I am looking for a woman who will blow my mind in bed and in conversation (and I hers, of course). The rest is all relationship skills...
If I tried to go into that here this would be a fifteen page essay, so I won't.
"You in your cloak of illusion ... your lyrics reveal your heart and inner vulnerability. Why hide it away? Are you really so hard and indifferent ... Tell me more ..."
Apart from the thought that I didn't realise I had hidden my, we'll call it my softer side, I will try to address that a bit. There is a great range of sensitivity apparent in men out there in the world today. It is very lopsided of course - a huge percentage are so unaware that they even have feelings, unless it is about beer, sports, or their buddies (that reminds me, I don't watch TV, but I read this somewhere lately, "why are the animals in beer commercials always so much smarter than the men?")
Then there is the modern (post 70's?) "sensitive man". He has reached his nadir, the point where he is parodied in some song by a female band... yup, he is so "in touch" with his inner whatever that he can truly share about why he treats you so badly. I truncate the idea to make my fingers' work easier...
So let us imagine, then, that I even perhaps qualify as a special case or as a member of a rather small percentage of males at the end of the bell curve that are actually "soft" - in real time - which is all that matters. Remember, any jerk can write a sentimental song or love letter after he has already pushed the object of his alleged affection completely out of his life... yup, he misses her, he knows he done wrong, he even cries into his beer about it... The jewel of emotional acheivement is to be able to address issues of a complex emotional nature, while they still matter, not to figure out a way to earn points by being so sage about them later.
Now this leads me into two divergent thoughts...
One is the nature of how we raise men in our culture. Without going into detail about the reasons or the specific conditioning, men are trained to be very goal oriented (which makes them really lousy lovers!). They learn to evaluate their experiences on a win/lose basis, and sometimes, worse yet, to see human interactions as "zero sum" games.
Emotional conflicts do not lend themselves easily to this sort of reasoning. You have an issue in your relationship... maybe you can put it into words, clumsily, partially, it does not matter, you must raise the issue so it can be resolved. Will it be done tonight? Probably not. Is there an "expected" date of resolution? How do you make love to her when you just told her you are unhappy with something? Will you "win"? Will she? Does that mean you will lose? These are not the questions that run through your mind... they are the conflicts that prevent it from even being voiced.
To open the issue, to let both of you have input on it, is the whole point of being in a relationship in the first place! Yet, sadly, it is a bit rare. To keep the issue open, to be talking about it, to think about it, to seek a resolution that is compatible with staying together.... this is a great deal of effort which must be performed without a net, as it were - on quicksand... The ironic thing is that with many issues, just keeping them out in the open reduces their potential for harm, sometimes completely neutralising them. The best example of this would be something one partner thinks will bother the other partner a lot - keeping silent is disaster - but in sharing it they might find it is not an issue at all, it just doesn't matter.
The other direction it leads is a bit more personal of course. It is this - no matter what I write or say or claim in advance, there is no way to experience any of these traits in me without risking being there with me and seeing how it goes.
This is tricky. This is why I don't say "I am sensitive to your feelings", for example, while courting or flirting. What would it mean? They are just words - any monkey could type them, and many, many men have learned to say them, to tell tales of past emotional experiences to prove their worthiness as potential mates. Of course, if you look at those tales in the cold hard light of day, their understanding of their trauma not only came about after the situation was long over, they, their silence, their reticence, were probably the cause of the trauma anyway!
A more concrete if somewhat more crude example would be to imagine various men trying to infiltrate themselves into a woman's sexual intimacy. Let us say that they decide that promoting their skills as lovers will be useful. They talk about what they do, wherever they may feel their "talents" may lie. How is a girl to decide (we have to imagine this criteria as postulated will matter to her, of course!) between the conflicting claims of sensitivity, offers of foreplay, cuddling, talks by the fire.... all the claptrap of heterosexual deceptive courtship rituals?
The reality is the only way for either partner to evaluate their mutual pleasures (staying with the example) is to try it. It's the only way.
Broadening our scope back to the question at hand - maybe in a paragraph or two I might be able to subtly insinuate my romantic nature, or my softer side, or even my willingness to listen - but even if I list these things explicitly as traits I could just be lost in a maze of self deception. Sure, that is who I want to be - especially if it means having a woman in my life. But is it me? How will I know til I try? Will I try? Or is it just a part of the game, just like acting tough or displaying health, wealth, social status to "snare" a mate?
Have I just learned to "talk the talk" (or "write the write" as the case may be)? Some of us can talk and write pretty well perhaps - but then you still have to weed out those who are better at writing fiction!
So I would rather just trust people's intuitions to an extent. I largely say and write what I thinking at the moment. I suspect that it is quite possible this comes through in an oblique way... then I can follow up with other fragments of myself, answer questions, and go from there.
Were we speaking on the telephone, or better yet in person (better still in that special intimate time developed when the bodies have been enjoyed and drained and one is somehow even more naked as a result), not only would you be having to listen to my dreary monologue on the topic - you would be able to interrupt (that's not rude, it's called conversation!), interject, clarify, express your own feelings, and we would both walk away (or fall asleep) richer for the experience.
printed 30 January 2023
© Huw Powell