You gotta lotta ’splainin’ to do, Rachel Thompson

Rachel Thompson goes by the handle “Rachel in the OC,” and her job is writing funny books about guy/girl things, like A Walk in the Snark and Mancode: Exposed. Here at ManWAR, we’re all about humor and guy/girl things, so Rachel fits right in.

On the other hand, we’re also about panties, and, as you’ll see, Rachel is not. But two out of three ain’t bad.

What also ain’t bad is that while Rachel writes for the ladies, she’s no male-basher. She comes right out and says she likes men, and this quote from Mancode proves she gets us, too:

We appreciate that you’re attracted to us after all these years, childbirth and all; even if you’re as excited by those Victoria’s Secret models as you are by the grocery store cashier.

Which reminds me: the grocery list is getting kind of long…

Anyways, I asked Rachel three serious questions and one stupid one. Here’s what she had to say. (See if you can spot the stupid one.)

You say there are few euphemisms for female genitalia that are acceptable to women. Do you think men have a better sense of humor than women regarding gender differences?

Well, that’s actually two very different subjects: sex, and gender differences. As for sex, I think people are more open than ever (sometimes too much) when it comes to sex; however, the way we are raised, at least in American society, definitely makes it easier for men to joke about sex and feel more comfortable discussing it (even when they’re not getting it).

As for gender differences and a sense of humor, the majority of negative reviews I’ve received are from men. I’m not sure if that’s an ego thing or because what I write hits too close to home. Usually, I find they take everything I write literally, which just reconfirms why I wrote Mancode: Exposed in the first place.

You use the word “chicks” a lot. I sometimes refer to women as “chickies.” Usually when I know someone who’s listening will be annoyed. Does that make me a bad person?

I think people take themselves too damn seriously. If you called me a chickie, I’d probably kiss you. And I consider myself a feminist. Listen, as long as you’re not calling me female genitalia, I’ll still let you make me a martini.

Do you think sometimes romance novels or chick lit can be too chick-y? Like when the definition of “perfect” guy is “thinks and talks like a woman, but has rock hard abs and a penis?”

Oh yeah, I’m definitely not a fan of chick lit. Give me a great sci-fi flick, a time travel or nonfiction book any time. In fact, I just wrote a guest post on the Cutting Room Floor blog about the lack of reality in chick flicks. I understand it’s an escape for many women. What can I say? The sappiness just doesn’t resonate with me. It’s probably why I read and write nonfiction.

You wrote a whole book (Mancode) about gender differences and used my favorite word, “panties,” only once? WTF? (The fact that some women have an aversion to the word has been a topic on ManWAR.)

My god, what was I thinking? I’m heartily sorry. Bad, bad redhead. It wasn’t an intentional omission. I’ll be sure to include more panties in my next humor book, Chickspeak: Uncovered. Just for you.

I’m personally not a fan of panties, thongs, or any of that stuff. Who needs the extra material? A chick with a wedgie is not a happy woman.

Not sure what that last paragraph is supposed to mean, but male ManWARriors, beware. Rachel is married, and her husband sounds badass. We’re talking about a dude who, when approached “with tweezers to pluck a stray eyebrow, runs away screaming like a kid.”

Yeah, that gets me, too.

You can find out everything you want or need to know about Rachel Thompson and her books and blogs and other activities at

13 thoughts on “You gotta lotta ’splainin’ to do, Rachel Thompson”

  1. I think the word "panties" should be banned from the English language.

    The problem is what to replace it with, if you're an American like me. I personally love the word "knickers," but never having visited the other side of the pond, I'm not sure how my British counterparts feel about it. The ubiquitous "underwear" just doesn't do it for me.

    "He tore her lacy underwear off with his teeth. 'Hey!' she squealed. 'Those cost fifty bucks!'"

    Um, no.

    Skivvies? Smallclothes? Shorts? I know! DRAWERS! No?

    Undies? No.

    Let's avoid it altogether? "He tore the lacy bits covering her furry mound with his teeth."


    I take it back. 'Panties' shouldn't be removed from the dictionary after all.

    Or maybe it should.

    It's a conundrum.

  2. Christie,

    you rock. I'm laughing.

    Some people have such a hard time with any words having to do with our 'naughty bits' that when you read the alternatives, it's laughable.

    My books are actually nonfiction, so there's no teeth pulling, erotica-type scenes. But then again, they ARE humor, so when I wrote THE PENIS: DECONSTRUCTED, I heard quite a few groans.


  3. Thanks for the comments, ladies.

    This topic never fails to spark a debate. I was honestly surprised the first time it happened because I was 50-something and couldn't remember hearing another word, except underwear. And then my wife of 30 years told me she never used the word. But it's all over the Internet and in the Kohl's, Boston Store and Victoria's Secret fliers we get in the mail.

    Here's the link to the most-read ManWAR post, "No Panies, My Ass."

  4. Rachel is great, and her books are infused with humor about the differences between men and women.
    If someone gets offended, I think it's usually because they can relate, otherwise why would it be upsetting?

    I agree most people take themselves too damn seriously when it comes to gender differences, sex, and specific words they might not like.

    I happen to love panties, the word AND the garment.


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