my, how things change

I spent this weekend at a Shalom Retreat, and – with mindfulness, practice, and determination – nothing will ever be quite the same for me again. This is at least as true for the ways in which I relate to women as it is for any other aspect of my life. I’ve developed a sense of my own power (I didn’t used to have much sense of that at all), and I’ve been in contact with some extremely powerful women – embodiments of the Divine Feminine if ever there were any. The combination of these two things – the exposure to such women along with the self-awareness and self-confidence necessary for me to really take them in in all their glory, without fear – has completely rocked my sense of what women are and can be, and how I might be of benefit and service to them without relinquishing my growing sense of my own self. How I can put my own power to use in the service of women, might be another way of saying it.

Earlier today I wrote in my journal:

I think a whole new level of woman is opening up to me; I feel like I’m becoming able to consider approaching and speaking to women like J. and S., who seem to me to need to be related to in a whole different way from many of the women I’ve related to in the past. I see them as tougher and more demanding than many other women. Immensely powerful and much more intimidating than other women I’ve related to. And, at least as yet, there is no sexual component there for me regarding these women.

i’m thinking there’s a parallel between the way I used to see women like J. and S., and the way fearful men see other women, even those less strong, in whose presence they feel intimidated. I responded with disdain toward S. when we met [a year or two ago – when, in fairness, I saw her plainly avoiding me and wasn’t yet capable of responding compassionately to that], and while I’m not sure I ever so disrespected J., I was definitely afraid of her and yearned for her approval. I think this is another before-and-after experience for me, that I’m going to wish I knew how to relate to other men. Perhaps that’s where training in facilitation comes in.

Having observed some deep and powerful embodiments of the Divine Feminine in action this weekend, I’ve also wondered whether it’s realistic for me to hope to ever fully understand women, or whether a man’s rightful place is to simply understand the limits of his own capacity for understanding, and to respect and honor those aspects of femininity he can never fully grasp.

It’s possible too that we men can fully understand the Feminine, but that we have to meet It on Its own terms, and understand less with our minds than with our hearts and souls, our emotional centers. When i think of “understanding” I think of an intellectual function, but understanding is not limited to that. We can feel our way to a much greater understanding than we can arrive at by thinking alone.

Aye, I think that might be a key.

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i like the idea of a crazy girlfriend

Image

Which is not to say I’m looking for a crazy girlfriend; I’m not. I’m not looking for any girlfriend at all right now, as I have one girlfriend already with whom I am thrilled and delighted and quite happily in love. And as we’re polyamorous – or perhaps I should say, as we’re in the process of exploring and discovering what polyamory means to us in the context of our relationship – each of us remains free to think about whom else is out there that we might like to love all up, and to be open to such others should they appear on our horizons. My girlfriend has a thing for red-headed guys, for example. And right now I’m thinking about crazy girlfriends.

I’ve long thought I’d like to be in the thrall of a woman who was the right kind of crazy. I see crazy as a form of power. Which I guess is ironic: I suppose that being crazy entails a certain lack of control, rather than any abundance of it. But having a crazy girlfriend would entail a lack of control for me too, and that’s precisely what appeals to me about it. I love the idea – at least while it remains safely in the idea stage – of loving a woman over whom I have no control, over whom I couldn’t ever hope to have any control even if I wanted it (which I don’t think I would), from whom I never know what to expect. Because my never knowing what to expect from a woman places me at her mercy.

I’m being reminded of this desire of mine right now – over and over – by the book I’m reading: The Stupidest Angel, by Christopher Moore. Molly’s nuts, and she knows it. She hears (and converses with) voices in her head, and sometimes finds it difficult to distinguish her own personality from that of Kendra, Warrior Babe of the Outland – the character she’s best-known for having played in her former career as a B-movie actress. And she sounds just dreamy. Her husband, Theo, loves her like mad too, and partly because she’s crazy:

There had been a time, during his bong-rat years, when Theophilus Crowe would have stated, with little reservation, that he did not like surprises, that he preferred routine over variety, predictability over uncertainty, the known over the unknown. Then, a few years ago, while working on Pine Cove’s last murder case, Theo had gotten to know and fallen in love with Molly Michon, the ex-scream queen of the B-movie silver screen, and everything changed. He had broken one of the cardinal rules – Never go to bed with anyone crazier than yourself - and he’d been loving life ever since.

There’s so much to this, so much to think about, that I don’t know which tangent to bounce onto next.

