Why do men pick a woman with their penis?

| 05/10/2011 | Comments (19)

Dear Ms. HeartBeat:
I’m a 40 year old man that has been dating a wonderful lady in her mid-30s for six months. She’s been divorced for two years after a 12 year marriage (no children), and I’ve never been married.

We’ve begun discussing marriage. On the surface, that sounds like a good idea to me. But when we delve deeper and begin discussing the specifics of when/where, I freeze-up and have a difficult time talking.

I’ve heard various married men and women say ‘the secret to a happy marriage is to marry your best friend.’ My girlfriend is that. We can, and do, talk about anything and everything, and are truly on the same path in life spiritually, professionally, financially, and as regards family and children.

I think I’m afraid — not so much of ‘commitment’ per se, but rather of never experiencing with her the kind of love and fireworks I’ve felt for two of the roughly 15 other girlfriends I’ve had over the past 18 years. Unfortunately, both of those women dumped me after about three months, saying they did not have much chemistry with me (did not get more of an explanation than that.)

So I’m not sure whether the fireworks I’ve felt with the two other girlfriends are part of what might ever be a healthy, lasting relationship if I hold-out and wait to find that sort of chemistry with a third lady someday; or whether this love is something that somehow only occurs for me for women that for whatever reason just aren’t going to have that much chemistry with me. (I saw a therapist for 6 months and we could not figure out why I felt the way I did for these two.)

My girlfriend has told me she’s fallen in love with me and would like to get married. Ironically, I feel in many ways closer to her than to any of my previous girlfriends – even the two I was in love with. But the closeness I have with my girlfriend (ability to talk openly, and being on the exact same path in life), has not translated into ‘fireworks’ and love for me. My girlfriend is someone I admire and respect and know would be an amazing mother, but do not (yet) ‘love’ – at least not like I have the other two.

So, my dilemma is whether I marry my girlfriend and hope the fireworks develop (or resign myself to living without them), or end this relationship and pray for a relationship where the fireworks are mutual.

Love to Know

Dear Love to Know:
I think the most telling part of your letter is that you admitted you felt sparks, heat and passion for only two of the women you’ve dated in the past – and neither one of them felt those things for you. THAT fact is the reality my dear, and it is also the key to your dilemma.

You are very much afraid of commitment. Not sure why it took your therapist six months and that question was still not answered. Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know the signs.

There are few men who have never been engaged, lived with a woman, or been married by the age of 40. Women view such men as perennial bachelors with a defect, and tend to shy away from them. They figure that you must have some real issues with unrealistic expectations of women, of relationships, a fear of commitment or all three. And they are correct!

The fact that you think a suitable wife and life partner requires “fireworks” shows that you are thinking with your dick, not your brain.

You are also ignoring the fact that fireworks early in a relationship tend to confuse people. They get so caught up in the sexual fireworks that they enter into and stay in relationships with partners they are completely incompatible with.

Once the sexual novelty of new booty wears off (usually about 3 months), the couple breaks up. It’s at that point they realize they can’t stand each other’s thinking, hobbies, interests, children, friends, habits, or goals. They see their partner for whom and what they are instead of through the haze of passionate sex, and they don’t like what they see at all. It’s disappointing to realize that you don’t see eye to eye about anything nor do you have anything in common with someone you’ve been sleeping with for months!

If you were in the 18-23 age groups, we’d be having a different conversation. I believe that everyone should have a lover or two that they lose their head over, just for the experience. Love for the very young is all-encompassing. You never love as hard or as openly as you do the first time or two. Most of those early relationships are based strictly on sexual attraction, and they always blow up in our faces.

After such an experience, most people grow up and realize that loving someone changes sex, and changes who you are as well.

Since you’ve had so many short-term relationships, you don’t understand the dynamics of long-term love and sex. Even if a couple does have compatibility and passion, the burning passion they felt early in the relationship usually slows down to burning embers. There is still heat, but flames are seen only here and there.

