Home Featured A Man and His Many Vices: How Men Cope with Stress and Unwanted Pressure

A Man and His Many Vices: How Men Cope with Stress and Unwanted Pressure


We can’t get rid of our habits, in fact, we are slaves to them until we find the need to make a change. As men we have our vices to help us cope.  Women may have spa days or Taboo, but men, we have our vices. Over the years, I’ve watched a man’s life fall apart and thought to myself that a man couldn’t get his vices together and that’s what caused his inevitable demise. Personally, I know what can come from a man who doesn’t get his paycheck to his wife before it gets to the street.  As a child, I experienced a family member’s addiction to gambling lead to a situation that put me off to gambling forever.  Anyhow, it’s 2012, and the list changes with time, so I took a moment to think about my vices and those of the men I know.

Men are addicted to random videos on the Internet. They actually aren’t random, we pretty much go to the same Tumblr and “video” sites everyday.  There are some men who sit at home thinking, “As soon as she gets home, I’m going to channel my inner-Mr. Marcus.” Nothing you can do about that, even Kirk Franklin had a vice that needed addressing.  My Tumblr addiction runs deep, I can’t help it.  Have you ever seen those moving pictures, they’re called gif.  I just love funny gifs. I’ve been known to send my friends some funny gifs at inopportune times.  Heck, I’ve been known to send a person a gif that might get him fired and put the subject as, “Pictures from last weekend.”

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When we’re with our women or just around women in general we will tell you that Plies and Uncle Luke make music that while it may be pleasing to some men, it’s not our favorite.  When we’re not around you, we blast 2 Live Crew as loud as possible.  Let’s just face it, every now and then a man enjoys some misogynist music.  That doesn’t make him a misogynist, just like, listening to Black Girls Rock music doesn’t make a woman a feminist.  There’s just something about listening to an old Too Short album, or when “I Get Around” comes on the radio that helps men cope with a bad day at work, or rejection from women.

This is a journey for many of us, not just men, but women too.  However, save a few women who just like to have a certain type of wine every now and then when stress reaches that point, this is primarily a man’s vice. Women drink alcohol that makes them relax or gets them in the mood.  Men self-medicate with alcohol to do just about anything they need to do. There are many men who use alcohol to do work.  Have you ever seen a music artist’s Official Rider?  For a man, all he needs is a few things in life to make him whole.  He needs a chair, a dog and a fifth of his favorite liquor. With those three things, we can do anything, the possibilities are limitless. The key for most men is to manage this vice to the point that it does not cause an ill effect on those around them.  The first two vices are personal ones that have very little effect on those around them, this one needs to be kept under control.

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Although I am not a part of the club, I respect its members, this one is for them.  There are those men who choose marijuana as their personal vice.  I chuckle to myself when I think, I actually know some people who smoke marijuana well into old age.  It works for them, and that’s great.  You know I’m not the best to speak on this, because everything I want to say was already said here:


There are some men that can gamble, and not let gambling ruin their lives.  I had an experience as a child in Atlantic City that will stand out to me for the rest of my life.  For that very reason, this isn’t my vice.  But for many men, there’s nothing more fulfilling than turning $500 into $2,000.  For others, there is power in having the dice in your hand, you have absolute no control over the outcome, but with dice in hand, you feel that somehow you’re in complete control of your fate. The thing about this habit is it has the power to destroy, and I mean, destroy a family and home.  There’s always that feeling that you can somehow “get back up” that will cause you to make very bad decisions.  But if a man likes some Jack and a game of Blackjack, I don’t see why he can’t have it every now and then.

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Thumbing through the channels one night, I saw a comedy special.  I can’t remember the comedian’s name but he was talking about “The Drinking World” during his comedy special and how deep down inside, it’s a great place and we’re allowed to enjoy it.  He went on to mention that the guy who gets wasted and wraps his car around a tree, doesn’t deserve to be in the drinking world.  This applies to your vices.  If you can enjoy them and not let them take over your life, then fine, you’re allowed to enjoy them… well 4 of the 5.  If you can’t enjoy them and they end up taking over your life, then you don’t deserve to have them.

