An Open Letter to Men

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Dear men,

You might not realize it, but you have incredible power. What power, you ask? You have the power to make your woman invincible or the power to completely destroy her. We, as society, either don’t talk about or diminish this awesome power of yours. Maybe you don’t realize it, so here are some of the ways you show your power.

If we say a strip club or porn is ok with us, ignore us.

I’m sure there are some women with whom this is actually ok. I know some who say it spices up their sex life. As for me and most of the friends I have, this is a lie. In reality, your trips to the strip club and your escapades online or in magazines destroy us. We might play along, maybe even watch a few videos with you, but inside we’re dying. All we can thing about is that some other girl is better than us, that there is something in her that you like more than us. No amount of you telling us that “they didn’t do it for me” or “it’s just a video” will convince us. You keep going back. That means something has got your attention, and it isn’t us. What hurts worse is that it might be something we can’t do, don’t know how to do, or just won’t do. And it scares us.

When you bring home flowers, or even one flower, you make us feel like a princess.

A simple flower can do that? Oh yes, my dear. One little flower, picked off the side of the road, can send us into fits of ecstasy. Why? It means you took time out of your busy day to think about us. It means you picked something specifically for us. Even if you just grabbed the nearest dandelion because you felt like you had some sucking up to do, it will mean the world. Why do you think we moms treasure our kids’ bouquets of weed flowers so much? Because for just a moment, we get to have the focus of their, and your, adoration. And we love it.

We hate how much you watch tv/play video games.

Again, there are some women out there who don’t mind and join in. Many, however, secretly dream of smashing either your xbox or your computer. Why? Because the majority of your time is spent with a machine, not with us. It isn’t that we’re psychotic. It’s not that we’re all like Obsessed Girlfriend. We want your time. We want to feel important and special to you. When you spend your waking moments with zombies and warlords, we feel second-rate. We have been usurped from our throne as your goddess by a video game. And feel free to call it jealousy, just don’t scoff at it. You’d be jealous, too, if we preferred our “sexy time” to be with 50 Shades of Grey and a toy over you. Remember, our emotional and relational self is the mirror of your sexual self. We need a relational connection just as much as you need the sexual connection. Don’t deny us, and then expect us to have the desire or energy to give to you.

When you help out with a chore, you become infinitely more attractive.

Want an automatic boost of attraction? Is your love life lacking? Try this simple step: pick up. Pick up your stinky socks and put them in the hamper. Pick up your dishes, rinse them, and put them into the dishwasher. Pick up the screaming baby. Help. Someone once compared life to a series of activities with point values. For example, sex to a woman was 60 points, even if it was rockin’. Why? It takes a lot of energy for us to get our minds off the thousands of other things we still have to do, disengage from motherhood, transform into a sexy wife, and then tackle the almighty task of getting aroused. For you, men, I don’t know what your equivalent 60 points is, but if you take on just a little of the chores your wife/girlfriend has to do before bedtime, she’ll have that much more energy to spare. It might not equal sex the first time, but it’ll get there.

There is a line between teasing and being mean/crude.

I’d like to say, “Don’t cross this line,” but I have to be honest. I’m not even sure where this line is. It seems like a fairly common issue, though. Perhaps my mother can describe it best. When they were younger, she and my father would have tickle fights. All was good, until he would pin her down for more efficient tickling. That crossed a line, and she would panic. Why? Because we women are well aware that we are not as strong as you. His pinning her down removed her safe zone. She was vulnerable and he could do anything. Not that he did, but the possibility was there. If it’s physical teasing (like tickling, wrestling, etc.), be gentle. There is a limit to when we feel playful and when we feel trapped. If it’s sexual teasing (like groping, biting, spanking etc.), remember that you have to work up to it. We want to, again, feel like your goddess. We don’t want to feel like the neighborhood stripper that you grope as soon as you see her.

Your words mean the world to us.

This is perhaps the biggest power you have, at least for me. Your words can uplift us or crush us. Tell us we’re beautiful, especially when we’re sick, right after we’ve had a baby, or first thing in the morning with spit stuck to our face. Tell us that the house looks awesome (unless it looks like poo, wherein you do the “pick up” thing), that our new haircut looks stunning, or that dinner was amazing. Tell us that the kids are doing great, or that you love the way our skin feels, or that you love the smell of our shampoo. Tell us things. Just like you thrive on us recognizing your accomplishments, we thrive on your adoration. Don’t tell us to stop complaining. Often, our “complaining” is our feminine attempt at communicating. Don’t tell us that we’re slacking if we’re doing our best. (Again, loving criticism is ok.) Don’t tell us to “come to daddy” after ignoring us all evening, or ask us when we’re going to give you the next (for us) unpleasant sexual favor. That cheapens us and makes us merely an accessory to your lifestyle, the maid, nanny, and sexual object you want when you want it. We want to be in a give-and-take relationship, not a one-sided affair where we do all the giving.

You have the ability to make or break us. Cheesy? Yeah, I think so, too, sometimes. And then the husband will do a long, dorky sniff of my hair, sigh, and say, “God, you smell so good,” and I will completely melt into a puddle of goo. Or, he’ll casually mention a friend’s bachelor party, and everything inside me will wither, even though I know it’s irrational. Just remember: your woman wants to be your one and only. You are the most important person to her. Your opinion, your attention, and your love are what drive her throughout the day.

As Uncle Ben told Peter Parker, “With great power comes great responsibility.” You’ve got a great power. Do you use it responsibly?

Sincerely,

One Woman Among Many

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