Episode 65: Leslie Rice, Relationship Expert: Celebrating Men and Sex
It is always a pleasure to interview the leaders of PAX Programs, they are so insightful, always offering us deep wisdom about men! We learn in this interview that one of the reasons their information is incredibly spot on is that it comes from many years of interviewing Men directly, getting their world and delivering that information to women in a way we can open our hearts and let it in. Leslie shares with us the importance of understanding what happens when we act like Human Animals and what happens when we act from Human Spirit. We hear great information about the difference between Chemistry and Passion – who knew? We cover an idea that hits home to many of us ~ women being in their masculine mode instead of the feminine receptivity mode and how this throws off the balance in intimate relationships. We end with key steps on how to recover from infidelity. This is a MUST listen to interview!
ALISSA KRITEMAN: Welcome to Just for Women: Dating, Relationships and Sex. I am your host Alissa Kriteman. This show is dedicated to providing today’s modern women with useful information they need to make empowered, conscious choices. On the show today, we’re talking about men and sex. Woo hoo.
LESLIE RICE: The first thing I want to say is that infidelity applies to everybody. To men, women, it, it applies to everybody. There’s a real harmful myth in our country is that cheating is a man thing and men are dogs, men are pigs, and you know, thank goodness I love animals. Testosterone, it is the rocket fuel for sex drive. And, it puts us, because it’s, you know, it’s a masculine hormone, it puts us in the masculine mode. We go into pursuit mode; we’re gonna get that guy.
ALISSA KRITEMAN: So we’re gonna be talking to Leslie Rice, COO of PAX Programs Inc., which is Allison Armstrong’s company. And if you haven’t heard the two interviews I did with Allison Armstrong, please go to justforwomenshow.com and check them out. You’re probably there now if you’re listening to this, if you’re not in iTunes, then go to the page, they’re there, they’re fantastic. And so today we’re going to be talking about some of the ideas about men that we just must know. And Leslie Rice is gonna tell us. Welcome to Just for Women, Leslie.
LESLIE RICE: Thank you so much.
ALISSA KRITEMAN: Let me tell my listeners a little bit about who you are. Leslie Rice is best known for being the COO, like I said, of PAX Programs. It looks so funny when COO is written out, it’s like “coo”. You’re like the Chief Coo Woman.
LESLIE RICE: Um, yes, I’m coo.
ALISSA KRITEMAN: She’s also the workshop leader for Celebrating Men and Sex, which is mostly what we’re gonna talk about today. And another course called Understanding Women: Unlock the Mystery, which is actually one of the rare courses that has men and women together. Would you agree, Leslie, most of the courses are really designed to empower women specifically?
LESLIE RICE: Yes, at this point that’s where the majority of our curriculum is focused.
ALISSA KRITEMAN: Which is why I love talking to you ladies. I know my listeners, we’re empowered women, but there’s more to know. And so I’m really excited to talk to you today about men, and in particular with regard to sex. So, thank you so much for being with us today.
LESLIE RICE: Oh it’s my pleasure completely.
ALISSA KRITEMAN: All right, so today I want to talk to you about these concepts; the human animal vs. the human spirit. I’d like to talk about the difference between chemistry and passion, and ultimately, I really want to hear your perspective on why a man would be unfaithful. But let’s start with you, how did you get to be the coo of a company that’s a huge stand for women’s empowerment?
LESLIE RICE: Well I actually came to PAX first as a customer. I, let’s see, was approached by a friend of mine, gosh, I think it was back in 2002, who said, “I just did this great workshop called Celebrating Men, Satisfying Women and you have to do it.” And, I’m someone who’s always open and seeking about what’s next in my own development, and just the name of the workshop, I thought, yeah, I’ll go to that, no problem.
ALISSA KRITEMAN: Nice.
LESLIE RICE: Yeah, so I did, and they had the most amazing, straightforward information about men I had ever encountered anywhere. So I did all their curriculum and came back to the workshops as a volunteer and helped with logistics and got to meet Allison soon after I started volunteering and she asked me to work with her as her workshop manager, so I spent about a year travelling around and sort of heading up the logistic teams for her workshops. And then after about a year of doing that together, she said, “Well, I really must have you full time,” and I joined first as the national production manager just handling all of our facilities booking and production and worked my way up to being the Chief Operating Officer. I’m somebody who, if you looked at my resume it’s quite a patchwork but the resonating theme is that I’m just somebody who’s really good at operations and logistics and problem solving and implementation and at PAX that’s what I get to do and be valued for. And as a result, that plus the fact that I get to work every day on a small but important corner of world peace makes this probably the most fulfilling job I’ve ever had.
