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On Life, Love and the Pursuit of Happiness

Understanding Men's Natural Sex Drive

Robert Manni - Thursday, January 03, 2013

Sex is the epicenter of all healthy relationships.

Who wants to stay in a long-term relationship with a partner who doesn’t float your orgasmic boat? Maybe some of you have stayed in a sexually-unfulfilling relationship because of other wonderful qualities that your partner possesses. Maybe he makes a wonderful crème brûlée and he walks your Wheaten Terrier when it rains. But ultimately, if your sex life is not up to snuff, one day you'll find yourself staring into the mirror when a thought bubble pops up and says, “I need to get laid…badly”.  There’s nothing wrong with this; it’s a human reaction. When the sex falls short for whatever reason, it usually becomes a deal-breaker. That’s just how we humans are wired. Handling sexuality can be a real challenge for men in general, as well as in building their relationships.

Guys love sex. They think about it all of the time.

The first time a guy meets you, whether it is consciously or subconsciously, he is wondering about how sex might be with you. I am not condemning my comrades for this or apologizing, because I too am guilty as charged, but them’s the facts, ladies. Any guy who tells you different is simply lying. This does not mean that sex is all he thinks about when he is with you. Thankfully, guys know how to compartmentalize. Once he has given you his under the radar sexual once-over, he will usually behave normally and even respectfully, especially if it's a business situation. Maybe things were different back in the days when we dwelled in caves, but there is no need for you to be concerned that sex is the only thing on the male mind. However, when you wear that black pencil skirt with the slit up the side, he'll be thinking about your legs and where they lead. Again, it’s just how dudes are wired. You can hit him on the head with a stick like a Punch and Judy puppet, but I promise you that he’ll keep thinking about sex. It’s in the male vibration and unless you are mindful of it and know how to deflect it, it can be the elephant in the room. Fortunately, you know the drill and today’s men are not that difficult to manage.

What do you do if are in a “relationship” with a guy who only wants to have sex with you?

Unfortunately, if many men, usually the younger guys, had their way, a lot of them would want sex, and that’s it. This is a shameful truth. Many men fear emotional intimacy, do not care to share their feelings, and are not good listeners. They’re self-centered, competitive, and ego-driven. That does not leave a lot of room for relationships. Ladies, you have the power to help men evolve.

Sure, nowadays women can be just as sexual as guys. Many young ladies will hump and dump a guy; maybe keeping him around if he is well-built and knows how to make her tingle all over. But thankfully, for the most part women still want relationships along with the sheet rumpling.  As a Guy’s Guy, the best thing a woman can do to evolve a relationship that is locked into all sex all the time, is to keep the conversation going. A guy knows that he has a free ride when he gets all the cookies without doing anything besides showing up and hopping under the covers. Call him on his crap.

If you’re keeping him satisfied, I’ll bet that he will pay attention. And if he values and respects you, he will step up and treat you with respect. Guys who like women and have had fulfilling relationships know that it takes two individuals to make a team, and real men want relationships with great women.  On the other hand, if he continues avoiding any attempts to get beyond just having sex with you, you’re being used. Don’t let him do that. You deserve more. In fact, you deserve the very best.

How do you avoid having a relationship that revolves solely around sex?

Sex on the First Date: Old Story, New Twist

Robert Manni - Thursday, November 29, 2012

You just met five minutes ago and he’s already thinking about the two of you in bed.

Ouch. I guess you were hoping for more, especially since your girlfriend gave him a thumbs up as a stand up guy.  But trust me; sex is already on his mind. Maybe it’s on yours as well.  So don’t fret. Take a deep breath and smile as you swirl that glass of Chardonnay. He’s just acting on instincts, and as my Mom likes to say, “This too shall pass.”

We all know that you only get one chance to make a good first impression and for a guy, a lot of it is about how a woman looks and handles herself. Yes, it can be shallow and superficial, but you have a choice. Either try in vain to change the psychological programming of modern men or exhale and steer the conversation in a positive way until he comes back down to Earth. Women also have their ways of checking out a guy. They look at his clothes, eyes, hands, butt, smile, shoes and then they find out what he does for a living and what makes him tick. We all want to get to know a little bit about the other person before letting down our guard. What many guys don’t understand is that to most women, they are strange and mysterious creatures until they reveal pieces of mission critical information about themselves. And what women sometimes fail to understand is that while he’s answering your questions, the right side of the guy’s brain is wondering what it would be like frolicking in bed with you. Now, I’m not saying that this is the only thing on his mind as he sits across from you, but yes, it is the elephant in the room.


