Dear Men – Part II
Because she is not a sex robot or a porn star, and you are most definitely not a hero out of a novel or rom-com (written by a woman or a Jewish gay guy). Which is to say: you are probably not two meters tall, have the hair of a Nordic god, the abs of an Olympian, the mind of Nobel Laureate and the heart of a poet. Or someone who writes love letters to her and saves puppies and orphans in his spare time, AND is dying to hear all about her day......
Art & Words by Fanitsa Petrou
Dear men, if you have a wandering eye (and lets face it, you probably have), at least have the decency to not allow it to wander in the presence of your spouse. She has been washing your dirty underwear for years. At least wait until she is out of the room for God-sakes!
Also, know that no matter how much you don’t want or wish it, your partner WILL eventually change. These changes may involve actual, human ageing. Also, possibly, a certain degree of increased bravery, an increased sense of self-worth, which will lead possibly to a luck of leniency, as well as an inability to lie when faced with bullshit, or what seems like a lifetime of bad / weird sexual practices, which she pretended to go for - you know, for the “sake of the marriage” and all that - but no longer can. (Be warned)
Speaking of bullshit, even though you mum was probably willing to take your own, and on top of that has assured you that you are the best guy ever to be born, (the cleverest, handsomest, manliest of them all), you can’t really take it to the bank… Or expect every woman on the planet to agree with her.
And how about you stop sending dick selfies to women? How about you realise that you can only gross them out by doing that, and NOT turn them on? Because you know, they are not men, and they are not into headless, disembodied pieces of meat that are not attached to a person. Plus, the fact that you seem to think that your aroused dick which was undoubtedly brought to its current state by the watching of some nasty pornography is a welcome image on a woman’s phone screen as she goes about her day, is ludicrous, insulting and let’s face it, a little bit funny…. Plus, your certainty that even an image of your precious dick possess extraordinary magical powers that can make her orgasm from a distance (you know instead of feel angry, disgusted, insulted, or cause her to laugh out loud), says certain things about the limitations of your intellect and the limitations of your understanding of female nature that can only make her start feeling a little bit sorry for you. Which I bet was not what you were going for… In other words, she probably won't say: "Wow, this guy is really something! A real class act! A real keeper! You don't come by that every day! I mean he took the time, probably thought about lighting and angle and things, spend a good three minutes watching porn and then chose me to send this to. Boy, does this make me feel special!!!"
When you are in your girlfriend’ s home, (especially if you are still in the early, flirting stage when her judgement has not yet been blind-sighted by the possibility of a marriage proposal, and she can therefore still see you as who you are), try not to urinate all over everything when you go to the toilet. And put the toilet seat down for God-sakes! This alone can – sadly – put you in the “prince” category.
When it comes to first dates: know that “post-feminism” point you love-making, about “how come in this day and age with feminism and everything, men still have to pay for dinner on dates?” you have to forget that one too I’ m afraid, not just because her work is likely to be paid considerably less than yours, even if she is considerably more accomplished than you are, but also, on account of the fact that the whole “date experience” still costs (in money and otherwise) more to the woman than to the guy. Think about it for a minute: when a woman prepares for a date, she feels “obliged” to be pretty for you, (even if you are an unwashed, unemployed slop with a porn addiction, who lives with his mum, and has the social skills of a pimply, nerdy adolescent with serial killer tendencies), because lets fact it, if you are the type who complains about having to pay for a meal, then you are also the kind of type who believes he “deserves” to go out only with a pretty girl… So she will have her hair and nails done, she will go to beauty salons, she will exfoliate, hydrate, depilate, plug away, and have all kinds of excruciating painful waxes and procedures and medieval tortures that cost a fortune. Plus she will go and buy new outfits, including underwear – just in case you are indeed worth it - shoes, bags, all because she is made by society - and men like yourself - to feel inadequate small and unworthy of love, unless she looks EXACTLY like the girls in magazines, and movies, and possibly, porn. She will also probably starve herself in the days leading up to the date, and then spent hours of preparation and agonising, and long phone conversations with her girlfriends and generally speaking spend a lot of money and mental energy before she sits on that chair looking into your eyes, hoping to have her feet being swept away, and her heart being stolen by the man of her dreams (which you are obviously not). While all you have to do, is drag your precious, sloppy, beer gutted, and chances are, probably unbathed self to the restaurant, thinking you deserve if not to be loved, then certainly to have some kind of sexual compensation for your trouble, just because you asked her out and she said yes, not to mentioned because you paid for her meal, right? Grow up why don’ t you?