ALISSA KRITEMAN: Yay, it’s so amazing to be valued for our gifts, isn’t it?
LESLIE RICE: Oh yeah.
ALISSA KRITEMAN: It’s so important, so important. Why do you think that Allison Armstrong, PAX Programs Inc. has such highly concentrated information that you hadn’t heard anywhere else?
LESLIE RICE: Well, that’s actually really simple. It’s because our information, all the information we put forward in our workshops about men came from men. It actually came from talking to, interviewing hundreds and hundreds of men. And in taking all of that information and picking out the very common themes and offering that information in our workshops. So it came straight from the mouths of men. And in fact all of our workshops that are for women only, as you know, feature a panel of men at the end of the workshop, usually on Sunday afternoon. And it’s always very sweet because the panel will come in, and it always happens that they will say one or two things that the workshop leader has said over the weekend, often using the exact same words. And participants frequently say, “Oh do you coach them,” and “they said what you said.” We’re always trying to tell them, no, they didn’t say what I said, I said what they say. So our curriculum came from the source. And, it’s, our workshops are very informational, but the information causes transformation. Because the point of view about men, about almost everything, is so completely different from women’s, that you find out that often what we’re trying hardest to do, as far as being in a partnership with men, is just hugely ineffective. Because we’re dealing with men, not big hairy women. Not some version of ourselves, you know?
ALISSA KRITEMAN: Right. I love, I love that term, that, you know, “Men are not hairy women,” you know? It’s really funny to me because so many times I have to catch myself, really, I think it’s um, we were never taught otherwise. And that’s why I personally like PAX programs and the workshops that I’ve done is because this is information I wish I had when I was 18, 16, even through my 20’s. And even now, it’s so refreshing because it’s not like we’re going to find this, this, how to get along with men and understand men anywhere else.
LESLIE RICE: Yeah, and it’s, you know it’s a very human thing to do actually, which is why we introduced the Understanding Women workshop as well, is that when we’re trying to understand the motivations of another person we often look to ourselves and think, “What would it mean if I did that? If I said that?” And women do that with men, and men also do that with women. You know, we look at men and we don’t see a woman, we see, or we see, we don’t see a man, excuse me, we see a big, hairy misbehaving woman. And men, when they look at us, they don’t see women, they see softer, more lovely, scatterbrained, emotionally-indulgent men, who if they could just focus would be much better off.
ALISSA KRITEMAN: Right, right, we know that’s never going to happen (Laughs). I’d rather be flowing and fun. No, but, um, you mentioned information causes transformation. What does transformation mean to you?
LESLIE RICE: Well for me, transformation is really about irreversible change. Just an insight or a new piece of information or an experience that just alters life irrevocably. You can never go back to where you were, you can never see things in the old way again. It’s just something gets illuminated that forever alters your perception and how you relate to that.
ALISSA KRITEMAN: And can you speak a little bit to how transformation actually works?
LESLIE RICE: Well I can speak to it in the way that it works in our workshops. Basically, we come in and in the very first workshop that a woman would do with us in Celebrating Men, Satisfying Women, literally, you find out so many things, first of all, that women are doing often even without knowing it, that are putting off and emasculating the men in their life. And having that knowledge can completely transform the way you would relate to men in your life. And the women in our, I mean the women in our workshops they’re just so amazing and inspiring. Because #1, as part of our workshop, they agree to stop doing it and often, many of them get really inspired and go the next step and think, “OK well I’m gonna lay down the sword. I’m now gonna not dis-empower men and instead, I’m gonna see what it would be like if I empowered men.” And suddenly you know, you’ve got this force in the world for partnership and for mutual empowerment that’s just light years away from, you know, sort of the paradigm that we’re born with. We’re born into this instinctive, survival, zero sum game, you vs. me paradigm, and understanding that and seeing it, I believe, creates an opportunity to move into a whole other domain where it’s not you vs. me it’s you and me, and both of us can have power at the same time. And in fact, that’s probably our highest expression as human beings.
ALISSA KRITEMAN: I really like that. Forget the power struggle, let’s both have power but each in our own way.
LESLIE RICE: Umm hmm.
ALISSA KRITEMAN: That’s really, I like that. So let’s talk about human animal vs. human spirit. That definitely gets talked about a lot through all of the programs, now that I’ve done a few. And it really makes a lot of sense. Can you speak to that a little bit?
