This is a repost of my article on the Total-e-bound blog, October 2007.
Men claim they’ll never understand women, but can we really understand them? Today, I’ll attempt to breach some of the barriers that divide men and women and just have us asking “Why???”
But as Inigo Montoya said in Princess Bride, “There is too much. Let me sum up.”
When I asked my friends what they’d want to know if they could ask a man anything, the answers ranged from “Why doesn’t he talk?” to several versions of “What does it feel like?” and I wondered… what does it feel like? So I asked a few of my guy friends. Their answer: Good.
That is not helpful. So…
In my quest to demystify men, I set out to answer these questions. First on the list “Why doesn’t he talk?”
27% of men say that they fight with their significant other over the fact they don’t share their feelings and 65% of men don’t want their partners to ask more questions of them. Non-talkers? Ya think?
As women, we tend to assume if our guy isn’t talking, there must be a problem. That’s not always true. Actually, it’s usually not true. Quite often, if men aren’t talking, they’re happy. It’s a simple as that. Don’t rock the boat. Go with it. But if you don’t believe me, ask him. Be specific and be direct. Beating around the bush won’t get the job done. As several men I spoke with said, subtly doesn’t work. Whether that receptor isn’t working or our guy has turned it off doesn’t matter. It’s all in your method. Be blunt.
Of course, here’s something to consider. Say the word feelings to a man and its like clipping your toenails during a striptease, says David Zinczenko in his book Men, Love, and Sex: The Complete User’s Guide for Women. They don’t like it. Men often feel intimidated about expressing their feelings because they perceive women to have that language down while they’re still babbling like toddlers.
David goes on to say, “If you want us to answer questions about what we're feeling, then stop asking about how we're feeling.” Often men see it as weakness to express how their feeling. Despite my title, it’s not chromosomal. It’s socialized. Men are told to “suck it up” and “be a man”. As a boy, talking about how he felt would have been a good way to get picked on, or worse, beat up. By the time, they get to us, holding in their emotions is ingrained.
Keeping this in mind, don’t push the issue. This is the fastest way to shove your guy into a corner and get him to clam up. Instead, watch how he behaves. Continue to be open about your feelings. The more you show you’re comfortable expressing yourself, the more he'll do the same.
So if he doesn’t talk, sometimes we have to rely on…
Male Body Language
You can often get a clue to how your guy is feeling inside by his behavior. If he loves you, he may very well try to show you without actually saying it. Learning his non-verbal language will help you to know how open he is to conversations, especially if you plan to use the f-word— feelings not the other one. Once you can intuitively interpret the signs, you can use them to improve communication between the two of you. Of course, if you’re peckish like me, you might use them to purposely annoy him.
So here are a few of the “must know” signals found in The Complete Idiots Guide to Pleasing Your Man by Eve Salinger:
If he smooths his hair or clothing, he wants you to notice he’s attractive. If he hooks his thumbs in his belt while facing you, he wants you to notice he’s virile. His hands on his hips are an indicator that he’s feeling big and strong, while fiddling with his jacket buttons indicates he’s nervous. Crossing his arms over his chest shows defensiveness. When he leans toward you or points his feet in your direction, he’s interested in what you’re saying. However, if he sits with his face toward you, but his body facing away, he’s not comfortable. And if he leans away, you might want to wait until later to talk because he’s completely unreceptive.
If he holds your gaze, he’s definitely interested in you. This is important to take note of since, men tend to display less warmth and facial expression than woman. This doesn’t mean that a guy is uninterested in what you’re saying. Less warmth, not no warmth. If he’s scowling at you, beware.
So if a guy won’t talk and you have to rely on non-verbal communication, what does intimacy, particularly sexual intimacy mean to men?
What Sexual Intimacy Means to Men
Obviously, men have different ideas about sex and intimacy than woman do. Anyone who’s spent five minutes with the “why” chromosome knows that. There’s a stereotype that men are sex-crazed, ego-centric and completely horny—and there are those who fit the bill, but most men are far more complicated than that. You didn’t want to hear that, did you? According to Intimacy by Dr. Paul Coleman, sex and intimacy are closely related for men. Many woman fail to comprehend this. A guy’s deep need for sex is often just a need for closeness. Since men are not big talkers, this is often a way to communicate their love or caring to the important woman in their life. Sex is the easiest way for a man to feel closeness on an acute level. Another non-verbal communication. This intimacy leads to deeper intimacy.
To a man, sex is acceptance. ‘Not now’, even for the best reasons, is often construed as a rejection. The more he feels rejected, the more he may try to press for sex. Because he feels insecure. He needs reassurance that he’s desirable. He’s not a raving sex maniac.
What does it feel like?
Okay, I can’t leave out this most asked question. What does it feel like? Heads up ladies, it doesn’t matter what hundreds of romance novels (including mine) have said. According to the guy panel, the groin does not “tighten”. Apparently, there’s a lot of pressure. There’s a definite sensation of pooling, then thickening. It’s all good. But no one can really explain what it feels like. I didn’t think describing an erection would be so tough. It’s like describing the color red. It’s…well, it’s red. An erection, in the same way, feels like an erection. I resorted to The Penis Dialogues by Gabriel Constans. Here are a few descriptions:
“It’s almost painful. Pleasure is only a part of it. It’s painful pleasure. It’s a focusing and gathering, as though the rest of my body is draining. I need to bring attention to it. When it receives attention pleasure occurs. “
“It’s like water building up behind a dam, with pressure that needs to be released.”
“An erection takes my head to the head of my penis. All my thoughts are there. It’s a coalescing of everything in one spot.”
“An erection feels like a fifteen minute sneeze. It starts by feeling really warm and exciting throughout my whole body, with a focus on my groin. An orgasm feels the top blowing off of everything.”
Hmmm…just as I suspected. I figured explaining what sex feels like would be far easier. Since so many people asked, I was on a mission and unwilling to go with “it feels like hot apple pie”. It seems like that would burn.
Mission or not, I forgot for a moment that men don’t like to talk.
Warm and wet are the only clear answers. Not tight. Not like a glove. Not “like the passage to heaven”. Just hot and warm. I guess that’s where the pie description comes from. Come on … I have a pile of sex books, the whole world wide web, the guy panel and I couldn’t get better than that? The guys have some talking to do and I have an opportunity to ply them with alcohol this weekend. Ladies, I’ll get back to you on this one because it’s time for Brynn to leave the building, but before I go…what does it feel like for the “poisons” to leave the building. I’ll leave it to Greg to describe.
“Ejaculation creates this unbelievable sensation of something rushing from your body—you can actually feel liquid channelling down through your pipes. The best sex feels like mild electric shocks that begin at my groin then course through my body.”
See you next time ~ Brynn