Monthly Archives: August 2011

How To Be An Irresistible Man (and live to tell the tale)

When it comes to understanding the tango between a man and a woman there is still a lot of mystery out there. We all know that sexual chemistry can be powerful and we know that the pull between a man and a woman can be so strong that it can appear to defy good reason or even common sense. But what exactly makes a guy so sexy to a girl and what is it that draws a man to a woman like a moth to the flame. Of course many of us will claim to have individual tastes and preferences when it comes to looking, shopping around or even praying for our mate.

Some of these items on “the list” may have been born out of what we noticed about our parents’ relationships. If the qualities in our Dad for example were good and gentlemanly, we may think that we want to have a chivalrous guy just like Dad was. If the opposite was true and our Dad was a cad, we may also look for a guy who is the exact opposite. Then there are the fairy-tales, the romantic comedies, Romance novels and our best-friend’s “perfect” love life which convince us that these are the exact qualities we want in a partner.

These external motivators say nothing for the deeply entrenched hormonally-based feminine needs which we girls also have. We seem genetically predisposed for tenderness, intimacy, love and a strong sense of security. So how do external expectations and internal leanings combine to influence what exactly we are looking for in a guy? I believe that they mesh quite nicely with our own personality preferences to emerge a set of expectations which for the ordinary guy out there may seem quite lofty and unattainable.

Very often we get seriously connected to a guy or even marry him when there’s still a whole lot to be learned about him. That’s just the nature of relationships. Even when this is true, we still have a very innate sense of what will make us deliriously happy and fulfilled. Not that all of these traits will ever be found in any one man, but you can’t blame a girl for wishing.

If a guy is interested in understanding what will fulfill the woman who is willing to spend the rest of her life with him, then the following really long list may actually be worth the read. Here goes.

A woman’s relationship list can be quite lofty.

While this daunting list is not exhaustive by any means, most women desire a man who will:

  1. Make her feel like she’s the only girl in the world (Rihanna does have a point!)
  2. Expose himself to her emotionally (yes guys vulnerability IS the new sexy)
  3. Have great physical attributes to expose when the time is right (No skimming on the Gym)
  4. Speak words of love without shame or embarrassment (added bonus for deep eye contact)
  5. Act the gentleman both publicly and privately (You know that hand in the small of your back? Sooo sexy!)
  6. Know how to take care of her sexual needs before his own or at least be good at practicing
  7. Be a good provider (that is allow her to spend his money, while hoarding her own)
  8. Know that in the bedroom it’s not the size of the boat that matters but the motion of the ocean
  9. Play fair in recreational activities (that is let her win games)
  10. Play hard in the bedroom (literally)
  11. Take care of his health and hygiene
  12. Spend his money wisely (on her)
  13. Lead with integrity and confidence (that is no bullying, no sulking, no guilt trips, no manipulation)
  14. Acknowledge, praise and appreciate her strengths
  15. Share everything (critical decision making, baby duties and house chores)
  16. Understand that one of the key attributes of a leader is the ability to serve (you know, massage her feet, paint her toe-nails, kiss her ahhh . . . )
  17. Be a great father
  18. Take the marriage covenant seriously by practicing sexual and emotional fidelity (no secret Face-Book accounts, cybersex or actual sex with other women)
  19. Refrain from telling her she doesn’t look great (especially at that time of the month, when pregnant or when bloating due to PMS)
  20. Tell her how sexy she is (especially when he’s NOT about to get it on; when he’s all hot and horny it doesn’t really count)
  21. Refrain from comparing her to other women, especially his own mother (a huge biggy)
  22. At least try to anticipate her needs (know when she needs a good hug, a pat on the shoulder or some serious sex)
  23. Practice the love and loyalty he expects in return
  24. Pay attention to his softer, gentler, more vulnerable, spiritual side while maintaining manly confidence and strength
  25. Acknowledge God (most men who do, tend to have a fairly good take on how to really treat a woman)

Men, Sex and the New C.P.R

“For many men, sexual expression over time becomes habit and impulse driven, leading often to fleeting or diminished pleasure and perhaps increased longing, desire and frustration. “

Many men engage in a set of predictable sexual behaviours.

While many of us may be familiar with C.P.R as a life-saving technique, in the context of my discussion, it takes on a whole new definition which I’m sure will easily resonate with my female reading-audience. Male “relationship-behaviour” has been governed for centuries by what I term the three pillars of male sexuality. For the purposes of this article, this behaviour is represented by the letters CPR, which in turn stand for Chase, Penetrate and Retreat.  These “pillars” are in fact, a series of collective-behaviours which have become familiar themes in today’s male-female relationships.

While phrases like “a leopard doesn’t change its spots” and the less complimentary “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”, represent familiar male-bashing statements mouthed by angry and hurting women, they aren’t without some historical merit. Let’s face it, men have been Chasing, Penetrating and Retreating for eons. Lest I be accused of joining the male-bashing trend, let me hasten to post my official disclaimer. Of course all men are not lacking in relationship integrity and several of them remain faithful to their wives and long-term partners. There; I’ve said it. But this article is not about this minority.

