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Do You Bring Out the Worst in Men?

I have a little gang of close man-friends. Each of these guys is a rare and wonderful pearl of a man, prince of a man, king amongst kings, in his own unique way. I love my man-tribe, for many reasons. Not the least of which is that, when I am between lovers, like now, their friendship and attention sources me and sustains me and envelops me.

In a moment of reverie and appreciation yesterday, I shot a quick thank-you text to one guy, because I was wearing a bracelet he had given me a few years before, when we went to Taos together. He called me immediately, and we had a fun talk and made a dinner date. A bit later, I wrote to another guy, telling him I watched a movie he had recommended to me, and how much I enjoyed it. A flurry of e-mails followed, with a plan to get together.
And maybe not.
Women have the power to get anything and everything we want from the men in our world.
Usually we don’t feel that way.

Well, there is a blight amongst women, right now.
And as anyone who has ever studied agricultural history knows, blights are deadly things. Blights can wipe out whole food crops. Case in point: the Irish Potato Famine in 1845, where over 1 million people died of starvation and a million more fled the country—an Gorta Mór.
Well, we have ourselves an Gorta Mór (the Great Hunger) right here, right now, sisters.
Women are starving for delicious, loving attention from men, and vice versa.
We are all malnourished for intimacy, closeness, a feeling of being seen, known, loved, adored, worshipped, honored and “gotten.”
This crazy world is not set up in a way that makes it easy for each of us to get our minimum daily requirements.

And what happens when people are starving?
Yeah, you got it.
Bad table manners.
Piss poor, actually.
We can get grabby and pushy, because we fear we may never see such like again.
We grab too much, sometimes steal our sister’s seat, and sneak some into our purse for later.
Not to mention, we kinda lose our ability to consume very much because we have all been deprived for so long.
Sometimes we even lose our appetite altogether.
We all have girlfriends (or are girlfriends) whom we call “the avoiders”—the women that avoid men completely. Or we complain bitterly that there are no good men out there. Or we try to stuff every guy we meet into a husband suit, before our first date. Or we are with a guy, but continually find everything wrong with him and set about complaining, criticizing and fixing him.

If you are over 21, you know none of these techniques is in any way effective towards the ultimate goal of ending an Gorta Mór.

And of course, there is no way we will solve this excessively large riddle here, no matter how gorgeous and talented this writer is.

But this being The Pleasure Revolution, and you all being Pleasure Revolutionaries, I want to invite you to conduct a real live experimental research project. And report your findings, right here.

Let’s begin to put an end to this blight, shall we?
We can start, right now.

Well, rather than waiting for him to fulfill you, get you, love you, give you what you think you want…
Rather than continually looking at where he is failing you…
Rather than waiting for him to figure it all out…
I want to toss the ball of change and transformation into your lap.
I got a little assignment for YOU.
Today—as soon as you get to the last word of this blog—I want you to pick 3 guys in your world…
And acknowledge them.
Yeah, you heard me.
Just sail a little “thank you” their way.
A tiny thumbs up.
A wink.
A smile.

Word of warning: this can’t be faked.
We can all feel the hostility behind insincere thanks.

So your first task is to find your way to your inner delicious.

And then, pick 3 guys in your world and give them a very specific acknowledgement for a way in which they make your life better.

Acknowledgement and appreciation are flabby muscles for most of us. Today is your day to dust that little muscle off and work it like you mean it.

Even if you are a woman who is so mad at her guy, she can’t even find one thing to appreciate about him.
Even if you are a woman who has been so burned by men that you want to cross to the other side of the street when you see one.
Even if you think you do not know any men, you really do—your waiter, your grocer, the security guy at your office.
And the more this assignment irritates you—the more you require it.

So, my Sisters, I cannot wait to hear your reports, below, as we do our part to end an Gorta Mór.
And here is what I want to hear from you:
How did you fire up your inner delicious?
What guys did you acknowledge?
And how did that feel to you?
And what kind of responses did you get?

