7 + 1 Reasons Not to F*ck a Woman’s Mind. {NSFW}

Via on Oct 18, 2012

Warning: naughty language ahead. 

“I, with a deeper instinct, choose a man who compels my strength, who makes enormous demands on me, who does not doubt my courage or my toughness, who does not believe me naïve or innocent, who has the courage to treat me like a woman.”

~ Anais Nin

When I first read David Esotica’s article, I was annoyed. Then, I really started to get angry. Who the fuck are you to decide what all women feel and where do you get off listing how women should be—in your words—ravished?!

Because let’s be clear here, we aren’t talking lovemaking. We are using a word we connote with violence. We are using a word that means you are taking something that’s mine. We are using a word that I’m okay with using to describe a certain kind of sex, but fuck you if you think you ever get to do it to my mind.

I believe that gender stereotypes and generalizations are fundamentally unnecessary, but sometimes contain kernels of truth. I love the experience of being female. I love the soft, yielding parts of my body and my mind. I love my strength—physical, mental and spiritual. I love the contrast of male and female. We all contain yin and yang, and the interplay of the two between two lovers, regardless of gender, is beautiful—both mentally and physically.

The thing is, I’d be just as bothered by an equally reductive essay written about men. I’ve written before about how it pains me when women, under the guise of feminism, tear men down and condense the idea of masculinity to a tired joke that only continues to divide the sexes.

We are not just flowers, and men are not wild animals.

So to hear a man reduce this idea of what it is to be female this way does more than make me angry. It saddens me.

I could probably give you a hundred reasons why, but I’ll stick with seven, plus one.

1. “A woman’s sex is all mental.”

I don’t know who he’s talking to, but the moment of orgasm might be one of the few times in my life that I am completely without words. There is no cerebral framework for that sensation. It is body and spirit on fire.

2. “For all her thorns and daggers, every woman holds a fragile part. She hides it, for fear of finding herself vulnerable.”

I prize my vulnerability; it is a strength. I don’t know what to make of this idea of “thorns and daggers”? Sure, we all have our guarded moments. The strong among us (humans, not exclusively women) don’t hide our fragility. We know that where we are tender and raw—sexually or spiritually—is where we are our most genuine, our most essential.

3. “Care taken whilst taking what you want.”

{As a funny aside, part of my annoyance here is the use of the word “whilst.” Seriously? Whilst? Hmm.}

My sex isn’t something to be taken from me, it’s something to share. My mind, my body, my heart, my spirit? They aren’t to be taken. I’ll give them. I’ll share them. They are mine, and I don’t think I’d want to be with anyone who felt the need to try and take them.

4. Painfully. Cruel nails grinding down the sides of her ribs. Gripping onto the bone of her hips. Digging into the soft flesh of her waist.”

Many people enjoy pushing the boundaries of pleasure versus pain. If someone wants to do something “cruelly and painfully” to me, I’ll pass. Thanks anyway.

5. “Every woman.”

I have to say, every time I read “every woman” in this piece, I cringed. Not just for “every woman,” but for every man too. There are seven million plus one things about me and even then I’m still shifting and changing. I can’t imagine reducing the ways to love one man into a list of eight, let alone the entire gender.

6. “Every woman reaches a point when she comes, deeper and harder than she thought possible. Her body and her soul open unleashing a storm.”

Ah, again with the “every woman.” But the part that makes me sad here, and throughout, is the idea that making love is something you would choose to do to someone instead of with them. There is a disconnect here. This is the disconnect that making love should begin to erode. Anais Nin said, “only the united beat of sex and heart together can create ecstasy.” This isn’t something you do to a woman and she “takes it.” This is something you share. This is the ocean between two continents. This is the waves crashing on both of our shores.

7. “This leads us to a beautiful truth about the feminine—every woman is in pain.”

Wrong. This leads us to a beautiful truth about human beings: we are all in pain.

To connect physically, lovingly, whether through the platonic touch of a friend or passionate lovemaking can have a profound affect on our pain. All of us have dark places that need healing. We give it to ourselves; we give it to each other. And I’d agree, our pain is part of the beautiful truth of being human, but stand beside me and hold me through my pain. It isn’t a way into my pants.

8. “Yes, this is how I can hold you, take you and claim you…but you are the one who must invite me.”

