"Whenever I go into a restaurant, I order both a chicken and an egg to see which comes first"

Monday, December 19, 2022

Why Savvy Men Love Strong Women–Dominance, Submission, And D.H. Lawrence

Men have been under siege in the past few years.  ‘Toxic masculinity’ is the meme, abuse, supremacy, and patriarchy words from the feminist liturgy.  Men are little boys, puerile beings who have never grown up, coddled from infancy to believe the male macho myth and never shedding it, never realizing innate, historical superiority of women.  They need to be taught a lesson.  MeToo, the feminist movement which brands men ipso facto as misogynists and rapists, has become the ethos of the day. Men are expected to give up their places at the head of table, in the board room, and in the community. They have been demoted, marginalized, and sentenced.

Savvy men, however, are not buying it.  They understand women, not in the political sense of civil rights, suffrage, and the glass ceiling, but in the sense of women’s tears, jealousy, mothering, and guilt.  A savvy man knows that even the youngest generation of women have grown up as daddy’s girls, in love with their fathers, the first and only men in their lives, men who can do no wrong, who are quickly forgiven when they do, and returned to their former place of admiration and respect.  The sexual calculus has not changed in millennia and the last few decades of militant feminism have only chastened a few men who, still rooted in the days of civil rights, feel an obligation to give women their long awaited due, to let them have their lead, rule the roost.

Savvy men grew up in the light of D.H. Lawrence for whom sexual relations were never a social matter, governed by status, money, and power – but will, emotional strength, and sexual dynamics.  Dominance and submission were indeed relevant to sexual relationships but were never a one-way street.  Traffic went both ways, and the ideal relationship was one in which the two were perfectly balanced.  Lady Chatterley and Mellors were well-matched  despite their differences in class, breeding, and and upbringing  and because of their openness to sexual challenge.

Image result for imates dh lawrnce

Even D.H.Lawrence’s strong and independent Ursula and Gudrun (Women in Love) struggle with issues of dependency begun in childhood.   Ursula, as Lawrence explains in The Rainbow, the story of the women’s early years, was desperately attached to her father, put up with his abuse and indifference, but dependent on his quixotic but passionate love for her, could only achieve distance and autonomy with a struggle.

Both women feel they need men, but are unsatisfied with any of them.  The entire story of these women is not one of love, but love sought – a love which could only be the result of the exhausting struggle of wills between them and their partners.
Sexual dynamics will continue to be rattling and noisy.  Men and women are still struggling for some kind of purchase in a changing sexual landscape.  Women feel empowered, aggressive, and determined; clueless men are all the more resentful and hostile, and savvy, aware men who understand women’s conflicts and emotional desires, benefit.

Shakespeare’s most intriguing and compelling characters were women; and Dionyza, Goneril, Regan, Tamora, and Volumnia let alone Rosalind and her Comedic colleagues ran rings around men, took advantage of them, played with them, and tortured them.  The men were lap dogs, panting after their maidens but understanding nothing of their power and ambition.   Shakespeare’s only true love story was The Taming of the Shrew (Romeo and Juliet was an adolescent fairy tale romance) in which Kate and Petruchio find each other despite Kate’s misandry. She is looking for a confident man who sees beyond her angry shrewishness, understands that it is not innate but acquired due to her overbearing, brutish father.  Petruchio is a Lawrentian man, unafraid of female will and ambition, and seeing only complementarity.

Goneril - Wikipedia

Savvy men are very much like Petruchio. They are undaunted by demanding, outspoken women who, they understand, are no different than Kate, Rosalind, or Portia.  Women are not simply men in finery but accomplices in sexual union.  Petruchio would have been bored by a tame, dutiful, complaisant wife; and Kate looked forward to his persuasive male power.  In a soliloquy in the last act of the play, Kate expresses her newfound sexual sensibilities.  The passage is not one of supine submission to male authority, but a recognition of Lawrentian complementarity.  There is no shame in submitting to the will of another if such submission is met with an equally satisfying response.

Fie, fie! unknit that threatening unkind brow,
And dart not scornful glances from those eyes,
To wound thy lord, thy king, thy governor:
It blots thy beauty as frosts do bite the meads,
Confounds thy fame as whirlwinds shake fair buds,
And in no sense is meet or amiable.
A woman moved is like a fountain troubled,
Muddy, ill-seeming, thick, bereft of beauty;
And while it is so, none so dry or thirsty
Will deign to sip or touch one drop of it.
Thy husband is thy lord, thy life, thy keeper,
Thy head, thy sovereign

I am ashamed that women are so simple
To offer war where they should kneel for peace;
Or seek for rule, supremacy and sway,
When they are bound to serve, love and obey.
Why are our bodies soft and weak and smooth,
Unapt to toil and trouble in the world,
But that our soft conditions and our hearts
Should well agree with our external parts?

Taming Of The Shrew

As savvy men know, female sexual behavior remains an unchanged, hardwired attribute of human nature.  After all these millennia of evolution, women still want the same things from a sexual relationship as ever.  They might be more demanding and insistent, but they haven’t changed since the Pleistocene.   Their desires are now mediated in a more understanding and tolerant environment, but sex, sexual desire, sexual attraction, and sexual satisfaction go on as they always have. Savvy men get the gist of this new social context quickly and easily and act accordingly.  They know precisely what to say, and how to act.  They negotiate the new socio-political dynamic and take it from there.

Strong, sexually and politically aware women are not looking for submissive men, but men who recognize the double-sided nature of modern femininity – politically active and aware, but sexually and emotionally no different than they ever were.  If the Comedies of Shakespeare taught us anything, it was that strong, determined, independent women wanted men with equal confidence, sexual ability, and determination.  Gudrun and Ursula – tough, uncompromising women – are no different from any woman who wants sexual and emotional satisfaction, respect, and a relationship which accommodates all three.

They have no time for the men who, proud of their political sensibilities, boast of their commitment to feminism.  In their marriages their wives always come first, deference is always paid to their accomplishments, their abilities, and their intelligence. Theirs is a manufactured deference, part of a political philosophy which preaches diversity, inclusivity, and secular rights of the formerly oppressed.  Women, these men say, have suffered more than their share, have been sexual slaves as rudely and brutally treated as black slaves.  Everything must be done to right the wrongs of the past.  Male subservience is a small price to pay for the greater good.

Of course as Lawrence well knew, such inspiration was of no use in bed.  Women who dominate without victory in sexual struggle have won no spoils, only a weak husband with them for all the wrong reasons.

Nothing has changed.  Savvy men know that appealing to a woman’s sense of worth, independence, and intelligence but doing so without compromise will assure them of easy sexual conquest.  Strong women understand Lawrence’s sexual equation – an equilibrium between dominance and submission, a calculus which addresses primal sensibilities and ignores the temporal and political loose ends of relationships. 

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