“Fellas, sometimes we have a tendency, or should I say we forget what a woman needs every now and then…” Bobby Womack, “Woman’s Gotta Have It”
When it comes to sex and relationships there is nothing more dangerous than a generalization about women. What flips one’s switch is not always going to get it done for another. But there a few truths that can be shared for mutual benefit
In recent weeks I’ve participated in the hive consumption of popular television shows like ABC’s “Scandal” AMC’s “Mad Men” HBO’s “Game Of Thrones” and been paying close attention to cultural zeitgeist like 50 Shades of Grey series of erotic novels. Social Networks like Twitter and Facebook allow me to see reactions to certain phenomenon in real time unlike ever before, and one common thread that has emerged from the Matrix feed is this: women want their men back.
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It appears that as a whole (there goes another dangerous generalization) women are missing a certain amount of Macho Cheese in their diets. The early signs were in the popularity of the vampire series like “True Blood” and Twilight, where the virile undead had women lining up in droves to witness their sexual and emotional gymnastics. The characters were uncompromising and focused when it came to their female lovers. Yet with infinite power at their fingertips the only thing that made them weak were the women they loved and lusted over.
Fast Forward (or back if you want to be technical) and the pinstripe suited execs of “Mad Men”, the dispatchers of blood and iron on “Game of Thrones” and the solicitous politicians on “Scandal” are inducing collective wall-slides amongst the fairer nation on a weekly basis. The very public proclamations of desire for these men is unabashed and probably unprecedented on such a large scale. When else have women been so loud and vocal about what they desire en mass?
If you are a man who likes women this is something you should pay attention to if you aren’t already. Each gender is entitled to their flights of fantasy but this hum is becoming a roar right before our eyes.
Chivalry and chauvinism were entwined for generations, but when Solomon split the baby to show men the err of their ways there was some good old fashioned romance was thrown out in the bath water. The callousness of the 80s was countered by the feigned sensitivity of the 90s leaving the millennials holding their man-purses and crock sandals wondering what is this fleshy patch between their legs where their balls used to be. Men are more sensitive now but in the least attractive ways.
Most noticeable is that today’s men are far too quiet in the celebration of women. At least that is the perception. There are no songs praising women, few movies where we openly adore them or even a sandwich named after them (hey that would make some woman’s day.) The drought is so severe that when anything resembling a compliment surfaces it’s given an inordinate amount of attention (see Brian McKnights dissertation on vaginal water sports and Chester French’s woefully misdirected “ode” to Black girls).
So imagine what it’s like to see these men on the screen, suited or leather booted, exuding this confident masculinity without shame. Yes, they are all powerful, but saying that women are attracted to power is like saying that water is wet. It’s more than the power, it’s the careful and measured application of said power. It’s surgical. Focused. Intense. Yet subtle. The woman is made to feel like she is all that matters while making it seem perfectly normal and expected. That even with an army (whether they be of soldiers, secret service men or copywriters) at his command her needs still trump all.
The way these men wield the power is the most intriguing part. It doesn’t always abide by modern society’s ideals of propriety. There are shades of gray (pun intended) that must be carefully adjusted on the mind’s Instagram filter. Context is key.
In one telling scene on “Mad Men”, Don Draper’s young wife Megan strips down to her underwear in a fit of anger and begins to clean the house half naked. Don watches in awe and confusion as she flaunts her near-bare ass in his face, telling him that he can’t have her. He’s not allowed to touch her. Only watch. So what does he do? He accepts the challenge for what it is and takes her right on the living room floor. She feigns resistance before welcoming him inside of her.
In real life that scenario could have gone terribly wrong. We’re trained (and rightfully so) that when a woman says no, she means no. But here the couple is using a subtle, unspoken language. She wanted him to WANT her. To pursue her. To be passionate about her. To fix her sink. To be a man.
To be fair, the series has addressed the topic of marital rape in previous episodes and this was packaged in a deliberately erotic and distinct way from that. After watching that scene many women watching gave it the manicured thumbs up, once their hands were free of course.
On the flip side you have ABC’s “Scandal” starring Kerry Washington and Tony Goldwyn as secret lovers who have had the misfortune of falling in love in the wrong lifetime. The sexual chemistry between Olivia Pope and the married President “Fitz” Grant has all of the rich density and contrast in flavor of red velvet cake. From the inception of their relationship he disarms the crisis handler’s vibranium exterior by being surprisingly vulnerable, yet always in control. Words of longing that he pours into Pope’s ears (“say my name”, “let’s be inappropriate” ) could come off as trite and sleazy coming from a lesser man. But his unflinching gaze when he speaks says he doesn’t just want her for a night, he wants her forever. Women on Twitter declared the the “pinky rub” was the new forehead kiss.
The affair has courted controversy both on and off screen but the show’s supporters defend it to the teeth because of the couple is incredibly convincing. Like our real life Pres, Fitz is cheered for his “game” despite his infidelity. He would evade the entire secret service for “one minute” with her. However, the trick here is not what he can do, but his willingness to do it.
If you think that men in suits have a monopoly on this phenomenon you’d be mistaken. In “Game Of Thrones” an unarmed Kyle Drogo rips a man’s tongue out of his head with his bare hands for disrespecting his wife, Daenerys Targaryen, and challenging his authority.
I had a dream about Khal Drogo from Game of Thrones, last night… And let's just say I'll never look at him the same way again.—
Mai Mostafa (@MaiMostafa91) May 16, 2012
His reward was an untimely un-death but the next man this dragon queen meets is no less zealous. Upon reaching the gates of the city of Qarth the rich and powerful Xaro carvs a knife into his palm and swears a blood oath to her after knowing her for only five minutes. He proposed marriage within a week and slit the throats of 12 people to show how dedicated he was to getting her what she wanted. And you thought updating your Facebook relationship status was moving too fast.
Even the seemingly innocuous boys parading as men in HBO’s newest hit “Girls” are getting in on the act. When Marnie tells a young artist named Booth Jonathan that she won’t kiss him he dismisses her rebuke and declares, “The first time I fuck you I might scare you, because I’m a man and I know how to do things.”
The brash display of plumage sends Marnie running to the bathroom to pleasure herself at the thought of being worn, soiled and folded like a painters smock.
The lesson here is that some women (a lot of women), on a certain level, want to relinquish control. But they won’t cede that control to just anybody. They want someone strong enough to handle the privilege of their submission. The mistake men make is trying to illustrate this strength in ways that have nothing to do with the woman or what she wants.
But there is good news. The one thing we guys have over these fantasy men is that we’re real. Being her super hero is easier than it sounds. It just takes focus, being observant, a nice suit and a few toys. Just ask Bruce Wayne.
Despite the title of this piece I am not advocating punching a random person in the face to get your woman hot. Rather, punch the clock. Get out of the office. Go home. Unplug. Fight through the noise of Facebook, twitter, fantasy sports and “Words With Friends” and –even if it’s just for one day– fight for her attention.
Take her number (and USE it) .Take her out. Take her word. Take her temperature. Take her picture. Take her seriously. Take her home… Then just take her.
Jerry L. Barrow is the Senior Editor of TheUrbandaily. Follow him on Twitter @JLBarrow.