Always pour her wine first

Most women prefer wine over either beer or hard alcohol, in part for the taste but more so for the sophistication.  Women feel more cultured drinking a glass of wine than a beer and they feel that it’s more socially acceptable for a woman to drink a bottle of wine than a six-pack.  Add to that the fewer perceived calories and other ‘health benefits’ and it’s no wonder women prefer wine.  You can take advantage of this by educating yourself on the basics of wine and learning such basic skills as properly opening a bottle, decanting and how to order a bottle in a restaurant.  Doing so will give her the impression that you are highly cultured and sophisticated, which will increase her sense of attachment to you, especially when you go out with some friends to a nice restaurant and she can proudly hand you the wine menu and say, “Honey, why don’t you take care of the wine.”  Keep in mind that what she’s really saying to everyone at the table is, “My husband is more sophisticated than anyone else sitting here, so suck on that!”  

Now, if you’ve been guzzling cheep beer for the last five years you might find wine to be somewhat intimidating.  Fear not!  While wine can become infinitely complex, the basics are all you really need to learn.  Just familiarize yourself with the basic different pairings (white wine goes with fish and chicken, red goes with meat) and the major different types of grapes that are out there (pinot noir = light and fruity, cabernet sauvignon = heavier and fuller, merlot = middle of the road, shiraz/syrah = spicy) and the major different regions (France=old and heavy, Italy=old and heavy, Australia=young and spicy, California=young and flavorful) and the differences between them.  You don’t need to learn every single label, just know that if you’re having steak you want a heavy red from France, or if you’re having chicken you want a light white from Italy, etc.  If in doubt, ask the waiter what they recommend but make sure to lay out some boundaries, such as, “Can you recommend a good French wine to go with the Filet?”  This take the pressure off you having to decipher the menu but you still get credit for knowing something about wine.  As for ordering wine at restaurants, here are the basic steps:  

Ask everyone at the table what they are going to be eating, take the average (provided the foods are somewhat similiar otherwise you’re better off each getting your own glass), look on the wine menu, find the particular type of grape that will go well with what everyone is having, and pick the one that falls in the middle of the price range.  You don’t want to go with the cheapest but don’t pick the most expensive either.  Now comes the ordering part.  The hardest part about this is you have to walk a fine line between sophistication and total douche bag.  You have to take the tasting seriously enough to show the waiter you respect him and the restaurant, but at the same time you need to make sure you don’t give off the impression that you are a wine snob and are looking to show off your extensive knowledge of viticulture.  Here are the basic steps:  After the waiter brings the bottle he will hold it out for your inspection.  Look at the label, take no more than 3 seconds to make sure it’s what you ordered and give the waiter a slight, yet masculine, nod of the head.  He will then uncork the bottle and will place the cork on the table in front of you (not all restaurants do this, but if they do, it’s a good sign that you either have a really good waiter and/or are in a really nice restaurant).  Take the cork, wave it in front of your nose a couple times and smell it.  Provided it doesn’t smell like vinegar, place it back on the table and give the waiter another nod.  He will then pour you a very small amount of wine.  Place your fingers on the base of the glass and gently swirl the wine inside the glass.  DO NOT OVER SWIRL!!  Nothing will ruin your hard earned credibility like sloshing wine all over the table.  The point of swirling is to aerate the wine, which allows the wine to ‘open up.’  After a few brisk, yet controlled, swirls, lift the glass to your mouth and tilt it so your nose is inside the glass but not so far that you spill wine all over your shirt.  Pause for one second and then inhale the wine’s aroma.  Assuming you’re satisfied with what you smell, go ahead and take a sip but do not swallow.  Let the wine linger in your mouth for a second, swish it once or twice (keep in mind it’s wine, not Listerine!) so you can absorb the flavors, then swallow.  Assuming the wine doesn’t make you vomit, go ahead and put your glass back down on the table and give the waiter another nod.  He will then pour glasses for everyone at the table, starting with the ladies, and ending with you.  After he’s done pouring your glass, look him in the eye and say, “Thank you.”  While the whole process is quite simple, you can see how it’s very easy to end up looking like a total dick if you overplay your part.  Learn to walk that fine line and I guarantee you will forever own the coveted position of ‘sophisticated wine guy.’ 