There is no invitation I would issue, could issue to be claimed, to have someone “fuck my mind.” Love is standing together, no one above or below, but in concert. I am not here in some tower waiting to be carried away and ravished. When I decide to make love, it is something I will give.

It is a gift we give to each other. It is how we surrender to each other.

 

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About Kate Bartolotta

Kate Bartolotta is the strongest girl in the world. She is the love child of a pirate and a roller derby queen. She hails from the second star to the right. Her love of words is boundless, but she knows that many of life’s best moments are completely untranslatable. When she is not writing, you may find her practicing yoga, devouring a book, playing with her children, planting dandelions, or dancing barefoot with her heart on her sleeve. She is madly in love with life and does not know how this story ends; she’s making it up as she goes. Kate is the owner and editor-in-chief of Be You Media Group. She also writes for The Huffington Post, elephant journal, The Good Men Project, The Green Divas, Yoganonymous, The Body Project, Project Eve, Thought Catalog and Soulseeds. She facilitates writing workshops and retreats throughout North America. Heart Medicine, Kate's book on writing, is now available on Amazon.com You can follow Kate on Facebook and Twitter

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125 Responses to “7 + 1 Reasons Not to F*ck a Woman’s Mind. {NSFW}”

  1. Mymble says:

    Thank you for your clear and true words! I was just as annoyed as you – the article was truly disturbing and ridiculous. All this talk about "taking" and "ravishing" and "pain" and "every woman" left me cold.

    I am a person who describe myself as a sub, sexually, but I couldn't fit any of this into that framework – precisely because it was all about taking, not sharing.

    Not to mention the fact that the author clearly perceives women as "le deuxième sexe".

  2. kirsten says:

    Thank you!!!!! I felt like a rug had been pulled from beneath me after reading the original piece; off-balance, a little disassociated…stunned i guess. So, thank you for such a powerful rebuttal/response/declaration!!!!!

  3. Guest says:

    Thank you for this post. I found the other one to be sexist at the least and verging on violent. Thank you for taking the time to address this!

  4. David Esotica says:

    Hello Kate.

    Thank you for a sound and resolute counter-piece, so soon after mine was published. The only thing that comes to mind is this:

    "But of course you're right."

    And so am I.

    I was indeed anticipating polarised responses. Both articles are true. How else could they generate such passionate replies?

    When I read the words that you write, I think, "yes, this woman is writing her truth." Does that mean that I am not?

    If I am willing to entertain that your words are your truth, is it so difficult to accept that this is mine? That I witness this unfold, frequently and consistently? Enough for me to put my reputation on the line? If my words were merely ridiculous invention of neotenous fantasy, they would have been universally torn down. They have not.

    Let us go to the crux of it. There will be women who read my article and say "YESSS". And I will notice it. And I will know what is possible when I am with then. Then there will be women who say "NOOO". And that is fine. I would be unable to share anything with that woman. In fact, I will never meet her.

    But as you said, you will always be shifting and changing. Time will tell.

    • The main difference, David, is that you are presenting a truth about an entire gender, and one that you do not belong to. I am willing to concede that this may be your truth, your perception of the women you have known, but you present it as "this is what women need and what they are about."

      My belief is that for all human beings of both genders to truly connect, we need to let go of the ideas you are presenting. They seem to accentuate the divide rather than bring us closer together. And yes, that is my "truth." Many women felt your post was a fit for where they see themselves.

      • Mymble says:

        I agree, Kate, the main problem with Davids article is that he is talking about "all women". Of course, some women will identify with what he is saying (and personally, I can identify rather strongly with some of the tangible things he is describing (due to my sub orientation) but I certainly don't identify with the tone of the article. My sexuality is not passive, it is not to be "awakened" by a man), and he has clearly met a few of those, but that does not justify generalization.

        As a way of showing how utterly wrong it is to describe women's sexual psyche as homogenous, his article should be written out with reversed gender roles….

        • Exactly! Men are fascinating and complex—and each one is different. I would never presume to describe what "all men want" or need or how to f*ck their minds. I respect and appreciate men and masculinity, and it saddens me that David has also, in effect, reduced men to simply "ravishers and subduers" of women. Where do men get to receive in that picture? How are their needs met? I don't think the whole of the male experience is the need to dominate and conquer.

