Meet Toby Green

August 22, 2012 by Odile Faludi
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Odile Faludi interviews Toby Green, relationship psychologist and acclaimed author.

Toby is an American born Jew with a contagious spirit. Her 98 year old mother is still alive and lives in Boston. Toby is quick to tell me, “Mum is my best friend.” I sense this natural maternal instinct shines through as Toby has been helping people for over thirty years work through  their relationship issues. With 400 published articles to date there isn’t any aspect of relationships she hasn’t written about. As she says, “I love to write as it gives me a song to sing.”

It’s amazing how when you speak to people who talk about sex for a living how candidly they can discuss this topic. I figured I might as well get the awkward questions out of the way from the start. This is how the conversation went…

Do you believe that controversial sex books such as Fifty Shades of Grey are healthy for women to read?

I actually believe they can be harmful. Whilst they serve as escapism they set women up for failure in the bedroom. It is already difficult to find the right mate and now with the sexual goal post being moved so far away from reality, what chance has a women of ever developing a meaningful sexual relationship. The flipside is it makes the job for men even harder to satisfy their lover. So, there are no winners only losers. I believe if people want to read books great, but, choose ones that are actually educational not fantasy. It is important that sex in a relationship aligns values and strengthens your bond as a couple.

What book would you suggest and why?

Nothing compares to The Joy of Sex – Since 1972, more than eight million people have come to this wise, witty, and uninhibited bestselling guide to lovemaking and found all they wanted to know about achieving greater sexual satisfaction. They have discovered how sex can be playful and imaginative, erotic and passionate, pleasurable and exhilarating. This book is an oldie but a goodie!

Should women have sex on the first date?

No. Many times I have interviewed women who have said, “I am so glad I didn’t have sex with him on the first date, as I never saw or heard from him again.” The truth is for most women, sex is a big deal. It takes a big emotional commitment to take that step. Whilst for men it can simply mean, “nothing.” That explains, how a man can sleep with his secretary but still have a wife at home, his excuse is, “it meant nothing.” The sexual act is a vastly different experience for both sexes.

What can women do to have better sex with their partner?

Firstly, they need to sexually know themselves and understand how they like to be touched. Women are like a smorgasbord to men. No woman is the same and most often what one woman will find enjoyable may be painful to another. Therefore, a woman must communicate to her partner her needs but to do that… she needs to know what she likes first. Women need to get in touch with their own sexuality by self-discovery, reading and sharing their thoughts with their partner. It’s a learning process like anything else. Your partner is not a mind reader and the greatest joy for a man is to fulfil the needs of his partner.

 Can you know after the first date if someone is right for you?

Yes, it is called “Chemistry” and you can feel it very quickly. You feel a connection, like you must have met that person before. It’s a warm feeling and it gives you tingles. It is very real. But it goes much deeper than that. It’s being able to communicate not on a superficial level but having a willingness to delve deeper. I personally feel it comes down to values and my belief is, if you ask the right questions up-front you can save a lot of time in the long run. If your values are not aligned, the match will not be an enduring one. Women need to say on the first or second date, “What are you looking for? Not necessarily with me but just in general. Do you want a long term relationship, do you believe in monogamy? Do you want to get married? Don’t be shy… those questions could save you a lot of frustration and anxiety.

So you think it is important to ask questions but don’t you think that would scare someone off?

You must give context to the questions and say, “I am not directing this at myself, I just want to get a feel of where you are going, as a way of getting to know you better.” I can’t stress it enough it is so important to make sure that your values are aligned. You can’t change someone’s values. What someone believes is instilled in them and it’s important that you begin a relationship on the same page for it to work. If you both agree you are just after companionship, a bit of a good time, that’s fine. But, what happens if one of you is thinking good time and the other is looking for a lifelong partner… it won’t work. If he or she is divorced ask, “What is the arrangement with your children?” Know how they think about all sorts of topics from money, children, parents, religion, throw in lots of different things and get to appreciate each other. Knowing what you want can be a real aphrodisiac to both sexes. Go shopping for a “What” not a “Who”. Work out “What” can make you happy. Rather than “Who”.

What’s the most important thing to do on a first date?

Be authentic. Be comfortable in being yourself that is the most important thing to do!

Odile Faludi

Can a woman date a younger man and can it last?

The statistics don’t back this one. Men are very visual. At first, the ten year gap will envelope the man with a woman who is caring and giving very much along the lines of a mother figure. But, then the cracks will eventually appear. You only have to look at all the celebrity disasters to see it cannot last. For example, Madonna and Guy Ritchie, Demi Moore and  Ashton Kutcher, Elizabeth Taylor and Larry Fortensky,  Mind you there are some successes with our very own Hugh Jackman and Deborra-Lee Furness. She is thirteen years his senior, go figure!
Recommended reading: If You Really Loved Me: The No Nonsense How To Get A Life Guide To Relationships by Toby Green. For all enquiries please call Toby on 1300 888 510.


One Response to “Meet Toby Green”
  1. Liat Nagar says:

    A woman who is ten years older than her male partner can be sexually vibrant and sensual, as well as caring and giving. It’s a pretty good combination. Youth does not ensure healthy and active sexual relations. And, most men require mother figures as well as a good time in the bedroom.

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