LESLIE RICE: Absolutely, it’s a model that we use to understand human beings and what we put forward as a part of this model is considering that human beings have two aspects, and this is true of all human beings, it’s not just a gender issue. It’s not just men or just women but that people have an aspect about them that we call human animal and one that we call human spirit. And human animal, not surprisingly, refers to all the part of us that is just really hardwired for survival. This is the programming that we’re born with, you could say, it’s carried in our DNA and just handed down from generation to generation. And the problem becomes that our DNA has not changed at all in 10,000 years. So you’ve got this hardwired programming that was written during cave people time. And it worked really great back then, back when there really was a tiger around every corner it worked very, very well. You know, when food really was scarce, when survival was not insured. Only it doesn’t really work for today. I mean in today’s world, you’ve got a quickie mart on every corner. You know, there’s a tremendous amount of abundance, there’s, and there’s a new role, especially for women where we are hugely independent. We’re financially independent, you know, we’re out in the workforce making great gains. We mostly take care of ourselves, so this old instinctive programming often conflicts with how the world is today and doesn’t really provide any effective solutions. It just provides a lot of tension and, you know, um feelings of scarcity, feelings of competition, a lot of fear. On the other hand, when you talk about human spirit, now we’re talking about a domain where survival is insured, survival is taken care of and you don’t need to focus on that anymore. And now you can start to look at all of the enhancements in life. The purpose of human spirit is to enhance life and it’s driven by consciousness and choice. And it’s all about the goodies—you know, abundance, and joy and peace and partnership. All the good stuff that doesn’t really show up in the domain of human animal.
ALISSA KRITEMAN: So are you saying that it’s hard for, if we don’t have our basic necessities met as women, it would be hard for us to come from the human spirit side of ourselves?
LESLIE RICE: Absolutely. It’s um, we actually do a course called Celebrating Women, which is all about nurturing the human spirit or the “queen” aspect of women. And we actually recommend women who are really going through financial hardship or other scarcity issues in their life that they not do that workshop because the conversation for them would be almost impossible to access, really difficult to participate in. Because, yes, if we do not have our basic needs met, it’s hard to even imagine you know, coming from a place of, “Oh, everything’s abundant,” and you know, “I’m at peace.” It’s just not, it’s not really available for you if you’re dealing with basic survival issues.
ALISSA KRITEMAN: Wow, already this is really some potent, potent stuff. We’re gonna take a quick break to support our sponsors. Listeners, I’d love for you to listen to these ads, they’re ads created by my sponsors for my show and they help me bring you these fantastic experts like Leslie Rice. So if you can support them, I’d really appreciate it. This is Alissa Kriteman, I’m with Leslie Rice and we’ll be right back to talk more about understanding men.
ALISSA KRITEMAN: Welcome back, I’m Alissa Kriteman. We’re speaking today to Leslie Rice, coo, COO, of PAX Programs Inc. and she’s giving us some really great information about what it is to be a human spirited woman as opposed to the human animal woman, which you can hear more about in Celebrating Men, Satisfying Women, the basic workshop of all of the programs at PAX. I just love the work so I love, love, love talking to the leaders of these programs. So before the break we were talking about men, and where the information came from, a little bit about Leslie personally. Now I want to talk to you about this idea of chemistry vs. passion. And I think it’s a distinction not a lot of us have even thought about so how can you, what is the difference? Why should we know?
LESLIE RICE: Oh it’s so important because the two get really confused and often we sell out for chemistry when what we’re really craving is passion. To put it another way, in the model that we just talked about, when you look at the whole domain of sex in male-female relationships, the whole point of sex is to procreate. You know, to make more. And so sex, in a default way, always finds itself in the area of human animal. And in order to keep us interested in, you know, procreating and insuring the survival of the species, part of our programming came with some really, really powerful chemicals. Chemistry is literally referring to chemicals or hormones. And so what will happen for us is we will encounter a man who seems to be the perfect specimen with whom to procreate and continue the species, you know. And it’s so funny because all of the things that trigger the chemicals, and the chemistry and the hormones are all completely consistent with that purpose. So a man that is on average 4 inches taller than a woman will trigger chemistry for her. And a man who has more resources. So it, it immediately sort of illuminates why. That’s a question we always ask. You know, a girlfriend will say, “Oh I have a guy I want you to meet.” And we’ll say, “Well what does he do?” Because cavewoman wants to know, “Well does he have more resources than I do?”
ALISSA KRITEMAN: (Laughs) And you know the whole tall, dark and handsome. It’s like, we laugh, but you know that really does come from somewhere and I so appreciate you illuminating this for us. This is actual, these are statistics you’re saying 4 inches taller, more resources, what else?
LESLIE RICE: Let’s see, a man who has more status. This is the rock star effect, you know?
ALISSA KRITEMAN: And then bad boy too, I would think.