          • Lori Ann Lothian says:

            Hi Kate and everyone. Such a rich discussion. I think what might be useful for us all to step back, way back, like from outer space and look at what this piece by David is really tapping into. As the writer of a piece like it, that generalized what women might want from men (A Call to the Sacred Masculine), that went viral to 63K views this summer, we need to look at something beyond our preferences.

            What i see is a clear collective chord — and nerver– being struck by the idea of a man as powerful, leaderful, and so much so, that a woman can TRUST HIM into a place of sexual and emotional surrender. This yearning is in the collective, which is why the badly written Fiffty Shades of Grey, sold 60 MILLION copies in months. It's an extreme version of this yearning…as one reader said, not to submit, but to surrender.

            Perhaps women of the world are tired of doing it all? After the two world wars, we moved en masse into the workforce and WE STILL RAISED THE KIDS. Suddenly, we are both driven and ambitious, competing and working hard in the "man's world" and yes, making strides for fairness and equality.

            And yet, the receptive feminine, the nourishing and collaborative feminine, the softer and intuitive feminine–got trampled down in this process.

            Maybe we are asking men, deep down, to join us in a new kind of alliance. David Deida writes at length about his kind of third level "communion" where we take each other to "god" or our place of Oneness Consciousness, through a polarized but EQUAL union.

            Getting off my pulpit now.

            hugs

            LA

      • David Esotica says:

        Oh, I didn't hit reply before, so you might not have seen what I wrote. It's down below, just in case.

      • solfulsoul says:

        The reality is you are both making unfounded generalizations but, because one of you chooses a safer route, the other is deemed far too offensive. You can both hold to your "truths" as long as you like, but the real "truth", as it were demands reconciliation. The masculine perspective of "taking" is primitively objective, it is about alleviating the obstacles men face in wanting to please and/or receive the admiration of their gentler counterparts. The feminine notion of "we are all human" is a subjectivity just as destructive and saddening in my opinion; it is the blight of any sort of wisdom and governance to reject the inherent differences between human beings, let alone men and women. If you do not know what these differences are, or if you believe they are merely to set one over the other, or, if you do not believe these differences exist or are worth mentioning, do the entire race a favor and keep silent.

        To be as blunt and and simple as possible: the difference between men and women is simple, but it is not the issue of our modern world. I think deep down we all know what the differences are, even if we have lost the words (think vengance). What ought to be of the utmost concern is how this confusion is so widespread that the basic human traditions of masculinity and femininity and beauty are being dissolved. So as not to sound like a sentimental-purist-preacher, what I mean is that when we lose sight of our nature we lose the ability to meet our true (highest) potential, both as individuals and as lovers, teammates, collaborators.

    • dan says:

      I'm glad you admit to trolling for ladies with that piece. "as you said, you will always be shifting and changing" – another classic way place yourself in control.

    • Trista says:

      What a condescending and arrogant reply! LOL

    • tarenlane says:

      I love both pieces because they both made me think, and feel, physically and mentally. I thank you each for your time and for sharing. Please, continue!

  5. Skink says:

    I'm a guy, and think Mr. Esotica's article is a bunch of hogwash. Each of us is blessedly different from the person next to us.

    I see it as another guy trying to assert patriarchal dominance.

    I think he just read 50 shades of grey or something.

    • Ha! Right on. That was my thought when I read the comments…that most of the women that loved it were probably 50 Shades fans.

      • shelleyreece says:

        Lol, now THAT's offensive…. 50 Shades of Grey competes only with Twilight for it's assault on the intellectual mind.

        What's also offensive is this concept that a woman cannot love, passionately…. cannot give herself over to a man, passionately… without something being wrong with her. Cannot surrender to bliss, to instinct, to an animalistic primal nature, without something being wrong with her.

        Your post opened with a quote by Anais Nin. I would agree with it. I think that a man who is capable of demanding I be strong enough to be nothing but my true, deep, inner, primal and beautiful self with him, is a man who neither thinks me naive or innocent. Rather, he knows I am capable of meeting him on that torrid field as an equal. He know I am capable of worshiping him in his primal God form – and that by making that demand, he is capable of seeing me and worshiping me as the primal Goddess. Why are we all so afraid of our animal natures? I suppose that there are those of us who choose to run with wolves, and those that don't. But I am proud to be a barefoot woodland runner, howling wild and free and rutting – yes, RUTTING – beneath the full-bellied Moon with the Man who is MY sexually secure and liberated equal. I do not understand this concept that this is something David – or myself – should be ashamed of.