What are some of your vices?  Men and women.  I took the angle of a man today, because there’s a woman dating a guy right now and thinking to herself, that’s my man right there in a nutshell.  But I’m sure that women have just as much to offer to the conversation about their experiences dating men with vices, and some of their own.  Cheers.

– Dr. J


  1. This is a good post Doc.
    My vices are……
    Random videos on the internet too. Both of the youtube variety and adult variety. Youtube is a matrix. You get lost on there and be like why am I watching this anyway? As far as the adult ones are concerned I shouldn't had ever said I hadn't seen one in like a year because then it was like oh I should catch up lol. I told myself it was okay since my husband doesn't seem to have a problem with it.
    Blogs. I've been trying to cut back man.
    Cereal. I'm a cereal killer yo. I did very good last year and went months without eating cereal but somebody upped and bought some one day and…. I'm hooked again. I can't eat any without eating at least three bowls. Same thing with cookies. At least the milk is organic.
    I always knew that I could be prone to addictive behavior. My mom and dad are both evidence of that so I call myself steering clear of the big ones like alcohol and drugs but still have found myself falling to these vices I've listed. It could be worse right? RIGHT? lol Good post!

      1. Thanks Bree but I actually do not like the adult vid thing. I think it started when I was a kid when my sis used to show me my dad's mags. I guess once I got grown I just graduated to vids. I think at first it was about curiosity but now it's more about relieving boredom. On top of that it makes me feel like a hypocrite because I used to despise my dad for his collection.
        And the blog thing just started last year. I know it's bad because my baby head-butted my phone recently lol. I think I got hooked because I've always had a general interest in learning about relationships and attraction. Part of the reason I quit facebook was because I felt like I spent too much time online but it looks as if I've replaced it with blogs. Smh. Chris Rock called perms creamy crack….blogs are WORDY crack! lol

    1. Kryst you from the mid-west right? Last week on vacay i met this chick from Indiana and she told me yall put ice in yall cereal???? now im a cereal junkie to the core, i mean i goes way back to smuf, Mr. T and ghostbusters cereal, but ice?

      1. Nah man! I ain't trying to dilute the flavor! I WISH I could say that I was on some of those cereals when I was a kid but my mom was stuck making us eat Total and then when I lived with my grandparents, my grandpa stayed buying me economy sized Rice Crispies. I NEVER ran out man. If I never see another Rice Crispy it'll be too soon. I think I've been spending my adult life catching up on all the cereals I missed out on as a kid. lol

        1. Rice Krispies with chocolate milk and Equal was my daily meal during college. (Better than Cocoa-Krispies, trust me!)

    2. If Cereal counts as a vice, then that may be number one on a lot of people's list (including me). Get me a box a Fruity Pebbles, Recee's Puffs, Lucky Charms, or Honey Nut Cheerios (if I want to be healthy) and a good football game and I'm good.

      1. Cereal definitely counts, at least for me especially since I know how bad it is for you, you know with all of the processing and sugars. One day last week I realized I hadn't eaten anything but cereal all day. My hubs worked late that day and I'd cooked for the kids breakfast, lunch and dinner but sat myself down in front of cereal each time. I must've had nine bowls of cereal that day. Smh. I'll even eat cereal that I don't think I'd really like…except for grapenuts and rice crispies. My husband thought he could buy some cereal I wouldn't like. He bought Cinnamon Toast Crunch because I don't like cinnamon. Welp, I ate it….all.

        1. Krys how are you a cereal junkie and don't like the most basic of all cereals…Rice Krispies…..really……? lol

        1. I prob need to stand in the cereal line, LOL!

          Accept I don't see how eating it for breakfast, lunch and dinner or as a pre-snack to my real lunch or dinner is unhealthy…and why shouldn't I put sugar on Frosted Flakes??????


