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REVIEW


Book Review: Womanizer: “Knowing” Wonderful Women by Marv Rubinstein

Written by Alexandria JacksonPublished April 30, 2008

 

 

The story begins with an 82-year-old man having discovered that his first love recently died. The death of “Annie” prompted a nostalgic reminiscence of all the women he has “known.” He describes his initial sexual contact with Annie at age 16; the subsequent incredible emotional highs that can only be found within the angst of adolescent relationships and the inevitably painful ending.

Randy and Annie dated for two years beginning when he was 16 and she was 15. Four months after he went away to college, having been fully immersed in his studies, he arrived back home assuming his relationship with Annie would be as it had been. In a normal relationship, the expectation is that New Year’s Eve will de facto be spent with your partner. However, not having heard from him since Thanksgiving, Annie had made other plans.

The betrayal by Annie, Randy believes, is the triggering event that shaped him becoming a womanizer. In his words, womanizers are made, not born. By his report, he has never fully trusted a woman again. Nevertheless, he clearly loves women.

In school, Randy had been a bookish, nerdy student who had never developed an interest or aptitude for sports. Perhaps his alienation from the jock crowd and his leaning toward liberal politics put him in touch with more women than men. Whatever the reason, he prefers being with women.

He enjoys and celebrates the whimsical changes of heart that women have. He relishes in their unpredictability. He cultivates women as friends rather than hanging out with male friends. He revels in sexually satisfying many of the women that cross his path, but he has never trusted any woman since Annie.

Womanizer is not just a book about sex. Randy also tackles some interesting issues. He defines the word “womanizer.” He attempts to address the “subservient” misconception of Asian women, and he touches on the sensitive subjects of physical abuse, mail-order brides, and occasional impotence. While not everyone will agree with his conclusions, he bases his theories on his vast experience with the many different sizes, shapes, shades, and personalities of the fairer sex.

Randy is unabashedly non-monogamous when single. He prides himself on not leading women on, by having broken few hearts, by not telling the majority of his conquests that he loves them unless he truly meant it. Within his role of Lothario, he had his own code of honor. He has been married twice, for a total of 30 years, and has never cheated while married.

Regarding his own maturation and his flashes of insight into understanding women, Randy says:

“A little maturity had made me wiser. When you’ve got a good thing going, you think twice or ten times before giving it up because of some irrelevant altercation.”

 

 

 

“…the two most important things in life were peace of mind and piece of ass.”

“..the old story of women giving sex for love and men giving love for sex.”

He describes why he prefers intriguing women rather than beautiful ones. He had one encounter with a woman who had a “perfect” body but bored him – in and out of bed.

He reported a story about one woman with whom he had a very strong sexual attraction, but who always needed to be on top. He learned she only did so in order to maintain her perfectly coifed hair. “Strange to say that flash of logical enlightenment somehow neutralized the chemistry of our relationship, and it shortly came to an end.”

As to why he still does not trust women sixty-plus years after Annie, “I have seen women who were previously friends do things to each other that most men who hated each other would never even think of doing.”

The “Final Curtain” chapter is the end of his story wherein he gives two different finales to his interactions with women and one very intriguing summary.

I had the opportunity to correspond with Marv Rubenstein through his aptly named affable curmudgeon website. He acknowledged that this novel was largely autobiographical. In his own words, “Since I shall be 86 in two weeks, the book brings me back to my misspent youth.” The word “misspent” may be artistic license, because he has few recriminations regarding his love of women.

He described his theory on why he was able to maintain monogamy during his marriages. In part, as stated in his book, his mother’s teachings became ingrained and it felt as if she were “watching over [his] shoulder.” In addition, he clearly distinguishes between his pleasure in sexual encounters and being “deeply in love” with his wives.

In determining whether to read Womanizer, a feminist might suspect that she would be outraged in parts of this novel and disgusted in others. Perhaps she would. However, this novel gives tremendous insight into one Lothario’s thought processes regarding his perception of women and the choices he has made. The deep appreciation Randy has for all women is palpable on every page.

Womanizer is worth the read for all women who want to understand why some men do not remain faithful, and for all men who want some insight into women.