        • "a woman cannot love, passionately…. cannot give herself over to a man, passionately… without something being wrong with her. Cannot surrender to bliss, to instinct, to an animalistic primal nature, without something being wrong with her."

          Nope, not my point at all. My point was that we can do this—all of us—but to decide this is what all women need all the time? Not buying it. I think this perspective ignores the complexity of masculinity and oversimplifies women's needs and desires.

          • shelleyreece says:

            Can you cite, please, exactly where David said, "this is what all women need all the time" ? I think I missed it…. just like I missed the part where apparently this is all about male dominance. I didn't read a single thing that suggested men are superior, or a single thing telling me I'm not allowed to bite back, while this passionate event takes place…

            I would suggest that everyone who did read such things needs to realize that those concepts exist in their own psyches…

            Unless you CAN point me to the specific places where he said, "This is what women need, all the time", and explicitly said the woman is a passive recipient to all this….

          • Well, the phrase "every woman" was used many times throughout his article, which I would take to mean the same as "all women." I don't feel there was any issue of male superiority expressed, but dominance is pretty clear, and I don't think even the author would dispute that, though he'd probably attribute it to "polarity."

          • Shelley says:

            I see. So, he never said, "this is what women need, all the time."

            And I am to assume that you have never made a sweeping generalization in a post, geared to arousing the passions – such as – hmm… "We are all in pain". How can you possibly know that?

            How about your sweeping assumption that most of the women that read David's article and loved it must be 50 Shades of Grey fans?

            I read a lot of your work Kate and I usually love it. But in this instance, you seem to have a personal demon that crawled out and foamed at the mouth on your behalf.

            I really would like to see you explore why you felt so threatened by this article, and threatened enough by the women who enjoyed it, to assume they must mostly be members of a fanbase you apparently hold in a derogatory opinion.

            And again – yes, the post displayed "male power" – but nothing in it said that women have no power, are submissive, or inferior. The assumption that we, as women, can only be powerful if our men are not, damages both genders. And like I said – I, as a sexually powerful woman, would not deign to sleep with a man unable to match me. I seek dominant men because I am a powerful woman, and I demand of my men, that they be my equals. There's nothing degrading about it – unless you make it so.

          • Timmy_Robins says:

            Couldnt agree more.

            I detect 50 shades of… the author took it personally.

          • I didn't feel threatened by the article, per se, but felt a responsibility as editor for the site to offer a counterpoint perspective. While elephant encompasses a wide range of perspectives, we have an editorial focus. One part of that focus is "equal rights for all," which I felt David's article pushed the limits on.

            I'm intrigued by your read of it, and would love to read something from the perspective of someone who sees herself as a sexually powerful woman AND responds to his ideas. That didn't seem to be present in his writing, though he doesn't expressly rule it out.

            "But in this instance, you seem to have a personal demon that crawled out and foamed at the mouth on your behalf."

            Nope, I felt it was my responsibility to balance out a controversial article. I meant all of it, personally, but a large part of my reason for including it was professional.

          • ks3nia says:

            The problem with the original article is not necessarily all the ideas David presents, it's his language, which is condescending and loaded with clichés from soft porn novels. The fact that some who expresses himself like that thinks he knows how to "f*ck my mind" is kind of infuriating. He presumes way too much and MY "personal demon" wants to crawl out and make him cry. But then it goes back to sleep – it's a lazy creature. #applause2Kate

            Which literally genre is David in, anyway? If it's a personal, poetic, philosophical piece about every woman's sexuality it should've been stated more clearly: "David's musings about sex", and not presented as a failproof recipe for f*cking female minds.

            Example (somewhat random, as I couldn't bother to read the whole piece a second time):
            "What will make me come to a woman is not her sex, nor her elegance, nor her strength, nor her brilliant intelligence. It is her openness. | How prepared she is to feel that groan, that pain. Feel it, and express it. That is the key." – First two sentences are very good, while the last part states… what exactly? That he wants a moaner? Or someone who finds pain a huge turn-on? Either way, it will be some kind of key! To his heart? To his penis? To communication?