LESLIE RICE: Exactly. Oh exactly. So it’s all those things that make, that ignite human animal. That cause cavewoman to say, “Oh yeah this one. Let’s make some more with this one.” And when that happens, when that determination is made, and it just takes a split-second, immediately our bodies are flooded with dopamine and testosterone.
ALISSA KRITEMAN: Our own testosterone.
LESLIE RICE: Exactly. Testosterone, it is the rocket fuel for sex drive. And, it puts us, because it’s, you know, it’s a masculine hormone, it puts us in the masculine mode. We go into pursuit mode; we’re gonna get that guy.
ALISSA KRITEMAN: Isn’t that funny.
LESLIE RICE: In the midst of all that overdrive, we’re just so get mode, got to get that guy, that being ourselves becomes almost impossible.
ALISSA KRITEMAN: Mmm hmm.
LESLIE RICE: And that’s where the tricky part lies. Because what most of us are really craving with our lovers and boyfriends and husbands is the kind of spark and play and passion that can really only come from intimacy.
ALISSA KRITEMAN: Yeah, I can just imagine women, you know, myself included. I’m going through the litany of the men in my life that I’ve been with out of that chemical, knee-jerk reaction for procreation. You know, this cavewoman that you’re talking about. And the drinking, and then it just goes out the window.
LESLIE RICE: Yeah. (Laughs)
ALISSA KRITEMAN: You know, there’s like, there’s no brakes. It’s just like, all the chemicals are going, mix in some alcohol or some other things and it’s like how would you even stop? And then at the end of the day, you know, you’re like, “Wait,” like you said, “where’s all the intimacy? Where’s all the…” You know, especially as you go on in relationships. So, tell me more, how do we create this passion on the other hand?
LESLIE RICE: Well for one thing, I mean, when I lead Celebrating Men and Sex and talk about this, I’m always careful to say, “Hey, no judgment. If you’ve got a guy that you have just got the hots for, go for it. Just know what you’re gonna get. Know that you’re probably not going to be yourself. You’re constantly going to be judging and assessing yourself and feeling like you’re not measuring up and completely concentrating on is he pleased instead of looking to see, are you happy.” It’s just gonna be how it is. It’s just how it works. Because instinct doesn’t care if you’re happy, instinct cares that you make more.
ALISSA KRITEMAN: This is fascinating, I love this.
LESLIE RICE: Yeah. You know, instinct doesn’t care if you mess up your whole life. It just doesn’t care. And how you can tell when you’re in the grip of instinct, I always tell women, is that you’ll notice you don’t care either.
ALISSA KRITEMAN: (Laughs) I got to write that down. Grip of Instinct: You don’t care either.
LESLIE RICE: This is the guy that, you know, you’re a strong, independent, intelligent women with standards about who you’re gonna be with. But you’re about to go home with a guy who lives with his parents and didn’t graduate high school because you don’t care. He’s so hot you don’t care.
ALISSA KRITEMAN: (Laughs) Oh my God. It’s kind of, yeah, yeah. This could be painful because I’m thinking about some relationships where literally, I didn’t care. And I put up with so much crap that now I think about and I’m like, “What was I doing?” And you make so much sense of what I was doing. I was acting out of instinct and scarcity and cavewoman and not believing in myself and am I happy? It’s like, literally, it’s almost like a, like an alien comes in or something.
LESLIE RICE: Yeah, it really is like that. The hormones really are that strong. The chemistry’s really that strong. And we’re so programmed to look for it. You’ll meet a new guy, have a date and your girlfriends will ask you, “How did it go?” And you’ll say, “Oh it was so wonderful, he took me to my favorite restaurant, he pulled out my chair, he listened to me, he’s very interesting, he’s so smart.” And they’ll say, “Oh that sounds amazing, are you gonna see him again?” And we’ll say, “Uh, no. No chemistry.”
ALISSA KRITEMAN: (Laughs)
LESLIE RICE: So you know, we’re programmed to look for that as the indicator of whether we should be with someone.
ALISSA KRITEMAN: The sex, like that sexual drive?
LESLIE RICE: Yes, yes exactly. You know, that…and the thing that can lead to a better opportunity for what we’re really craving…for women, it’s so important to us to be known. When we’re known, that’s when we feel loved. That’s when we feel cherished and safe and ready to open up. And what can work is if you look for the guys that you know, you look at them and think, “Yeah, he’s cute,” but you don’t have that overwhelming, “God, I have him. I’m so nervous I don’t even know what to say.” Not that overwhelming amount of chemistry, but just a little spark like, “Yeah, he’s cute, I’d like to get to know him.”
