Sage guidance that aims to help men finesse the nuances of the opposite sex.
In a nonfiction work intended to “help men understand women better,” 50-year-old former Playboy photographer Gomez (Socially Smart, 2013, etc.) draws from four decades of pictorial work as well as his own experience fathering four daughters. After declaring that men can often be ruled by their “trouser snake,” he follows that insight by saying that many women can be unpredictable and difficult to understand. Gomez believes it takes a great deal of patience for men to treat women fairly and respectfully. His book’s sections target a variety of issues: intimacy, trust, dating, digital distractions, the do’s and don’ts of breaking up, and the significance of doing the “little things” for your romantic partner. He begins by stressing the importance of interpersonal communication, both verbal (as in respectful dialogue) and nonverbal (including body language and personal appearance). Advice on the timeless power of proper etiquette, hygiene, sartorial appropriateness, patience, and chivalry may be common knowledge to some readers, but Gomez insists that 21st-century men must sharpen these skill sets. Less impressive, however, is a chapter on identity, which gets mired in detail, and Gomez’s penchant for stating the obvious (“If you are married or in a long-term relationship, you might suggest showering together, but don’t ask her this on the first date”) and the derivative (“Remember to laugh with her, not at her”). However, a chapter on what he calls the “curses” of women’s lives, including societal standards of beauty, the process of aging, and menstruation, may resonate with male readers. Although Gomez successfully demonstrates his talent as a savvy raconteur, he also aims to be a socially responsible one, hoping to help reduce the “blatant sexism” that he believes is prevalent in contemporary society. This informative guidebook’s wealth of information belies its farcical title and entertainingly demonstrates that “there is much more than snake skills to being a real man and a gentleman.”
Practical, perennial direction for the modern man.