Please read and pass along to all young Girls.


Let me let you in on a little secret: Despite all their posturing, men are actually really vulnerable to women, and most men will do anything to hide this. Every day, they obsess over women’s bodies, women’s sensuality, women’s opinions of them, their ability to please women romantically and in bed…. and how to cover all that up under the illusion that they are indifferent to whether women like them or not. Some common ways men are encouraged to prove this indifference to themselves and others include disrespectful talk about women with the guys, trying to hurt women’s feelings, and generally defying what women want. Curiously, all such attempts from them seem to require an audience, usually male, which operates as a pep rally for psyching themselves out until they actually believe themselves.

They go to great lengths to hide their constant vulnerability towards the opposite sex from themselves. In relationships, they might hold on to this persistent façade by arguing, being contradictory, teasing and pushing buttons, and acting out in brazen selfishness with anything from using porn to blowing off household chores.

The thing about denial, however, is that the charade used to mask what one is so ashamed of has to escalate in intensity in order to keep blocking out one’s ever-nagging consciousness of it. And so you see some men making public attempts to provoke women with insults, making a show of indifference towards women’s unhappiness with them, speaking about women in a diminutive way with terms that trivialize their womanhood, and even acting out in physical ways against women. They make a hobby out of denying their emotional vulnerability to women’s approval of them, apparently bitter that women still dominate their thought life.

The fact that so many men work so hard to act this way in front of an audience shows just how much their behavior is an attempt to change their social image rather than being an indication of how they actually feel. Why do they have to prove their emotional invulnerability to others if they are so secure about it? Why put so much effort into denying something if they don't have something to hide?

It’s just like what many of us experienced with boys back in elementary school: boys often went out of their way to provoke, insult, and otherwise annoy the girls they actually liked and wanted to be around in order to prevent them and everyone else from knowing it. (Brilliant, eh? Lot of good it did them).

So, if men’s posturing and arguing don’t necessarily indicate what they want, but how they want to appear, what are they hiding? Consciously or subconsciously, men want more than anything to be wanted by women, to be able to attract the focused attention of the woman they're pursuing to the same degree that she attracts they're attention, which is a lot. Why do you think they drop their guy friends so readily once they get love-struck by some mysterious woman?

This means that whatever behavior of his manages to draw her attention and keep it on him largely determines how he treats her, whether that be because he is charming her or pissing her off.

When a man is really interested in a woman, whatever she wants in a man is what he wants to be for her, because he wants his already intense attention and appreciation of her womanly charms to be reciprocated. If she accommodates her own interests, he will adjust his behavior to ensure he continues to remain one of them. Once he has that reciprocation, however, he’s got what he wants so he has no reason to change what he’s doing. That’s alright if what he’s doing is bending over backwards to please you, but not if he’s slacking off. Give a man his ego trip and your attention and he’ll take both. Make him choose between the two and, if he’s into you, he’ll eventually choose your attention and drop the attitude.

Behavior therapy is very handy for this purpose.

The incentive for a man to leave his comfort zone and charm a woman is her expression of pleasure and approval when he responds in a charming way. Consistent acknowledgement of what a man does right will evoke more of the same from him, and willingness to go even beyond that to do other things you suggest. Expressing satisfaction when he does it right is the key to keeping it going.

All men, however, are prone to slip into the selfish modes of their upbringing. If they think they can’t be what a woman wants, they will settle for negative attention from a woman and begin to provoke her. Often, women can reinforce a bad behavior in a man just by giving him extra attention for it, even if it’s negative attention. That’s why negative attention towards men, like nagging or throwing dishes at them, rarely keeps a bad behavior of theirs at bay for very long- it is still a type of attention. This is where your honesty about how his behaviors turn you on or off comes in handy, if it’s expressed as an increase or decrease in your interest.

One of the best ways to discourage a bad behavior then is to highlight your lack of interest in it. Whether he’s just getting to know you or he already knows better, let the loss of your attention be the punishment for his disrespectful or difficult attitude by taking distance from him in whatever way works best for you.

If he complains about your cooking, for example, have him cook for himself the following night while you go out to dinner with a friend. If he teases you or makes jokes at your expense, look at him as if he’s speaking gibberish and acting unusually strange, then postpone your Saturday night plans with him to go out with the ladies to a hot comedy club instead. It will be much funnier than him, apparently. If he argues with your personal decisions, or pressures you to change them, cut your time with him short by saying you have to get up early in the morning and need the whole bed to yourself to get a full night’s rest. Subtle reminders that you have other things you can be doing and other people to see will usually snap a man out of his indifference act.

If he repeats any of these negative behaviors, tell him directly what you don’t like about what he’s doing, and what behavior you want from him instead. If he persists despite your warning, tell him to leave so you can re-evaluate the relationship, then ignore his calls. Don’t argue. Take space and cool down. He’ll regret it later. A woman doesn’t have to get emotional and upset to teach a man a lesson. Just give him a choice.