And here is another reason why women are automatically turn off by a guy who doesn’ t pick the bill: No, it is not because they are all looking for a sponsor because they are all gold diggers who are “out to get you”. It is because even when they are not consciously aware of the fact, they all take it as a warning: life with a cheap man (who as a rule is also self-cantered, boring and conservative) is a living hell. And if you show your cheap-ness on the first date when you are supposed to be trying to impress her, they can only imagine what will follow… Plus, the guy who is careful with money, is very likely to also be selfish in bed… And that my friend takes the cake…
Speaking of sex, contrary to popular beliefs about stamina and techniques you picked up from porn, playboy magazines, your male friends over beer, or Indian sex manuals, the very simple “trick” of actually understanding that it is not all about you, is the one thing that actually makes you a “good lover”…
And by the way, how about you stop being offended when a woman fakes orgasm! She is not a manipulator. She is a victim. She is a woman who was hoping (much like you!) to get sexual and emotional gratification, and got none of that from her encounter with you. And instead of blaming you, or making demands that would possibly lead to her own satisfaction, or stopping you from pursuing yours, she let you continue, because let us face it, you were already on your way, (going to that lonely angry place men go, so very often unaccompanied) and you wouldn’ t listen anyway… And on top of that, she even Meg Ryan-ed it, and put on a show for you, in order to spare your feelings and hide the fact that you could not satisfy her… In short, she practically allowed you to rape her: to use her body as if it was merely a piece of meat, as if her mind, heart, spirit, were not actually inhabiting it. And she even pretended that you were “great”, so that you would not feel bad about yourself, or diminish your own satisfaction in any way, shape or form! And YOU are offended?!
On the same note: please understand that you don’ t automatically deserve to have a woman love you, just because you are a man. And you can’ t expect a woman to want to have sex with you, just because you want it. (Yeah, it DOES bear repeating!) And when she does give you the time of day that does not automatically mean “you deserve it”. And also, she was not actually born in order to do that for as long as you need it.
Even though when you approach a woman you are more likely to just wanna have sex, the why she approaches you, is a riddle wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma that possibly eludes you and may or may not spell out: “I wanna have sex”. Or possibly “I just wanna get married and have a kid by next year…” Not everything is a given. So keep in mind that women will say yes to you, will take care of you, will go to bed with you. They may find you interesting / sexy / a good catch. They may or may not be in love with you. They may even do it because they want to. They may be desperate. They may be horny. They may be lonely. They may be hopeless romantics who have read far too many novels. They may have a low self-esteem. They may have major father issues. They may be getting over their ex. They may be pressured by society to be the girl who is “up for anything”. They may be pressured by society to land a husband. They may be yearning to have kids. They may just want to brag about a generic someone (anyone really) on their facebook posts. Or they may just want a chance to wear that killer wedding dress they saw in a magazine and have a party with flowers and off white chiffon ribbons flying in the wind. But unless you ACTUALLY get to know them, and like have actual conversations with them (which includes listening to them) you can't really tell why they are with you...
Also, how about you stop expecting a woman to be impressed when you ask her father for her hand in marriage? You are not doing things the “right way” and you are not being “respectful” as you smugly like to think, you are being an anachronistic chauvinist, because guess what? She is not property to be passed from father to husband, from one “master” to the next, like cattle. Whether or not she wants to accept or refuse your proposal for marriage – an anachronism in itself, but let us not go there now - is up to her and only her.
Even though you possibly propose on account of that all-important to all guys “regular fuck”, which makes them despite their claims that marriage is an abomination, to get on their knees, holding expensive rings and making promises of ever-after to unsuspecting women, it doesn’t automatically mean you are entitled to it whenever you need it. Again, given that she is a human being, and not your store-bought sex robot…
Similarly, when you marry a woman it does NOT mean that you now own her various body parts (and admit it, you did think that, didn’ t you? And it WAS a big part of what made you ask her to marry you in the first place, wasn’ t it? In a “I now own her breasts / ass / vagina. They are mine. I can have them whenever I want, in any way I want!” kind of manner, right?). But alas my friend, her body is still her own. Given that this is not the Middle Ages - or the Middle East… And she still has the right to offer it, or deny it, at her own discretion… Also keep in mind that said body parts are attached to a human being, with feelings and opinions and desires, and needs of its own, which may or may not always concise with yours. You don’t actually own her body and she is not your personal sex slave just because you asked her to marry you and because you have convinced yourself that if only you weren’ t married, then all the women of the world would fall at your feet? (hint: they wouldn’ t) Also, how about you stop thinking that by asking her (and therefore “forsaking all others”) you were doing her a supreme favour that should be forever paid with certain, let us say, unrequited sort of sexual acts on a regular basis, just because you feel like it, and women in porn seem to really, REALLY enjoy them (forgetting that they are sex workers, meaning they have the lowest sense of self-worth imaginable AND it is their actual job to pretend they enjoy it).
