Tag Archives: sex

What is Love? Part 4 – How To Love Women

How to Love Women

This post is specifically for the guys. (Hey, I write for a men’s magazine.)

No matter where you are in your relationship with a woman, here are 4 things you can to do to make her feel éros.

  1. Listen to her
  2. Use touch
  3. Be gentle
  4. Speak with your body

Listen to her.

“I knew that,” you might think. But do you know how to listen to women? First, you have to turn off all your electronics, yes this includes the TV.

It’s pretty widely known that women – even the most logical thinking ones – need to talk about their feelings. Not always, but usually when their feelings get in the way of rationality.

Some women are really upfront about their feelings.

No matter how worked up she might be, do whatever it takes not to react. Because I guarantee that once a woman realizes that you are listening, she will calm down. A quiet response is always better than a loud reaction in these situations.

Some women are used to people reacting to them. They might say something like, “Why aren’t you reacting?” Your response could be, “Because I’m trying to understand exactly what you are trying to say.” Some women are über logical (like myself) and reason out loud trying to figure out their feelings. A logical type tends not to get hyper emotional, but she still needs you to listen.

This is how to listen:

  • Don’t assume to know what she’s saying. Emotions are not easy to express with words. All those chemicals reacting in her brain need help with translation, and that’s where taking time to really understand will help.
  • Use active listening skills.
    • Try to understand. If you need clarification, a good way to start asking for it is with, “Do you feel like…?” Restating in your own words is also helpful.
    • Pay attention to body language. The body says a lot more than words. Use your body language to show you’re listening by leaning closer or facing her.
    • Give feedback, but not advice. Show you understand with eye contact, nodding, and “mm-hmms”. Good feedback reinforces what she says. Let her get the words out even if she sounds irrational. Then, if you must suggest something, ask if you can share it so she doesn’t get immediately defensive.
  • Don’t make it about you. Even if a woman starts blaming you, she might be using you as a scapegoat for the real problem. And if it really is your fault, remember that nobody is perfect and eat some humble pie.

On a deeper level, what makes a good listener is agápe. (See Part 1.) Listening is an action, and it’s louder than words.

Use touch.

First, remember touch is not always related to sex. Second, you can’t just touch a woman without having her trust (unless you want slapped or a lawsuit.) Building that trust for some women takes time and energy. But be an excellent listener and you can build that trust quicker.

Once you have a woman’s trust, her body will be more receptive and that is good for both of you.

Don’t underestimate foreplay. Good foreplay turns women on. There are great books on the topic: the Kama Sutra, books by Lou Paget (my favorite), and another classic: The Joy of Sex. And by all means, flirt. Touch not only with your hands but with your leg under the dinner table or with your lips. Kissing is way of touching.

Be gentle.

To be a real emotional support, use gentleness. You know women don’t want Mr. Fix It showing up when facing delicate issues. Put away the hard hat and be gentle.

Being gentle also applies to your touch. If you think foreplay doesn’t do anything, you probably aren’t gentle enough. Pay attention to her body language, if or when it tells you your touch is too hard. How do you hold an egg? [Your answer here.] Exactly.

Gentleness isn’t called for in every situation. Sometimes women need you to be dominant. Though you can still be gentle while dominant.

Speak with your body.

Did your mom ever hug you? How did it make you feel? Hug your woman. Hold her.

Your face also says and means a lot. If you look intently at her while thinking about how much you care, the care will show. Remember, if you are not thinking about how much you care for her that will also show.

When women feel love…

You know what happens when you and your girl love each other. You build intimacy. Then éros will take hold, and it will all be over for you.

Take an active listening assessment.

Another good article on active listening is at MindTools.com.

Sexting

Myself being a follower of proper work ethic, I once had an affair with my co-worker.  Possessing the typical spine-tingling bravado attributed to all things generally looked down upon, this affair in nearly every way was stereotypical:  Secret, awkward, and sexual.  However, one basic difference separated this affair from your typical make-out-in-the-backroom-and-behind-closed-doors deal.  This was an affair done solely through the phenomenon that is text messaging.