If you’re in a female-led relationship, you can make a policy of stopping a heated argument by tying him to a chair in the bedroom for a little while and getting other things done around the house. Don’t forget to gag him! It gives him time to calm down and rethink his approach and it gives you time to do something you enjoy instead. Finish that book you’re in the middle of, or order take-out and relax in front of a rented movie.

To complete his lessons, wait until he shows a change of heart and until you’re feeling better, and then give him a chance to rephrase what he was trying to say before. Tell him what behavior you want from him instead of what he did, what type of behavior will please you, and have him do a few practice runs with you right then and there. When he does it to your satisfaction, reinforce this with some light praise.

Then, just to prove to the both of you that he can earn back your trust and confidence in him, assign him an unpleasant task or duty as a punishment for having upset you in the first place. It will prove just how sorry he really is for putting you down and being knowingly offensive. It can be cleaning toilets, buying tampons at a crowded supermarket, or bending over to take a spanking of some sort. You’d be surprised how much better you’ll feel once he accomplishes this as a token of his commitment to change his attitude. And once he endures it, he will feel much more optimistic about trying to be the man you want, now that he has a way to make up for his possible failures and start over with a clean slate from you. The more a man thinks he can be what a woman wants, and knows she won’t tolerate anything less, the more he will try for the positive attention rather than the negative attention.

In fact, assigning a man tasks that benefit you, especially tasks that challenge him, and showing him positive attention when he carries them out, strengthens this positive dynamic, increasing your trust in and satisfaction with him and increasing his sense of adventure in pleasing you.

Physical challenges are the best. Ask him if he can cook a three course French meal totally nude without burning himself or the food. See if he can carry both you and the groceries up the stairs and through the front door at the same time. Have him vacuum the whole house each day with 20-pound weights on his arms and legs. That will help get him in shape. Suggest he practice Kegel exercises and see how many times in a row you can have sex without him losing his erection. There are endless variations on this theme. Make sure when he succeeds to show him how excited and pleased you are by the results of his hard work. Challenge him to make slightly larger sacrifices of his comfort zone than he is used to in order to accommodate your sense of fun, and both of you will be excited when he exceeds his previous achievements. It will increase his excitement about making you ultra happy.

These are just the basics, of course. A woman can develop her own strategies along these same principles, according to what she knows about her partner, and the relationship will take on its own style of conflict resolution and romance.

Training a man is all about a woman getting the most from her man for the building of intimacy in the relationship, which requires him to come out of his privileged status so he can get to know and relate to her more. Helping him break free from ridiculous corporate myths and personal denial by confronting him with his desire for and attraction to her is all part of it. Why should other men's delusions control his state of mind towards her and get in the way of the intimacy between them?

This could be a long shot, but

I'm looking for a book (at least I think it was a book) in which there was a quote - something like "You don't know what it's like to hold a man in your belly."

For some reason I want to say the book took place in Asia, but I'm not sure.

If anyone has any information that would be wonderful.

Question for other Sophie Kinsella fans

Has anyone who reads books by Sophie Kinsella noticed that there are two books that appear to be written by her, but they seem to have a second author in addition to Kinsella? If that isn't confusing enough, the books say " *second author's name here* as Sophie Kinsella". Anyone know what's going on here and/or why she's doing that? 


The Island of the Day Before by Umberto Eco

Imagine if you will a man who comes across some diary scribbles of a man who, during the 1600s, was shipwrecked upon a ship that is already shipwrecked (and seemingly abandoned) in the middle of a body of water between two Islands. Then imagine that this same man takes these journal entries and composes a novel of events, absurdity, espionage, Romance, and "prudent" ideas.
This was this book: The Island of the Day Before by Umberto Eco. It took me a bit of a while to read this; for one, it is a very complex exchange of phrases that are uncommon to my everyday usage; second, I had recently fell into a relationship of new friends thus my time has been occupied. I could also say that I did not like the book all too much, but I believe that would be unfair. I actually enjoyed reading it, but was frustrated from time to time by its use of erudite phrases of Latin which coincide to particular musings of the 1600s. With that typed out, I would have to say that the strong point of the novel was not the story itself but the observations of both environment and psychology of the main character Roberto. These descriptions of both his observations and his interactions were, to me, quite beautifully put.
Another aspect I enjoyed is the use of symbolism and its explanations. Umberto Eco is a superman within the field of Semiotics; which is, to put it simply, the philosophy of the importance of relationships that humanity and its civilizations form with symbols and how those symbols shape such things. Being that this is his taught profession, one can assume with a safe bet that it will be interjected. And it was through the verbiage of the Dove. It was a very interesting and fun history lesson explaining how every civilization has turned the dove into something symbolic for innocence, love, and mating.
The other thing that the novel touches on is the importance of Romance; and by "Romance" I mean the heroic stories that were popular at the time; and how these stories spurred people on to make accomplishments they normally would not try to obtain, no matter how fanciful.
A very interesting notion that took place were the arguments. Roberto argued with a great many people in his life about certain origins and realities that is the universe around him. One on particular was with a Jesuit about the possibility that Earth is not the center of the universe; nor does the sun revolve around it. Despite that being correct (as we know it today), his justifications and logic for these things were very impossible within today's known facts. One of these arguments was about the Flood that took place forty days and forty nights. It was debated: where exactly did God obtain so much water and what exactly did he do with it? It was suggested that there is enough water underneath the surface of earth to satisfy such a flood; but with the discovery of what we now call the International Date Line, it was argued that God could have taken all of the water the day before the flood considering that it was always the day before right behind that line, thus there was enough water for the Flood. Though these arguments were very absurd to me, it had got me to thinking: How much of what I actually do know to be true can be argued to be untrue just based on my lack of personal observation?
All in all, I can say that I enjoyed the book. I would not rank it up there as a favorite of mine, but it did get me to think and impose upon myself to question my environment.
To the person who loaned this book out to me and took the effort to send it across the Atlantic and whatever other bodies of water that may have been in the way: Thank you.
To all of you: Thank you for reading.
cindy pon

