I like investigating polarities.
To me the presence of myriad arrangements of polarity are an irrevocable feature of this dual-natured reality that we move through.
I consider masculine and feminine as a really big, broad and encompassing way to look at the qualities of a whole set of polarities. I’m not attached to masculine meaning man, or to feminine meaning woman, although I often use them that way.
We contain both poles within us, and, in fact, one pole can never be present without the other although often that other will show up as unconsciousness until we cultivate the awareness to see and integrate it.
I reflect a lot on relationship. The dynamics between people fascinate me and while there exists a somewhat limitless possibility for expression, there also appears to be distinct “rules” or generalities that show up in how we relate to one another and in how to create thriving and nourishing intimate relationship.
I have discovered that I like a pretty polarised relationship. As a man I like to feel masculine, solid, grounded and with clear directions. I tend to find myself most attracted to women who are more feminine, flowing, light and genuinely reveling in the beauty of the universe.
As a man who is consistently striving for integration, however, it means that I am not confined to only playing out masculine characteristics, nor do I expect or want any woman I am with to be confined to only the feminine. Integration gives access and choice to the whole spectrum of attributes and qualities we have cultivated awareness of through our personal work. Residing with a more masculine attitude is just my preference and feels good to me and seems to create the right kind of delicious sparks with women I get to share my time with.
Through stepping into my masculine more, one particular aspect I have cultivated and found increasingly heightened is my “presence.” Presence to me shows up when I am extremely focused on one thing to the point where almost everything else disappears into a hum in the background. Presence feels really good to me. It’s the place from which any meaningful work can be done, whether that is my writing, tinkering with a project or building something. It is also the place I enter when engaged strongly with my body whether that is rock climbing, martial arts or any other physical activity.
This sense of presence I have discovered is also incredibly powerful and attractive to women. When I show up in my interaction with a woman fully present, listening deeply to her, placing my attention on discovering and knowing her in this moment, drinking her essence in…she opens. Somehow this masculine presence, necessarily combined with an appropriate level of safety and comfort, is the condition that allows a woman to open her heart and soul to the universe.
A woman’s opening is, to me, one of the most beautiful things I can possibly experience. Sometimes it is like a thousand flowers blossoming at once. She lights up, smiles, melts, laughs or maybe even cries. Whatever her response is it draws me in and as she opens I can feel her love—which seems infinite—radiate out into the universe.
There is no doubt to me that presence is an important and valuable attribute to cultivate, for both men and women, as the intense focus and awareness of our body and this moment allows us to show up fully and deeply.
In romantic interactions, however, it seems to me that presence flows from the masculine gently penetrating and allowing the feminine to open and surrender to this delicious moment.
Despite being considerably polarised in many of my views concerning romantic-sexual relationship, I’m also a big fan of equality. Equality to me does not mean that we must all act the same and have equal measures of the same qualities. Equality does not mean we must all become bland and homogenised versions of unpolarised, neutral beings. Rather, equality to me means that what we bring to a relationship is equal in input and value. We are both contributing our unique gifts somewhat equally over time to each other and to the greater relationship we are swirling within together.
If this is the case, I have been wondering, and if one of a man’s most powerful contributions is his presence, then what is the reciprocal quality from a woman?
As I reflected on this and on both my past and present intimate relationships it became quite obvious. It is a woman’s love. Her simple, clean, enveloping, undemanding love. It is when a woman sees in me the weary warrior, the part of me that tries so hard to be a good man, that is in some way at battle with life, that is struggling to be the best I can be and she loves me. Especially in the places where I slip a little or don’t get it quite right. When she can see through my mistakes and love the part of me that really desires to be the best I can be, it empowers me. A woman’s love nourishes me, soothes me, grounds me and has me instantly become more present.
This is a very particular kind of love that a woman brings to a man. It is not coddling or clinging. It does not demand anything in return and it doesn’t put up with bullshit either.
A woman can be incredibly fierce, like the goddess Kali, in her love and provide a strong challenge to us men to grow and evolve. Or she may be more Lakshmi like as the nurturer when needed.
The feminine’s ability to fall deeply in love in an instant is remarkable to me, and as I understand it is also a quality that can be cultivated just like masculine presence. The qualities of these energies as masculine and feminine make sense to me. Presence is a very penetrative energy, just like the biological function of man, whilst the feminine kind of love I am writing about is enveloping, again just like the biological function of woman.
Together as we cultivate our relational maturity, strengthening our capacity to be present and to bring our love, the possibility of relationship can become an endless love making dance between us moment-to- moment-to-moment.
Even more importantly I am convinced that as a species we need to really be evolving into these mature ways of relating intimately with one another—plus it also feels amazing!
Author: Damien Bohler
Editor: Travis May