  2. Damn other folks are up as early as me at the azz crack of dawn…..lmbao.
    Morning Dr. J and Morning Krystl…..have you had your morning jolt of coffee yet…? *smile*
    My vices are youtube music video's….I looooove watching old school video's and just music video's in general. I've had a music video addiction since I was a kid since music box or whatever that cable channel was that let you buy whatever video's you wanted to see…..I have paid like $50.00 on that channel for video's I wanted to see…..lol.
    Krys I'm wit ya on the blogs…..I got into them starting with ISC aka I See Color from Mike Baisden. I had my own groups/blogs and loved it and we had meetups and got to meet each other and remain good friends. God I soooo miss ISC. I still linger back there once in a blue moon to reminisce.
    Food is another vice…..at least I'm trying to eat healthier though…..organic milk though I don't know….I prefer Soy milk….the vanilla flavored kind isn't too atrocious…lol
    Thank goodness I don't have any alcohol or drug addictions or cigs. I'm pretty strong willed and have no desire to drink til I pass out or do any drugs….never did. Cigs disgust me.
    Oh and movies….I am a movie junkie. Thats about it for me.
    Great non relationship post Dr. J. Nice to have a change from the usual from time to time….*smile*
    Hope everyone has a tantalizing thursday…*smile*

    1. Good morning Breeeeeeeeeeeeee!
      Soy milk though? I ain't gonna taint my cereal with it! lol I tried it before and after reading up on it, I realized that it's not for me.

      1. I don't know how I missed this earlier…

        But don't go clowning Soy Milk, Krys…some of us have…issues… LOL

        Dairy dropped me as a friend. I cry a little everyday about it…and beg for its forgiveness. I don't know what I did wrong… (-_-)

        1. Girl that's what's sad about it. Milk turned its back on me too but I still use it for my cereal and cookies. Smh at myself.

        2. I should slap you for saying your vice is health Camille! LOL Girl you crazy! I actually have tried almond milk. Not for me babe!

        3. LOL! Did you try Pacific? That's the brand I like. I tried a less tastire brand before and actually did slap the person who gave it to me…kidding, but I wanted to. Rice milk is good. Rice Dream is a good brand 🙂

    2. Food… food is an easy vice to correct by replacing the urge with something else. It's a habit, and can be broken because it's not as deep as most people think. If you feel the need to unnecessarily eat, train yourself to do something else like drink water, workout, go for a walk, talk on the phone. Ain't nothing wrong with calling up your girl and saying, "Oh I was just thinking about deviling some eggs, so I thought i'd call you."

      1. Dr. J if I drink too much water I will run to the bathroom every 10 minutes….you can't do that when you have a desk job and stuff to do. Or when your out on the road.
        And that training yourself to do other things don't quite work for me. I am usually starving after I work out. If I see a food commercial on t.v. I end up wanting food. I may be a lost cause. But I don't overeat. Doesn't take much to make me full.

        1. I was co- signing Dr. J's comment. You wont have to go every 10 min. Your cells, liver, kidneys will absorb that healthy cleansing H2O. Eventually your body will be trained (kind of like a Camel) to hold on to what it needs. If you have a weak bladder try kegal exercises 🙂

        2. Camille how long will it take to train my body???? I swear even when I was a kid water always ran right thru me….like vegetables do but just out the other end…lol

        3. And I do kegals and can hold it for hours…but if anything I heard that is not good for you to hold your urine and can cause bladder infections……don't want that.

        4. True, when ya gotta go, you gotta go. But I swear by water. I was in the hospital for a week when I was 12 because the doctors thought I had a kidney problem. Turns out I just needed to drink more water. 8-12 glasses daily. You'll quickly get used to it.

        5. Part of it is that we tend to drink water too fast. If we sip water every 15 seconds, it gives our body more time to absorb what we really need instead of basically just pouring a bottle straight into the toilet.

  3. Unsurprisingly I have pretty random vices. Other than cigarettes of course which are my first and best resource in times of stress.

    I'm big on chat and text message archives. It soothes and amuses me to go back and read old random gchat conversations when I need a pick me up. I will sometimes spend hours digging through the crates. It's a compulsion.

    Other than that, it's all about Pinterest for me these days. Whenever I'm agitated or sucky or horny or even just bored I can find something that hits the spot for me on there. Pinterest is drugs!
    My recent post How to Make Your Woman Happy

  4. Of all the vices you mentioned I can only relate to the videos. I must admit I’m a sucker for WSHH and ForbezDVD. But past that my vices/stress relievers (aside from sex) are of the video game and athletic type.

