Friday, August 7, 2009

How to Train a Boyfriend: Other Women's Experience

As if confirmation of an ideological Zeitgeist fell from heaven, a friend recently came across a dating advice article entitled, "6 Ways to Train Your Boyfriend", where the writer interviews Amy Sutherland, author of "What Shamu Taught Me About Life, Love, and Marriage: Lessons for People from Animals and Their Trainers". Here are two other women who can attest to the power of psychological awareness and behavior modification for communicating more effectively with your man.

One part worth quoting emphasizes how communicating what you want to a man through specific direction and demonstration gives him a chance to show his true attitude towards you and his potential as a partner:

"The average guy is plenty romantic, but he's not hardwired to plan out the little details. So if you can't remember the last time he put together a romantic night for you both, you'll have to show him the way. Start by staging your apartment with cues that get you going, like candles and a sultry soundtrack. Have your favorite chilled wine on hand so you can ask him to open it before dinner. This creates a ritual in his mind. Eventually, not only will he get a sense of what your romantic needs are, but he'll also start making a game plan of his own."

See Dating Advice: 6 Ways to Train Your Boyfriend

Also see What Shamu Taught Me About Life, Love, and Marriage: Lessons for People from Animals and Their Trainers

18 comments:

subservient-husband said...

It does feel like I am in the dark, fumbling around in an unfamiliar room when trying to key into her wants/wishes. Not an easy exercise, but with practice, I feel I am improving. One thing that has been helpful for my empathy development is, once per day I need to do something for my wife that she has not asked for. This exercise forces me to think often on what she would want me to do.

Richard said...

Ms. Christina,
Training has a negative connotation to it. Human beings certainly are not the same as dogs, and they need to be autonomous as much as possible. But, there is a deeper truth at work here that is worth discussing as we attempt to reconcile matriarchy with our belief in equality.

First, we need to understand that human autonomy and freedom can only be understood in a context of shared values, habits, norms, and other cultural beliefs and practices. The two go together just as inside and outside, up and down go together. The old patriarchal cultural practices are (thank God) breaking down and new ones need to take their place. "Training" is really just an attempt to reconstruct on a new basis an unraveling culture in its death throes. It does not signify a new form of oppression because as point two notes, men and women have important differences as well as similarities.

Second, it is becoming clearer that men have an inborn need for the guidance of women in close interpersonal relationships and to serve them, just as women have a deep need for and ability to provide men with the close supervision they require and a need as well to be pampered by them. This fact is becoming increasingly accepted rather than hidden. On the societal level, it is also becoming clear that feminine values need to come into better balance with masculine ones. Arguably, women's leadership provides the best path to restoring those values. But we should not count out men. Once they have absorbed new values and norms, many men may be able to participate on an equal basis in a new matriarchal culture, even if women maintain their hold on most leadership positions.

Under the above two premises, we can view some femdom practices as very positive. Inculcating male obedience to women and the belief in female superiority is a different way of saying men need to be open to learning new cultural norms, which must resonate at a very deep psychic level to become second nature.

As I see it, Ms. Christina is not advocating that women manipulate men, but that men participate willingly and enthusiastically if possible in a new kind of relationship, which will be transformative in nature. While the individual male male may get only submissive pleasure out of the relationship, there is a larger cultural transformation taking place.

Richard

Blanche Black said...

subservient-husband,

That sounds like a good exercise, and what you shared is helpful. I like to hear men share what has helped them to tune into pleasing their wives more than themselves, and what helps them continue to effectively romance them.

-Ms. Christina

whatevershesays said...

Not to get too over the top, but teasing and denial works best!

Blanche Black said...

Richard,

Your way of describing this phenomenon is what I would call conservative mainstream. The wording is sure to be a much softer blow to any strongly ingrained male egos in the general public. There are a growing number of people who put this message out there in this form, and I believe it is productive.

However, when it comes to the word "training" it never ceases to amaze me how readily a majority of men are willing to accept being compared to animals when discussing the male libido, competitive sports, and porn. But when the topic of applying those same instincts to pleasing a woman comes up, they are suddenly offended? For shame.

Men have no problem embracing training from sergeants at boot camp, coaches at team practice, and other rituals of simplified order receiving and unquestioned obedience. And the training being suggested here is sugar-coated by comparison!

It is only when men focus on over-protecting their social ego, their belief that they do not need to learn from women, that they despair when training under a woman is suggested.

Imagine your woman as your coach for the sport of pleasing a woman, and it will be much easier for you to agree to.

Or you can think of it as being in the same category of training that is referred to as behavior therapy by professionals in the field of psychology. Conditioning like this is only used to address a human behavior problem, and when patriarchal training in a man interferes with a relationship, consideration training is in order.

-Ms. Christina

Richard said...

Ms. Christina,

I agree with what you say when you mention:

"It is only when men focus on over-protecting their social ego, their belief that they do not need to learn from women, that they despair when training under a woman is suggested.

Imagine your woman as your coach for the sport of pleasing a woman, and it will be much easier for you to agree to."

My goal was to counter some of the negative reactions that would arise in mainstream as you say. Perhaps I was too defensive about "training." The way you put it makes it sound less controversial. I think you have a gift for easing the way to a world based on female leadership. That is what makes this blog a "must-read" for me.

Your follower,

Richard

Blanche Black said...

Richard,

It's nice to hear from you, and I appreciate your passion for expressing these concepts to others in an accessible way. Your personal experience speaks volumes, and when you express your way of identifying with the notion of female leadership and direction I find it enjoyable to read. I encourage you to share your insights without minimizing the assertive aspect of female leadership, which some refer to as "tough love".