ALISSA KRITEMAN: Like your heart opens and feels warm kind of thing, vs. “Oh my God, let’s eat fast and get outta here,” kind of thing.
LESLIE RICE: Yeah, exactly.
ALISSA KRITEMAN: But enough attraction, I think there has to be enough attraction that… OK, so one issue women bring up to me a lot is that men think she is the good friend, the sister kind of confidante. I was just talking to this girl the other day about it. What would you say to women who have the complaint that guys view them as a good friend but not taking it more than that, not lover type? What’s going on there?
LESLIE RICE: Well, it could be a couple of things. First of all, in our world, women are in masculine mode a lot of the time. A lot of us are our own providers, our own protectors and it kind of keeps us in a masculine mode so that how we present to the world is in that instead of really expressing our femininity. And one of the key things about femininity is that it’s very receptive, it’s very, very allowing and it lets men step in. It lets them be the provider. It lets them open the door or buy lunch or fix something in your apartment that’s been driving you crazy. So there’s that ability to receive and let men in, and many women who have that complaint are just not expressing that. They’re staying more in a masculine mode and they, when you’re in that mode on a guy’s little UPC scanner if you will, your barcode is going to read, “friend” it’s not gonna read “romantic potential.” The other thing is, with guys (Laughs), I always counsel to ask them directly. Because often what they say will completely stun and amaze you. They may be completely interested but they haven’t been putting anything out there because it looks like she’s not.
ALISSA KRITEMAN: Mmm hmm.
LESLIE RICE: You know if they knew there was an opening and an interest, they might give a whole new answer. But men are not, we call them calorie conservers of the universe. You know, they don’t state the obvious, they don’t attempt things if they’re not pretty certain it’s gonna succeed. So if she’s not broadcasting, “If you ask me out, I will say yes,” he’s probably not going to take the risk.
ALISSA KRITEMAN: How would a woman do that though if she’s already friends with the man. She’s attracted to him and he’s sort of giving her the friend vibe, or even specifically in this women’s case, and I can see where her masculinity was definitely steering him in the other direction. There wasn’t anything he could do for her, too much. And so, what would a woman do if she really likes a guy and he’s giving her the friend vibe without her being too um, forward. Because I could, I could sense in that too, there’s fear of rejection. What if he really is like, “No, I just want to be friends”? I mean, better “no” than be in that weird space, I guess.
LESLIE RICE: Yeah, I’m, you know, I have to say, and this may not work for all women, I’m kind of, I’m kind of a kamikaze pilot for authenticity in my own life, so you know, rejection’s not a big enough turn off for me. Because it’s always a possibility, and it’s not, at the end of the day, it’s not that big of a deal. Yeah, it hurts in the moment, and you know, you’ll, your’re, you’ll get over it---you’re a strong, powerful woman. You’re gonna be fine. And honestly, in that situation, what I would probably say directly to this guy is, I would say, “I have a problem and I’m really hoping you can help me solve it.”
ALISSA KRITEMAN: Aah, that’s a nice doorway.
LESLIE RICE: Yeah, just like activate the problem-solver right away. Men love to solve problems. It’s one of the biggest ways they try to help and provide for women. So, “I’ve got a problem, I really hope you can help me solve it. During the time that we’ve been friends I’ve developed a crush on you. I have this horrible, massive crush on you and I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to destroy our friendship but I have a crush on you. Can you help me?”
ALISSA KRITEMAN: (Laughs) That’s fantastic. I can see where everybody is just lit up and open, you know? He definitely has the doorway in to say whatever he’s gonna say, but definitely, that takes, that takes a bit of confidence to just lay it out like that.
LESLIE RICE: Yeah, and the way that you develop that kind of confidence is that you just give it a try. And every time that it goes well, you’ll have a little more confidence.
ALISSA KRITEMAN: Yeah, I like that. Aah. Well we’re gonna take another short break to support our sponsors. Again, listeners, these are my sponsors kicking down some great deals for you so if you could support them, I’d really appreciate it. Also listeners, feel free to send me an email [email protected] or give me a call, leave me a message. I’d love some video clips. Let me know what you want to hear about, comments, ideas, etc. That phone number is (206) 350-5333. Leave me a message. This is Alissa Kriteman. I’m with Leslie Rice and we’ll be right back to talk more about what would make a man be an infidel.
