Thursday, May 1, 2014

Nicole Daedone - As Above, So (Very Different) Below: On the Masculine and Feminine

Interesting . . . . I'm not sure how I feel about this. The masculine/feminine dichotomy, even when used to represent psychological features inherent in all people, perpetuates the "essentialism"  argument that men and women, masculine and feminine (the two are ALWAYS conflated, like it or not) are essentially different (the whole men are from Massachusetts and women are from Vermont thing).

I don't even buy into the "masculine is about action, feminine is about connection" stuff anymore. It's a comforting stereotype allowing people to make broad, unsubstantiated generalizations.

I am more aligned with gender fluidity, and the dropping of labels for how one embodies gender. But I recognize that mine is a minority position. So for the rest to the people, there is this . . . .

Nicole Daedone is an author, consultant, teacher and entrepreneur in service of bringing a more fulfilling sense of orgasm to the world. Voted one of Vanity Fair’s Twelve Women Who Changed the Way We Look at Sex, Nicole first came to prominence as the leader of the Slow Sex Movement and the innovator of the 15 minute orgasm. Throughout her work, Nicole has expanded the horizons of sexual experience, which has earned her invitations to share the stage as a speaker alongside other luminaries such as Neil Stauss, Tony Robbins, Naomi Wolfe and Esther Perel, as well as inclusion in Tim Ferris’ breakthrough book “The Four Hour Body.” Nicole brings a no-nonsense, empirical approach to the question most of us ask, “How do I have a better sex life?” But much more than that, her life has been spent exploring the impact our full human potential in the arena of sex and what benefits that can bring to not just individuals and couples, but to communities, organizations and societies as a whole. What becomes possible for our lives, our health, our happiness, and our prosperity when we learn to live in a continual state of orgasm? This is the territory Nicole continues to explore today.

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As Above, So (Very Different) Below: On the Masculine and Feminine

February 2, 2014 | Nicole Daedone

Recently I was reading an article about male-female dynamics that said the number one complaint women have about men is that all guys want is sex. The number two complaint is that he doesn’t even know what he’s doing once he gets there. The man’s number one complaint, for his part, was that women make everything so difficult.

I loved this. Not because I am a fan of the war of the sexes (if there is such a thing) but because it points toward something so much bigger. If we pull back the lens, these very day-to-day complaints start looking like clues in the mysterious game that I like to call “Masculine/Feminine.” Part of me cringes to use those terms. They have been co-opted by a whole lot of people who use them a whole lot differently than I do. So let me be clear. Masculine/Feminine is not a synonym for male/female or man/woman. The latter are rough approximations of a very nuanced truth, the incarnation of masculine/feminine qualities painted with very broad strokes. Man/woman is an impressionist’s version of a water lily; masculine/feminine is the lily itself, with all its uniqueness and subtleties and gradients.

So you can look at the complaints men and women have about each other as clunky approximations of the deeper, more precise, and more relevant forces working in the world. The forces I call “masculine” and “feminine.” Male/female are physical-realm analogues of underlying principles, which are begging to be brought into relationship within each of us. We see in the male/female dynamic the desire for wholeness within ourselves. This article will explore how to bring the two into communication, and to see how to maintain connection.

So, a request. If you look at what follows as being associated directly with men and women, rather than the forces of masculine and feminine that are within all of us, you could easily accuse me of gross generalizations and gender stereotyping. So just don’t do that, okay? When I use “her,” know that I am referring to the feminine within all of us; when I use “him,” the masculine. Thanks in advance for your understanding.

The basic experience of masculine is the desire to act. The masculine force is forward-moving, direct, focused and bright. It is powerful, but it does not generate power. You might think of it as the turbine on a ship; it’s what makes the ship go. It’s the part that is easy to see from the outside but without the coal-fired engine down below, it’s not going anywhere.

The coal-fired engine is the force of the feminine. It is dark, rich, unpredictable, and generative. The feminine is where true power comes from; it is the creative force that fuels the turbine of the masculine so the ship can move forward. Without cooperation between the two, the ship is going nowhere.

