To start, a prayer:
"Our prayer is that women that are hurting and disillusioned are able to find beauty in self," write singer-turned-actor Tyrese Gibson and his co-author, RUN DMC's Joseph "Rev Run" Simmons, in their new memoir-meets-self-help book, Manology.
The prayer does indeed seem to set the tone for the 288-page tome that Simmons calls a "man-ual on how not to be man-ipulated." And while Gibson agrees there, explaining in an interview with USA Today that the book aims to "protect [women] from making horrible decisions," he and Simmons don't exactly share the same views on other approaches to accomplishing that goal.
Take sex on the first date, for example. "If the energy and vibe and the chemistry is right... live it up," Gibson told USA Today. But his co-author countered. "I believe a woman should definitely keep herself in a position of mystery and mystique... if you want keep the dude," Simmons said.
Check out a clip of Rev Run and Tyrese further explaining their views on the topic in the video above.
In the vein of Steve Harvey's Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man, Manology, fluctuates between the two men's perspective on love and sex and draws from personal experiences -- Simmons' near 20-year marriage to wife, Justine, and Gibson' wild exploits as a single dad -- in an effort to tackle questions like, "Will he ever change? Why won't he put a ring on it!? Should I let him go?"
Here, Gibson and Simmons draw parallels between professional magicians and men, revealing some of the tricks they've pulled from under their own sleeves.
THE MAN-GICIAN I see similarities between what professional magicians do and professional MAN-ipulators. Magic is all about creating distractions. For instance, notice the way a magician speaks when he’s on stage. It’s always very theatrical with a lot of hand movements. That’s to create a distraction. He might wear a bright red handkerchief, or be assisted by beautiful women, for the same reason. To create a distraction. Everything a magician says and does is intended to distract you from what he’s really doing. He wants you to get so caught up in the loud voice, hand motions, colors and smoke that you never notice him pulling that card out of his sleeve.
How I went about dealing with women was no different. I was a MAN-gician, who had mastered the art of distraction. But while a magician tries to distract you from something that’s intentionally concealed, as a MAN-gician what I was trying to distract women from was the truth that was hidden in plain sight:
And that truth was that they weren’t happy in our relationship.
Now just so you don’t get the wrong idea, they weren’t unhappy because I was a bad guy, treated them poorly, wasn’t fun to be with or didn’t know how to love them.
No, I was a good dude who treated them well, showed them an incredible time and always put it down in the bedroom (if I may say so myself).
Yet despite all that, they were often unhappy being with me. Despite all the incredible things happening on the surface of our relationship, deep down they could sense that I’d never be as committed to it as they were.
And they were right, of course. Yet rather than address my lack of commitment, I’d try to buy time with distractions.
The first things I’d pull out of my MAN-gician’s bag of tricks (Hey, why do you think they call it trickin’?) were simple diversions like money or gifts. In other words, if I sensed that a woman was getting hip to my run around, I might surprise her with a new hand bag. Or perhaps I’d let her hold one of my credit cards (only the ones with a set limit, of course) and send her off to the mall. Or if I was going to be “busy in the studio” (my old euphemism for seeing another woman) that weekend, then I’d give her a couple of airline tickets so she could go visit her friends in Miami.
All those gestures were made under the guise of love, but in reality they were just so many clouds of smoke meant to distract her from the fact that our relationship wasn’t really going anywhere.
Eventually she’d start to see through the smoke. Instead of saying “Thanks Boo.” and running off to the mall or jetting down to Miami, she’d shake her head and say, “No Rese, we need to talk. We need to figure out where this thing is going.” When those moments came, do you think I surrendered and said, “Ok Baby, let’s talk about this”? Of course not.
Instead, when it was time to face the music, I’d just turn up the distractions instead. And the loudest distraction that I had at my disposal were elaborate romantic gestures. That’s right, whenever plain old trickin’ just wasn’t getting the job done anymore, I would go out of my way to stage something EXTREMELY elaborate and sexy.
One of my favorite would be to tell my girl to be ready to go out at eight, but then insist on keeping the rest of the night a surprise. At eight o’clock on the dot a white limousine would pull up to her house and take her to a five star hotel, where a bellhop would be waiting for her at the entrance. He would escort her up to the penthouse suite, where I’d be waiting for her. His and hers massage tables would already be set up and we’d spend the next two hours getting mind-blowing massages together. After that, I’d have a full course meal delivered to our room, which we’d eat while lounging in our bathrobes. After that…. well you know the rest. I don’t even have to say it. Not only did we enjoy an incredible night together, but I’d also just MAN-ipulated my way into several more months of not having to address my lack of commitment.
Believe it or not, there were some cases where I had to step my ERG game up even higher than that. There’s a rumor on Twitter, which I can neither confirm nor deny, that me and a young lady once made love with a live violinist and Spanish guitar player serenading us in the bedroom.
I can’t lie, there were some women who seemed immune to my trickin’, even when I brought it on at that All-Star level. I remember I met a beautiful, super smart doctor just as she was coming off a bad break up. She decided she was going to be celibate until she got her head together and despite the connection we both felt, she told me in no uncertain terms that sex was not going to be on the table anytime in the near future. She didn’t say it in a snide or threatening way, but rather made it clear that she was going though a tough time and would appreciate my respect and patience.