            Yup, some lines David wrote are definitely truthful and pretty, but if he didn't expect negative reactions on the other bullshit, well, then he definitely doesn't know women as well he thinks he does.

    • Kathleen says:

      That was my first thought.

  6. David Esotica says:

    Yes, I certainly did present it that way Kate. I did not do that unconsciously nor accidentally.

    There's a critical point when two people disagree, and it's happening here. As long as we try to understand each other, this need not be a point of contention. Not for us, or anyone reading.

    I'm happy to keep the discussion public, but facebook would be better. Real-time notifications and all.

    From what you said, I hear that you felt that my piece accentuated a gender divide. That is the opposite of what you want and what you believe in. I can see your point. The way I conduct myself can be powerful, and can be used as a weapon to sever connection. I had to take extreme care when I was learning about this, and it had a lot to do with the impact of my "masculine power", as some might put it. Indeed, if I do not conduct myself with utmost integrity, I can deeply heart women. And I have. I have made many mistakes. And chances are I always will.

    Again, open to discussion. A mutual facebook group preferred. Keeping it public will contribute to the elej community.

    • Hi David, usually we encourage discussion to stay in the comments, to keep it available for readers, as FB swiftly moves away. Time constraints make it tough this coming week to set aside time to do real time discussion on this elsewhere as Lori had suggested, but I'm happy to continue to respond to comments as I get notifications & have time!

      I understand where you are coming from, and still disagree, but happy to continue discussing.

    • dan says:

      Change the venue, change the subject, put the discussion "in the now" to make the discussion less analytical and more emotional- classic!

    • Mymble says:

      Posted this comment on the original article, posting it here too:

      David, I had a look at your website now, and it seems quite clear that your are rooted in the BDSM world. You call yourself commander and master.

      That's fine, and being a sub myself, I can relate to the things you're posting. You say that you will only want to be with a woman who wants to surrender the way you're describing. That's perfectly fine – I myself would never want to be in a relationship without an aspect of surrender – or rather submission – from my part. I am now in a relationship where I experience this, and it has made me content, happy and liberated.

      However, it is important to understand that not all women want this. Some women want to be "overpowered", some women want to be the ones who "overpower", and others have no wish to experience any of these things. Sexuality is wonderfully diverse thing, and that is why I find your article disturbing. You seem oblivious to the fact that women are just as diverse as men. PEOPLE are diverse! People do not all want the same thing.

      • onlyonelikethis says:

        I think you nailed it! He's coming from a BDSM point of view and readers don't know this. He assumes wrong when he says "every woman". As a woman I have to laugh in disagreement and wonder how many men think this is truth.

    • Lulubelle says:

      David, it seems you "get off" on manipulating others into seeing your point of view. It seems this makes you feel powerful, intelligent, desirable and gives you a high. I can only say this because I once felt this way and I can relate to your comments. There was a time when I thought less of myself and would have found your comments here as an opportunity to spark a great debate with sexual undertones, for the purpose of making me feel powerful, intelligent, desirable and high. I was bored and not making the most of my mind. Wasting it away on meaningless verbal entanglements. Even forgoing discussion with dear friends and family because I found them boring. I needed to be understood to feel valid, spending life on highs and lows. I realized that any validation I was getting was false. I was manipulating and feeling good about it. There is something very very wrong with that. You can call it just voicing your opinion, or sharing you "truth" if you like. But if it were your truth, then you would walk with it and live with it. Not share it with others on a forum where you will inevitebly be getting feedback. A place where you can "meet" people who you can have even more manipulative conversation to make you feel valid. No one, not Kate, not anyone can allow you your truth. Only you can do that. Seems to me you were looking for validation because you were not feeling best about your actions. Now you will walk away with the comments of those who were in agreement with your article with your head held high. You will ignore or shoot down the comments of those who disagree and use those in agreement as ammo to back your retort and keep you from being knocked off your high horse. Far be it for me to be able to get you down from up there. I'd really rather not. I'd rather you find a way to step down on your own. This would be much more meaningful and would contribute to the greater good and the energies we all share around. I would just like to ask that you use your mind in a way that you can feel good about without being validated by anyone. No one at all.

