The Score: What Type of Lover Are You?

If you were to be rated by your partner as a lover on a scale of 1 to 10, what would you score? For those of you who are wondering why we would want to go about the business of being rated as lovers, it is important to note that everything in life has a value. We value things as fickle as our cars, our clothes, shoes and even our smart-phones. We want specific brand-names because they come with a specific reputation of quality. It’s no different when it comes to relationships. We can be considered good, bad, mediocre, excellent, moderate, or poor as lovers and these descriptions are by no means exhaustive.

How you rate your partner as a lover is, however, heavily contingent on what your “lover” expectations are. The same holds true for how your partner rates you. How we were socialised into relationships, our gender, the quality and nature of our first love affair, how we saw our parents experience love, what we expose ourselves to with respect to the media, (television, books, film) will to a large degree influence what we hope to get out of relationships. These factors not only affect what we demand from or hope to get for ourselves out of a relationship but they will definitely colour the lens through which we see our partner.

When we speak about our rating as a lover, this does not only concern how good we are or hope to be in bed. This ‘lover’s rating” covers the whole gamut from how we communicate, how we are emotionally intimate, how we play together and yes of course, how we have sex. The ticklish part about being perceived as a lover is that there can be a great disparity between how we perceive ourselves and how our partner views us. At face value a rating may not seem to be that important, but if you think about it, at the most intrinsic level of the relationship, it speaks of our ability to satisfy the one we have chosen to be with. When we know that we’re doing a great job as a lover, it can do wonders to our self confidence and this validation makes us try even harder to please. At the other end of the spectrum, being rated as a poor lover can really place our self esteem in the toilet.

If we women were called upon to rate our husbands or boyfriends as communicators, I’m sure that most of us would give them a failing grade with a Capital F. Science has it that we women are wired to be great verbal communicators. From an early age we girls show a greater inclination and comfort with language and not just any old words. We show a superior ability at expressing emotion.

Men on the other hand, generally speaking, prefer the “less is more” dictum when it comes to word-use. They seem to view words as priceless commodities which should only be used on very, very, rare occasions and then only sparingly. This in turn, seems to have some influence on their ability to be emotionally exposed or to be emotionally vulnerable in their relationships.

When it comes to play and sex, however, the levels of testosterone carried by men, apparently help them to show a much greater interest in these areas. What they lack in language they definitely make up for in the love-making department. Many husbands nonetheless complain that their sex lives leave much to be desired because they never seem to get enough.

With these critical differences in key relationship areas identified, it may be interesting for couples to examine how they would rate each other as lovers. The following reflects an attempt at combining some of the traits/qualities which men and women are likely to prefer in the critical areas of communication, emotional intimacy, play/recreation and sex. If we give each quality two points (except in the category of sex where we should give one point to each) and understand that some of us will sometimes score half because the described trait is not consistently shown, then we may get a pretty good idea of how our partner is rated

HOW A WOMAN RATES HER MAN

Communication

v  Values hearing his woman’s opinion and communicates this by listening patiently in an atmosphere of encouragement and unconditional positive regard (not sure that this guy actually exists)
v  Is not threatened by his woman’s comfort, skill or facility with language but sees it as a plus for the relationship; therefore listens and responds without getting on the defensive
v  Responds with honesty, whether angry, sad, disappointed, overwhelmed or just plain happy
v  Is open to other opinions and points of view
v  Maintains eye contact

(10 Points Max)

Emotional Intimacy

v  Understands the importance of sharing his feelings and practices this actively in the relationship

v  Is not afraid to show weakness or vulnerability

v  Does not hide important elements of his present, past or future from his wife or significant other; has no secrets

v  Affirms and validates his partner

v  Accepts personal responsibility when wrong and does not project by blaming

(10 Points Max)

Play/Recreation

v  Is willing to do some recreational activities with his partner just as a means of having fun and also to strengthen the relationship bond

v  Does not allow recreation or sports to become a wedge in the relationship; puts his partner first

v  Is willing to be open, responsive and spontaneous in the relationship

v  Does not use play to compete with partner

v  Likes partner and shows it

(10 Points Max)

