The terms masculine and feminine are often used as excuses in relationships. Women will claim that their partner needs to be “more masculine” in order for them to be “in their feminine”. Or, men will claim that they “can’t be in their masculine” because she’s in hers, but he would, of course, guide the relationship “from his masculine, if only she would drop into her feminine.”
The issue is that people are not being open and honest about their expectations, wants, needs and desires within the relationship. Instead, they use these “masculine” and “feminine” descriptors as reasons to why they aren’t showing up for themselves or in their relationship.
The Masculine & Feminine as New Age Gender Norms
I’ve done a lot of writing, speaking, and teaching about what I believe is the value of distinguishing the masculine and feminine. I use the terms masculine and feminine to describe universal energies that show up in nature, as well the qualities and ways of being within any human being. I’ve seen these within men, women, males, females, non-binary people, gay people, straight people, lesbians, and bisexual people – essentially, within all of us.
As polarity work has become more mainstream, women often tell me: “I just want my man to be more in his masculine”. Conversely, men will tell me: “I just want my woman to be more in her feminine.” However, I think this is lazy. If we’re in an intimate partnership or we’re dating somebody and we say, “I just wish they would be more masculine or feminine,” it’s a lazy way of approaching a problem, and it’s hurtful.
Societal gender norms still exist and so do preconceived ideas about what it means to be masculine or feminine. These ideas are deeply ingrained in us. We must therefore get more specific about the actual energy we are wanting with our partner, or lover – otherwise they’re flailing around in the dark, and we are less likely to actually get what we want.
This is one of the reasons that distinguishing the value of energetic or archetypal masculine and feminine qualities enables us to see the value of them within ourselves. For example, I’m a female-bodied, woman-identifying, heterosexual person, and I consider myself to have a more feminine essence in general. But there is value in teasing apart these descriptors, so we can say things like, “it’s okay that I have a strong masculine capacity, and it absolutely serves me.”
I also see women tell themselves they aren’t feminine enough, in what I perceive to be an act of self violence. I studied with an embodiment teacher named Sophia Diaz for a period of time, and one time during a workshop, she asked the people who felt they had a feminine essence to go to one side of the room, and those who felt they had a masculine essence to go to the other. I started sobbing because I didn’t know which I identified with, and she brought me to the front of the room and told everybody that “only someone with a feminine essence would still be confused after all these years about whether they had a feminine or masculine essence”. I cried and laughed and felt confused at the same time, because this made me realize how much more specific we need to get when it comes to this stuff.
We Need to Get Clear & Specific About What We Want.
The “Masculine” and “Feminine” are vast energetic forces, encompassing so many nuances within the universe. We try, unsuccessfully, to put these forces upon our partners in order to understand them. What we don’t realize is that we need to be much clearer and more specific about what we want from our partners.
If you say to your partner, “I want you to be more masculine,” he likely has no idea what you’re talking about. He might think that means he needs to be more stoic, or tell you what to do, when really, what you mean might be that you want his undivided attention and you want to feel him breathe deeper into his belly. It’s unkind and lazy on our part not to say what we really desire. Whether it be stronger eye contact, a deeper breath, or more attention and awareness of what’s happening around us, we owe it to our partners to say that in those words.
Remember: it is not a requirement for you to become more masculine or feminine in your relationship.
He does not have to become more masculine, in order for you to embody your feminine; she does not have to become more feminine in order for you to embody your masculine.
If you’re with a woman who wants to relax, or to allow for your leadership, but yet she’s directing, correcting, and tough, then it’s going to take some serious spine and some serious firmness on your feet to feel in charge.
You abdicate responsibility by saying, “well, I just have to follow along because she’s so pushy,” or, “well she’s so masculine, it’s just easier.” Yes, it may be easier, but is that what you’re committed to? Or are you committed to being yourself? If you believe you have the right guidance for this relationship, then take guidance for the relationship. Note that this does not mean saying, “who cares what she thinks!” However, if you truly have the right guidance for the relationship, hold that and don’t don’t let yourself be swayed by her habitual direction, correction, or resistance.
The same goes for a woman who wants to become more in tune with her feminine. A man’s lack of direction does not obligate the woman to take charge in the relationship. You can create the dynamic you want to be in by fully committing to your way of being, regardless of whether you are getting what you think you need in order to feel, express, or let go. (For more on this, see: Let Him Lead You Badly).
How to Get Explicit on What You Want
In order to become more specific regarding your desires of your partner, ask yourself: “What do you actually want to experience in this person’s presence, or in your own presence?” Think about what would allow that to actually happen.
When you say you want to be more “in your feminine,” does that mean you want to flow more, you want to relax more, you want to be more bubbly, you want to express your emotions more, you want to dance more, you want to celebrate more, or you want to feel more connected to your intuition? Is it something else entirely? Each of these is unique & specific, and requires a slightly different form of practice & embodiment, a nuance which gets lost in the over-generalization of the term: ‘more feminine’.
When you say you want your partner to be more “in their masculine”, do you want them to actually make the decisions? Do you just want them to be more still? Do you want them to be more connected to consciousness? Do you want them to meditate more often? What could they actually do that would allow you to let go?
It takes specificity, intention, not being lazy, and taking time to really sit with “what do I really mean” when I say that, to answer these questions. But doing so will unlock the key to you actually getting nourished in the way you want to be nourished in your relationship.
Watch the full video here.