I am so grateful to YOU. You are my heroine—a woman who is willing to be the change. (Thanks for that cool concept, Gandhi!)

With so much love and pleasure,
Mama Gena

P.S. For in-depth training in the Womanly Art of Owning and Operating Men, check out Virtual Pleasure Boot Camp.


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48 Comments / Leave a Comment

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  • Lynne October 30, 2013, 10:41 am

    Just found you divine Sister Goddess. I adore you & your work! Thank you is not adequate, so I want you to know that I will practice what you preach in gratitude. As a fellow feminine chip off the divine block, I say WOW to you and you excellent teaching! Rock on Mama Gena. I kudo’d my husband & son & am considering my 3rd guy to kudo. Sitting with your book at Starbucks, enjoying the perfection of the morning. TANKS A LOT, your sister in divine living, Lynne Haines

  • lauren August 30, 2013, 9:27 am

    I just sent a YouTube link to Stevie Wonder’s
    “I Just Called To Say I LOVE YOU” to my
    son, who just started grad. school this week,
    I’m so proud of him, and to my fiancé, who is
    at the family cabin with his father, but he brought
    his laptop! Now I need another man…. there’s a guy
    who lives below who is really grouchy, maybe I’ll
    make him some cookies!


  • SG Sam June 10, 2012, 3:24 pm

    I was IMing with my best guy friend (who unfortunately lives across the pond) when I read this. I went with sending him a virtual hug and thanking him for being such an awesome friend to me. (He was the only friend I had who supported me through a bunch of recent emotional turmoil) We’re now currently trying to figure out how to sent genuine hugs via mail. Hopefully we’ll come up with something soon.

  • Louise Munck May 9, 2012, 6:06 am

    Dear Mama Gena,

    Thank you for reminding me! I suddenly remembered how much I miss and love my sweet, sweet cousin, with whom I travelled the world… I wrote him telling him how much I appreciate that he let himself be persuaded to go on an adventure with me, and that I miss him. It may be that writing him, does something for him, however, it helped me to reconnect with a lost love, of travelling and him. He’s such a good friend.
    Thank you!

  • sad May 4, 2012, 9:06 am

    GENA ,I am not sure if this is the right place to even speak of this but hay what the heck. for 40 years this is just what i have been giving my husband.the truth of the matter is that when i got married i was so naive. i did everything he wanted hoping he would make love and pleasure me. when a women goes through the change of life she starts to see things in a different don’t get me wrong he worked hard gave me alot of material thngs.but never gave love if you know what i mean. how i needed this then more so then when i was younger just to feel close and loved by him. i just could not do it anymore become cold i just stopped pleasuring him .now he is going through his change of life and he picks up young women at bars and thinks he is the cock on the walk.i have tried to talk to him about how i was feeling when i went through the change but ,he just doesn’t see it all he see is he can’t get his dick hard. and its my fault. i go to find out that he is a true narcissus. i guess i am a slow learner. i sure could of used you way back when. its great to see that your out there now helping the women of the world. for me i guess its too late

    • Vibeke May 4, 2012, 6:46 pm

      I hear you even if everyone else is still caught up in the “thank him for a bracelet and he will send you love, laughter and light!” Ha! Not true always. I could “work a room full of men” too if I was single. Trouble is, I am married and have children to raise and so when my attempts at kindness get shrugged off I can either (a) blow up my family and leave for a man who will shower me with attention (of course that would require finding a man who’d worship a working Mom with two kids and a mortgage – ha ha) or (b) settle for now and know that we cannot control others behavior and it is what it is. None of this advice could have helped you back then unless you were willing to leave him and perhaps your situation did not allow that at the time. Hey, maybe it would have helped you, I’m not trying to diss this blog and the pearls of truth therein but “one size does not fit all.” Don’t have regrets or be too hard on yourself for what you did or did not do or did or did not know in the past. I don’t know your situation today but I do know that the only person you can control is yourself. To stop “pleasuring him” because it didn’t feel natural or right was one small step in protecting yourself. His “bar hopping and chatting up young things” behavior is not necessarily the result of you caring for yourself and protecting yourself. Perhaps you pulling back could have “caused” him to try harder? Or see the light? Sorry, it takes two to tango. Sounds like you’ve tried. I wish you the best.