Sex

v  Understands that sex begins long before the actual touching starts

v  Will give it the way his wife wants it (hot, fast and passionate or long, tender and romantic) and not the way he thinks it should be given

v  Will not judge his partner based on her previous sexual experiences

v  Will not compare wife to his own previous lovers

v  Understands that superior testosterone does not necessarily make him a “master strokes-man”  where sex is concerned; he should demonstrate a willingness to learn new things and new ways to please his wife

v  Focusses on his woman in bed and not the fantasy in his head

v  Adores his wife with his body and uses sex to communicate love so that she feels valued and not used

v  Does not use sex to manipulate or control

v  Is considerate even if partner has a reduced or smaller sex drive than his

v  Is adventurous and spontaneous in bed

(10 Points Max)

HOW A MAN RATES HIS WOMAN

Communication

v  Values constructive conversation and does not talk unnecessarily

v  Is articulate and logical about sharing her issues and concerns; does not get personal

v  Communicates to affirm and validate and not just to criticize

v  Does not use nagging to wear down her partner or to influence his decision-making

v  Allows her partner to express his opinion without belittling him with her “superior” language skills

(10 Points Max)

Emotional Intimacy

v  Understands the importance of sharing her feelings honestly in the relationship, practices this actively but not excessively

v  Shares her personal life-story and especially her sexual past voluntarily; does not spring sexual surprises on her partner

v  Is not afraid to show both her strengths and her weaknesses

v  Although independent, allows her man to feel that he can still “take care” of her

v  Cries if she needs to but does not use tears to manipulate

(10 Points Max)

Play/Recreation

v  Supports her man unwaveringly and cheers him on from the sidelines when he competes in any field of play

v  Knows when to let her hair down and be carefree, spontaneous and playful

v  Is willing to share some sporting or recreational activity with her partner

v  Is not afraid of competition

v  Is a good sport whether she loses or wins a game or an argument and knows how not to hold a grudge

(10 Points Max)

Sex

v  Is free and uninhibited in bed, is willing to be sexually adventurous and tries new sexual positions

v  Initiates sex other than when she’s trying to get him out of a bad mood

v  Praises his sexual skill and his penis

v  Does not even think about comparing him with previous lovers/husband

v  Has sex regularly without having to be begged or persuaded

v  Refrains from using sex as a bargaining chip

v  Does not laugh at or belittle his efforts in bed

v  Is very enthusiastic about sex with her husband

v  Calls his name loudly at the right moment

v  Understands the value of sex to the marriage relationship

(10 Points Max)

While this rating exercise may not be terribly scientific, what it serves to drive home is the reality that men and women often expect different things based on their peculiar gender-based needs. It is worthy of note that what women desire in men and what men desire in women, is often linked to their own strengths and preferences. This is where the problem lies.  If a guy must choose between an evening of deep, meaningful conversation and a roll in the hay, the latter will win hands down every time. In the same respect, we women can enjoy deep emotional connection even when this does not progress to sex.

Instead of expecting that we will become clones of each other in every respect, as lovers, we must progress towards celebrating each other’s differences. These peculiarities are in fact the factors which fuel the energy and excitement in this man to woman tango called love. Striking a happy compromise is essential if couples are to experience any sense of relational well-being.

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What Kind of Apple Are You? Exploring Sexual Power Styles

Some of us are happy and satisfied with our sex lives: at least I assume so, I don’t actually have the statistics to prove one way or another. Others of us are kind of bored with the idea of sex, some like what sex brings (promises, gifts, attention) while others of us are having sex like if we’re trying to save the planet from extinction. This article is an attempt to look at the serious idea of a “sexual power style” in a lighthearted way, by linking this concept to an apple. Not that there is a distinct similarity between apples and sex because there is no literal connection (of course except for sweetness) but the truth is that apples are easily accessible to most of us and they are things we love to bite into and chew. Plus that old adage “an apple a day keeps the Doctor away” seems to have a familiar ring of truth to it when we think about sex. So maybe there is some similarity after all . . .

NB: “Sexual Power Style” is that inner instinct which makes us aware of how our sexuality shapes, defines and connects us to others. Read on to discover what type of apple you are.

Most women generally love to be in love. We love relationships because we love . . .  relating. We enjoy connecting. We love sex (those of us who do) because sex makes us feel desirable and on a good day, loved. We therefore understand intimately the power of sex. At least most of us do. From as far back as we can remember, there has always been some crazy boy panting and trying all types of tricks to get us to “drop the drawers” as it were. Some of us gave in because this is what we wanted to do at the time, some of us held fast the fort waiting for that special someone to come along or the ring, others of us were not mildly interested and still others got a heady rush from doling out that special something to who ever came along.