    XBOX Live and the right game can, for a time, make it feel like all your troubles are gone. COD might be the benchmark for digital stress relieve. “Shoot your enemies!!!!” if that doesn’t relieve something then what else will? Lol

    Sports wise pretty much any one can be a stress reliever. For me it’s paintball and snowboarding, though these also double as my fav recreations for an adrenaline rush. In regards to paintball, when that mask comes down and the game starts the person across from you becomes anyone you want/need them to be. Mad at your boss? Imagine it’s your boss and shoot him in the face. Mad at your friend? Imagine it’s your friend and shoot them in the face. Neighbor, co-worker, that person that cut you off in the street and almost caused you to wreck your car. It all works.

    Snowboarding for me is just freeing. Few thousand feet up. Fresh air. Beautiful scenery. For while all the problems of the world are just gone and you feel like you are flying.

    But vices are important, whatever yours are. Everyone needs something to help them momentarily escape the madness we call reality and our daily lives.

    1. Exact quote, "Please stop sending me Forbez videos and Jeezy on DatPiff, can't nobody get work done with these things." Dead ass my dude, Forbez will keep you at your computer all day, doing nothing but nothing.

  5. See, I think you missed a big BIG one: Sports. Some women are into it, some want to be around us during games, but don't really get what's going on. But for me (and many like me) sports is my "vice". I don't really call it a vice because it in itself isn't too bad of a thing. But when you're so focused on your fantasy football thing that you don't want to talk to your girl, or you've got to have your Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays to yourself so you can watch all the lineups of games.

    1. Amen to this! Sports is definitely my vice. I can sit at home or go to a local bar and watch games all day. Fantasy football? I tell any woman I am dating from the months of Sept. – Dec. remember Sundays will definitely be devoted to watching football.

      1. See, with me, the way it used to be here in DC was that with all the local teams playing horrible, the day after a loss (especially a Redskins loss), NOBODY could talk to me. I mean I'd just be mad at the world. But I realized that was a problem and I definitely don't get as down as before (sad to say I'm just used to it). But thats a real vice for some people, especially if say their girl is a fan of say Duke/Yankees/Lakers/Cowboys, etc, or a player like Brees or Vick or Kobe – not because of anything athletic but "cause he's cute".

        1. Yeah, I am trying to get there myself, but my Skins are really letting me down. People know not to talk to me if they suffer a lost. But let them win, it's over! lol Bragging rights all day!

    2. You're exactly right. Sports can become a vice because men have a tendency to shut the outside world out when watching sports. When their old lady gets too close to starting to want to watch the games and understand it, we just start going to Wild Wings.

      1. Damn Dr. J…..you can't share it with your lady and appreciate that she is getting into sports and can share it with you……..thats messed up man…..lol

  6. My biggest vice is the internet in general. When I am restless or in a particularly procrastinative mood, I will sit there and hop from page to page to page….to page. Doesn't really matter where: blogs, job sites, FB, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. It leads to many unnecessary allnighters, and has cost me some marks throughout my academic career.

    1. I can see you don't have iPhone or you would be on Instagram. That's a female vice right there. "Let's see how many of the heffers are NOT that cute."

  7. "there’s nothing more fulfilling than turning $500 into $2,000"….Mr. SD's vice! and tonight is poker night…its going down!

  8. I know too many men with these vices, but they are good men in general so they are easy to overlook. I liked the thorough breakdown, helps me to understand them better because of course they aren't prone to deep reflective moments (with me at least).
    My vices… 1) procrastination. I only procrastinate when I'm under a lot of stress. Otherwise I'm head down, eyes focused. But when there are too many priorities to manage I ignore them all.
    2) Online shopping. This usually happens when I have a bad day, when I feel unappreciated. Then I buy something nice to smooth my ruffled feathers.
    3) Sleeping. This may be a weird vice, but when things are overwhelming I run straight to bed and fall asleep. It would be different if I took a nap (usually 1-3hours) but I'll sleep like 10-15 hours in hopes of escaping my problems. They are always there when I wake up, but for a while I'm not thinking about them.
    My recent post Welcome to the Jungle

