Jerry: It's like shaving...
      Elaine: Well, I shave my legs.
      Kramer: Not every day!
    • In another episode, where George is hiring a new secretary. Jerry naturally assumes he's going to hire a beautiful woman, but George tells him that his intention is just the opposite—he doesn't want to do that, knowing that it will distract him from his work. He is promptly seen telling several gorgeous applicants that despite how qualified they are, "looking at you, I can't even remember my own name and if I hire you, it's only a matter of time before you file a complaint for sexual harassment", thus telling us that George would be completely incapable of controlling himself around a beautiful woman.
  • On Amen, when Thelma blasts husband Rueben for ogling his father-in-laws gorgeous new girlfriend (played by Halle Berry, so you really can't blame him), he shrugs and nervously declares, "Sure I did. It's only natural. I'm a man!"
  • The Handmaid's Tale: Waterford offers a variant of this as an explanation as to why Jezebels exists.
  • General Hospital's Jason Quartermaine warns his brother AJ that he's noticed the way he's always eyeballing his girlfriend Keesha. AJ dismisses his concern, "She's a beautiful woman. Of course I'm going to look at her."
  • The White Lotus: Explored in "Bull Elephants": are men inclined towards sex, or have they been conditioned to act that way?
    • Albie derides his dad Dom and grandfather Bert for putting The Godfather on a pedestal, saying it's emblematic of a time when toxic masculinity and philandering were more socially acceptable; he later presses Dom (whose sex addiction has apparently destroyed his marriage to Albie's mother) to take responsibility for himself. Dom tries to make good on this by turning down Lucia and Mia, but they move on to Cameron and Ethan...
    • Cameron tells Ethan that monogamy is a social construct and that it's totally normal for good-looking, high-powered rich guys like them to cheat on their wives. He promptly recruits Lucia, Mia, and their stash of drugs for a night of sex and partying. Ethan is uncomfortable and reluctant, though his wife Harper (who had been on the receiving end of a similar confession from Daphne about Cameron's proclivities) is suspicious about what they're up to.

  • Cited in a Cosmopolitan article written by one of their male columnists, who outright begged women not to be angry at their boyfriends/husbands for eyeballing attractive women, as it was "impossible to not look."

  • In Reba McEntire's "Whoever's in New England," the lonely wife accepts that her husband is cheating on her extensively. As she says, "[he'll] always have a place to run back to." The implication from the song and the video is that, while she's certainly not happy about his cheating, it's just something a man will do.
  • "I'm Still a Guy" by Brad Paisley has it right there in the title but turns out to be a Downplayed Example. Instead of just about sex, it's about being uncivilized.
  • Tracy Byrd's "The Truth About Men" is the same premise as Paisley's song, but released about 10 years earlier.
  • Devo's "Triumph of the Will" uncovers the implications of this trope:
    When the well cries out for water,
    It is a need that must be filled.
    It is beyond the laws of nature.
    It takes a triumph of the will!
  • Voltaire's "It's Normal For A Man" is all about this trope.
  • Psychostick explains it right in the title of their song "Because Boobs".
    "And some chicks too!"
  • Joe Jackson's song "Biology", which features the lyrics:
    Your biology lesson starts here
    and first of all we should make it clear
    That the species known as males have these little white things with little white tails
    Which multiply and start to shout,
    "It's getting crowded down here! Let us out!"
    Once relieved, they start again
    It's not a process controlled by the brain...
    • Gender flipped when the narrator's girlfriend confesses to cheating on him and gives the same justification.
  • In Sublime's "Wrong Way", "I am only a man" is the narrator's excuse for spending the night with a 14-year-old prostitute. If one is feeling very generous, one could interpret it to mean "I am only mortal and imperfect" as opposed to meaning being male specifically. If one is feeling very generous.