Sex between a couple that communicates well and work well together out of bed is always fantastic. It’s a different kind of sexual connection than you think you should expect based on your boyish fantasies of the woman you thought you would marry. Sex with a long-term love is more spiritual and emotional. You demonstrate and share your feelings for each other when you make love. You also have the trust in each other to experiment and do wildly freaky things together that make you get up in the morning and put on your sunglasses (hiding your face so the world won’t recognize you as the man that was screaming like a girl the night before). LOL!

Ideally your early passion-based relationships serve a purpose, and that is to teach you what is REALLY important and which qualities you SHOULD be looking for when you select a life partner. Once you’ve moved past those fireworks types of relationships, you should be more mature and down to earth about the things that really matter in life.

So for you I have three suggestions.

  1. Tell her that dating after only six months is a bit soon. Be open and honest with her, sharing that you prefer to date for at least a year before you make plans in that direction. Tell her that marriage is a big step and you only plan to do it once which is why you have waited until the age of 40. Let her know that she is not wasting her time; but that you feel you two don’t know each other well enough quite yet, which is absolutely true. Ask for her cooperation in shelving talk of marriage until closer to the end of the year.
  2. During the next six months you need to get clear on what being a husband and what having a wife and family means to you. Journal if you think it will help you stay focused. This is mandatory, because you’re all over the place dude. It sounds like your criteria for a mate is very shallow, strictly focusing on the sexual appeal she holds for you and little to nothing else. I’m getting the distinct impression that you are still stuck in a high school boy’s “I want a hot girlfriend” mentality, which is not what makes a woman a loving, supportive, caring, sexually satisfying wife for the next 30 years.
  3. Re-read your letter to me. Highlight all the wonderful qualities this woman has and the words you use to describe your relationship with her. Then make notes on what you had with the two women you felt you “loved” and compare the two. Which qualities do you think will make you have the most peace-of-mind long-term? Which qualities do you think are those that will make you feel like a man that has made a smart decision and wise investment of his emotions? Which qualities do you think are required to make a woman an amazing mother, a fabulous addition to your extended family, and that prove her to be someone you can trust with your life?

Over the next six months you have some serious inner work to do.  It’s time to grow up fella. It’s time to change your selection criteria and begin to appreciate that the most important things you need to have in a wife are a woman that wants you, that likes you as a person, that loves you as her man, and who accepts you exactly the way you are. Such acceptance and devotion is priceless and should never be taken for granted or dismissed as having less value than a woman you picked with your erect penis.

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Dating expert and advice columnist since 1993, writing as Ms. HeartBeat. Author of the hilarious street smart dating guide "Sucka Free Love - How to Avoid Dating The Dumb, The Deceitful, The Dastardly, The Dysfunctional & The Deranged."

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Comments (19)

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  1. lori says:

    I don’t agree with your advice. I think the fact that this guy said that he doesn’t feel fireworks or love for her means that she is just a really good friend. She brought up marriage, not him. His age should have no bearing on compromising that. I believe that without the initial fireworks the flame will never develop and grow.

    You can have a best friend and fireworks. I do. My husband and I were friends first and then came the fireworks. It has been 20 years. We would have never made it without them.

  2. Jeez says:

    This is terrible advice. He didn’t mention sex once and you basically accused him of being a sex-addicted pervert. Wow.

  3. Kacee says:

    This guy sounds like a commitment phobe who is just looking for an excuse not to be with a woman who would be good for him. He listed a lot of the woman’s positive traits but then he goes back and compares her to two women from his ‘past’ who dumped him ironically for the very same reason he is considering dumping her. He claims there are no sparks in his relationship with ‘her’ just exactly like what he experienced with his 2 ex gfs who then claimed they dumped him because they didn’t feel any ‘spark’s with him.

    Seems to me like there needs to be some growing up on this guys part. He’s 40 but still has the mentality of a 20 year old boy. Most men hopefully grow and mature and realize that while sex is important, it isn’t the only important thing to the success of a relationship. If that were the case, men would be marrying hookers, and porn stars just because they got horny watching these women perform.

