4. Lips wide shut.
Just because men need something to brag about, doesn't mean they should. If you're really great, your actions already speak for you, and bragging is really about insecurity. Anyone who's smart will see through you immediately. Yes, women do it too, but 4. is especially important for men because of the cultural stereotype of the strong, silent male. This stereotype's draw comes from its mystery - if he doesn't say anything, the drooling female types get to fill in the blanks with imagined heroic and studly deeds. Unfortunately today, when the guy finally opens his mouth, it turns out, more often than not, that the bravest thing he's been doing is increasing his X-Box skills. So 4. only works after you've mastered 3. Having a combination of both? That's called confidence.
5. Ears wide open.
Develop the ability to listen and not give advice. How many fights have you gotten into because your girl is crying on your shoulder and you keep giving her advice she doesn't want until she screams at you that you just don't understand? After 3.'s discussion about looking outward, it might seem as if women are giving men an impossible task - asking them to look outward and become masters of the universe, but then never allowing them to ply their mad skills in the service of making women's lives better. And if you're an outward looking male who hasn't yet become comfortable with vulnerability (see 9. below)? It might be near impossible to see a girl cry without trying to fix whatever caused her tears. But what I think is difficult about this one is that men take the phrase “you just don't understand” as literal criticism. This causes a great deal of frustration because, let's face it, I'm a woman and even I don't understand women most of the time. So how the hell are men supposed to ever understand women even a fraction of the time? Do yourselves a favor, throw that notion out the window - ACCEPT that you're never going to understand women and listen to what I'm telling you now: most female communication is about trust building. Your ability to just listen to us without judgment or condemnation is how we develop trust in you. Cutting a woman off by giving advice (even if it's a well intentioned attempt to fix things) short-circuits the trust building process. But here's something you should also know: the more we trust you, the safer we feel; the safer we feel, the more likely we'll hand over all those soft femininities that you seem to like so much. So, if you like soft femininities, it's not in your best interest to give us advice. It is in your best interest to just listen and accept us unconditionally.
6. Mastery of sex 101.
Okay, I don't care about who does/should/must take more responsibility for being good lovers, men or women. Regardless of where you fall in that argument, in this day and age of industrial sex advice, how-to books, instructional videos and instructional-how-to-video-books-on-tape, there's no excuse for anyone to not know the sex essentials: the location of the clitoris, the location of the G-spot, how to delay ejaculation, and how to maneuver the complexities of size and shape (yes, I'm saying what you think I'm saying). These are not the end all of good sex, but they are the starting point and no good man would leave home without them. This is particularly important for men not because it's bad to lean back and allow a woman to do all the work in bed. (What happens between you and your partner, so long as it's consensual and turns you both on, is your business and doesn't belong in a list of sweeping generalizations.) But what I've been finding is that a lot of men use female sexual liberation as an excuse to be L-A-Z-Y. That's right. I said it. Laaaaaaaaazzzzzeeeeeee. Adopting this position defeats you in the long run. Men have complained that female financial power has raised the bar so high that they can't possibly compete. For example, if a woman makes $50,000 a year, she wants a man who makes more. That's a reasonable salary for many men to top. But if enough women make, say, $100,000 a year, and still want a man to make more, that's more difficult and leaves a lot of men partnerless. In money, the sky's the limit; in sex, orgasm is the limit. I bet that $100,000-a-year-earning woman would change her mind about your $35,000-a-year ass if you were able to give her unlimited orgasms - a benefit HR can't deliver. And if you can read a computer manual and master computers, then you can read a sex manual and master sex. With the bar raising in so many other arenas, sex is a place where you can always be a man, no matter what.
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