“You can’t talk to girls the same way you talk to guys,” my father often told me.
He was right.
I tend to talk to guys in competitive put-downs. There’s a highly ritualized component to this. With certain friends, almost every time I see them, I accuse them of being gay (“How’s the great fight for marriage equality” etc). With other buddies, I constantly try to bait them about things they feel strongly about.
Some guys don’t like this talk and when they participate in it, they invariably break the rules. When I tease my friends, I never do it about matters they’re sensitive about. If a bloke was sensitive about being bald or a stutterer, I’d never tease him about this.
(People who grew up with a lot of siblings tend to deal better with joshing.)
When guys who don’t josh much try to participate, they inevitably get it wrong by going for the jugular.
As a teen, I’d tease my best friend about having holes in his underwear. I thought this was fair game until the day he responded by teasing me about the stains in my underwear.