    This man can’t see what is in front of him, because he’s too busy focusing on what is behind him… the 2 ex girlfriends from the past. No woman is going to be JUST exactly like the woman was before. But if he can’t start a relationship off by giving the person a clean slate and having a mature mind, then he doesn’t need to get married to any woman because he would make her life miserable.

    And for these men on this thread talking about ‘women do it too’. You are just deflecting. Focus on the article and stop trying to turn the conversation around to what women are doing. Nobody is dismissing the importance of having a healthy sexual relationship with your partner. That is VERY important, however this man is unhealthy in his outlook because he is comparing this woman to his 2 exs and he clearly can’t see that he didn’t have a healthy relationship with them, otherwise he wouldn’t have gotten dumped.

    Bottom line: This dude sounds messed up in the head. He has problems with women who turn him on and he has problems with women who he feels doesn’t turn him on just like other women did from his past. I’d give him a pass if I were her. He has too many mental issues.

  4. Simon says:


    Your approach is shallow and superficial which exposes your own bourgeoise feminism. You and ilk oppose productive discussion about relationships, and make ASSumptions about my experience, a further indication of your own bourgeoise feminism and is counterproductive to dealing with the very critical issues that Black women and Black men face today.

    • Deborrah says:

      You don’t have the right nor the power to decide what is “productive” on this site or anyplace in the hemisphere dude. That is your first mistake. If a woman visits this site and posts her thoughts or feelings about an article, her thoughts and feelings are automatically labeled as productive.

      Secondly, you present yourself in a manner that makes it easy to come to conclusions about your experience. If you don’t want people to come to those conclusions, then change your presentation. Blaming feminism for men picking a woman with their penis is silly. You are avoiding the entire point of the discussion and attempting to divert the focus from the stupid man that wrote the letter to the women that analyzed it and jammed him up.

      Lastly, we are not here to solve each and every problem or issue that exists between Black men and women. Instead, we on THIS site are focused on what women can do to extricate themselves from drama filled, abusive, emotionally barren relationships with men and to make women see that they deserve better and more. Black men have plenty of sites that they whine on, please visit one of them and bond with your bretheren. I hope that together you all can figure out how to solve your problems and issues and get your shit together.

    • Raz says:

      Simon: “Your approach is shallow and superficial which exposes your own bourgeoise feminism. You and ilk oppose productive discussion about relationships, and make ASSumptions about my experience, a further indication of your own bourgeoise feminism and is counterproductive to dealing with the very critical issues that Black women and Black men face today.”

      Translation: “I am a whiny loser and I am a frustrated horny bastard who can’t handle the truth as told through women. So to protect my fragile little ego and to help me to deal with the rejection I get from women, I have to name women who put ‘truths’ before me as ‘feminism’.

      No FOOL, it ain’t feminism it is a woman telling you, a loser man what women find attractive and what turns them on. And like most loser fools who don’t have the heat to pull the woman they want, you can’t handle it. So you whine and label the woman as feminist.
      A dude who has his shit together with the ladies and is attracting women would get what I’m saying would not be arguing and talking about feminism. Only dudes who fit the loser image (YOU) are the ones whining.

      I said women don’t find men attractive with unattractive flaws. Let me say this Simon: Your fonky attitude puts you on nignore. No woman would want to be with a man with a dismissive attitude towards women. You are man who sets himself up as the final authority on what woman think even though your ass ain’t a woman. Then you have this superior judgmental attitude that makes you think you know better than a woman on how a woman’s mind work. Masculine men in the select group that are confident and attracting women do not talk like you do. So I can see why you are whining. Obviously you’re in the non-select group.

  5. Simon Templar says:

    Women select men with pussy as well. Raz and Deborrah won’t admit it. Some women are still chasing the popular guy from high school figuring they have better chance now letting the pussy do the talking. Some never ever grow up, NEVER. Gotta love that patriarchal benefits package.

    • Raz says:

      Women select the men that they are attracted to just like men do. However this isn’t the sole reason a mature sensible woman will stay with a man. We are talking about women, not high school girls. That’s where the disconnect is with men like you who never grow up and can’t get past your high school mentality and rejections. High school are KIDS’s. This site is about single dating amongst adults.

