Look around this time of year, past the flowers, chocolate, $165 pre fixe menus and you’ll smell the stench of panic. Forced romance will never live up to the expectations that Hallmark has bestowed upon us and all that is left is waiting for the inevitable disappointment. Each partner either trying desperately to figure out what the other one wants, or giving up and trying just to get through it all unscathed. Attempting to discern what the other person wants, what seems to be an illusive mystery of epic proportions, is in actuality, very simple.
The truth is, we aren’t as different as we think.Most want the same thing out of relationships, we just get it in different ways.
“But I want you to WANT to do it. Not because I asked!”
Of course, some people say that a lot, and these same people don’t stop to think that their partner may be thinking that exact same sentence about. Some people want their partner to WANT to do the dishes, WANT to go shopping for shoes, but what does your partner want you to WANT to do?
Not just want one, they want a partner to want to do it. Not just blowjobs, obviously, but physical affection. Just like some people want nothing more than a partner who WANTS to go shopping, wants to sit and talk about all those things that their partner is obsessed with, want to sit and drink coffee and talk about anything and everything.
Other people want a partner that is SO turned on by the thought of them, all they can think of is the quickest way to get their pants off. It’s really less about the physical interaction as it is about being desired. Some people need to feel desired, need physical attention from the person they love.
It’s really not that different, and it comes down to one emotion, the exact same one in fact: to feel important. Some people experience that by feeling listened to, spending time with their partner, some experience that by feeling physically needed and desired. And of course, sex has a lot to do with that for some people. Not just the experience itself, but the feeling that they are the one, the only one, that is able to get their partner to that place.
It’s really not that much different from some people’s need for their partner to make them a cocktail, rub their feet and ask how their day went. It’s feeling important.
As a society, we have a tendency to brush aside the need a relationship has for sex, as if it is of less importance than other aspects of the connection we’ve made. But for some people, it’s not just about the desire to get off, it’s about the feeling of being wanted, needed, desired, not just by someone, but by the person they love. This is, after all, the only need we promise just to get met by our partner. Every other emotional need can be met outside the relationship, but our sexual needs and our need to be desired we are trusting to the person we’ve promised monogamy to.
I read a study in Grad school about sex, and the stereotypes that society holds. One question in the study asked 150 men this:
What would you rather have:
1. Sex with your partner 6 times a week, but your partner rarely has an orgasm
2. Sex 3 times per week, but your partner has an orgasm every time
Most people were shocked to find that more than 85% of the men said answer 2. This comes back to the desire to feel important and the effect it would have to be with a woman who’s needs he had a hard time meeting.
Most men don’t just want to have sex, they want to feel like what they have to offer is important. Fulfilling your partners need to feel important is, in this very simplistic analysis, the key to a successful relationship. The way some people would feel unfulfilled if they don’t feel loved by their partner is the way some people start to emotionally die in a relationship when they don’t feel desired and craved. Making your partner feel desired and craved by you is a core element to a successful relationship.
Figure out what your person needs in order to feel important, and give that to them. With a smile.
If you’ve come to the end of this post and still think it’s about sex, you’ve missed the point. This isn’t about blow jobs or shoe shopping, it’s about valuing your partner. Figuring out what that person needs are and realizing that those needs are probably much different from yours. Open yourself up to the possibility that what the person you love needs to feel important maybe something you haven’t even thought of. Figure out what it is and give it them, gladly and gratefully.
Happy Valentine’s Day, make your person happy. With time, touch, beer or cookies. Maybe all four.
I try not to play favorites when it comes to beer, counting myself among the Beer Gypsies, always ordering something new, wanting to discover uncharted territory. That would be easy for me, if it wasn’t for North Coast Brewing. Not only have they given the world the brilliance of the PranQster Belgian Ale, but on the other end of the liquid scale is one of the most epic Craft Beer Stouts to ever come out of North America, Old Rasputin. Of course, I can’t just drink beer that I love, I must bake with it.
- 2 cups dark stout beer (I strongly recommend Old Rasputin)
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup cake flour
- 3/4 cup bread flour
- 1/2 tsp corn starch
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 12 tbs (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 2/3 cup white sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips
- In a pot over medium high heat, cook the beer until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 10-15 minutes. Place in the refrigerator in order to chill to room temperature, about 15 minutes.
- In a large bowl, combine cocoa powder, both types of flour, corn starch, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. All types of flour have different properties and will produce difference results, the combination of these two different types gives you cookies that are both soft and chewy. You won't get these results if you just use one type or if you use all-purpose flour.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter with both types of sugar, scraping the bottom of the bowl periodically to ensure the ingredients are well combined. Add the egg and vanilla, beat until light and fluffy, scraping the bowl at least once. Add the reduced and cooled beer, beating until it is combined.
- Reduce speed on the stand mixer to low and add the dry ingredients until just barely combined, making sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl to ensure that the butter and flour are all combined. Add the chocolate chips and stir until incorporated. You don't want to over mix or your cookies will be tough.
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and using a cookie scoop, or an ice cream scoop, make balls of dough that are a bit larger than a golf ball. Place on a baking sheet, with ample space between each cookie. Only about 6 cookies will fit on each sheet.
- Place the cookies in the refrigerator to chill for at least 4 hours, and up to 12. This is important, don't skip this step or the cookies will spread and become dry and crispy. The butter needs to reconstitute as a solid in order for the cookies to bake properly.
- Preheat oven to 350. Bake each cookie sheet one at a time for 21-23 minutes or until the cookies are just starting to look dry on top. Don't over bake, the cookies will continue to bake about an additional 10 percent after being removed from the oven. Immediately transfer to a wire rack or a row of paper towels.