Sensitivity 101 for the Heterosexual Male Paperback – Aug 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
Seriously. The believability of this book is questionable on so many levels. Firstly, the double life that the author leads comes straight out of a teen movie. Choreographed dances on skates . . . a waiting list for sex in the parking lot . . . all from an introverted nerd who lacks social skills outside the confines of his alter ego. Second, the selfless altruism that the author continually refers back to (he only wanted to 'help' all those women) sounds more like justification to me. I have a hard time believing so many women were that helpless; that needy; that unaware of themselves sexually and as individuals that they sought out his services. That he was that irresistible at seventeen seems more delusional than anything. The author repeatedly tries to convince us of his sincerity, but it comes off more like a platform to brag about his sexual exploits. Maybe this is the next phase in his campaign to increase business . . . ?
The author writes in an almost clinical way. Very innocent, yet mildly provocative at the same time. Links to any valuable life lessons and the implication that this was some kind of spiritual journey just come off as flaky. I kept reading, waiting for that 'ah ha' moment at the end, but it never came.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
In contrast, Philip's home life was amuck with his parent's separation and ultimate divorce. Among his peers at school he felt very uneasy, especially during social interactions. Puberty in particular is a challenging time for all of us and Philip was no exception as he struggled in his encounters with girls. Like Philip, our family moved to a new place while I was in sixth grade, which can be a very traumatic time for children. Before coming into his own, Philip was shorter than most boys his age, shy and only somewhat into sports. As he navigates through his teenage years, he meets many young women who teach him the lessons he shares in 101...which take him on many "side trips" in life while helping him develop into a more confident young man. He grows much taller and becomes an avid soccer player while learning ways of caring for the girls he meets. These varied encounters instruct him how to please women and become the "sensitive" guy they need. Yet throughout Phil's journey, especially as he plays the role of "Disco Phil," notoriously known at the roller rink, he's often trying to satisfy all the ladies' needs instead of his own. His journey leads him to ultimately question his path in life--a place where all humans one day find themselves.
I think Sensitivity 101 ...is an insightful read for young men and women in understanding that each of us has a journey and lessons to learn, especially when those of us feel very "different" whether it be because of parent's divorcing, or another cultural or socioeconomic reason. In my instance, I am an identical twin--so my sister and I often felt as if we "stood out in the crowd." Adolescence is a time when peer acceptance means so much more than anything else in our world. A major strength of 101... is Nork's vivid character descriptions. The reader feels as if she knows many of these women Nork writes about and wants to jump into the text to help them discover their true self worth. Philip shares his journey of highs and lows -while weaving life lessons into the text, some sexually descript, that he uncovers. Both men and women will relate to this book and relive some of their youthful years by reflecting upon their own journey into manhood/womanhood!
As Philip shares in his Preface, "No two lives can be the same, nor are any two journeys." Nor, I'll add, are any two reactions to an author's text. I immediately became endeared to Philip's nana and words of wisdom because I too shared many conversations with my nana while I was growing up. She was a very opinionated and charismatic woman who cooked huge pots of pasta and "gravy" every Sunday for her family to devour. We were instructed to call her "Nana" to differentiate her from our other "grandma." She was very dramatic and those who met her often talked about how humorous and insightful she was.
Philip's nana and his experiences remind us that we all need people and places where we can go to simply be ourselves--regardless of what we may pretend to be to the outside world.
The book is really a coming of age story about a boy. It is the personal story of Philip Nork, as he saw his life. A sensitive young man who found pleasure in understanding the feelings of others and working to fully respond to their needs and wishes.
And wound up, for a time, becoming a gigolo...
When a young boy has strong women in their young lives, especially if the father has deserted the family, it is quite easy to see his mother as a "hero," a woman to be admired. But it is also possible, by "becoming the man" of the family at the age of eight, there are thoughts that arise, perhaps never discussed. Certainly a young boy may come to think that it is his fault that a divorce occurs.
