But the needs of my heart are indeed a two-tiered thing. It is not enough solely for a man to be masculine, though him being masculine is indeed necessary. The stereotypical masculine characteristics, such as strength, decisiveness, aggression, dominance, etc… are necessary for attraction, much in the same way that feminine traits are also necessary for attraction. A man can be masculine, a man can be “alpha,” but that alone is not enough for me to open myself to him. After all, many men can be described as “alpha,” but that doesn’t mean anything. When I perceive that a man is a threat to me in some way, or that he might do me wrong or doesn’t even respect me, etc… I can feel my body closing up. It is my instincts, telling me not to allow this man in- and this is a good thing.
Women crave masculinity in men. In the modern society the majority of women, however, are getting masculinity in unhealthy ways. They might chase after the jerk or the bad-boy- men who might indeed be considered “alpha” or masculine- and in doing so obtain the masculinity they need and crave, but they miss out on the other part of the equation- the part of the equation that is necessary to be truly content and fulfilled in the deepest of ways- and that part of the equation is also love, the part where a man cherishes and loves a woman for who she is, for everything about her that makes her feminine.
I’ve always considered the concept of coverture- the old legal doctrine where husband and wife are one, where the wife is fully covered by the husband, in so much where she is considered by law and society to be a “covered woman” as the ideal. In the real world he covers me, as he also does in the sex act. The doctrine of coverture considered both husband and wife to be one in life and legal matters, the same as we are one when we join our bodies. And I feel it, when I am lying there under him. I don’t need a bunch of tricks or games, and as I have said before I am never degraded. I can open myself up and fully relax, fully let go, because I am secure in his love for me. I just relax and allow him to lead and I feel pleasure, pleasure that I can only describe as “sweet.” I have both the masculinity and security that I crave being under both the influence and protection of a dominant man.
But let’s give the scenario that a man is masculine, but the equation of love and commitment is not there. I feel the initial stirrings of attraction to the man because he is dominant. Let’s say he drags me off all Clint Eastwood style (a terrible example that I am loathe to use, but an example nonetheless) and “ravishes” me. OK, he’s proved his dominance. He’s the “alpha male,” but if he doesn’t love me and is not truly committed to me then I am only being used and degraded and will be left alone and broken in the end. I could never fully allow myself to open up to a man in such a way, and indeed, on top of having trouble reaching orgasm during intercourse in the first place, women are only half as likely to do so during any kind of casual sexual encounters with a man. Most women don’t orgasm during sex, and I do think this is more of a psychological thing. They can’t truly let go (even I cannot orgasm if I don’t feel secure and controlled, when I can’t truly “let go”). They have lost their feminine selves in the pursuit of equality with men. It is the deepest of all psychological needs of a female, to depend upon and submit to a dominant male, and it is also the deepest of all human needs- to love and be loved in return.
In life he is stronger than me. It doesn’t bother me to give up any rights I might have had as a single woman and live under the authority of a man. It’s OK in my mind if I cannot act legally without his consent. I chose him because I love him, and why would I not want to truly be one with him in every way? It’s OK if he is my voice and speaks for me and makes the decisions for the family. It allows me to feel secure and cherished and taken care of.
Perhaps our ancestors knew something about life and human nature that we today have forgotten or refuse to see. Perhaps these women weren’t so “oppressed” as we are led to believe. A system such as coverture would not have lasted if women had simply refused to accept it- but accept it they did. They accepted it because it created peace and harmony between the sexes, stabilized marriage, family life and male-female relationships. But I suspect these women were much more content than any of us know today, because we only hear about the women who “misbehaved” and rebelled. We don’t know what the other women were thinking or feeling, except for in the very few written records that exist (where they claimed contentment and felt loved by their men). It’s not like they were out publicly having discussions about orgasms.
Back to the ravishment situation, we’ll say now that the dominant man is my husband. He’s masculine, showing assertiveness and aggression- the necessary components for attraction- but this go around I know he is committed to me. In this case I can relax, open up fully and let go. It’s OK if I reach for him, because I want and desire him. I crave him and can reach for him, wanting all of him and more, ever more. I can wrap my arms around him and urge him on, or I can just relax and close my eyes and simply enjoy him shamelessly. There’s nothing to feel ashamed about and it is a private act. I can relax and just let him lead me. It’s OK to enjoy it. It’s OK to love the way he feels and like what he’s doing. I feel a sweetness deep in my belly and I smile in my joy and contentment. He’s strong and I love to admire the way he feels, but I also know I am loved and cherished, that I am secure. When he’s done, wherever he goes, I know he’ll be coming right back to me. He’s still my covering, providing me with all the necessaries in life even after he has withdrawn from me. He’s still my protection and I can always come to him. And many times over the years I have come up to him and tugged him on the arm, telling him what I need and he has listened to me and welcomed me in his arms, in his love.
It’s not a dirty thing, that I love the feeling afterwards that it’s like his essence is still there inside of me. I feel cherished and loved for all the things that uniquely make me female. I feel content that he is the one and only one to ever touch me. He provides that protection and covering over me.
On the flip-side, a man might still provide for a woman and be her covering, but if she is not loved and cherished by the man (such as might be the case in a harem, or with a rich man and beautiful woman much younger than him when either party is only in the relationship for what one can get out of the other), then she is still just being used and degraded. I want to know that he sees who I am as a female, loves me for me, loves every inch of how I’m made, from the generous bounty of my breasts, to the weakness of my arms, the softness of my voice and of my curves, to the way I was designed to give and carry life. I want to know that I hold him captive in my love, beauty and femininity.
And yet again, there is another side to this equation. There is the circumstance where a man genuinely loves and cherishes a woman, yet he is not masculine- he is not dominant and he does not lead. This situation again creates a deep discontentment. The dominant man without love for the woman exerts masculinity in an abusive and tyrannical way against the woman, but the man who loves without being dominant robs the woman of her deep need to rely upon a strong man to protect and lead her. And I do know this one. When I felt he no longer led me, I ran somewhat wild. I was confused inside and deeply hurt. I cried, I temporarily took on paid employment, I never wanted to be home. Our marriage and family life fell to shreds because the natural order had been overturned. But I tried. I left notes trying to explain how I felt and what I needed, hoping he would find them. And at the end, when things calmed down and he finally started becoming the man he needed to be again, order was restored, but there was and potentially always will be, some hurt that won’t heal and wounds that have left deep scars that will forever remain.
I asked him why he would have just let me go; why he didn’t step up to be the man that I needed him to be. And I cried, and sometimes still cry, whenever I ask him the question “Why?” He thought if he just gave me independence and let me do my own thing- that if he just let me go- that I would be happy, and that was the mistake he made, much like the passive male of the 1950s created discontentment that led to women’s lib and the destruction of family life, male-female relationships and the overall social order, his passivity in stepping down from the leadership role was disastrous in the same exact way, causing problems that ripped our family and lives apart.
I didn’t want independence whenever I separated myself from him. I wanted to be led. I wanted to depend on him. I wanted him to be a man and be strong once again, to be the man I had chosen so long ago. I needed that masculinity that is expressed in a healthy and beneficial way. Because with it I am whole and complete. Because I can just relax when he leads and covers me. I can open up and be content and feel overwhelming joy, happiness and pleasure- both of a physical and psychological nature. When he gives me gifts, he is showing that he cherishes me and will provide me with the things I need. When he leads me, he is telling me that everything is OK. I don’t have to worry about anything. The natural order is set right and no amount of money, no independence or paycheck can ever give that true happiness and contentment. And isn’t true happiness, love and contentment the greatest of all the things one might achieve in this life?