In order to be pulled off in an effective and convincing manner, dressing a male as a female requires a great deal of effort. Choosing the right clothing to conceal masculine traits, understanding sizing, and selecting the best foundation garments can help turn an ordinary Joe into an extraordinary JoAnn.
- Clothing Tips for Dressing a Male as a Female
- Sizing Information
- Tips for Lingerie/Foundation Garments
- Shopping for Cross Dressing Clothing
- The Finished Product
- Men Who Love Women Who Love Men
- It takes a lot of time and maturity for men to admit to themselves that they need a safe harbor where they can be nurtured and embraced by a woman.
Pooja Parikh Traveled Across The World For The HS Diagnosis That Changed Her Life Forever
- 1. Every so often, we would like to be told we’re attractive.
- 2. We’d all love to get asked out every once in a while.
- 3. We like compliments, too.
- 4. We want you to start the conversation sometimes.
- 5. We’ve been conditioned to be ashamed of showing weakness.
- 6. We can’t always be the strong one.
- 7. We would rather fix your problem than listen about it.
- 8. We have emotions, too.
- 9. Sometimes we like to be alone, and it has nothing to do with you.
- 10. Sometimes we just like to be quiet.
- 11. We like to snuggle.
- 12. If you fake an orgasm, it won’t make us better lovers.
- 13. We can be insecure, too.
- 14. We’re not always thinking of sex.
- 15. Not replying to messages/texts hurts us, too.
- 16. Sometimes we like to be the little spoon.
- 17. We can’t read your mind.
- 18. Sometimes we’re really thinking of nothing.
- 19. We don’t need to talk about our day at work or school.
- 20. You need to get lower when giving a BJ.
- 21. Some of us are OK with your small boobs or small butt.
- 22. Withholding sex is the surest way to push us away.
- 23. Gender equality also means walking up to us and inviting us to dinner.
- 24. Don’t ever call us useless or a bad provider.
- 25. Don’t argue with us if we compliment you; just accept the compliment.
- 26. We can’t bitch away problems like you can.
- 27. We are straightforward; we can also move our dicks slightly on command.
- 6 Things ALL Women Should Know About MEN
- 1. You Gotta Stay Away From His Internet Search History
- 2. You Can’t Change Him
- 3. You Shouldn’t Take It Personally When He Checks Out Other Women
- 4. He Will Choose His Friends Over You
- 5. Never Criticize His Mother
- 6. You Have To Let Shit Go
- 7. Don’t Ask Questions You Don’t Want To Know The Answers To
- 8. You Can’t Bombard Him The Second He Walks In The Door
- 9. Withholding Sex Is A Dangerous Game
- 10. He’s Jealous Of All Your Straight Guy Friends
- 12. He Wants To Bang Your Friends
- 13. You Should Learn To Play Pool
- 14. He Wants You To Seduce Him
- 15. He Notices When You Don’t Wear The Jewelry He Bought You
- 16. He Wants You To Need Him
- 17. You’ve Got To Watch Your Weight
- 18. If You’ve Been Living Together For Longer Than Three Years, He’s Not Going To Marry You
- 19. Ultimatums Do NOT Work
- 20. He Wants Kids
- 21. He Knows When You’re Lying To Him
- 22. He Wants You To Like What He Likes
- 23. He Thought You Looked Good In That First Outfit
- 24. He Has No Interest In Shoes
- 25. You Should Always Take His Side
- 26. He Wants You To Expose Him To New Things
- 27. You Need To Tell Him Exactly What You Want
- 28. He Hates That Short Haircut
- 29. He Wants You By His Side
- 30. You Should Never Flirt With His Friend
- 31. He Wants You To Be His Muse
- 32. Whatever It Is You Want In Bed, He WILL Do It
- 33. He Needs To Lean On You Sometimes
- 34. Save The Big Piece Of Chicken For Him
- 35. Don’t EVER Emasculate Him
- 36. He Doesn’t Want To Hear About Your Sexual Past
- 37. He Wants To Be The Best Lover You’ve Ever Had
- 38. If He Cheats On You Once, He’ll Do It Again
- 39. You Should Let Him Open Doors For You
- 40. You Need To Be His Moral Compass
- 41. You Should Let Him Win Sometimes
- 42. If You Make Him Watch A Chick Flick, At Least Give Him A Blowjob Afterwards
- 43. Speaking Of Threesomes… He Will NEVER Stop Trying
- 44. He Needs Quiet Sometimes
- 45. You Should Compliment Him More
- 46. You Don’t Always Have To Be Right
- 47. Make Sure You Look Just As Good When You Go Out With Him As When You Go Out With The Girls
- 48. He’s Not Your Dad
- 49. You’re Not His Mother
- 50. He’s Not As Complicated As You Are
- Who’s afraid of Little Women? Men, supposedly.
- Is 2020 the year abortion is outlawed in America?
- A Nissan executive seems to think women are too stupid to operate electric vehicles
- Why on earth is Ivanka Trump keynote speaker at CES?
- Ireland establishes 20 female-only professorships
- British politician pushed into announcing same-sex relationship
- 22 women win lawsuit against GirlsDoPorn
- Sharon Stone blocked by dating app
- The invisible women: Behind every great man there’s a great woman
- Her time to shine: Jane Hawking
- Zelda Le Grange
- Zelda Fitzgerald wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald
- Michelle Obama wife of Barack Obama
- Lillian Disney wife to Walt Disney
- Mitza Maric wife of Albert Einstein
- Study Suggests That Men Are Biologically Destined To Check Out Other Women
- Some Men Check Out Women Constantly. Are They More Likely to Cheat?
- Looking at Other Women – Why Men Look & How To Stop
- But Looking Isn’t Cheating, Right?
- What Are The Consequences Of Looking At Other Women?
Clothing Tips for Dressing a Male as a Female
Knowing exactly what types of clothing will look best on your frame is key to pulling off a feminine look. Here are a few suggestions:
- Use caution when wearing strapless or thin-strapped designs. This is because men naturally have broader shoulders than women, and if you want to pull off dressing as a woman seamlessly, opting to show your shoulders is a dead give away that you’re a man. If you must wear a strapless style, be sure to have a wrap, stole, or jacket handy to cover up. Also, instead of wearing thin spaghetti straps, choose wider straps that are more flattering.
- Form-fitting clothing looks better than you think. It may look and feel a little awkward at first, but deciding to wear form-fitting clothing over baggy, relaxed styles is definitely the way to go. It creates the natural outline of a woman’s body easier, and helps you create the full illusion. Whether it be dresses, skirts, pants or tops, clothing cut close to the body works best.
- Embrace darker colors, and be cautious with light or bold ones. Darker colors are going to easily conceal the more masculine elements of your body, thus creating a more convincing illusion. Lighter shades should really be worn with caution because you can’t hide anything when the color you’re wearing is especially light. Bold colors are more forgiving than light ones, but they also tend to draw a lot of attention, so be aware before you buy.
- Dress your body as though you were a woman. This bascially means that the way you dress as a man does not apply to the way you dress as a woman. You need to know what female body type you have, and dress it accordingly for the most flattering look. The way to do this is to do a little research on female body shapes and see which one you best fit into, and then style your clothing as such.
An advantage of online cross-dressing sites is that most of them offer merchandise that is specifically made for men dressing as women, so the fit is exact. However, if you are new to dressing as a female, you may be overwhelmed and not know exactly where to begin with sizes.
When ordering online obviously you can’t try things on, but you can have your measurements taken and then you can send them electronically to the seller, who will then help you translate your proper size. If you plan to be in your cross-dressing apparel for extended periods of time you want to purchase foundation garments that are an exact fit to ensure that you’re not uncomfortable of tugging at your clothing constantly.
Tips for Lingerie/Foundation Garments
If you are planning to carry out this tricky endeavor, try these important tips to help create a lady-like look:
- A cross-dressing bra is essential; it provides the foundation of a feminine ensemble. In order to convince the rest of the world that you’re a woman, you’re going to need an eye-catching bosom.
- Plan on stuffing this bra with breast form inserts to create a firm and shapely chest. A specialty bra will also provide the contour shaping needed to create the coveted hourglass shape.
- After the bra is stuffed, it’s time to squeeze into a proper fitting pair of underwear. Men will need to conceal their attributes while creating a round and lifted backside.
- Invest in rear padding to create the illusion of a round and voluptuous booty. Discreet online retailers who specialize in transvestite apparel make specialty panties available, and men can choose from a variety of sexy lingerie options such as thongs, lacy briefs, and boy shorts.
Shopping for Cross Dressing Clothing
An important part of convincingly dressing a male as a female is knowing the best places to shop for cross dressing apparel to create a fitting ensemble. Take a look at some of the places that specialize in cross dressing clothing:
- CrossDresser – This online site offers casual dresses, full-length gowns, gaff underwear and shoes. It is focused on the glamour and allure of dressing in a female persona.
- Cross-Dress – From the foundation essentials like breast forms and padded bodysuits to fantasy costumes and lingerie, you are sure to find a host of apparel options to craft a killer look.
- Crossdresser Closet – When you want to keep things as sexy as possible, this is the place to shop. While you will mostly find items such as extreme lingerie, hosiery, costumes and clubwear, their variety is still enough to make this a worthy shopping destination.