Like all liaisons, my flirtation started innocently enough: A playful trading of numbers during a shared lunch break (we both  happened to adore Baja Fresh) to see who could text whom faster.  We worked in a rather large chain bookstore in Santa Monica, and let me tell you– us booksellers are nerdy and bored, bored people.  We found the simplest of things amusing.   How was I to know that a simple G-rated text such as “Hi I can text faster than you” would, a week later, lead to the soft-core porn of “I want to bend you over and fuck you hard”?  (Imagine getting this message while driving away from an eight-hour work day and you can see that the thrill of a text message liaison can, at times, far out do the thrill of a real affair—danger involved alone.)

After all, I only texted the guy.  In our era of avoidance, text messaging is the ultimate vehicle for communication and evasion.   Hell, it’s even safer than instant messaging online.  With the internet being people’s second homes, getting someone’s screen-name involves a near knowledge or trust of the person.  Screenname means friendship… or the possibility of one.  (You could, after all, block the person or always have an away message up.)  And don’t even get me started on Facebook… once you are Facebook friends with someone they might as well be one of your drinking buddies, unless you are really diligent about what particular photos you display.  Today, nearly everyone has a cell phone.  Giving out your cell number is no biggie.  And neither is texting.  It’s just another part of our obsession with communication without really communicating.

The beauty and secret lure of the text message is that you never have to acknowledge it.  Coworker and I could be working the same shift, texting one another the most flirtatious (later, dirty) of sentences and act perfectly natural around one another.  This was a reticent rule.  The text message world we visited outside of work could never be visited while we habited our bookstore or were within view of one another.   This way, we never, ever had to face up to what we were doing.  Our cellular connection took us to a world without consequences.

For a time.

Like the liaison itself, the breaking of the rules also started relatively innocently.  One night, as I lay down under faded purple plaid sheets dressed in my favorite college-days pajamas (an over-sized Winnie the Poo nightshirt) my cell made the familiar gurgle of exclamation that had already started to bring a smile on my face.  I knew who it would be.  Secretly I checked my suggestive text, and there was Coworker’s newest and latest “Long and hard or soft and gentle?”  I giggled and looked around, ashamed.  I didn’t tal like that, not with anyone else.  (And certainly not since.)  Yet, as my blush lessened, I suddenly felt free… wild.  Nobody could see!  Nobody could hear.  The only mood music was my roommate’s breathing.  With a sly grin, I texted him back.  We proceeded to have the strangest version of phone sex I have ever had.  My thumbs had calluses.

The next day, a customer wearing a bikini top came in and asked for a book on anal sex. (No.)  Coworker was stacking the ever-popular Men Are From Mars books near me.  I looked up and caught Coworker’s eye.  He winked.  I blushed.  We connected.

And suddenly our connection wasn’t so technological anymore.

Swiftly, a text message about how we should copulate standing up would come to mind when a customer told me they couldn’t reach a book in the C++ section.   Coworker started to bend the unspoken (and even un-texted) rule by texting me about how cute I looked in my skirt.  Pleased, I replied that he looked cute in his metrosexual way—he is still the only man I know who can pull off pink and tight jeans.

Yet our flirtation brought with its fling and fantasy, a problem.  The more we texted, the more we flirted, the more I liked Coworker.  It had started to become something other than sexual, something other than cellular.

I took the ever-bending line of our decorum and straight up broke it about a month in when I texted Coworker about something non-sexual while working.  I asked him about his ex-girlfriend with whom he had a dinner date that night after work.  Coworker was wearing a nice green plaid shirt; he looked good.  I didn’t want to admit it, but I was jealous.

While text messaging is just a bunch of letters showing up on your cell phone screen, the words can convey emotions.  I could feel the shock in his in reply to my text “Nervous about dinner tonight?”  Where was the sexual innuendo (“I’d do you for dinner” for example)?  Where was the flirtation?  This sounded needy.  This sounded…

Real.