For one thing, she’d have to be the right kind of crazy. I don’t have any fantasies of being maimed or murdered. Having to beg a woman I love to not actually do either of those things to me, however, is fantastically appealing; I’ve been having those fantasies since I was eleven years old. I would just much rather be successful in my entreaties.

Another thing to consider is the ways in which having a crazy girlfriend would impact my other relationships. What if, for example, I have an important date with another of my girlfriends scheduled for precisely the time my crazy girlfriend is having a meltdown? Yikes. Not that this couldn’t happen even with a relatively un-crazy girlfriend…but I’d think that if one’s girlfriend was well within the loony zone, the likelihood and the seriousness of such an occurrence would be exponentially higher.

Yet another thing to think about is her happiness. A woman who’s arguably crazy is probably not very happy when she’s having an episode of especial craziness. Though, because I know I get turned on when a woman is angry with me, and I also know that a woman who’s angry is not happy, I’ve already got an approach in place that allows me to thrill to her anger while at the same time doing my best to bring her back to Happyland. This approach consists of the following:

1. Thrill to her anger while at the same time doing my best to bring her back to Happyland.

2. Repeat Step 1 until Happyland is attained.

I imagine that would be the best approach to take with a girlfriend who’s unhappy because she’s flipping-out crazy too.

Let it here be said also that I wish craziness on no one. I just think I could probably love some craziness that might already be out there (no pun intended).

I’m sure that having the love of my consummately not-crazy girlfriend emboldens me to think about getting involved with someone more wacky. My girlfriend is so very grounded, and I am so comforted, and grounded myself, by that facet of her, that I feel like, if i was with someone of far less predictable behavior, I’d know I have a safe (and sane) place to go to relax and regroup. That makes the prospect of a, um…more turbulent relationship all that much easier to consider.

I don’t feel like i’ve brought this post to any conclusive kind of conclusion, but as I’ve now been working on it, on and off, for somewhere in the neighborhood of ten hours, methinks it be time to rein it in and hit “Publish Post.” here goes!

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well…

It’s been a long time since I posted to this blog, and I’m not actually posting now, except to say, “Sorry it’s been so long since I posted and that I’m not even really posting now.” I love this blog and don’t intend to let it go entirely by the wayside – I will be posting more eventually – but right now I’ve got a number of other things taking precedence. So my dear and faithful followers, please be patient, and your patience will at some point be rewarded.

Thank you!

Ian

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acceptance

I’m often reading several books at once, and my current rotation includes Vagina: A New Biography, by Naomi Wolf, in which the author asserts that “understanding the brain-vagina connection…is not merely a key to more transformative sex for women – it is a key to female self-actualization, and thus to female power, creativity and confidence.” I’m not very far into it yet, but this passage from the book’s introduction particularly resonated with me:

As part of this investigation, I also wanted to hear what men had to say about their feelings about the vagina–apart from the two-dimensional story that our porn-saturated culture tells us. As I began to talk about what my subject was, scores of men of my acquaintance responded to my questions about their relationship to the vagina with hearteningly endearing answers. Often, though not always, a look of something like adoration or even love would appear in the expressions of men who were willing to describe their feelings about this part of a woman. The feelings these men described, though neither the men nor their words were random samples, were far from demeaning or pornographic.

To my surprise, many heterosexual men who were willing to talk to me about how they really felt expressed a kind of holistic (that is, not merely sexual) gratitude for the vagina, and they did not stress aspects of pleasure in isolation from what they often characterized as a sense of relief and joy at being so completely “accepted” and so fully “welcomed.” Indeed, acceptance and welcome were two words that came up again and again in heterosexual men’s discussions with me. Their responses made me think that women underestimate the importance to men of women’s acceptance of them.

I can find it amazing – and not a little unsettling – that women can be so unaware of a dynamic so central to the attraction they hold for men. But they are, by and large, and I think this is one reason women so often underestimate their importance and value in general. Men are acutely aware of various aspects of women’s power and significance of which women themselves often have very little idea. Men feel these things – both intuitively and in response to women’s actions, to the presence of women, to the sight of them, and at the thought of them – but our cultural conditioning discourages men from talking about it (or even thinking about it too much), and women from understanding it of their own accord. The conditioning is different for each sex, and yet the conditioning of each complements that of the other in such a way as to discourage the realization and acceptance, on the part of both sexes, of the innate power of women.

And it’s this feeling on the part of men, this undeniable (and, to those who accept and embrace it, ecstatic) awareness of women’s power over us – the power to accept us and to withhold acceptance; to love us and to withhold love; to forgive us and to withhold forgiveness; to have mercy on us, to grant us absolution – salvation – or to damn us to lonely, loveless solitude – that I think will ultimately bring about understanding, and a proper reverence, among men and women alike, for the true worth of women.