- Drag-Queen – This site is specifically for drag queens, so you can be certain that everything you need to transform yourself is right at your fingertips. Choose from a wide variety of wigs, evening gowns, shoes and foundation garments.
- Cross Dress USA – Here, they have more niche items for purchase. Examples include garments made for the leather enthusiast, custom-made gowns and casual dresses, and lingerie that guaranteed to fit like a glove.
The Finished Product
One of the most important elements for men who want to dress as a female is that the finished product is not only convincing, but also beautiful. Selecting the right clothing is essential. While you may not look like a supermodel, you can certainly look like the glamorous twin sister that you never had.
A couple of years ago, I was invited to take part in a murder mystery party with a script written by a friend, and we were asked to invent our own characters. I informed him straightaway that I would be a cross-dressing artist, and would attend in my female persona. Well, as an artist, I was already halfway there… The writer was sworn to secrecy.
I can’t say for certain what prompted me to choose that role. I had an establishment upbringing; my father was a military man and Tory county councillor, my mother a product of the Raj. After a public school education, I went into teaching, marrying and having children in my 20s. Although I soon enough forswore conservatism, becoming something of a contrarian and loving a flowery shirt, I had never consciously questioned my gender. Before that evening. At nearly three score years and ten.
Preparing for the event, I was a touch nervous trying on dresses in the local vintage clothes shop, but the staff were used to fancy dress. That evening, my daughter-in-law did my make-up, zipped me up and sent me on my way looking passably glamorous, or as glamorous as a first-time cross-dressing 69-year-old could realistically expect to be. I delayed my entrance to ensure I was the last to arrive, hoping to make a splash.
The party was a success and the murderer was duly apprehended. Compliments on my appearance were generous – it was probably the wine talking, and I have good legs. But what surprised me was how comfortable I felt dressed as a woman. Soon I sensed a female within who was agitating to get out.
‘I began to wear nail varnish most of the time, and my initial nerves quickly dissipated.’
I began to wear nail varnish most of the time, and my initial nerves quickly dissipated. The only people who commented – invariably women – were always complimentary. I became more aware of my hands and loved the shape of my nails as they grew longer. My piano teacher would rather not hear the clicks that sometimes accompany a Mozart sonata, and I get a few strange looks in the bus, mostly from older men, but otherwise little negativity.
Quite quickly, I realised that although the nails allowed a modicum of exposure, Jill-in-the-box was now straining to pop out in person, so to speak. I began to buy women’s clothes. A friend helped me with make-up and took me for a full-on make-up session. When I asked the beautician if she was seeing more male clients now, she said it was still pretty rare, but I felt comfortable. My first sortie en femme was at a dinner party six months later. Among the same friends, I felt at ease. No need to give Her a name – mine was already suitable.
It soon became normal for me to dress in women’s clothes whenever I spent an evening with the friends-who-know. I can’t imagine what it is like for them, though we talk do about it. I no longer feel self-conscious, even if there is something slightly incongruous about it – me tending towards the girlie with wig, make-up, frilly dress and heels while everyone else is in everyday clothes – but my friends do a good job of treating it as perfectly normal.
Returning home after a night out, I feel a certain apprehension stepping into cabs, but the drivers, bless them, never bat an eyelid. My only ventures out in public so far have been in the comfortably anonymous surroundings of London theatres (though I may have used the wrong toilet – the gents). I was flattered when a waiter called me madam.
I buy most of my female clothes online, which can be a bit hit-and-miss. At the start, it was easy to get carried away, but I’m now more discerning. There is, after all, a limit to the size of a girl’s wardrobe. I get most pleasure out of going shopping, and although I’m still nervous about smaller boutiques, on the few occasions I have wanted to try on dresses, the assistants have been helpful.
I can’t explain why I like wearing women’s clothes and all the rest, other than that I feel it is me. As time passes, it is becoming more of a need than a choice, though my age and location in a provincial city and prevalent social attitudes all discourage me from routinely cross-dressing in public. It is generally acceptable for women to dress in masculine clothes, but at best, cross-dressing men are still viewed as attention-seeking, eccentric or mildly amusing, while all we are doing is being ourselves.
Sometimes I wonder whether I could have discovered the “other” Robin rather sooner. Friends are curious about when She was conceived and why She surfaced when She did. In truth, I am too. Finding myself single a few years ago allowed me the time and space, and the Eddie Izzards and Grayson Perrys of this world probably played a part, along with fortune’s fickle wheel.
I don’t feel as though I should always have been a woman. But I do know that the feminine part of me is much more than a role in a murder mystery.
• Robin Pickering has been a full-time artist for 20 years, after a career in further education
Ever seen the movie Hitch?
- Will Smith – the “love doctor”
- Kevin James – an “average joe”
To get a world-famous beautiful woman to NOTICE the average joe… and go on a date with him.
It’s a funny film…
But it raises a valid point!
To get women interested, you don’t have to:
- Look like a model
- Pretend you’re filthy rich
- Change your entire self
You should simply “create opportunities”…
…with an amazing FIRST IMPRESSION
(just like Kevin James did)
Focus on the first 10 things a woman notices about YOU.
Keep on reading to learn more…
#1 – Women Notice Your FACE
No debates here. If you keep your face in its best form – it means you’re taking great care of yourself.
Do you need a super handsome face? Nope! Not all of us are born with a Hollywood movie star type of face. If women only wanted that, there’d be a huge surplus of single men in this planet!
What you really need are good grooming habits. You want to show the ladies your well-maintained facial hair (whether it’s a short stubble or full-grown beard).
Or maybe you prefer a clean-shaven look – but you ought to make sure there are no post-shave bumps or red marks plaguing your face.
And then there’s the skin itself. Some of the “manly” guys out there still choose not to take skincare seriously. They wait for an “outbreak” or pain issue that requires them to seek treatment.
But it’s every man’s responsibility to find the right lotion, cleanser or anti-aging cream to keep his skin healthy 24/7. If you’re keen on doing this – download the Ultimate Guide To Men’s Skincare eBook (it’s FREE) to get started.
#2 – Your SMILE
A captivating smile is quite an asset. It’s like a “welcome” sign that you’re waving from afar in a woman’s direction.
Combine that smile with proper eye contact and a confident posture – and you’re already on a roll when it comes to impressing her.
But hold on. Your smile can also be a hindrance IF the teeth are noticeably dirty. Or worse… discolored! That’s why you need to watch out for:
- Stains from drinking lots of coffee, tea or wine (see your dentist every 3-4 months)
- Stains from smoking (as if there aren’t enough reasons to quit smoking these days!)
- Too much fluoride from certain toothpaste brands or environmental sources (e.g. water) – this can harm and darken your teeth
- Teeth as you age – the outer layer of enamel wears out over time and starts revealing the natural yellow color (of the inner layer of dentin). You may want to consider some teeth-whitening products at home when you’re older.
#3 – Your Silhouette
Here the term silhouette refers to the outline of your body PLUS your clothing. And women are particularly drawn to a very masculine silhouette – with a built-up chest, a lean torso, and strong shoulders.
That entails wearing the right cut of a suit jacket. But bear in mind to avoid extreme tapers or fits when it comes to trousers. Say NO to skinny jeans – they don’t display an attractive silhouette. Swap them for slim-fit or straight-leg types.
#4 – Your Wardrobe
No matter what you wear, women will pull out some sort of judgment or assumption from it. So don’t underestimate the power of nailing the 3 core components of dressing well. Ever.
You must also make an effort to pick clothes that send out POSITIVE messages – best describing your status, your lifestyle and personality.
Women seeking a long-term partner are attracted to men who can be good providers – so dressing more “mature” helps if you’re looking to settle down.
#5 – Your Style DETAILS
Sure. You may initially impress with a well-fitted blazer and slacks. But if those are the only elements you work on – you won’t get far.
Any man can maneuver his way to finding good shirts, jackets, and pants. But the ladies know that not all guys actually pay attention to everything else. To really stand out and “wow” a woman, you have to sharpen the small details:
- Hairstyle – consider this list of most attractive men’s hairstyles
- Eyewear – find the perfect sunglasses or eyeglasses for your face shape
- Watches/Jewelry – check out this guide to dress watches before buying one
- Shoes – learn how to tell quality leather shoes and “cheapskate” shoes apart
#6 – Your Greeting & Manners
Picture yourself as a contestant on The Bachelorette. You step out of the limo on Day 1 with all the guys. Your bachelorette is waiting by the mansion door.
You’re all on an even playing field appearance-wise, so can you do to stand out right away?
Exactly – nail the greeting. That sets the tone for everything else that follows. Offer a firm handshake, make eye contact, smile and give your full attention.
You want her to believe you’re invested in courting her (not just there for TV exposure). Those few seconds of acknowledging her presence can mean the difference between staying or being sent home first.
Now chances are you’re not going to be on that show. But it’s the same principle in real life: if you don’t greet a woman properly for the first time, you’ve already dug yourself a hole.
Forget how people tend to stare at their phones or get distracted easily. Bad manners are never acceptable. If you show a disregard for others’ feelings or basic courtesy, women will quickly pick up on it and think you’re a loose cannon.
#7 – Your HANDS
What good is a handshake if your hands seem like you’ve been digging through garbage? Always be mindful about washing your hands. Otherwise – you can come off as “uneducated” or “not raised properly” (making your parents look bad).