      • Booster Blake says:

        Whoa Lulubelle! Some serious projections there. Maybe some of that lands for David but its seems to me that you want your perspective to be true more than you want to know his truth. Sharing experiences, opinions, perspectives, and insights is what this journal is all about. I'm grateful to those with the courage to express their experiences, David's included. Maybe we can spare David a psychological drubbing, whether your insights are true or not has nothing to do with the content of his article.

  7. YoMamaMusic says:

    David,

    For me, the most interesting thing is how often you use "I'. From a much older woman, who has never had a problem reaching the orgasm you describe without your rules, it is about "us". Not you. You are profoundly uninteresting, but I was disturbed as someone who has worked in women's shelters for many years to read words that women who are abused so often shared…the concern is that you would be comfortable not taking full responsibility for the women you have hurt, and are bragging that you will continue to do so in the future.

    • David Esotica says:

      :) Unless you want me to say phrases like "One must conduct oneself as such", I will continue to use the word "I" to refer to myself.

      But you are making a valid point, this is a thin line to tread. I have made mistakes, and taking full responsibility is difficult. But I won't be discouraged because of my mistakes.

      Happy to remain uninteresting to levels of profundity. Perhaps one should discuss music instead? I like classic rock and jazz. Mingus.

    • bikesandmath says:

      Brilliant observation. I'm going to generalize because the author himself enjoys it so much…Men like this are, as you said, profoundly uninteresting…because all they have to offer is an experienced centered around themselves not both people.

  8. Hi Kate and everyone. Such a rich discussion. I think what might be useful for us all to step back, way back, like from outer space and look at what this piece by David is really tapping into. As the writer of a piece like it, that generalized what women might want from men (A Call to the Sacred Masculine), that went viral to 63K views this summer, we need to look at something beyond our preferences.

    What i see is a clear collective chord — and nerver– being struck by the idea of a man as powerful, leaderful, and so much so, that a woman can TRUST HIM into a place of sexual and emotional surrender. This yearning is in the collective, which is why the badly written Fiffty Shades of Grey, sold 60 MILLION copies in months. It's an extreme version of this yearning…as one reader said, not to submit, but to surrender.

    Perhaps women of the world are tired of doing it all? After the two world wars, we moved en masse into the workforce and WE STILL RAISED THE KIDS. Suddenly, we are both driven and ambitious, competing and working hard in the "man's world" and yes, making strides for fairness and equality.

    And yet, the receptive feminine, the nourishing and collaborative feminine, the softer and intuitive feminine–got trampled down in this process.

    Maybe we are asking men, deep down, to join us in a new kind of alliance. David Deida writes at length about his kind of third level "communion" where we take each other to "god" or our place of Oneness Consciousness, through a polarized but EQUAL union.

    Getting off my pulpit now.

    hugs

    LA

    • As I think about this more, I'm equally concerned for the message this sends to men. This says you have one role: conqueror. Where is the room for men to be nurtured or have needs? Men are not completely yang any more than women are completely yin. To put women collectively in the role of the surrendered leaves no room for men to experience that—and we ALL need it, though I'd argue, not necessarily always in the way David describes.

      There is a collective yearning in women to surrender—and society accepts that. Shouldn't men also be encouraged to do the same? I believe we surrender to each other. There is a ebb and flow here—they aren't static roles.

      I also wonder if some of this is generational?

      • David Esotica says:

        Well pointed out Kate. This is an entirely complicated topic. Note how there have been so many different shades of responses (see what I did there?)

        I will use this to inspire my next piece.

    • bikesandmath says:

      Wait a minute. Do you realize that "polarized but EQUAL union" makes no sense. And since equal seems to be emphasized I can only assume you actually mean "of the same value". Everything from atoms to people have an inherent unequalness to them because they are fundamentally different. And every person is different, every woman is different, every man is different and every relationship is different. How about a fluid and ever shifting balance of two people with unequal strengths and weakness', one that ensures the health, mentally and otherwise, of both parties concerned.

      Furthermore, this idea defines gender roles (and acceptable actions and desires) so resolutely that anything outside of that scope is, what, unacceptable? Clearly then two women could never experience the same level of sexual compatibility as a man and a woman. That seams narrow.

