In the battle of the sexes knowledge and communication are powerful weapons. Men and women find the opposite gender to be complicated, irrational or mystifying. But we can zap the cloud of confusion that obscures the opposite sex by listening to one another. It may sound crazy, but hey, you’ve tried everything else, so why not give it a shot?

To do my part in bringing men and women together in mutual understanding I am answering the questions men continuously ask about women. Too often they’re asking other men, which is like asking a doctor for legal advice. You need to go a lawyer if you really want useful information. So here are your biggest mysteries revealed—the real deal, no pulled punches. It’s TKO time.

  1. How do women want to be approached? One thing men probably don’t realize is women live under constant evaluation of our physical appearance. Many women can’t even bring themselves to head to the gym without doing their hair and make-up and coordinating their workout gear. There is part of us that has trouble just letting go of society’s expectation that we always look our best on the outside, even when we’d prefer our focus to be on what we are doing or feeling or thinking.So heads up, guys: try and start a conversation with a woman by noticing something interesting that does not correlate to how she looks. Is she walking her dog? Ask her what breed and the little critters name. Is she sporting a tee from a band you love? Talk to her about her interest in music. Is she screaming at the screen at a sports bar? Ask if she goes to the games and likes to tail gate. Every woman with a pulse has gotten the “nice eyes” generic line more times than she wants to remember, so show that your interest can go more than skin deep.
  1. How do women decide which guys to put in the friendzone? Is there ever a way out? Call it chemistry or unconscious psychological patterns that we are living out from how we grew up or compatibility, or a combination, the reasons men and women are attracted to one another are not clear cut. A women can think a man is gorgeous and not have an interest in sleeping with him (this will confound some men to no end, I know) if he doesn’t flip that switch in her mind that activates the spark. Now this is where some of you men are going to really lose it, but hang in there, a woman can be friends with attractive, funny, cool guys and never have the urge to have sex with them.Trying to figure out why a woman’s electricity is ignited by one man and not another is like trying to explain why people fall in love. It’s not purely rational and many times even the couple in the relationship can’t pinpoint it. So stop thinking we are rejecting you by putting you in the friend zone, it’s not that you are lacking something or that we don’t appreciate what a wonderful person you are, it’s just that the chemical reaction isn’t there.On the bright side, good friendships can sometimes develop into romantic feelings. A friendship can lead to compatibility that over time combusts into sexual chemistry. The best part about relationships that originate as friendships and grow into something intimate is they usually are stronger for having been rooted in the bond of genuine companionship.
  1. Does size matter? Of your ego…hell yes! Too much is never a good thing. Narcissism is not stimulating.But when it comes to sex, women’s satisfaction (and yes orgasm) is more than physical, it’s also mental. What creates the most pleasure for us is when sex is forming a deeper connection, when we’re feeling desired and when a man’s interested in our pleasure and not just in his own gratification. Pleasing us is less about your performance or your anatomy, and more about the shared experience of sensual intimacy.
  1. What does a woman want? Stop hitting your head against the wall thinking you’ll never discover what women want from you. It’s actually one of the most straight forward and consistent answers of all the questions that beleaguers men about women. Here you go, in no particular order:
  • To feel safe and secure
  • To feel heard
  • To feel loved
  • To feel desired/beautiful
  • To feel respected as an equal
  • To have a partner she can trust
  • To feel appreciated for what she does and who she is
  • To share intimacy (trust, affection)
  • To give love
  • To have a partner that supports her and has her best interests at heart
  1. Do independent women want us to be a gentlemen? As the times have changed the roles of women and men have progressed with them, leaving some confusion on what we expect from one another. But the fact that we want to be with you, and aren’t forced to be with you out of economic need, doesn’t make you any less valuable to us.  And while many things have changed as women have fought for and won more equality, there are certain basic needs that women, and men, have that remain the same as they were for our parents and grandparents.Men have a need to protect the women in their lives, their mothers, sisters daughters, and yes girlfriends and wives. And as women we yearn for our dads and our lovers to be our heroes and swoop in and save us and make us feel safe. For that reason, being gentlemen will never go out of style, no matter how society advances. When a woman says you make her feel safe, you can know that is as huge a compliment as a man can get.
  1. Why do you say “I’m fine” when we know something is wrong? Sometimes we are still trying to sort through our feelings and figure it out. Women tend to have a high emotional intelligence—we are usually in touch with our feelings—but every now and again we need a while to reflect to be able to put what we are experiencing into words.Other times, we are aware that being honest is going to unleash an intense debate and we don’t have the energy to get into it at that moment. Or maybe it’s not an opportune time, like on the way to your brother’s birthday dinner with the kids in the car. Don’t worry; we will let you in on what’s really going on eventually.
  1. Why do you tell us your problems and then get mad when we try to offer you help? Knowing the answer to this question can improve your communication with the other gender, not only romantic partners, but co-workers, family and friends too. The issue boils down to the fact that men and women communicate differently. Guys generally talk with a purpose, so they are either problem solving or making a point when they initiate a conversation.  They prioritize efficiency and productivity, so as soon they think they’ve heard enough to figure out a solution to what you are saying they jump in with the “answer”.Women on the other hand, because the Universe has such a sense of humor, communicate to serve a different function altogether—no wonder men and women often come out of a conversation feeling misunderstood or perplexed. A woman uses communication to explore her feelings, as an emotional release and as a way to bond with those she loves. This is why a man’s best friends are the guys he hangs out and does things with, but a woman’s close circle are the friends she tells everything too.A woman feels closer to you when she shares the things on her mind and in her heart. Through sharing she releases negativity and feels more relaxed after. She doesn’t need you to jump in and try to resolve the dilemma she is talking to you about, she needs to vent, or sort out her emotions or she wants to bond—in short, she’s talking because she needs to be heard.If we stop assuming what the other side is thinking or feeling and just ask, and then actually listen, we would dissolve many of the problems that plague the interactions between the sexes.  Of course this also means we need to have the courage to speak honestly.

Have questions that didn’t make the list? Leave them in the comments and I’ll address them in an upcoming article.

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