But let’s not forget about dry hands with cracked skin! It’s another major turn-off caused by a lack of natural oil (which keeps the skin of your hands supple). So apply a good amount of hand lotion or cream every now and then.
And another thing. Do NOT clench your fist in front of a woman (as if you’re about to punch someone)! You’re probably stronger than her – so that just makes you appear more intimidating.
#8 – Your SMELL
You can nail every other category on this list – but it’ll all be nullified if women don’t like how you smell.
That’s not a big problem for most of us. All it takes is a strong deodorant to keep our smell “neutral”… but why not go one step further and smell GREAT?
Studies prove that women rate a male’s scent as the #1 factor when finding a potential partner (men are more visual by comparison). So take the time to discover good colognes for men that the ladies love.
But you’ll also have to do some trial and error and read the reviews. Some fragrances can annoy people or cause allergies so be careful with your choice – as well as how you put it on.
#9 – Your Voice & Language
Yep. Women care about what they’re going to hear from you. But this time – you don’t use products to deal with your voice and language.
It’s about self-development. Expanding your knowledge and vocabulary. Setting yourself apart from guys who always talk as if they’re at a football game.
So what do you do? First, avoid swearing in front of a woman you just met. Only do it to stress something positive like “F—ing awesome!”
The next step is to read good books. Find books that go deep into enriching topics (not just entertain you) – and help you grow as a person.
You’re aiming to show women you’re relatable, that you can communicate without any extreme “barriers.” So your accent, the tone of your voice, and whether you say “no” or “no thank you” to reject an offer – all those factors come into play.
And finally, learn the techniques for becoming a more engaging speaker. Use your voice in a way that grabs anyone’s attention and makes them eager to listen.
Who knows? With a little more rhythm and use of your diaphragm – your voice may end up “evolving” into something like Neil deGrasse Tyson‘s. And that will definitely intrigue a few women!
#10 – Your Body Movements
Ultimately, actions speak louder than words. So fun as it might be to talk engagingly – keep your non-verbal communication in check. It goes beyond the nicest clothes or the widest smile you can give.
Avoid any gestures that can catch a pretty lady off guard (since she’s still getting to know you). Watch out for the subtlest finger tap or tiling of the neck. Remind yourself every now and then to keep your arms unfolded. It’s about smooth and “open” body language all the time.
Bonus: Women Notice Your Attitude/Personality
Some important points regarding attitude that you ought to take note of:
- People do perceive others as “douchebags.” Don’t believe me? Try any of these douche-looking outfits or gestures and see for yourself. They spell out a negative vibe and attitude regardless of how nice you are in conversation.
- Your sense of humor gives women a good idea of your attitude in general. There are different personality traits linked to “positive” humor (using optimism, puns or wittiness) versus “negative” humor (being rude, sarcastic or self-disparaging).
- To enter serious relationships – be a “nice guy”! Although some women are drawn to bad boys, they’re not likely to go beyond a fling with those types of men. So if you’re searching for your soulmate now, stay away from a douchey image and dark humor.
Men Who Love Women Who Love Men
Went out on 42nd street
That’s where the elite all retreat to greet
You can see them coming from everywhere
Every kind of man and woman you will find there
There are men who love women who love men
There are women who love women every now and then
There are men who love men because they can’t pretend
They are men who love women who love men
There are those who make love for pay
And there are those who make love anyway
And over in the bar with a bottle of scotch
There are those who would rather just watch
All the men who love women who love men
And the women who love women every now and then
There are men who love men because they can’t pretend
They are men who love women who love men
There are those who make love to machines
That don’t talk back and are easy to clean
And there are those who will tell you out loud
That they can only make love in a crowd
A crowd of men who love women who love men
And women who love women every now and then
There are men who love men because they can’t pretend
They are men who love women who love men
In the pursuit of true love’s joy
Boys will be girls and girls will be boys
But sometimes it’s hard to know what to do
When you don’t know who you’re talking to
’cause there are men who love women who love men
There are women who love women every now and then
There are men who love men because they can’t pretend
They are men who love women who love men
How many times have we heard the phrase, “All men want is sex?” When I was 17 years old I was sure it was true. When I was 37 years old, I suspected it might not be true. And now that I’m 73 years old, I know it’s not true. Now don’t get me wrong, sex can be wonderful at any age, but there’s something that is more important than sex, but it’s something that men have difficulty admitting and women have difficulty giving.
This understanding has dawned on me slowly and became most evident to me in my men’s group. I’ve been meeting regularly with six other guys for thirty-eight years and sex has been a topic that has run through our discussions over the years. Like all guys we are somewhat competitive and we all want to be seen as successful, but we also have learned to be honest with each other. We not only talk about our sexual successes, but also our failures, fears, and confusions.
From the time I was a young I learned that wanting sex was synonymous with being a man. In high school I remember overhearing a girl I liked talking about a guy we both knew. She wasn’t complaining that he was preoccupied with sex, but that he “didn’t come on to me like other guys do.” She went on to tell her girlfriend, “He’s not being very manly.” The message was clear, “real men” want sex and if you don’t “come on” to a girl, you’re not a real man.
This early lesson was validated through the years: Always wanting sex is the mark of manliness for many. It’s better to be turned down again and again and be seen as a jerk who is totally preoccupied with sex than to want something more than sex and be seen as “less than a man.”
So, what do men want more than sex? We’ve all heard that women need to feel loved to have sex, but men need to have sex to feel loved. Let’s look more deeply at what it is exactly that men are getting when they get sex. Sure, there is the physical pleasure, but there is a deeper need that is being satisfied. I call it the need for a safe harbor.
The world of men is a world of competition. On the most basic level, males compete with other males for access to the most desirable females. Males make the advances and females decide which males they will accept. Sure, in modern times these roles are less rigid than they once were, but for the most part, whether we’re peacocks or people, we strut our stuff and hope it’s good enough to get us chosen by the woman we go after.
Getting taken into her body gives us a sense of peace and homecoming that goes way beyond simple sexual pleasure. Of course, I’m talking about heterosexual men here. There’s a similar dynamic in the gay world, but here I’ll focus on men and women.
It takes a lot of time and maturity for men to admit to themselves that they need a safe harbor where they can be nurtured and embraced by a woman.
Many of us remember the early school dances we attended. If you wanted to hold a girl in your arms, you had to make the long walk across the room with everyone watching and ask the girl to dance. If she accepted, you were in heaven. If she refused you were in hell. The key here is that you must make yourself vulnerable to rejection to hold and be held by a girl.
By the time we become adults, we’ve already been battered and bruised by the world of competition and rejection. We long for that safe harbor where we don’t have to pretend to be something we’re not in order to be chosen. We long for someone who sees us for who we are and wants us anyway, who can hold us and touch, not just our body, but our hearts and souls.
“Always wanting sex” is part of the male persona we wear to show we’re manly. What we really want is a safe harbor where we can take refuge, relax, and be cared for. In other words, we want the feeling of being nurtured that most of us didn’t get enough of when we were children. But admitting these needs makes us feel like little boys, not big strong men. Better to be manly with our sexual desire and then once we’re inside her body, we can relax, be ourselves, and be infused with love. That’s the hidden desire we have when we have sex.
One of the things I love getting from my wife, Carlin, is to lie in her lap and have my scalp rubbed. This is one, wonderful, safe harbor. I don’t need to have sex in order to have this need satisfied. I just have to ask for it. Here, I’m being touched deeply, accepted completely. I don’t have to perform or prove myself. I just must be willing to be deeply vulnerable.
Just as its difficult for men to ask to be held, nurtured, and touched; its often difficult for women to give that kind of intimacy. There are three main reasons, which are often subconscious:
- First, women have their own conditioning about men being men. If he doesn’t want sex, they worry that they may not be attractive enough.
- Second, a man wanting to be held and nurtured, triggers feelings that they are dealing with a boy, not a man. I can’t tell you how many clients I have who say things like “It’s like I’ve got three children in the house. There’s our two sons, and then there’s my husband.” Women want a man, but worry they have another little boy.
- Third, women fear men who don’t feel manly. They know that the most violent men are men who feel weak and powerless. They’ve often had experiences of men allowing themselves to be gentle and vulnerable, only to have them respond with anger and rage later.
It takes a lot of time and maturity for men to admit to themselves that they need a safe harbor where they can be nurtured and embraced by a woman. It takes a lot of courage to let his woman know he may want sex, but more important is his need for security, love, and nurture. It requires a level of wisdom to know that allowing ourselves to be as vulnerable as a child may be the manliest thing a man can do.
For a woman, she must also go beyond her own conditioning and be open to a man who is making himself vulnerable in new ways. She must have a great deal of self-love and self-confidence to accept being a safe harbor. She must also have the strength to protect herself, when his shame at being vulnerable turns to anxiety, anger, or depression. It isn’t easy for men and women to take these kinds of risks, but the payoff is a life-time of deepening love and intimacy.
I look forward to hearing your comments and experience. Drop me a note at www.MenAlive.com and leave a comment here.
The essay was originally published at MenAlive.
Pooja Parikh Traveled Across The World For The HS Diagnosis That Changed Her Life Forever
Illustration by Daniella Urdinlaiz / lookcatalog.com Found on AskReddit.
