I was raised by a man so I’m quite apt on the rock’n’roll and I have a sense of humor and imagination dirtier than your mop, but the love bit sometimes gets confusing, because, well I was raised by a man. Though my grandmas were there to guide me and I was particularly close to my dad’s mother, dad always had the final say. I always ranked his opinion the highest. Gran was easy to please, dad wasn’t.
Dad taught me many things. He taught me to fight. He taught me to better myself. He taught my no goal is too big if you want it bad enough. He taught me I can do anything I put my mind to. He has an epic sense of humor. He’s incredibly smart. He always took care of the household. He is, in his own words, a master chef. He was very strict in some ways, but trusted me so much I was always allowed to go anywhere and do anything. He also made me think nothing I did was ever good enough, second place was no place and love was dependent on achievements. That was not his goal, but as a kid, that was what I read into it. As a businessman he always tries to find the weak link. He’s the hardest critic in my life, save myself. He also sometimes didn’t know how to deal with my emotions and would get angry about something, which made me feel emotions weren’t welcome.
My dad’s dad was the most stoic of all men and my sister used to joke that in our family we are emotionally retarded. Gran once broke her arm, what do you think grandpa did? Yell at her for falling. He was worried and it was his way of expressing it. He loved her very much, but I know she sometimes didn’t feel it, because he didn’t communicate it in a way she understood. The one thing that she kept saying over and over again that meant the world to her was the one time he took her to a store in Paris to buy her a Chanel dress. To her that was a proof of his love – you could see it in her eyes as she spoke. She was often sad he didn’t help around the house though, or didn’t listen to her. Once I got him to tell the story of his dad, a metal worker and artist, who had an accident and went a bit mad and I think grandpa took it hard, or was ashamed over what happened. Gran said he’d never shared that with her.
When grandpa had heart surgery he changed. He became a softie. By that time gran started becoming senile and got hostile, sinking into depression. At that stage she told me she should have married another guy she dated; that it was him she really wanted. My other gran’s cousin.
My other grandparents were the complete opposite. They would do everything together – from cleaning the house, to cooking the food. Grandpa was very masculine and leading them, he was the one giving directions, driving the car, taking charge of things, but we all knew gran would have her way. And they’d argue about things at times, granddad had a temper and gran could be unreasonable, but you always knew there was so much love, you’d chuckle at their arguments. You felt safe. You weren’t scared by the conflict, because it wasn’t one that wounded. They would never hurt one another. Ever. Grandpa was the positive one in the family. I always felt when mom died and everyone else went bananas, he was the rock. He was huggable and friendly and he always put the family first. I’ve said it before, but whenever I drive into Hangberg and the kids in the township start screaming my name, I think of grandpa. When his car arrived, I knew I was safe. To me that old, immaculately kept Volvo was the sign of security. Of love.
Our grandparents looked after us so much they were like our parents in some ways – dad’s mom used to say “Isn’t it nice? You are more like my children. Do you know how I know? I can argue you with you! We can yell at each other.” Gran had a wicked sense of humor and I get tears in my eyes just writing about her. When I lost her I felt like I lost the most loving, feminine aspect of my life. She taught me a lot about love – when I was a kid she took me to the bathroom, when she was lost in dementia, I took her to the bathroom. Love isn’t pretty, it’s wonderful.
I went to the school of hard knocks as a kid: I lost my mom, I was transferred in school and ended up bullied, I had an emotionally abusive step-mom and the first guys I fell for didn’t exactly like me. One stood up in front of a whole class and said no one could ever fall in love with someone like me, and I actually think he quite liked me. He was popular, I was a geek. Tough luck.
As a kid I wanted to turn my life around – stop being insecure and become perfect so that everyone would suddenly love me instead of reject me. I’m quite the determined person, so I did change. It took about 15 years to really start to experience loving myself, as opposed to look for outside signs of approval. I was emotionally closed due to fear and I slowly opened myself up, one painful or blissful realization at a time. It took guts. Though guts is not always what you need: you need to surrender.
Most things in life come to you when you surrender to them. When you surrender to discomfort, suddenly what was bugging you eases away. When you fight it, you hold onto it and battle it. You have to sit with your feelings until they dissipate. Not analyze like crazy, not fight, just surrender. The epiphany is on the other side of surrender. So is the solution.
The core of femininity is love. Surrendering to love. It’s directionless surrender, whilst masculinity is direction. The man penetrates, the woman surrenders.
This weekend I decided I want to experience what it is like being a woman. Totally. I also wanted to understand why the male and female balance goes out the window at times and there are misunderstandings and hurt between men and women who are genuinely attracted to one another. It’s been confusing me for years, and whilst Deida’s The Way of the Superior Man taught me to understand it better, it’s a book for men, not women. So I can try to tell a man what to do, but that is usually like walking into a brick wall as men hate that (there’s a reason doting women for centuries have applied the method of “planting seeds” when wanting a guy to do something, as they know if they ask him straight out he will be offended, or simply not do it. He needs to feel the direction came from him) or I can learn what to do to get the desired response. I can learn to be a woman.
First of all, let’s talk about the problem, both from a woman’s and man’s point of view.