Even though among women there will be diverse responses to sex and sexuality based on upbringing, culture, religion, socialization and values, what is common among us is an understanding of the power of sex. Many, if not all of us understand quite well the pull or the tug of sexual attraction or chemistry.We women know intuitively that we have something that men invariably want. Steve Harvey (Author of Act Like a Lady Think Like a Man) calls it “the cookie”. I like to call it “the apple”. Yeah we all have apples that the guys just long to devour; and it’s not what you’re thinking! Please don’t be mistaken, the apple and its nectar of which I speak is not simply the literal vagina. If that were all a man wanted, such could easily be had from the prostitute down the street.

What most men crave is the essence of our sexual power. They long to unravel the mystery. They want to uncover the mystique; that illusive thing about us that they can’t quite name or put their finger on. They somehow believe that once they have sex with us, that once they possess us sexually and “nail us with their penises”, that their craving will be less potent or that their hunger will be quenched. They somehow think that they will feel more in control of us and of their confusing feelings; that they will somehow “know’ us better and in the case of the Casanovas, would have earned bragging rights often heard in locker-room conversations and bars.

Even though many men may be unaware of it, that illusive thing which they try to conqueor in a woman is more than her actual vagina as I said before. This explains why for some men any woman will not do. The man who is on a quest for sexual power will seek out the woman who exudes a certain sexual energy and strength. He wants to “take her down” or uncork her apple because she seems to have something that he earnestly wants.

Now there are a number of factors which may influence how we women respond to such unbridled male lust or sexual interest. For the convenience of this article, we will term this concept our individual “apple style”. By this I mean the way we learn to interact with our inner sexual power.

DISCERNING APPLE LOVERS (DAL’s)

Being the lovers of attention that we are, some of us women often revel in the unbridled heat of male sexual interest. Some glory in the attention, and the sense of power that it brings. Others appreciate and enjoy the male response to their womanliness without overtly encouraging it. As attractive as this sexual interest might seem however,  we consider ourselves discerning apple lovers. In other words, we love and accept the power of our sexuality but we have nonetheless decided to accept this “sexual fire”  from only one man; the man to whom we have committed.  As flattered or as amused as we might be by the attention of others, we have vowed that they will never get close enough to even smell the nectar much less nibble on our apple. We are quite content to remain a mystery to 99% of men out there because we have chosen to reserve our sexual essence for one man. Very often this man is or becomes our husband.

APPLE FEARFUL (AF’s)


From my observation, they are definitely those of us who have a love-hate relationship with our sexuality. We accept to some degree that this is what defines us but we are terrified of sexually letting ourselves go with anyone. We therefore hate such responses from men.We feel affronted and insulted because we don’t want this unsolicited male attention; in fact we don’t know what to do with it when it comes our way. Since such women can be downright afraid to confront sexuality in them selves and by extension in other people, they are usually prepared to run hard in the opposite direction when approached sexually.

APPLE TRADERS (AT’s)

While some women might be mildly or very interested in a sexual duel, they are not prepared to hand over their apple with its sweet nectar without some kind of fight. The point is though that such a woman will hand it over, eventually. She can be persuaded or cajoled; she just needs the right words, the right professions of love, or the right bargaining chip. Usually however she is just using her apple to trade for “love” or some deep feeling of acceptance. It may be purely about the looks of the guy and what he brings to the relationship. Or she might be using her apple just for the fun of it. She might think that since apples were meant to be eaten why not just give hers up for breakfast, lunch and dinner and to hell with the consequences. As long as she at least likes the guy who is doing the taking, nothing else matters.

APPLE DISTRIBUTORS (AD’s)

And of course there is the woman who does not have to bother with the pretense of a relationship. She does not need to coin her sexuality in “relationship terms” in order to accept or enjoy it. She will indiscriminately hand over her sexual essence, her power and her person hood to any and everyone whether single or married, Earthling or Martian. She may even distribute this apple in even or uneven chunks to several “apple-eaters” at the same time, who may be only too eager to devour and destroy who she is. What is important to her is the sexual power she has become addicted to. She believes that her sexiness is contingent on the numbers of men who she gives away her apple to.

