On Femininity,

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Submitted by Arnold on
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I've been pondering a number of things recently. Most are related to the balance between masculine and feminine energies in my life and in our culture. A woman friend surprised me recently claiming that women needed to reclaim their femininity. I guess I've been somewhat blind to the aggression in women. It's becoming clearer to me as I see the shortcomings of the mothering of my childhood and the way my body and moods react (very strongly) to women who compete for attention by playing the victim or the seductress in my presence.

I also see this dynamic in what I'm learning about the Cortisol/Oxytocin cycles in ourselves. It seems to me that the function of Cortisol is a rough approximation of masculine energy. It helps with fight or flight responses. Oxytocin, with its propensity to promote bonding and healing, is clearly feminine. With my Cortisol levels exhausted due to long term and deeply rooted stressors perhaps finding ways to promote the production of Oxytocin would help my adrenals (the source of Cortisol in the body) rest and recover. I'm looking into ways to do this on my own and with the support of other people in safe environments (my sensitivity to sexual politics has its challenges). It's interesting to me that the medical approach to dealing with illnesses like mine is to artificially boost Cortisol levels masking the problem and hiding the roots. I guess when you are obsessed with aggression, it's all you see. A more balanced approach might be less obsessed with either direction and more interested in finding exactly the right place on the masculine-feminine spectrum given the conditions and needs of the moment.

I'm working to befriend and protect the feminine in me. I seem to need it.


Have you tried

meditation? Or joining a yoga or a Tai Chi class? If stress is your main problem, these can help deal with it. Of course, the results are accumulative, and not immediate, but if you want to stay away from meds that only mask your problems, this is a very good way of doing so.
If you can't, just set aside time to get away from it all, so that you can be by yourself, in solitude. It would be a way to contemplate on things, or just throw everything out the mental window for a while, and just unwind and relax. Listening to calm and soothing music also helps a lot. Just throwing some ideas out there.



I've done and am doing all kinds of stuff in this department. I've explored meditation very strongly since 1985.

The strongest stressors in my life are social in nature. I'm very isolated. It's very challenging to be around people when I get powerfully triggered by the normal sexual politics of human relations. The nurturing of my very early youth had some major problems with it. So when I sense a warm-hearted woman (who is angry at men), the little new-born in me can't resist her. It creates a mess because she's usually coupled with someone else (and/or uninterested in healing) and I am incapable of the hot and heavy approach to intimacy. I need alot of non-sexual safety, touch, and nurturing (like what Marnia proposes in the first 3 weeks of her Exchanges).

Finding safe support for healing early childhood trauma is possible through a massage therapist I hire. I also see a psychotherapist here. Recently, I've introduced practicing an energy healing routine (similar to Reiki) that involves whole body balancing through my own hands on myself. It generally isn't available otherwise. I've been looking for heterosexual men who are into healing touch and have found one very recently who says he is into doing healing touch trades with me. I'm also testing a men's group I was recently invited into. These seem to have the most potential at this point in time.

Now if I could find a woman who was interested in the first 3 weeks of the Exchanges, I'd be cooking! I have done 3 days of this (a few years ago) and the results were very promising for me (my friend couldn't handle it and so bailed out on me after 3 nights, sigh).

Thanks for writing. I appreciate your effort to help me.



I know. It's really sad how

I know. It's really sad how the art of connecting with another human being has been lost. Massage and hand-based therapies and healing routines do work. Alternative, have you tried asking a friend with stuff like this? Also, try finding people to hang out with who aren't sex-crazed. You could also ask for a courtly companion if that would help any. I'm out of ideas at this point :/



It is sad. Thank God for websites like this one! Otherwise I'd be stuck in the trauma cycle of "Survivor" of sexual abuse. I'm not really interested in being a "Survivor". I'm into Love and Healing. I want to be a "Thriver" Smile

[quote=Karenewbie] Alternative, have you tried asking a friend with stuff like this? Also, try finding people to hang out with who aren't sex-crazed. You could also ask for a courtly companion if that would help any. I'm out of ideas at this point :/[/quote]

I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "with stuff like this". I have a friend who asked a woman friend of his to contact me. She's done that. Hopefully I'll be stable enough health wise to take up the invitation soon and go out for tea. Hanging out with people who aren't sex crazed is very challenging. I'm extremely sensitive to the way social environments become subtly sexualized. Open conversation at this level is very rare. I'm hoping to connect with more people from the abuse recovery crowd. They seem to be more open to the concept of sexual health anyways. They also know what it feels like to be "triggered".

