In theory, a modern woman should be able to sleep with whom she likes, when she likes, without repercussion. Yet, what works in theory often fails in reality. As women continue to embrace (as they should) their sexuality in all forms of its expression, getting to partnership has never been more difficult.

Today’s women stand at a monumental crossroad that divides their sexual empowerment from what should be a natural transition toward coupledom. Our current open sexuality has released all constraints formerly held by previous social mores. That’s a good thing. And yet, women feel no better off for their participation in what should be a joyous event.

We know our sexuality belongs to us. What we do with our bodies and with whom is our dominion. We’re the ones who self validate, not a man’s call or text the following day. We know all of this to be true. Yet the inner sigh of single, modern women is the same, “If I’m all this… why is it so hard to get to love?”

I feel saddened to share what I must. My commentary defies our belief in egalitarianism. But women need to understand the basics of a man’s mind. Though they’ve seen us at the head of the boardroom table men haven’t completely accepted our position as master of our sexuality.

The “man mind” has been frozen in the arena of sexuality. Not without reason. Throughout history, this was his turf. He made the rules and created the terms of validation. Centuries of programming reinforced his decision into which category a woman would fall… to bed or wed.

Thankfully, not all men are imprisoned by antiquated double standards. But, many modern men still find themselves grappling under the weight of former sexual rules and values, just as we do.

While men adjust their gears, women need to see the big picture as they determine their own sexual expression.

Though there are no “rules,” there are rules. The rules of human nature. Men take longer to warm emotionally. While desiring a woman happens in a glance, caring for her happens over time.

Women assume sleeping with a man will endear him to her. Wrong. It’s the opposite. Even if he likes you there’s a greater chance he’ll bolt if the physical jumps the mental and emotional connection. Why? Because a woman needs to show enough of whom she is to engage his ongoing interest.

Think of it this way. Men and women’s emotional and sexual coding are wired oppositely. Women take longer to warm up sexually. Men can be ready in a few moments.  Reversely, men take longer to warm up emotionally. Women can feel bonded in a short amount of time.

Rushing a man’s emotional process is like a man rushing you in bed. Creating an emotional foundation with a man takes time. He needs to “see you.” He needs to get a sense of who you are. And most importantly, he needs to feel you.

The ability to feel is the uniquely precious gift women offer to men. Without us, men live in a world of black and white. Infusing feeling is like shifting to Technicolor.

Ladies, what you thought was your defect is your greatest strength. Regardless of the pain you’ve endured in life by feeling,what you offer in your heart is the touchstone a man craves. He needs to get to know you. The ‘real you.’ Leave posturing aside. He’s seen plenty of that. Be yourself. Express yourself. If you want a relationship, this is the Velcro you’re seeking.

Give yourself time. Not because it’s a “rule.” Not because it’s what your mother told you or you read it in a magazine. But because you understand how men are wired. Games, strategy and counting how many dates before you sleep with a man are nonsense.

Knowing the mind of a man is invaluable. Understanding that men need time to warm is essential. And for that reason alone would a modern woman pace herself. Not for reputation. Not for approval. But to show the beauty of whom she really is… to one who needs time to ingest the totality of her being.