What I have found in life is that some men are scared to penetrate; waiting for the woman’s submission first. They are asking permission; asking advice about direction. To a woman it seems obvious what to do – she’s right there and he should be able to feel what she needs, as women feel into people. And if he feels if she’s willing or not, then he should know when to so to speak take direction and penetrate.
If he asks her permission she thinks he isn’t seeing her; because she thinks her emotions are obvious. If he doesn’t take charge of the direction she feels she has to be the man and do it for him, so she loses her attraction. She goes cold. Often, as a result, she starts challenging the man in hope he will stand up for himself and take over, or, alternatively, she retracts away from him, hoping he will go after.
This, for most women is extremely confusing. Suddenly the guy she has the hots for is leaving her cold and she feels an urge to withdraw or bitch with him. My best friend calls it a primal instinct: “The guy gets gooey, I get bitchy.” But no one wants to be a bitch, or feel cold around the guy she’s wanting to be with. Finally when I read Deida’s The Way of the Superior Man I understood that it’s a woman’s need for a man to take direction, to lead, to be the masculine force, that a woman suddenly lacks and is reacting to. Now her reaction is a wish for him to either stand up and challenge her (if she’s bitchy) or go after her (if she’s cold). She’s unconsciously trying to trigger his masculinity. Though of course this normally backfires as the man has no clue why she is upset about and thinks she’s being unreasonable, an emotional freak, cold hearted, playing hard to get, etc. She’s not. She’s dying to feel passion for him – badly. And in a very animalistic way she’s trying to make it happen, but just like anger being an animalistic force, it doesn’t always serve the purpose.
Of course, there’s also the flip side of the coin – a woman starts taking direction from get-go, or turns needy. This is when the man goes cold and does whatever he does to provoke the woman to surrender.
Similarly, there is the age old problem for couples around birthdays. Women assume a man knows what she wants and if he doesn’t he hasn’t paid attention. A man thinks the reasonable thing to do is to show up on her birthday and ask her what she wants. I spoke to a friend about this only the other week and she was telling me how she hid in the bathroom last year, taking a moment to recollect herself after this had just happened. Her finance was like “But it’s best to ask you!” I was so intrigued by this concept for years, that I’ve started a business around it.
Women are love and surrender. Men are direction. Women are emotional and feel into things; all they want is to please their man, so they will look for clues. Men are rational. They ask for clues. Women feel unloved when a man shows up on her birthday not knowing her well enough to know what she wants, nor taking direction. She feels she has to do his job; that he doesn’t care enough to do it.
When I read The Way of the Superior Man I did start to understand these concepts better, but it’s a guide for men. It tells men what to do. So what do I do if I suddenly start feeling cold around a guy I want to feel passionately about and have felt passionately about, but can’t tell him what to do (using all the male force I was raised with and longing for a man to conquer)? How do I switch things around? How do I help him being a man and me being a woman?
I surrender. Eureka.
No, as a woman it doesn’t come natural to surrender to a guy who isn’t doing what we unconsciously expect him to do. Our instinct is to do the opposite. Just as a man’s instinct when a woman turns into a bitch isn’t to playfully open her up to love. Lovingly wrestle with her, tell her he loves her in such a way she surrenders to him and all of his masculine force.
So I made a decision that the next time I feel like either turning into a bitch, or turning cold and run for the hills, or for that matter feeling hurt due to something a guy did, I’m going to open up instead. I’m going to step into my femininity and be the most alluring self I can be. I will tease. I will laugh. I will stand open in love. This should, in turn, make the guy step into his masculine core, but whether he does or doesn’t, I remain true to me. And this is coming from a very stoic woman, so hey. It ain’t easy for me, but I know it’s the best way forward. I can’t blame my stoic family, or men in the past for having broken my heart. I want to heal and I know the way to do it, so I should. Without the criticism I would once have given myself for not being perfect in the first place. I’m human, I have my scars.
And maybe, just maybe, I should stop thinking men are ridiculous if they aren’t as demanding as my dad. That they are actually sincere, not just flaky just because they don’t have sky high demands on me. Though I do like a guy who makes me work for him in a playful way. I don’t mean work for his love and emotions, I mean it in a much more playful manner. The teasing kind…
My dad’s parents misunderstood each other, because they had different ways of showing love; of showing affection. When I read The Five Love Languages years ago I suddenly realized why so many relationships go wrong – we don’t know how to love the other person in a way which they understand. It’s not a lack of love, but a lack of communication. With my ex I had that problem, just like there was a lack of polarity. This was a long time ago and I still remember how confusing it was – why didn’t a relationship between two lovers just work out? Why did some things feel wrong, others right? Dating different guys was another wake-up call. Why do women fall for players? Why do you suddenly lose attraction for someone you have the hots for? Why do you turn into that bitch you don’t want to be? Why do women long for Mister Grey, when most women probably don’t want to be tortured in the bedroom and E. L. James’ writing is horrid? I’ve asked myself questions for years. I wanted to become a woman, a mother and a wife. I wanted to learn. And maybe this weekend I got a little bit closer to the answer. I don’t know, of course. I need to try out the theory. And call my best friend tomorrow to have her opinion. I think we should conduct a field study… I’m quite looking forward to this. “Darling, may I tease you with my female essence of love and surrender? May I, uhm, do, “things” to you? Tease you? Mhm.”
Image source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/507780926710732446/
Teasing enough for a man to show his masculine force?