What do men want?
That question creates a myriad of responses from men, ranging from sex to blowjobs to food. Most women, unable to just come up with an answer, run to their best friend, the latest glossy magazine, or the newest book, hoping someone will have finally solved the mystery. Rhonda Ricardo, author and columnist, went straight to the source: men.
"When my friends come to me and ask me what they should do, because they feel like their men are going to leave them, I don’t know what to say, because I don’t know their man. But I tell them maybe Mike or Ken or Lucas or Marco have something to say that would help," Ricardo said.
Ricardo interviewed over 100 men. Their stories fill her book, Cherries over Quicksand. These men relived their recent relationships to Ricardo, revealing what they really want in a woman and what things they can’t stand.
Clarence had a girlfriend who constantly used baby talk in the bedroom. He told Ricardo it turned him off, and he left his girlfriend because of it. Clarence was one of three men in Cherries over Quicksand who expressed concern over baby talk. Ricardo wrote that baby talk remains a mystery to her.
In order to write the book, Ricardo approached strangers, armed with her society column from The Californian/ North County Times. "I’ll show them my column so they know I’m not picking them up. I did go to the most handsome men in the room, because it’s more fun," Ricardo said, laughing like a friend might over a glass of wine and gossip.
Because of her fianc©’s racing career, Ricardo traveled around the country, giving her a chance to meet a diverse group of men. Ricardo said 90 percent of the men had a story. "They tell me the things they wish they would have told their woman. Some of them had tears in their eyes," Ricardo said.
The things the men missed about the women they left were surprising, according to Ricardo. "It wasn’t all physical things like you’d expect. One man said he missed her happy morning sleepy face. I just love that one," Ricardo said.
Ricardo said most of the men hadn’t been as forthcoming to the women in their life, as they had been to her. "Women take it the wrong way when men are honest," Ricardo said.
Not a fan of being preached at, Ricardo said she tried to just tell the men’s stories. She said one of her favorite stories presented an analogy for women to understand how to communicate with men:
George was a successful business man who thought he was happily married. His wife would tell him that she was lonely, but he ignored it. One day she told him to leave. Eight years later, he told Ricardo that he wished his wife would have hit him with a truck or, as a less violent option, put her foot down and demanded that he spend time with her instead of working so hard.
"Women need to hit men with a truck, figuratively of course, because men think women are just talking. They don’t take women seriously," Ricardo said.
Valentine’s Day can be stressful on a relationship, according to Ricardo. She said this was true especially this year, when money and time are tight for most people. Ricardo suggested women take their men to a car show. "Men like anything with cars. Do something with cars, and they’ll never forget it," Ricardo said.
She also suggested a calendar. She said to write out people’s birthdays and anniversaries and to update each other’s schedule regularly. "It’s respect, and saying, I don’t want you sitting at home, when you could have made plans with your friends, if I have plans to go out," Ricardo said.
Most men want the same things, according to Ricardo. After talking to a diverse group of men from all over the country, she said their feelings about women were fairly universal.
"Men want a woman they can’t live without and women want to be that woman," Ricardo said.