One more thing:  Whenever you buy a bottle of wine for your wife try and default to a medium to heavy red.  These wines are loaded with what are called tannins, which have the wonderful effect of stimulating a woman’s libido far more than any other type of alcohol.  A well earned reward for the one hour you spent on the internet learning about wine.

Every now and then, recommend the girlie movie

This is an incredibly powerful man move, and as such needs to be used sparingly, but every now and then, on a cold, nasty day, recommend without prompting that you watch her favorite girlie movie.  She’ll go friggin’ crazy!  The trick though is to use this move, at most, two or maybe three times a year.  Any more and the effect gets watered down  and she’ll start getting the idea that you actually want to watch the girlie movie, which will inevitably lead to more girlie movies for which you will get no credit.

Published in: on October 29, 2009 at 6:59 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Become a great lover

This one seems obvious.  After all, if you’re going to be spending the rest of your life with one person you better make sure your sex life is ready.  Now, when I say ‘great lover’ I don’t mean going out and buying some bullshit book about the Kama Sutra or some crap like that.  A great lover is not one who plants a million seeds and hopes one of them will grow.  A great lover is one who takes the time to make sure that when he plants a seed, it grows into a might oak! (Note:  Final outcome is dependent on what type of seed you plant in the first place)  He does this by figuring out what his partner likes and then building off that so as to increase his partner’s pleasure.  This requires that you be very observant of your spouse’s body language.  Women are a lot less likely to talk about what they want than men, so be prepared to learn to read between the lines.  Depending on the type of girl you married, you may find that she is up for anything and will always take the lead, but more likely you will find that your wife is up for just about anything, provided you make her feel comfortable about it first!  Don’t forget, women are just like men in that they want maximum sexual satisfaction, but unlike men they have been taught not to be as direct, which means a little gentle prodding might be called for.  Women will do almost anything you want them to do provided you give them a good reason, and no, them doing it because it gets you off is not a good reason.  If you feel that your sex life is suffering from your wife’s lack of adventure, I recommend two things:  First, take charge.  Women respect strength, especially in bed.  No matter what they may say, they all harbor secret desires about being the girl on the front of the cheap romance novel who gets flung into the hay pile and ravaged by the well hung farm boy.  It is your job to bring that desire out of hiding and into the bedroom, which you can do by taking charge.  Next time she gets home from work, before she’s even had a chance to put her things down and start talking about her day, walk over, pull her close to you with enough force that says, ‘I’m taking over’, kiss her passionately, and take her right there.  (Note:  Make sure the front door closed properly)  Don’t even give her a chance to protest, just make it clear that you intend to satisfy her desires and she’ll follow your every move.  Second, push the envelope.  The number one killer of married couple’s sex lives is routine.  If you do the same old thing it will quickly become boring and stale and before you know it you’re both lying in bed watching repeats of Law and Order instead of making love.  New positions are all well and good but unless you’re an Olympic gymnast odds are that you’ll be somewhat limited by the physical realities of love making.  (Nothing says ‘sexy’ like a strained back!)  Instead of trying some ridiculously complex position like the ‘inverted flying donkey’, mix up her favorite positions with new locations throughout your house along with new, unexpected and spontaneous times.  If you think she’s up for something a bit more…mature…I’ve got one word for you:  Amazon.com.  Remember, keep it fresh and creative and the passion will take care of itself.  It’s like stoking a fire:  Don’t focus on the flames, focus on the wood!

Published in: on October 29, 2009 at 6:59 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Stake out your territory