ALISSA KRITEMAN: We’re back. I’m Alissa Kriteman we’re talking today to Leslie Rice. So many things she’s giving us, workshop leader with PAX Programs who provide amazing, powerful courses for men and women. Really great stuff, Leslie. Thank you so much. In this last segment, I want to talk about, now that we’re all open and connected. (Laughs) I want to go a little deeper into a very touchy subject that, you know, hits many people’s lives, and it’s this idea of infidelity. But what I want to talk to you about, is what would make a man cheat on a woman? I mean, and I guess, I guess really, I mean, we’re in San Francisco, there’s a lot of same sex marriages here. Does it apply too? So maybe the first question, and is it the same in same sex marriages as well? Is cheating just, someone’s not getting their needs met? What’s happening here?
LESLIE RICE: Well, yeah. The first thing I want to say is that infidelity applies to everybody. To men, women, it, it applies to everybody. There’s a real, um, a real harmful myth in our country is that cheating is a man thing and men are dogs, men are pigs, and you know, thank goodness I love animals.
ALISSA KRITEMAN: (Laughs) Go ahead.
LESLIE RICE: It has us approach this topic in a way that has us feel like only men being unfaithful get counted. Because they’re dogs and they’re pigs and they cheat and because they’re dogs and pigs when we cheat on him it’s justified because they’re pigs and dogs and horrible people.
ALISSA KRITEMAN: I know it’s hard to even hear that. You know, it’s like, “Oh, no they’re not, no they’re not.” But you know it’s funny. In the book, “The Female Brain” I read a piece where she writes that women actually are biologically wired to never stop searching for the perfect mate even after she’s married. So, again, chemicals again. And it’s true. We think, “Oh, it’s the guys, it’s the guys.” But there’s plenty of women who cheat too and again it drives home that thing about these chemicals and this biological nature. But anyway, let’s get back to what’s, what’s going on that a man would cheat on a woman?
LESLIE RICE: So the other thing to say about it is, the very term “cheat” makes it sound like maybe somebody’s on a diet and they cheated because they ate something different. But that’s not what…
ALISSA KRITEMAN: (Laughs) So to speak.
LESLIE RICE: You know, that’s not really what’s going on. When you talk about someone being faithful, someone going outside the relationship; infidelity is always driven by a need. And until people get really clear on that needs are needs and non-negotiable then you can’t really have a serious discussion about infidelity. And unfortunately, women and men have a very different relationship to sex. For men, sex is a very primal, biological, instinctive need. And if you think about it, you know, if, when you go back to the model of sex lives in the realm of instinct, and you look at men and women, men can procreate 24/7. So they’re, that need is much more present for them. Women can procreate about 30 hours a month, you know, when we’re ovulating. So for about 30 hours a month, we actually need sex in a very basic way. And many women, you’ll have a day in your cycle, it’s that day, you’re just a crotch-watcher on that day. You know?
ALISSA KRITEMAN: (Laughs) Today is the day! We should have t-shirts, “Today is the Day!”
LESLIE RICE: Exactly!
ALISSA KRITEMAN: Look out.
LESLIE RICE: And it’s a great day to, it’s great to tell your partner about that day, ‘cause on that day you’re just gonna need it. You need to let him know, “On this day, honey, you got to be my man. I need it.” We have these biological sex drives and most women have that going and also the fact that in our design, we’re designed to be self-sacrificing. Again, that’s a great thing for us to be given that our purpose is to ensure the survival of the species. It’s mommy tells the crying baby, “No, I need alone time right now.” You know, end of species.
ALISSA KRITEMAN: Right.
LESLIE RICE: So women are designed to be self-sacrificing and we thing everyone should be that way. So when a man doesn’t want to go without or can’t go without, we think it’s a failure of his character. We don’t ever look at it and say, “Oh no, this person needs to do, this person needs this.”
ALISSA KRITEMAN: Yeah that point right there is gold because I really don’t think, and before I ever heard this, I never thought that really, in the way that you’re saying it, men need sex like they need to eat. And it’s not that way for us. And so to deny sex in a relationship is like tolling the bell for disaster. Because we aren’t necessarily conscious of that one point, yeah?
LESLIE RICE: Yeah very true. And also many of us have no idea, no idea, what sex provides for men. If you want to have a fascinating conversation, you can go to a man that you have, it could be a friend, anyone who feels comfortable talking to you about this, and just ask him, “Would you tell me what sex provides for you?” And then just, you know, put the imaginary duct tape on your mouth and just listen. It’s amazing and it’s, what sex provides for men is the very thing that women are craving from sex. That feeling of connection, that feeling of acceptance, of being loved. So it’s not just that you’re denying him the satisfaction of some base need, it’s you’re denying him the feeling of being connected to you. You’re denying him the feeling of being loved by you. It’s far more serious than, “Oh, he can’t get all attitudinal with me ‘cause I didn’t let him get off.” It’s not just about getting off.
