Monday, March 30, 2009

That Man/Woman Thing, Part 1

One of my best friends is a woman.

In fact, I have quite a few female friends, and I probably speak to them more often than I do my male friends. It's not that I'm one of the those super sensitive cats who women love. Truthfully, I'm a little old school in my mindset, but new school in my abilities. So, I might think women should be able to cook and clean, but I married a woman who does neither.

It's complicated.

I started thinking about men and women, and how we interact after reading an interesting post over at the blog This May Concern You. The post was about Steve Harvey and his hugely popular new book that encourages women to raise their standards, but also start thinking like men.

I know, I know, that sounds impossible.

After checking out that blog, I read another blog where a young lady really ripped Steve Harvey a new one after distilling his message to something a bit more crass and a lot more funny. What she heard from Harvey was this: "You sluts need to slow down..."

I haven't read Harvey's book, so I can't speak to his motives or his true message. What I do know is that there is definitely a disconnect between what men think about sex and what women think we think about sex. The whole idea that men and women are from different planets is an old saw, but the truth is that we're not just from different planets, we're from different galaxies.

The simple truth is that the vast majority of men and women do not view the act of copulation the same. Of course this isn't exactly a revelation from heaven, but despite the fact that most of us are aware of this truth, we keep having the same problems in relationships. I'm going to use some generalizations to make my next few points, and I hope that doesn't turn some of y'all off. (Also, my first advice is to hold off on sex until marriage, but since most folks aren't going to do that, I have some other advice for y'all.)

Many men view sex as something to be acquired, something to grasp and then discard when we no longer desire it. We don't necessarily see it as a deeper communion. Sex can be just the act of intercourse and we don't even have to care about the person we're doing it with. Often, it's just an itch we scratch, and then move on to something else.

Some women feel the same way about sex, but most don't. Most of them see sex as a destination, a reward doled out for good behavior. Sex is something you earn, and once you've put in the work to earn it, that's proof that you must have some deeper feelings about the person you spent all that time with. Women can have sex with people they don't particularly like, but they usually don't have fulfilling sex with people they don't like. And they don't have sex for long with people they don't like.

So, what's my point? Well, when Steve Harvey tells women to hold off on sex for three months, he's actually giving y'all good advice. However, it's not good advice for the reasons he thinks it's good advice.

Having sex quickly doesn't make a woman a slut. But, when a man has sex with a woman before developing a real connection with her, it's unlikely that a connection will ever develop. Women have to understand that once a man beds you, he's already accomplished a major goal in his relationship with you. To many women, sex represents the start of something major, to many men, sex represents the end of something major.

I think most women should have a set amount of time to wait before they have sex because that gives them a better opportunity to accurately assess the intentions of the man they are seeing. True, mistakes can and will be made no matter what, but I think more time means more chances to see a person's true character.

Now, I don't think women should announce to the world that there is a standard waiting period for their panties because this just makes men be on their best behavior until the drawers drop. Men are devious like that. Don't let us know how long we have to work, just let us keep working.

Ultimately, every relationship is different and everyone must decide on their own how long is sufficient for them to wait to become intimate with another person. But, I think everyone needs to establish an overarching standard that they apply to everyone because that simplifies the process. It just makes sense to me.

Part Two will discuss the disconnect between logic and emotions.



Torrance Stephens - All-Mi-T said...

the sky is falling when folks r4eading advice books from steve harvey.

MODI said...

I did see Harvey on Oprah and his analogies were pretty funny. He pretty much wraps up previous advice, but make it a whole lot funnier. But you are right, you can't put a hard time-limit on sex, but the spirit of what he is saying is true. As you say BM, that time limit should be tied to healthy respect.

however, there is a charge that Harvey may have ripped off his material...

Deacon Blue said...

I'm one of those freakish males who didn't generally hunt after booty but more often got emotionally attached through extended contact and friendships and then really wanted sex.

Sadly, the objects of my affection didn't find me that great of an option for bedroom antics. They did love keeping me on as a friend though.

There were some women I just desired solely because they were drop-dead sexy, but they wanted me even less.


Anonymous said...


I've got another post coming Tuesday night specific to men with platonic female friend issues.

But the one that really hits home is the letter to people who think I should marry my best friend, who is female.

37. People Who Think My BFF is "The One."

For men, the problem is respect. If you objectify a woman as nothing but a sexual toy, you will not respect her as a friend ... or an equal human being.

Big Man said...

Thanks for the comments. Too bad only fellows commented.

Anonymous said...

@big: funny, I'm having the exact opposite problem. No-to-few men commenting ... lol.

MODI said...

deacon, in college i had a woman as my very best friend; was tossed into the dreaded asexual "friend zone"; learned my lesson; and never made the same mistake again. From there on out (when single), any attractive woman who I began developing a genuine friendship with I tactfully (I think) let them know early on that it just wasn't "plutonic".

If you don't catch that early on, your balls will get cut off forever with very little warning...

Deacon Blue said...

LOL...So where were you with the advice like 20 years ago, MODI?

In all seriousness, though, in hindsight, I can't complain. I look at it as God keeping me available and disease-free for Mrs. Blue.

Raving Black Lunatic