1. Every so often, we would like to be told we’re attractive.
“Even for those of us who are reasonably conventionally attractive, there’s a pretty strong chance that nobody has sincerely told us we are attractive for long periods of our lives. Getting hit on is one thing, but getting sincerely and directly told you are an attractive person? For lots of us it literally doesn’t happen, at all – or it happens so rarely that it can be hard for us to trust.”
2. We’d all love to get asked out every once in a while.
“We’d all love to get asked out every once in a while.”
3. We like compliments, too.
“Women like compliments. So do men. Just as much. In fact, we’re so used to not hearing them it’ll most likely take us a moment to register what happened. But it will brighten our day. This concept of men chase, women receive, is an old paradigm that needs to be tossed out the window. Should be everyone chase everyone.”
4. We want you to start the conversation sometimes.
“Sometimes you should start the conversation. It’s not all on us to pick up your little cues that make sense only to you half the time.”
5. We’ve been conditioned to be ashamed of showing weakness.
“We aren’t walls of stone. We’ve just been conditioned to be ashamed of showing weakness. I’ve seen women ask men to open up and then not know what to do when it happens.”
6. We can’t always be the strong one.
“Sometimes being the rock in the relationship is slowly tiring us out.”
7. We would rather fix your problem than listen about it.
“If you come to us with something bothering you, our first reaction is to try and fix whatever that is so you feel better and we get points for making you feel better. It’s taken me a long time to figure out you girls don’t always want it fixed, you just need to tell somebody what’s bothering you.”
8. We have emotions, too.
“We have emotions, too.”
9. Sometimes we like to be alone, and it has nothing to do with you.
“Having alone time has nothing to do with our feelings towards you. Sometimes we just like to go one entire day with zero things on our mind.”
10. Sometimes we just like to be quiet.
“Sometimes we just like to be quiet. Nothing wrong just because we’re not smiling, we really just like to chill.”
11. We like to snuggle.
“Most guys like to snuggle.”
12. If you fake an orgasm, it won’t make us better lovers.
“If you fake an orgasm, it makes us think you had an orgasm. this makes it hard for us to improve and give you an actual orgasm. you’re only hurting yourself when you fake it.”
13. We can be insecure, too.
“We can be insecure too, that’s not just female exclusive thing.
14. We’re not always thinking of sex.
“We’re not always thinking of sex. In fact, sometimes we’re not in the mood for it.”
15. Not replying to messages/texts hurts us, too.
“Not replying to messages/texts hurts us, too; fair enough if you haven’t looked at it or have been busy, looking at it and deciding not to reply sucks. Also we don’t get subtle hints too well.”
16. Sometimes we like to be the little spoon.
“Sometimes we like to be the little spoon.”
17. We can’t read your mind.
“We’re not dumb. We’re reasonable and not mind-readers.”
18. Sometimes we’re really thinking of nothing.
“When you ask us what we’re thinking about and we say nothing, we mean it. Sometimes there really is nothing going on in our heads.”
19. We don’t need to talk about our day at work or school.
“When I get home, go outside and beat the shit out of my punching bag for 5, 10, 15, hell sometimes 30 minutes, I come back inside with slightly bloody knuckles with a giant smile on my face and seem perfectly happy, I am. I don’t need to talk about my day at work or school because i just told the bag exactly how I felt. So for the love of god don’t ask me about it for at least a week because otherwise I will get pissed again and knuckles hurt after a while.”
20. You need to get lower when giving a BJ.
“A NSFW tip: Get lower when giving a BJ. If you have your guy standing up, and you’re on your knees, get yourself a bit lower than you instinctively would. Pull his dick down to your mouth. If you do this, you’re looking up at him, and that’s super fucking hot. Watch any POV porn star blow job. Their head isn’t facing down with their eyes straining to look up, they are positioned so that they can look up more naturally. Obviously, we appreciate it however you do it. So do what you want. But even doing this for a brief while during a blow job will do a lot for the visuals. Also, if you’re both into facials, this is the way to do it.”
21. Some of us are OK with your small boobs or small butt.
“Some of us are OK with your small boobs or small butt. Don’t sweat over it, you’ll find a guy who loves your itty bitty A cups. And if you have a ‘meh’ butt, you’ll find a guy who will love your meh butt.”
22. Withholding sex is the surest way to push us away.
“Withholding sex is the surest way to put one of our feet out of the door. We can look over a lot. You can have a third eye, or a hairy back, hell you can turn out to be a man, but withholding sex, even if the reasons feel good to you, will never end well.”
23. Gender equality also means walking up to us and inviting us to dinner.
“Gender equality also means walking up to us and inviting us to dinner. It’s wrong for a guy to think that if you invite a girl for an expensive dinner she’ll have to sleep with you after. it’s also wrong for a girl to expect to be invited to a nice dinner because ‘that’s how it works’.”
24. Don’t ever call us useless or a bad provider.
“If you care for your man but for some reason are angry at him. You can call him many things like fat, ugly, stubborn, etc. But please, never call him useles, or a bad provider. That will truly and deeply hurt him. We as guys (most of us) feel validated by knowing we can resolve situations, provide to our loved ones, and be handy whenever is needed.”
25. Don’t argue with us if we compliment you; just accept the compliment.
“If I give you a compliment or tell you that I think you are beautiful, amazing, gorgeous, fantastic, stunning etc. Don’t argue with me! This is my opinion of you. I wouldn’t tell you that if I didn’t mean it!”
26. We can’t bitch away problems like you can.
“We can’t bitch away problems. Talking to the manager only gets us a response of “I’m sorry you feel that way sir, is there anything else I can help you with?” The most recent example I can think of was getting power on in my last apartment and a co-worker and her mother kept repeating, over and over, to call and demand they do it NOW! I tried to explain it’s the weekend, they can’t send anyone out till Monday, there is a priority schedule they go by etc. They would not. let. up. If you are a woman and are in distress, society is conditioned to help you. If you are a man in distress, you are seen as whiny and useless, kwitcherbitchin’.”
27. We are straightforward; we can also move our dicks slightly on command.
“We can move our dicks slightly on command…That’s about all you probably don’t know, guys are straightforward, not like the complex emotional nexus known as the human female.”
6 Things ALL Women Should Know About MEN
To inquire about hiring me as your dating coach, send me an email here.
I’ve been trying to figure out boys since I was a young girl. I grew up with only one sister, so the absence of a brother to help guide me on how men think only made this desire more intense.
I started this journey around the time I hit puberty. We all know that girls mature before boys, so my interest in the opposite sex peaked before these boys even acknowledged my existence. Why were boys so damn hard to figure out? If one was merciless teasing me, did that mean he liked me?
Things got really excruciating when I gave birth to three boys all in the space of three years. How exactly was I supposed to raise these boys into good men when I knew so little about them?
To make matters worse, I got divorced at age 32 and was thrust back onto the singles and dating scene with virtually zero experience. I was like a naive teenager (this is not an exaggeration).
So what did I do? Well, the first thing I did was read every book I could get my hands on about men. I’ve literally reads hundreds of them. The ones that gave me the best insights were written by men themselves. Who better to learn from? I needed to hear it straight from the horses’ mouth.
Next up, I wanted to become friends with men. And lots of them. So many women discount this but one thing I can tell you is this, your male friends will tell you things that men that want to date you won’t. Find a few guy friends that will straight up tell you like it is. Maybe buy one of them a few drinks and pick his brain. You may be surprised by what he tells you.
I also gained so much knowledge about men from raising my boys. I had to learn as I went. What was quite surprising to me was how similar they all think. And men are really just boys—only bigger.
Fast forward *ahem* a few years, and I’ve definitely got men figured out. Ok, I’ll be honest here, I’m still learning more about them everyday. But one thing I do know is that they are not that hard to figure out. It’s the women that are trying to make it more complicated then it really is. So typical. Sigh.
I believe that the more you understand men and how the male mind works, the better you can get along with them and ultimately have more loving, fulfilling relationships.
1. Men are NOT women.
Ok, this sounds so freakin stupid to even have to say this (are you totally rolling your eyes rn?) but men are not women. They think differently and act differently. Their motivations behind the things that they do are not what you think. The main problem comes in when women expect men to behave/think/act like a woman would.
One quick example of this is how women like to talk a lot and this is the main way we bond. This is not how men bond. Men bond with others by doing activities with them. Talking is not really required. So if you’re expecting to bond with your man by talking (because that’s how you bond with other women), it’s going to backfire.
Now of course you’re going to need to actually communicate with any man that you’re in a relationship with. But less is more. Save your long winded, deep philosophical conversations for the females in your life.
2. Men are not great at multitasking.
Men are genetically hardwired to be providers and were NOT given the ability to focus on more than one thing at a time. That means that they were not given the same ability that women have to multitask.
This is not some sort of genetic defect. Ladies, stop trying to make men into women! This goes back to the very beginning of humanity where men were the hunters. Imagine the focus it takes to hunt and kill, not to mention the pressure of having a family to feed. If he can’t make the kill, he comes home empty handed and feels like a failure. So men can only focus on one thing at a time…
If you’re expecting your husband to take out the trash, listen to how difficult your day was, AND help junior with his homework, chances are that he is going to SHUT DOWN and not do any of it!
3. Men have SUPER fragile egos!
I should’ve probably started off with this one because it’s SO important to keep in mind when dealing with any man. Even the slightest hint of a challenge at a man’s masculinity can have him running for the hills. Remember that men are just boys only bigger?