Marv Rubinstein is an engineer, professor, attorney, entrepreneur, and published author. He has taught at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, and was CEO of his own engineering firm, Selectron LTD. Marv has lived in Bangkok, Carmel, Tel Aviv, London, and New York City. He currently resides in New York City with his wife, and sometimes co-author, Chie.

Alexandria Jackson is a psychologist by day and a Blogcritic by night. She is the author of Don’t Take it Personally: Keep Your Self-Esteem in a Relationship.

K

 

PETTY TYRANTS

  • The media are full of reports of the deeds of tyrants in countries all over the world. Getting much less coverage are the acts of petty tyrants in our immediate world. You find them everywhere–little people put in positions of authority making draconian decisions. Japanese soldiers, accustomed to kowtowing to their superiors back home, now lauding it over their “inferiors” in South East Asia. Lower economic level British soldiers,, men previously accustomed to “Yes, Sir! Yes Sir!”  now supervising Colonials. American soldiers at Guantanamo. All guilty of petty tyranies. I recently encountered petty tyrants much closer to home. 
  • I live in a New York co-op. All co-ops have Boards of Directors many of whom, once elected, fail to communicate with their shareholders and often make controversial decisions on matters where the vast majority of their co-op members disagree. Opening these subjects to democratic discussions is too messy and too slow. “Nothing would ever be accomplished.”
  • To make matters worse, the Boards usually appoint a real estate management company to run things, and some send to your building one of their representatives as a resident manager. We have one in my building, a lady with little knowledge and no heart. Still, her word is God. Try to disagree, and all you get is “I’m just doing my job.” Similar to what we heard from Nazi officers at Auschwitz.
  • My wife and I recently decided to get rid of our old kitchen cabinets and install a new modern kitchen. We applied to management for a renovation permit and were given a ten page questionnaire and list of rules. One rule was that our contractor provide an insurance policy and provide the licences of his electrician and plumber. Fair enough. Once this was supplied, however, we were told that we also needed the insurance policies of the plumber and electrician. [Totally unnecessary, since they work for the contractor and are covered by his insurance.] But don’t try logic with this petty tyrant. “I won’t argue with you. I am just doing my job.” So, we caved in. More time was wasted getting these, and our work crew were told to come another day.
  • Incidentally, I have insurance on my apartment, which includes  $600,000.00 in liability insurance. In addition, I have a five million dollar umbrella policy. How much protection does the building need? Do I buy three auto liability policies, just in case?
  • Still, old gimlet-eye then spotted two words in the contractor’s written documents–“contract attached.” So, we were advised that she needed the contract between us and the contractor. “Do you normally require a contract?” I asked. “No,” I was told, “but. since those terms were in the contractor’s documents, we now need your contract.” Very logical!! [Does she have a degree in law?]Under protest, we provided the contract. More delay.
  • Did that do it? No. In the contract, our contractor noted that he was removing all kitchen appliances except our washer-dryer. Apparently, washer-dryers are not allowed in our building. We never knew this. We had had ours for nearly ten years, so it should have been grandfathered. Not with our petty tyrant. “You must remove your washer-dryer, give us a notarized letter that you will never replace it and provide us with authorization to inspect your apartment. Until then, no workmen will be allowed to come to your apartment.”
  • We had already been permitted to start demolition, and our old kitchen had been ripped out, when she discovered the mention of a washer-dryer. This meant that were living in limbo, when this dictatorial demand came down.
  • Note that normally, when a forbidden item is discovered in a co-op apartment, the Board advises you in writing that it must be removed. If you refuse or do not respond, your lease may be cancelled and you may be legally evicted. Our management representative’s draconian refusal to allow our work to continue was a form of blackmail. As such, it was  illegal. The washer-dryer was in no way related to our renovation request. However, do you know how long court proceedings would take? We were left hanging high and dry. My wife was in tears all day.
  • I immediately contacted one  Board member, advised him of the situation, and pointed out that there were over 35 other apartments in the building with washer-dryers. He advised me that the Board was considering allowing washer-dryers, but I was still bound by the old rules. He could do nothing for me.
  • The next day, the Board changed its rules, after having left me and my wife with one sleepless night. Speak of cruel and unusual punishment. I believe that I was a target for retribution, since I had previously opposed the Board on another matter and forced them to have a special meeting on the subject.
  • Petty tyrants are all around us.                          
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