Flattering a Man

“Men are delusional. Hugh Hefner lounges around in abathrobe with three live-in girlfriends. You know guys are sitting at homewatching the Playboy Channel and thinking, ‘That could be me. I’ve got a bathrobe.’” (Denise MunroRobb)

While my husband’s doing the dishes, I like to come upbehind him, stroke his back, and tell him in my most seductive voice, “You have no idea how sexy you are right now.”

Not so coincidentally, I occasionally say the exact samething whenever he vacuums, irons, or does laundry. It’s not that I genuinely find myhusband more irresistible when he’s using household appliances. As a matter of fact, he does much sexier stuff the rest ofthe time, which, on average for him, is the remaining 167 hours of each week.

Now, I understand that what bothers most people about theidea of a woman setting out to flatter aman (as opposed to genuinely complimenting him) is that she’s being manipulative.Furthermore, if she’s good at her game, that man gets taken in by it. And according to a popular stereotype, being “takenin” by excessive, often insincere compliments, is a common occurrence for men.

Supposedlythey are the most easily-flatteredgender, especially when it comes to their ability to attract and sexuallysatisfy women.

But I wonder. How many men actually do get taken in by a woman’s flattery and blatant stroking-of-egoways? And how many men don’t get fooled at all, but choose to playalong and enjoy it?

My husband, for example, knowsthat I don’t find him any sexier (than usual…) every single time he’s doinghousework. But I’m certainly a happy little camper when he's helping out around the house. He’s onto my shameless flattery game. He’s part of the game. We’re playing andsmiling along with it.

And when it’s his turn, he tells me sweet things I don’tentirely believe, but enjoy hearing anyway.

Is this terrible of us? I don’t think so. Sometimes, between twopeople who are being playful with each other, the line between astraightforward compliment and outrageous flattery gets blurred. And no one istruly deceived.

On the other hand, there are plenty of situations where flattering a man is all about deception andone-sided game playing. Like, when a woman sets out to flatter a man in orderto beat out another woman. Despicable.

Or, when a woman knowingly, coldly appeals to a man’s vanity by telling him that he’s the best lover she’s ever had -- even though heisn’t. This seems wrong to me on all sorts of levels. Especially when her deception prevents the man from learning what works for her in bed.

Which reminds me: when Hugh Hefner’s girlfriends tell him thathe’s the best lover they’ve ever had, do you think he believes them?

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There’s another popular stereotype -- aboutwomen -- that we are the easily-flattered gender. Just tell one of us that we're the most beautiful woman in the room, and we're putty in a man's hand.

What do you think. Any truth to this?

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