    1. Imma just cosign your #3 and call it a day, lol.

      That's pretty much my only consistent vice. More recently, I've added a glass of wine to help me relax and get to sleep quicker, lol…

    2. "Sleeping. This may be a weird vice,"

      Nah, this is one of my big favorites

      I love the decor of my bat cave (my boudoir) which makes it too damn easy to just wanna drop a sleep and catch some zzzzzs (black curtains, recessed dim lightening, candles, pillowtop mattress and 500 thread count sheets… sheeeeeeit)

      1. yeah I forgot about sleep……I can tear some sleep up…..matter of fact I could go to sleep right now….especially after I just ate lunch. And all I had was a salad.

    3. I was just telling some friends that today. I'll have a million and one things to do, mull over them for a few minutes and promptly beddy bye. lol None of that 10-15 hr stuff though, just enough to put me even further behind and support the procrastination vice.

  9. My vices are pretty simple, imo.

    Tumblr: Being an amateur photographer, I follow some pretty great photographers on Tumblr. I've spent hours on there searching through, dissecting and then reblogging different types of photograps. It's definitely a stress reliever for me.

    Solitude: For me, being around people can be draining most of the time. Sundays are usually my day to decompress. My phone may or may not be on and 9 times out of 10, I'm at home relaxing doing whatever I feel like doing (which is usually absolutely nothing). Sometimes I'll take a short road trip somewhere to just enjoy the silence.

    Music: Thanks to Spotify, I can go through and listen to all different kinds of music from all types of artists.
    My recent post Catharsis.

  10. My vices…

    cant leave the club alone, feel like it needs me
    Blogs of course!
    Reality shows
    Researching random ish on the internet

    1. Ha… Kema… I thought for a sec that you were saying you can't leave FROM the club alone.

      Hahaa… I'm like … damn shorty… judgment free zone though…

  11. My Vices:

    Learning a song and singing it like it was a performance


    Making new drinks

    Decorating (keeps me creative, makes me feel in control)

    Being in school limits the time I have for these things, but they're what I go straight to when I get the chance!

    1. Oh yeah i've planned a whole evening out over making a new drink. We had a drink called the Sham-Wow. It has Chamboard in it, but that ain't it tho… We call it that because you have a couple and you'll be cleaning up the floor with yourself.

  12. I love to take Naps.. I can sleep off and on all day if given the opportunity and ME-TIME (dolo) is something I must have at least once a week, which also entails music/tv and a bottle of wine, but I'm no alchy!!

    Everything else is just whatever.

    1. Girl I used to be all about that nap life. My grandma took me to the Pastor about it. lol I could nap like there was no tomorrow and probably still could if it weren't for the kids. They act like they're allergic to sleep though.

        1. I'm telling you, they're allergic to sleep. And my grandma must be too, how you gonna hate on somebody taking a nap? You know what worse I could've been doing?

  13. Good post Jay! Loving it. But most of these comments are about hobbies, not vices. *yawns*.

    Mine, se.x, alcohol and food. Yeah, I like blogs, spend too much time writing useless comments, I indulge In sleep, dancing, starting fights and working out. But those are hobbies. When I’m seriously stressed, I will drink, fcuk or eat. Whichever is most easily available.

      1. Muze it's only when it becomes unhealthy to some extent and for women it can… oh it can… when you start sending those, "I'm coming over!" texts, it's a vice. That's how he know, "Man, I was trying to watch this game, but she just finna mess everythang up."

    1. "But most of these comments are about hobbies, not vices. *yawns*."

      It's a vice if it has a somewhat negative impact on your life.

  14. I don't know if my moderate Ketel One imbibing, occasional trip to appreciate the women of Tumblr, and my "too large for any grown man" action figure collection are really vices, but there it is.

