Daring to penetrate, daring to surrender
A celebration of feminine and masculine energies in polarity.
This article has been inspired by people sometimes having a hard time getting their political correctness around how masculine and feminine energies work, specifically in love relationships, and even more specifically about the masculine gift of penetration into, and the feminine gift of receiving. My feeling is that this is a reflection of our collective pain about how these gifts have been misused and abused in the past, and very little to do with how useful and healing they can be now. The polarity of masculine and feminine has been said to be false, out-dated, and hindering of a more advanced mode of relating and promoting a hetero-normative, anti-queer stance. Yet in my experience and throughout my life, I have been learning the opposite is true: that masculine and feminine energies do exist, that understanding them helps with practicing 3rd stage relationships (more about what that means later) and actually encourages a broader definition of sexuality and intimacy than the simple hetero-normative model.
When I ask myself where my own polarity understanding comes from, the first answer that shouts itself at me is that they emanate from a very ancient place: the sun and the earth. That the sun is the archetypal masculine energy, exhibiting light, heat, direction, clarity, illumination, penetration, unconditional giving. The earth on the other hand exhibits feminine energies: dark, moist, coolness, diversity, creativity, inter-connectedness, mystery, receiving, and again, unconditional giving.
These archetypal energies have formed the basis of our understanding of what it means to be human men and women for thousands of years and can be found all over the world in mythology, philosophy, yin yang, indigenous world views, and pagan rites to name but a few examples at random. But whilst this is the answer that springs to me now, it’s taken a long and difficult personal journey to come to those understandings. Believe me, I used to be as politically correct as they come and balked at the idea that men and women were fundamentally different in terms of tendencies; or girls and boys having different needs. It seems so strange to me that I ever believed that now.
In my former existence I was a wife and am still a mother and both those experiences have taught me so much about polarity…. the hard way. First of all my twins, one whom holds a lot of feminine energy and the other, a lot of masculine energy, taught me from the moment of their birth two main things. First, they came with their personalities already intact. There was no ‘moulding the clay’ for me to do… just not do any damage and to provide opportunities for growth and learning. And second, that they were not going to be androgynous or want to play with both ‘boys’ toys and ‘girls’ toys just because my political correctness wanted them to be able to express the whole spectrum of gender possibilities. They were very definite and clear about their traits and preferences. One liked physicality, getting out there socially, and taking things apart, while the other was into communication, the senses, and weaving imaginary worlds.
Despite having 2 gorgeous children, and loving my husband, and us getting on pretty well together even though the ‘zing’ went out of our relationship pretty quickly, we split up when the kids were still little. Whilst at the time I thought my world had ended, it did bring about this search to understand better how relationships worked well and what the hell went wrong for us. Though I had initially dismissed it as irrelevant (we’re all from Earth I used to decry!) I went kicking and screaming to the book ‘Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus’. The introduction made me weep uncontrollably. What was described there was almost exactly the dynamic between me and my husband, except I didn’t have the vulnerability to reach out and he didn’t stay.
Whilst that book started my journey into polarity, love and attraction, there was a lot more to come, mainly from the inimitable David Deida, although Nityama, Jewels Wingfield, and Alex Vartman from The New Tantra have played significant parts also. Through these explorations it became clear that my relationship had become de-polarised. I was holding the masculine: coming up with all the direction, making all the plans, and pretty oblivious to the dance of my feminine intuition, while he had largely given up his masculine in order to be a New Age, sensitive man: he did all the cooking, said ‘yes dear’ a lot with a kind of sad resignation, and felt under pressure sexually. Using David Deida’s terminology we were in a predominantly 2nd stage relationship. In this stage the feminine is dominant as a response and reaction to the brutal masculine dominance of the 1st stage, but is yet to mature into the balance and beauty of the 3rd stage. In a 3rd stage relationship the feminine is confident, open, and relaxing into the masculine holding. The masculine is strong and clear and creates the space that the feminine can dance in. Hee takes Shee on a journey deeper into Source or Divinity than either of them can traverse alone.
This is the kind of relating that excites me and fills me with hope for our collective future. I feel the enormity of the change in our world that would be inevitable if people were intending to express a 3rd stage relationship. And I turn into a sweaty, steamy mess when I dream into my man opening me more than I ever could myself with his sexuality, bringing his clarity and direction in service to the family, and holding himself strong in his service to humanity whatever that might mean to him. Unlike back in the old days when I felt ashamed of my sexual power, I now relish the idea of also being able to step into my healthy masculine when I can see that my man is worn down… to push him up against the wall and enter him with my body, my love, my presence and awareness in order to bring him back to himself. I’m also consciously involved in the practice of coming from my healthy feminine for the big chunks of time that I’m coming from a feminine place by trying to keep aware of my cutsey little girl, my manipulative woman, my ‘playing it small’ woman. All of these aspects come together for me in a way of relating that is sexy, highly functional, warm and loving, and most of all encourages, in fact pretty much insists on the continual growth of the participants. Now that’s something I would like my children to witness.
Maybe there are other ways to understand what happened between my ex and I, or an even richer set of practices to adopt in order to make the next time around oh so very different, but at this point in time I am immensely grateful and excited by the path I’ve chosen. I’m excited by others who are working in the same direction. I’m excited to help others use these tools in a positive way in their own lives. But most of all I’m excited to see the way in which the world will change as the crest of the 3rd stage relationship wave starts to crash upon the shore in the coming decades. And to those who fear that an honouring of the masculine gift of penetration is dangerous, or that feminine surrender is weak, or that playing with masculine and feminine energies can only be practiced by heterosexual men and women in a monogamous relationship, I would encourage them to ask themselves how much of their opinion is based on where we have been in the past? If you imagine wiping out the past just for a moment, doesn’t the dance of masculine and feminine energies sound… well sexy?… exciting?…. fresh?… and warm?