Thursday, 22 May 2014
Contrary to popular female perception, we men are sensitive creatures. Beneath those steely exteriors cower vulnerable boys, scanning their environments for morsels of evidence that we are valued. Our partners provide the richest, and most potent source, of information to shape our conclusions as to whether we are wimps or alpha males.
So ladies (at least those involved in heterosexual relationships) you have the power. One utterance from those glossy lips can energize or destroy the man in your life. A casual comment can deflate your mate into an impotent quivering piece of blubber, or transform him into a strutting, testosterone-fuelled superhero.
As I enter middle age, and beyond, I’ve been reflecting on four decades of interactions with women and can now deliver the definitive tutorial, entitled, “What to say, and what not to say, to your man”.
Scenario 1: Man buys woman a gift, or shows thoughtfulness by cooking her favourite meal.
DEFLATE response: “Ah, that’s sweet of you.”
BOOST response: “You’re the best.”
The “sweet” comment, much used by the fairer of the species, is sickly and patronising; the kind of thing one might say to a 2-year-old niece when she offers you a suck of her lollipop. In contrast, telling your man he’s “the best” taps into his primal need to be head of the pack, reassuring him that (at least in the eyes of his partner) he is number one and will later have his pick of the on-heat females (which, of course, will be you).
Scenario 2: Showing the family photograph album to your offspring.
DEFLATE response: “Your dad used to be a good-looking man.”
BOOST response: “Your dad’s still a good-looking man.”
OK, the hair might be greyer, the body less toned, but the first response might as well scream “useless has-been”. Being told that you were once good-looking, but no longer are, is more damaging to the tender ego of the male than accepting that one has always been battered with the ugly stick. Alternatively, we vanity-bloated men love to believe we are still attractive to the female form, albeit in a more sophisticated way. The boost response will typically lead to a puffing up of the male plumage, involving chest expansion, an erect back and a bounce in the stride.
Scenario 3: Man flirting with women at a party.
DEFLATE response: “You sad, old bastard; still thinking you’ve got a chance with women almost half your age.”
BOOST response: “I’ll have to keep an eye on you with all these young women sniffing around.”
Ladies, we know that the chances of women lusting after blokes two decades their senior are as likely as their developing an aversion for chocolate. But men like to delude themselves that at least one or two fillies within the vicinity just might be thinking, “wow, that man is triggering spasms in my lady bits.” Deny us this fantasy and we’d stop showering and never change our underwear.
Scenario 4: Man undressing in aroused state in anticipation of rumpy-pumpy, and having just unleashed his front-room furniture.
DEFLATE response: “Ah, how cute!”
BOOST response: “Be gentle with me.”
Men are obsessed with the size of their willies, and subject them to frequent inspections in front of the mirror (or is that just me?). Things described as cute tend to be small, so the deflate comment will activate the man’s doubts about the adequacy of his nadger, inevitably impairing his sexual performance. In contrast, the boost response implies that his weapon is at risk of causing damage, thereby promoting virility and confidence in his ability to satisfy.
Scenario 5: During the act of love-making
BOOST response: Gasps of orgasmic pleasure (manufactured or otherwise).
DEFLATE response: “Are you in yet?”
No commentary necessary.
So there you have it, the definitive guide to how men tick. Ladies, the power is with you; use it wisely.
*** Personal note: Due to my father’s illness, over the last few weeks I’ve not maintained my usual level of activity in the blogosphere. At the time of writing, my father seems to be improving and, tomorrow, I set off on a 15-night Scandinavian cruise (yippee!). So I expect my usual input to blogging will resume from around the middle of June.