Also how about you don’t actually say to her when you propose that “she deserves it”, meaning to be married to you! Because you are the ultimate prize apparently… When you ask a woman to marry you, do keep in mind you are not doing her a favour. Especially since you are offering nothing but your precious self in the deal (BTW stop assuming that it is enough!), while she is loosing practically everything – though it will take years before she realises of course. Yes, you are both loosing your independence, but additionally, she is also loosing her name, her voice as a human being, her real identity, possibly her carreer her real self, in more ways than you (or sadly, she) can possibly comprehend. The truth of the matter is that most of her options will forever disappear, and her world will suddenly become smaller, and her place in it predictably preordained. Despite what stand up comics, sitcoms, and every piece of popular culture written by men claim, she is more likely to adjust to your own way of life, than you are to hers.(Yes, even if you do take the garbage bin out every month or so) She is more likely to be made to feel obliged to fulfil your OWN needs (sexual, professional, social, culinary or laundry related) than you, hers. And if you are the sole provider of the household, you will feel entitled to demand that she meets your own needs, and she will be in turn made to feel like she owes you, and therefore comply, becoming smaller and smaller until she disappears. (Attempting to find her voice by giving elaborate dinner parties, or taking up art & crafts lessons, pilates or Self Help classes and becoming really passive aggressive, holding on to her tiny victories that prove she is not lost for ever) Despite her brave efforts to keep up appearances, her life becomes a series of compromises and daily indignities, and her freedom of choice is in actual fact, gone for ever (not that she would admit it publicly of course) And even if on the other hand, she is highly successful at her profession, she will (unlike yourself) be made to feel guilty for every hour she spends at work, and on top of that, she will STILL be expected to be a housekeeper, a cook, a nurse, a taxi driver, a mother and a private sex worker all in one, even when she doesn't feel like it, when she comes home. And do it while wearing heels and make up, and a smile on her face, if she is a good little wife, right? Or else pay the price of feeling like she is “not making an effort”, or she is a bad wife because her “let herself go” or has put her career above her family, (which is commendable for a man but a mortal sin for a woman) or ignores her "duties" as a wife... She will probably eventually give up on most of her dreams, wasting her potential for ever, and she will be from then on, made to feel guilty for every minute she is not spending providing for someone else’s needs. She is also likely to be made to feel worthless for every passing year that leaves its mark on her, rendering her less “valuable” and worthy of your love, which is apparently directly related to her age and dress size, even though her own love for you is not expected to be in any way affected by your own age, or the girth of your stomach. All of the above, contrary to popular belief, make the whole marriage thing an overall bad deal for her.
Also, no matter how things were before you got married, once she will get married, she may not feel the need (well, unless you ordered her from a catalogue that is), to parade around in her black, lacy, Playboy-mansion-nighties and 6” stilettos, 24/7, just because you expected that she would, any more you are likely to start reading Jane Austen on a daily basis all of a sudden. Because she is not a sex robot or a porn star, and you are most definitely not a hero out of a novel or rom-com (written by a woman or a Jewish gay guy). Which is to say: you are probably not two meters tall , have the hair of a Nordic god, the abs of an Olympian, the mind of Nobel Laureate and the heart of a poet. Someone who writes love letters to her and saves puppies and orphans in his spare time, AND is dying to hear all about her day... You are both, you know… human beings and you are allowed to relax and be yourself in your own home. I mean she doesn't ask you to walk around in your living room every day in a white Tuxedo, right?! Or ask that you spend half your day at the gym so that you will finally look like Thor, right?! So how about you stop pestering her, making her feel half an inch tall and unworthy of your love! If she can live with it, try to return the favour… And those hardly there, black, synthetic, allergy inducing undies? They may have to be forgotten as well. On an everyday basis at least. You may even have to man up, and accept the possibility that there may even be some white cotton in your future. Can you deal with it? Do you have the balls for it? Take another minute to ponder on it if you must.
Speaking of undies: if she is the sort of woman who needs Valentine Day’ s declarations of your love for her (poor thing), how about you buy her a present that is actually for her, and not for you? Like something that she can actually use outside of the bedroom? Something that will say to her that you don’t see her only as an array of body parts and you are actually not THAT obsessed with the porn culture? Pretend if you must. She needs it so bad, she will actually buy it… It’s only once a year.