I know women think all men are always in a rush for sex, but the patience part was actually easy for me. Respecting her wishes was a different story.
Even though I did care about this woman and appreciated what she was going through, I still tried to flip it on her. After she told me about her celibacy, I told her, “Hey, you’re not going to believe me, but I’ve been thinking about laying off sex for a while myself.” I explained my rationale was that after years of sleeping around, I just needed a break. I understood where her head was at and that it was actually a relief for me to not have to worry about sex. I was happy to just spend time with her.
True to those words, for several months I never made even the slightest move towards sex when we got together. At first she was skeptical, but after awhile she was impressed and decided I had in fact been telling the truth.
My boys used to ask me, “How the hell do you hang out with such a sexy lady without trying to go there?” I told them, “Hey, it’s easy to turn down a slice of really good cake when you’ve been snacking on potato chips all day. It’s only hard when you’re hungry.”
And I definitely wasn’t hungry. Anytime I wasn’t with my doctor, I’d be creepin with someone else that was more than willing to satisfy my sexual desires. It feels foul to admit this today, but I can even remember calling her from a hotel room with another women in the bed with me. I put on my sleepy voice and told her, “Hi baby, I'm about to go to sleep, I’m sooo beat from this tour. I just wanted to hear your voice before I went to bed." All the while I’m giving this other woman the “Shhh, don't say nothin” signal as she lay next to me butt ass naked.
It’s sad to say, but when a man is in that MAN-ipulative mind state, you can’t even rest easy knowing that he just said, “Good night, I love you baby,” over the phone. Unless you’re lying right there next to him, you can never assume that someone else isn’t. Sorry, but that’s just how so many of us get down.
After a few months of alleged good behavior on my part, the Doctor finally started to let her guard down just a tiny bit. We started going on little weekend trips together, even sharing the same bed. But even then, I still wouldn’t make a move. Which just made her fall harder and harder for me.
She was a beautiful, intelligent, successful woman that guys were constantly trying to seduce. The fact that I was content simply spending time with her got her mind twisted. She found herself in un-charted territory and started to question herself. When I first met her, she was unwavering about her decision. Now, her plan was coming apart at the seams. She had always been supremely confident, but now she began to worry that she might lose me if she didn’t give all of herself to me.
One night we were sitting in my car outside her house, having one of those magical conversations about our lives, our pasts, our dreams and our fears. After hours of intense conversation, I finally said goodbye. Not even a peck on the cheek. But before I could even unbuckle my seat belt, suddenly she was on top of me. Insisting that I take all of her. Forget about having to convince her---I didn’t even have a say in the matter. I had MAN-ipulated her so thoroughly that she threw all her plans and principles out the window in a passionate moment. I had MAN-ipulated her right into my bed (or in this case, my backseat).
The only problem is that once I had her, I didn’t want to keep her. As men we’ll go incredible lengths—even feigning celibacy for months---if we think it will aide our pursuit of a woman. Once we catch them, however, all that interest and intensity starts to rush out of us like air out of a popped balloon.
Now before I break down why men are much more interested in catching than keeping women, I need to address what some of you might still be thinking right now: “Please nigga, the type of MAN-ipulation or whateva shit you talkin’ about, that’s a game that only somebody famous can run. Ain’t no way in hell that an Average Joe can get away with that type of shit.” Even Rev has told, “I don’t think you understand that most people don’t live like that. I’m in the business and I’ve only heard of two or three other dudes who are running the same kind of games that you do. What you’re doing is on a whole other level.”
No matter where you are, you are going to encounter plenty of men who have the same issue. It could be on a college campus, in a housing project, in a trailer park, hell even a nursing home (don’t sleep, Viagra has got those places poppin’) It really doesn’t matter.
So while my situation might not be exactly the same as your man’s, understand that those dudes still have that MAN-ipulator in them. As I said earlier, my lifestyle back then represented a man’s natural tendencies taken to their highest level. If I had the opportunity to MAN-ipulate four or five different women a day, then I wouldn’t hesitate to take advantage of that opportunity. Some men might have to wait a month, or six months, for one opportunity. But they’re still going to pounce on it.
I might be creating smoke with the type of elaborate pyrotechnics show you’d see in a Hollywood movie. A dude from the hood might have to sit there and rub two sticks together like a caveman to create his smoke. But no matter how hard he has to work, he’s still going to do what it takes to create distractions.
So rather than worry about whether every man can run the same games that I did, the bigger question is why do men in general spend so much time trying to MAN-ipulate rather than just be up front about their intentions?
Wouldn’t it be easier for me to just tell a woman that I’m not ready to settle down then to spend so much time, brain power and money cooking up elaborate ways to stall?
Of course it would. But our insistence on concealing our true feelings is one of the great ironies of the male mind-state.
Reprinted with permission from Manology: Secrets of Your Man’s Mind Revealed by Tyrese Gibson and Rev Run, published by Touchstone/Simon and Schuster.