If you live on the internet (as I do) you may have noticed that it’s full of enlightening advice but also a place where horseshit is peddled wholesale to unsuspecting rubes. I take no issue with giving people something to mindlessly stare at while eating a turkey sandwich at their desks, what I object to is selling “successful” women a myth that they have to be in their “feminine” to attract and “keep” a man. Hey ladies, ya wanna keep a man, get some handcuffs and a sturdy radiator attachment, amirite?
One of the most troubling ideas being sold to women and men by “dating coaches,” “love experts” and other shysters claiming to have “the answers” is the idea that a woman who approaches a man with “masculine energy” will drive away a “masculine energy” man (no links will be provided because I am uninterested both in starting feuds and in driving traffic to these charlatans.)
The first assumption is that human characteristics can be divided neatly into “male” qualities and “female” qualities. Here’s an example of what are regularly trotted out as “male” qualities – competitive, protective, solution-oriented, aggressive. Righteho then. However did you ever see a more solution oriented, aggressive, forward woman than a mother? The female lion in a pride is just as capable of violently fending off a predator as a male, as is the most “female” mother who wears pearls, works in the home and plays tennis all day. (Though how will she ever come towards the net for a lob; why that would be mannish.)
It’s worth remembering that Hillary Clinton is not only running for President, but also a doting grandmother. If she is a “masculine energy” woman, is she doting on her kids and grandkids in a “male” way? Is Tony Robbins more “female” because he cries easily in public? Do sea otters need their mating partners to be wearing a dress? No, gender is not that linear. (Also, sea otters practice homosexuality, interspecies sex and necrophilia, so they care not for social constructs.)
Here are some “feminine traits”: collaborative, multi-tasking, intuitive, receptive, empathic, empathetic, understanding etc. etc. Worth mentioning at this time that I was once married to one of the most empathic, understanding, collaborative, multi-tasking, receptive men I know, who is also highly successful in several extremely competitive fields which he has achieved by many years of hard work and aggressive effort, while also being highly sentimental. Our marriage was successful for over a decade, not because we had a great balance of “masculine” and “feminine” but because we loved each other and tried not to be assholes. It’s also why we have what I would term a “successful” divorce.
If you are not in a relationship and want to be, or have consistently being left by people you wanted to be with, it’s not because you can’t “keep” a man or are “driving him away” because you got your shit handled so tight he feels sad that he can’t rescue you. Not all men are white knights who need a damsel in distress to make their dicks hard, in fact there are many, many men who find that kind of dynamic exhausting. If you have loved and lost it has so much more to do with your attachment style, personality tics, shared values, choice of unavailable human, or a myriad of other complicated facets of humanity that cannot be summed up in 700 words by people who claim to understand you more than you do.
Suggesting that you have to somehow “girl yourself up” so you won’t “emasculate” a potential partner is incredibly damaging. Besides anything else, it demeans men by suggesting that their masculinity is so fragile, that one errant sentence, or even a pattern of behavior, will shake it to its core. If modern dudes can still feel virile with a man bun, they can survive you.
If you want a woman to sit at your feet worshiping your dick day and night, THIS IS ENTIRELY POSSIBLE, because there are such women and they’re into something called BDSM, which playfully weaves together the lines of gender identity, politics, politeness and social norms, and strips them away in service of greater connection. If you are already in a vanilla relationship, and would like to explore introducing elements of this with your partner, this too is absolutely possible!
What is more relevant than gender in a relationship might be power- who has it, who wants more, and how its exchange can be used in a creative way to balance the scales, in ways a conversation sometimes can’t accomplish. If you know yourself and understand what turns you on, you are more attuned to what kind of people you are interested in, and thus more likely to attract those that balance what you offer. Understanding these dynamics can be a pathway for folks who have a hard time being more vulnerable (both men and women) and chipping at whatever defenses they have accrued as the cost of business of being human.
There are enough partner(s) for everyone – traditionally monog men and women, poly non-cis folks, the “girly girl”s, the Alpha Everything, the butch dykes, the leather daddies, the regular Daddies, the dandies, the fops, the queers, the queens and whatever you happen to be at this time. Coming from a scarcity or place of lack is unhelpful where sex and love is concerned, as is some rigid idea of one paradigm that works for everyone. We have much more to learn about “masculine” and “feminine” energies from people like Buck Angel and Cyd St. Vincent, as well as looking within to come to terms with our own (perverted) needs.