The "Secret" of AttractionbySelena_Kitt©
This is an official entry into the 2007 Literotica How-To Contest. Please take a moment to make your voice heard and vote at the end of this essay.
Lately all anyone can talk about is "The Secret." (If you haven't heard about "The Secret," yet, you've probably been really busy, huh?) But remember back in the 80's, when the big topic was the "Superwoman" syndrome? It seems like these "hot topics" come and go, in waves, doesn't it? It's almost a natural progression of our patriarchal culture, two steps forward, one step back...
But the more I think about it, nowadays, I feel men are getting the short end of the stick when it comes to the patriarchy. We all know women have been suppressed by living in a patriarchal society... but it isn't just women. Both genders are effected, and not always positively. Now that women have become more vocal about the "Superwoman" double bind of going to work and taking care of the house, who do we expect to pick up the slack? Our partners, of course. But what affect is that having on our relationships? Ah, that's where "The Secret" comes in...
I had a girlfriend of mine email me recently with this question (and yes, I have her permission to use it here):
"I don't get the kind of emotional support I want from my husband and it only seems to get worse as time goes on. I just do different things to distract myself from it most of the time. I just keep busy. Is it possible for a woman to ever be satisfied with the amount of emotional support from a man?"
What do we women really expect from our partners? Even the word "partner" connotes equality. Modern woman wants a man who is at least as good a provider as we are, who can split everything half and half—pick up the kids at daycare every other day, stop at the grocery store, help cook dinner, clean up, put them to bed, and then, when CSI is turned off for the night... what? Listen to our various trivialities of the day and then, if we're not too tired, be at least somewhat of a tiger in bed?
So I asked my friend, "What do you really want in a partner?" It's a question I had to ask myself, once upon a time. Fortunately, I now know what I want. I've been very clear on it for some time—since my divorce. (Funny how those young, starter marriages give you a good clue about what not to do in a relationship!) What is it that we have an intimate partner for in the first place? What role do they fill that no other person in our lives can? Is it as a friend? Someone who gives us emotional support?
Or is it a lover?
I know my answer. Only you can answer the question for yourself. There are a lot of relationships out there that work quite well just as equal partnerships. People are simply parents together, or the best of friends, and it works. It's a marriage of convenience, or based on mutual interest. They have sex, certainly, as a release, as a physical connection, and it's good. (What's bad sex, though, really? It's like bad chocolate...does it really exist?) If you want that kind of relationship and are happy in it, then you don't even have to bother reading on. You have what you want already. But if, like my friend, you want more, you're just not sure what's missing, then this little how-to might be able to help you out, or at least point you in a direction you hadn't considered.
The first law of personal growth is: I can't change someone else, I can only change myself. There is nothing you can do to change a partner who isn't doing what you think you'd like them to do, but there is a lot you can do to change you. The good news is, when we change ourselves, the world is forced to change around us. Changing yourself is, in effect, the only way to change anyone else or whatever situation you find yourself in.
So the first question is: Do you really want the change? It's a really hard question to answer, because of course we'll say, "YES"... but if that were so, wouldn't we have done something already? Most of the time we're afraid—afraid of what might happen, because we have no control over the outcome, only our response. It might help to sit with whatever fears you have and really decide if change is what you want.
The next question is: What lengths are you willing to go to? Because remember, this isn't about your partner, it's about you... so how deep are you willing to dig? And what are you willing to do and offer of yourself?
Once you get past those questions, now you need to examine what it is you really want. My friend said what she thought she wanted: "Emotional support." That's what she said she was longing for her from her partner. But it's funny, because that isn't what I really heard.
I heard, "I have a hole I want him to fill." What tipped me off? She said: "It only seems to get worse as time goes on. It seems like I just do different things to distract myself from it most of the time. I just keep busy." So keeping busy fills the hole... except that we all know, it really doesn't. It's just—as she says herself—a distraction.
