If you are a Real Man you have — at least once in your life — wanted to, wondered on, or actually pushed a woman into a swimming pool. Any man who denies this urge exists is lying. Civilized men the world over fight, but always give in to, this undeniable desire to get their women wet — and no one can ever begin to explain the why of this unfortunate phenomenon — and I admit the woman below is giving me fits because she’s already halfway in the pool and just a nudge from my foot…

What is it about the prenatal male DNA that requires us, at least once in our lives — when near any woman and a swimming pool, pond, river, ocean, hot tub or puddle of water — to push the woman into the water? We will not be denied this satisfaction once started. When the effort begins, the end result is always an undeserved drenching.

The experience always ends ugly, but we never fully admit or even learn that truth and so we keep seeking satisfaction from an urge that ends only in pleading. You see this all the time in real life and on television. This “Women into Pools” phenomenon is The Irresistible Urge, the Pavlovian Response, the Hunter/Gatherer Syndrome all wrapped up into one selfish act. I am uncertain how this romanticized, unromantic, erotic, dousing, knowing, unconscious reflex in men was born and propagated.

Seeing a woman — clothed or bathing suited — near a pool, creates an inexplicable impulse to push her in or, if she resists your undeniable urge, you grab her, lift her up and throw her in or, if she still fights you, you grab her and fall into the pool with her. I hate to admit I have done this swimming pool bit several times in my life — all but one of them under the age of nine.

The last one was many years ago when Janna and I were dating. We were visiting my female cousin in Kentucky when we passed by a swimming pool on a tour of the apartment complex. As if by instinct from a force I could not resist, I grabbed Janna to toss her into the pool. Janna fought me. She was in her Sunday clothes and so was I.

We were a tangle of frustration and fury. Janna is uncommonly strong and it was an Amazing Feat of Strength for me to peel her off of me, pick away her fists from clutching my shirt and then betraying her faith in me by continuing to throw her down into the pool. She missed hitting her head on the stone edge of the pool by three inches.

So there we were. Me heaving for breath. Victorious in my pleading demise. My cousin — there — frozen in time and staring between me and a boiling Janna in the pool… not knowing what to do… or what to say… Janna, furious, found her way out of the pool and pushed me into the water with a necessary revenge.

The “When David Pushed Janna into the Pool and Almost Killed Her” incident has taken on a cryptic mythology in our family indicating the dangers of male-induced dominance over women and continued pure wonderment at how Janna’s head wasn’t cracked open by my “male neediness.”

I take all those criticisms to heart because I am heartsick even now at the slow-motion memory of watching my proclaimed beloved fall into freezing water by my hand as her beautiful, flowing, hair brushed the stone edge of the pool on her way down. Some of those luscious strands of hair were caught in the masonry and ripped from her scalp as she instinctively turned her head just enough so her skull missed the sharp edge of the pool.

Our eyes locked as she fell away from me — eternally falling forever with outstretched arms and pleading hands — and with my reflected betrayal ripening in her eyes as she splashed, and then disappeared into, the drowning of my demise.

Male hubris is a terrible and condemning thing that cannot be measured or tamed. Male Hubris needs to be ignored and repressed or it will rear back on its heels in the unwarranted pressing of hands against a woman in ways that can choke beyond the pool and create a bruising bedroom while constructing a hollow darkness where a bright, safe, place to land should thrive.

I still do not know why I pushed Janna into the pool. I guess I thought I was being funny. I know I wasn’t funny. I was cruel and acting dominant and I am grateful serious injury to Janna was avoided by her tremendous and instinctual will for survival even in the darkness of my own red-faced and abject stupidity.


  1. I’ve wondered about this. I think three males have pushed me into pools against my will over my lifetime. I always blamed myself for wondering what I did to deserve that.

  2. It’s all allegedly done in the name of fun, Anne. It has nothing to do with you, really, except for your gender. It’s a ritualistic male power play.

  3. I’m not sure if that makes me feel any better, David. So we’re jus things for pushing into pools?

  4. It is a condemning condition, Anne. One that I’m not proud of with my exposed history. I don’t think it’s generally done with malice. It’s more of a misunderstood machismo/fun factor.

  5. I wonder why the women have to suffer for the machismo? Can’t you just leave us alone without tossing us overboard?

  6. Huh. I think my overactive imagination has prevented me from doing so. If anything I have had the thought cross my mind but then I played out the full scenario and upon pondering the consequences I have always decided against it.

  7. Anne —
    We try to leave you alone, but we cannot resist the impulse to push. Watch any reality show that takes a place near a pool. I guarantee you a woman will be pushed into the water by a man. It is an inevitable fact of life near the water!

  8. I saw this happen the other evening when I was flipping through the television channels looking for anything interesting.
    Musical stylist 50 Cent threw a contestant on “America’s Next Top Model” into a pool right before she had to interview with a bunch of modeling big wigs. The episode was appropriately titled, “The Girl Who Gets Thrown Into A Pool.”
    Here’s a link to the video: http://videos.onsmash.com/v/kUB7FapgzPaUxTQ7
    In this case, 50 Cent was tired of talking with the model, so after telling her to leave, he pushes her into the pool.
    I’ve never thrown a woman into a pool, but I have to admit that I chose to live at an apartment when I was in college because it had a pool.
    Also, when I was in high school, it seemed like there were always lots of pool and “beach” parties at a local lake as well. I always tried to attend as many as I could learn about.
    Even though I never threw a woman into a pool, I always enjoying watching women spend time in and around the pool!

