High Heels and BJs

Every other day, a new article appears somewhere in the blogosphere, promising to tell women the keys to finding and keeping a man. To summarize:

  1. Step up your personal appearance game: lose weight, then put on makeup, a tight dress and a pair of high heels, because men don’t like girls in sweats, baseball caps and sneakers.
  2. Step up your kitchen game: cook for your man and fix his plate. If you won’t, someone else will.
  3. Step up your sex game, especially the blow jobs. And work on your porn star skills. If you don’t, someone else will.

If only it were so easy.

Never mind that there are fashionable women who keep it cooking in the kitchen and the bedroom, but are without a steady partner. Never mind that there are women who stay in sweats and don’t cook, but who are happily married or in a long-term relationship. Reality doesn’t matter. The message to women is always: whatever you’re doing, you’re doing it wrong.

I joked on Twitter that I should start a class, “Cooking in High Heels + BJ Lessons.” Sadly, if such a class existed, it would sell out. Women would sign up hoping to learn to look and cook like Giada De Laurentiis, and men would sign their wives and girlfriends up, like “See! This is what you need to do!”

Problem is, you can own a closet full of Louboutins, be a master chef and suck peen like a pro, and be lonely or unhappy in your current relationship. The key isn’t sexy footwear, plate fixing or bedroom tricks. Those things certainly don’t hurt, but they’re not enough.

The secret to being in a happy relationship is finding a compatible partner. And there is no one way to do that. It starts with a combination of attraction, shared values, and mutual respect. Understand what your own wants and needs are, then don’t settle for less.

When you’re in a relationship with someone you care for, showing your appreciation for each other comes easy. I love to see my married co-workers changing out of their casual Friday slacks into a cute dress at the end of the workday, because it’s “date night” with the hubby.

People who enjoy cooking love to make something special for their beloved. Cooking is one of many small ways that you can show your appreciation for your partner. But if you don’t cook, there are many other ways to show your appreciation for your mate.

Good sex doesn’t require you to puncture your esophagus with his genitals (although there’s nothing wrong with that, if that’s your thing). That said, if you like each other – not just love, but really enjoy being with each other – you’ll want to take care of each other’s needs, wants and desires sexually as well. You can tune out the chatter about what you should be doing and focus on doing what he actually likes – and vice versa. 

Even finding that combination of attraction, values and mutual respect doesn’t guarantee lifelong, till-death-do-us-part, diamond anniversary happiness.

As anyone who has ever been in a relationship for longer than one year knows, it can be hard to keep the magic alive over time. These “how to get a man” pieces might work better as reminders to women and men alike who are in long-term monogamous relationships of ways to maintain your connection. 

If you are seeking relationship advice, try consulting with a relationship coach. When I was finally ready to jump back into the dating pool – five years after my divorce – I worked with “The Modern Day Matchmaker,” Paul C. Brunson. Brunson helped me identify the values that were important to me, which in turn helped me zero in on the qualities that mattered most in a partner.

Although Brunson didn’t match me with my current partner, his advice helped me figure out what worked and didn’t work for me. For example, online dating never worked for me, but going out – often alone – to do things I enjoyed, turned out to be a great way to meet people.

Some people find the proliferation of dating sites, books, blogs, etc. devoted to providing relationship advice annoying. They’re not going anywhere, though.  So if you read them, use those suggestions that speak to you for personal self-improvement. Whether it’s losing weight, learning how to cook, learning bedroom circus tricks, or improving your fashion sense – if it makes you feel better about yourself, it will probably lead to your projecting a greater sense of confidence as you go about in the world.

And confidence, my friends, is sexy.

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18 Responses to “High Heels and BJs”

  1. TK Says:

    Great post! Thank you for writing this. I hate being made to feel like i’m doing something “wrong” if I don’t succumb to the f*ck, suck, and cook formula.

  2. AndreaM Says:

    Excellent piece! Confidence is key for sure 🙂

  3. Glendon Cameron Says:

    LOL someone beat you to it…..

    Shanel Cooper-Sykes
    http://www.shanelcoopersykes.com/ – CachedHer bestselling book, Stilettos in the Kitchen: The Modern Girl’s Guide to Becoming a Domestic Goddess, combines her coaching skills, love for cooking

    • carolynedgar Says:

      Ha! Good for her! Not knocking anyone’s hustle. If cooking in stilettos (and nothing else) works for some women, go for it.

