Discretion and style are also expected when it comes to sexuality. What was said just about self-confidence just above also holds for sexual assertiveness. Women like it. In fact, they require it. Not all of them may have the desire (or the heart) to go for a bad boy as des­cribed previously.[1] Nonetheless, sensual confidence is considered as a major turn-on by females, because it tells them that the guy knows what to do in order to please them and that they can, therefore, expect a good time with him.[2] Since a healthy attitude towards ero­ticism contri­butes to positioning a man as a promising boyfriend or husband, it is better for him not to hide his amorousness. No matter the topic – the weather, business, politics, lite­rature, nipple clamps, pap smears, etc. – a perfectly poised gent discusses each of these topics with the same composure and level of interest. This does not mean that he should start the conversation with explicit demands or statements about his state of arousal. Instead, his job is to simply hint that he is a sexual creature. He accepts his raciness as a part of life, she should do the same. There should be no room left for doubt about his virility and potency. He is a man. Like many of his fellows, he is crazy about sex. So what? There is no reason whatsoever to be ashamed of or to apologise for his lustfulness, given that it is in his animal nature to pursue bodily gratification.[3],[4]

By prudently announcing to women that they should get ready for some naughty action, the flirter states his intentions and his determination to consummate the passion for his dulcinea in the future: “I love my woman and I am willing to prove it to her”. This allows him, by the same token, to differentiate himself from other, more restrained, rivals who might prefer to conceal their lecherousness or feel guilty about it. All he needs to make sure is not to go too far in violating the social norms applicable. Notice also that devil-may-care irreverence towards prudish values (as advocated here) is not to be equated to miso­gynistic dis­respect­fulness, which, by all mean, remains unacceptable and should be avoided at all cost.

So far, the argumentation followed the scenario of a man soliciting a woman, which also corresponds to the traditional way of the world, namely that males seduce and females are seduced.[5] The predetermination of the man’s position in the human seduction process seems to be directly translated from his ancestors’ role in the past. As nature assigned him the duty of the family hunter, his drive to pursue is merely a reflection of the instinct he inhe­­rited from his forefathers. It certainly sounds rather unfair, sexist and degrading to systematically see women as the prey, but looking at the issue from a different angle, one could also say that they are the ones who finally get to make the decision. This privilege of the “chooser”, in turn, grants a lot of power to females, an idea that some men may not like or resist.[6] On any account, this division of labour is consistent with Darwin’s observation that in all species, males are made for chasing females, whereas the latter typically pick the winner among all their admirers.[7]

In these terms, evolution theory provides a realistic explanation why women still savour the moment when a suitor assumes the risk to move on her. Instead of waiting for her to gamble and do something to impress him, he should be the one to call the shots. Nowadays, many modern women are independent, self-confident, successful at work, enjoying a high socio-economic status. Nevertheless, even and perhaps especially these ladies want a partner who takes the reins, not only in courtship but also in everyday life. With such a man by their side, they can sit back and enjoy their womanhood. Such ladies are often forced to empha­sise their “male” sides (in particular in the context of business) and long for times in which they can relax and unfold their female side again. For the suitor (or husband, or boy­friend), it does not take too much to help her in this endeavour. Just be a man, that’s enough. Some­one who has ideas, plans, and who is willing to execute them. Someone to whom she can hand over part of her burdens and responsibilities, and who has the ability to make good choi­ces for both of them.[8]

The ideas put forward here should not prevent women from taking the initiative if they wish to. In fact, dating manuals and female magazines educate their readers that it is perfectly acceptable to ask men out. For good reasons, they claim that there are enough chaps who are delighted when a woman steps forward and get in touch with them by her. The reasons for their entrancement in such situations are straightforward: By being the first one to become active, she fools men into thinking that she is sexually available. With the expectation to have a much better chance of scoring, they become more confident and opti­mistic, and thus willing to enter into a proper conversation.[9] In that case, it also does not matter whether or not both of them finish the day in bed together. As long as they talk with each other, the exercise can already be considered a success. What happens next is writ­ten in another story.

Based on these premises, it is highly advisable for women to actively contribute to the exchange. They can do so by smoothly enticing male attention and prudently expressing their interest through a series of signals, which, for the rest, should not stay too elusive. After that, it is fine to wait for the man to take a leap of faith and to ask the lady for a date. The key advantage of this “soft leading” approach is that it allows to incite selected male targets only, while making them believe that they are the ones occupying the driver’s seat[10] – which, in the end, complies with the rules of tradition and at the same time reminds us of the unshakeable truth that “men control the world, but women control the men.”[11]

 

Related proverbs and citations:

万事起头难

wàn shì qǐ tóu nán

The first step in a thousand different matters is always difficult. The first step is always the hardest.

Starting a new endeavour is the hardest part of it.

 

因噎废食

yīn yè fèi shí

One cannot refuse to eat just because of the risk of choking.

You cannot avoid doing what is necessary just because there is a chance you could fail.

 

一年遭蛇咬,十年怕井绳

yī nián zāo shé yǎo, shí nián pà jǐng shéng

Once bitten by a snake, one is scared all his life at the mere sight of a rope.

Once bitten, twice shy. Decries those who are discouraged by their first failure and are afraid of trying again.

 

一朝被蛇咬,十年怕井绳

yī cháo bèi shé yăo, shí nián pà jǐng shéng

Once bitten by a snake, one is scared all his life at the mere sight of a rope (alternative version of the previous proverb).

 

男追女隔座山, 女追男隔层纱

nán zhuī nǚ gé zuò shān, nǚ zhuī nán gé céng shā

A man chasing after a woman is like overcoming a mountain; a woman chasing after a man is like cutting through gauze.

This proverb encourages women to be proactive and to take the initiative in flirting as it is much easier for them to catch a man than vice versa.

 

守株待兔

shǒu zhū dài tù

Guarding the tree awaiting a rabbit. Waiting for the rabbit to die in order to catch it.

Don’t live on hope. One must act instead of waiting to get things done.

 

眼泪救不了火

yǎn lèi jiù bù liǎo huǒ

Tears cannot put out a fire.

Weakness will lead to nowhere.

 

千里之行始于足下

qiān lǐ zhī xíng shǐ yú zú xià

A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.

The highest eminence is to be gained step by step. Success does not come from nothing; instead, it comes from concrete hard work.

 

空谈烧不好饭菜

kōng tán shāo bù hǎo fàn cài

Talk does not cook rice.

All talk and no action. All bark and no bite. All foam, no beer. All icing, no cake.

Speaking, promising, or boasting much, but doing little.

 



Notes

[1]    See chapter 22 “Man not bad, woman won’t bed”.

[2]    Gray (1995), p. 46

[3]    See chapters 3 “Men like, women love” and 4 “Beauty is the troubled water that brings disasters”.

[4]    Satana (2007), pp. 19-21

[5]    Ridley (1993), p. 135

[6]    Buss (2003), p. 3

[7]    Brizendine (2006), p. 59

[8]    Fischer (2008), pp. 85-86

[9]    Fox (2014)

[10]  Fox (2004), p. 10

[11]  Argov (2002), p. 88

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