I was asked to serve as Courtly Companion again today (my third time). That's good! Thanks for your ideas and efforts to support me. I do appreciate them. Things are definitely changing in my life and I have some major hurdles to overcome before I get anywhere near "Thriving", but my direction is good.

Wish me luck. If there is anything I can do for you, please let me know.



Have you tried being explicit

Have you tried being explicit about any sexualized context? I wonder if airing your concerns about what you sense might diffuse things enough to allow a different relating direction. It might help escape the past negatively reinforcing patterns. Why give others all the control over your interactions if there is a way to take the reins back?

Hi Freedom

Every effort I've made at open communication has fallen flat. That's even when I've withdrawn from the group and a woman pursued a connection with me. In the healing touch groups I've attended they were not interested in healthy approaches to relating. I specifically asked that question. Even in a men's group I attended recently, their interest in my needs (healing forms of touch like Reiki) has been zero so far. It's a bomb in this community. Open communication about what's going on in any social setting at an emotional/sexual level isn't welcome. It's too close and particularly coming from a man. This is a very conservative community.

I don't think that I'm giving them the power. I'm simply looking for a social environment in which I fit and am having rather significant challenges including my health. I fit here. I also fit with a few professional healers I employ for sessions (during the session). So far that's about it.

On the positive side, the men's group may reconsider their approach now that I'm gone (I left because my frustration was building to a point where my health was being strongly affected). There is a woman who wanted to go out for tea with me (introduced to me by a mutual friend) who may have an interest in a healing approach to relating. One fellow I know has said he would like to do healing touch trades with me. I'm paying much more attention to meeting my own needs for healing touch on my own and I'm feeling much more confident that I'm on track with the healthy direction. They are in need of healing and in denial. The vast majority of couples here are not happy (I know one exception). I challenged a friend of mine recently specifically on whether he had pursued his interest in the practices outlined in Marnia's book with his partner (he hasn't yet! (It's been years). He's a good friend but not particularly available. Pretty much the only person in town who has clearly shown an interest in Marnia's work with me). I've challenged my mother very strongly on her idea that sensitivity is always "hypersensitive" and a bad thing. I will also continue to search for connections through the healing from abuse community where open communication is more likely. There are lots of internal changes going on in me. Perhaps they will become more outwardly visible in the long run.

Thanks for your thoughts and suggestions. I appreciate your concern. One of the things that seems to be helping me most right now is the mantra practice I'm doing. It's helping me move through my anger. Have you decided to explore it? Have you noticed anything about the practice?



I've tried the mantras a

I've tried the mantras a little, but not enough to say much about them. It seems that like many potentially good things, I don't necessarily try them consistently enough to thoroughly test the waters.

Are you limiting healing relating to relating involving healing touch?

Healing touch

Hi Freedom,

I'm not completely limiting my connections to healing touch. I seem to do well around people who are open to ideas like the ones Marnia shares with us and are open to communication about what's happening at a sexual/emotional level amongst us. The most promising avenue for this kind of connection is through the local healing from sexual abuse community. Being a man (and hence often framed as a potential perpetrator in people's minds) and since there is no group in town for men healing from sexual abuse, it is challenging to connect with these people and yet I do have a good lead. The other angle is healing touch. Today I offered to the men's group, I just left, to teach them the basics of Quantum Touch for free if that approach to relating starts to interest them. I haven't had much luck with mixed settings in this department. I'm too attractive to frustrated women who are committed to another man and not strong enough within myself yet to set healthy boundaries on their energy. The third angle I take is healing myself on my own. Chanting seems to be helping. A new friend has just introduced me to Heilkunst, which seems to be particularly good for people, like me, who are healing themselves of Crohn's disease. So I wander between these three directions. When one dries up, I put more energy into the others. It's never dull and often very challenging. I guess this is my Karma for this life.

Thanks for your concern. Let me know if you decide to explore mantras in more depth. I've looked into Thomas Ashley-Farrand's ideas as well as Osho's and am getting pretty clear on how they work.