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Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Regena Thomashauer - Mama Gena's Owner's and Operator's Guide to Men

review by Ro Bennett live on show 9th August 2012
There’s a Hebrew saying which is: God sends the remedy before he sends the plague, so I am going to review this book as an antidote, in case having read Fifty Shades of Grey you get the wrong end of the proverbial stick and think that man is the lord and master and woman merely a subservient sex slave.

This is the Synopsis
If the woman of the house is miserable, everybody is miserable. Mama argues the opposite is true as well - if the woman is happy, everybody is happy--which leads her to a fundamental truth about relationships: they work best when the woman's desires are completely fulfilled. Mama also reveals a surprising corollary to this truth: men live to please women, whether they know it or not. MAMA GENA'S OWNERS AND OPERATORS GUIDE TO MEN teaches women how to better understand men and effectively "train" men for relationships full of satisfaction, friendship, and intimacy. She explains how women can investigate what gives them pleasure, how to communicate their desires, how to show appreciation, and how to give back so that both partners get what they want. Mama's theory is based on the idea there are two basic relationship paradigms, the survival model (in which women serve men in order to get food/shelter/etc.) and the Mama Gena model (in which men serve women in order to get greater friendship/sex/happiness, etc.).

This is a Marmite book, women either swore by it or loathed it. I found it quite funny and easy to read but at times it irritated me because I found it inane or unrealistic. She claims that the goal of the book is to encourage women to create lives with their men which include an abundance of sensuality, fun and intimate joy with each other. Well no one could argue with that and some of the book is interesting. It contains some wise and advice and observations which are potentially helpful to someone suffering from lack of self confidence and self esteem and it could help with communication - but I do query some of her wacky ideas and methods and since the author is now divorced from the husband she supposedly communicated with and trained, it didn’t inspire much confidence in the efficacy of her methods!

I agree with some of her what she says, for instance: Most of us were taught that men were supposed to enter our lives, rescue us, save us from ourselves, open worlds of fun and pleasure to us and awaken us sexually. If you think you need a man to be happy, you’ll never be happy. Not even in your dreams. She claims that we have to take responsibility for our own happiness and pleasure and that a loving relationship begins with self love, that we need to know what we want and ask for what we want - I don’t have problems with that.

On the other hand, she writes: ‘Men actually live to make women happy.’ which makes me think she is probably delusional.

As one reviewer wrote:. So let me see if I get this right...if only the millions of women who have suffered violence or depression or experience real pain in their lives would start wearing a boa and thinking happy goddess / crotch thoughts everything would be just great. Mama Gena lives in a fake world and her views are superficial, trite and insulting to women.

I’m on the fence. The book often made me smile but it also frequently made me cringe. I agreed with some of what she wrote and heartily disagreed with other aspects. I don’t agree with the reviewer who wrote: ‘This is an insidious message’, but I would say read it for a laugh but use caution if you intend to put her ideas into practice!

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