In honor of Valentine’s Day, I am repeating this blog entry as my gift to all women who wish to crank up the romance quotient in their relationships. At the risk of sounding immodest, the advice I’m about to impart today is so simple, yet so brilliant, I expect to be awarded a significant humanitarian award, like the coveted Above-and-Below-the-Sheets Romance Upgrade Award. Seriously.
At this very moment, throngs of men around the world are in a state of panic, not to mention despair, having left their purchase of a Valentine’s Day gift until the last possible moment. We don’t know what causes this unspeakable madness. Performance anxiety? Selective amnesia? An expectation that someone will cancel Valentine’s Day and he’ll be off the hook this year? Reasons abound. They vary from man to man, and they are irrelevant. But I digress. Whatever the cause, I’ve seen many a dude, his eyes glinting with desperation, manly brow beaded with driblets of sweat, scouring jewelery stores, candy counters, and lingerie racks in a frenzied quest for the perfect Valentine’s Day gift, one that will scream romance to his lady-love.
Please don’t get me wrong. I enjoy receiving diamonds, chocolate, and edible panties (‘Strawberry Passion’ rocks) as much as the next woman. Hey, I would kill for a Tanzanite pendant and matching earrings. I am not, I repeat, NOT advocating we scrap the lavish gift-giving ritual. Nevertheless, I contend that there’s more to demonstrating romance than a 20-pound Lady Godiva gift tower. To put my money where my mouth is, I will share with you the secret for injecting more romance into your relationship, both in and out of the bedroom:
Every man must learn what makes a woman tick.
Yes, folks, it really is that simple.
Since the beginning of time, we women have struggled, sadly with limited success, to instill more romance into our relationships. The good news is, we can teach men how. Seriously.
The key to living the romantic dream nestles in the capable, not to mention long-fingered, sensitive, well-manicured, sinewy, and delightfully work-roughened hands of our romantically-challenged main squeeze. Think, for example, how wonderful it would be if our man grasped that overt ogling of the waitresses at Hooters is an unconditional no-no; how delightful if our man embraced our hormone-whipped mood swings with a hug, reassuring words, and an offer to clean the toilets; how glorious if our man listened with unfeigned interest to our frustrations, hurts, and complaints—without offering advice on how we should handle the situation; how totally sublime if our man memorized all our most sensitive spots and lavished attention on each and every of them. Frequently. Gently but firmly. The way we love most.
How, you ask, can we impart this knowledge to our menfolk without indulging in mind-melding or nasty threats involving sharp implements? In the interest of female solidarity, I’m willing to share my mind-blowing ‘how-to’ secret:
Introduce the love of your life to romance fiction.
Okay, so I’m taking the high road and ignoring the eye-rolls. Bear with me. To achieve this goal, I have devised an Action Plan containing Tasks, Sub-Tasks, and Milestones.
1. Task One
Task One is sneaky. It exploits men’s love of logic. This is where you explain to him that romance novels provide unlimited opportunities for a man to plumb the depths (so to speak) of the mysterious world of Venus. In the process, he might even reach new insight into Martians. How, I ask you, can any man in his right mind resist unveiling the feminine mystique–what we love, what we hate, what turns us on, what turns us off, in short, what makes us tick?
Once you reach the first milestone (his buy-in that romance novels offer men untold benefits), it’s time to implement task two.
2. Task Two
Take a deep breath and drop a hint that, going forward (that’s man-speak, required to indicate you’re on his wave-length), his enlightenment will cause those Gates of Paradise to open more often. And bingo! He’s riveted by the bait of abundant sex.
Congratulations. You have achieved the second milestone. At this point, you must advance quickly to task three.
3. Task Three
Task 3 taps into a man’s competitive streak by recounting your recurring fantasy of a man sprawled in an airport chair, legs crossed, waiting for his flight, briefcase and laptop at his feet—a manly man, a hunk who is truly comfortable in his own skin, a studmuffin who is dabbing the tears in his eyes, a hottie who has discarded his business report on financial trends in favor of the latest Nora Roberts bestseller. Assure him that at the end of the day (more man-speak), only real men read romance.
If you’ve done your job properly, you’ll soon hear him beg for 50 Shades of Grey or even Maureen Fisher’s latest romantic comedy. Simply hand your dude the mushiest romance novel you can find, place a box of tissues within easy reach, and give him space to do the rest.
Mission accomplished! I offer you a transformed man who understands women inside and out. A man who knows what to do to and exactly how to do it to crank up the romance quotient.
Or you can stick with the tried but true approach—a gift, dinner, mushy card, and celebratory sex. Either way is an excellent choice.
I raise my glass to those real men who read romance.
I wish you a fabulous Valentine’s Day, and would love for you to share the most memorable Valentine’s Day gift you received.