Sometimes something SO simple as stating the obvious could be enough to crush his ego into a million pieces. Before you speak (to your man or any man for that matter) you should think:
- Is this true?
- Is this necessary (to say)?
- Is this kind?
- You should also add in there: Could he possibility take this the wrong way?
Sometimes we need to keep our mouths shut.
I think so many women fail to realize how significant preserving the male ego is to the success of the relationship. Once his ego has been bruised, he’s already got one foot out the door…
4. Men are competitive.
Men are very competitive, in fact, they want to WIN! He has to win, or at least feel like he’s got the edge over other men. In order to get along better with your man, you’re going to want to be his biggest cheerleader and increase his chances of winning. Help him in any way that you can!
But hold on just a second here! He doesn’t ever want to compete with a woman. He’s competing all day long with other men, that’s just what they do. That’s why so many of them play sports or watch sports, it’s competitive. But when he comes home to you, he doesn’t want more competition. What he needs from a woman is your unconditional love and support.
5. Men need praise.
Men need PRAISE just as much as they need food, sex, and sleep. If a man feels like he’s not helping you in any way, then he feels useless! Men are action oriented, they want to do things for the women they love.
What most women don’t realize is that more than anything in the world, your man wants to make you happy. If he can’t make you happy, then he feels like a complete failure. Anytime your man does something for you, you should go over the top, thanking him and showing your appreciation for him.
Positive reinforcement works better than negative reinforcement. What I mean by this is when a man (or boy) does something wonderful, make sure he receives adequate praise for it! Tell him how much you appreciate it! Tell him how much of a gentleman he is! Let him know that it made you feel so wonderful! When he does something you’re not happy about, mentioning it and then dropping it is enough. Get it?
One last thing you need to know about men is that they must feel respected. When a research team asked a group of men whether they wanted to feel loved or respected, they overwhelming chose to feel respected. Most men can’t even tell the difference between being loved and being respected. Therefore (to men) Respect=LOVE.
This one’s for the ladies. Fellas, you can hang around if you want to, but you gotta stand over there in the corner and be real quiet. Don’t worry, I’m not gonna hit on your girlfriends and wives, but I got a few things to tell them. Trust me, this is for your own good.
Okay girls, now it’s just you and me. You’re all looking very pretty today, maybe we can go grab a drink sometime—no, shit. I promised I wouldn’t do that. Sorry. Habit.
Anyway, the reason I pulled you all aside…is to show you my penis. Wait! Don’t leave, I was just kidding. Okay, I think I got it all out of my system now.
Seriously, though, I want to let you in on a little secret—men don’t know shit about women. We just can’t figure you out, and all our attempts end in humiliating defeat. So stop expecting us to understand the intricate mystery that is the feminine psyche and just accept the fact that it’s never going to happen. However…there is hope. Once you stop over-thinking men and realize that they are much less complex than you are, you can take charge, keep them content and get what you want at the same time.
So here’s a list of things that will help you help him to create a strong and lasting relationship with just about any guy. And if you need any extra help, I do offer private tutorials. You know where to find me.
1. You Gotta Stay Away From His Internet Search History
You can’t handle it. It’s more or less the same for every guy, so don’t think he’s a perv or anything. But if you go browsing where he’s been, you’ll regret it. There are some things you can’t unsee.
2. You Can’t Change Him
I know that you know this intellectually, but on some level, you may still think you can pull it off. You can’t. And if you do manage to get it done, he’ll figure it out and resent you for it. Love him the way he is or not at all.
3. You Shouldn’t Take It Personally When He Checks Out Other Women
Unless he’s leering and drooling, just let it slide. It’s a reflex and he can’t help it. Just let it slide.
4. He Will Choose His Friends Over You
They’ve been with him for way longer than you have, and no matter how much he loves the regular sex, he’ll sacrifice it if you’re trying to 86 his buddies from his life.
5. Never Criticize His Mother
If he wants to do it, and you commiserate with him, that’s fine. But if you’re the one who brings it up, watch the fuck out. Odds are, there are qualities she has that he sees in you, so try to figure out what those are and relate to her on that level.
6. You Have To Let Shit Go
You’ll have a lot of fights over the course of the relationship, but when they’re over, they really need to be over. Throwing old arguments back in his face will lead to loss of trust and ultimately change how he feels about you.
7. Don’t Ask Questions You Don’t Want To Know The Answers To
Hey, he’s got a history and so do you. If you love him for who he is now, don’t worry so much about the steps he took to get there.
8. You Can’t Bombard Him The Second He Walks In The Door
He knows you want to talk about what that bitch said to you at work today or your plans to redecorate the bedroom, but for god’s sake, let him have a beer and stare at the TV for at least half an hour first.
9. Withholding Sex Is A Dangerous Game
I don’t care how mad you are at him, if you cut him off for an extended period of time, what happens next is on you.
10. He’s Jealous Of All Your Straight Guy Friends
Bitch about him to the girls all you want, but if you’re confiding things to other men and he finds out about it, he’s going to get jealous. Sorry to break it to you, but he wants to be the only man in your life.
11. He Wants To Try Anal
He might never ask for it, but he wants it. And odds are, most, if not all of his former girlfriends wouldn’t let him. Let him have it at least once, maybe on his birthday. It’ll be a bonding experience.
12. He Wants To Bang Your Friends
I’m not saying he’ll do it, but he wants to. Don’t take it personally—he’s wanted to bang 90% of all the women he’s ever met. It’s really not that big a deal. Let him know you know and watch how red he gets.
13. You Should Learn To Play Pool
There’s nothing hotter than a chick who can beat you in pool.
14. He Wants You To Seduce Him
Yes, he probably likes sex more than you do, but you want him to be happy, right? Don’t wait for him to instigate every time. Surprise him every once in a while.
15. He Notices When You Don’t Wear The Jewelry He Bought You
If you don’t like it, for Christ’s sake, say so and let him try again. It seems ungrateful when you wear it once and then he never sees it again.
16. He Wants You To Need Him
Sure, you’re an independent lady and he likes that. But he also wants to feel useful. So let him change a light bulb and open pickle jars for you. It boosts his self-esteem.
17. You’ve Got To Watch Your Weight
Oh shit, did I really say that? Well, it’s true. Just because you landed him doesn’t mean you can eat whatever you want and stop going to the gym (and to be fair, neither can he).
18. If You’ve Been Living Together For Longer Than Three Years, He’s Not Going To Marry You
At that point, he already considers himself married, and the idea of a wedding is more of a hassle than the special day it is to you. You can try to force him into it if you want, but…
19. Ultimatums Do NOT Work
Any time you try to force a guy to do anything, he WILL resent you for it. Try an honest talk about how you feel and what you want out of the relationship before you give him an “either/or.”
20. He Wants Kids
It’s hardwired into his DNA. No matter what he says when he’s in his twenties, when he gets a little older, he’s going to want a legacy to leave behind. But please make sure he’s ready before you stop taking your birth control.
21. He Knows When You’re Lying To Him
He might not even be sure what you’re lying about, but he knows when you’re not being honest. Better come clean, or his head will fill up with worst-case scenarios.
22. He Wants You To Like What He Likes
Whether it’s movies, sports or hobbies, he wants you to enjoy those things with him. Even if it’s not your thing, try to have fun with the fact that it makes him happy.
23. He Thought You Looked Good In That First Outfit
The more you change clothes before you go out, the more impatient he gets. After the second one, he doesn’t care anymore. Just pick one and let’s go!
24. He Has No Interest In Shoes
What is it with women and shoes? You may think that new pair is the cutest thing in the world, but it just mystifies him.
25. You Should Always Take His Side
Within reason. But if he’s involved in some kind of debate and you take sides against him in public, he will never forgive you.
26. He Wants You To Expose Him To New Things
He wants to feel like you’re bringing something extra into his life, so tell him about your favorite authors, philosophers, whatever. If you help him grow as a person, he’ll always be grateful to you for it.
27. You Need To Tell Him Exactly What You Want
Don’t make him guess, because he’ll pick wrong. And don’t be vague about it either. If you want something, just say it straight out. Odds are, he’ll give it to you.
28. He Hates That Short Haircut
Very few women can pull off that pixie hairdo (although the ones that can do it beautifully). He likes your hair long, so don’t go chopping it all off without running it by him first. How would you feel if he got a Mohawk or grew a rattail?
29. He Wants You By His Side
If you abandon him at parties and go talk to your friends while he talks to his, you’re not giving him that level of completion he wants in a partner. Sure, you can branch out now and then, but he wants you to work as a duo.
30. You Should Never Flirt With His Friend
I know I said earlier that he wants to bang your friends, so this might seem like a double standard, but it’s true. He’ll think you’re fucking with him—or worse, that you’re actually attracted to one of his buddies. Don’t risk ruining his friendships or there will be bad times ahead.
31. He Wants You To Be His Muse
Behind every great man is a great woman. And of course you can have your own hopes and dreams, but he needs you help and inspire him to achieve his.
32. Whatever It Is You Want In Bed, He WILL Do It
Don’t be embarrassed to ask for it. Whatever you sickest, most twisted sexual fantasy, it’s PG-13 material compared to the shit that goes on in his head.
