Living with Men or ‘Penified Housemates’


Yup. It has recently it has dawned on me that these have somehow become a pre-requisite when choosing my housemates. It’s not a conscious decision. Somehow though, I just always seem to find my home is a bigger sausage fest than a free Bunnings’ barbecue.

I have spent seven of my 24 years on the this planet living among the young, primitive and fascinating species we call men. Not a husband, not a brother, just free, young and larger-than-life men. It started at the age of 18 when I moved into university life.  A scattering of men in the dorm ensured that Guitar Hero and dumbbells were a common aspect of the interior decor.

At 21, professional life saw me share a lovely two bedroom Federation cottage with three very different male housemates, before finding men on my backpacking adventure smothered across most European mixed dorm mattresses like testosterone-filled mould. Now I have moved across the globe and find myself sharing a rundown townhouse with no less than five young males from across all over the world under one roof at once.

Despite being single for an age, it is safe to say that in the meantime I have learnt a thing or two about living with men. Underneath their tatts, skin colour, and sexy accents, most men across the globe are all the same in their natural habitat.  Here are just a few lessons I have learnt from sharing a home with men across the world that all women should, and mostly do, know.

men3‘Girl’ food is always safe

I live in a household where KFC coleslaw and tomato sauce are considered as the nutritional vegetable component in meals. The positive aspect of being a female in a household overrun with an army of walking, carnivorous food disposals that keep fast food places booming in the GFC is that your ‘girl’ food will always be safe.’Girl’  food can usually be found disguised under the words ‘soy’, ‘lowfat’, ‘diet’, ‘organic’, ‘nutritious’, ‘brown bread’ and ‘baked not fried’. If it doesn’t come in packets, can’t be made into a meal with a microwave, and isn’t yellow, then you’re food is safe.

Playstation rules

The second reason young males will form RSI in their wrists will be their addiction to the X-station. It will be how they bond with each other, take out passive aggression, and relax. Forget your program and get into books instead; that COD mission and FIFA tournament won’t be finished before tonight’s Big Fat Gypsy Wedding episode.


The Cleaning War

Like a T.Rex, the male species suffers from partial blindness to objects lying dormant but obviously in front of them, and rely on movement to detect a presence. They will struggle to notice the slowly accumulating pile of junk lying around their habitat, and will only jump to domestic attention when faced with sudden movement, often brought about by rats shifting leftovers in a bin that should have been emptied last week and stacks of plates tumbling to the ground. Women should also be prepped with the knowledge that a young male’s domestic repertoire extends to stacking the dishwasher and trailing the vacuum behind them when asked as they move from A to B in the home.

Don’t be surprised if you have to hear about how much they’ve done next time you leave them a chore, either. No really, thank you to the mothers who have mollycoddled their sons and not taught them to turn on a stove, iron or how to pick up a cloth. Much appreciated.

A man’s eye view 
Living with men gives you a privileged inside view to the one night stand. After living with single men for so long, I am prepared to sit at the front door and start taking cover charges after midnight to protect my home at the time from the liability of STIs, broken hearts, and regret. The income would almost be as enjoyable as standing smug and fresh-faced in the hallway the next morning as the taxi pulls up while I form an unofficial Guard of Honour for her Walk Of Shame. It’s the perfect education in showing a woman like myself just how unsexy, disrespectful and unsatisfying experience a one night stand can be.  And of course I know, my penified housmates across the world  usually talk about you over high fives at the lunchtable the next day.

Sport, just shhh.

Just shut up, okay. Whatever happened to you today at work doesn’t matter if a game is OH COME ON REF!!! Don’t take is personally. A male’s grandmother could be on fire in the room next door and they’d be oblivious. Much like a male’s primitive sight, their selective hearing often kicks into action after kick off. Use it to your advantage and tell them what really happened to their favourite shirt last week. You’ll be lucky if you get a grunt back YOU GODDAMN REF!!!!

Hydrated guaranteed

When you live with a young man, there won’t be much in your house. There will always be something you can guarantee on them to have in the home: alcohol. No matter how broke they are, or how sparse the fridge and cupboards become, you will always find a frosty cold one stacked away somewhere, or some hardcore liquor stored where the loaf of bread you asked them to buy should be.

Borrowing ceases

Living without women forces you to step up to the plate on your shopping. As metrosexual as males are becoming, they can never match living with another woman. Spontaneous dressing tones down a little when you remember you can’t borrow her shoes or lippy to top off your outfit. It’s important to do a regular stocktake on your wardrobe and cosmetics, as there is no room for error, especially if your tampons run out.

houemateThe ‘fuck it’ factor

As infuriating as men are, they tend to bring a level of zen to any household. Any bitchiness is left at the door when you live with a man. Those raging hormones, those tantrums over unwashed placemats,  the sharp notes you left when he didn’t pay his half of the bill are put into perspective when you see their annoyingly jovial nonchalance over the matter.  On top of their calming influence, a male housemate will always look out for you without repercussions. They are always there to scrape you off the floor they haven’t mopped when you have had too much to drink, and share their beers with you and tell you what a bastard men are when one breaks your heart.

Category: Opinion


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Article by: Erin Somerville

Former CWD journalist Erin Somerville is finding herself while finding herself in Europe. In her mid 20's, Erin resides in Oxford and writes on her own blog called