LOS ANGELES — Hollywood executive, preacher and New York Times bestselling author DeVon Franklin pulls no punches in his groundbreaking new book on relationships titled “The Truth About Men: What Men Need to Know” that will undoubtedly spark conversation and debate among men and women alike.
Franklin, who recently appeared at a book signing at the Barnes and Noble store at the Grove in Los Angeles and on KJLH’s “The Front Page” radio show with Dominique DiPrima, delves into the many pitfalls couples confront in relationships and how they can better communicate.
“I almost didn’t write this book,” Franklin said. “It’s dangerous to write a book about what men need to do to do better.”
Franklin proposes that men have an unchecked lust problem and that all men suffer from the same struggle — to tame “the dog” within.
“Even the most powerful men in the world have a difficult time remaining faithful and controlling their urges,” Franklin said in his book, citing disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein and embattled actor Kevin Spacey as two examples. “How could so many well-known, highly accomplished men get to a place where they allowed their urges to control them, consume them and eventually destroy their lives?
“This is a book about men who need to do better,” said Franklin, who admitted that the book forced him to conduct a self-examination of his own urges.
“I see so much pain out there, especially in the eyes of women,” he said. “We need to alleviate the pain in our community and stop leaving a trail of broken hearts. I ask in the book, ‘What kind of man are you going to be? Are you going to inflict pain, or to heal it?’”
Raised in Oakland, Franklin said he grew up hearing stories that all men cheat and can’t be faithful — that men love power, that men are greedy—in short, that all men are “dogs.”
The long-held platitude suddenly hit home when as a teenager, Franklin discovered that his father, Donald Ray Allen, had cheated on his mother by carrying on an affair with another family member.
His father died of a heart attack at the age of 36. The shocking revelation of infidelity prompted Franklin to question whether he, too, would fall into the “dog” trap.
“I did not want to become a dog or act like one,” he said.
Once settled in Hollywood as a high-powered executive, Franklin said he was appalled by his own thoughts — an unmanageable and growing insatiable appetite for sex, women, money, power and success, even though he found himself valiantly attempting to suppress those desires.
“Every man has lust — the dog within him — and when that lust goes unmastered, it will cause men to act just like an untrained dog,” Franklin said. “If the man doesn’t master the dog, the dog will master him. A dog needs training. There is nothing cute about an untrained dog.”
Pausing, he added, “We men struggle between love and lust. But if we don’t put love first instead of lust, the dog will win. Men should have self-control — we have to learn to navigate our impulses and urges because anything you suppress you empower.
“When you have an urge to do something, take a 10 count — tell yourself, ‘let me put some space between me and this situation in order to decide what to do with this.’”
Even though his book was released just in time for Valentine’s Day, Franklin said he is unimpressed by the holiday. “Everybody knows that a lot of flowers and candy are sold on Valentine’s Day, but your partner can be super loving on Valentine’s Day — and then give you hell every other day.”
Pausing, he advised, “If you don’t have a partner to celebrate Valentine’s Day with, celebrate yourself.”
Franklin said that his book will offer solid advice on how men can practice self-control, resist temptation and how to love their partners.
He said that women will find the book informative as well because it reveals insights into the male psyche and gives advice on how women can heal from the damage men may have inflicted on them in the past.
“As men, we deal with brokenness every day,” Franklin said, “But we must practice self-love. At the end of the day, we have to look in the mirror and point the finger at ourselves — not someone else.”