High Octane Women

How superachievers can avoid burnout

WTF Are Men Thinking? Do Women Really Want to Know

What do men really think?

Okay, I'll admit this is not a topic I normally write about in my High Octane Women blog, but after reading the reviews of the newly released book, WTF Are Men Thinking?: 250,000 Men Reveal What Women REALLY Want to Know, I had to take a look for myself. After all, a lot of the stress women talk to me about is related to miscommunications and misunderstandings with the men in their lives—both partners and co-workers.

The authors of the book, Christopher Brya and Miguel Almaraz, who admittedly never viewed themselves as writers (they're market researchers), were intrigued by a newly divorced client who asked them if they could research the age-old question of "why men act the way they do." So Brya and Almaraz set off on a quest to discover the answer by polling over 1000 women anonymously to find out what their top relationship questions were; then they proceeded to get answers from 250,000 men. They found their results so intriguing that they decided to write a book about it.

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WTF Are Men Thinking? offers readers answers to well over a hundred questions commonly asked by women about men. The book breaks these questions down into six categories: communication, dating, romance, sexmarriage, and work. Some of the questions include: Why is it so hard for me to express their feelings? Is he listening? What habits drive men away? Is it romantic if I make the first move? Do men ever not want sex? Will he feel insecure if I earn more than him? and Are men intimidated by a woman in a higher position?

For me, this wasn't the kind of book that I wanted to sit down and read it all at once. Instead, it's been something I've enjoyed flipping through when I have a bit of time, stopping to read the parts that I find entertaining or intriguing at that moment. The format the authors use is easy to read and easy to follow—each question is followed by a statistical chart showing results for that particular question followed by quotes from the respondents and brief comments by the authors. 

Writing for the Huffington Post, Brya and Alvarez share some of their results in a piece titled, What Men Really Want—and Don't: Six Myths Debunked. Here's a quick peak at what they have to say:

Myth #1: Men don't listen. Ninety (90) percent of men reported that they make an effort to listen to their partners in a serious relationship. They tend to tune out, however, when women begin to "beat around the bush" before getting to the real message. The authors suggest that if you get to the point without a lot of lead-in, you're more likely to be heard.

Myth #2: Men want to be in control. Eighty-two (82) percent of men indicated that they like when a woman asks them out, and over 60 percent reported that they want the woman to take the lead in the bedroom. The authors conclude that women shouldn't be worried about "taking the reins" since most men (at least those they surveyed) are clearly willing to relinquish control.

Myth #3: Men always want sex. Although much ado has been made over reports saying that men think about sex every seven seconds, Brya and Almaraz say that viewing guys as "raging sexaholics" is unfair. Close to 40 percent of the men they surveyed reported that when they're busy at work, tired, or stressed about something, they're not interested in sex. They quote one respondent as saying, “We get tired, stressed, irritated, and so on, just like you do.”

Myth #4: Men can't be monogamous. The authors say that cheating men are "generally accepted as a fact of life," yet a large percentage of men in their survey reported that this simply isn't so. Eighty-one (81) percent reported that they would never cheat on their partners even if they thought they could get away with it. 

Myth #5: Men are not into foreplay. Eighty-four (84) of those surveyed said that foreplay is as important to them as the actual act. The authors write, "Many said that that foreplay makes the sex more pleasurable and intense for them, but even the ones that didn’t believed that getting their significant other in the mood was just as hot." 

Myth #6: Men need to be the breadwinner. Not true, says Braya and Almaraz. Of those polled, 88 percent claimed that they had no issue with their partner earning more than they did with one respondent saying, “What backwards idiot would say no to this question?”

To see the slide show Braya and Almaraz prepared for Huffington Post, click here

© 2012 Sherrie Bourg Carter, All Rights Reserved

Follow Dr. Bourg Carter on Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon's Author Page.

Sherrie Bourg Carter is the author of High Octane Women: How Superachievers Can Avoid Burnout (Prometheus Books, 2011).

Sherrie Bourg Carter, Psy.D., psychologist and author of "High Octane Women: How Superachievers Can Avoid Burnout," specializes in the area of women and stress.

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