So I asked her, and I ask you, to consider that you might be relying a lot on your partner to fill a role they weren't meant to fill. I will also concede that your partner has probably abdicated the role they were meant to fill in your life, as well. So how does something like this happen? How does it get so muddled and confused?
A lot of the time when we do personal growth work, we move into this space of being "balanced" in ourselves. Those two polar opposite parts of ourselves, the yin and yang, masculine and feminine, become balanced. When that happens, you find that you lose passion in relationship. Why? Think of a magnet... opposites attract. Someone has to be carrying the feminine energy, someone the masculine, or the magnets will just sit there and do nothing. When you have two balanced people, you have no polarity, and hence, no passion.
Now, in the case of relationships, it's a fairly common occurrence for most women (not all, but most) to make a connection between sex and emotion. It's very hard for the feminine to separate sex and feeling, because on a physical level, she is the receiver. She must open herself, make herself vulnerable, to be entered by the masculine. Men, on the other hand, don't have to open themselves in the same way. For the masculine, sex doesn't need to have any heart connection at all.
(And when I speak of masculine and feminine, I am talking about the archetypal energy, rather than gender. Men can have a primarily feminine energy, and woman can have a primarily masculine energy... and that can change, over time, or by choice. But for the sake of this piece, I'm just making the overarching statement that most men have a masculine core and most women have a feminine one... forgive me the small generalization for the sake of argument.)
So of course, the feminine will say, "I don't get the kind of emotional support I want from my husband." But is that what she really means? Honestly, I don't think so. But the feminine may never have even experienced what she's missing, may not recognize it or know how to vocalize it—although I would bet she's dreamed of it, fantasized about it, and would feel it resonate with her on a visceral level. Kind of like a twist on the Supreme Court Justice's definition of pornography... she would know it when she felt it.
Now, what my friend, and a lot of women, look to fill that hole with is making your partner into your best girlfriend—someone to listen to you, someone to talk to, someone to confide in... but is that really what you want? I know it isn't what I want in a man or my marriage. And granted, it took me a long time to realize what I wanted. For a while, I could only identify what I didn't want. That was the first step. After a lot of soul-searching and experimenting, I've finally come to know what I do what.
I want a man who will take me deeper than I can take myself. I want a man I trust, someone I can really surrender to, who will be the masculine center that my feminine can flow around. Listen, I have best girlfriends I can talk to about my day or exchange gossip with, and I have women's groups that I can talk to about my "issues..." but frankly, none of them can do for me what my husband does.
What's that, you ask?
Well, think about intimate partnerships. What does a marriage or intimate partnership offer you that no other relationship can?
Ok I'll spell it out... s-e-x. That's right. I'm not talking insert Tab A into slot B superficial gratification, which is really nothing more than masturbation with a partner. I'm talking about deep, open, heartfelt, soul-to-soul connection. It doesn't even have to involve orifices—just connection. That is so often what our feminine hearts are longing for, and we just don't know it. And if we do know it, we're afraid to ask for it. We're afraid it's too much, so what do we do? We settle. We decide to make our husbands into safe little girlfriends... which only confuses them and hurts us.
I would take five minutes of my husband's undivided full-on presence—just a simple moment of being pressed up against the wall and told how beautiful I am and how much he wants me, and how he is going to take me tonight—over 2 hours of movie watching and hand holding and chit chat about what we did all day. Believe me! Think about it for a minute. Which would you rather have?
For me, just the thought of that against-the-wall moment makes my knees weak and my heart beat faster. The thought of the movie and the chit chat? Hm. Not so much the same reaction. Sure, I get the warm fuzzies when I think about that part—but I can go to the movie with a friend.
Now, that's not to say you can't be friends, or even business partners, with your spouse or intimate partner. The problem comes when that's all you are, and you forget how to activate the passion in your relationship. It can happen, if you spend day after day, two magnets with no polarity, side by side. But if you're the kind of woman who wants to be pressed against the wall, who wants to feel his breath in your ear telling you how much he wants you, then read on...