33. He Needs To Lean On You Sometimes
Most of us are pretty good at shouldering our burdens, but every so often, they get too heavy. But don’t sit him down and make him talk about his feelings—that’s YOUR thing. Just do some little things for him to pick up his slack when he’s overwhelmed.
34. Save The Big Piece Of Chicken For Him
He works hard, he doesn’t complain much. He deserves it (thanks to Chris Rock for that one).
35. Don’t EVER Emasculate Him
Even if you’re just joking. I promise you, he won’t think it’s funny. And if you do it during a fight, your relationship might never recover.
36. He Doesn’t Want To Hear About Your Sexual Past
If you feel the need to give him a number, fine, but don’t get into what you did with whom, no matter how much he asks. I promise you, he doesn’t want to know.
37. He Wants To Be The Best Lover You’ve Ever Had
And if he’s the love of your life, he probably is. But if he’s not, just lie to him.
38. If He Cheats On You Once, He’ll Do It Again
Even if he apologizes and honestly regrets it, if you let him get away with it, it WILL happen again.
39. You Should Let Him Open Doors For You
It’s great that you’re all liberated and shit, but being a gentleman never goes out of style. Let him do those little things and it will make him love you more.
40. You Need To Be His Moral Compass
He looks to his woman to keep him in check. Make sure he always does the right thing.
41. You Should Let Him Win Sometimes
Men hate it when you’re better at them at what they love. He has a fragile ego, and sorry, but you need you to cater to it sometimes. If you throw a game and he gloats, though, all bets are off.
42. If You Make Him Watch A Chick Flick, At Least Give Him A Blowjob Afterwards
Seriously, those things are painful. You have no idea how much we hate them. If he made it through the whole thing without complaining, reward him. And if it was one of the SEX & THE CITY movies, you owe him either anal or a threesome. Your choice.
43. Speaking Of Threesomes… He Will NEVER Stop Trying
It doesn’t mean you’re not enough for him, it’s just that it’s the ultimate male fantasy. I’m not saying you ever have to cave in (it’s probably best if you don’t). But just tolerate his attempts to make it happen. He can’t help himself.
44. He Needs Quiet Sometimes
You don’t have to fill the silence with pointless chatter and small talk. If you’re comfortable together, you should be able to just shut the fuck up every once in a while.
45. You Should Compliment Him More
Hey, women aren’t the only ones who like compliments. Tell him he looks good, tell him he’s smart, whatever. He needs to hear that shit every once in a while.
46. You Don’t Always Have To Be Right
Hey, if it’s worth it, then just dig your heels in and fight to your dying breath. But sometimes, he just wants his opinion validated and you don’t have to contradict him just because you see things differently.
47. Make Sure You Look Just As Good When You Go Out With Him As When You Go Out With The Girls
We all get lazy after a while when we don’t have to impress anyone anymore. But if you’re all sweats and T-shirts when it’s just the two of you and you’re smoking hot when you’re going out without him, he’s going to wonder who you’re doing that for.
48. He’s Not Your Dad
For all you princesses out there. Yes, he’s supposed to take care of you, but it’s not in the same way. You’re a grown woman, for Christ’s sake. Learn the difference between a father and a partner.
49. You’re Not His Mother
If you’re always picking up after him and washing his dishes, he’s got some growing up to do. Don’t play into his Freudian fantasy.
50. He’s Not As Complicated As You Are
Don’t go thinking that means you’re deeper than he is, though. Or smarter. He just likes to keep it simple. If you can understand and appreciate that, you might end up complimenting each other very well.
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Who’s afraid of Little Women? Men, supposedly.
They’re little. They’re women. And they’re terrorizing grown men everywhere, apparently. According to Washington Post columnist Monica Hesse, men are avoiding the latest adaptation of Little Women because they’re terrified they’ll be the only dude in the movie theatre. In a recent op-ed, Hesse notes that she’s received numerous emails from men who are nervous about seeing the movie, particularly without a female chaperone. You know, because people would think there was something deeply strange about a man choosing to see a film about women.
Hesse is far from the only writer to have talked about Little Women’s supposed man problem. Vanity Fair has noted that the first public screenings of the film were largely composed of women – a factor they believe contributed to it only scooping two nominations for the Golden Globes and none for the Screen Actor Guild Awards.
Similarly, New York Times critic Janet Maslin recently opined that “the Little Women problem with men is very real.” Maslin tweeted: “I don’t say that lightly and am very alarmed. In the past day have been told by 3 male friends who usually trust me that they either refuse to see it or probably won’t have time.” As we all know, when two male friends tell a cultural critic something, it’s a coincidence, but when three of them say it’s a Very Real Trend.
So is all this true? Are men really avoiding Little Women because they’re worried it threatens their manhood or because they think a female-centered story is irrelevant to their lives? To test this hypothesis in a scientific way I polled three of my own male friends. One had never heard of the book or film, the other two were keen to see it and raved about the cast. Maybe my friends are just more into period drama than Maslin’s? Or maybe making sweeping statements based on a limited amount of anecdata is unwise? Who knows.
I don’t mean to be facile here. There is a hugely important conversation to be had about the way in which white male experience is still considered “universal” in a way that women’s stories (particularly non-white women’s stories) aren’t. There’s also a very important conversation to be had about the way men are penalized for transgressing gender norms. Women who love “manly” action movies are considered “cool girls” while men who like “chick flicks” or female-centered films don’t get quite the same kudos.
Nevertheless, I can’t help but think that the “Little Women faces misogynistic reception” narrative – which seems to be based entirely on anecdata – has been hugely, and unhelpfully, overblown. Plenty of high-profile men are raving about how much they like Greta Gerwig’s adaptation. Barack Obama listed it as one of his favourite movies of 2019. Wall Street Journal critic Joe Morgenstern called it one of the best films of 2019. And Ryan Reynolds has tweeted about how stunning it is. If the three-men-rule is anything to go by, then the movie is doing great. We’re only a few days into 2020 and there’s already a lot to be alarmed and depressed about; Little Women is definitely not one of them.
Is 2020 the year abortion is outlawed in America?
More than 200 members of congress, almost all Republicans, have submitted an amicus brief asking the US supreme court to reconsider Roe v Wade, which legalised abortion in America. Emboldened by Donald Trump, anti-abortion zealots have ramped up their war on women over the last few years, enacting tight abortion restrictions in conservative states. It is not alarmist to say that there is now a very real chance abortion could soon be outlawed on a federal level.
A Nissan executive seems to think women are too stupid to operate electric vehicles
According to Nissan’s (male) product strategy chief, women have a hard time with the company’s Leaf electric vehicle. “It is simple things such as location of the charger and even the weight of the cable,” he said. “We have a lot of female Leaf drivers and in some cases the technologies that we use today are not so friendly for them.”
Why on earth is Ivanka Trump keynote speaker at CES?
The high-profile consumer electronics trade show has a reputation for being a sexist sausage-fest and routinely fails to invite female speakers. They finally announce a woman keynote speaker and it is none other than renowned technologist … Ivanka Trump.
Ireland establishes 20 female-only professorships
Just 24% of professors at Irish universities are women, despite the fact they make up more than half of all lecturers. In 2018 a taskforce found that, at the current rate of progress, it would take more than 20 years for women to make up 40% of professors. To accelerate change 45 female-only professorships, to be allocated over a three-year period, have been established.
British politician pushed into announcing same-sex relationship
Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran has said she is in a “happy” relationship with a woman. While this is lovely for her, it’s not exactly news is it? Unfortunately, some journalists seemed to think it would generate a good headline, and Moran was basically forced to out herself after being approached by undisclosed news outlets.
22 women win lawsuit against GirlsDoPorn
The San Diego-based pornographic website was sued by a group of women who say there were tricked and coerced into making amateur porn films; these films were then posted online without the women’s permission. On Thursday a judge ruled in favour of the women, awarding them $12.7m.
Sharon Stone blocked by dating app
The actor gave Bumble, a dating app, the best publicity they could ever hope to get when she complained her account had been closed because users thought it was fake. Stone’s account has now been reinstated and she has been inundated with requests for dates.
The invisible women: Behind every great man there’s a great woman
Behind every great man there’s a great woman.
Or so goes the old adage, commonly believed to have originated from feminist movements that began in the US back in the 1940s. It was initially used in an attempt to give recognition to the wives or female figures who significantly contributed to the lives of successful men.
But though well-meaning, it’s not hard to see that stating a woman stands ‘behind’ the success of man is both patronising and defeating. Such statements have no place in our world if we are ever to progress towards a gender-equal and gender-neutral society. Women neither need nor want to stand behind.
From Zelda Fitzgerald to Lillian Disney and Mitza Maric – history has abundant instances of women whose work went unrecognised. Jane Hawking also remained unacknowledged for decades as she unfailingly supported her husband, the famed physicist Stephen Hawking’s pursuits. And no matter how substantial her support, not many likely recall Zelda Le Grange’s name as they revere her boss, South African leader Nelson Mandela.
These are their stories.
Her time to shine: Jane Hawking
At 21, a newlywed Jane Hawking got on a plane from England to America with her then 23-year-old husband, British physicist Stephen Hawking, to spend her honeymoon with him at a physics conference.
In her book Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen, Jane shares how she sacrificed her own identity and career to support her prodigy husband, not just as his wife and the mother of their three children, but as his primary carer through his decades-long battle with motor neuron disease.
He later left her to marry one of his nurses.
