Fanning the Spark: The Sexual Passion of Opposites

Man and woman face-to-faceWhen I opened my psychotherapy practice in the late 1970s I saw myself as a feminist psychotherapist, putting the majority of my focus on women. I would have been disdainful of books like David Deida’s The Way of the Superior Man. Now I incorporate his often provocative approach into work that I do with straight, gay, and even lesbian couples!

The Way of the Superior Man is not just for men. It is written specifically for “people who have a more masculine sexual essence, and their lovers, who will have a more feminine sexual essence—since you always attract your sexual reciprocal.” At first glance it may seem a strange book to use in work with lesbians. Yes, they are two women—but every passionate couple, regardless of gender, includes two different energies: masculine and feminine. Which one are you? Deida asks, “Would you rather that your sexual partner was physically stronger than you, or would you prefer to feel your lover’s physical vulnerability? Which would turn you on more, to pin your partner on the bed below you or to be pinned below your partner?” You may want both at different times, but most of us will tend toward ‘pinner’ or ‘pinee’ more often.

I agree with Deida that about 90% of people seem to have a clear preference: “They definitely either prefer that their partner kills the cockroach crawling toward them, or they’re fine with doing the crunchy job themselves, perhaps with sporting fervor.” But what about the 10% (or so) left over that might scoop the offending insect up onto a piece of paper and deposit them safely outdoors? These folks, he suggests, have a more balanced essence, be they male or female, straight, gay, or bisexual.

Growing up in the 1960s, I embraced the hippie, Age of Aquarius lifestyle where I learned to be an assertive woman while enjoying the summer of love with its carefree and sensual lifestyle. The men around me wore bright colors and long hair, embracing their inner feminine. In terms of social roles, men and women became more similar—an improvement for all of us. Those reading this blog are probably in more balanced relationships than your parents were.

But a side effect of this trend toward gender balance, and even similarity, can be the reduction in desire that drives many couples to my office. What Deida calls 50/50 has resulted in social equality but also in sexual neutrality, and that causes big problems in the bedroom. “Sexual attraction,” Deida writes, “is based on sexual polarity, which is the force of passion that arcs between masculine and feminine poles.” (Remember, this doesn’t necessarily mean a masculine body and a feminine body.)

The North and South Poles of the Earth create a powerful force of magnetism. In the same way, he explains, the masculine and feminine poles between two people (regardless of gender) create the flow of sexual feeling, or passion. This dynamism often disappears in modern relationships. Deida says that “If you want real passion, you need a ravisher and a ravishee; otherwise, you just have two buddies who decide to rub genitals in bed.”

You don’t need these different poles for genuine companionable love, but you do need them for ongoing sexual passion. Couples who lament that desire has slipped away may still be close friends, but the juice of the sexual polarity fades, unless in moments of intimacy, one partner is willing to play the masculine pole and one partner is willing to play the feminine. As Deida says, “You have to animate the masculine and feminine differences if you want to play in the field of sexual passion.”

© Copyright 2010 by Jill Denton, LMFT, CSAT, CCS, therapist in Los Osos, California. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org. Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

  • 11 comments
  • Leave a Comment
  • chris

    chris

    April 5th, 2010 at 2:59 PM

    my girlfriend often asks me to be a little ‘wild’ in bed….she says she would enjoy better if I was a bit more agressive in bed…I did not quite understand this…did she want me to be biting her all over or what?, I thought…reading this blog has helped me a bit but I think I would need to see a specialist like you to fully understand this.

  • Janice

    Janice

    April 6th, 2010 at 6:11 AM

    This makes amazing sense- you do need that person who is the opposite of you to balance everything out even in the bedroom. Without that opposing energy many partners would have a very boring sex life.

  • BILLY

    BILLY

    April 6th, 2010 at 6:12 AM

    Yes,I would be glad to have a partner who would let me dominate her during sex…this really thrlls me…

  • Star

    Star

    April 6th, 2010 at 6:26 AM

    “You have to animate the masculine and feminine differences if you want to play in the field of sexual passion.” Are you advocating rough sex? Because I hate that and find it a big turn off. I’d like to keep the passion aflame but not if that’s the price I have to pay.

  • Lacey

    Lacey

    April 6th, 2010 at 10:32 AM

    The passion is definitely dwindling in our love life. After ten years, maybe I shouldn’t be surprised. I would like it to be better. My problem is that everything I read about reviving it seems to be about playing roles. I don’t want to pretend I’m some hot babe in bed when I’m not or that I’m being “taken”. It’s on a par with faking an orgasm – not something I’d do. If I don’t feel it, I’m not faking it, much as I want the spark rekindled. I want to do something authentic that will help although I’m not even sure what that would be.

  • Yolanda

    Yolanda

    April 6th, 2010 at 4:07 PM

    People worry too much about what’s going on in other people’s beds and if they’re having a better time. If I never had sex again, I don’t think I’d miss it. I enjoy it but it’s not a huge priority in my life. I want to be loved more than laid LOL.

  • Meghan

    Meghan

    April 7th, 2010 at 5:32 AM

    In my experience being married there has always definitely been an attraction to my husband, it’s just that sometimes he seems to want me way more than I do him. It’s not that I don’t enjoy having sex, but I just think he likes it more. I always thought that was just a guy thing but after reading this I have learned that it can go both ways but that it is actually ok that he and I have different responses about sex. I am attracted to him and love being with him and having sex, but I just sense a much more animal type of attraction in him toward me than what I feel for him. Now I don’t feel so bad for recognizing this as I have read and see that this can actually be quite normal among couples.

  • Thomas

    Thomas

    April 7th, 2010 at 2:28 PM

    Lighten up folks! Sex between two lovers is supposed to be fun and passionate, not something to dissect and fret about. Nothing wrong with a little role play and putting more effort in. It spices things up and as long as you’re both into it, why not?

  • Rosalee

    Rosalee

    April 9th, 2010 at 10:04 PM

    Think of yourself as a lover and not just their spouse/partner. That alone makes me feel more sexy. Getting your mindset right helps immensely. See yourself as a desirable woman instead of the chief cook and bottlewasher. I find a nice bath and devoting some me-time to getting ready for bed as if I was going on a big date is good too. Don’t let your passion get lost in the shuffle of everyday activities.

  • Valerie

    Valerie

    April 10th, 2010 at 12:47 PM

    It may sound unromantic to say plan it but we do. I got tired of going to bed exhausted planning to sleep and finding my husband wanted sex and he got fed up with me treating it like a chore because I was tired. We had a heart-to-heart because we do love each other very much and didn’t want it to fade away completely. We were just out of sync. Now we give each other a nod and a wink earlier in the day if either of us are interested in making love that night. A simple phrase like “feel like cuddling up tonight?” is all that’s needed. That way we both have time to plan out our day and evening so we’re not too tired or stressed by bedtime. If either of us don’t think we’ll feel like it by then, we say so honestly and that’s the end of it -no angry faces, no resentments, no gap six inches wide down the middle of the bed because of hurt feelings. It has worked out great for us. What we’ve lost in spontaneity we have gained in feeling closer and developing a mutual respect of each other’s needs and time. We make love more now than we ever did and it’s better, a lot of which is due to the anticipation. We still have our spontaneous moments too – we’re not that rigid!- and sex is more like making love again than simply sex, if you know what I mean. We’re happy.

  • shikz

    shikz

    November 25th, 2014 at 10:37 AM

    as a gay woman i must say this really makes sense and works esp for the LGBT.

Leave a Comment

By commenting you acknowledge acceptance of GoodTherapy.org's Terms and Conditions of Use.

* Indicates required field.

 

Advanced Search

Search Our Blog