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the uselessness of wealth without women

I’ve thought for a long time that few straight men would have reason to do anything at all if not for their desires to please, impress, and attract women, so I was pleased to discover that Napoleon Hill concurs.  This, apparently, is from Hill’s landmark work, “Think and Grow Rich”:

THE USELESSNESS OF WEALTH WITHOUT WOMEN

Man’s greatest motivating force is his desire to please Woman!

The hunter who excelled during prehistoric days, before the dawn of civilization, did so because of his desire to appear great in the eyes of Woman. Man’s nature has not changed in this respect. The ‘hunter’ of today brings home no skins of wild animals, but he indicates his desire for Her favor by supplying fine clothes, automobiles, and wealth. Man has the same desire to please Woman that he had before the dawn of civilization.

The only thing that has changed is his method of pleasing. Men who accumulate large fortunes, and attain to great heights of power and fame, do so, mainly, to satisfy their desire to please Women.

Take Women out of their lives, and great wealth would be useless to most men.

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overheard

Last night at my favorite Indian restaurant I was delighted to hear one man at the next table say to his (male) dining companion, very matter-of-factly, with no hint of either jocularity or complaint:

“She lets me drive occasionally. If she’s in a really good mood.”

and the same guy a while later,

“You have to look at it from a female perspective.”

I spend so little time with men that I can hardly be said to have my finger on the pulse of contemporary male thought, but I seldom imagine the majority of American men to be this respectful of women – I imagine many men to still fear such a perspective as somehow compromising to their masculinity, and I find a little evidence to the contrary edifying and encouraging.

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sexual power for women

I think I’ve seen this beautifully-written book before; it feels familiar. If so, I’m much more interested in it – and in propagating it – now than I was before. May every woman with a sexual interest in men learn its secrets!

Sexual Power for Women, by Georgeann Cross

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penelope’s new year’s gift to us

The Great And Powerful Penelope Trunk just gave her readers a New Year’s gift, and I’d like to pass it along to mine:

Because You Asked about the Line between Prose and Poetry

By Howard Nemerov

 Sparrows were feeding in a freezing drizzle

That while you watched turned into pieces of snow

Riding a gradient invisible

From silver aslant to random, white, and show.

 

There came a moment that you couldn’t tell.

And then they clearly flew instead of fell.


Happy New Year.

Ian

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at last: something worth writing about

I recently attended a clothing-optional pool party organized by my local nudist group. I’d gotten into Buddhism not long before, and this was partly an experiment for me in seeing how my embracing that philosophy would affect my thoughts, impulses, and general internal and external self-control in the presence of a whole bunch of naked people, at least some of whom were likely to be attractive females.

It was an interesting experiment, and I was pleased to find that I had indeed developed a level of internal calm and composure that didn’t abandon me at the first sight of a pretty, unclad woman. I continued my experiment, and to simply enjoy being nude in the company of others, for some time, wandering randomly (or seemingly so) from the wading pool to the sauna to the steam room and so forth. Chatting with people. Munching a buffet dinner. Generally enjoying the event.

At one point, upon wandering into the pool-and-hot-tub room from the sauna, I decided I was finally going to brave an attempt to find room for myself in the hot tub that had been jam-packed all evening but had now, finally, inexplicably developed a few vacancies. As I approached and began my descent down the ladder into the bubbling brew, I noticed the pretty woman in a pink camisole and panties making a parallel descent. She initially stood out not only because of her striking face and incredibly clear blue eyes, but because in that camisole and those panties she was probably the most fully-clad woman in the place. She and I wound up standing together in the center of the hot tub while the evening’s raffle was announced and carried out, and she showed herself to be very gregarious (and flirty!). She chattered happily to me and the other people in the tub, and when the first ticket number was announced she leaned her shoulder against mine as she held her ticket at arm’s length and asked me if I could read it. This was not just a flirty ploy – she really couldn’t read the thing without her glasses – but it did rather perfectly serve double-duty as a flirtational device (and you never want to get into a hot tub without a flirtational device).

She won a prize! A cute little nylon tote-bag-thingy (it took us a while to figure out exactly what it was). And I didn’t win a prize. Or rather, I hadn’t won a prize yet. Or maybe I’d already won the biggest prize of my life to date and just didn’t know it.