Jane Hawking washed, clothed and fed her wheelchair-confined husband for 30 years
The Cambridge scientist was diagnosed with the incurable degenerative disease at the age of 22 and given two years to live. Defying his fatal diagnosis for more than half a century, Hawking died on March 14, 2018, at the age of 76, having been recognised as one of the world’s most brilliant scientific minds.
A year on since he died, Stephen Hawking’s profound fame lives on through his work and continues to make headlines. But the world really only began to pay attention to his ex-wife Jane, the woman who washed, clothed and fed her wheelchair-confined husband for 30 years, after she published her book about their lives that later turned into the award-winning film, The Theory of Everything.
Even then, Jane tells Arabian Business, the filmmakers discounted her role, failing to capture crucial elements of the exhausting reality of her life in Stephen’s shadow.
“We went to America for our honeymoon at a physics conference,” she recalls during an interview at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature in Dubai. “Two years later, we went to Seattle for another conference where I had Stephen on one arm and a six-week-old baby on the other. None of our major travels appear in the film and I’m really disappointed about that. They said they were trying to squeeze 25 years into two hours so that wasn’t important. But I think there was a huge amount of work involved in that .”
My advice for people in difficult situations is: do try and be true to yourself, give as much as you can, but don’t let yourself be taken advantage of
Her tone isn’t bitter though, and the petite English author is empathetic as she shares her advice to women in circumstances that lead them to shutdown their own ambitions.
Trailing behind her husband for decades, Jane, 74, says she has “been through quite a few situations” when she felt her own personality was “suppressed”.
“But I just had to keep going in that situation,” she says. “I had to persevere because it was my husband and my children who were at stake, and if I wasn’t there I just didn’t know what was going to happen to him.
“And you know I’m glad I did because it’s given me such insights into the human condition. I’m very lucky because my perseverance has been rewarded and I am doing things in my own right, and I’m having a rewarding degree of recognition.
I think any great man has single-track vision and his motivating force is his creativity – and the families do tend to get left behind
“So my advice for people in difficult situations is: do try and be true to yourself, give as much as you can, but don’t let yourself be taken advantage of more than you’re capable. remember that one day, your patience will be rewarded and then you’ll be able to shine.”
Jane, who has also written Silent Music and Cry to Dream Again, advises wives who are playing second fiddle to their eminent husbands not to lose sight of their own gifts.
“I think there are a lot of women in that situation,” she says.
“I think any great man has single-track vision and his motivating force is his creativity – and the families do tend to get left behind. I think in this day and age, it’s actually possible for women to have a career of their own and they shouldn’t lose sight of their own potential creativity. And they should make sure that in a marriage, everybody is equal. You don’t put the scientist, the great writer, the great playwright, the great actor – you don’t put them on a pedestal.”
I’m very lucky because my perseverance has been rewarded and I am doing things in my own right
She adds however: “I say that but whether it’s easy to put into practice, I don’t know. I didn’t find it very easy.”
Now married to musician Jonathan Hellyer Jones, Jane says she is “very lucky” now to have a husband who is “caring and so supportive” of her work.
As to why she’s kept her Hawking name after she remarried, she explains that it would be “an awful waste of time” to change it on her passport and documents.
“Anyway, I don’t think my publisher would like that,” she jokes, but adds that the Hawking name is part of her personality and the name her children carry.
Asked how she’d like to be remembered, Jane says: “Primarily of course as Stephen’s first wife, but also as somebody who did have her own personality and did have a life of her own.”
Zelda Le Grange
Nelson Mandela’s “right hand woman” is on a mission to humanise the leader and bring his message of understanding to a modern audience.
For 19 years, Zelda Le Grange was the quiet and crucial, but often unsung, companion to South African leader Nelson Mandela. “He was a fair-minded humanitarian,” explains Zelda Le Grange, the late South African leader’s long-time personal secretary. “He irrevocably changed my thinking and outlook on life.”
Beginning with her entry to the presidential typing pool in 1994, the two became even closer. Five years later, he handpicked her to remain in his service after he retired from office. Over the years, she was dubbed Mandela’s ‘rock’, his ‘right hand woman’ and even his ‘white granddaughter’. She became his aide-de-camp, manager, confidante and gatekeeper all rolled into one. Nobody – perhaps with the exception of his third wife, Graca Machel – was as close to the legendary leader.
Le Grange, known as Mandela’s ‘white granddaughter’ stayed with the leader until his death
Mandela and Le Grange were an unlikely pair. When they met in the mid-1990s, South Africa had only recently emerged from decades of a brutal apartheid system, and Mandela had only three years earlier been released after 27 years in prison.
Le Grange, on the other hand, was a child of the apartheid system, a privileged white citizen brought up to believe that people like Mandela were inferior. She was, she now admits, a scared and bigoted proponent of the system that Mandela struggled so hard to topple.
“Growing up, I believed that white people were the superior race. We were conditioned to believe so through our schools, churches and media which were censored to suit the apartheid regime’s propaganda of segregation and superiority,” she recalls. “We were driven by fear that the black majority are dangerous, vicious and hate white people.”
Her relationship with Mandela, however, changed her perspective forever.
We were driven by fear that the black majority are dangerous, vicious and hate white people
“I realised that I was indoctrinated,” Le Grange recalls, thinking back to the first years of her time at Mandela’s side. “I now recognise any human being for their humanity rather than focusing on our differences or what sets us apart. It was a long process of unlearning my thinking and questioning my beliefs, but necessary to arrive at clarity in my own mind.”
Le Grange stayed with Mandela until his death in December 2013. Her memoir, Good Morning Mr. Mandela, was published the following year. Le Grange sees it as her mission to “humanise” one of the 20th century’s most notable statesmen and keep his legacy alive at a difficult time in her country’s history.
“ was a kind and gentle human being, but a strong, steadfast strategist and sometimes pragmatist,” she recalls. “He had human frailties like us all but made every attempt to ensure that he is aware of these and that his frailties never affected others… I am much more aware of the people around me, their struggles and humanity.”
Le Grange’s words come at a tough time for South Africa. In February 2018, President Jacob Zuma – a member of Mandela’s African National Congress – was forced to resign after nine difficult years characterised by a struggling economy and corruption scandals. Three years earlier, Le Grange found herself in the crossfire after accusing Zuma’s government of making white South Africans feel unwelcome.
I now recognise any human being for their humanity rather than focusing on our differences or what sets us apart
Looking back, she places the blame on the now defunct and discredited Bell Pottinger PR agency, which she accuses of running a smear campaign to “discredit people in South Africa and drive racial divisions. They have dismally failed at dividing us,” she says of the incident. “While there are still occurrences of racism, the majority of South Africans are at peace and learning to live together despite our hurtful past.”
Despite the challenges, Le Grange remains confident that Mandela’s legacy will live on as long as South Africans continue to care. That confidence will be tested at the country’s upcoming election in May, which will see Zuma’s predecessor, Cyril Ramaphosa, attempt to maintain the ANC’s majority.
“They should never give up on South Africa. We are on our way to being the miracle nation that we are,” she says proudly. “We can turn things around and they must vote in the upcoming national elections to help secure a future for our country.” Will this happen? Le Grange thinks so; as Mandela showed the way. “Change is possible, as is the utter metamorphosis of one’s own thinking. It is possible to love irrespective of our differences.”
Zelda Fitzgerald wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Great Gatsby author F. Scott Fitzgerald is said to have derived his writing inspiration from his wife Zelda, often lifting excerpts from her diaries for his female characters, much against her will. While Zelda was also a writer, according to the Encyclopedia of Alabama, her husband “resented” her only novel.
Zelda Fitzgerald personified the carefree, high-spirited ideals of 1920s America
Michelle Obama wife of Barack Obama
In her recently published memoir Becoming, Michelle Obama shares how she gave up her much-loved job at the University of Chicago Medical Center to support her husband’s campaign. Michelle, a Harvard-educated lawyer, also took a big step away from her career to play the role of first lady.
Michelle Obama gave up her career as a lawyer to support her husband’s presidency
Lillian Disney wife to Walt Disney
According to The Walt Disney Family Museum, Mickey Mouse might have been Mortimer Mouse if Lillian hadn’t intervened. She worked as Disney’s personal secretary and provided input on many of his ideas. Her career includes work as an ink artist on the film Plane Crazy.
Lillian became a Disney Legend in 2003, for her contribution to The Walt Disney Company
Mitza Maric wife of Albert Einstein
Einstein’s first wife Mitza was a brilliant physicist, whose contribution to the theory of relativity is still under debate. Some contend she co-authored Einstein’s papers while others say she was just a sounding board. Regardless, her contribution as one of the world’s first female physicists cannot be ignored.
Pioneering physicist Mitza Maric was the only woman in her class at university
Study Suggests That Men Are Biologically Destined To Check Out Other Women
Flickr/j.o.h.n. walker New research shows that while women are drawn to male faces that look familiar, men are more likely to rate someone they have never seen before as more attractive.
It is thought the reason may be that men have evolved to maximise their reproductive success by mating with as many partners as possible.
Researchers at the University of Stirling and the University of Glasgow came up with the findings after showing men and women pictures of dozens of different faces. The more women in the study saw pictures of the same man’s face, the more attracted they were to him.
But the study, published in Archives of Sexual Behaviour, found that the men who took part rated the women as less attractive when they saw them for a second time.