I’m getting there. So let’s say that his eyes and smile sparkle and you both laugh easily over that glass of wine. And the conversation flows smoothly in a way that makes you both feel comfortable. That’s nice. And by now, you may have already considered what it would be like to date this guy. You like him and you want to know more. And, he feels the same. And both of you have been on a lot of lousy online dates since you both broke it off with your ex’s.

Of course, you’ll have another glass of wine and, yes, you’d love some of those savory appetizers. You two are having a ball. And after you put your phone away, maybe you wonder what it would be like to jump this guy’s bones. And, yes, he is thinking the same about you. After he grabs the check, you leave together for a light dinner or dessert both wondering where this may be leading.

Let’s face it. We’ve all been there. There is nothing wrong with it. But, is it wise to do the deed on the first night? That’s a loaded question. Here are two-sides of the issue.


You are both adults.  You bust your butt all day at your job and you want what you want when you want it. That’s understandable. So, if it feels right, you just might feel like accompanying him back to his place to rumple up his 800 count sheets.  Hey, this relationship could be off to an explosive beginning. And, it can work from there. Why not?  And if it does not rock your world, chalk it up to, oops.

There is nothing wrong with going for what feels right as long as you are responsible for your actions. Who knows how this could play out? Depending on how you feel, he could be ‘The One’, a f--- buddy/new friend with benefits, or whatever the heck you want him to be. It’s your life and you are going to live it your way. You know that this is a rare occasion, but, dammit, maybe you feel like doing it with this guy, tonight.

And, don’t think he’s not a little apprehensive about this, too. If he’s not a lunatic, he wants it and he probably really likes what he sees in you, but he does not want to go so fast that he scares you away. At the same he’s thinking that this is how things are supposed to work. Work hard. Play hard. Then figure it out.


 What’s the hurry? If things were going well, wouldn’t it be better to let the fires simmer for a few days before the big event? I mean, regardless of how chock full your schedule may be, I’m sure you can find time for this exciting new person in your life.

And, what if he takes you for granted, or worse? Most guys I now will wonder if you are so quick to drop your thong if this is what happens every time a dude springs for drinks and dinner. Did I hear “deal-breaker”? And, you are not that type of girl, are you now? Even worsemaybe he’s a wham bam machine and you are just the latest in a long line who have fallen prey to his steely green eyes and electric smile. Oops, you’ve been had.

I could go on and on, but you get the picture.


Keep your wits about you and use your common sense. This Guy’s Guy believes that when the time is right, good things happen. That very well may be on the first date or on the seventh date. There are no hard rules to follow beyond keeping your inner compass pointed squarely at what feels right for you. And if your new man is a bona fide Guy’s Guy, he’ll understand and respect you for your decision to hold off for now. Just make sure that when the moment arrives, you make it worth the wait. ;) Yeah, I just used an emoticon.


Guy’s Guy of The Week: “That guy” you met online that you're seeing this weekend.



Sex with Your Ex: The Agony and The Ex-tasy

Robert Manni - Thursday, October 25, 2012

We’ve all been there. You look down at your phone and you see her face and number. You exhale and answer the call. A few hours later you’re drinking wine with her at an outdoor table near Gramercy Park. Two glasses of Chardonnay later you’re both hungry so you hit the Mexican joint nearby that you two used to enjoy. This time the enchiladas were not a flavorful as you recalled. 

An hour later the sun has gone down and you’re back at your crib. You stare at yourself in the bathroom mirror, wondering if this is a good idea. Then you shrug and return to the bedroom where she’s stretched out naked on your bed with the sheet barely draped around her torso. An hour later it’s all over and she’s fastening her bra and then pulling her hair back. Then, she’s gone and you’re staring at ESPN. Victory….or defeat. You decide.

That’s pretty much how it goes when you hook up with your ex. The motivation could be anything from you missed each other, you’re both horny, you want revenge or closure, you just enjoy spending time together, or the sex was always mind-blowing so what could wrong with another taste? I don’t have a surefire answer for you, amigo, but I’ve been there more than once and what I was always reminded of was that there was a reason that my ex was just that — my ex.