ALISSA KRITEMAN: Clearly, yeah. But again, we don’t think about that. And especially if there’s been some trauma in the past about who men are and what they’re all about, that thought is probably difficult for a lot of women. So, but I see where it could get confusing because it’s, it’s we’re taught that men want sex and it’s not about connection and being loved and so, I could think that women hearing this for the first time might not believe it. So, how can you drive this down a little bit?
LESLIE RICE: Well, one of the things I’m really privileged to have happen often is, you know, leading the Celebrating Men and Sex workshop, I get to hear from a lot of different panels. You know, the panels of men that come in and talk about sex in our workshops, and talk of, listen to them talk about the things that they value from sex. And um, (Sighs) I had a workshop recently where, um, there was a question and the questions for the panel come from the women in the workshop, and the question was so cute, it said, “Do you expect your partner to act like a porn star?” And you could just hear the attitude in it. “You pig. Do you expect that if I don’t do all the stuff porn stars do you’re gonna leave?” And you could hear, you could hear our culture in there, you could hear all the stuff that we bring to the table on this issue. And the men answered it, and what they said was astounding to me. Basically they said that what makes their partner like a porn star to them is that she’s enjoying it, that she’s self-expressed, that she feels free enough to play and communicate and experiment with him.
ALISSA KRITEMAN: Amazing.
LESLIE RICE: Yeah it’s not about him at all.
ALISSA KRITEMAN: Yeah. It’s about her self-expression. Hmm.
LESLIE RICE: Sex for men is very much about connection with a partner and giving pleasure to a partner if you consider that men are providers, they’re the natural providers. In the bedroom, they’re looking to provide there too. And your happiness is what it’s all about.
ALISSA KRITEMAN: Yay! Thank you for saying all of that. So what would you say to women who might be healing from infidelity, who’s lover or husband has chosen that path. How can, how can we heal from something like this?
LESLIE RICE: In this area, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. First of all, I would caution women that there are a couple of different things that happen. One is, there are some men that are just looking for a variety of partners. And they’ll usually say that right up front. And the mistake that women make is thinking, “Oh you haven’t met me yet!” Yeah, don’t think that. You know? Three other women thought that too. Don’t think that you’re going to go change someone who’s told you up front, “I’m a non-monogamous person.” That’s a mistake. The second thing…
ALISSA KRITEMAN: I just want to interject. I think women don’t trust what men say because we don’t always tell the truth, but men generally just say it like it is, yeah?
LESLIE RICE: Yeah, pretty much. So if he tells you, “I’m not looking for anything committed,” you need to believe him. And if what you need is a committed relationship, you need to keep shopping, this is your guy.
ALISSA KRITEMAN: Yeah, OK, good.
LESLIE RICE: And then the next thing is, when you understand that infidelity is driven by a need, it also bursts a lot of myths. One of the primary being that once a cheater always a cheater. Well, not necessarily. And if you want to pay close attention to everyone getting what they need in the relationship, and this is for women too, because infidelity happens on both side of the equation. So it helps to, with your partner, ask a really tough question. And that tough question is to sit down and ask each other, “What do you need that you’ve given up on getting from me?”
ALISSA KRITEMAN: Hmm. What do you need that you’ve given up on getting from me?”
LESLIE RICE: Yep.
ALISSA KRITEMAN: That’s an amazing question.
LESLIE RICE: Yeah, it’s a real hard, everybody’s gonna have to take you know, a grown up pill before they ask it. It’s not an easy conversation, but it will provide a lot of priceless information in preventing infidelity. ‘Cause infidelity isn’t always about sex either. Sometimes we just need to be validated or listened to.
ALISSA KRITEMAN: That is such a good point, that it’s not always about sex, it’s about a need. I really like that distinction.
LESLIE RICE: Yeah, so it’s not a character flaw, it’s something that’s fixable. And if it does happen to you, um, the first thing I want to say is, it’s a big thing to heal from. It’s a really, really, really big deal. So for anybody man or woman who’s having a hard time getting over it, I hope they would hear in this, that that’s completely normal. You know, often we’d beat ourselves up and say, “Oh I should be adult about this. I should be able to get over this.” No this is a really, really big one. For a woman, it, it’s life-threatening. It feels, again, it goes back to that cavewoman we were talking about. In that moment, she really feels like, “My provider-protector is gonna now leave and provide for and protect someone else and I’m gonna die.” Now she probably won’t ever say that, but that’s the feeling almost, the body sensation. For a man, when a partner’s unfaithful, it’s one of the biggest failures he will ever experience. So, these are very deep wounds. And the only places where we’ve seen couples be able to get past this, two things have to be in place. The first being the person who was unfaithful believes that it was a mistake. They regret it, they believe it was a mistake.
