Thursday, February 26, 2009

What's inside women's mind?

An entertaining story I saw in the T.V. series "Northern Exposure" reveals a funny psychological difference between men and women. The guy does his best to act "correctly" and ends up in complete bewilderment at the woman's behavior. 

So here is the story: 

There is a constant sexual tension between the doctor, Joel Fleischman and Maggie O'Connell, the pilot woman. Tension neither of them admits to the other, from fear of vulnerability, but which they are both aware of, without words. 

So in this episode, they are forced to share a motel room, and end up kissing. They then agree to meet a few minutes later to continue it further. Only Maggie falls asleep, after 2 straight days of little sleep. after a few mild attempts Joel could not wake her up and so the whole thing stops there. 
However, Maggie goes back home convinced they had sex. She tells him that the whole thing should not have happened, and asks to continue life as if it never occurred. But she still wants him, fantasizes about how it must have been, and feels very embarrassed around him.

When Joel find out that she thinks they had sex, he decides to do her a favor and end her embarrassment around him. He goes to her place and tells her that he did not have sex with her. She gets enraged, tells him he is a sadistic bastard and throws objects at him until he finally leaves, after nearly losing an eye. 

Next day they meet, and she explains that if he wanted her enough he would have woken her up, or have sex anyway, while she was asleep. "Where is the passion Joel, where is the uncontrolled desire?" He replies that he was courteous by having self control. She replies with frustration "Is this what I inspire in you - self control?"

Joel is completely bewildered. He was certain he did what every woman would have respected him for. 

If she wants him - why did she tell him to forget about ever having sex?  And if she wants to forget all about it - why does she throw objects at him when he tells her it never happened? 
And why does she throw him out of her house, if she actually wants him?

For a guy, this behavior would probably (I imagine) seem utterly bizarre, almost as if, a normal, rational human being is turned all of a sudden into a creature from another planet. 

So what did Maggie O'Connell want?
A guy that will not act safe in pursuing her. 

Someone who, despite any behavior from her side, will act to get what he wants. 

If she sends mixed signals, he should rely on his intuition, he should know the truth in his heart, and pursue it. 

If she creates a distance - he should break it. 

If he is unsure about how she will respond to his pursuits - he should not care for such thing. He should love her so much, to put all his defenses down, and approach her with complete honesty about his desire and intention. 

His best course of action would be to just find her and kiss her, no questions asked. 

Should he be a mind reader? Not quite. What he needs to do is not doubt what he understands deep inside from the look in her eyes, or from times when she looks away. 

If she is afraid of losing control - he should take advantage of it. He should make her lose control. 

He should be brave - braver than she is. Thereby proving her that her admiration is justified. 

Why does she put obstacles in his way if she wants him? Because she wants to be wanted in a certain way. She doesn't just want sex - she wants him to want it madly. She wants him to go after it, even in spite of a psychological obstacle of possible rejection. She tells him "let's forget it ever happened" - but what she wants is for him to tell her "no way". Agreeing to forget - is a choice to be safe, and a sign that safety is more appreciated than the enjoyment of having her. 
Both of them do not admit their true feelings. But for anything to work, it has to be the guy to first break the ice. Why did she throw objects at him? Because him telling her they did not have sex was a sign that he did not want her enough - that he let his insecurity control his decision. It was easy to kiss her when he had clear evidence she wanted it. But to wake her up would require confidence in knowing that she wants him enough to want to be woken up. She needs him to have that confidence to be able to surrender to him. 

So what is the missing element in men that exists in women's mind? It is the fact that they need to know their man can have control over them, and values them enough to put psychological "safety" aside. It's the fact that women want to be conquered that is unique to women, and men find hard to understand. 


  1. I do think the woman in the story was being irrational in regards to the sex. It may sound comical, but on the guy's part, it is better to have blue balls for a night than to have it for twenty years in prison!
    Good article! You have given me something to mull over in my own life.

  2. Yes, she wasn't exactly the pinnacle of rationality :)
    But the story does show a fundamental difference between men and women nonetheless.
    My intention was not to glamorize her behavior, rather to explain it.