Philip's grandmother also made sure religion was part of their lives and Sundays were spent learning about what God "wanted us to do, how he wanted us to behave, and what was right or wrong." Of course, as a young boy, Philip was quick to realize that as a priest, he would never marry, never have sex, and never have kids. Sadly, later, that same priest was removed from the church for various offenses. Philip saw this as another man failing his role in his life.
Philip fortunately connected with his great-grandmother, calling her Nana and she was perhaps the first person he was really able to talk to. She discussed religion with him and told him that treating people with respect was best. She was the first person who explained that he should try to be sincere and make people feel special, especially the girls.
And when he met his first girl friend, Jenna, he began to confirm the points that would define Philip as a man, so much so that he started to create a list! In addition to the first one learned from Nana, he was able to add that he now knew that girls remember and cherish small things.
As is often the case, as Philip was meeting females in his life, an older girl first seduced him. Interestingly, throughout his childhood and teen life, it was his sensitivity and caring nature that drew girls to him and when sex became involved, it was those lessons that he learned along the way that created the man he became. Indeed, he was only in his late teens when he was suggested to and accepted by a female pimp to serve women who were much older, one of whom turned out to be a friend of his own mother!
No, this book does not advocate an early sexual life for men. It is a true story that just might be the story that other boys have lived or will live in the future. The list is not how to find girls...the list is one that will help anybody to relate to other people. In a world where sexuality is so blatant, this book allows a boy, a teen, to learn both mistakes and how to make right choices as decisions are made about how they will relate to girls.
If I had a son, I would want him to read Sensitivity 101 for the Heterosexual Male by Philip Nork, albeit with a little more mature and early guidance as well! Appreciation to the author must be given for his willingness to share this intimate, very personal story...
G. A. Bixler
It was amazing how soothing a read Sensitivity 101 was. Phil's sexual encounters, too numerous to keep count of, gradually moved me into this relaxed calm following his questions... and then assessments about his experiences. Explained in another way, I happen to align sex with food. Too much of either is not good, just as both are necessary nutrients to sustain life. I don't always have to love what I eat, but of course it's better when I do. The only difference between the two is there hasn't yet been a taboo written about eating food that stigmatizes people into feeling ashamed or guilty or dirty to the point that they go into hiding to eat!
A very beautiful and honest and mature read.
Nana, Phil's grandmother, is a caring and compassionate influence in his life. Phil feels like his grandmother is the only person who really understands him. When Nana dies, Phil withdraws into himself and really believes that God is punishing him. Phil is ten-years-old and has lost both his father and his grandmother. This book is about how he deals with these tremendous losses and grows into manhood with a better understanding about what is really important in life.
"People seem to arrive just when you need them, or when they need you. And the beauty is, sometimes even a small gesture can have a profound effect on you."
This book is a collection of stories about the girls and women that come into Phil's life. He learns lessons from these friendships and encounters that help him accept himself and move to a higher level of fulfillment and happiness. Phil has numerous sexual encounters and even ends up working as a gigolo for a period of time. Phil's goal in these encounters is to make the girls feel good...they are attracked to him like a magnet.
I was very impressed by the honesty and sensitivity used in writing this book. We all have choices to make in the process of growing up. The choices we make are not always the best, but we make them with good intention. The book ends with this thought, "You now know that you are accepted for who you are, so go...go...go and be happy."
When I read the Preface, I didn't really realize what is was getting into until I read the Disclaimer. It is apparently an auto-biography of the young life of the author, written in a truly unparalleled and interesting style.
Nork tell us about his early and adolescent years with stories of his encounters with a number of women and girls, starting in grade school and ending with his senior year in high school. He uses these stories to explain the changes in his personality and prespectives of life and the alterfations he made in those things over the years. He shows throughout how his sincere desire to meet the needs of those females affected his peronality and views of life.
I expected from the Preface that the book would be interesting, but might be somewhat dull and one that I would have to plod through. But I found that as a read the stories of the woman and girls, the variety and movement of the novel in each scene made reading it flow right along wonderfully. Rather than dull, it was exiting and even racy at times.
I will say no more, as I don't want to spoil the book for its readers, as I highly recommend the novel to anyone, no matter what your taste in reading is. This one is hard to put down.