by Lori Ann Lothian: The first time I was ravished, I was 23. It was in a university building stairwell. He grabbed my hair with one fist, pressed me against the cool cement wall and kissed me with such ardor it took my breath away and elicited an instant wet-panty response. I married him two years later.
This passionate engagement became the yardstick by which I measured all future suitors. I admit to wanting a man to take charge sexually and to not ask permission to love me aggressively. I even remember telling one timid man, post-husband, “Don’t worry, I won’t break.”
But these days, both genders seem to resist the idea that it’s okay for a man to fiercely love a woman. I learned this through the more than 150 public comments and hundreds of private emails sparked by my recent article, “A Call to the Sacred Masculine: Ten Daring Invitations from the Divine Feminine” (a piece that soared to over 45,000 views and 13,000 Facebook likes).
Obviously, the idea of a feminine call to the masculine struck a collective chord. It sparked overwhelmingly positive feedback from men to these invitations: show us your heroic heart, slay your demons, care deeply, and dare to dream.
But when it came to the invitation to just take a woman, without apology, some women clobbered me with the dictionary definition of ravish, which includes the word rape. Some men asked if I wanted them to revert to brutish, macho stereotypes. Both men and women asked if what I wanted was to go backwards to a time when women were chattel, an asset in the possession of mostly abusive, power-drunk men.
I was simply suggesting that men be, well, men.
The unexpected popularity of Fifty Shades of Gray (which makes Harlequin romance look like high literature) speaks—no shouts—to the wimpification of men in the era of the Sensitive New Age Guy (SNAG).
Fifty Shades gives women the option to surrender, to opt for the fine-print clause of letting go of control. It’s a twisted story of a 21-year-old college virgin (yeah, right) who meets an emotionally damaged billionaire who at first wants to make her his 12th submissive but in the end, falls in mutual, kinky love. And yes, Christian (I prefer you call me Mr. Gray) spanks Anastasia, ties her up, and even flogs her—without the genital clamps or fisting (items the virgin girl wisely takes off the contract).
That a work of bondage-domination lite-erotica hit the mainstream is a testament to the fact that the mainstream woman is tired of being in charge.
We women have become super-manly in our pursuit of independence, to the point that trashy, badly-written smut like Fifty Shades strikes a nerve and hits the best-seller charts. The invitation of this book is simple. It’s the woman saying, “Show me your troubled male psyche so that I can feel connected to you, and dominate me so that I can let the f*ck go, sexually and otherwise.”
The lure of being not only not-in-control, but out of control, is a potent elixir for women who have been asked to step up and compete with men. We don’t want to battle for supremacy in politics, corporate power structures, or even sports teams. In fact, we women would prefer to collaborate.
But the feminist agenda has gotten us women all tied up in the mental knot of “never depend on a man” and “anything a man can do, we can do, better.”
Which brings me to this big question: where are we as a gender-neutral society, where women are asked to be strong and capable and men are expected to be vulnerable and emotionally available?
We are probably missing out on the juicy current generated by the natural polarity between a man and a women (an unadulterated feminine and masculine energy). This is a current that writers like David Deida make into big-selling books such as The Superior Man. Books that ask men to look at their own chest-thumping, warrior-hunter nature and say, “Yes!” Books that tell men to penetrate their women’s moods and remind women that it’s okay to admit that they want to be ravished. Because according to Deida, a truly feminine core (in a man or woman) wants to be taken. It’s just that simple.
I loved a man once, for two years. Yet in the end, I left because he was not willing to man-up (he hated that word) and love me with the ferocious current of the warrior-king. Instead, he wanted to be my equal, to the point that he also wanted to be my buddy—not my take-charge lover, not the one who would just press me against that wall and bind me with his kisses.
In the admittedly cartoonish film, 300, Spartan King Leonidas’ Queen Gorgo not only has hot sex with her man, she advises him post-coitus on affairs of state. She is also in many ways, as the film progresses, demonstrably as powerful, clever, and brave as the king.
I remember seeing this film years ago and thinking, this is really what I want. I want to be a queen to my king. I want a man who loves me with passionate, hands-held-over-my-head strength and yet, who also recognizes me as his partner, his ally, and his equal.
Because I am not the lesser half. Or the better half. I am simply the other half.
And as that half, I am also whole. Because within me, I carry the current of masculine and feminine. As does the man.
I just want to play in the juicy playground of Jane and Tarzan. Of Leonidas and Gorgo. Of heck, yes, even of Anastasia and Christian.
I just want to feel like a woman. Even though I am as powerful as a man.
Lori Ann Lothian got her Ph.D. in real life love relationships from the university of a failed marriage and the lesson plan of serial monogamy. When she is not busy writing for and editing the Love and Relationship section of elephant journal online, she’s blogging at Love Stripped Down, where the naked truth about sex, romance, and relationships is explored in depth.