This morning there was a debate in the Goddess Private Forum about what turns women on. As you can imagine, the conversation got a little racy. Some posts were funny, others explicit, some women love brains, others love brains of a different kind. These days more women appreciate youth and physical prowess, and more women discount wisdom, financial status, and dominance. Today women are acquiring higher degrees and financial stability, so while most are looking for their equal, very few women are asking for a man who possesses traits of dominance or superiority.
Yesterday morning I was speaking to a Goddess in training. She was complaining that there aren’t enough excellent men. She said that she would like to meet men whom she can look up to. I immediately downloaded a message for her, and asked: “If you are looking up at a man, doesn’t that logically mean that he is looking down at you?” She was shocked, that statement blew her away. It totally resonated. Then I asked her if she had a history of dating men who treated her as if she is nothing to them? Her only answer was “Holy, f**king sh*it!”.
This scenario probably resonates with a lot of women, and men. A lot of my male friends complain that women are only chasing men who are no good, lack character, or possess traits of an alpha male. I think that this is how women have been raised, most of us have been taught by our fathers to look for men who are excellent providers, highly intelligent, superior. Even culture and media glorify big shots, worship hyper-successful males to the point where they can do no wrong, and respect men of supreme knowledge, leadership, and dominance. Today especially, the younger generation of males are labeled by media as lazy, passive, and are ridiculed for being in touch with their feminine side. Let’s face it, we are all raised like that.
I’ll be very honest, and at the risk of sounding egotistical, I have never met a man who I thought was above me. Yes, I too admired big shots, their high intelligence and dominance. But I never actually met a man who I thought was more intelligent, nor more dominant than me. I am an alpha, and let’s just leave it at that. I always ended up in relationships with men who were less smart, less confident, more insecure than me, so they all pretended to be more than they actually were. These men too were raised to believe that they should be in the lead, and that women should support their egos. So, in order to make him feel bigger, I would always try to make myself look smaller. I have a history of putting men on a pedestal, so that I can admire them from down here. I thought that once he is bigger than me, I will feel like he is a real man. Is it surprising then that our culture promotes the idea that a real man is bigger, better, stronger than a real woman?
My first husband was less intelligent and less educated than me. I wanted to make him feel like a real man, so when the company we both worked for went public, and all executives were being vetted for it’s IPO, he asked me to remove MBA from my resume, so that he could feel like a Vice President. I did so gladly to make him feel like a man. I loved him, and at the time I thought that is what a supporting wife should do. But looking back, I spent the entire marriage boosting his confidence, placing him in the lead, putting him in the spotlight. I remember sending press releases to financial media, to get him interviewed by CNN, CNBC, Bloomberg and Forbes. I glorified all his successes, and swept mine under the rug. It is no surprise then, that when we were going through the divorce, he openly said that I am too small for him. You might think that I learned my lesson, but I still believed that a man should be bigger, in fact, I could only be turned on by someone who appeared to be bigger even when he was obviously faking his success. I simply admired men who perceived themselves to be great.
A lot of my male friends complain that women are “programmed” to look for fake signs of success, dominance and superiority. I agree with them. I was raised in two cultures that valued machismo, dominance and male superiority. A lot of my female friends and clients complain about dating brutes, narcissists, and phonies who treat them as if they are inferior, but they have never made a connection between the traits that they find attractive, and how the men who possess those traits behave and treat them.
It is almost impossible for a woman to be turned on by a man she does not find attractive. So when the women try to date men with milder manners, they find that “he is nice, but he can’t turn me on”. I know how that feels. I was in the same predicament for many years. I tried giving the nice guy a chance, but no matter how hard I tried to accept him, I never thought of him as Wow. But it is strange to realize that we all want to be wowed by the object of our affection. The men who I initially thought of as impressive always turned out to be putting on an act.
It was by sheer luck and probably boredom that I once started dating a guy who is not an alpha, not a brute, not an egotistical narcissist, just a regular guy. Lucky for me he was hot, which is the only reason I noticed him. If he wasn’t I would have dismissed him easily. But that one relationship with a non-dominant male, totally crashed my program. I admit, I only gave him a chance for his looks, which is superficial. But the more I got to know him, the more I found his humbleness refreshingly charming. Slowly I started to notice that he had nothing to prove, wasn’t trying to lord over me, wasn’t asking that I diminish myself so that he can feel like a man. He was actually proud of me for being in the lead. I never met a guy like that. I had heard that they exist, but never thought I could be attracted to one.
But this one relationship was enough to change my view about masculinity and what it actually means. I realized that rather than look up at a man, I’d rather be looking at him straight in his eyes. Men who are our equals happen to have healthy views about women and femininity. They are actually capable of relating to us. Logically speaking, if he isn’t looking down on you, he won’t be treating you as such either.
Though many women in the forum found this revelation to truly resonate with them, many admitted that it will be hard to change old habits. I agree, we all live the way we have been programmed. And if we want better life experiences, we have to step out of the matrix.
Breaking my program was a painful experience, but I fully intended to change my habits and my reality. The good news is that I stopped being attracted to dominant, macho men, and I am now turned off by egotism. I now have a lot more respect for what culture refers to as beta males, the men who don’t seek to dominate, but are perfectly comfortable with themselves.
But I think that socially this country is experiencing a shift. Turn on the news, and the headlines are filled with accusations of masculinity being under attack. Initially, it was just a few critics who openly ridiculed the president’s narcissism and phony masculinity, but then other politicians with bloated egos and very little character got lumped into the same category. Then came the #metoo movement, when the country’s top executives were exposed for harassment, rape and misogyny. And finally, the nation’s religious leaders were exposed for pedophilia, sexual abuse and a long history of silencing victims.
So, is masculinity under attack? Definitely not. Fake masculinity is being exposed, and criminal behavior is under attack. and that is clearly making a lot of men and women uncomfortable. Delusion, perversion, bullying are under attack and rightfully so. But, as we watch the masks of a lot of powerful men crack and fall to the ground, many of us are realizing that those traits we were taught to be masculine: aggression, dominance, superiority have nothing to do with real manhood at all. A lot of women are recognizing their own personal patterns in the stories that play out in the media. We can all relate to submitting to a man so he won’t lose his temper, won’t retaliate, won’t seek revenge. We all know what it is like to keep our mouths shut so that his opinion could be valid. We have all been taught to pander to a man’s ego, and if we have an opinion that invalidates his, make him believe that he came up with it himself.
In many ways we women are guilty of supporting fake masculinity, respecting the patriarchy and bowing down to Big Men. In fact we made them, we raised them, and we pandered to their egos for generations. Why are we so dismayed that so many men still don’t see us as equals? We put them on those pedestals ourselves.
But, getting back to dating and women’s attraction to big, powerful men, I think that this is something that is slowly shifting here in America. Now that women comprise 47% of the work force, we no longer need men to lead us, support us, be superior to us. As our needs change, many women are starting to realize that we don’t need a traditional husband, we now want a partner and an equal.
Dating that hypermasculine brute with a bloated ego who seeks to dominate is no longer attractive to a growing number of women. Personally, I want a man I can respect. I see myself possessing a very strong character, so I would like someone whose character matches mine. I still want someone whose strengths compensate for my weaknesses and vice versa, but overall I want my equal. I don’t need someone whose life I have to build, nor someone whose ego I have to stroke. I am ready to build my own life. He can join me, or not.
If one person in the relationship is looking up, obviously the other is looking down.