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It's A Guy Thing

An Owner's Manual for Women

Book review Copyright © 1999 by J. Steven Svoboda


David Deida, It's A Guy Thing: An Owner's Manual for Women (Deerfield, FL: Health Communications, 1997)Order on-line

book cover
It's a Guy Thing:
An Owner's Manual for Women

Deida cover
The Way of the Superior Man: A Spiritual Guide to Mastering the Challenges of Women Work and Sexual Desire
by David Dieda
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Chapter 8: Lean Just Beyond Your Edge
Chapter 11: If You Don't Know Your Purpose, Discover It, Now

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Also by
David Dieda:

Intimate Communion:
Awakening Your Sexual Essence

In this day of increasing specialization, David Deida is a bit of a renaissance man, at least with regard to a man's perspective on gender issues. Leader par excellence of workshops to help men and women understand each other better, he has written a flurry of books over the last few years on a variety of topics related to masculinity including sacred sex, spirituality, and a superb guide for men to understanding women and femininity (The Way of the Superior Man).

Prior to publishing the popular Way of the Superior Man, Deida also penned an inverse book of sorts: a guide for women to understanding men and masculinity. It's A Guy Thing manages to play both sides of the fence very well. At first, if anything, the book's format may put some potential readers off as almost too appealing: catchy title, cover littered with "guy things" such as a TV remote control and a fish hanging from a lure, chapters all between one and two pages in length, each beginning with an attention-attracting question: Why are men often hostile toward professional women? Are all men obsessed with something other than intimacy? Why do I always get involved with a man who can't give me what I want?

But you should not be deceived by its slick presentation. This book has a lot of wisdom in it. It is written for women, but anyone can learn from it. It's a Guy Thing deals very effectively with some complex matters while managing to entertain and amuse.

Deida is clear that the masculine (not necessarily, but usually, predominant in males) and the feminine (not necessarily, but usually, predominant in females) are both wonderful and yet are very different. Men tend to have achievement external to their relationship as their mission or highest priority, while women tend to place family and partnership as their most important pursuits. >From this simple fact comes much tension and misunderstanding between the sexes. And also much delicious polarity.

Deida shows us the wondrous differences between the masculine and feminine versions of love and vulnerability. Women's greatest gift, he says, is radiance, while men's is force or commitment.

The author has a lot to say about polarity. He says relationships can work where the woman occupies the masculine polarity more and the male lies more in the feminine region, but this is rare. More common and more problematic is the situation where men or women stop fully embracing their deep essential natures. For example, a fundamentally feminine woman puts her career before relationships, thereby deadening her feminine energy. A loss of polarity may result and ultimately the relationship can turn dead from the inside out. Similar results ensue when a man loses touch with his masculine essence due to his fears of being judged negatively for tenaciously following his mission or for ravishing "his woman" (as Deida fearlessly and repeatedly phrases it).

Deida torpedoes numerous sacred cows, demonstrating through his direction and courage the commitment he hoes that every man may find or hold to in his life. Deida is clear that men and women in relationship need to have boundaries and get over the idea that we should be able to tell our partner anything. Partnership, he tells us, operates on a different wavelength than friendship; chit chat does not promote love. Nor is our current preoccupation with equality necessarily wise; fairness is not always best! He encourages both men and women to know their bottom line issues in relationship.

Even the near absence of a discussion of men's rights issues from this book cannot much diminish my admiration for it, especially as very little space is devoted to women's claims either. This book operates on a different and I would say higher plane, working to join the sexes in a place beyond and before divisive politics.

The aphorisms fly fast and furious. Men typically speak from either their navel ("their doing center") or their head ("their thinking center") while women speak from their chest area ("their emotional center"). Just as most women will say anything when moved by their emotions, most men will say anything when moved by their mission. The culture embraces women's primary sexual fantasy, marriage, but deprives most men of theirs, sex with a variety of attractive partners.

Practical information appears everywhere, too. Deida gives examples of how a man can invite a woman to an event in a way likely to actually convince her to go. He then turns around and tells women how to convince men to do something; the strategies are intriguingly distinct.

Deida urges us to love despite our fear, despite the impermanence of it all. Sounding like a mystic, he writes, "The knowledge of death in the midst of love is a kind of crucifixion... You fall in love with people who are all in the process of dying." David Deida has achieved something truly wonderful, writing a book so ordinary that it is extraordinary, a book that manages to be accessibly profound and profoundly accessible. Don't miss it. It's a guy thing.

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