The DAL’s, AF’s, AT’s and AD’s are terms which represent different ways that we as women have learned to engage our sexual power.

While Discerning Apple Lovers (DAL’s) may be sexy and confident, for them, sex in the context of a committed love-relationship is high on their list of priorities and there is just no other way to engage their sexual treasure.

For Apple Fearfuls (AF’s) sex is either over-rated, unnecessary, or best left untouched. Any success into breaking into their “sexy” will require the persistence and ingenuity of one clever brother.

Apple Traders (AT’s) on the other hand, earnestly believe the adage about giving to get. The flip side is that they can easily get more than what they bargained for or even less than they expected, (depending of course on how you look at it). Once their apple has been consumed, they may recognise that they and their “trading partner” have not been exactly on the same page. This can easily leave them bereft and in search of another trader.

Apple Distributors (AD’S) at surface level, may believe that they have reached sexual utopia. They may appear quite happy with all the handling and sharing of their apple and the renown of their nectar. As their biological clocks begin to tick however, or as they glimpse the quiet adoration in an older gentleman’s eyes for the “wife of his youth” some may begin to wonder if they perhaps missed the boat on apple distribution.

As we women continue to navigate our personal sexual journeys it may be useful for us to examine this concept of our sexual energy and power (our apple). How do we feel about it? What are we doing with it? Do we even know that it exists? How does our understanding of it influence the men around us? How does our understanding of it speak to our own understanding of ourselves as sexual beings? Are we convinced that we have made the correct sexual choices? If we have not made choices in our best interests, what can we do about it?

Maybe if you’re a woman, the next time you see an apple, you’ll do some extra thinking.

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Denise J Charles (M. Ed)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Executive Director


The Secrets: Should We Tell All?

There is nothing like meeting a sexy guy for the first time and wanting to impress. For you unattached girls out there who are longing for someone to really call your own, meeting new guys can, however, get really technical; or so I have been told. It’s been said that the ratio of women to men is somewhat alarming; In other words, there seems to be a marked shortage of guys to match all the girls out there looking to settle down with one. For the woman who feels desperate, this often means that she thinks she needs to employ a few “relationship contortions” in order to nail the guy of her interest. In other words, she feels a need to plot, scheme and manipulate in order to “win” the competition for the most eligible bachelor. This often means packaging herself as the woman of every guy’s dreams, while beating all other girls into extinction.

As women, many of us have mastered the fine art of creating a great first impression. It just comes with the territory of being female and is something which we do almost instinctively. We definitely know how to dress to impress. At another level, the array of “enhancements” available for today’s woman means that when a guy meets a gal for the first time, he really must assess whether what he is seeing is what he will be hopefully getting (that is, if the relationship gets that far).

These “enhancements” run the gamut from false hair, to false nails, to false lashes, to coloured lens (changed eye colour), to false breasts and even padded hips. Yes, these are all fashion practices that many of us women have grown accustomed to using at some level, from time to time. As a lover of fashion and beauty trends myself, I do identify with that feminine need to creatively reinvent ourselves on occasion.Where it can get tricky, however, is when we allow our true selves to be masked into oblivion and this then spills over into our love lives.

Today’s practice of hiding or masking who we really are, may actually speak to deeper issues which can impact on our intimate relationship. The woman, who fears exposing what she perceives to be her physical flaws, may also be harbouring a deeper fear of being exposed in other areas of her life. This then leads us to the question of secrets. When a woman is bent on impressing and perhaps keeping a man for the long haul, should she spill it all? Should she expose all of her shortcomings, weaknesses and past relationship issues as her new relationship progresses or should some information remain off limits? Just as she seeks to hide her body’s imperfections, should she continue this trend by also concealing the things from her past (or present) which she thinks might make her appear less attractive to her new love interest, or should she expose all of her emotional and sexual stuff in a bid to “keep it real” in the relationship?

Women at different stages of their emotional development will no doubt answer these questions differently. A woman’s sense of self, inner confidence and her ability to balance strength with vulnerability, will to some degree, determine how she chooses to handle self-exposure when a new man comes along. This is also likely to be affected by things like her age and relationship experience.

The woman who is really on the look-out for a long term relationship with the possibility of marriage is likely to value openness and honesty. This is likely to be so because more often than not, this is what she also expects from her partner. With an acknowledged shortage of men, however, a woman may fear losing a romantic prospect if certain elements of her past are laid bare. While I am one who steadfastly promotes intimacy in relationships, I do not believe that it can be forced by indiscriminate exposure of everything, just for the sake of it.