  • Lovely Rita May 2, 2012, 8:48 pm

    Oh this is such good stuff! We need to do this more often. I have done this before and the good that comes back is delicous! I will repeat and repeat my HUGE thank you to my honey Harold who flew us first class from JFK to Sea-Tac to celebrate my Mom’s 90th last week. An equally big hug to my long time adorer/worshipper/plumber always always comes back to me big time. Hummm my third will be the generous soul/friend who flew me to Germany for a week’s vacation. Thank you Mama Gena! The world is a-flowing with gratitude!

  • shawnna weber May 2, 2012, 7:26 pm

    Sent out a few thank you emails to boyfriend and son… (great idea on sending to your son!)… and received very very nice emails in return…. an attitude of gratitude really makes EVERYONE feel good! WIN-WIN.. Love it!

  • Carol May 2, 2012, 3:40 pm

    I just discovered the world of Mama Gena, and WOW, I am so happy about it!
    I started reading “Owner’s and Operator’s Guide to Men” while on vacation and immediately started to experiment with immediate positive results. So – since Mama said to send my guys notes of thanks and appreciation – then that is exactly what I did. Again, I had immediate results. What’s even better is that I loved doing it just for the sake of making all of us feel good. I now have lunch and dinner planned for next week, and a wonderful day planned for tomorrow with one who made me stop, look, and listen to myself about 6 months ago.

    I must also thank Mama Gena for her brilliance and for writing it all down. This information is life-altering.

  • Kathleen May 2, 2012, 12:53 pm

    Hi Mama Gena! I started by thanking my boyfriend for being in my life. His response: I was just about to text you the same thing! I next thanked a man who has been in my life for a few years and is truly a great friend. He seemed overcome to hear from me and, like your story, Mama Gena, wanted to set up plans as soon as possible. He invited me over next week to spend a few hours lounging by his pool. I’m still thinking about who my third thank you will go to, and I’m sure the man will present himself by the end of the day. What I noticed though is the men I thanked seemed to fill up with pride and happiness and just spilled those emotions on me even more. I think both the men AND ME were feeling sexier aftertr conversation. Thank you for spicing up my day, Mama Gena! Keep these little activities coming!

  • Natalia May 2, 2012, 10:17 am

    Oh, what a wonderful gift that keeps giving…. Mama Gena that is! 🙂
    Thanks for words of wisdom and inspiration. Though I do try to appreciate men in my life and tell them about it, I think I don’t do it enough. So did an extra push in this direction yesterday. Result: Got a big smile out of my usually grumpy unsmiling Chinese grocer :),
    learned how to say “I love you ” in Arabic from a pizza guy on the corner with whom I have been friendly a flirty for a while and to crown it all, my dear partner called me “Sweet petals of my life” in the morning!!! When we are usually cranky/grumpy kinda people 😉
    Thank you ! Thank you ! Thank you!

  • julia May 2, 2012, 6:26 am

    wow, i just read your article and i also want to say, it’s pure truth what you have said woman, we need all attention from them, but it doesn’t mean we depanded to them, no ways. i’m single young woman who still need a man but i myself i enjoy to be single and sometimes i’ve been haunted by that filling, to be hold, to be touched, thinking of go back to past but no thanks.
    thank so much, i love you

  • Luscious Lola May 2, 2012, 6:19 am

    OK! I did it MG! I thanked my bf for having the guts to have a real discussion about his “financial motivation,” as I put it. It’s not an easy thing to talk about. Not easy to hear “I want you to make more money; do you want to? He was lighter and sweeter, I think, as a result of the gratitude you encouraged me to give, MG.
    Doing the exercise, gave me fresh eyes on my own worry and I realized that I don’t need to wait until he does X, Y or Z to cultivate my own pleasure. I realized that for some reason when I am in a relationship I simply stop being as awesome. I wait for my guy to do things. Not how I roll. Thanks Mama Gena! Much love!