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Hi, I'm new here. I don't think I ever wrote an intro post, but if I did, hi again.

Anyway, has anyone here read any of Scarlett Thomas's books? Do you recommend them? Are they anything like Marisha Pessl's Calamity Physics?

(I know this is going to sound strange, but on you can "look inside" The End of Mr. Y and the font looks really weird. That sort of put me off.)
asleep in books

Wise Children - Angela Carter

Book Title: Wise Children
  Angela Carter
: Theatrical comedy
256 pages
First Published: 1991 (the year I was born >.<)

A richly comic tale of the tangled fortunes of two theatrical families, the hazards and chances, Angela Carter's witty and bawdy new novel is populated with as many sets of twins, and mistaken identities as any Shakespeare comedy, and celebrates the magic of over a century of show business. 

My Thoughts:
I had to read this for my AS Level in English Literature which I'll be starting in September. My teacher told us all to read it over the summer so I did! :) It's very difficult to get into at first especially since all the characters are introduced at once. Luckily, there's a cast of characters at the back. I was a bit disappointed really: I usually love every book I read, so I was surprised when I didn't. But as I got past the first few chapters, it grew on me. I started to laugh out loud at the jokes and smiled at the weirdness of it all. I liked the satire and one thing it definitely doesn't lack is content! I've read a few reviews of it, and most people say that they loved it the second time they read it and the first time they hated it, so hopefully, as I read it more and more - as I inevitably have to do for my course - I'll love it even more!

Rating: 7/10 ... just because the last half was so fantastic!! :)
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augusten burroughs = amazing

if you haven't heard of Augusten Burroughs, then, please, let me introduce you....

He is the wonderfully gifted, talented, and hilarious writer of such memoirs as "Running With Scissors" (which was recently made into a movie), "Dry", "Magical Thinking", and "Possible Side Effects". He has also written a fiction novel named "Sellevision" (i have not had the pleasure of reading it quite yet).

PLEASE check him out. After you read, let me know what you think of him :)

((To those who *have* read Burroughs' books: What did YOU think of him? How is he as a fiction writer? What was your favorite book?))
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Books, Reading

His Dark Materials:The Trilogy (Books 1 & 2)

So far, this has been an amazing character driven story.

Author: Philip Pullman
Trilogy Summary (from In the epic trilogy His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman unlocks the door to worlds parallel to our own. Dæmons and winged creatures live side by side with humans, and a mysterious entity called Dust just might have the power to unite the universes--if it isn't destroyed first. Join Lyra, Pantalaimon, Will, and the rest as they embark on the most breathtaking, heartbreaking adventure of their lives. The fate of the universe is in their hands.

Title: The Golden Compass
Summary:Collapse )
My Thoughts: I really should have posted this soon after reading the book instead of waiting, in order to provide more detail, but oh well. All I can say, is that this is a wonderfully written fantasy adventure. Although it is considered "Children's Literature", it is both an enjoyable and satisfying read, much like the Harry Potter series. This trilogy, however, is both darker and more serious than the writings of Rowling. There are obvious moral, political and religious tones, as well as, occasionally graphic violence.
All in all, by the end, I couldn't wait to see where things were headed in book 2.

Title: The Subtle Knife
Summary:Collapse )

My Thoughts: Hmmm I'm not really sure what I think of book 2 by itself, but, the story as a whole is pretty interesting. I like the way the the author went about bringing Lyra and Will together, and how other characters (old and new) were weaved through the story lines.

Title: Amber Spyglass
Summary & Thoughts: to come. There is no summary printed in/on the book (although there may be one on Amazon, I have not checked as yet). I'm a little more than half way through the finale. Things are much more intense. I am now at the "don't want to put this down stage".

x-posted: harmonatrix & readplease
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