Stacey Chillemi: Hi Dr. Foster! Can you start by telling us a little about yourself and your book?
Dr. Kathryn Foster: I'm a psychologist in private practice in Texas and have done couples therapy for 28 years. After I wrote The Naked Truth About Men (and Romance), which offers empathy to women who are struggling in their relationships, I wanted to offer a solution. I kept in mind that most men don't read self-help or relationship materials, yet the world has radically changed and men now need to devote time to understanding women. Women kept relationships together for ages, but today they are less willing to defer. Now, women initiate two-thirds of divorces, so men are beginning to search for ways to understand a woman's unique needs. "What Women Want...Really!", is like a tool box for men, written in a bullet-pointed style, and concise language. It's meant to be read, though, as a couple. It includes discussion questions for the guy to ask the woman to encourage self-expression. (It's vital to the health of a relationship that the woman doesn't shut down.)
Stacey Chillemi: Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp?
Dr. Kathryn Foster: There are significant ways in which men's and women's brain structures and hormones are different, so it takes learning to be successful in a long-term romance. For instance, women have a bridge between the right and left hemispheres of the brain that is four times the thickness of men's. This allows them to integrate thoughts and feelings and creates a need for self-expression. A guy who listens and appreciates this unique kind of talk endears himself to a woman.
Stacey Chillemi: What effect do intimacy and emotional connection really have on lust?
Dr. Kathryn Foster: For a woman, lust or sexual passion is symbolic of the connection that has already been established through talking. (This isn't true in the first part of the relationship when Mother Nature issues a hormonal cocktail that helps forge our initial bonds. Her testosterone is particularly high then, leading to higher than normal sexual interest.) In a long-term relationship, she needs to feel she's appreciated in her uniqueness, and that happens when he appreciates her thoughts and feelings. Then, she can feel passion.
Stacey Chillemi: How can you help your partner understand your deeper sexual needs?
Dr. Kathryn Foster: The book helps men use more emotional language when seeking sexual connection. Saying "I'm horny" doesn't get you as far as "I feel so close to you and so fulfilled when we make love." She relates better to expressions of feeling. One struggle women go through is feeling sexually "used," even by a husband over the course of many years. If he listens to her and speaks in feeling words, she feels less like "just a body" and more like he appreciates her for her true and deeper self.
Stacey Chillemi: If the woman loses her interest to want to have sex with her partner then is the relationship over?
Dr. Kathryn Foster: No. It's important for men to understand that a woman's hormone, oxytocin, cuts off her testosterone. With both childbirth and childcare, her oxytocin goes up so that she will be giving and self-sacrificing for them. A man's testosterone is already 10-30 times what a woman's is. Her sex drive, then, isn't always as readily available to her as his is. He can overcome her lack of interest, though by wooing her and by touching her non-sexually first in order to prepare her for sexual touch. (I explain why that's necessary in the book.)
Stacey Chillemi: What do women really want?
Dr. Kathryn Foster: For men to practice greater attachment, for one thing. Men, because of the effects of testosterone, seek objectivity and therefore detachment, in order to make things happen in the world. Women, being empathy-driven, stay attached so they can read people. So, a man and woman can go on a date, hit it off big time, and then he doesn't text for five days! She figures the relationship is over, but, for him, nothing's wrong. Another man, married for many years, may go on a business trip and not contact his wife for a full day or more. The problem isn't the relationship. It's that men detach on and off as an automatic way of being, and think nothing of it. Women, though, expect more regular contact.
Stacey Chillemi: What are your current projects?
Dr. Kathryn Foster: I'm very excited about my new book Past Lives that should come out this summer. If you'd like to be on my mailing list to receive notice, sign up at booksbykathrynfosterphd.com. The book is about a psychologist who seeks training, due to a client's spontaneous experience while under hypnosis, to become a past life regressionist. Not only does she learn about, she herself experiences five past lives and one future life.
Stacey Chillemi: Do you have a website people can visit?
Dr. Kathryn Foster: You can see a review of my five books at booksbykathrynfosterphd.com and, from there, click to order them on Amazon. The books include two novels that appeal to people with psychological interests: Sessions: Memoirs of a Psychotherapist and Finding My Way.
Founder of The Complete Guide to Natural Healing (www.thecompleteherbalguide.com)
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