      It is true that women want men who they are attracted to, who wouldn’t? Of course a woman wants a man who she can imagine making hot passionate love to, after all she has to live with this dude and who wants to live with someone they can’t imagine fucking? You sound like that corny dude who couldn’t get woman interested in you so you are angry and jealous of the dudes who had the women interested in them.

      Instead of being angry, why didn’t you learn from the dude and I don’t mean learning how to ‘dog women out either’. Did you look in the mirror, did you try to improve yourself, your appearance, do something so you had something that women would find attractive in you? Or did you just sit around whining and mad because women didn’t find you attractive? Guys who want women to find them attractive despite some unattractive flaws, (stank breath, unattractive bodies, fonky attitudes, no personality, no charisma, no money to take women out), none of those things are attractive and you will get passed by.

      And as a guy, you would pass a woman by with those traits to no matter how much the woman said, ‘Look at me I’m a good girl on the inside’. So stop holding women to a higher standard than you yourself have when it comes to dating and mating.

      Nobody wants to be with someone that doesn’t turn them on in the way that matters to ‘them’.

  6. Red says:

    I loved this article. It hit so many points. Deb I wish you could be my therapist. I love how you keep it real but give much needed sound advice. Thanks.

  7. Guapo1492 says:

    Love to Know,

    Here’s some advice from a younger cat. If you clam up when marriage talk gets serious, you’re not ready. And if her previous marriage was a disaster, she’s probably not in a rush. Now, you may have touched on some of this but I didn’t read your whole letter so I wouldn’t know. See, I’m in the south. Women down here stop acting like your girlfriend when you marry them and start acting like your momma. If she can promise you that won’t happen, you have nothing to worry about. You won’t have any regrets and question why you married her nor will you feel compelled to cheat. But if you’re a cheater you will probably continue to cheat. I’m just saying………

    Hey, there’s always Common-law???? If it ain’t broke, why start tinkering around with it? Might mess up a good thing.

  8. SilentBro says:

    I read his letter twice and didn’t see the word sex mentioned once. He appears to be articulate so if it was about sex or his penis I think he would have stated that. I do agree that he is confused and is possibly letting a great woman/wife/mother go by. I think the “sparks” he is talking about is similiar to the “chemistry” women talk about that is sometimes lacking in relationships.

    I think a life long committment of marriage doesn’t include a man or woman doing every possible thing a mate wants or desires but I think someone entering marriage should accept their mate is less than perfect and so are they. He is 40 and now is a depreciating asset in the dating pool (unless he is wealthy), does he want to continue to nit pick women or take a chance on the one he is with? Is it important he marry and have kids or just continue on the eternal dating path. I agree that he needs to do some internal searching and I think he needs to read a little more on marriage and talk to success marriage couples and hear what it really entails.

    • “Sparks” means she makes his dick instantly hard because she is his physical fantasy. He can’t wait to screw her. He wants to touch her and be close to her. Without “sparks” he may get sexually stimulated, but it isn’t the rush of blood and heart pounding passion that he is looking for. He doesn’t have to say DICK or PENIS for me to know what the hell he is talking about. That is why I am the advice columnist and you are not.

      • SilentBro says:

        I work in an occupation where I witness the damage that many children of divorced/separated/single parents endure and see the long lasting effects it has on their lives so I thought that contributing to this blog could possibly help some adults avoid what I have witnessed.

        I understand that this is a site where you give advice to other women about dating, and relationship. I have noticed that when men respond in any way that isn’t completely supportive of what is being said they are attacked. I have learned through experience here to be very careful of what I say to not arouse those types of response. Again this time I try to politely offer another viewpoint and I get the “This is my playground” response from someone you. Is your answer always the only and best answer to every dilemma? I am married, my parents (their parents were married) and my sibling married. I have been only trying to express what I have learned in more than 150 years of combined experience not hearsay, beauty shop or new age experiments. I don’t insult you, the people you profile or responders when I disagree. I apologize to you and Raz, I thought this was a blog of intelligent, constructive thought and interchange of ideas.