    Myths & Religion 
  • Older Than Dirt: It is common in Mesopotamian Mythology that male gods give in to their libido even knowing it will cause trouble. Nergal from Nergal and Ereshkigal and Ea (Enki) are two good examples.
  • Defied in The Bible, as concerning a man who has been regenerated by the Holy Spirit and becomes a Christian. God expects that man to be in control of his urges rather than let his urges take control of him. Jesus in the Gospels says if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out, and if your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off, and He even goes on to say that some men made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven. (The Book of Hebrews says that Jesus was tempted in all points as all humans are, and yet He never sinned, even with the Gospels saying that women were touching Him.) Paul the apostle in 1st Corinthians tells the disciples to flee sexual immorality, because all other sins are committed outside the body, but sexual immorality is committed against one's own body. Given that he says that the body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, this means it should be treated with respect. Or if you can't control your urges, you're better off being married than to "burn with passion".

  • Phoebus from the Notre-Dame de Paris musical names precisely this as the reason he's "torn apart".
  • In Love's Labor Lost, the king of Navarre decides to study with three scholars for three years, and makes them swear an oath that they'll stay away from women during the interim, not even go near them or speak to them. He also forbids women from coming near the palace where they're staying. Biron, one of the scholars, points out that they're breaking the oath by letting a Princess visit there, since she has no place else to stay, and must come "on mere necessity":
    Necessity will make us all forsworn
    Three thousand times within this three years' space;
    For every man with his affects is born,
    Not by might master'd but by special grace:
    If I break faith, this word shall speak for me;
    I am forsworn on 'mere necessity.'

    Video Games 
  • While not exactly an explicit situation, one cutscene from Persona 3 where Junpei comments about offering as-yet-unseen new teammate Fuuka Yamagishi "private lessons" invokes this trope after Yukari displays disgust at the notion:
    Junpei: I'm a guy. What'd you expect?
  • Invoked but consistently averted in CLANNAD. While Tomoya is often called out on his apparently obvious lecherous thoughts, given the opportunity he always acts in a gentlemanly manner. He's given rather clear opportunities several times in Tomoyo's route, one with Ryou in Kyou's route and either Kyou or Tomoyo when locked in the storage locker. He doesn't even sleep with Nagisa for several months after getting married despite his apparently perverted nature.
  • The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion: This comes up in the quest, "The Siren's Deception". The player has to track down a gang of female thieves who use this trope and lure men out to remote locations, promising them sex, and then rob them. Additionally, part of the quest requires you to get information from Gogan, their latest victim, who's married. He uses this as his excuse. However, it turns out he's an undercover cop, so may not have been a victim at all.

  • Deconstructed in the webcomic El Goonish Shive. Having believed for years that her father had an affair because men couldn't control their urges, due largely to her misandric mother, Susan took the opportunity to swap genders for one evening to test the theory out. Initially, this trope was played straight and Susan was suddenly full of perverted thoughts immediately after transformation (as forewarned by Tedd: the transformation causes a rush of unfamiliar hormones at first). However, after being male for several hours, she concluded there was hardly any difference and could no longer blame her father's actions on his gender.
  • Least I Could Do: Rayne says what unmanly losers his friends are for being able to help it. The story itself may or may not agree with him.
  • Ménage à 3:
    • The male characters generally don't bother much with this excuse on screen; lead character Gary is just too passive and confused to make coherent excuses for his occasional, largely accidental, philandering, and supporting character Matt just knows that he's a bastard.
    • The female characters are just as openly controlled by their hormones, but Zii points out to Yuki that Gary may tend this way, which may be why Yuki isn't too surprised to find a couple of naked women in Gary's wardrobe later that evening.
  • Uncle Sam gives this excuse to Lady Liberty in Sinfest after getting caught with porn of exploited third-world nations. Nobody buys it.
  • Sluggy Freelance: This trope is implied in this strip. Torg tells Sasha to stop changing her clothes in front of him. She tells him to just look away until she's finished. Torg considers this utterly unreasonable.

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