Researchers say the results may be partly explained by the so-called Coolidge effect – where men are aroused by the novelty of a new sexual partner more than women.
It’s named after an anecdote attributed to 30th US President Calvin Coolidge.
During a farm visit, when his wife was told there was only one cockerel and many hens because the cockerel would mate several times a day, she reportedly said: ‘Tell that to Mr Coolidge’.
When the president asked if it was with the same hen each time and told no he allegedly said: ‘Tell that to Mrs Coolidge.’
Anthony Little from Stirling University’s School of Natural Sciences, said: “Men found female faces they had already seen as less attractive and less sexy, especially for short-term relationships.
“There is a tendency for males to pursue a large number of partners as they can dramatically increase their reproductive success by mating with multiple females.”
Some Men Check Out Women Constantly. Are They More Likely to Cheat?
To be clear, checking out attractive people — rubbernecking every time a beautiful woman comes into view — is not cheating. There are plenty of forms of non-sexual cheating: Emotional infidelity by text, emails with a passionate pen pal, or a recurring coffee date where you get deep into feelings. But looking? For your relationship at least, it is mostly harmless. At least, as long as you leave it at a glance.
“Just because you are in a committed relationship doesn’t mean you’re dead — you’re still going to notice beautiful people,” says Caroline Madden, Ph.D., a licensed marriage and family therapist in Burbank, California, and author After a Good Man Cheats: How to Rebuild Trust & Intimacy with Your Wife. “It is human to glance, so if you notice someone good looking, it’s generally okay. It’s more about not letting that slippery slope happen.”
That slippery slope is when you realize you’re attracted to someone (fine) but then pursue further contact with them (not fine). “Good men fool themselves into thinking there is no real risk of cheating and then get close to a person they are attracted to,” says Madden. “That’s why anyone you have the feels for in any way, shape, or form — no matter whether you think they feel the same way about you or not — you should not engage in a one-on-one relationship with them going forward.”
Research published last year in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology backs up the idea that looking at other attractive people alone doesn’t dictate infidelity risk. After following 233 newlywed couples for three and a half years, researchers at Florida State University discovered that those who looked away quickly after spotting an attractive other were 50 percent less likely to cheat on their partner than those who held their gaze on someone they found fetching.
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Another new set of studies, published in the Journal of Family Psychology this past August, showed that looking at beautiful people besides your partner isn’t necessarily risky — if you can exhibit self-control and resist acting on temptation.
“Whether looking at attractive people is harmful or not depends on the person doing the looking,” says lead researcher Ashlyn Brady, a psychology graduate student at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. “If they have a high tendency to notice attractive people other than their partner, it can be a problem if they generally have low self-control or are experiencing impaired self-control, such as when they are tired, stressed, or intoxicated.” Either situation, she says, may make someone more apt to cheat than someone who is adept at nipping temptation in the bud, even when they’re sleep-deprived or drunk.
Although these studies suggest that looking doesn’t always dictate cheating, don’t mistake them for a green light to ogle away without worry. If enjoying the scenery becomes a routine practice, it might be time to look inward and at the health of your relationship.
“In general, if you start to notice other people more or there is someone who you want to look at or talk to more, it could mean you are not getting your needs met in your relationship,” Madden says. “This is where taking that energy and putting it back into the relationship becomes so important. Ask yourself what is really going on.” When men are feeling less-than or like their masculinity is being challenged, Madden says they sometimes start to seek validation from women; this, of course, can start that slippery slope.
Another big caveat to the “it’s fine to look as long as you don’t touch” premise, is that it’s never acceptable to eye up others while your partner is present — especially if it’s more of a lingering look than a quick glance.
“That is extremely disrespectful to your wife, and she should have the reaction of ‘what the hell are you doing?’” Madden says. “If you have a regular habit of looking at other women, gazing a little too long, trying to make eye contact, or looking at their breasts while you are with your partner, you probably don’t have the maturity to be in that relationship. Why are you trying to get this person’s attention if the next step is not cheating?”
Taking all of this into consideration, don’t beat yourself up for noticing someone who’s good looking — but don’t assume it’s entirely safe either. Accept that you find the person hot, own the fact that you looked (quickly, hopefully), then move on. Any interaction with them beyond that, though, and you could be setting yourself up to make a huge mistake.
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Looking at Other Women – Why Men Look & How To Stop
A lot of men struggle with looking at other women. Many aren’t even aware they’re doing it and others will claim they mean no disrespect to the women they’re with. But looking at other women while you’re with your wife or girlfriend is disrespectful and hurtful to your partner.
We receive many questions from women whose husbands or boyfriends routinely check out the other women around them, even when they’re together. We also receive plenty of questions from men who struggle to keep their eyes on the women they are with. Here’s a submission I received from just such a guy and my recommendations on how he can learn to stop.
Looking at other women has become a big problem for me. I want to learn how to stop looking at other women. I need help regarding my inability to behave correctly in front of the opposite sex and especially when with my wife. I am married for 16 years and am 42 years of age. Happily married, lovely children. Everything is great, except — looking at other women!
When younger I was just another guy who looks at other women, even when with my wife. I meant no harm, but it upset my wife and hurt her. My reaction was to stop looking at other women and avoid dealing with women. I have no interest to meet any one else or look at any one else. I am totally satisfied with my wife.
Like other men looking at other women, I get incidents that happen without control, a glance, that I hate and am not comfortable with and especially if the other woman notices me looking. I do not look again, but just this uncontrolled look makes me awkward and I panic, mostly out of fear of hurting my wife and risk of losing her.
When with my wife, she reports that I become a different person and not notice her. I notice that I feel awkward and I am not comfortable when out. I feel as if I have to keep my guard up all the time and if I relax I will fall!
When at home everything is great. Any help, guidance, advice. I love my wife and do not wish to lose her and I am not looking at other women on purpose.” -Ahmed G.
Ahmed is pretty typical of men who struggle with looking at other women. He genuinely loves his wife, but finds it hard not to notice any attractive women around him, and as a consequence is experiencing anxiety and stress every time he is out. His wife is struggling with this too. The good news is that this is that it’s a problem that can be fixed. Here is what I advised him.
Looking at other women is a big challenge for a lot of men. Congratulations for seeing this as a problem and seeking help. Usually it’s from women I hear the complaint “he looks at other women,” not from men.
Why do men look at other women? Most of us first developed the habit of looking at women when we were teenagers. It happens naturally and then we encourage it because of how good it makes us feel. Each time we see a sexually attractive woman our brain rewards us with a chemical high. It’s a minor high compared to other drugs, but it’s still enjoyable and addicting.
This natural reward system is the beginning reason why men look at other women. With the almost constant barrage of attractive women we’re exposed to in our media crazed world, many of us men have developed a regular “habit” of looking at other women. This habit can become so ingrained that our looking becomes like a natural reflex and one that we can feel we have no control over.
Unfortunately, our media exposure has only made this a more and more difficult battle for men. Advertisements by Carl’s Jr., Victoria Secret, and car and beer makers, all use scantily clad women in sexually provocative poses to sell their products (are we buying the car, the girl, or does the girl come with the car?) contribute to why men look at other women.
When we get married or are in a committed relationship, we need to stop being a man who looks at other women. If we don’t, this “habit” can cause us a lot of problems, just as you’ve described.
I’ve worked with many men who’ve had big conflict in their relationships because they look at other women. One guy’s wife called it his “ogling.” I’ve seen guys struggle with this (and their partner attack them for it) in the most unexpected places, too — noticing a woman in the church parking lot, in a cross walk while sitting at a stop light, a woman jogging on the side of the road as you drive past. All are opportunities for men to let their eyes wander.
Here are some suggestions on how to begin to stop looking at other women:
- Recognize that it is a habit that you’ve built, not an uncontrollable reflex.
- Begin to look for ways you continue to reinforce that habit — such as movies, TV shows, magazines, football games, or internet porn and stop feeding it to your brain (read My Husband Looks At Porn to learn more).
- Accept and get comfortable with the fact that it is natural to notice attractive women. The goal here is not to eliminate noticing, but rather how often you look and for how long.
Hopefully this gives some understanding as to why men look at other women. If you’re a man who can’t stop looking at other women, working with a counselor for men will give you additional steps you can take to change your behavior. Many of us men have learned how to stop looking at other women and with help, you can too.
But Looking Isn’t Cheating, Right?
Many men will dismiss the practice of looking at other women as no big deal. They rationalize that it’s not cheating and doesn’t affect the love they have for their wife or girlfriend, so it isn’t anything to worry about. But that’s not the whole story.
It’s true that checking out other women isn’t the same as having an affair, but it is a form of micro-cheating. Micro-cheating is comprised of small, disrespectful behaviors involving the opposite sex. Over time these behaviors can slowly eat away at your relationship and undermine the love you share.
What Are The Consequences Of Looking At Other Women?
Although it’s easy to think that your wandering eyes shouldn’t affect your partner and that it’s not a big deal, the truth is that it does affect her, even if she doesn’t know it or want to admit it, and it can turn into a very big deal. Realizing that looking at other women can cause problems in your relationship and changing your behavior is an act of love that will go a long way towards keeping your relationship happy and healthy.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published July 9, 2010. It was updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness on August 09, 2014 and again on January 15, 2019.
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