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.