A Few Examples As Food For Thought…

My live-in relationship ended on a sour note. So she rented an apartment a few blocks up the street from me on the West Side. Out of all the gin joints in the world… Anyway, one thing led to another and soon we were having a bite to eat and then dessert on top of my bed on a regular basis.

I was thinking that this was not so bad. I get the sex and not the headache from an overall unsatisfying relationship, which was no one’s fault but our own. We just did not talk about things, and we did not talk about this either until she cut it off, again. This was because the last time she left my flat she put her blouse on backwards and her new boyfriend busted her. 

The joke was on me, but ultimately to my relief she married the guy and they are living happily ever after. That’s good, but it did not do much for me at the time. But, I did get my rocks off when I was still stinging from the initial break up. Good or bad? Eh, I’d call it a draw.

Drop back ten years in time. My high school sweetheart had unceremoniously dumped me during college. I was hurt because of her callousness in how she handled it. I ran into her about five years later in the city. She was living with three girlfriends from college. I brought my friends along and we all went out on the town until the wee hours. I ended up back at her place in bed… with her. I delighted in having her one more time. But, I was not all that attracted to her at this point and the sex became closure for me. I was officially over her forever. I’m sure she felt the same, but I did get a thrill out of seducing her that one last time. But it was all about ego and self-gratification. I guess that at the time I needed it.

There have been others, but as we get a bit older it gets more complicated. I almost dove back in the sack with an ex about five years ago, but if I did there would be strings attached, so I tiptoed through our meeting and eventually sent her on her way without busting a move. Oh yeah, I wanted to get it on, but I knew that it would lead to discussing the relationship again and by now it was over. She’s beautiful, but I did not feel comfortable “taking” what I could have just for my own short-term jollies. We meant more to one another so it would not have been a cool move.  Someone would have been hurt…I think. But, I could be wrong. Maybe she just wanted to rock it one more time.

But that’s the thing. Going back to your ex for sex is more complicated than it seems. Unless you have a clear understanding about what the expectations are, then you need to be mindful of your feelings and those of your ex partner. No one wants to open up old wounds. But, every situation is different so you never know…

Guy’s Guy of The Week: Chris Brown (and Rihanna for that matter) for braving the intricacies of the Ex-factor.

What has your experience been with sex with your ex? 


Image courtesy of

What Men Want

Robert Manni - Wednesday, October 10, 2012

So, What do men want?

This is a loaded question for sure, but I can answer it in one word. Men want M-O-R-E. Yep, that’s what they want. It’s that simple. More women, more money, more sex, more power, more adventure…and the list goes on and on. And as a result men make a lot of questionable choices like invading countries, publishing so many magazines that feature photos of really big female butts or buying a convertible when he lives in Anchorage, Alaska. But if you knew where they were coming from, maybe their decisions would not seem so strange.

Are men that different from women? I’m not sure, but we are all human and underneath our different plumbing systems and appendages, there is not much more than our social conditioning to separate us. But, the ladies want insights, so here are a few nuggets to consider next time you find yourself trying to figure out a man and their occasional odd behavior as it pertains to…

Love and Sex

Guys are visual and they like variety. Most men know how to compartmentalize sex. They can have an encounter and move on, thinkinghey, that was cool. Yeah, just like that. Of course, many women have learned to view a roll in the hay the same way. But, for the most part, some women have trouble wrapping their head around that notion. Many don’t think that way at all. And others assume that if their man could have a quick romp with another woman and still think that everything is okay, then he is a jerk or maybe there is something wrong with her. It’s neither, ladies. Guys are just wired that way. Now, I am not suggesting that every man acts on his every compulsion, but I’d wager that if this month’s Playboy playmate offered herself up to your guy, he’d be hard pressed to make the right decision, whatever that might be. But, don’t sweat it. Most guys in a serious relationship would show the gumption to say, “pass” when offered this encounter. As I suggest in my novel, THE GUYS’ GUY’S GUIDE TO LOVE, the main difference between men is how they manage their “inner Roger”. Roger, in this case, is an archetypal womanizing character named Roger Fox

So, what do men want? They want sex and they like variety, so my advice is to keep things spicy and hot. And, of course love is a two-way street, so make sure your guy gives a double dose of exactly what you want.


Just like you, men want to feel desired. And, it needs to be real. So if you think your guy is sexy and you hunger for his lovin’, make sure that he is aware of it on a daily basis. And if you don’t, what the heck are you doing in this relationship?

