I’m reading His Secret Life by Bob Berkowitz. It’s about male sexual fantasies, and offers this startling revelation: Men’s fantasies usually have no dialog.
Five hundred guys submitted fantasies for possible inclusion in the book. Most of the scenarios go like this:
I see a woman. She wants to do it. Our clothes come off. We do it.
There are details, of course. In most cases, really well-written ones. It appears a lot of men who work as accountants, car dealers and house painters might be very good at writing romance novel sex scenes.
As for the scene-setting and pre-coital talking that female readers demand, well, someone else would have to fill all that in.
It’s fascinating that, even in their fantasies, men and women have different approaches and desires. She wants him to light a candle, pour her a glass of wine and tell her how pretty her eyes are. He wants her to take off her shirt. Right now.
Even more fascinating, though, is that Berkowitz found that the No. 3 male fantasy—behind orgies and menage a trios—is being with a woman who not only accepts being an equal romantic partner, but also likes to take charge a good percentage of the time.
“It doesn’t take a lot of deep analysis to spot the recurring confident-woman theme in these fantasies (in which) women do not have to be persuaded, cajoled or coerced into sex,” Berkowitz writes. “These fantasies and those women are hot.”
And it’s not because every man deludes himself into believing he’s God’s gift to womankind. Berkowitz says fear of inadequacy and rejection lead men to think about what would happen if Jessica Alba knocked on the door wearing only a bustier and black stockings while the missus was visiting her sister for the weekend.
Posits Berkowitz, “Fantasy women never say no. They never say, ‘You were lousy.’”
Romance novels are fantasies, are they not? And how often are those fantasies about women facing their own fears of inadequacy and rejection as manifested in heroines’ body insecurities and seething anger over being humiliated by crummy past lovers?
These fears must be part and parcel of being human, not of being male or female. Where the difference lies, Berkowitz says, is that while women usually don’t want to be valued just for their bodies, men do.
In their fantasies, at least.
How does this figure into Fast Lane? Lara thinks she’s not hot, and has a hard time figuring out why Clay’s interested in her. Clay, on the other hand, is fed up with women who are attracted to him for his hot bod—plus a billion other reasons tucked away in his bank account.
So is Clay a fantasy guy? He is willing to talk.
And Lara? Well, you’ll have to read the book to find out what happens with her shirt.