Top critical review
Bizarre, superficial, and potentially dangerous advice
Reviewed in the United States on October 4, 2017
The lead author has spent decades observing couples and the evolution of their relationships, but appears to step far outside of his comfort zone in a book that purports to explain how to understand, attract, and please women. Some standard facts and good advice are intermingled with advice that borders on alarming, and could point men in the wrong direction. A well-intentioned book thus ends up as misguided and potentially dangerous.
On Attracting Women: Readers are advised to take up more physical space with their arms and legs (manspread), and to speak with a deeper voice than usual; I’m surprised the author doesn’t recommend wearing high heels since height is considered attractive. When it comes to conversation, he recommends that men talk about their hobbies in a way that shows social dominance: “if you collect stamps, be the most powerful, high status stamp collector there is.”
On Understanding Women’s Minds: Two thirds of the chapter on this topic is about the emotional changes associated with the menstrual cycle, which seems like quite the missed opportunity to help men understand women. Bizarrely, the author even laments the lost practice from certain "traditional cultures," in which “there was often a place where menstruating women could go to be alone during this time of the month, where they could be relieved of tasks and have time for introspection and reflection.”
On Physical Cues in Sex: “If she is well lubricated... she wants you to enter her… If her vaginal juices spread down her thigh and buttocks, she is deeply satisfied.” Any reader of “Come As You Are” is likely to be deeply alarmed by this. While lubrication is often a sign of arousal, it is far from being an indicator of a specific desire or consent, or a sure-fire sign of deep satisfaction.
As someone who has read much other literature on sex and attraction, I get the sense that the author did not, and that he made little effort to complement his research on couples with research on single men attracting women. While the byline includes his spouse and another couple, every single personal anecdote in the book is about the lead male author John Gottman, leaving me to wonder if this was truly a collaborative effort or whether women were added to the byline to give a sense of balance. Given that some of the advice seems to come from a man with a 1960’s view of the world (women should be alone during their periods; men should take up physical space to show their dominance), this book would benefit from a re-write with proper review by women.