From the Publisher
Are you afraid of intimacy?
Do you fear commitment?
Or do these questions make you think of someone close to you? If you (or someone you know) would reply "True" to the following statements, this book is for you.
True or False:
1. The best way to make up after an argument is sex.
2. My favorite way to celebrate is by having sex.
3. Sex is my preferred method of easing my mind and relaxing.
4. Coming from a girlfriend/wife, the words "We need to talk" make me uncomfortable.
5. For an evening to be intimate, it must involve sex.
6. A man should always earn more than his wife/girlfriend.
7. Married women shouldn't want or need to work.
8. It's my job to do the driving when I'm with a woman.
9. Birth control is only the woman's concern.
10. Women need a man's help when making big decisions.
See inside for the rest of the quiz...
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In his third book, popular motivational speaker and author July (Brothers, Lust and Love) tackles the difficulties many men encounter with commitment--to themselves and others. Opening with a quote from Buddha challenging the reader to become "the noblest victor" by conquering himself, July asserts that men need to acknowledge, understand and learn how to process their emotions in healthy ways. Borrowed from Frank Baum's The Wizard of Oz, the term "Tin Man" describes those who embrace the destructive cultural truism that a man's worth is based on his ability to conquer and control other people through sex, money, physical power or manipulation. Describing himself as a recovering Tin Man, July humorously relates how he neglected a broken finger out of a desire to avoid looking like a "sissy," and questions why it often takes life-threatening crises to prompt men to recognize that their macho attitudes are killing them. While generally careful not to point fingers, July contends that women are sometimes willing participants in the macho male belief system, encouraging some of the negative behavior in men that they claim to hate. He suggests that kicking out the Tin Man is essential not only for developing healthy romantic relationships but for maintaining good male friendships, which he believes can be superficial when friends fear appearing weak. Packed with solid insights and written in a brother-to-brother style that won't alienate women, July's latest effort reinforces his position as a cool-headed referee in the battle of the sexes. Author tour. (Jan.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Read an Excerpt
Whenever the subject of relationships comes up, many women ask why so many men can connect physically or on the surface, but avoid deep levels of genuine intimacy. Frustrated, many women create their own answers to these questions. They say "men only want sex. They're designed that way." But it is that simple? Are men just emotionally numb robots who have no feelings and live for sex?
There are few things more dangerous than broadly brushed generalizations. First, men aren't avoiding intimacy. Second, men are individuals and have to be approached as such. We're human beings with spirits first, then men. We are not only capable of achieving intimacy, we're equipped and designed for it.
But if that is the case, why do so many men avoid intimacy? The answer to that question can be found in society's age-old beliefs about manhood. Our society has long supported the view that being a man means we have to conquer and control; make lots of money; have lots of women. Men must also learn to ignore physical or psychological pain; we pretend we don't have emotions. We men are groomed to only experience half of ourselves. But just because we've been trained that way doesn't mean that it's right or the best pattern by which to conduct our lives.
Many of us have felt the strain of the warrior mentality wearing us down and unraveling our lives. When I was on the road promoting Brothers, Lust, and Love, I recall a conversation I had with a radio producer in between segments. He asked me what my next book, Understanding the Tin Man, was about. I said, "It's about how some men avoid intimacy because we've been taught that our manhood is defined by our ability to dominate and have power over our surroundings. Intimacy is the opposite of that: It involves interdependence and sharing. Since most men have been trained to maintain control at all times, we tend to avoid intimacy. But by denying our own emotions and feelings many of us travel down a self-destructive path that leads to promiscuity, addiction, neglect of our health, and overall unhappiness. After we wear ourselves out, we realize there's something missing and decide we need to establish a new and healthy approach to life." I thought the rugged producer would be turned off by the idea of men needing to be more sensitive and connected to their lives, but I was wrong. He nodded his head in agreement. Then he stroked his beard and uttered a deep "Mmm hmm ... You're right. I know exactly what you mean."
I've had that same reaction from men of all ages, incomes, and ethnic backgrounds every time I bring up the topics in Understanding the Tin Man; we all feel that our lives and relationships must change, but we haven't given ourselves permission to break out of the mold. Society hasn't allowed us the freedom either, and so we remain the same and we live by a definition of manhood that leaves us stressed out. We then seek solace in sex, money, drinking, getting high, or develop an insataible desire for power and control. But those things only lead to more of nothing. Some men can never have enough alcohol, drugs, sex, money, or power to make them feel complete. We have to turn the equation inside out; develop what's on the inside. By putting out lives in balance and developing the right perspective, we can enjoy our lives with increased health and prosperity.