I have a friend, who after over a dozen years of marriage, separated and then divorced his wife. I asked him about it and from what I could glean from the conversation, the reason he chose to move on was because his wife no longer found him to be funny. Really. Of course this is ego driven, but all of us to some degreeespecially menare consumed by competitiveness and ego. My friend did not feel loved, and his measuring stick was the extent of her appreciation of his sense of humor. Men, like women, have an innate need to feel loved. And that’s not so bad, is it?


So, we know that men like sex and they want you to make them feel that they are really sexy. They want it all—the hot girl, the cool car, and the career and the money. That’s about it in a nutshell. Over the course of history, men have accomplished a lot just by following these primal desires. But, there have been lots of wars and dumb decisions made by virtue of men’s desires to have it all, at any cost.

Fortunately, things are changing and men are now under the microscope as much as Mitt Romney. I suggest that today’s men would be happier if they recognized and celebrated the ascent of women. Women have been on a straight trajectory of success for some time now and it’s about time that men factor this into how they perceive the world and how they experience happiness. Today’s men have left behind the dated macho perspective that relegated women to the kitchen and the bedroom. This is passé and I say, thank goodness. As men become more circumspect about a rapidly changing world where women stand alongside them, many see the inherent advantages in this. Less need to conquer everything in their path, less of a need to be the sole provider in a relationship, and more opportunities to share and enjoy our earthly bounty. Sounds good to me.

Of course there is a lot more to discuss, but for now, the next time you are trying to figure out why your man makes some seemingly questionable choices, think about his always wanting more and you might come to the conclusion that he’s not so strange after all. He’s just being a man.

Guy’s Guy of The Week: The handful of guys who have learned how to manage their inner Roger.

What do you think men really want?

3 Big Reasons Why Men Should Get Married. Really.

Robert Manni - Wednesday, September 12, 2012


When He Knows It’s Time

A few years ago, I would have never written this column. Never! Call me a late bloomer. I was single in New York City for over twenty-five years. That’s not a world’s record and I am sure many of you ladies know lots of guys in the city who are not interested in marriage. And I managed to remain single longer than all of my friends and colleagues. But, lucky for me, I met the right woman and one year later, to the day, I popped the question. And another year later, almost to the day, we got hitched. We just celebrated our second anniversary and I now have the insights of a few years of married life under my belt.  And, it’s been great. I’m really glad I first dated to my heart’s desire and I’m even happier that I found a wonderful partner. Here are a few things that convinced me of the virtues of this age-old institution. Quick disclaimer—I realize that every marriage, like every relationship, like every snowflake is different, so I am only speaking of my experience. Here goes… 

1 - Better Diet.  For some reason, I stopped eating beef, pork and lamb the evening I met my wife. Knowing that she was a vegetarian, I did not order a bloody cheeseburger on our first casual date.  And I have never looked back. Recently, I stopped eating poultry, too. Thankfully, my wife never asked me to change my carnivorous habits. But she noticed my mealtime choices, and on her own met me halfway by shifting to a diet that now includes fish. I know that she would prefer that we both existed on veggies and various forms of non-animal protein, but she is a very wise and giving person and it is working out nicely. I feel great. Hey, I did the whole bachelor thing—you’ve probably dated a guy whose staples were ketchup, toilet paper, beer, and ESPN. I pigged out at business dinners and worked out enough to maintain my fitness, but it took a woman’s touch to gently guide me to healthier dietary choices. The bonus is that my energy level is way up and I do not miss the meat or the bacon. That’s just me, but I attribute it to my wife’s quiet leadership by example. She has the metabolism of a hummingbird. She loves to eat and she’s an amazing cook so there is always great-tasting food in our home. Bonus points. 

2 - Better Friendship. Better Sex. If you are a married guy and your wife is not your best friend, to me that’s a red flag. Healthy couples like to spend time together. I’ve been in a few ongoing relationships where we spent most of the time rumpling the sheets. No complaints, but eventually we had to get up and go out and that’s when the issues surfaced. You can have great sexual chemistry and not much else in common. Maybe that is ironic, but I took it for what it was, went back for more, and I do not look back. Thankfully, my marriage is robust in this area too, which brings us to… Another blogger asked your Guy’s Guy to write something about what men want. Brilliant topic. But, the answer is short. In fact it is only one word: More. Yep, that’s what men want. For me, and I am sure for other guys (see Mick Jagger), ‘more’ meant a variety of partners. I get it. That said, I always recalled reading a quote by a handsome, professional football star who said that he had learned that you can go deeper with the right woman than you can by sharing your swimmers with a half-dozen ladies. It stuck in my mind and I finally realized that he was right. Of course, I took my time to find out. In fact, I took as much time as possible to find out. 