How do we get what we want?
First, you have to create polarity again. The good news is, all it takes is creating the opposite pole in yourself. In our patriarchal society, most of us spend our time radiating masculine energy. We spend our days organizing, multitasking, focused and directed in our jobs. We come home and continue that pattern, directing children with homework, taking care of the daily tasks in a similar businesslike fashion. So, in most of our relationships, we have two masculine poles that actually often repel one another—a lot of confrontation and butting of heads.
If you're a feminine woman, and you want a masculine man as a lover... start radiating the feminine. I don't mean dressing up in lingerie and prancing around the house (although it wouldn't hurt!) but I mean finding that part of you that is SHE... Yes, the all-capital archetypal Feminine. How can you manifest Her, live Her, let Her flow through you? A woman in her feminine walks as if the world swings on her hips, and love flows from her fingertips. I would bet She has come through you, dancing around the house or singing while putting away the dishes. You'll recognize Her, because your body will relax... you'll suddenly remember you have a body.
The feminine is the world, the body—so breath and movement become paramount, and everything, simply everything you do can be an offering of love— from the laundry you fold, to the meal you set at the table, to the music you choose to put on the radio, to the clothes you wear, to the words you choose to say. The feminine is about pleasure—so relax, breathe, and really feel the pleasure of being alive in the moment. Experience and use the pleasure of touch, music, dance. Spend time in nature, Gaia, the ultimate feminine. Bring nature into the house in the form of flowers and seashells. Spend time in your own joy, in play, expanding your heart as big as it will get. And then, give that to your partner.
Now, I don't mean it always has to be happy-happy-joy-joy, and you can't get angry or feel what you really feel... in fact, giving your primary emotion in the moment is the most precious feminine gift you can possibly give. You are, in fact, the most attractive to the masculine when you are at your most open and vulnerable. Expressing your feelings is the cornerstone of intimacy, and blocking them, in turn, blocks intimacy. That means hurt feelings, too. Whatever they are. Express them. Your feelings are your heart connection, and that is the feminine's gift to the masculine. It gives him a way in to join with you that he doesn't always necessarily know how to do during intimate moments.
If you want polarity, you have to allow your masculine partner (of whatever gender!) to lead. It's like dancing. If you're going to take the masculine role, you will either have a confrontation and struggle, or he will simply give up and let you lead. So if you find yourself expressing a lot of masculine energy, try bringing it back to your feelings. Instead of saying, "Put more wood on the fire," simply hug your arms over your chest, shiver, and say, "I'm cold." Instead of saying, "I want to go home," just look at him and say, "I'm so tired." Go ahead and ask a man which would motivate him more... and which inspires him to be more masculine with you.
The other thing you can do is stop talking so much. Try communicating nonverbally with your partner for at least an hour every day. You can still talk about what the kids did, what you did, how your day was, but make sure it stops at a certain point. You can even make it a clear delineation—do something to get yourself into the feminine space. Go take a bubble bath while he meditates or reads for a half an hour. And then come back together, with no words, and really connect. Give him all of that feeling—just do it with your eyes, your hands, your mouth. You'll be amazed how quickly things turn from tepid to hot!
Polarity and attraction isn't a mystery—it's really just basic physics. Opposites do, indeed, attract. Equal partnership is a great thing, and we've come a long way, baby, when it comes to balancing our inner and outer masculine and feminine energies. So much so that, when we choose, we should be able to relax into one or the other, for the sake of our partner, ourselves... or just for love itself.
So if you're a woman who wants more from your partner, there are definitely things you can do to change the situation, and they all involve changing the only person you can change—yourself. I have four simple little "rules" I follow every day with my husband. He doesn't know about them and he doesn't need to know. This is about me, not him. But it has simply transformed our relationship and our life together.