  9. Hi Chris!
    Yeowh! Thanks for that video link! 50 Cent pushed her in the pool TWICE! She got after the pool after he pushed her in the first time and when she tried to push him in the pool in revenge he pushed her in a second time! Crazy!
    Watch any Real World or Road Rules show on MTV and you’ll see young women meeting their end in a pool via push in the back from men in the group.
    Judge Judy recently had a case where a 300 lb. guy threw a 90 lb. girl into a pool after she threw a drink on him — except he missed the pool and body-slammed her into the concrete walk around ringing the pool and broke her back in two places.
    He picked her up from the ground and finished the job by dumping her in the pool.
    The guy knew he did the wrong thing and admitted it — he just didn’t think he should pay her the small claims court maximum of $3,000.00 USD for her unpaid medical bills plus pain and suffering– he felt his apology was enough for her pain and suffering. Judge Judy ate him up!

  10. Hi David,
    I was curious, so I checked YouTube and there are tons of home videos of people being thrown into pools. I watched a couple of the clips and it always seems like the people being thrown aren’t having a good time.
    The Judge Judy story is crazy. If someone snapped my back into two pieces, I wouldn’t be battling it out in a small claims court.
    I wonder if Judge Judy will raise her jurisdictional limit to $10,000 to reflect modern economic conditions?

  11. Your video link inspired me, Chris, and I looked on YouTube and quickly found:
    Rachel getting pushed into a pool:

    Big Brother All-Stars’ “Dr. Will” pushing Ericka into the pool:

    A young boy pushing an older girl into a pool:

  12. Chris —
    Our great minds are thinking a like and we are posting alike! Yay! Everyone into the pool! 😀
    People pushed into pools are generally unhappy and angry. It’s a pretty aggressive move to push someone in — especially when they’re wearing clothes.
    I agree the young woman who was suing the guy was being VERY NICE to him — and he wasn’t getting it. Judge Judy amended the woman’s claim to include pain and suffering. The young girl just wanted her $1,000.00 USD back that she had to pay for her medical deductible. The young woman is still in pain and, at 17, will have that ongoing broken back pain for the rest of her life. The police were called but did nothing to the guy. No charges were pressed by the District Attorney. The court system in her local jurisdiction felt the whole thing was innocent horseplay.
    Judge Judge is just an arbitration forum, so she’s limited and bound by local law in the amount she can award a plaintiff because the local jurisdiction determines the maximum allowable judgment. Most jurisdictions are $3,000. I’ve seen a few that are only $2,500 and a few more that are $5,000.

  13. Hi David,
    Be very careful pushing someone into the pool because while the potential plaintiff is watching Judge Judy, he or she might see a commercial for a local PI attorney who talks about getting “huge cash settlements” for people who need to be compensated for their injuries.
    Small claims jurisdictional amounts are increasing all over the place, so someone pushing someone else into a pool in the wrong location could result in a “huge cash award” even in small claims courts. :mrgreen:
    Illinois is up to $10,000 — that where I spend most of my time now, instead of in the mandatory arbitration courts.
    Indiana is $6,000.
    California is $7.500.
    In Tennessee, in counties over 700,000 in population, you can bring a small claims suit for $25,000!

  14. Chris!
    Hah! You are now pulled from the Akismet pool of misguided hate! 😀
    I’m glad the small claims amounts are increasing! Higher awards there should help unclog the serious trials elsewhere. Thanks for that link. Nebraska is stuck at $2,700.
    How do you get out of arbitration clauses to take people into small claims instead?

  15. Hi David,
    If a contract has an arbitration clause, then the parties can have the arbitration forum (such as the NAF, JAMS, or AAA) contained in the contract handle the matter.
    In Illinois, cases involving amounts under $50,000 but over the small claims jurisdictional amount get sent to mandatory arbitration within the court system. If a party rejects the award within the time frame allowed by the law, then the matter will go before a judge for a trial.

  16. Fascinating stuff, Chris!
    I do hope Judge Judy raises her awards accordingly — my feeling is she will not because it will come out of her show’s budget! 😀
    Generally speaking — is Small Claims or Arbitration better for defendants?

  17. Hi David,
    Small claims is probably the most accessible court for most people because there are usually more relaxed procedures than there are in other courts. Discovery probably won’t be an issue without leave of court to conduct discovery. Also, an appearance usually works as a general denial without the need to file an answer admitting or denying the paragraphs and counts contained in a complaint. A small claims trial can usually be set very quickly, thus resolving a case in a short amount of time.
    Illinois arbitration requires specific rules to be followed, so it might be a little more complicated for a pro se defendant. However, it is non-binding, so a party who doesn’t like a decision can always have their day before the court if they follow the proper procedure to reject an arbitration award. Arbitration is a way to also quickly resolve cases and free up court time and keep legal costs lower.
    From DuPage County’s website:

    Court-annexed arbitration was established in Illinois as a mandatory, but non-binding, form of alternative dispute resolution. The program is a deliberate effort on the part of the judiciary, bar and public to reduce the length and cost of litigation in Illinois.

  18. I own up to having done it too. The wife has taken a dunking into the pool on a couple of occasions. She gets me back by dragging me to deep end, being much shorter than she I struggle, her hand on my head holding me under doesn’t help either.
    Hey, our pools open up again next month, mmm.

  19. Thank you for that confession, Michael! You are brave to step up and reveal yourself and I appreciate the effort very much.
    I am also glad your wife provided the right correction! 😉
    Mmmm… pools opening… mmmm…

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