A recent article at the Integral Chicks site offers a first-person perspective on what it's like to be female by sex and to feel masculine by gender (sex is biological, gender is cultural). It's an excellent article.
[Disclaimer: There is nothing about David Deida that I endorse - but I also have no direct experience of him or his teachings, just his books.]
I was about twenty or twenty-one when I was first introduced to the theory of masculine/feminine, sexual yoga and the work of David Deida. It was shortly after a somewhat awkward conversation with a man I was dating who had asked me about my relationship to vulnerability. If it weren’t for the fact that this is as funny as it is, I’d be humiliated to tell you that I actually had no idea what he was talking about.
Vulnerability? Like…what do you mean? No, I don’t feel vulnerable. I’ve got my shit together, can’t you tell? I can still recall how guarded I felt, like there was something to protect, though I didn’t know what. I was closed. He was looking for something, a way in perhaps, some softness, some chink in the armor. I gave him nothing but a bunch of intellectual run around. He was frustrated, I was offended. Neither of us got laid that night.Go read the whole article.
Then I started to dive into Deida’s work, reading about the divine masculine and feminine. I tried to read Blue Truth (which I think was supposed to be for women, like The Way of the Superior Man is for men), and I was all, what is this shit? It’s all flowing and poetic and confusing. Lay it out for me champ, what the heck are you trying to say? Intimate Communion was one I could understand. Theory. Linear. A little bit of A to B action, if you know what I’m sayin’. I started getting a bit skeptical, watching myself as I got into this material. The masculine made sense—agency, purpose, drive…yeah, I get that. But the feminine—surrender, vulnerability, full hearted-opening-past-every-contraction-to-be-penetrated-by-consciousness-and-what-is-this-guy-actually-talking-about!? This feminine stuff—while I could feel a stirring desire to allow myself to be touched by what was being communicated—there was something about it all that felt fluffy and weird and, frankly, dramatically frightening.
I started to tune in to what it felt like to be energetically me and apparently ‘masculine’ really ruled how I was showing up in my life. I owned a company, led staff and was a fast-paced, A-type. Every minute was Go Time. I had targets and goals and purpose, deadlines and objectives and measurable results. I ate vulnerability for breakfast and kept it where it belonged, behind the steel trap door of my fearless cognitive strategizing and fantasizing. Don’t get me wrong, I was plenty open and connected in certain ways, but not the ways that really let you into the mess of things, not in the ways that could possibly make me relinquish control and knock me off my five year plan or allow me to take direction from anyone else, let alone a man. That’s when I was all….
Shit… I’m a dude!