The way I explain it to people, if necessary, is that leadership involves asserting oneself over another or others so that they can receive something from the leader. This something is supposed to be something good, something that will help and benefit them. There are leaders that use this position to make others receive something bad, but that makes their value as leaders bad, not the concept of leadership itself bad. Therefore, leadership, even in highly demanding forms, can be very good when the source is one with the insights necessary to get good results.

-Ms. Christina

subservient-husband said...

BAD:
mao tse tung, joseph stalin, Etc..

GOOD:
Queen Victoria, george washington, Etc...

living under an accepted authority requires compliance to maintain honor, as authority was ceded through a pledge. Maintaining the pledge and not rebelling against the authority is a natural process when in agreement with the leader or within a loving relationship.

IMHO, while in a FLR, as long as the woman is enjoying the relationship how she wants, there is really nothing "bad" that can be done, as the man's pleasure comes from her satifaction and her wants/wishes being placed above his, whatever that may be at the time. In an anthropology view, there are intrinsic wrongs authoritarian leaders can impose, thereby increasing civil disobedience. For instance, murdering 150 million people because you read "religion is bad" is wrong. No two ways to dice that one. In real life there is a lot of more gray area to the discussion of right and wrong, now that our lives are run by lawyers. ;-})

Blanche Black said...

Yes, there are gray areas and there are more obvious ones. My conviction is that anything that causes long-term or permanent harm to a life is not good for that life, nor is it ultimately good for mine, based on the idea of the long-term interdependence of living things.

Then there is something like exercise, which causes a temporary and partial destruction of muscle tissue so that it grows back stronger, benefiting the body soon afterwards.

So something that is good has long-term good results for a life, I would say. Something good may not be immediately pleasurable, and may even be initially uncomfortable, such as working hard or getting negative constructive criticism. However, the obvious productive results in the life of the person who goes through it further motivates that person to continue the practice.

subservient-husband said...

I see that now. thx for clarify. Does this mean you follow a vegiterian diet and ascribe to a pasifist political view al la Albert Einstine?

Sensual Femdom said...

I believe most men truly desire to please the women they are with, but most of the time are clueless. Men need to be told, in concrete terms, what is desired and expected of them. Sure, it takes a little time, and removes a bit of the romance and spontaneity, but I know I will always be pleased!

Richard said...

Ms. Christina,

Thank you for that insightful observation (my tendency to minimize the assertive aspect of female leadership). I'll try to be more aware of that shortcoming in the future.

And thank you also that wonderful metaphor of training with muscle building.

You're teaching--training--is greatly appreciated.

Richard

subservient-husband said...

Ms. Christina,

I posted on my blog about historically skewed views of female leadership and respectfully ask your opinion on the post, as I consider you the authority on the subject.

thank you.

-SH

http://subservient-husband.blogspot.com

rr30 said...

Ms. Christina-
There are some interesting comments in the October '09 Harper's Bazaar interview of Jennifer Aniston:

"I'm still a romantic," she said. And though the "Love Happens" star has yet to land hubby number two since her split with Brad Pitt, she told the mag she's learned what makes a relationship, well, fail. "I think it's laziness," she said to the mag's October issue. "I think a good relationship is about collaboration. I think you just need to talk to each other. Say what you need. Say what you want. That way it's not threatening. You just need to say, 'This is important to me.' Don't expect your mate to read your mind." "I think that's because it's just instinctual as a woman to be the caretaker of your home. Women complain that men don't do enough, but it's your own fault," she said. "You train your man to do nothing. You can't blame someone for not knowing what his or her job should be if you don't ask for it right off the bat."
(Emphasis mine)
Perhaps she has been reading this blog? If not, she ought to.

Matthew

Blanche Black said...

Matthew,

It's great to hear her encourage women to take the upper hand in expressing themselves with men. That is vital to achieving equality in relationships.

It does seem like more women are rejecting the traditional care taking mindset for the new independent approach to all aspects of their lives, including relationships, now that such an approach is more affordable to them. I say affordable, because so many men still attempt to make life difficult for independent women professionally and financially, and even socially.

The blame for the way things are is two-fold: customarily, men blame women for not making men happy, and women blame women for not making men happy. And that, essentially, is care taking.

Independent thinking is certainly a large part of the solution for women.

The solution for men, however, is to learn to admire women in all their states of thinking, (whether traditional or independent), and to rid themselves of their expectations on women to be perfectly self-validating before men themselves perfect their own validation of women.

Nice to hear from you.

-Ms. Christina

rr30 said...

Ms. Christina-
I guess it is redundant to say that I agree with you, if I did not, I wouldn't be participating in this discussion.
One can only hope that Ms. Aniston will take her own advice and look for a relationship outside of the Entertainment "Industry". It is stereotypical, but I feel that that line of work attracts too many self-centered egotists. Is it any wonder she cannot find anyone truly interested in her when she only fishes in the pool of Narcissus?

At the risk of devolving into stalkerish celebrity-worship, I would think that there would be quite a few decent, ordinary guys who would like nothing more than to be 'trained' by her.

be well,
Matthew

Ms. Cassandra (Sandy) Park said...

Good advice, and I look forward to more about how to train your man.

Cassandra

Anonymous said...

Hi Ms. Christina, I hope you read this and decide to begin offering us more of your wisdom. I feel sure there are a lot of your fans out there who would appreciate your latest thoughts on any number of issues relating to female leadership, male service, and the possibility of matriarchy. Your broad-ranging intellect is able to combine insights from anthropology, world history, psychology, and physiology, together with personal experience and a spiritual vision of the future. It’s really stunning. I’m not sure how many of your readers appreciate the work and thoughtfulness you have put into your messages. There is nothing like it on the internet or in print. No doubt you have your own good reasons for suspending further posts, but I hope you will consider resuming them at some point soon.

your fan,

Richard