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Even Guys Need a Little TLC
by Leon Baxter
TheSyndicatedNews columnist

My wife and I celebrated our wedding anniversary last week. She got me some black socks and a silk tie for work, a little man-purse that attaches to my belt for my cell phone, and, because the traditional fourteenth wedding anniversary gift is ivory, a bar of Ivory soap. I appreciate the gesture and the utilitarian nature of her gifts, but c’mon, a bar of soap and a purse?!

I’ve found that women often buy men practical gifts, instead of romantic ones because a) romantic gifts for men aren’t as obvious as romantic gifts for women. The media doesn’t shower us with images and ads for “swooning your man”, and a dozen roses and a teddy bear usually don’t cut it, b) we fellas don’t help out much with our apparent lack of interest in romance, and c) outside of the bedroom, guys don’t tell women what they find romantic. It’s like a huge secret, and the women are done trying to figure it out.

Romance is merely making your partner feel loved and cared for, making them feel loved. Though we put up a good front, we like that feeling as well as women. But, women just need to go at it differently than men do.

We men are easily pleased. Like kids, we like our egos stroked. Play into our pride and we’ll be at your mercy. You can also take us somewhere out of town. Or, remind us of some of the great memories of our past.

But even easier to remember and enact are the three S’s: surprises, straight from you, and sex. Once you put these into motion, you are sure to warm the cockles of a man’s heart.

Although men may appear to the untrained eye to be ravenous carnivores when it comes to sex, feasting like a lion only to drift to sleep after the main course, sexual intimacy actually produces feelings of love and connection in men. So, give him a thrill, and he’ll be drawn closer to you emotionally as well as physically. Greet him at home wearing his tie and workshirt. Or, get a set of boudoir photos done for him. Men are very visual. Since sex is on our minds so much, might as well be sure we’re thinking of you.

Once again, like children, we guys love surprises. Society often says that we need to be the ones in control of everything, including the relationship. We’re supposed to make reservations, choose restaurants, drive, and pay. Surprise us and take the reigns. Drive us to dinner unexpectedly. Plan a weekend getaway and whisk us away. Steal our car from work and have it detailed or get a new stereo installed. A change of pace and an unexpected act of caring is appreciated.

“Straight from you” means just that. We want something that only you can provide for us, something from your creative mind, from your heart. Men are territorial by nature. So, when we can show others what you did for us, we feel proud. You did that for us, and no one else. Make us anything; burn a CD of our favorite songs, write a poem, make a coupon book with “30 Minute Massage” and “Night Out With The Boys” coupons.

Many men are like me. We get stuck wearing the same jeans, t-shirt and baseball cap we wore a decade ago. So, use your sense of style and buy us clothes you know we’d look good (and current) in, but that we’d never buy ourselves. We know we’re looking better due to our woman’s fashion sense. Something straight from you lets us know that we’re worth your time and reminds us of you.

So, the next time an anniversary or birthday rolls by and you think that your man isn’t interested in romance, steer clear of the “Best Husband” mug, and new toothbrush. And, if you feel compelled to buy him a bar of soap, be sure that it’s because he has hygiene issues. Don’t buy it as an expression of love.


Leon Scott Baxter is a West Coast writer who lives with his wife and two daughters in California. To see more of his work, go to

Published: Oct 10,2008 17:51
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