I’m so f*cking male – Part 2
Before we go on to read this part, some disclaiming:
- On the quest of discovering the intimate corners of my gender/sexuality I stumble upon strange creatures. Be aware that by reading you might get to know them.
- I recently read the German version of “Passionate Marriage: Sex, Love & Intimacy in emotionally committed relationships.” from David Schnarch. If I speak of the “reptilian part of my sexuality” I speak of the concept he is using in his book (a little summary on the topic by a random google search)
One time I was allowed to speak with a group of woman in a woman-only space. I was told something that I could not understand back then and still have trouble integrating into my perspective of reality.
I was told that they are seeking a space where they are not only not interrupted by men, not only reduced to an object during statements, not only approached with a sexual intention somewhere in the background, no, but that they are creating a room where they are not even looked at with a male gaze, with male eyes. All of them had in common that they experience the male gaze as something discomforting.
Their experience is not to be discussed. I, male, gazing, want to discuss my gaze.
I am walking on the street. I am sitting in a class. I am doing sports in a group. I am reading in a cafe. I spend time in front of my screen. I hitchhike. I discuss in groups. I dance. No action that I remember is clearly free of the reptilian part of my sexuality. In all (and by far mostly) women that I see, even if they are an image or even an imagination, there is a sexual component. This does not stop at barriers of age, not at barriers of form or social barriers of family/teacher/student/partner of partner. I can feel it in the back of my mind.
Am I a snake?
The lust when I see a woman. Much stronger when she moves. If I want I can lose myself in the moment, let my brain go with my imagination and drift into unconsciousness. So strong is the lust that I feel. The image (mostly it is visual, this has to be reflected on) that I see and if close enough (and no artificial odor in place) what I smell triggers a chain of timelines that open up in front of me. As if looking up, standing next to a tree, my back towards the stamp, the network of timelines lies in front of me. Every single action that I take will influence which of the branches, which of the lines in the end I am choosing. The possibilities are endless.
Here in a millisecond happens the decision on where to go. There are tabus that I can not touch so part of that tree is clearly a no-go area, forbidden. This no-go areas are to be reflected on, in a professional setting. Because they are there no matter if I want it or not. I only know I can not walk the path they show.
What is left is usually a decision between:
- keep on looking, enjoy, try to not make anyone aware of it
- stop looking, looking somewhere else
- approaching the person starting a conversation leading towards a totally different tree with new branches, new lines. Usually I am to afraid to behave improperly or ashamed of my curiosity but I guess it would be the best way to destroy/keep any bad/good impression the woman has of the situation.
I have mixed feelings about option 1. On one hand it is clear and obvious to me that I project a sexual component into the being in front of me. On the other hand I am clearly taking into account the possibilities of feelings and reactions the other person might have towards me doing that.
- one can not give a shit.
- one could enjoy it, as I experience myself how much I enjoy being looked at and complemented, even with a gaze. Or just plainly enjoy the attention. Being seen, being recognized, being given a smile in a grey, concrete jungle. That is what I, in that moment, would like the most and hope for the most.
- one could feel ashamed because exactly that attention. Felt like a critique. ‘Do a do something wrong?’, ‘Is there dirt on my clothes?’, ‘Do I behave improperly?’
- one could be pissed, because one receives so much looks, so much unspoken compliments, but never for something they accomplished but rather for just fitting the desire of someone else. To feel objectified.
- one can be afraid. Probably in combination with time and location including possible experience of the woman who I am looking at I might represent a creeping, aggressive sex maniac looking for a woman that I can dominate.
This thoughts go through my brain whilst navigating the lines of the first dot. So much uncertainty. In the world that many women in my social surroundings want to live in I should most probably not risk to be dot no. 3, 4 or 5 of the last characters just for the chance to be the first two. Most of the times, especially within a critical distance between the woman and me I do not keep on looking. If I am far enough away I keep on looking if the situation allows it. I do not feel bad towards being a voyeur.
The option I choose most is No. 2. A strict denial of that urge to look, of the lust that arises. It works quite well and I do not feel bad about it although I like to criticise me sometimes. The ones that are profiting, mentioned on the second dot above, might be the ones this time that are pissed or ashamed. Clearly looking away from someone can be read as ignoring them. It can be seen as a denial of their existence. I like to pop this critique like bubble wrap. Stomp on it, puff, and gone until it appears again.
No. 3, the active approach, is chosen if one of those lines ahead seems so interesting that I risk being a fool trying to walk it. Reaching into the future I see the woman who I am looking at idealized to the momentarily “perfect fitting female” for me, the ecstatic partner in sexual fantasies, the reflected companion in desperate times, the childish poke to do something stupid that I will not regret. This projection can be strong enough that I approach her.
Now where am I going with all this?
I clearly feel a lot of desire to have sex, especially with someone who I have not had any sexual encounter with. The typical hunter-male. I get pleasure from it. What seems(!) to be so natural(?). Declared as an original masculine feature. A relic of 50.000 years of evolution? A portrait of potency? The reptilian relic?
It is the reflex. It is the moment where no matter how much I reflect on it and the consequences I can not deny sexual action is one of the first priority when choosing any timeline. Sometimes I don’t even see that, even in moments of me trying to be fully respectful to the humans surrounding me (in the past I used to get very drunk to look past my on constructions). Sometimes I realize I am respectful with an opportunist motivation, the one that it might lead to sex. Now here I am. A snake, one that bites its own tail at least! How the hell can I put any value on that? What does it mean for me, for you, if I combine the ever lustful for new and the respectful feminist? How can I solve that chicken-egg-riddle?
I am very, very, very happy to have this insight into the process of decision-making of myself.
It led me to use dating platforms to search for sexual partners. I figured, that I can not do without new energy in my sex life. I figured, that I can not swallow all that lust, who knows how that would vent once my stomach is full. It did not decrease my lust and my fantasies when seeing a woman are not gone, but – mostly through listening to myself and writing this text – I can put those fantasies where they belong. They are a part of me that I enjoy. I guess I will keep them. But also I am aware of them and thus they do not have so much power over my decisions anymore. Where I would go lengths on a path that is clearly not making me happy just to check if there lies a great sexual encounter on the other end I now leave this decision mostly to the other person. I reduced my initiative to act.
Not only I engage passively with this topic, I also talk to every woman before a sexual encounter about this topic, about desire, about implications and about what sex means me and them. Showing myself to empower them to consent.
And of course I can tell myself that I am doing everything right. The feedback that I get for this way of dealing with myself and others is generally positive. I keep on walking this world with a lot of sex happening in my brain, happy about it. Not so sad about the fact that most of it stays a fantasy. Just a little bit. The reptilian sexuality is there. I guess still waiting for a moment where I am to weak.
Sigmund Freud says that a man is full of the unsatiable desire to ‘conquer’ all women sexually and only the pressure of society is stopping ‘the men’. Despite the criticism I still find myself in a situation pretty much like that.
As a man it is my duty to balance the instinctive desire to give it space, constructively, where it will lead to great moments and to hit it hard in case it wants to break out of its cage. Symbolically I am the tamer of my snake – which I find extremely funny!
Through very considerate and understanding partners I was able to deal with this topic and I am thankful to them.