ALISSA KRITEMAN: Okay.
LESLIE RICE: The second part is that the person who wasn’t unfaithful can see and accept responsibility for what they weren’t providing.
ALISSA KRITEMAN: Hmm. That’s an adult pill.
LESLIE RICE: Yeah, it’s a big one and it kinda hurts your throat going down. But if you can get it, if you can take it on, that’s the place where you can really get down and start healing your partnership.
ALISSA KRITEMAN: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Because without ownership and remorse, what do you have, you know? I would think it would just sort of spin in a circle. But when two people are really committed and get we’re human, we’re driven by these chemicals, there were needs that weren’t met. It makes it a lot more, it gives it a lot more space than being a stuck idea of upset and this is this person and this is that way. So really, thank you for those two points; the person who cheated must believe it was a mistake and the other partner accepts responsibility for what they might not have been providing.
LESLIE RICE: Yeah, that will get you to healing far more than repeated apologies. Mostly you’ll find if you were the person who your partner was unfaithful, it doesn’t matter how many times they apologize, nothing gets addressed. If you’re still the victim of their infidelity, you’re gonna stay in that cycle. But if you’re ready to step up and be a responsible member of this partnership that currently is not functioning, it’s a very different conversation.
ALISSA KRITEMAN: Nice, I like that. We are almost out of time, unfortunately, but I just want to ask you one more question before we go. In your perspective, what is one key element of feminine power in this day and age?
LESLIE RICE: Oh my gosh, just one? Wow.
ALISSA KRITEMAN: You can give us a couple if it’s quick.
LESLIE RICE: Well, I spoke earlier about femininity and being receptive. And to me, that has been one of the most powerful practices in my life since my, you know, encounters with PAX. Because it has the possibility of putting us as women into the fairy tale that we were always promised.
ALISSA KRITEMAN: Hmm.
LESLIE RICE: You know, the, kind of where we’ve been now, the knight in shining armor rides up on the horse and we go, “Oh no that’s OK I got it.”
ALISSA KRITEMAN: (Laughs)
LESLIE RICE: You know, in our being called to be masculine, we’ve fallen into this place of trying to attract a man and proving we don’t need him.
ALISSA KRITEMAN: Mmm. Yeah, it’s like no win.
LESLIE RICE: Yeah, he can’t win, you can’t win. And with just a tiny shift, with just a tiny adjustment. Letting him open the door and smiling and saying, “Thank you.” You know, letting him pick up the check. Suddenly everything shifts. Suddenly he is again the knight in shining armor at your service, or the great line from “The Princess Bride” “As you wish.” And you’re the gracious queen receiving the gifts of men all around you.
ALISSA KRITEMAN: All right, one more, being able to receive, what’s one more.
LESLIE RICE: One more. One of the most amazing things about femininity is its ability to adapt. Women are so adaptable. They can adapt, they can literally respond moment by moment to what seems to be needed in any situation. And it makes us incredibly powerful, incredibly successful in the workplace. And it comes with a price, which is that we tend to have a weak sense of self. We’re so busy adapting, we kind of lose what our core qualities. What are our visions? So it’s one of those forms of power that comes with a price tag and because of that I would wish for women that they would always take time to nurture what they most love about themselves.
ALISSA KRITEMAN: Mmm. Yay! Leslie Rice thank you so much for being with us today on Just for Women and offering this amazing wisdom to all listening. And tell us how we can find you and these programs.
LESLIE RICE: To find out about, we have products, and CDs and books and we have programs all over the country, you can find out about all of that at our website, which is understandmen.com. Also, one of the best ways to find out about our workshops, I invite all women to attend one of our Making Sense of Men seminars. These seminars are free of charge, and it’s where you can get the best price on our Celebrating Men, Satisfying Women workshop.
ALISSA KRITEMAN: Fantastic. Thank you again for being with us and hopefully we’ll have you back again to talk more about maybe this workshop, the other one you lead, Understanding Women.
LESLIE RICE: I would love that. It’s a pleasure to be with you.
ALISSA KRITEMAN: Yes, thank you. Well that brings us to the end of the show, thank you everyone for listening. Again, texts and transcripts of the show and other shows in the Personal Life Media Network, please visit our website at personallifemedia.com. For a copy of my book, “Alissa’s Four Cornerstones to Living Your Dreams” just go to my website, sacredspa.org and click on the book cover icon. I’m your host Alissa Kriteman, always expanding your choices here on Just for Women: Dating, Relationships and Sex. Tune in next week for more juicy news you can use.