3 - Better Health. I’m sure you have all read about the studies that claim married guys outlive their single counterparts. Men are lonely, solitary hunters. That’s what we do. And, most of us do not eat that well, we do not get enough sleep and we spend too much time watching sports, drinking beer and chasing women. That’s after spending ten hours a day competing in our jobs and dealing with the stress that comes form urban living, high-pressure careers and a shit economy.  Of course married guys (if they are with the right woman) live longer. 
I can go on and on, and I am not trying to score brownie points with you or my wife. I’m just doing what Guy’s Guys do. We call them as we see them and we learn from our mistakes. So next time you hear one of the guys (especially if he is over forty) crowing about how great it is to be single and prowling the bars in the city, ask him a few questions about all of the above. You may get an interesting response. 

Guy’s Guy of The Week: Warren Beatty, for finally getting hitched in a happy marriage with Annette Bening after years of being a playboy. 

What do you think are the benefits of being married?

image courtesy of

What If You Knew It Was The Last Time Making Love To Your Partner?

Robert Manni - Wednesday, August 29, 2012


As the end of summer approaches maybe your relationship has reached new heights or maybe it’s winding down.  Either way, it seems apropos to share something that’s a bit more introspective courtesy of Rod, the quintessential Guy’s Guy who bats for the ladies by dishing out the truth about men.  Rod is the pseudonym of Max Hallyday, the protagonist in my novel The Guys’ Guy’s Guide To Love.  In the novel, Rod teaches women how to win by penning a column exposing the deepest and darkest dating secrets of men. 

A Dish Served Cold 

Here’s a question men sometime ask each other: Would you want to know when it’s the last time you’re making love to the most beautiful woman you’ve been with in your entire life? Ask any man and he’ll tell you about that special woman he loved and lusted after who now only exists in a lost moment in time. The one who would have stayed at his side if he knew then what he knows now. But he didn’t pay attention until it was too late, and now she’s gone. Would he have wanted to know the truth when he was making love to her that final time? 

As shallow as the question appears, this notion can launch barroom debates among men in any corner of the world. Whether they’re sipping Manhattans at P.J. Clarke’s, drinking punch on the sandy floor of the Rhum Bar in Turks and Caicos, chugging beers around a keg in a musty college frat house, or savoring scotch under the dim lights of the Opal Lounge on Edinburgh’s George Street, it makes no difference. If you’re with a group of guys, and especially if there’s alcohol on hand, this timeless issue will set their tongues wagging. And the endless deliberations over the variables how old am I, how old is she, and are we married only add to the banter. 

How would you, the woman, feel if you knew the man was aware that it was the last time? Would you be turned on by his passion or put off by his desperation? Would he ravish you with such fervor that the beauty of the moment would be lost to a sense of impending doom? For a man, the last time he makes love with the woman of his dreams can be a bittersweet precursor to his own end. 

And it’s not only about the physical aspects of the moment. It’s about everything that was shared the trust, the dreams, and the caring. It’s about the puppy he surprised you with on Christmas morning, the cherry pie you baked on his birthday, and that snowman the two of you built in the quiet following the blizzard. All of this transformed the sex and lust into, well…love

And who knows what the universe has in store? That might have been his one chance to harness all of life’s beauty incarnated into one person. Looks are subjective, but a man knows when he’s captured a shooting star that can carry his dreams across the sky. 

Before you judge, think about it. Are you that different? Like anything else it depends on the individual. But take it from a man who had the elusive opportunity to experience knowing when it was the last time he was making love to the most beautiful woman he had ever been with. In this particular instance, it was a premeditated plan to sleep with someone that I did not plan on seeing to see again. Was it better knowing? I can’t say for sure, but for me, that final time did nothing more than bring closure to what was the wrong relationship. You can relate to that. Was it revenge? No, it was worse because I finally realized that we really weren’t in love in the first place. 

Until next time, 

Guy’s Guy of The Week: all the guys who didn't know it was the last time. It's alright. There will be more.

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