Alyssa Royse is here with the definitive guide on what all women want.
Every time I read one of those articles claiming to tell men what “real women” want, I am left with the confounding confirmation that I am not a “real woman.” More than that, I am left thinking that it was the worst advice I’d ever heard, and any guy who believed it was being led astray. Thus, lessening the odds of having a successful relationship of any kind with a “real woman,” and ensuring the unsuccessful man will be returning for more advice, since nothing is working.
The worst part, besides the blatant heteronormativity that all men are interested only in women, is the assumption that men are only interested in sex. So rarely do these articles talk about what will make you happy in a relationship. And then there’s perpetuation that men and women are inherently different. They are not. People are inherently different from each other. But the traits and behavior that we call “masculine” and “feminine” are really just traits that exist in varying degrees in all people, regardless of sex, gender or sexual orientation. Our fundamental needs as humans don’t really vary all that much, even when our behavior and idiosyncrasies do.
That said, I do have some advice when it comes to giving “real women” what they want, if the woman is interested in a relationship (after all, not all women are interested in relationships—and they’re still real!):
1. We want you to know that there is no such thing as a “real woman”. Either that or there is no such thing as a fake woman. But let’s make this simple. There are fictional women; you know, the ones you see in TV, movies, comic books, video games and books. Those are fictional women. They were created for one purpose and one purpose only, to sell something, whether it’s a product or an idea. No matter how much you wish you could date them, or think you are learning some life lesson from watching them, they are still fiction. Beyond that, every single woman you see in the real world is a “real woman”. Even the actors who play the fictional characters.
2. We want you to know that we are not all the same. There is no one thing that we all want. Some of us want romantic gestures, some of us think those are a silly waste of resources. Some of us want to be tied up and dominated, some of us want to do the tying up and dominating. Some of are monogamous, some of us are polyamorous. Some of us are great at talking about our feelings, some of us are terrified by the prospect of having to do so.
There is no one standard set of things that works for “real women” any more than there is one standard way to cook beef. Honestly, you can learn more about how to treat a “real woman” by reading the The Joy Of Cooking than by reading any advice column that tells you what “real women” want. What? That has nothing to do with women? Right, well neither do those articles. But at least this way you’ll get some ideas for cooking dinner, which you can cook for yourself, or a date.
3. We want you to know us as individuals. That trick you learned that always worked with your last girlfriend? It might not work with us. Because we are not your last girlfriend. And that’s good news, since, you know, that didn’t work out. Each of us is excited about, afraid of, interested in, turned on by different things.
But how are you supposed to know what those things are? Talk to us. Ask us. Listen to us. If you like what you hear, talk more, ask more, listen more. If you don’t, move on. Find someone who you want to talk to more, and learn more about. And let us find someone who is interested in us and curious to know more.
4. We want you to know yourself as an individual too. Know what you really want, not what you’ve been told to want. Know what makes you feel good, what makes you feel excited, what makes you feel alive and happy and like you are the best version of you that you know how to be. And be able to feel those things without us, but share them with us openly.
That way, when you’re talking to us, asking us questions and listening to our answers, you can be assessing whether or not we’re a good fit. If you don’t know what you really want, how are you going to know if we’re really gonna fit together? Because if we don’t fit together the work to keep us together starts to feel like controlling and manipulating each other, or trying to make each other into something we’re not. And that sucks.
5. Our needs have equal value, even if that need is for one of us to subservient in some way. Even if that’s the case, it doesn’t negate the need for clear communication and consent in terms of the relationship, and if someone thinks the relationship needs to change, both parties get to discuss that and make changes.
6. We want the kind of sex we want. We want it enthusiastically and joyfully. Consensually and safely. If the kind of sex we want isn’t the kind of sex that you want, then we want you to move on and find the kind of sex you want with someone else, so that we can do the same. Chances are if you are bored, so are we.
This can be tricky. It means you have to be honest and tell us what you really want. And yes, that might mean you don’t get to have sex with us. But if you want to tie a woman up, you deserve a woman who loves to be tied up. There are lots of those. You find them by being honest about it. Likewise, if you want someone who wears costumes, only has sex with the lights off, loves pubic hair or hates pubic hair, likes it in groups, likes to watch – whatever – you deserve to find that person. You have to be honest. We have to be honest too, it’s a two way street.
Neither one of us is going to die if we don’t get to have sex right now.
7. We want you to be honest with us about just about everything, actually. Honesty performed on a regular basis is the solid foundation of any relationship. That’s how you build trust. When you have trust you can build plans for the future, a life. When you have trust you can try new things, and get through hard things.
8. We want to be in this relationship together. We want to know that when it comes to our relationship, we are working towards the same goals, with “rules” that we agreed on together.
9. We want you to love our bodies. As they are. And encourage us to do what we want with them. Because they’re ours. As a bonus, the better we feel in our bodies around you, the more we may want you to touch them, which is a benefit for both of us.
10. We want to feel safe. And we are more likely to feel that way if we have all the other stuff we just talked about. Trust, passion, commitment, communication, shared interests….. That’s what safety looks like in a relationship.
That’s what women want, at least as far as I can tell. I’m pretty sure that’s also what men want. Those are all just human needs. That’s certainly what we all deserve.
Here’s the thing about all those articles telling men how to “get” a woman. They are not talking about how to get what you want. They are talking about how to perform masculinity in a way that will impress other guys. It’s like a game that guys play to keep score and beat other guys. It has nothing to do with being happy. And it has nothing to do with you.
It doesn’t even have anything to do with “real men.” Because there is no such thing as a “real man.” Either that or there is no such thing as a fake man. But let’s make this simple. There are fictional men; you know, the ones you see in TV, movies, comic books, video games and books. Those are fictional men. They were created for one purpose and one purpose only, to sell something, whether it’s a product or an idea. No matter how much you wish you could be them, or think you are learning some life lesson from watching them, they are still fiction. Beyond that, every single man you see in the real world is a “real man.”
There is no one set of things that all men want or need in order to be real men. For better or worse, it’s more complex than that.
So stop playing the game and trying to catch women like butterflies or pokemon. Stop trying to impress other men. Figure out who you are, what you really want, and then go find a partner – whether it’s a man or a woman or both – who not only wants you for who you are, but wants the same things you do. It’s not a game. This is your life. And the only way to win it is on your terms.