February 2, 2007
February 2, 2007


Men and women have different takes on what stimulates them to accept “making love.”

Men believe foreplay is only the physical manipulation of the erogenous zones. That would be fine if, as in courtship, the woman is the center of his universe. However, after marriage the couple drifts into separate worlds. They might as well be in different countries They often spend no time together and when they do, they do not attempt to discover the inner world of each other as they had previously before the knot was tied.

A woman views foreplay as the excitement of sharing her thoughts, feelings, experiences and desires with her significant other. When the couple can hardly wait to see the other in order to share special moments together; that’s foreplay. A woman needs to be heard. By that she means there should be some kind of reaction to her ideas.

My husband, Lyman, and I attended a Charlie Chapman movie. The coldness that the actor was portraying came across the black and white film with chilling accuracy. I shared my awe of it. Lyman just said “I didn’t like the movie.” His voice was so sharp that it relayed to me that all further discussion was over. The fact that all communication was prevented was upsetting. I would have liked to know what turned him off: the contents, the acting, the plot?

I felt unheard. This is just one example of how the wife does not feel as if the husband is listening. Wives feel cut out. Lyman could have said, “I don’t like tragedies. I prefer comedy.” In fact, years later I discovered that this was what his comment meant. However, the tone of voice and the lack of description left me feeling isolated. For a time, it created a distance between us.

I find that this phenomena is the most frequent complaint among couples today. Wives object, to the man having a female friend with whom they energetically converse several times a day, because this special interest is representative of foreplay. Men do not understand that the excitement of wanting to talk with the lady is the foreplay that the wife is lacking in order to want to respond in the bedroom. Instead the mate is becoming resentful of what he views as controlling behaviors. His wife complaints appear as nagging. Often she tries to become alluring, by losing weight, and wearing sexy clothes. Some males interpret this behavior as,”she is having an affair” and become more distant. His wife wants to be loved for who she is, but the person who is getting the attention that his wife wants is the other woman. The wife feels that it is an affair because the other woman got the foreplay, so who cares if he returns home to have sex with her? It is just sex. It lacks love, because there was no foreplay. The foreplay that takes place outside of the bedroom in the form of being interested in discussing life, movies, the day events or whatever is the topic, is the foreplay with which women respond most lovingly.

Lyman and I would nightly commune on our darkened porch with just the street lamps to accompany our laughter. Those summer evenings without any technology to disturb the foreplay of conversation were the most joyous of our marriage.

If you are feeling isolated, show this column to your spouse. Maybe then he will understand what you need.