  4. Relando Thompkins Says:

    I think this is a great post! Thanks for stressing the importance of finding what’s best for the individual, instead of succumbing to societal pressures.

  5. Raygon Fields Says:

    Standing Ovation! Exceptional Read!

  6. Shonda_J Says:

    Love it!

  7. Kenya D. Says:

    I LOVE this post. I am forever going on and on about how I’m so tired of the books, articles, movies, and TV shows constantly telling women (especially Black women) all of the many things things that’s “wrong” with us and causing us to be single. It’s all stuffed full of “advice” saying what we should change, alter, or do differently in order to get/keep a man. And of course, and we don’t do these thing “another woman will”. Nothing like a good threat or pyschological scare tactic to make you a better mate :/

    People tend to forget that none of these things matter if you have chemistry, a connection, and a bond with someone who loves you fully. You will naturally desire to please them, and they will naturally desire to please you. Until that person comes along, there’s nothing wrong will improving & growing…for YOURSELF. This is something I’m currently working on.

    Kenya D.

  8. Mark Says:

    Excellent post Carolyn. Good advice from the heart about the heart. As someone who has been blessed to have a loving, wonderful wife for 28 years (so far), permit me to share a few tips of my own:
    1. Value authenticity – in yourself and in your partner
    2. Intimacy is about the willingness to be vulnerable. If you’re not willing to be vulnerable, you don’t have intimacy
    3. Learn how to fight fair (and honestly). Healthy fighting will save a relationship.
    4. Value the time you spend by yourself as much as the time you spend with your partner
    5. IQ, income and body mass index should never be measures of (in)equality in a relationship. The only thing that should be equal – and the only measure that matters – is the value you place in each other.
    6. If your partner can’t make you laugh, they probably can’t make you happy.

  9. aaw1976 Says:

    Thank you for saying what needed so desperately to be said. I learned first hand that the 3 things listed don’t work. My mother did all those things for my father, and it didn’t make him treat her nicely.

    The thing is, if we all can be smart enough to not let what society says be our guide for what we do in our relationships, we all would be better off.

    I do the best I can, and try to keep the spark alive. And there are times I wish that is what worked for my husband, cause that stuff is easy enough to do.
    unfortunately i didn’t marry a cookie cutter man, and my guess is most people are not in cookie cutter relationships.

    Again, Kudos to Carolyn for elegantly expressing what needed to be said.

  10. Crystal Banner Says:

    Great Read!!!

  11. mrseven65 Says:

    Amen

  12. NoNetTennis Says:

    Good post, Ms. Edgar.

    Just to humor you, the other side of the coin: How to entice, snare and keep a woman, in 6 easy steps:

    1. Money
    2. Big feet (or hands)…’Ya feel me?
    3. Cash money
    4. Connections in sports(tickets) or music(tickets) or police(ticket writeoffs).
    5. Nice car w/rims.
    6. Did I mention money?

    Keep Smiling

  13. @ahbseenkwestion Says:

    I normally don’t comment on these pieces because a. my comments don’t get posted and b. they are usually extreme in either direction (change everything or change nothing) but this piece was balanced.

    Most of the articles I read about relationships, black relationships in particular, don’t focus on the spirit of the relationship. They concentrate on the factors that are bound to change with time. Appearance, sexual habits and even diet are prone to shift with age. What will sustain the relationship are the qualities and character of those IN the relationship. They are basically intangible and should actually strengthen with time provided UNDERSTANDING and RESPECT of one another has been established early. Usually, after this has been established, outside advice from ill informed sources will seem like it’s being read off of funhouse mirrors.

    I appreciated this. Thank you!

    • carolynedgar Says:

      Much appreciated! Very similar advice from Mark, who has been happily married to the same woman for nearly 30 years. Thank you for your comment!

  14. VegasSeven Says:

    Great article and reminder. It needs to be mentioned more!!!

    Unfortunately the more something is mentioned in the media, the more people will believe it. Trust me, many men look for common interests, outlook in life, honesty, strength and emotionally connecting in a deep way from a great friend to a lover first before anything else. Having a relationship just based on cooking, high heels and sex is not going to be healthy anyway.

  15. ChicWorkingMom Says:

    Love, love, love this! Unfortunately, this kind of stuff brainwashes women that if you only do some ridiculous task or look better than you’ll be wifed up in no time. The mags don’t help the situation which is why every Cosmo cover talks about getting or keeping your man. I wish women would stop thinking this nonsense leads to anything but a no money and low self esteem.

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