I hate the term ‘man cave.’  It implies that the woman has taken up every single square foot of the house and has made it such an unpleasant place for the man to be that he has no choice but to retreat to some hollowed out hole in search of refuge.  It’s terms like these that contribute to the idea that marriage is bad.  If you want a happy marriage you don’t need a mancave, you simply need to stake out your territory from the start.  I’m not saying you should draw a line down the center of the house but you do need to make sure that your wife isn’t designing a house that will make you want to puke every time you come home.  In most cases women are much more attuned to home decorating than men, which puts men at a distinct disadvantage when it comes times to move in together.  Whereas the woman will look at a piece of furniture and question whether it matches the existing sofa, wall colors and overall aesthetic feel of the room, a man will simply ask if it reclines.  This makes it difficult for men because they feel completely overmatched by women when it comes to home décor so rather than argue in favor of what they want, they simply give in, and give in, and give in, until one day they realize they are surrounded by pastels and have no choice but to seek refuge in the garage.  The key to ensuring that your home design incorporates elements that you find enjoyable is to educate yourself on the basics of home decorating, that way when she starts talking about flow, texture and accents, you’ll be able to engage her in conversation, counter her points, offer up your own, and arrive at a mutually beneficial compromise.  As with most things in marriage, TLC is a great place to start.  Simply tune into any show on home decorating and I guarantee that within one hour you’ll learn everything you need to know about ‘defining a room,’ ‘establishing a theme,’ and ‘identifying function.’  That said, once you enter into the home decorating arena you had better be prepared for combat because she is going to expect you to play at the same level as she does.  If her childhood dolls are all expensive collectors items you had better make sure that your G.I. Joe toys are in their original packaging!

Published in: on October 29, 2009 at 6:58 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Become Mr. Fix It

Nothing makes a man seem sexier to his wife than the ability to fix things around the house.  Why do you think women watch all those TLC home shows?  Do you really think it’s because they’re that interested in how to lay drywall?!  Of course not!  It’s all the handy men on the shows who just happen to be hot!  It’s the same principal as news networks hiring really hot women to read the teleprompter; I’m not tuning in because I respect her journalistic integrity, all I care about are her killer legs!  Whether it’s a leaky faucet, some broken dry wall, or a blown fuze, if your wife knows she can count on you to fix the problem without going through the hassle of calling a repairman, you are well on your way to a happy life together.  Unfortunately, people know less and less these days about how to care for their home and more often than not are forced to call in expensive handymen to fix what usually turn out to be minor problems.  If this describes you, fear not, for you too can take advantage of home shows to learn all you need to know about basic home repair.  Just tune in to TLC, HGTV, or any other home-themed network on any given day and I guarantee there will be some show that shows you how to fix drywall, replace a cracked tile, change a fuze, paint like a pro, fix a leaky faucet, or any of the hundreds of other basic skills every home owner should know.  That way the next time one of those problems occurs, you can go to your local hardware store, find someone who knows what they are talking about, pick up the necessary tools and repair parts, go home, and get to work!  Be prepared for some rough going initially, but if you’re even marginally competent you’ll have it figured out in no time and not only will you have saved money, you’ll have increased your own self confidence and impressed your wife at the same time.  Remember, there is very little damage you can do to your house that can’t be fixed and if you do find yourself in over your head you can always call the repairman to fix what you screwed up.  Women judge men based on their intentions, so as long as you don’t flood the basement you’ll still get bonus points for trying.

Published in: on October 29, 2009 at 6:57 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The grass may be greener on the other side but you still need to mow it

It is a common misconception that single guys have a better sex life than married guys.  We are constantly bombarded with images of single guys having these great sex lives that it’s easy to start believing that all of those commercials and TV shows are actually indicative of a real single person’s life.  As such, it becomes easy to start thinking that if you were single you would be hooking up with total hotties every night and each one of them would be unbelievably awesome in bed.  Don’t buy into it.  Aside from the fact that those commercials are all trying to sell you cheap beer, hooking up requires a fair amount of effort, and the results are less desirable than those you can achieve with your wife.  Great sex is a result of time and understanding of what your partner likes.  If you do it right, sex with your spouse will become more intense as time goes on because you will become more attuned to each others desires.  One night stands may carry with them the thrill of experiencing something new, but let’s not kid ourselves, there really is very little ‘new’ out there, at least in the circles most of us occupy.  Furthermore, single life carries its own set of commitments, often for far less sex.  The ratio of the total amount of time single guys spend trying to get laid to the actual number of times they have sex is far greater than the same ratio for married guys.  I’m not saying the single sex life doesn’t hold appeal, I’m just saying that the next time you see a hot girl sitting across from you on the metro and you start thinking about how you wish you weren’t married, remind yourself that 1) you’re probably not smooth enough to pick her up anyways, and 2) she may be hot, but as the old saying goes, someone out there is still sick of her shit.