There is the belief, grounded in yarns of evidence,  that many men retreat from a potential relationship after they have sexually conquered their target. There is also the view that they retreat after they have grown bored of repeatedly conquering the same familiar turf. But I am getting ahead of myself here. Before we delve into dissecting the R of male sexual behaviour, (the retreat phenomenon) it’s necessary for us to first examine the C in the new CPR.

The Chase

For a man, there’s nothing quite like the thrill of a fresh chase.

Men are naturally competitive; make no bones about it. Their friendly neighbourhood hormone testosterone guarantees this. As such, they thrive on the thrill of the chase. Chasing a woman provides them with the distinct possibility of winning and winning brings with it the idea of being a conqueror; of being better than the other less successful, paltry men who lost. What a tremendous ego boost! (I believe this is why men can’t handle being cheated on by a woman; it eats at what they believe about their own sexual superiority).

The problem with this stage of male sexual development is that several men never make it past it. They are so affirmed by the activity of the chase, that they seek to perpetuate it again and again and again ad nauseum. Such men therefore never “grow up” emotionally to recognise that since they’ve already won their prize, it’s time for a redefinition of that relationship on fresh terms. Instead, they become addicted to the dopamine thrill of chasing and hopefully conquering skirts. This is of course done while the primary or initial relationship is allowed to perish by the wayside as it is chemically unable to provide the rush which a new pair of legs can bring.

The Penetration

The chase, as encouraging as it is, would cease to hold its powerful allure without the distinct possibility of the pot of gold at the end of the figurative rainbow. Yeah, chasing does have a distinct goal. And it’s definitely not about running around in perpetual circles like the playful dog actually trying to catch its own tail. The goal of chasing ultimately is penetration. And please don’t think that I’m only referring to the literal penetration of the vagina by the penis. Of course that’s where it all starts and that’s where the fun is for many a man.

Be that as it may, penetration is also about using the penis to dominate a woman. Men are pros at using their sexual prowess, sexiness, sexual charm, whatever you call it, to suck the living sensibilities out of otherwise smart, educated, right-thinking women. Why else would some smart women end up as the “relationship slaves” to the worst booty-playing, Casanovas around? They fall prey to the power of the perpetual penis of course.

What many women fail to recognize is that surrendering their sexual power to a man, brings with it a certain level of emotional dependency; no matter how casual they purport to be about sex. That’s why the apple shouldn’t be given up indiscriminately without serious commitment; especially if what a woman is looking for is longevity or permanence. Face it girls, once you hand it over, there’s no looking back and that relationship will be forever changed. Sex just has the inherent power to do that to us.

The Retreat

The man, who is intent on using women to boost his sexual ego, has to find a way to keep reproducing this preferred scenario. This brings us to the R in our triad. Having chased and having penetrated, the only recourse allowed for the repeat of this entire charade with another woman, is for him to retreat; literally.

While women will have sex and long for repeated connection and emotional engagement; men will have sex and bolt like lightening, eventually. A woman’s sexual affirmation is grounded in her ability to care and connect. While men are also wired for this genetically in that they are similarly affected by the hormone Oxytocin, they have been socially trained to value disengagement and their freedom. As a result, they love to hit and run.

Unfulfillment occurs when relationship expectations go unmet.

What they fail to recognise is that sex has been reduced by them, to an impulse and a habit. While they are fooled into thinking that this makes them better lovers, somewhat like practice makes perfect, it actually reduces the potency of their sexual encounters because sex is reduced to just a “can’t help myself” animal instinct, devoid of deep thought or commitment. Despite the commonality of this practice, this is not what sex was meant to be. Is it any wonder that such men find themselves trapped in repeated quests for a sexual utopia which they never, ever find? In the wise words of the quotation referenced at the start of this article, they can then become trapped in a cycle of “fleeting or diminished pleasure and perhaps increased longing, desire and frustration.”

The worst part of the retreat syndrome is when a man uses his primary relationship as a ground-zero or home-base, from where he will venture out to get his thrills and then return. What is even worst is when such behaviour is facilitated by women, who pride themselves in being the main-lady/wife, or who will tolerate this because of financial or emotional dependency. This adds a whole other dynamic to the CPR problem as the lack of emotional fulfillment for the woman begins to negatively affect the sexual relationship. How many husbands continue to have affairs because their wives, while miserable and unhappy with their philandering ways, refuse to do anything about it? And how many women are really happy with the prospect of sharing or losing their man to the arms of another woman?

The Verdict

So male sexual CPR is not all that a guy may think it is. It doesn’t make him a better lover; not by a long shot. It instead creates a void which forces him to repeat behaviour which never satisfies. For women trapped by these CPR experts it may be time to pause and re-evaluate your relationship expectations and your sense of worth. Are you content to be just another cheap thrill? Are you ever going to get the nerve to make your relationship demands known or will you ever be strong enough to leave if they remain unfulfilled?