Yes, we live in an age of reality shows where we have grown accustomed to being exposed to everyone’s business. The concept of privacy as we know it, will soon become a thing of the past. Even prime time television has jumped on the bandwagon with not only the portrayal of intimate sex scenes but even treks to the bathroom have now become standard television fare. So to some extent, we are accustomed to “baring it all”. This public trend of exposure, however, does not necessarily transfer to our romantic relationships where the stakes are high for disapproval and rejection.

What then are some of the major secrets a woman would perhaps seek to hide in her relationship? I’ve thought deeply about this and have arranged what I think would be some critical issues in order of their assumed importance:

  • The number of men she has slept with
  • Her participation in any sexual activities that would be considered risqué, for example, group sex or a ménage a trios
  • Her involvement in a lesbian affair
  • Her hatred of sex
  • Her love of sex
  • Her experience of sexual abuse
  • An experience of rape
  • Enormous, enormous debt
  • A deep connection to her ex
  • Past infidelity
  • An addiction to shopping
  • An addiction to illegal drugs
  • An addiction to prescription medication
  • Chronic depression
  • Her very large salary

This list is not exhaustive by any means but I think you get the idea. These issues admittedly are diverse and cannot all be lumped together. An issue of a sexual nature will tend to be treated with far more seriousness than an issue of over-spending.  A woman often knows from experience, that a man can be intimidated if she earns significantly more money than he does. If she appears to love sex too much, or had many partners, she may fear that he thinks her a slut. If her debt is really high, he may think she’s really on the look-out for a “Sugar Daddy” or that she lacks personal discipline and the list goes on. In spite of the diversity among these issues, each has the potential to break or harm a relationship if left unresolved.

The woman who has endured painful experiences from her childhood or from past relationships, may choose not to share if these issues are still painful to her. If she has experienced emotional healing, has extended forgiveness to those who hurt her or has decided to change some shame-based element of her lifestyle, then sharing her life-story may just be a matter of course. At the same time, if she feels close enough to her guy, she may seek comfort in sharing matters which for her still remain unresolved. Talking about her sense of shame over some past behaviour or delving into a past hurt, may actually be therapeutic and can serve to deepen the bond between her and her guy.

At another level, the woman in her twenties, who is still basically “finding herself”, may respond differently to the idea of total self-exposure, than the woman in her forties who possesses a lot more self-confidence and has experienced a bit of life. The younger woman is likely to panic and to be a lot more secretive in a bid to hold on to new relationship. Conversely, the older woman’s attitude might very well be one of, “been there, done that, take me as I am or go look elsewhere”.

This woman knows exactly what she wants in a man and is not so much sold on the idea of impressing others, as she is on the idea of self-acceptance and personal growth. In other words she may have learnt from her past mistakes and may simply want to re-write her life-script on her own terms. She may also feel no regret for some of her past actions and this is where the aligning of a couples’ value system becomes critical to the life of that relationship. If for example, one partner has cheated in the past, but is not remorseful, then this may hold implications for how much he/she values fidelity. If you plan to be a faithful spouse, then having a spouse with an identical belief system will be paramount.

Issues like substance abuse, addictions or chronic depression can also impact on the quality of the relationship. While none of us are perfect, the more emotionally healthy we are, the better the prospects for a long and healthy relationship. When significant elements are kept hidden, the danger is that they can rear their ugly heads at an inopportune time and can cause friction and emotional estrangement. If, for example, a divorcee has not severed emotional ties with her ex, this baggage can haunt her current relationship and she can easily project her anger towards her current partner or husband. Knowledge and understanding on her partner’s end can only be applied if he is made aware of her issue in the first place.

Am I suggesting then that a tell-all session is always vital to a good relationship? Not necessarily. I believe that a woman must assess the true status of her relationship and the maturity of her partner before she decides to divulge all. Even then, exposing her past is not an end in itself, nor should it be forced. It should also never occur in the early, uncertain phase of a relationship when commitment has not yet been voiced. In fact, premature exposure can actually destroy the prospects of a relationship even getting off the ground.

Don’t scare the guy away before he even has a chance to say hello. Be wise, weigh the situation and ensure that your end of the table is not the only one from which a detailed life-story is forthcoming; intimacy is after all, a two-way street.  There are no guarantees that it will all pan out as you like but true love is often worth the risk.