  3. This post makes me think of the Fountainhead when Roark rapes Dominique. I think the feminist movement killed romance. Feminism should have stopped at equal opportunity, and not gone on to equality - men and women aren't. There is another popular idea in contemporary society that abhors a male taking control of (or conquering) a female. Maybe the need for this movement stems back to the dark ages when women were raped all the time just for the man to get his rocks off. I'm not saying rape should happen now and this movement didn't happen for a good reason, but men nowadays are scared to conquer a woman because they fear being thrown in jail for rape.
    Roark understood Dominique and what she needed - even though Dominique didn't yet know what she needed. She realized the quality of man she sought after he raped her. Of course, then she went on to test his depth of dedication to his values and principles to ensure he was in fact what she hoped he was, but that's another topic.

  4. Yes, the essence of this applies to Dominique-Roark relationship as well.
    I agree with you regarding the feminist movement - its origin lays in fear from being put down, but the result is rejection of masculinity and femininity differences.

    One important point to make here though, to distinguish Roark from a rapist is that the guy need to be 100% certain the woman does want him before he just initiated physical contact.
    The advice I offer in this post does not apply to any dishonest guy who does not care for the mind of the woman he's after, who tells himself "She wants it, all women do" <--Laughable.

    Dominique wanted Roark, Roark knew it with certainty - that's why he had her. If he were not certain he would not do a thing. This is a big big difference between him and a rapist.

  5. Nicely explained. And the man's clarity and certainty are both essential; Roark has both.

    Wendy McElroy has a fine discussion (I reprint it at Troynovant): "Looking Through a Paradigm Darkly: Was Dominque's rape in The Fountainhead actually rape? Why ... or why not?"

  6. Maybe it deserves further elaboration:

    The case of Maggie from my post or of Dominique from the Fountainhead (which are corollary in this aspect): They were just too afraid to openly admit or take steps toward a relationship which they wanted intensely (though for different reasons).
    In this case and in this case only it is the guy's best course of action to initiate physical contact no questions asked - if and when he is sure that this is indeed the woman's reason.
    Not in cases when the woman is unsure if she wants the relationship at all, or if she has reasons to stay away from sexual contact (for example, she is involved with someone else and do not want to cheat on him).
    In the last example initiating something sexual will create a tear in her soul - a moral stain - it has the power to destroy her. Not every hesitation is a reason for party...

    In essence, here is what I was saying:
    There is something scary about falling in love or feeling attracted to someone; in that it has an element of weakness, dependency and when the feeling is intense - losing self control to some extent. And this is more so for women than for men.
    So a woman can try to run away from feeling this sort of weakness, in which case (if that is her only reason for withdrawing from the relationship) I'd say it's the best course of action for the guy just to "take a move", no questions asked.

  7. Funny. I think the biggest difference between men's and women's mind is that men DO accept. And women DO NOT. Women act two way. Not all, of course, but generally they do..

  8. "If she sends mixed signals, he should rely on his intuition, he should know the truth in his heart, and pursue it."
    I have a problem with this.
    I would never let intuition be a guide to action.

  9. Ha ha, I remember this episode of Northern Exposure. Yeah, I am male and and I was perplexed. I knew a female would be able to decipher it for me. Ifat, you've had some very interesting thing to say, and it got me thinking about the difference between Equality and Equal Opportunity. We all know that if there is a role reversal in a relationship, it almost always dooms the relationship. For example, if the father stays home to raise the children and the mother becomes the so-called Bread Winner. The female often *feels* that the father is being a lazy bum (he works, but makes no money), while the father is drawn to be out there working his muscles, sweating, and providing for his family. But, it may work out. If a woman proves to be a good construction worker and a man proves to be a good sewer, they should each have the opportunity to do so [well, you know what I mean, I'm just making a quick comment here].

  10. He spent 60-years learning, studying and testing hypnosis techniques. Many of them he pioneered. His skills became so proficient he could hypnotize subjects while talking with them. They had no idea what was happening. Yet they followed Dr. Erickson's commands on cue.
    The main focus of his work was on applying hypnosis in medical or therapeutic environments. He also used his knowledge in daily situations to gain a considerable advantage over others.
    For example, up until 1953 doctors were banned from using hypnosis while treating patients.
    The American Medical Association (AMA) prohibited members from the practice. Dr. Erickson believed hypnosis was a viable and effective therapeutic tool. To keep his medical license, he became an expert at hypnotizing patients during "normal" conversation. He broke the rules and taught himself...
    read on here: