About fifteen years ago, the book, "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus" by John Gray attempted to popularize the concept that males and females were fundamentally different in their communication styles – as fundamentally different as if they were from separate planets. For instance, it postulated that men were "problem solvers" while women preferred to simply focus on the emotions and the connections between people (requiring "listening to" rather than "problem solving" from their mate). These differences in approaches, Gray contended, caused much conflict between partners. (What he failed to take into account is that even in same-sex relationships, these dynamics often exist and play out!)
While I contend that both sexes are TRULY from the very same planet, there is a grain of truth that – for either sex – the role of problem solver is sometimes taken up – to the point of pushing aside all other ways of being involved in the relationship. Depending upon the person's background, up-bringing, and the immediate circumstances, either sex (or partner) could be the one to take on the role of the "problem solver".
The "problem" is that if you are "problem-solving," you are not really in the present –- your head is kind of in-the-future, where the solved problem is! It isn't in the present moment, being sensitive to the immediate situation and what is really going on. This can be a problem! For intimacy to really be communicated, being right there is of paramount importance.
So, the "problem-solver," in love, will have researched and practiced and experimented to refine his or her knowledge or "techniques", becoming "all of that" as an expert in, say, seduction, or cunnilingus/fellatio, or kissing, or whatever! That is certainly a very fine thing when the time is right for it! The issue comes up when "all the technique in the world" is not noticing that the other person really needs something completely different at the moment.
What's more, an additional "problem" has arisen that the "problem-solver" themselves is not being as sensitive to their own place, while their head is off solving what they perceive as the other person's "situation." Frankly, the experience is not being as mutually enjoyable as it could be if the problem-solver was simply being right there in the present!
I am intimately aware that I do this sometimes. It is my nature. It is something that I do more than merely on "occasion." Some might even go so far as to say it is a chronic state for me. How embarrassing to have to admit to this publicly!
Nonetheless, since "problem-solving" is my particular nature, I certainly know that I can solve this problem! And I will solve this (as I suggest other "problem-solvers" do) in a very special, particular way: by not solving anything! (At least, not for a while.) I will refrain from problem solving during intimacy. There, that should solve that problem!
And indeed! I have tried it, and it works! The reports are in! I have succeeded in solving nothing, and I am completely confident and certain that you can do the same (even if you yourself are a problem-solver!!!) Here are the fruits of my efforts:
- I was totally, completely present with the other person. We had an amazing time! The intimacy was immediate and deep and intense. Wow!!!
- I was totally completely present with myself and how I felt and with what I wanted and desired. I was able to communicate all of this with my partner, because I was completely THERE and connected in a very nice way!
- I am a hero!
- Most interestingly, she was the "problem-solver" in this case! I had her read this bit appearing up there and she tried it. She loved it!!! She was completely present and in touch with her own needs and desires. She wasn't trying merely to please me or solve that problem - she was right there with me, mutually enjoying a completely intimate experience. It was (by her reports) a totally amazing experience! Wow!!!
Try it yourself, problem-solvers – both male and female! I think you'll like how this problem seems to practically solve itself!
I rest my case!
P.S. - Check out another blog entry, Cuddling Marathon Challenge if you would like some ideas for practicing what I preach!