Thomas Fiffer shares reader insights from his top 5 posts of 2014.
A new year presents the perfect opportunity to review the accomplishments and lessons of the past one. So to start 2015, I’ve taken a look at my five most popular posts here on The Good Men Project from last year. Together, these posts were viewed by more than a million readers. Rather than focus on my insights in the posts, I’ve highlighted a comment from each in which a reader shared his or her experience or observations to help illuminate the issue I was writing about. And I’d like to express my appreciation for all the readers who engage with what we publish here to make The Good Men Project amazing and enlightening community that it is.
Excellent article! And I can absolutely vouch for all three. I don’t believe my partner has ever had anyone really take their time pleasing him…bringing him close to orgasm and then stopping and switching things up, only to do it all over again. I would say he likes that VERY much. And I absolutely agree that he gets as much pleasure out of pleasing me as I do out of pleasing him and really appreciates feedback. It’s a definite win-win when you take this approach in the bedroom.
And I LOVE this line…”make your self-consciousness a third partner in the bedroom”. It really illustrates, perfectly, how body issues interfere with great love making. I have found being self-conscious about a body makes it so I disconnect from my partner, from feeling and enjoying what’s going on and moves me right into my head where insecure thoughts about my body prevent me from really enjoying the present moment.
What I have done is use those uncomfortable, trigger-some moments as opportunities to get comfortable and love and accept myself even if I’m not thrilled about my body part. In those moments, when he’s attending to an area of my body I’m a little self-conscious about, I have literally talked myself out of my insecurity. Over time, I have ‘forced’ myself (in a loving way) to accept myself as I am, without needing to be different. And like you said, when he says how beautiful I am, instead of shrugging it off and downplaying the comment, I believe him and say thank you. Now when I walk around the bedroom naked, I practice changing my negative self-talk into positive, loving self-talk. I spin each of these moments into opportunities to practice self-love. I have found that confidence (not a perfect body) is an amazing aphrodisiac. When you believe you’re sexy and beautiful it is a complete game changer in bed.
Part two is so important and very well worded. Attentive touch is an amazing art. I call it that because that is what it feels like. And so correct in worshiping every inch and paying attention to what you are touching and slowing waaaaayyyyyyyy down, it just becomes so intense, I have taken an hour to get from head to toe, and that is just one side. It changes everything. What you are describing is what has been practiced in the tantric field for a long long time. It is known there as conscious touch. Another thing I would add though is communication. I guess that could be part of number 3. Bottom line…attention and presence makes a world of loving difference.
Holy crap. Every single sentence applied to my situation. Walking on eggshells. Constantly apologizing. Being attacked and snapped at for no reason, other than just being in the same room when he doesn’t want me there. There is nothing quite so painful as having to look into the eyes of someone who has no respect for you day in, day out, with no escape because everyone you know and love is on the other side of the country. It’s agonizing, and even more agonizing than staying, is leaving and knowing that our 1 year old’s world would be turned upside down. The following quote was an eye opener beyond belief. I thought it was simply my reality:
“You start to drink the Koolaid that you’re partner is serving, the stuff about how you really were a pretty lousy person before you got together, and you’re being trained now in how to make someone happy. “
Maybe it’s just me, but I find this article extremely bold. Like, it breaks taboos and unwritten rules. The rule being “You. Do. No. Tell. Women. What. To. Do! EVER!” If it had been published anywhere else but here, we would never see the end of it.
Although as far as provacations go, it was done in a very measured and level-headed way. There is nothing sexist or unreasonable in these advice. This is the way to go to challenge the status quo. Well done!
Thank you Thomas for this article. I, like many of the people commenting here suffered (and still suffer) a toxic relationship with my father who scores 10/10 for acting against these steps. when you said, “You may have been right, but if being right is what parenting is about for you, you’re going to alienate your kid.” really hit home for me. My parents have had a verbally and mentally abusive relationship for as long as I can remember and I would often be caught in the crossfires. After lashing out in response to treatment which I thought was wrong my father would always respond with, “it doesn’t matter if what we do is wrong. we are your parents, and therefore we are *always* right. do not *ever* question me”.
After observing the relationship my in-laws have had with their son and I over the last 10 years, I can very much appreciate the truly remarkable difference it makes towards a healthy parent-(adult)child relationship when a parents tries their best to follow these steps.
I hope these insights resonate and look forward to sharing new ones in the new year and beyond.