The Anatomy of the “Penis Man” (via redredapples)

This article appears on the website of Dr. Trina Read, noted Canadian sexologist, international columnist, speaker, television personality and author of “Till Sex Do Us Part”. Several other articles written by Denise J Charles will appear on her site weekly. Log on to http://trinaread.com

The Anatomy of the "Penis Man" Let me start by saying that this is not one of those estrogen-inspired, male-bashing articles. I happen to have a very healthy respect for testosterone and for the vessels which carry it in abundance; namely men.  After all, I happen to live with four of these testosterone carriers and have definitely survived to tell the tale. Not to take credit for the term "penis man", I must admit to having heard a guy use it several years ago. Admittedly, it … Read More

via redredapples

“OOOOO Baby!”: A Guy’s Guide to using the “Language of Love”

It is a scientific fact that women are more language oriented than men. This perhaps explains why we tend to be so turned on by talk; words just have a way of getting to us.There have been so many songs and poems written by men, to women, to express their deep and abiding desire and love. From Shakespeare to Wordsworth to Robert Blake, to the sultry lyrics of popular R and B singers Trey Soundz or Robin Thicke, men have been using the jargon of love, sex and desire, to sway the heads and hearts of women.

Some words used are delicate and flowery like those you would find on a Hallmark card while others are clear and forthright, reminding a girl in no uncertain terms of why she’s wanted or needed. Then there are those hot, steamy and sensuous words, designed to create that auto-response in a woman that will usually lead a guy to candy land; if that’s what the girl wants that is.

Whatever the case, there is no doubt that the right words spoken or written and shared, can have a tremendous effect on a girl, and guys know this. I personally believe that deep in every woman’s heart is a desire to be told that she is beautiful and desirable. There is a part of our brains that definitely connects our sense of worth with the words spoken to and about us. A woman’s response to amorous words is, however, not as automatic as some guys might expect. That’s where we women become completely complicated and unpredictable. We don’t all drop like flies because you decide to spray us with the choicest lingo. A woman’s response is shaped by a number of pertinent factors.

First off the bat; does she love or even like the guy trying to language his way into her heart or her “you know what”? Has she ever been actively pursued by a male or are these words a whole new world to her? Has she led a conservative or sheltered lifestyle and would she therefore be shocked by certain “terms of reference”? Is she a good girl gone bad? Is she a good girl with every intention of remaining good and getting even better? Does she normally throw all caution to the wind the second a guy even looks her way? And if that guy happens to be her husband, does she trust and believe him or does she feel used and manipulated by his words? Does she feel valued as a whole person? Does she understand or is she aware of the power and impact of her own sexuality on the men around her? Does she care?

When it comes to impressing a woman, there are no guarantees. There is a lot of background static that could erect plenty roadblocks or even provide assistance for a smooth course to her heart. If a guy, however, is to use words to attempt to win a girl over, then there are a couple of things he must first recognise and put into practice:

  • Never lump all females into the same mould; the word-tricks and smooth talk which you used with Suzy in high school won’t put a dent in the armour of the professional woman you’re trying to impress.
  • Never deliver well known crappy lines like “heaven must be missing an angel” or ‘I’ll give you my heart and work off of batteries”.
  • Make deep eye contact when you attempt to woo with words to convey that those words are at least coming from your heart.
  • Use your eyes without being overly intrusive; give the lady some space.
  • Make sure your breath is absolutely fresh (brush, floss, gargle); “sweet” words from a stink mouth just won’t do.
  • Be original; find something you really like about the woman you’re trying to win and tell her so.
  • Yes, they may be in your face but try hard not to ogle a woman’s breasts when talking to her (except you’re really, really short and not at eye level).
  • Talk intelligently; even if you’re intimidated by her beauty and poise, try not to show it.
  • Even if you falter over words, most decent, worthwhile girls will find this endearing and won’t laugh at you behind your back.
  • If the woman is well known to you (like your wife or long time girlfriend) hold and caress her hand while looking deeply into her eyes; this will heighten the connection between you.
  • Try not to be premature in terms of the “depth” of your expression; if you’ve just met the lady for heaven’s sake, don’t tell her that she’s the one you’ve been waiting for your whole life (tacky, tacky, tacky).
  • Read the woman accurately, as in draw upon all of your instincts to assess the “girl-type”; in other words don’t try for the shock effect; if the girl appears shy or conservative, match “word-type” with “girl-type” where possible.
  • Since all men appear to have a one-track mind which is skewed in one well known direction, think, pause and breathe deeply before speaking; are you sure you really want to tell her what’s on your mind?
  • If this woman is your wife, be free to get as hot and juicy as your own comfort level will allow; if you want a wild and uninhibited lover, then you must also be prepared to be one with your words.
  • Even if the woman you approach appears “liberated” and willing to try anything (including you); surprise her with words and an attitude which conveys respect for her womanhood, who knows, she just might “wise up” and view herself as more than a sex-object.
  •  See a woman as a whole person with all types of wants and needs; avoid viewing her as just a living, breathing vagina which needs to be “sexed” by you; this understanding will perhaps influence how you decide to use words to win a woman’s interest.