Remember that: 1) chances are, women are not exactly lining up hoping to get a glimpse of you naked, and 2) she too, has “forsaken” all others by marrying you. And given that her dreams of an ideal partner are far more complex than finding one “with good boobs”, her degree of compromise is on a completely different level, and therefore so is her commitment to you - and the countless ways with which she feels you daily disappoint her. And 3), as the years go by, and you feel cheated by the fact that she, like any human being ever to be born on this Earth, has aged, try to remember that so have YOU! ( Or do you think women don’ t mind old man ’s bits? Plus, 4), she is probably doing your laundry for what seems an endless amount of years, and the cooking and general house keeping and general taking care of you and raising your kids and all that, even when she is working as many hours as you do, and she ought to get some respect for that at least. Yes, she did get her wedding day a thousand years ago, and she did finally got a sort of social approval that would otherwise be denied to her if she remained single, but you got a whole lot more than you think from her in all the years that followed that wedding day… And this is a fact that is actually proven by statistics: married men live longer and healthier lives than single men, while single women live longer and healthier lives that married women. (Ironic or what?) Which means that the extreme pressure put on single women by society to get married, is nothing compared with the stress married women feel by having a husband… Also, even though married men love complaining about losing their freedom, being constantly cared for by a woman who is sociologically conditioned to believe it is her duty and main purpose in life to do that, is one hell of a way to keep them healthy both mentally and physically. Now isn’t that interesting? (And a little bit sad?)
In short, marriage is not exactly a pic-nic for her either. It is probably as mind numbingly boring for her, as it is for you (plus full of thankless chores!) She is just better at pretending that’ s all. Because she was, sadly, groomed from an early age to believe that there isn ’t any other way of “ideal” life out-there for her. And on top of that, for her, marriage is an endless series of daily chores. So if for whatever reason you are both in it together, doing your concurrent sentences so to speak, how about you do it with a little dignity? How about you show her some respect and compassion, instead of anger, disappointment, contempt, bitterness, possibly violence, and whollot of cheating? And if that is not possible, why not leave? Don’ t waste any more of her years, given that no matter how old she is society says she hasn’ t got that many “good’ ones left?
Also, if you were there in the room with your wife when she was giving birth, how about you stop bragging about it? How about you realise that you were merely a witness to a miracle, NOT the actual miracle worker. Or the actual miracle.
And when the kid arrives, how about you stop expecting the world to congratulate, praise, admire you and be totally ecstatic over your wonderfulness each time you do something for your kid? Given that you ARE its father after all, and it IS your job! In short, be an actual parent to your child, not just a sperm donor. Be there for the bad days, the difficult, the boring, the exhausting days, and not just for the good, the easy, the proud ones. And understand that it is your duty, and not a matter of choice.
Also, how about you stop pestering your poor wife for sex as soon as she gives birth? And how about you stop playing the victim because her vagina (HERS!) - which you obviously consider to be your own property - is not unchanged by having to push an entire human being out of it? She is the one who had to endure the pain of it by the way, and the involuntary peeing and the bleeding of oceans of blood, and the whole range of other unpleasantness that would you make you cry non-stop like a toddler, if you were to go through them yourself (well, if your reactions when you get the sniffles is anything to go by...) How would you feel if you would have to pay a price in this whole baby-making business? How would you feel if YOUR genitalia would receive something more than an orgasm in order to have a child? How would you feel for example, if your penis was sliced horizontally from the middle like a salad cucumber so that an actual human being would emerge screaming out of it? And how would you feel if your balls were crushed in a slamming door? Repeatedly. While strangers watched. Possibly holding cameras. Seems to me - if soccer players holding their hands religiously and fearfully over their precious packages are anything to go by - the pain you feel in that particular area, can be considerable, right? (I wouldn't know. My ball breaking has always been metaphorical, see?...) So how about a little bit of humanity. How about a little empathy. Imagine you are playing soccer, waiting for a direct free kick. If a flying soccer ball can put the fear of God into you, so is a penis when you've just given birth...
Speaking of babies: if you are ever in the position of having to push an entire human being out of your urethra, (or even your left nostril, I’m not picky), a human being which has been created in your insides that has limps and organs and bones and elbows and things, and which was being fed for months from your blood and which made you feel like you were living your own private version of any one of the “Alien” movies, plus you have started monthly bleeding ever since you were eleven, in order to be able to do that one day (and had to endure the whole unpleasant bloody monthly scenario for the bigger part of your adult life, even if you had no intention of having kids), then and ONLY then, will you be allowed, justified and legitimated to complain about your wife’ s “nagging” about her discomfort, weird food cravings or excruciating pain.
In the meantime, how about you stop watching the sports channel for 5 minutes and you go get her that pizza with the anchovies dipped in marmalade, sprinkled in cashew nuts and tiny pink marshmallows OK?
"Dear Men - Part II": Art & Words Copyright © Fanitsa Petrou. All Rights Reserved.
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Read also: "Dear Men, Part I"
and "Dear Women"