The raffle ended, and as none of my tickets had won, the Pretty Lady In Pink gave me a consolation prize better than anything that was raffled off that night. She barely-clad, me naked, and both of us soaking wet, she wrapped her arms (and one leg) around me, right there in the middle of the hot tub, and held me tight, making contented little sounds and assuring my mind that it was now definitely free to move about the cabin, spinning wildly with all the thoughts and some of the hopes I had up to that point been reining in as unfounded.

We said words here and there; I don’t remember most of what was said at that point, but I do remember her saying, “so what’s next?” followed fairly closely by the word “hotel” (a sequence of sounds well-calculated to prick up my little male ears). From the speed at which she now seemed to be moving, I guessed she might be a flirty, flighty woman on whom I shouldn’t place too much importance, but with whom I might be in for an enjoyable night or weekend, followed by a fond (and final) farewell. But I didn’t have much time to ruminate on this before we were approached by one of the event’s organizers and asked to remove ourselves from the hot tub for actually doing what most everyone there wished they were doing (though I’m not sure we’d even kissed yet at this point). It was suggested that we move to the pool; why, I really don’t know, as behavioral constraints were no more relaxed in the pool than they had been in the hot tub. It took us maybe another seven minutes to find this out, at which point another organizer – a seemingly much less sexually-frustrated man than the woman who’d found fault with our hot-tub hotness – chatted amicably with us for a while and thoughtfully suggested the showers as a more private (but similarly aqueous) place to continue our canoodlings.

Thus off to the showers we obligingly (if a little exasperatedly) went.

I will spare you, gentle reader, the oh-so intimate details of all that transpired in that shower on that fateful night. One detail, however, I will relate: it turned out that this woman had had a double mastectomy some five weeks earlier, had since developed a near certainty that she’d never have sex again, and had chosen to trust and honor me – me! – with the opportunity to help her disprove and eradicate that unwelcome hypothesis.

Okay, one more detail too I’ll relate: we disproved it. Disproved it, eradicated it, annihilated it. *Poof!* – aw gone.

Eventually – though not until we’d been grumped at one more time by the female organizer for the deeply delighted noises emanating from our shower stall – the party wound down and we departed. In the parking lot, we briefly discussed our options and instead of choosing to go the hotel-room route, she invited me back to her place (I was to be honored yet again). And over the course of the dream-like weekend that followed, we discovered many things. For my part, I discovered that while she was most definitely flirty, she wasn’t exactly flighty, as her Ph.D in organic chemistry and her work as founder, president, and CEO of an international non-profit organization would attest (it would be some time yet before I’d find out about her black belt in taekwondo). I discovered she was brilliant, hilarious, just plain cool, and when it came to relationships, pretty much all my wildest dreams-come-true, both in and out of bed. Naturally dominant and very happy – relieved, even – to constitute the base of power in the relationship, she was genuinely and independently interested in a man who’d rather submit to her than try to compete with her for equality (ha!) or superiority (HA!) in the relationship. Not merely disinterested in sexual exclusivity, she was in fact dead-set against it. As in, warning me from the outset that her being sexually exclusive to me was out of the question, and assuring me shortly thereafter that my having sexual adventures with other women, while not required, was definitely encouraged, and even advised. Ju-u-u-ust romantic enough for me to understand that she really cared about me (a lot), she was completely comfortable with my own greater penchant for romanticism while never suddenly saddling me with emotional quandaries that have been a long time brewing but only revealed to me once they’ve become formidable (and usually bewildering) obstacles. And the list goes on.

Baby, does it go on.

Just maybe not in this post.

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welcome

Welcome to give the lady what she wants, a blog consisting primarily of one man’s musings on female power and leadership, as manifested in women’s relationships with men.

Yikes.

I’ve had this blog for much longer than it’s been readily accessible because I’ve been completely daunted by the task I mean to take on here. I’m still daunted, and not ready even at this moment to write a real post, but now that I’ve pointed my domain to this blog I feel I should at least put something here so visitors know it’s not completely dead, and that it might actually feature some content of interest someday (soon).

And inspired as I am by Penelope Trunk’s great example, I mean to tell it like it is here, even when the way it is is not particularly “professional” or polished or otherwise flattering to me. I mean to place honesty before image, and to that end I’m posting this entry that really doesn’t say much beyond, “yikes,” and that the blog is, in fact, open for business…or whatever it is that blogs open for. Discourse. Education. Edification. (A)musement.

And for now, that’s all. If you’d like to subscribe and be notified when new posts happen, please feel free to subscribe using the subscription-y form thingy just below the header image, and we’ll be in touch. Thanks for stopping by!

Ian

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