1. Be respectful. Listen to him without criticizing, insulting or correcting him. Don't attempt to control him by telling him what to do, say or how to do it. For example, telling him how to fix something and when. If you need something done, tell him how you feel. If I need the lock on the door fixed, I don't say, "Fix the door," I say, "I'm worried about that lock. I don't feel safe."
2. Indulge in self-care by doing things that make you feel good. You can't give anything if your tank is empty. You need to recharge your own battery! I always feel like giving so much more when I've taken time to indulge in something pleasurable just for myself.
3. Be grateful. Accept his gifts in any package they come—even if it is not the gift you were expecting! Especially at first, thank him profusely for even the smallest things.
4. Be vulnerable. Admit when you are hurt and don't cover it up with anger. Instead of tell him to stop watching TV or working so late, I just say, "I miss you." And do this, preferably, at the time you are feeling it. Don't wait an hour, or two days. Do it now, in the moment, or it's not effective.
Now, of course, all of the above is a guideline for women who want to re-polarize their relationship, since I was prompted to respond to my girlfriend's question. But what if you're the one with a primarily masculine core, and you want to add spark back into your relationship? It's the same, really—only opposite. Go figure! You need to start emanating masculine energy.
What does that look like? First, know your purpose and follow it. I could write a whole essay on this one, but basically it comes down to aligning your life and heart with your mission and following that goal. Feminine energy wants to know that the masculine will be solid and trustable, enough to hold her flow. So like riverbanks for her rushing stream, as the masculine, you need to be solid in your life, your goals, your purpose, your mission. If the feminine can't trust you to know who you are and where you're going outside of the bedroom or outside of your relationship, how can she trust your masculine guidance and direction in the bedroom or in your relationship?
After that, it's about reclaiming your right to be masculine (which is often sadly squashed in our culture) and then cultivating your masculine energy. More easily said than done. So if the feminine is about relaxation, beauty and openness... the masculine is about linear, focused direction. If you want to cultivate masculine energy in your life, start using a planner. Schedule your day. Set goals for yourself and your family, and continually realign them with what your heart tells you to do. Guide your life from your highest sense of good, and do it with the most integrity you can muster. All of this will go a long way toward helping the feminine in your life trust that you're going to be able to stand in her storm.
Because that's all the feminine is, you know. It's weather. It's the natural flow of energy all around us. When it's manifesting itself in the female body, it's no different than the sunshine on your face, or the breathtaking beauty of a rainbow, or the power of a thunderstorm. The masculine stands in the storm and lets it flow around him. Can you feel the sexual metaphor in that? It's exactly what happens when two bodies join together in physical union, when one is radiating feminine energy and one is grounded in masculine energy. The masculine longs to join with the intimate, feminine force of the universe, and the feminine longs to be penetrated by the laser-like precision of masculine consciousness. (And if you don't see the sexual metaphor in that one...)
Just as the feminine often doesn't differentiate between sex and emotion, the masculine doesn't often differentiate between feminine beauty. The feminine is all beautiful to him, and he appreciates each flower in the garden. When men see a beautiful woman, they have a visceral, physical reaction. For the feminine, she usually has to be moved emotionally to also be moved sexually, but that's not so for the masculine. He is moved sexually by physical beauty—it's a totally natural masculine response. The thing about this is that it doesn't need to be literalized. A mature man can enjoy a beautiful, young female form in the same way he would enjoy a sunrise—let the energy wash over and through you. It doesn't mean the mature masculine needs or wants to have sex with every woman they see, no more than they want to climb every mountain or pick every flower.
The masculine brings some very unique aspects to relationship that are necessary for creating and maintaining polarity. If the feminine teaches the masculine about life—she reminds him of the world, the joy, the softness, the feeling of it—then the masculine teaches the feminine about perspective. The masculine sees a source to life that is far greater than the events or happenings in it and the little dramas we play. Here we are, essentially, these little ants, not more than specks of dust floating through the cosmos, and yet we think everything that happens in our little lives is oh-so-important. How absurd is that? So the masculine can gift that perspective to the feminine—in the form of humor.