Renewing Your Relationship

If I were to ask how many of you love either receiving or shopping for new things, I am sure for most people both hands would go up; twice. We love the new with a capital L; that’s why a new romance is so exciting and enticing. We get to experience fresh new butterflies and a wave of pleasure we’d never felt before or which at least we might have forgotten. If we are honest with ourselves, we would admit that we often wish that some of this quality of “the new” could be preserved in our intimate relationships. If only it were as easy as it appears in the chick flicks we watch religiously.

Despite what we may see on television or read in romance novels, we must, however, recognize that great relationships don’t just happen. The truth is, a great love requires blood, sweat, tears and a dose of some good old common sense, which perhaps isn’t at all so common these days.

Because we women are more prone to comparing our relationships to some fantasy ideal, we are the ones who tend to take stock of our relationship barometer fairly regularly. Not that I’m suggesting that we should settle for any old crap and passively accept whatever hand life deals us, but there is room for a re-evaluation of our expectations, on the pathway to the emergence of a renewed relationship.

Now let’s face it girls, our partners won’t all look like the sexy Edris Alba nor will we all have the body of a Sanaa Lathan. Some of us are short and chunky, some a bit too much on the skinny side, some are overweight and still others of us are dissatisfied because our breasts are too small, hips too big,  or because some other part of our anatomy just doesn’t line up with the national average.

Then they are the failed expectations when our spouse just is not ambitious enough or doesn’t earn that multi-figured salary guaranteed to keep us outfitted in the latest from Versace or Prada. Maybe we have not yet bought our dream home or we never got to have that dream vacation in South Florida or Europe. Then outside of our materialistic, surface expectations, is the reality of a lack of intimacy, a boring sex life, a failure to communicate meaningfully and generally the acknowledgment of a relationship where we are not affirmed, encouraged or “blessed” by our spouse. Whatever the source of our disappointments, as we advance in our relationships, we learn, in the words of one of my poems “to get up, rise up, and make up the bed”. In other words, we learn to shelve these disappointments and get on with the business of living.

But how do we balance it? How do we “get on” with our life responsibilities without giving up on the relationship ideals or goals which we believe we deserve? How do we stay true to ourselves? I think the answer lies in reflection and renewal. We have to reflect on the reality of what we have, (assess it, make notes, devise goals for change) and then we have to allow the magic of self-change to work. No matter how much we beat up on our spouses in frustration, either literally or with our words, the reality is, we don’t possess the power to change anyone; (chances are, if we did, we would have zapped our supposed Prices back into frogs). That’s right, the only one we can assume responsibility for changing is us. And admittedly that is often a tough pill to swallow for us women who seem to be born “fixers”. The sooner we come to terms with this truth however, the better off we will be.

If what we want is a renewed relationship, then first, it must begin with us, (and if you’re a man, the same principle applies to you). Maybe these suggestions will help get your relationship started on the path of renewal:

  • Learn to love and affirm you: the truth is, we can’t love and appreciate someone if we don’t first love and appreciate ourselves. I am not referring here to a narcissistic, self-obsession which is rooted in selfishness. Rather I speak of a need to appreciate how blessed we are in terms of our strengths, gifts and talents. Self-love also means an acknowledgement of our innate worth which will enable us to be confident and to demand the respect we deserve. A woman who is confident in who she is and truly loves herself, will not tolerate abuse in a relationship because she knows her value. A confident woman is also generally sexy and irresistible to the man in her life.
  • Rethink expectations through the lens of reality: this is not a bid to encourage women to lower their standards and to accept anything on two legs with a penis who makes them some promises; not on your life! Standards are good, generally, but we must reassess our expectations in the light of our partner’s and our own capabilities. Can we really afford that cruise that everyone else is taking? What about a stay instead at a local hotel for the weekend? Is a mortgage right for us at this time, or should we continue to rent a bit longer? These are just a few examples, but dreams and goals, while good in a relationship, must be reviewed in terms of how achievable they really are. Take responsibility for easing some of the pressure off of an early relationship-dream by rethinking and re-languaging it in more realistic terms, taking note of the fact that we ladies are the ones who often apply the pressure when there is something that we want. Also, instead of always expecting your partner to be your “dream provider”, get involved in making your own goals happen.
  • Give without expecting to get: now admittedly this is a toughie and it goes against every human survival instinct. We love to get and we love to give in order to get but giving without expectation? humph, that admittedly is a tall order if ever there was one but it is not impossible. It involves stepping outside of ourselves to see the worth in our spouse in spite of the human failings, and glaring weaknesses which shout at us every day. Again this is not about self-abuse or any such thing but it speaks of cultivating what I call a higher-order love. Love that loves in spite of and one that therefore gives even when it does not receive. Now ideally, when this principle is practiced by both parties, everyone reaps the benefits. But even if it is not, there is a great satisfaction in knowing that you have stepped above and beyond in giving to the one you have chosen to be with. This type of love however calls for a deep humility and for a level of graciousness that is perhaps hard to find in today’s “me-obsessed” culture. It is perhaps, hopefully, more easily practiced by those with a spiritual base.
  • Get your sexy on:now there is no way I could deal with the concept of a renewed relationship without mentioning the ever-important three-letter word. Sex in a relationship builds and extends the relationship’s intimacy-capacity. In other words intimacy as a state is not fixed; it is dynamic or is always changing and the more great sex a couple has, the more their intimacy is expanded and strengthened. So you want renewal? Set yourself some specific sexual goals and initiate; don’t wait on your partner to bite (the bait that is), you can get the ball going. Perhaps you could suggest a sexual marathon (I don’t know a guy on the planet who would refuse) or do something new which you have never tried before. Find out what your partner really loves that you may not yet know and treat him to a sexual feast. Be at your partner’s beck and call sexually. Bring out the lengerie, the oils, the fragrances, the satin sheets and all that you love; I guarantee, your partner will feed off your enthusiasm and love it too. The law of sexual attraction will determine that what you put out sexually, you will receive in full return. Any sexually satisfied spouse knows that this rule of thumb works.
  • Communicate, Communicate, Communicate: renewal cannot be experienced in a marriage that is devoid of communication. If sex is the car that will take your relationship on a new journey, then communication is the fuel. Now this is no straightforward feat, especially when one partner is not a talker. Truthfully, we all communicate, because even when we say nothing, we are communicating with our silence. But we women, being the talkers that we generally are, expect our partner to share our exact communication style. Most men however do not. It is the rare man who enjoys deep, exploratory conversation; generally such  a man is either trained in the area, or is simply comfortable and in touch with his kinder, softer, gentler, nurturing side. This is why many a woman becomes very drawn or even attracted to her Pastor or Counsellor.  In him she finds a man who is attentive, who listens and will then talk back (in that order); very often validating her feelings. More often than not, her spouse is nothing like this. Communication will, nonetheless, foster renewal because through it we get to share needs, wants, disappointments, desires, goals and the like. Knowing where our partner is at physically, emotionally, mentally and even spiritually, will only serve to strengthen our sense of connection. We must take care however to monitor our partner’s unique communication style by perhaps doing the following:
  1. Learn to read non-verbal cues
  2. Learn to hear what has been really said and to also dissect what has not been said.
  3. Listen and respond to your spouse’s true feelings, even if they appear misguided or irrational.
  4. Encourage openness and honesty in conversation by modelling such behaviour in a non-judgmental, non-threatening way.
  5. When discussing sensitive issues, always begin with ‘I” statements, instead of “You” statements; in other words, assume responsibility for how you feel instead of accusing your spouse.
  6. If your partner is uncomfortable with overt efforts at communication, relax, take it slowly and love him anyhow.