“A little,” he replied.  “Surprised you asked.”

I opened a Dummies Guide To BBQ and hid my cell phone between recipes for grilling sauce as I replied, “Just interested.  Curious.”  I paused, watched as a customer across the store chose a book on Labradors.  “Do you still like her?”  I bit my lips and hit send.  My heart was beating as I put the Dummies book back in its place, and hid my cell back in my nametag.  The thrill of the forbidden (cell phones on the floor are a strict no-no) was overcome by the worry as to his reply.

My phone buzzed.  “Maybe.”  A few seconds later, just as I could feel a customer approaching (we develop a second sense for you guys):  “Yes.”

Suddenly, text messaging wasn’t so thrilling anymore.  It was painful.  Just like a real crush.  Holding back tears, I helped a nervous old lady who smelled like bad fish find Angelina Ballerina for her six-year-old granddaughter.  I then proceeded to lock myself in the backroom closet and cry.  Somehow, even through the barrier of wires and screens and bad connections, my heart had still managed to get hurt.

The next night a group of us went out to a late night dinner at Denny’s.  Coworker and I did not—could not—look one another in the eye.  I spent most of the time being passive aggressive and ignoring him.  He spent most of the time hitting on a lesbian in front of her girlfriend.  Both of us engaged in futile efforts of fun rather than facing the predicament: my obvious upset.

There is constant talk in our media today about how the internet requires new laws to control the freedom of communication it promotes—freedom of speech, freedom of downloading, freedom of porn, whatever.  But the internet, while breaking boundaries, can also create them.  Its wires can tangle up a heart just as easily as any “maybe I’ll call” from a guy or a wink from that foxy lady down the street.  When is that ever brought up?  We don’t discuss, not seriously, at least, how the medium of electronic media—be it my cell phone or even the internet—affects day to day human interaction.  Sure, we joke at a party that we spend more time on AIM than we do doing homework, we brag to our gal pals about how we Facebook stalked whatever cute guy caught our fancy and made the mistake of telling us his last name, or the casual study is released on CNN about how children need to spend more time in the park than watching the boob tube.  But what about us adults and our relationships?  Online dating is becoming more and more popular.  One of my friends is now living with a woman he met on Ok Cupid; and I now know two married couples who met on eHarmony.  So while technology has certainly helped the lonely and more socially inept, I do believe it can cause a whole new form of awkwardness.  Nobody “talks on the phone” anymore, none of us use up our minutes.  Now when we sign up for phone plans what matters is not unlimited daytime minutes, but unlimited texts.  And I know now that I am not the only one who flirts, dear heavens, conducts full blown relationship communication, with her cell.

And there’s the catch.  In the end, reality hits.  Sure, kids spend “too much time” watching television or playing with their Wii or whatnot.  But they are, thank God (or Zeus or whomever), forced to eventually go to school, grow up, talk to fellow geeks (and I write that with love).  I was—and so was Coworker—eventually forced to have real human interaction and feelings.  What the digital media does is simply put it off for a while.  But not forever.  In the end, pesky human need and curiosity always peeks over the fence, reaching through the wires and over the keyboard for a fellow human hand.

There Are Worse Things I Could Do

“There are worse things I could do,
Than go with a boy or two.
Even though the neighborhood thinks I’m trashy,
And no good,
I suppose it could be true,
But there are worse things I could do.

I could flirt with all the guys,
Smile at them and bat my eyes.
Press against them when we dance,
Make them think they stand a chance,
Then refuse to see it through.
That’s a thing I’d never do.

I could stay home every night,
Wait around for Mr. Right.
Take cold showers every day,
And throw my life away,
On a dream that won’t come true.

I could hurt someone like me,
Out of spite or jealousy.
I dont steal and I dont lie,
But I can feel and I can cry.
A fact I’ll bet you never knew.
But to cry in front of you,
That’s the worse thing I could do.”

