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Women Want a Real Man, But What Does That Mean?

Needlepoint for Men

Rosey Grier was a professional football player who also loved needlepoint. He loved it so much he wrote a book about it!

This is a response to some of the “women want real men” kind of material out there, and to the controversy my friend Linda Christensen stirred up in this blog post.

So you want a man who’s in control?  Who takes the lead?  Then STFU about wanting a man who leads.  How’s that for being in control?  Not what you were expecting?  Not what you wanted?  Well too bad.  Wanting somebody else in control means giving up control yourself, which means you might not always get what you want.

If you want somebody else in control, but also expect to get exactly what you want, that’s actually saying:

  • I want you to read my mind, and do exactly what I’m thinking.  Or…
  • I don’t know what I want, but I want you to do the work for me.  (i.e. I want to be the princess with entertainers lined up for me to dismiss.)
  • In BDSM, it’s equivalent to “topping from the bottom“.

I don’t doubt the sincerity with which women say they want a man who’s in control, and I understand this need (but not the need for 3 pairs of the same subtly-different-in-important-ways shoes).  But I think a lot of women cock block themselves from satisfying this need.

The Goldilocks Zone

Let’s look at what happens during a typical “man evaluation”:

  • Man Type 1. “I’m a down to earth guy who likes walks on the beach…”  Fucking boring.
  • Man Type 2. “We’re going to get our genitals pierced…”  WTF?

Where are all the normal yet not boring guys?  Why does it seem like there’s this huge gap in the “what I want” zone?  Consider this:

  • The Goldilocks Syndrome.  If I told you I was in -40 degree weather, you’d ask me if my balls froze off in the extreme temperature.  But the notion of “extreme” is centered purely upon our own perspective – it gets a lot colder and a lot hotter in most places in the Universe.  We’re conditioned to our Goldilocks zone.  But, but, but, want I want is so reasonable.  Of course, and so is what everyone else wants!  That huge gap might not actually be that big.
  • Guys know women don’t want somebody boring.  So they try to be different.  In being different, they take the risk of being “too extreme”.  And since everyone’s notion of “too extreme” is different, they end up being shot down by somebody, then are all confused.  It also means they might not be as extreme as they portray themselves to be.

Does this mean I think you should go get your genitals pierced?  Well, yes, but that’s not the point.  What we want to know is how to get that confident man who’s in control in a “good way”.

Winning the Lottery

A blond woman prays to God to win the lottery.  (Yes, we’re going with a blond joke.)  Everyday she prays, yet it still doesn’t happen.  A week, then a month, then several months go by and still nothing.  She starts getting angry and cursing God for not delivering on his promise of “ask and you shall receive”.  At this point God gets totally fed up and yells back from the Heavens, “Buy a damn ticket you stupid bitch!”

Like that blond woman, there are certain things you need to do in order to win the lottery and claim your prize:

  • If you want to hand over control, you have to first be in control yourself, because how can you give away something you don’t already have?  This means knowing who you are, what you want, where your boundaries are, what you value.  It means being happy by yourself, on your own.
  • Knowing your boundaries does not mean having dogmatically rigid boundaries.  Letting somebody else be in control means actually allowing them to lead, allowing them to bring you a little out of your comfort zone.  That’s where we find the excitement and discovery.  It doesn’t mean that you have to agree to everything and jump right in.  Let’s say somebody did ask you to get your genitals pierced and let’s assume that it is too extreme for you.  Would you be comfortable looking at an art exhibit of genital piercings?  Talking about it?  Being in the same room as people who are into it?  I’m obviously taking an “extreme” example here, but the principle applies to anything.  We can reduce our “step size”  in getting out of our comfort zone to discover new and exciting things, instead of looking at a huge, scary step and dismissing it altogether.
  • Stepping outside our comfort zone is scary, so it entails a certain amount of trust.  When we say, “I want a man who takes control”, we are also implying, “I want a man I can trust”.  Caution, however, not to look for a trustworthy person.  What?  Isn’t that contradictory?  No, it’s just a different way of thinking about trust.  As we evaluate somebody else’s trustworthiness, they are evaluating ours.  We also tend to trust people who trust us.  Trust is not a characteristic of an individual, but a relationship between individuals.

Catch 22

Women want a man who’s in control, so they express this, and men try to take control.  So in the end, men are only doing it because the women said so.  It’s like expressing the want for a surprise birthday party.  Once expressed, it’s not a surprise anymore, yet how are you going to get it if you don’t express it?

Don’t worry.  I’ve got a solution.

Be a Man, Do the Right Thing

MEN: Disregard everything women say they want.  Just be yourself.  But “myself” is just an insecure, unconfident man, you say.  I call bullshit.  Everyone has something they’re proud of.  Maybe it’s needlepoint.  Who cares if you think other people don’t think it’s sexy and exciting.  If you like it, then exude it, and other people will start to think it is sexy.  It’s not the thing itself, but the attitude you bring to it.  And if she isn’t willing to go beyond her comfort zone to meet you, well, she ain’t gonna win you without buying a ticket.

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