Book Review

“Why Men Want Sex and Women Need Love”

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By Terri Schlichenmeyer

When it comes to members of the opposite sex, it’s all about numbers. You want him to have a nice six-pack and bench-press 200 pounds. She should measure 36-24-36. He should be 6’2”. She should be 5’8”. In either case, you want nothing less than a 10 with an IQ over 130. And if you can’t find your No. 1? You end up feeling like a zero.

But why are we attracted to a certain eye color, a lopsided smile or silky hair? Why do we lose our heads over a gorgeous body? Get some insight by reading “Why Men Want Sex and Women Need Love” by Allan and Barbara Pease.

Cinderella had a prince. So did Snow White, and Beauty had her Beast. From earliest childhood, we’re subtly taught that “a special someone” is out there for each of us. Your mission was always to find him or her.

When you’ve found that person, life feels perfect. You float, rather than walk. Your energy level zooms. You’re incapable of thinking about anything or anybody else.

Have you lost your mind? In a way, say the authors.

Hormones flood wildly when you fall in love and scans show that your brain becomes addicted to the rush. Dopamine — the so-called “happiness hormone” — surges. To say that you’re crazy in love is quite correct.

But then, in about two years, reality sets in. He always wants sex. She’s unappreciated. She talks about feelings, but he never talks to her. Either might be having an affair. In 50 percent of all marriages, the topic of divorce comes up.

Again, you can blame it all on nature. Humans are hardwired to stay together just long enough to produce offspring. Even though we’re evolutionarily advanced, we still choose potential mates on the possibility of available resources. So how can you make attraction — and love — last?

Know the seven basic kinds of love. Learn the six myths about cheating and the nine kinds of affairs. Understand that the opposite sex really does think differently than you. Cut one another some slack because you can’t force change.

I had high hopes for “Why Men Want Sex and Women Need Love.” The information in this book isn’t very new but, when coupled with scientific data and solid advice, it felt fresh. Allan and Barbara Pease have written several delightful books in the past and this one is as highly researched as the others.

The problem is that the good is canceled out by the bad: specifically, an overabundance of old, sometimes insulting and even horrifying out-of-place jokes and an awful lot of overgeneralization. I could have done without the former. I was often dismayed at the latter.

If you’re looking for your “one and only” and can separate the useful from the chaff, you’ll like this book. But if you’re seriously tired of being a “party of one,” there are better relationship books out there. Either way, “Why Men Want Sex and Women Need Love” is a mere “five.”

Terri Schlichenmeyer collects books, tigers, trivia and book bags. She has also been accused of collecting dust now and then.

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