Always defend your wife

No matter what happens, no matter what she does, you always need to be her first line of defense.  I don’t care if it’s a guy in your office who makes an obscene reference to your wife or your parents who make a snarky remark about how ‘clean’ your house is, you should always be ready to leap to her defense.  I’m not saying you should pull out the leather gloves and challenge the offenders to a duel, but be prepared to respond with an appropriate amount of force that makes it clear you will not allow someone to talk about your wife that way.  She is the most important thing in your life, and even if what the person said is absolutely one hundred percent true, it doesn’t matter.  She is your wife and you shouldn’t allow ANYONE to say anything bad about her.  For someone to say something disparaging about your wife is not only disrespectful to her, it is disrespectful to you, and you need to make it clear that you will not tolerate it.

Published in: on October 29, 2009 at 6:55 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Avoid disparaging remarks about your wife

If you get a bunch of married guys together and get a few drinks in them I guarantee they will start up a game of one-upsmanship about who has the most annoying spouse.  Most likely this isn’t because their spouse is annoying, it’s because they want to beat the other guys.  The best way to avoid this trap is to not get involved in the first place.  If people start talking about how their wives annoy them, just sit there, drink you beer, politely laugh when appropriate, and don’t play along.  If someone tries to call you out you can either deflect the question or simply say you don’t like talking about your wife behind her back.  Don’t be a douche bag when you say it and be prepared to take some shit, but those are better options than giving in because once you start down that road, there really is no good way to stop.  I’m not saying you should be the buzz kill of the group; just ask yourself if impressing your friends is more important than honoring your wife.

Be proud of your marriage

I work with a lot of single guys and it never ceases to amaze me how often I have to listen to snide remarks about the ‘old ball and chain.’  Marriage can be a great thing.  I am a far better person married than I ever was single!  I enjoyed my single life, but the level of happiness I share with my spouse is far greater than anything I could ever have if I was single.  That’s why I always make it a point to refute ‘ball and chain’ comments by informing people that I enjoy being married and am a better person because my spouse is in my life.  Marriage too often gets a bad rap due to the imagined actions of a stereotypical ‘nagging wife’ and it’s important that you counter those accusations.  If you don’t, you may start believing what people are saying.  People are susceptible to the idea of self-fulfilling prophecies, which in this case means someone tells you that marriage is a bad thing, which causes you to think about it, which causes you to pay undue attention to the bad things, which in turn makes your marriage bad.  Often when people say disparaging things about their marriage it’s because it’s what they believe is expected of them.  Don’t let yourself fall victim to this perceived expectation.  Be proud of your marriage and don’t be ashamed to stand up and say it!

Published in: on October 29, 2009 at 6:54 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Learn to pick your battles

Anyone who tells you that married life is pure bliss isn’t married.  Married life takes work.  Married life requires sacrifice and if you want to keep your marriage happy you need to learn to pick your battles very carefully.  Just as a good chess player knows they will have to sacrifice something minor in the short term in order to gain something major in the far term, a good husband knows when to give in and when to put up a fight.

 If you’re the type of person who always needs to get their way you may be in trouble as your spouse will likely either a) push back, or b) absorb your demands and vent her anger in unhealthy ways.  Marriage is not about doing what makes you happy, it’s about doing what makes you both happy.  Marriage is NOT a zero sum game; it is far more complicated than that!  There is no limit to the amount of happiness a couple can have so don’t think of everything as a contest.  If she really wants to do something and you don’t, before getting into an argument ask yourself how much this issue matters to you.  If the answer is, ‘not a lot,’ then don’t put up a fight!  Pushing back when the issue really matters to you is fine, but if you do it all the time you’ll end up in a never ending game of who can take a firmer stance.  Marriage may not be a zero sum game but you can accumulate points, and by giving in on the issues that don’t really matter you are laying the groundwork to win the ones that do matter.  By not constantly arguing your point you make your wife less defensive and less likely to push back on things she doesn’t really care about.  By letting her pick out the paint you increase the chances of her letting you pick out the 50” HDTV.

Published in: on October 29, 2009 at 6:35 pm  Leave a Comment  
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