Engineers are a unique group of people with brains that function in a way that is somewhat different from many others in society. While comics like Dilbert make fun of this engineer’s mindset, I am so accustomed to it that I find men who aren’t engineers to be the ones who are different thinking. Perhaps this is why I attract engineers: I know how to be at peace with their general mindset.
Thus, when a local intimacy coach mentioned that she was reading and absolutely loving Heart in Gear: An Engineer’s Erotic Journey to Freedom by Christopher Hoffman, I immediately purchased the book. I quickly read through it, fascinated by Hoffman’s story and amazed by his deep insights and his life growth. The book was far more than I had expected or hoped for.
Like many people, Hoffman found himself in a completely unsatisfying marriage after 20 years. Having been unable to improve the relationship through counseling, Hoffman reached a crossroads. With the encouragement of friends, he left his dysfunctional marriage, began rebuilding his life and found his deepest self. Heart in Gear details how Hoffman’s life evolves professionally, psychologically, and sexually as he worked to become a happier person.
Hoffman’s journey is filled with many fun and very sexy moments that he details explicitly, but he also encounters pain along the way. As he notes, “I learned not to be afraid of big emotions. Feeling pain was just a sign that what I was encountering mattered” (146). Through exploring that pain, Hoffman finds some of the deeper truths about himself and life. One of his first steps in the journey was discovering, “There are people trying to reach us, but they can’t penetrate into our hearts—not because we aren’t listening to them, but because we aren’t listening to ourselves” (53).
Once Hoffman realizes that he has to be accountable for his own emotions, desires, and behaviors rather than depending on others to shape him, he is able to enter relationships that are more soul-empowering. Rather than trying to fix everything and everyone around him (a very male and very engineer approach to life), Hoffman discovered that the healthier approach is to accept others as they are and to appreciate them for their genuine selves. Through this full acceptance of others, Hoffman found that his sexual connection with others became far more intimate and powerful than ever before. In his words, “I unplugged my cock from my ego and plugged it into my heart” (108).
I recommend Heart in Gear for any man (but especially engineers and their partners) who is wanting to learn more about himself, to heal his wounds and to be a better romantic partner. For a short and very easy to read book, Heart in Gear is filled with some very deep and powerful insights that have the potential to open up new worlds to its readers.
©2018 Elizabeth Galen, Ph.D., Green Heart Guidance, LLC