    • tianna August 16, 2012, 11:42 pm

      “I realized that for some reason when I am in a relationship I simply stop being as awesome. I wait for my guy to do things.” That’s a great way to put it. I have the same problem. But I’m working on it and loving every step of the way down the path to regaining my awesomeness. 🙂

  • SG Courageous Cintra May 2, 2012, 5:34 am

    You did it again…. Inspired me…
    I am picking my husband, my brother and a sharing time friend
    whom I’ve had for 11! years!
    I get happy only thinking about this.
    Now to action….
    I love this! Thank you again!

  • SG Dana May 2, 2012, 1:06 am

    Dearest Mama,

    Someone said it must be in the flow… Reading Seductress has had me thinking back and circling back to all my wonderful men and doing just what you suggested and it has been absolutely the high point of the last couple of days. I have been bathing in the afterglow and they have been made happy too. They have even shared with me how much they appreciate me which has been wonderful too even though I wasn’t looking for that at all.

    I immediately began to think about how to keep this going because it really is so very nourishing and wonderful for both of us. But, when I start to get ahead of myself, I remember I have only attended the second weekend and there is much more to come.

  • Kat May 2, 2012, 1:05 am

    This was a hard one for me but I DID IT!! It feels really good because one of my men is my little brother who is 44. I raised him from childhood while a child myself. He is such a wonderful husband, father, and brother. I am so proud him. The second man came to my thoughts as one who has talked me of the ledge metaphorically. I thanked him for saving Tokyo from the ravages of Katzilla. The third is someone that I have special feelings for. We share a friend bond that began really while a mutual friend was making a transition out of this earthly life to the next phase. That friendship continues to grow and become more special. Yes-I think that he is that kind of special. Thanks Mama Gena! Every time I read some of your wisdom I feel so confident, brave, sexy, and powerful! I love the term “between lovers”. I will never say dry spell again. Always juicy!

  • Gypsy Cowgirl May 1, 2012, 7:02 pm

    THANK YOU!!! The two sweet fellas that I acknowledged today have been friends of mine for years. One, is a former beau, whom, I have been waiting for just the right moment to thank him for the humor he’s unknowningly provided me through the years over an incident that happened between the two of us. When I referenced the event, he knew exactly what I was talking about and we both had such a good laugh over it! Such a great convo! The 2nd man has been such a blessing to me over the years, helping me bridge the gaps between boyfriends, and helping to pick me up, over and over again. He is an amazing man! And I let him know that! He was shocked! He said I made his day!! Thank you mama gena!!! I have had an amazing day!!

  • Kessa May 1, 2012, 6:36 pm

    I just pushed my best friend away and hurt him badly and all he did was listen and love me. All because I’m not handling my ugly divorce and all the issues that are going on with it…I’m selfish and asking him to drop everything to be with me….one of our main problems is that we live 2000 miles apart. He is also going through a lot with is own life and losing everything thanks to student loans and having to file bankruptcy. He’s losing everything because of it…he’s lost everything that he busted his butt off to achieve.

  • Mary May 1, 2012, 4:46 pm

    I texted my father and my two brothers and then I wrote my husband I juicy email with so many of the things I love about him. Thankyou for the reminder to let the men in my life know I appreciate them!

  • Mary, Hawt Mama May 1, 2012, 2:28 pm

    I love this, Mama Gena!

    I sent out a quick email this AM sending “((((HUGS))) the extra squeezy kind” to a guy, Rick who replied, “Why, thank you!!” –sent a text to my guy de jour (I’m dating defensively) saying, “You’re sooo sweeet!!” and he said back, “…share what’s on your mind, dollface.” and then I was stumped–Hahaha. So I went into our Wellness Center at work and hugged a 91 year old man, Billy–it’s his birthday. I said, “You’re halfway to 182, Billy!” and gave him a full frontal HUG!!!