Once each of us learns to be at ease in both positions–to go above, where the masculine operates, and below, where the feminine is found, and to understand the customs of each domain within ourselves–we will finally be able to transition out of polarized role-playing (man as “masculine” and woman as “feminine”) and into something infinitely deeper.

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So we’re on the same page: we all have masculine and feminine forces within us, and both need to be activated in order for us to feel whole, complete, catalyzed. Here’s the quandary. To come together, the masculine and feminine must cooperate. They must work together. For starters, both of them need the creative energy of the feminine in order to get into flow. The feminine cannot access her power alone; she needs him to help pull it out of her. It requires a kind of mining, and mining is the masculine’s specialty.

But problems arise right away, for his approach to mining alienates her. She desires gentle coaxing; he seems to bark orders. The feminine feels like she’s getting yelled at from above. To her, he sounds all-knowing, entitled, and demanding. He may be saying, “Let’s go to the store.” But for some reason she hears, “You are incompetent. Why didn’t you go to the store already?”

For his part, the masculine can barely understand a word out of her mouth. Truth is she can’t always put into words what she wants to say. Because words are not a problem for him, he assumes that she is being evasive, dramatic or tricky. He gets frustrated. She gets hurt. He’s just trying to help, and can’t understand why she can’t just take the help he’s offering. Why she can’t get herself into shape.

The feminine has impediments the masculine doesn’t understand. She has flows and rhythms that she needs to answer to. He’s up there looking down, and things look so obvious; just do it, already! She’s down there with gunfire and emotions, saying, “Yeah, you think it’s so easy, you come down here and do it!” She’s the man in the trenches. He’s the general.

Of course she wants his guidance. He has a bigger view from up above. Of course she wants some vision and perspective. But she does not operate in the suggested ways. Not because she is defiant, not because she is oblivious, but because she has a different set of circumstances to contend with.

The other element is that beneath this game, she knows that she holds the power that they both need. He in his position doesn’t understand why she won’t just give it to him. It’s simple enough, from his perspective. Just give it to me and we will both be happy. When she can’t—she just can’t—he perceives it as manipulation, sloth, recklessness. In truth, they are both bound together by the same dilemma. Her sex is power, electricity, fuel. Both want it converted to a usable form, which is what happens when they meet. But he gets frustrated trying to “get it right,” and she gets frustrated because she can’t just “give it away.” He has to earn it.

Her inability to offer well-thought-out, articulate reasons leads him to believe that she is not very smart. So he speaks to her as if she’s stupid, which offends her. After all, she has the power he needs. Should he not treat her with a little more care?

Moreover, isn’t it obvious? If he doesn’t earn it, he won’t respect it. If he doesn’t respect it, he won’t know what to do with it. He will risk wasting it and how will her power and vision be activated in the world without him? So what she is waiting for is a kind of reverence. Not adoration. Simple reverence for what she is carrying inside of her. Reverence slows his impatience, softens his entitlement, adds subtlety to his directness. Then she involuntarily opens. But to the masculine, reverence is humbling. To admit how deeply he desires to serve? To recognize that it will be through surrender rather than force that he will get it? Humbling indeed.

But it is the only way. In fact, both masculine and feminine must surrender to the power of the lower. It is only in this surrender that the power can actually begin to ascend. They are not surrendering to one another; they are surrendering to the power that exists inside of her.

Surrender comes more naturally to her than to him. She is closer to the creative source, and understands how to surrender to it intuitively. This is where we get it all mixed up when we get to the concrete experience of male-female relating. Because the feminine knows the pleasure of surrender, women tend to surrender to the men they love. More aptly said, we abandon ourselves to them in the attempt to surrender enough for two. We try to surrender for both of us. The feminine is formless, so has an easier time tying herself into the shape she thinks she should be in. But desire will not take that which is not offered. So she can attract, entice, seduce—but she cannot surrender for him. For he himself is also standing at the edge of the cliff, asking to be taken with complete abandon. He must offer himself. Only then will he receive the life in which he can become himself. She must do the same, but to the orgasm itself, not the signifier which is the man. Both dive into the same pool together—the pool of feminine, of Orgasm in its truest sense—and from that pool they emerge refreshed.
Read the whole article.

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