(Social norms and media stereotypes only reinforce this, as explained in this piece by Noah Brand.) Basically, men can understand on an intellectual level that women want to be desired, but we find it hard to relate to this on a visceral level.Those of us who are more intent on being respectful and considerate toward women—such as the “delicate, tentative guy” from above—are less likely to take a chance on doing something we don’t completely understand (and therefore may fail horribly at).My friend responded that this is an argument for taking things more slowly when starting a relationship, to make sure that the communication and understanding between a couple keeps ahead of both the emotional and physical involvement in the relationship, but in a way that doesn’t put out the fires of the passion of the early stages of a relationship. Maybe it’s just me, but if I were dating and trying to achieve the appropriate balance between thoughtful consideration and spontaneous desire, I would consider the costs of failing to show sufficient respect—specifically, the risk of offending or hurting a woman—to be much higher than the costs of showing insufficient desire and passion—mainly, risking making a woman unhappy and endangering the success of the relationship.The way I think about things, I would consider the first risk much more serious than the second, and I would err on the side of respect and consideration. Shpancer calls “the delicate, tentative guy who politely thinks about you and asks if this is okay or that’s okay,” who “may well put you into a sexual coma—not despite these qualities, but because of them.” (Sounds like me all right!As my friend said, communication is essential, but takes time—time for a woman to discover how much she likes the gentleman she sees before discovering the beast within. Most men don't know what women want because they no longer care.---------- For a select list of my previous Women barely respect men much less desire them. Women don't care about us, why should men care about what women want?
But I think it’s natural that men who respect and appreciate women are confused about when it’s acceptable to express those desires in a more primal, animalistic way.
This was a fantastic point with which I heartily agreed, but I added that the balance a couple can achieve in the context of a committed, affectionate relationship is also important in the relationship’s early stages, when the couple is less likely to have achieved this level of understanding.
And it is exactly at this point in a relationship that a man is most uncertain about where to strike that balance between thoughtful consideration and overwhelming desire.
(Note: In this post I am discussing opposite-sex relationships exclusively, as Dr. I would be very interested, however, in hearing perspectives on these issues from people in or seeking same-sex relationships.) What captured my and my friend's attention most in Dr.
Shpancer’s post was the importance to a woman of being desired in a very primal way, a point with which my friend—a woman—strongly identified.