    I heart boys.

    • Tiiu May 2, 2012, 2:58 am

      Now THAT’s man-training 🙂 Lovely! I do wish I had the courage to do that… Maybe one day.

      Thank you for sharing this!

    • Miche March 7, 2016, 5:25 pm

      This comment made me giggle out loud Mary Hawt Mama.
      I’m sure Billy had a great time. 🙂

  • Mali Gesmundo May 1, 2012, 1:39 pm

    Non-stop thoughts of a lover I had not seen or spoken to for over 50 years urged me to connect through facebook search engine. He had been thinking of me all these years too. We have had a hot and heavy romance email tango. Had only the breath, not actual fruition of that when I was 15 to 17!!! Newly widowed the sting of loss still there so slowly it goes…

    Another young, young fresh molting hotness texted me saying he was off to lte night visit some goddess thing and thought of me. A couple of texts later, in which flirting is always rampant with us, we will have tea this week!

    • regena May 1, 2012, 1:56 pm

      there you go…..

  • Kristen May 1, 2012, 1:29 pm

    Done! Wow that felt good. To conjure up deliciousness, I picked the easiest man I know to appreciate, thought about what he brings into my life, and how awesome it is to have that kind of man around. And then writing it all out, I felt even better. After hitting send, the delicious-effect seemed to snowball! I’m really excited to see what shifts energetically as a result. I’ve been on a 4 year healing process with the men in my life since I did Landmark a few years back and reclaimed my relationship with my Dad. Since then, I’ve attracted some really high-quality gentlemen since! Looking forward to this next level of healing and integration.

  • Margaret May 1, 2012, 1:05 pm

    Wow! I thought turning 40 would be terrible. I found out it is the best thing that ever happened to me! I am loving life. Loving sex! I am just generally finding pleasure in everything that I do. I have found that when I appreciate everything life is so much better. I have become such a shameless flirt. I find myself smiling more and frowning less. I chose to enjoy life and not be miserable.

  • Ophelia May 1, 2012, 12:12 pm

    “between lovers” – Mama Gena, are you and Bruce no more???!!!

    • regena May 1, 2012, 1:58 pm

      ophelia- we are divorced and he is available!

      • Ophelia May 8, 2012, 10:11 am

        Oh no! I didn’t mean that lol! I just had no idea that you two were no longer together. Well – happy shopping!! 😉

  • Michaela May 1, 2012, 12:06 pm

    Ahhhh! I know what to say to the man I have just pushed away. My gratitude for all his efforts, and how he can pull magic out of his hat when requested. I’ve been focusing on what was, and what is not – instead of really making a point to create my pleasure, and acknowledge his strengths and current hard work.

  • Pamela May 1, 2012, 11:32 am

    Dear Regena,

    Thank you so much for this invitation! I am filled with so much love and gratitude after thanking 2 of the “house boys” and my husband! Damn woman, when you’re right, you’re RIGHT!

    Regardless of their responses– haven’t seen them yet, it created a Teutonic shift inside me– and that’s where the potent alchemy really begets her magic.

    I am lighter, fuller, deeper expansive loving present because I drank at the proffered cup of gratitude. Thank you for the beautiful writing and it’s truth.

    May love and goodness shine upon you!

    • regena May 1, 2012, 1:55 pm

      thanks pamela- back atcha!!

