Man Up

Ladies, you may have read my “Fifty Shades of 40” post. This version is more for the men out there who haven’t been paying attention. Men, start reading here: While the following doesn’t apply to ALL women, it does for many ladies I’ve spoken to, so    pay attention. When we (the ladies) first met you (the men), you were likely decisive, confident, chivalrous…wait, I forgot, I’m talking to men right now…you were badass. You took what you wanted, you jacked us up against the wall, you owned your masculinity and you were willing to kick the ass of any other male who even thought about moving in on your woman. Fast forward through commitment, marriage, perhaps children, what-have-you and…well…now look at you. When did you become a chick? Ok, that may have been a little harsh, but think about it. At some point we took some power, then some more, then, before you know it, it’s a total role-reversal. I am not blaming the men here (entirely). We did this to you. Think back to the very first time you made sex an option. “So…waddaya think? Wanna fool around?” Who are you? Urkel? What happened to the badass machine who knew exactly which  move would elicit complete passion? Because that moment…when we just get into bed after cleaning up the kitchen, doing dishes, catching up on laundry, helping with homework or maybe just washing our face, is not the most opportune time to give us an option. Sleep…sex…hmmm. I can have sex anytime, but sleep, that’s now or I have to wait another 24 hours. On the other hand, when your woman comes to bed, maybe offering a (sincere) back rub would pave the way. Sorry to disappoint, but sporadically letting your hand fall on our back while watching CSI is not exactly foreplay. Don’t ASK us…just GET us there. You know what we like, just do it. If we have a book on our nightstand, read the title. If it even remotely sounds like a romance, I highly suggest you read it. Chick-flicks? If you appear even slightly intrigued you’re almost guaranteed to get some after. Pay attention! What does the guy do in the movie that makes the girl get all gushy? Do this, SCORE! You know when your woman is most open to a little nookie. For some, this is morning, or in the shower, maybe afternoon delights are more her thing and some may just need a little help unwinding at the end of a long day. Pay Attention! Another clue, roughly 10 days after the start of her period she is having lascivious thoughts that can almost guarantee a happy ending for you. A little wine…score. Every woman is different, so don’t go jack her up unexpectedly if that is not your “couple style”. Think about what’s worked in the past. Also, don’t translate this into “no” means “yes”. Sometimes “no” means “no” and sometimes it means “maybe” and sometimes it means “yes” but let’s just start with the easier steps, ok? The key here is paying attention to her signals. We don’t want to tell you what we’re thinking, that takes all the fun out of it. Read our mind by reading our signals. Man-up and remind us why we picked you in the first place. And if some Rockstar Lady happened to send you this post…well then your work is half done, isn’t it?

Fifty Shades of 40

If you are between the ages of 35-45, this may be a good read for you.  No, I don’t mean the “Fifty Shades” phenomena, I mean this article.  While I don’t believe the author of the Fifty Shades series had any malintent to those of us in the aforementioned age bracket, I do believe damage has been done.  I remember reading romance novels back in the day and while my husband reaped the rewards of my passionate replays, he was just as likely to miss his lines as the “assertive pursuer of my unlit passions”.  This may, in part, be because I didn’t TELL him his role, or his lines for that matter! But that’s neither here nor there.  I did give him another opportunity to take on this role by instigating an argument with him so that he could “take me passionately and no longer allow my half-hearted façade of indifference stop him from claiming what was his to take”.  However, this wasn’t exactly how our arguments played out.  A: I’m not known for my submissiveness B: He was just so confused that less than 24 hours ago I was all over him like it was my job and now I’m just being a bitch.

These books paint a picture of never-ending passion, however passion was never meant to be never-ending.  We’d all be exhausted if we were passionate like that all the time.  Please don’t misinterpret my meaning for “passion”.  I’m not referring to good sex and variety in the relationship, which should be expected throughout, taking into consideration natural ebbs and flows.  I’m referring to the “butterflies in the stomach, tingling all over, I wonder what will happen next, insecurities-be-damned” emotions that are often found at the beginning of an intimate relationship.  The reason these passions exist at the beginning is because we tend to ‘fill in the blanks’ of any aspects we haven’t seen first-hand yet.  For example, you are incredibly attracted to ‘Blaze’ because he is handsome and assertive and is successful in his job.  Those are the facts as you know them.  All the other unknowns you fill in with whatever sounds good, like because he’s assertive, he must have had a wonderful relationship with his father who taught his son how to be a man and this quality will make him a great husband and father someday.  Since he’s great at his job, he will ‘obviously’ be able to provide wonderful things for me (his future wife) like vacations and jewelry and a house that will be the envy of all my friends.  So while you’re giving him the best sex he’s ever had while planning your future wedding, keep in mind, you made all that up.  It’s just as likely his assertiveness is hiding a controlling and domineering personality.  Or, that he’s successful because he puts nothing before his job, including girlfriends, future wives and future children.  Over time, this Knight in Shining Armor will prove to be as flawed of a man as you are as a woman.   You will both do things to drive each other crazy and slowly extinguish the flame of passion.  While this may sound depressing, it’s just reality.  That crazy, unpredictable flame can be replaced with an eternally lit glow that still has the power to heat you both up, but is more frequently keeping you both warm.

The changes we experience as women between the ages of 35-45 are enormous.  Our bodies are changing, our children, if we have them, are likely gaining more independence.  We are starting to pay attention to the life clock we didn’t even consider 15-20 years ago.  We are tired of sacrificing, tired of providing for others while forgoing our own needs and tired of no longer being seen as the complex, sensual women we are.  While true and reasonable, some of us see this as an opportunity to quit our spouses and find our own “Christian Grey”.  In some cases this may be the right path, but I don’t believe that’s true in most.  If the guy you married was a good guy then and is still overall a good guy, don’t be too quick to throw in the towel.  We’d like for them to read our minds, just like they seem to do in those books, but that’s not fair.  Most men don’t have any idea what we are thinking or feeling.  We need to help them out a bit.  Share a few secrets you’ve been keeping, give a few clues or, even better, you can be upfront and honest and openly share your needs with them.  There’s a good chance they will listen and try to please you, just like they did so well when you were first together.  Help them understand what your needs are and work on understanding theirs too.  When I was first dating my husband, I wouldn’t blow my nose or eat in front of him.  Now I do both with gusto.  Hot?  Not even a little, but that’s OK.  I stopped trying to prove I was perfect long ago.  So read those books if you must, but at the very least, let him read it with you so he can see what role he has and what his lines are and maybe he’ll even surprise you with a few moves of his own!