        • If the only people that grew up with problems in their relationships were the children of divorced or single parents, then your argument would have merit, but we all know that is not the case.

          Your statement would mean that a child that lives with a healthy, caring single parent, or that grows up with loving parents that just happen to not be together anymore are always and considerably worst off than those that grew up in a two parent home. It wouldn’t matter if that couple were on drugs, the home was where domestic violence is the norm, where there is sexual abuse by the father or other male relatives, or where there are so many children and the parents both working two jobs that the children are ignored, abandoned and on their own a lot.

          There are dozens of factors that make a child emotionally and mentally healthy as an adult … successful in life and love. Their parents being married is only one of them.

          Lastly, my tart, snarky responses are not limited to males. If you’ve been reading my articles and comments over the past two years, you would know that.

          Don’t ever take the things you read here personally. We are strangers in cyberspace sharing experiences and opinions, and most of the time we are NOT going to agree (at least not about everything and certainly not every time). I wouldn’t know you if you sat next to me at Starbucks for instance.

          Not sure why you got all huffy on this one because all I did was correct you about not understanding the sex issue. When one does advice work one has to have a spiritual knowing about what is going on with people and the ability to FEEL what they are saying as well as what they are NOT SAYING. Men are typically very literal in their thinking and perceptions, which means most men do not possess high levels of emotional intelligence. In instances such as these, that emotional intelligence is what makes me an excellent advice columnist with great intuition, and you to look for everything to be laid out for you.

          Not saying its bad to be that way, just that its different and that you therefore don’t have the skill set necessary to do the work that I do. But I probably would not be good at what you do for work either. So we’re square.

          • SilentBro says:

            In regards to your Sparks=Dick Hard association I can accept that from your background and experience with men. I speak from my own perspective/background that obviously differs from yours.

            You argue that single headed households are not a strong causal effect on children’s success. Raising a child is a social, economic and spiritual endeavor and the difference between 2 parents and 1 is well documented. Yes there are single parents who do well and yes there are two parents who do lousy jobs but which one is the general rule and which is the exception? Yes we can raise children as single parents we have been doing that for decades in but is it beneficial, is it optimum?

            What is wrong with finding ways to come together in our imperfections as black men and women instead of just pointing out all of our differences perpetuating our polarizations?

            I don’t take what you say personal but I thought this was supposed to be a healthy exchange of ideas and opinions. I don’t know where disparging remarks fits in?

  9. Pat says:

    I just wanted to say GREAT response. AND great responses to the response.

  10. Rose Marie says:

    @Deb your advice was funny but true, especially the part about the sunglasses. I hope he takes to heart those three suggestions and I also hope that if they do decide to jump the broom that they both get some additional pre-marital counseling because it looks like they might need it.

    @Raz great comments as usual.

  11. Raz says:

    The thing is most dudes think like this. They NEVER grow up… NEVER. Yet they always talk about women picking the mysterious thugs’ meanwhile they pick women with their penis and regret it later. Meanwhile they bypass many women who would be perfect for them.

    He’s dated 15 women and only 2 had sexual fireworks with him and he’s basing his romantic relationships on that criteria alone while not looking at himself. While it is true that there should be mutual physical attraction, shoot, a couple don’t spend all their time in bed, you’ve got to get out sometimes and that is when couples who get together merely based solely on physical attraction fall apart.

    He definitely sounds like some dude who has been living in playboy land and I would hazard a guess that he is probably into porn, and had a lot of magazines stashed away so he wants women to be this fantasy porn type of woman seen in the magazines or portrayed in the media.

    I think that’s why women file for divorce 2/3rds of the time because they end up with men for the same reasons and wind up unhappy in the long term. They realize they can’t live with this dude, but initially they were dazzled by the chemistry and the fact he found them so HOT!!
    Everybody is hot when they are young, but as folks grow older and mature that physical hotness doesn’t last and what else have they got going for them to sustain the relationship. Great advice.

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