    • Bindu May 28, 2012, 2:59 am

      16a15c35f6You can certainly see your sklils within the work you write. The world hopes for even more passionate writers like you who aren’t afraid to mention how they believe. Always go after your heart. 18d

  • SG Caroline May 1, 2012, 11:28 am

    I share a car with a man who is my best friend, who I would like to “flip the script” with. He gave me a little present yesterday, so this morning when I was returning the car, I left him a jar of my homemade (from the farmer’s market) potato salad. I just got a text that said, “!!!!!!!!!!!!!”. 🙂 So fun.
    My boss (who is really dear to me) is having a really rough time b/c two of his closest family members are very ill. I just dropped him a note to say how sorry I was that he is going through this, that it must be the pits and if there is anything I can do, please don’t be afraid to ask. Stay tuned…
    Lots of Love,
    SG Caroline

  • SG "Infinite Paths Wolf" May 1, 2012, 11:03 am

    Thanks for this lovely idea Mama……. I’m not sure why I don’t use that spoken appreciation muscle more with the men in my life when I AM GRATITUDE FILLED in general!
    My long-time (& devilishly handsome & single) auto mechanic business owner guy is retiring this month. When I found out I had had the radical idea of mailing him one of those funny retirement cards. I also wanted to impart to him how he has been a hero in my life for so long. BUT NOW I WILL ACTUALLY DO IT TODAY!
    And my Father and my son will be my other two targets.

    • regena May 1, 2012, 1:55 pm

      can’t wait to hear the update…

  • Earlene May 1, 2012, 10:59 am

    This is a first step for me to step back out into the world of men and women after the loss of my husband. My inside work has included attention to grieving while learning to appreciate my life right where I am. Next step here I come.

  • Michelle Medina May 1, 2012, 9:35 am

    Off to acknowledge my Dad right now!! And my brother and ELIAS!!

  • Andrea May 1, 2012, 9:22 am

    I think my “targets” will be colleagues at work. They give me the cold pricklies a lot and disregard me or dismiss my opinions. Perhaps it is because they don’t like what I have to say or perhaps it is how I say it. I can spread some honey and see what I get back. They are suckers for being appreciated. I would love to be appreciated too.
    It is interesting to me how the energy in what I wrote above is pretty aggressive….and angry. So I will try to get to a happier place first, as you suggested.

  • SG Janie May 1, 2012, 8:42 am

    I just sent emails of appreciation to two of my men friends, my husband and my son. It felt really good to do that. I particularly felt good about sending appreciation to my son. I realized that I don’t often do that, and I expect it is something that he needs (like all the rest of us). I know my husband does for sure. I’ll let you know what reactions I get. The phone just rang and it was my husband saying that he read my email. He loved it! His comment, “Like someone said in “Harry Meets Sally,” ‘I’ll have some of whatever she is having…'” There you go! You’re dishing out good stuff, Mama!

    • Shaylin May 1, 2012, 9:42 am

      AWESOME!! Love hearing that your husband was so appreciative about your thankfulness. The Harry Meets Sally reference made me literally laugh out loud!! Witty man you have there!

      I can’t wait to read how your son reacts. Amazing work there – SO glad you shared it with us. Thanks!

  • Luscious Lola May 1, 2012, 8:34 am

    Ohhhhh! This is a good one O’ Savvy Savoir de Men! Racking my brain for something to compliment my boyfriend on. Oh jeez, it appears I am poorly conditioned. Will report back. Hmmmm.

    • regena May 1, 2012, 1:52 pm

      i’m waiting….. 🙂

  • Lisa May 1, 2012, 8:28 am

    OMG Mama G… think I must be so in the flow that I just sent my sweet man a thank you email BEFORE I read this blog post. I thanked him for being honest with me and discussing things with me that some women would not have the goddessness to handle. Not saying that I am puurrfect when it comes to being a sweet kitty instead of a scratchy cat but I truly appreciated the way he comes to me, tells me everything, asks for my opinion and listens (then usually taking my suggestion). Never before have I felt so calm and sensual and sweet with a man (ok, maybe my first boyfriend/lover – when I was too young and bright-eyed to be demanding and disappointed). Haven’t received the email love yet because of time difference, and yet I know it is coming…along with so much more:) Thank you too!
    xo SG Lisa

    • regena May 1, 2012, 1:51 pm

      in the flow is a good place to be…