Wet dreams and clean pants, or: What do women want from men?

Two male authors, at opposite extremes

3 minute read
Respectful of women, to a fault.
Respectful of women, to a fault.
What do women want? For a starter, I'd say it would be reading male writers with sexual subtleties somewhere between Richard Paul Evans and Lance Manion.

You know Richard, the guy who wrote a series of walking books (The Walk, Miles to Go, The Road to Grace and A Step of Faith) about a sensitive bloke who lost his wife and job and so decides to walk across America from Seattle to Key West. Along the way he shares rooms with female strangers at Holiday Inns and B&Bs but never so much as leaves his side of the bed.

"I felt," he says, "she wanted to be alone."

Then there's Lance, a modern-day Henry Miller, striving to gain sensitivity in his latest Internet sensation, Homo Sayswhaticus, by "looking inward and figuring out if I could ever bang conjoined twins who have separate heads and one body."

Chomping at the bit

As you can see, these two authors are polar opposites when it comes to their approach to high literature. But neither seems capable of writing about sexual encounters in any way other than in the first person.

Make no mistake about this. Many women are chomping at the bit for the latest installment from these guys. (Well, more who actually read hard copies of books are for Evans, but Manion has his legions, although I suspect they delve on his finite bloggings between posting pictures of their fingernails on Instagram and Pinterest.)

That men have a hard time understanding the female psyche comes as no surprise to me. As a card-carrying member of this breed, I can't either, at least when it comes to comprehending the fascination for these two authors among female readers.

One writes about a neuter man and the other about a stallion near a mare in heat. What sane woman would desire either?

But maybe this is the authors' allure. Some people want pet bunnies and others a champion pit bull.

Oh, who the hell am I kidding? Sometimes I'm embarrassed to have an xx chromosome.

Bores and drunks

The same members of my species who cry for ultimate domain over their bodies squeal eagerly at the prospects of reading about a sensitive loin's heartaches and his aching feet, or a macho muchacho's day fantasizing wet dreams and clean pants.

What gives? Am I alone on an island here? Do I not get it when it comes to female imaginations? Or am I too much of a realist?

Is it so much to ask for a man to be understanding without becoming a bore, or a stouthearted bloke who isn't a drunk?

You want to know what this woman wants?

I want a man to open a door for me and reach for hard-to-get items on the top shelf, unscrew incorrigible jar tops and know I don't need help with an automatic garage door (unless it's broken).

Computer issues

I want him to understand that I don't need service in formatting, but when the system crashes, be there. I want him to tell me how I look in a dress, not to pick out my clothes. I want him to make his own coffee in the morning, fix his own lunch and take me to dinner.

I control the remote in my house, and he can operate it in his. Handling your own switches makes life happier.

Then I want an honest appraisal of Richard Paul Evans and Lance Manion's male characters after he tells me why a male author would create them for female audiences.

Hey, I'm just a gal. I can use the enlightenment.♦

To read a response, click here.

What, When, Where

A Step of Faith. By Richard Paul Evans. Simon & Schuster, 2013. 304 pages; $19.99. Homo Sayswhaticus. By Lance Manion. Amazon Digital Services. 411 KB; 99 cents. <a data-cke-saved-href="" href="" title=" title=""="">

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