Yes, I apparently like to start off blog entries with songs, and I’m going to refer to other songs throughout this post so be prepared!  “Yes, our teeth & ambitions are bared.  Be prepared!”  See?

I recently took a “Which Female Grease Character Are You?” quiz on Facebook and my result was *drumroll* Rizzo.  I actually wasn’t surprised.  I also took a “Which Sex & the City Character Are You?” quiz and got Samantha Jones.  Also not surprising.  I’ve always identified the most with the female character who has the most sex because they’re also usually the most confident, outspoken, uninhibited, and daring.  But they’re also the most misjudged.

What word comes to mind when you think of these characters?  Floozies?  Players?  Manizers?  Dare I say it – Whores?

I think that Rizzo gets a bad rap in Grease.  She’s known as the “town bicycle” who messes around with all the neighborhood boys.  She’s sexually experienced at a time when the innocence of Sandra Dee is celebrated.  I think that Samantha is the more socially accepted sexually-empowered woman of the two.  She’s “try-sexual” (she’ll try anything sexual), makes just as much money as the men in her field, and also plays that field quite well or even better.  Yet stuck at the back of everyone’s minds is still the notion that women who enjoy sex or tend to have multiple partners (in Samantha’s case, she is not relationship-centric) are emotionally unstable, easy, or cootie-magnets.

Why should you be emotionally unstable if you don’t want to be in a committed relationship but still want to enjoy sex?  Why should you be considered easy when you have a one-night stand (and it takes TWO to tango, so your partner is equally as guilty)?  Why should you be viewed as a cootie-magnet if you are smart about your sexual encounters and use protection and get regular STI screenings?  Why is it that you’re considered less classy than, say, a Charlotte York or a Sandra Dee just because you like to get jiggy?

Compare your initial thoughts of Rizzo & Samantha Jones to these male characters:  Casanova.  James Bond.  Both men are sexually promiscuous, but they’re considered legends & heroes.  What’s the deal?

Sing it, Christina Aguilera:

“If you look back in history 
It’s a common double standard of society 
The guy gets all the glory, the more he can score 
While the girl can do the same and yet you call her a whore.”

Break it down, Lil’ Kim:

“Check it – Here’s something I just can’t understand 
If the guy have three girls, then he’s the man 
He can either give us some head, sex her off 

If the girl do the same, then she’s a whore.”

Ugh.  Sick, sick, sick.  I hate that double standard.

I will admit it: I enjoy sex.  In fact, I like it a lot.  I’m uninhibited and adventurous in bed.  I’ve had a fair amount of sexual partners but not an exorbitant amount.  But I’m not a whore.  While I’ve engaged in the occasional one-night stand, I do prefer to have my sex within the confines of a monogamous relationship.  I feel that it builds trust and passion for a partner, not to mention that it’s safer in more ways than one.  But I even enjoy it while I’m single and casually dating because: 1) I like it & 2) I am smart about it.

