The Writer's Connection, SM
a publication of The Virtual Writing Coach SM
In This Issue:
2. Publisher's Note
3. Two Book Reviews: Sexual Intimacy
4. Getting into Action
The Writer's Connection explores the creative process of writing and the interplay between thoughts, feelings, and actions. We are an interactive community of authors and readers who share ideas to enhance our knowledge, skills, and experiences in writing fiction in any genre, but our emphasis remains mystery and suspense thrillers.
Published monthly, the Newsletter offers writing tips for authors, coaching suggestions, editing, and marketing information.
Topics are presented from the perspective of Keith Barton and represent only his ideas on producing your first manuscript, and are provided to the general public. Because we are an interactive community of writers, other viewpoints are welcomed and may be printed in future monthly newsletters with permission from Keith Barton.
2. Publisher's Note
Dear Writer's Connection Subscriber,
This month features information about sexual intimacy.
3. Two Book Reviews: Sexual Intimacy
Gary Chapman’s book on The Five Love Languages, Northfield Publishing, 1992, suggests that women and men respond to certain love languages. If one does not recognize his or her partner’s primary love language, miscommunication and hurt feelings will ensue.
The first language is words of affirmation. Telling your spouse that he or she looks nice or whispering to them that they still are as beautiful as the day you met means a lot to those of us with receding hairlines and sagging skin. The mistake most of make in our sixties is that we assume our partner already knows everything about us, so why mention the obvious? Do this and your marriage will hemorrhage at its most vulnerable point and it’s not a pretty sight.
The second language is acts of service. Doing the dishes, mowing the grass, putting away the wine glasses, removing the dog poop from the yard without reminders is important in the art of communication and compromise. Know your spouse’s most disgusting tasks and offer your service without him or her asking and you’ll be surprised at the reception you’ll receive.
The third language is physical touching. Now men think they have this one down pat, but they totally miss the boat on this one. I said touching, not groping. Women like to be caressed gently; they don’t want to be manhandled after dealing with grandchildren or fighting for a handicap sticker. Back rubs, massages, a gentle kiss on the nape of her neck, breathing on her back while you’re cuddling in bed are the ticket to intimacy. Men require a refresher course about what turns women on. Forget Victoria Secret guys. Don’t waste your money on sexy outfits, but do spend money on fragrances, creams, bath oils, lighting, music, and desserts.
The fourth language is receiving gifts. Gifts are visual signs of love. The next time you pick out jewelry for your wife, guys, take her with you. There’s no way to surprise her and the time together (see quality time to be discussed next) will more than make up for a surprise gift that she will most likely take back. More than money or purchases, the gift of self during a crisis is what will endear you wife to you forever.
The fifth language is quality time. Quality time is different from togetherness. Spouses can be in the same room but at totally different places emotionally and mentally. While the male punches the remote control, flipping through channels, the female might be talking to her children on the cell phone. Yes you’re in the same room together, but you might as well be on different planets. Quality time, according to Chapman, is active listening and focused attention to what your partner is saying. This includes both verbal and nonverbal communication. Try sitting next to each other on the couch with the lights dimmed with your favorite beverage while you listen to each other without interrupting, solving problems, pontificating, or speaking in robotic tones.
Michael Gurian has written a wonderful book, What Could He Be Thinking: How a Man’s Mind Really Works, St. Martin’s Press, 2003. His book provides fascinating material using brain imaging and physiology to enlighten men on what women already know about our habits, thoughts, tendencies, and actions. It’s frightening to think that men are the weaker sex when it comes to figuring out the opposite sex. Hey guys, wake up; it’s not about sex; repeat after me; it’s not S-E-X. You’ve been spending too much time at the water cooler hearing war stories on sexual conquests. Instead look at SEX with a more European view:
S is for sensual. The chase is still important, so keep your membership at the gym. Next time you bring her flowers, remove the thorns and gently brush the side of her face with the rose petal. Don’t drop the flowers on the counter and expect her to get a vase and become a horticulturist.
E is for excitement. Don’t bring flowers on St. Valentine’s Day or after an argument. Surprise her when she least expects it. She’s getting groceries out of the back of her SUV and you arrive in time with a rose between your teeth, snap your fingers, and the two adolescent males with zits carry the groceries in while you twirl her around in the driveway that would make every neighbor blush (of course you’ve already paid the boys twenty bucks to keep quiet and never tell anyone that the old man next door to them is Fred Astaire).
X is for X-ray vision. I don’t mean Clark Kent high on Kryptonite, but envisioning what the woman in your life really enjoys. Take time to know her again. Pretend it’s a first date and you know nothing about her. Look into her eyes while she’s talking instead of the waitress. Mind your manners and be sure to pull her chair out if the wait staff has not already done so. Move the centerpiece and candle so you can see each other. Do not interrupt each other. Use the silence to study facial features, especially her eyes. Pretend that the two of you are the only couple at dinner and you’ll never see these people again.
Gurian talks about male fragility (not fertility), a need to be needed, a need for sex, and a need to be trusted for what he does. The more intimate the relationship the more willing the male is willing to talk about his needs. After forty years of marriage has passed men still need to be loved, listened to, sexual companionship that keeps romance in the marriage rather than duty, and most importantly, to be trusted for what he does, especially during retirement when his job no longer defines who he is.
- Read one of these books with your wife or partner and spend ten minutes each night discussing what you’ve read.
- Take turns planning a date; pick something you enjoy and ask your partner to join you out of respect and love.
- Practice nonverbal touching that fosters safety rather than excitement.
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The Writer's Connection SM Mission:
The Writer's Connection SM is dedicated to helping first-time authors create their first manuscript for publication and to offer an exchange of ideas and opinions from our readers who might be interested in becoming authors.
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About Keith Barton, Ph.D.
Dr. Barton received his Ph.D. in 1972 from the University of Texas at Austin and has been a practicing therapist for over thirty years. He is currently enrolled in MentorCoach and is accepting new clients. He has been an adjunct professor at the University of South Carolina, consultant to Fortune 500 companies in executive development, founded and managed Texas Community Living Ventures, Inc., in 1986 for providing group home services to persons with mental retardation, and has been running a clinical practice in Northwest Houston since 1990. He writes part-time with the goal of completing one novel a year. His desire to coach others derives from his passionate interest in helping others become attuned to their creative powers of storytelling.
Dr. Barton has training in coaching, cognitive and family therapy and health psychology. He has published articles, made presentations and conducted workshops about:
Anxiety and achievement
The relationship between psychology and spirituality
Copyright by Virtual Writing Coach and Keith Barton, 2001-2010.