  15. to me a vice is something that contributes negatively to your life. writing, creative DIY projects (mostly decorating), reading blogs/sites, researching random topics, running and music aren't really vices to me even though they are a big part of my life. …what can make them vices though, is my one and only true vice–Procrastination.

    whew lawd.

    procrastination is something i have to literally convince, goad, pep talk, and bribe myself away from. "do this paper in one hour, get one hour free time." "okay self, clean and write for two hours and get one half hour of blog time." LOL. it's a physical and mental obstacle. seriously. and i'm usually doing one of the above hobbies when i'm procrastinating, which allows my mind to further justify that it isn't harmful.

    pray for meh.
    My recent post Disheveled

    1. I think blogs can become a vice once you allow yourself to become a character or a mainstay on a blog that you do not produce. Like I love all y'all here at SBM, but i've seen some blogs where the readers thought the blog was just their platform. They have left comments like, "I know y'all missed me yesterday, but i'm back today." And i'm like…

      I think this is way too important to you and nobody was thinking about your smelly sock ass.

      1. *waves* Hey!

        Oh Its a vice alright… I get semi – annoyed at work when people expect me to… actually work. *whine* But I havent read the latest SBM topic.

    2. i have to agree. perhaps it's my brain being anal (pause) but i'm not seeing how writing (offer'd up above) is a vice, in the same realm that gambling is a vice. i guess there's not much of a difference between a vice that that negatively impact your life, and a habit/peculiarity that is an outlet/release from the stresses of life.

      personally i consider vices to be uncontrolable releases/outlets, and as such, i don't have any.

      *turns on Snoop Dogg – Doggystyle in his at work headphones*

      1. I agree, reading blogs really shouldn't be considered a vice…unless it contributes negatively to your life. I know they're contributing negatively because I feel like I neglect some things to read them or I sneak to read them if my husband is in the bathroom or something and I don't want him to know how much I actually read. It might serve as an escape from normal life which is a pity because I actually have a very good life. I don't really know.

  16. I’m all about that blog life. The main reason I stay on Twitter is to find new blogs and new posts from the blogs I follow. Cigs are a vice, but I’m working on quitting those *daily struggle*. And old dunk highlights. V.Carter in the dunk contest is still the greatest, to me at least.

  17. not even going to lie. blogs are the devil!

    but for me I think it's because I have nobody to share anything with so I gravitate towards them.

    You can only be alone for so long then you NEED someone.

  18. My vices don't spill into anyone else's lives and I take full accountability of my actions, so usually I never discuss them with or bother to elaborate on them with anyone. This is of course comes as a disappointment to those that might not approve but again, ain't their beef.

    Like folks said in this thread: most of ya'll don't have vices. Trust me I know…and being a Pisces isn't much help.

  19. PS3 seems to be my man’s vice of choice. It lasts for hours. He yells at the TV and he plays online with his friends. It does not bother me because I use it as time for my vices of reading and blogging!!!

  20. My husband plays video games, I used to hate it, I mean a grown man concentrating and getting all up in arms over mass effect? Why though? Until he bought me a 360 and bully, monsters vs aliens and prototype… Needless to say we have fierce competitions on the games now , he is better at it then me so I always end up jumping him lol
    My mother used to have us cleared out of the house when our soccer team would play (ivory coast whoop!) and she always told me as long as the man vice doesn’t demean you or your relationship let him enjoy his peace, stuck with me.

  21. Oh sorry back to the point, I love to read and swim, but my numero un stress reliever is cooking, i know it sounds silly but it works for me…

  22. Fantastic article and I hope single black men further investigates the inner workings of the Millenium Black Male. Women can't really do much for a partner who can't keep a job or drinks himself into liver disease. Black Men need therapy and professional help. Not just the homoerotic church pastor or misogynistic hip hop videos to express emotion. There must be a new option for the self-actualized black man. Now we a population of black men with money, stable housing, reliable employment and intellect. The next level is introspection and self analysis. I notice alot of intelligent Black are very successful but feel depressed because they have little resources to support them. I have brothers, cousins, uncles and best friends who really need a listening and supportive ear. Women please help your husband with his psychological issues and black men will slowly start to shift how they self-medicate.

  23. It's a completely beautiful as well as informative post. i think all of the people will like this post. already i have go through this whole article head and ears. this is a really advice able article.

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