Fidelis Must Be Latin for "Bragging About Sex"
Jarhead is one of the few movies I have enjoyed vastly more than the book. And no, I am not some Jake Gyllenhaal-loving homo, nor do I hate on Tony Swofford for being a Marine who can write who actually did something with his talent. No, the reason I like the movie so much better than the book is that it left out all the useless shit Swofford threw in that was completely irrelevant to the Gulf War story. And by irrelevant shit, I mean irrelevant Sex Stories.
Swofford, like so many US Marines, finds it necessary to work a sexual anecdote into every otherwise asexual story. Sadly, he is far from the exception. During my time in the Corps, I noticed that most Marines were wholly incapable of carrying on a conversation without including some form of sexual braggartry. And with these anecdotes inevitably came a lengthy physical description of how drop-dead hot the girl was, since we all know Marines have such high, high standards. For some reason Marines can't jut say "I was dating this girl," or "I slept with this chick." They will instead will phrase it more like "I was dating the smoldering Brazilian model" or "I was fucking this girl for like nine hours and she asked for it in the ass." Tasteless, truly tasteless.
After a few years of swapping Fuck Tales, I began to realize that 90% of them were grossly exaggerated or bullshit. And that anybody getting that much ass was not fucking 9's and 10's. It began to get extremely irritating. It is one thing to relay a tale of a sexual encounter, I guess among guys those sorts of thing come up. It is quite another for me to say, "Hey, Suarez, can you hand me that 3/8 socket wrench" and have Suarez go, "Yeah. Man, this thing is about the same size as the vibrator I was using on this girl last week. Man, she was sooo smoking hot." And that is pretty close to a real conversation I once had while replacing a radiator.
My mom once said that all men are like this. But having spent considerable time around Marines and civilians, I can safely say Marines are 100 times worse. Here is my theory as to why this is: Marines have a LOT of time on their hands, both in peacetime and in war, so the common subject of sex often comes up. Marines are intuitively alpha-males and are constantly trying to one-up each other due to the macho image of the Corps. So the natural progression of "Who fucked a hotter chick" or "Who partook in the more depraved sex act" is to be expected. The stories are almost always either made-up or exaggerated, so Devil Dogs have to start inventing shit to look like the bigger stud in front of other Marines. Also, Marines are, for the most part pretty fucking stupid, and the notion of tact and etiquette when discussing sex is often lost on guys with an IQ of 38. Lastly, Marines do not adapt well to the civilian world. So when put back out into society, they may well find stories of banging a silicone-enhanced stripper to be normal bar chat with a group of fellow mortgage brokers at Happy Hour, when in fact their cohorts are usually thinking "What a braggart asshole."
I make a concerted effort to not brag about sexual conquests too much. An occasional story is okay, but you will never hear me talking about how smoking hot some girl I slept with was, or get into too much detail about what we did. I find it truly tasteless and irrelevant and, to me at least, bragging makes me lose respect for you rather than gain it. Like JoPa once said "Act like you've been there before." So while there are many positive traits I have retained from my time in the Marines, excessive bragging about sexual conquest is certainly not one of them. That is, of course, unless you ask.