For the guy who is limited in his sexual repertoire because he is afraid of serious commitment and vulnerability to one woman, he may find that his game of CPR comes back to haunt him when he finds himself smack dab in the arms of a woman he finally thinks he can’t live without. Even when commitment or marriage seems like a distinct possibility, he may very well have to work doubly hard at breaking free from a life-time of a mismanaged sexuality. 


Are There Really Different Types of Sex?

“Not all sex is alike…There’s intimate sex, anonymous sex, gentle and sensitive sex, rough and aggressive sex, sex that expresses love, sex that’s purely physical, sex that is emotionally connecting, sex that is isolating, raw sex, spiritual sex, naughty sex, sterile sex, boring sex, passionate sex, spontaneous sex, planned sex, playful/experimental sex, routinized/scripted sex, selfish sex, selfless sex, self-conscious sex, freeing-abandoning sex…” Dr. Richard Nicastro

I read the above as the opening paragraph of an article entitled “Passionate Sex Creating a Sexual Playground Together” by Dr. Richard Nicastro, a psychologist and marriage counsellor. While I think I understand what the good doc was trying to say, I do wonder about the accuracy of his initial thesis. Is it that there are different “types” of sex floating around out there in the relationship stratosphere for us to grab hold of, or is it that we encounter sex differently at various times based on our needs, experiences and understanding of sex?

Our natural relationship journey will see us encountering sex differently.

He went on to describe a multi-layered sexual-self which interacted with sex in different ways at different times.  With this I wholeheartedly agreed. A couple could then experience a dilemma if the factors which drove their sexual relationship in early marriage changed after a number of years. For example, in the early years of hot, heavy passion, a couple may take certain sexual risks and try to “push the envelope” to add dynamism to the sex life. As the years roll out however, the sexual-spark may become dimmed and as a result how sex is enjoyed, may change. But is it that this reflects two separate “types” of sex or is the couple merely responding differently to their natural relationship journey? And is sex solely determined by our individual experiences and preferences or is there such a thing as a preferred sexual ideal that we should all strive towards?

If we carefully examine how we look at the other aspects of our lives, we will admit that in most areas, we respect the concept of an ideal scenario. We generally believe that the principles of a healthy body include good diet and exercise. Even though we may not always practise it, we believe that sound financial management includes the ability to save, invest and also to be disciplined and frugal in spending. The level of dedication and hard work that we apply to our studies, to a large degree determine the success we experience in our careers and so on. We understand fully in most other areas of our lives; that fulfilment is contingent upon how much we are willing to commit to the principles of the ideal.

Although a few of us will succeed in life while apparently “breaking all the rules”, this does not deny the existence of various success ideals. For example, for the entrepreneur who never had a formal education, but has a natural knack for making money, the principles of good financial planning must still hold sway if he is to be a successful businessman. An accomplished leader is capable of balancing the servant-hood of leadership with his/her ability to direct; this is the preferred scenario of good leadership.

If we accept this understanding of a “success ideal” in other areas of our lives, why are we perhaps unwilling to apply this concept to sex? Is it because where sex is concerned there is often an underlying thread of selfishness which urges us to place our own needs first, do as we please and to hell with the consequences? Are we afraid that the idea of an ideal may perhaps curtail some of our sexual freedom?

While I do agree that sex is experienced differently based on what we know and understand about it, I still believe that our human sexuality should be affected by what I term the basic, intrinsic, created values of sex. And sex is too important an activity not to require some forethought.

Sex is too important an activity not to deserve some forethought.

Like anything else in life, sex is not valueless and simply confined to our individual realities. It does not exist in a vacuum but is connected in a larger than life way, to our collective humanity; after all through it the human race survives. This is why our sexual decisions affect those closest to us; it’s never just about “doing what makes us happy!” If it were, then rape and abuse as “sexual experiences” would be acceptable.  These sexual values or principles, of which I speak, include selflessness, serious commitment, honesty, vulnerability and openness to giving and receiving pleasure without shame. Of course this list is not exhaustive. While we may have relatively good sex without following these said values, I do believe that our connection with them has the potential to give us the best sex ever. So whether sex is perceived to be naughty or nice, spontaneous or planned, sensitive or aggressive, then these values should still hold sway; especially in a committed relationship like marriage.

Instead then of separating the act of sex from the individual by giving sex a label or type, it may perhaps be important to reframe how we perceive it. In other words, there is sex, but then there are different types of people at different levels of emotional maturity, with a variety of backgrounds, experiences, needs and expectations who will then experience sex in all the ways that Dr. Nicastro suggested.

Does this mean that some of us may not prefer to have sex in a way that is distinctive or individual to us at any given point in time? Of course we will have our individual sexual tastes and preferences and these are certainly not set in stone. Be that as it may, it is important to recognise that on the road to great sex, we should perhaps strive towards discovering the “sexual ideals” which are more likely to grant us a fulfilling sexual relationship.