Which brings me to my most recent sexual encounter.  I hit it off something great with this guy whom I met online.  We exchanged several e-mails, had several phone conversations, and then went out on a date.  He seemed like a serious and genuine guy, and I could tell that he was totally digging me.  I was really liking him so, contrary to the usual Kristine who rips off men-she-like’s shirts with reckless abandon, I was trying to keep my pants on.   I’m a cheap date in that it doesn’t take much alcohol for me to feel a buzz, but I never try to be a CHEAP date.  Then…Oops.  My bad.  I had one too many rum & cokes and ended up sleeping with him on the first night.  Damnit, Kristine.  Didn’t I say to keep it in your pants so as not to give off the wrong impression?  But he seemed like he genuinely still liked me even after we started to get down.  Mid-sex, he said, “Can we go out on a ‘real’ date after this one?  I’d like to get to know you and not just in the biblical sense.”  I love how “real” date means not-involving-drinking & not-involving-sex, but it was nice to know that he wanted to see me again.  And then he also asked me, “What do you want out of this?” which was really awkward as he was mid-thrust.  Let’s say I didn’t quite know how to respond, so I did not respond at all (Sorry, I had to throw in a little double entendre action in there).  However, in my profile and during our phone conversations I had stated that I was looking for a serious relationship, so I thought that my lack of coherent answer was covered at the moment.  Despite a pleasant morning-after, he never called me back nor did he respond to a text I’d later sent him.  We had also been chatting via instant message online, and he was not responding to my various attempts at conversation.  I saved myself a bit of pride by not directly calling him on the phone since I’d done a little bit of cyber-stalking by checking to see when he’d last been on the dating site.  Four days after the deed and his profile read “Activity within 24 Hours.”  It appears he’d moved on to someone who was “more serious about relationships” and probably deleted that message I’d sent him on the dating site.  Fail.  Date fail.

But this is where it gets annoying.  Men seem to think that just because I like to have fun early on that I cannot be serious.  Look: I’m of the mind that you should test drive a vehicle before you buy it.  And everyone’s got different requirements for horsepower and performance.  My Prius could be your SUV.  So for me, it sometimes gets hard to date people, especially when things get sexual.  I could spend 4 great non-sexual dates with you and then on the 5th date find out that we’re completely sexually incompatible.  And it’s not wrong to have sexual compatibility as a requirement for a successful relationship.

Then I’ve gone on a few dates with people where our personalities click and then we hit the sack and all hell breaks loose because they can’t seem to trust me based on the kind of sex we’re having.  I’ve been asked (mid-sex, mind you…yes, I engage in a lot of mid-sex conversations) “You seem like you have done a lot of this.  Are you sure you’ve only slept with (Insert Number Here) amount of people?”  “Uhm, you seem like you are having way too much fun.  Are you sure you’re clean?”  (I had a guy get up and leave during the middle of sex because he was afraid I was “unclean.”  What am I?  A prostitute in Gomorrah?  And dude, you’ve already put it in me.  Did you feel a vagina dentata down there or something?)  “You are a bit too much for me.  I had a different impression of you than this.”  (So apparently I look like a missionary as opposed to a reverse cowgirl.  It must be the glasses.)  Wham, bam, thank-you ma’am.  And I don’t get a phone call the next day, which completely boggles my mind despite the fact that I KNOW they were having fun during the act.  I actually got an answer from a guy who went MIA who told me that he didn’t trust me or what kind of person I was based on our sexual encounter.  REALLY?  You’re judging me because I’m uninhibited/not what you thought I’d be like in bed?

I think that women should be able to have sex as often as they want and in the way that they want and when they want, just as any person should, without the fear of stigma — as long as they’re smart about it.  Yet the fact still remains that woman have to deal with more consequences than men.  We’re the ones who are more likely to get the STI while men are more likely to transmit it without experiencing any symptoms.  We’re the ones who are left to hold our breaths every month and be glad that our period came.  We’re usually the ones who wonder why that great guy ditched us, which causes us to doubt our actions and ourselves.  It seems like we get twice the amount of responsibility but half the amount of the fun that men do when it comes to sex.

I know that people say that you should give off a good impression by keeping it in your pants until Date # (Insert Number Here).  I know that people say that you should keep an element of mystery about you and prolong the time between dates to (Insert Number Here) days.  But I was never one of those people.  I like to be straightforward and direct.  If I like you, I like you.  If I want to do you, I’ll do you.  If I seem interesting to you, then you’ll continue to be excited by me no matter how many times we go out or how many times we have sex.  If you want to see me, you will make it happen.  I would like to think that you know enough of my personality and what type of woman I am to know that I can be trusted and should be respected.  But don’t hold the fact that I don’t play the traditional dating game against me.  Or the fact that I like walking around with no pants.  I can only be myself.

There are worse things I could do.