  9. bikesandmath says:

    Awesome article. I respect the idea of the sacred masculine and the sacred feminine but being typecast entirely based on gender sucks. It's just super annoying and, quite frankly, disrespectful. One can't know what I want or need just because I am a woman!!

  10. BK says:

    I don’t comment very often, but I had to let you know I am grateful for this article. When I read the other one, I was both disturbed and amused that he thinks he knows what all women want. I think I will have to agree about the “50 Shades of Grey” fans.

    And it’s a bit hard to explain but he chooses his wording too carefully. It’s quite creepy to me, actually. It’s like he is tip-toeing around everything. And as another member pointed out, he definitely overuses the word “I” considering the topic is supposedly about women.

    To me, it just seemed like a self-masturbatory article from some fantasy in his head where he is god’s gift to women.

    Sorry for the harsh words. It seems the article pissed me off a bit, too.

    • Thank you! A male friend read his version and said, "oh…so he's trying to get laid?" And that's how it felt. It's for a particular audience I think, and I'm not it.

      • Bonnie says:

        Yes, that's it! It's like the whole purpose was to get laid. Your friend hit it right on the head. lol It gave me a bit of the "skeevies", basically. Now I am feeling a bit bad, because maybe he didn't intend it that way. Either way, thanks for writing this article in response. I was very relieved to see it.

    • bikesandmath says:

      Thank god for writing this. I could not have voiced it better.

      • Bonnie says:

        You are very welcome. I am just glad I was not the only one to react this way. I can't even describe the relief. That's why I had to comment. I wanted her to know that' she is definitely not the only one who had that reaction. lol

    • Kathleen says:

      "Self-masturbatory" is definitely an apt description.

  11. Timmy_Robins says:

    "Ha! Right on. That was my thought when I read the comments…that most of the women that loved it were probably 50 Shades fans."

    Wow, and you think this is not offensive? Are you yourself not dividing women into categories …'those who think like me' Vs 'those who like stuff like 50 SHOG and the stuff guys like David write' ?? There is a complete lack of humility and understanding in what you are saying ,as if you were somehow better for not being like 'them'. Really sad specially coming from a feminist.
    I think this post says more about you than about David.

    • No, not really a me vs. them, just trying to understand why a woman would like that article and realizing that the same type of person who enjoys reading fiction about dominance would probably enjoy David's article. I don't feel like I'm better (or worse) than them…it's just not a perspective I share.

      As I've said in the article, though, I do believe that being this reductive about what "all women" or "all men" want or need isn't helpful to any of us.

      and fyi: I don't consider myself a feminist.

      • Timmy_Robins says:

        "My belief is that for all human beings of both genders to truly connect, we need to let go of the ideas you are presenting. They seem to accentuate the divide rather than bring us closer together. And yes, that is my "truth." "

        Well , your discomfort seems to come from your belief of how things should be…but guess what , your idea of how things should be is not shared by everyone.

        "…just trying to understand why a woman would like that article and realizing that the same type of person who enjoys reading fiction about dominance would probably enjoy David's article"

        You dont know that and again you are categorizing.

        The fact that you needed to respond with such urgency suggests there is something in David´s post that makes you extremely uncomfortable. This is really obvious because many female commenters actually liked David´s post and I doubt that it is because they are the *type* (whatever that means) of women that like S&M fiction.

        Like I said , I think this says more about you than about David or the girls that liked his post.

        "and fyi: I don't consider myself a feminist"
        It figures.

        • I am the managing editor for the site, and our publishing of the first article was contingent on the publishing of a rebuttal or response. A big part of our site's editorial focus is equal rights for all, and so David's piece raised some concerns for me as to whether it was a fit with that focus. So yes, it made me uncomfortable—professionally.

          Did it raise issues for me personally? Of course! We all respond from the our own perspectives. There are two issues I see here. One I have zero emotional attachment to: some people like to accentuate this polarity and enjoy the idea of dominance. That's fine, it's just not my cup of tea.

          The second issue, and my reason for my response, is looking at how presenting these ideas in an open forum rather than to one's lover affects the societal conversation on relationships and sexuality. David has his perspective and I have mine. I feel that describing male and female roles on these terms does nothing but hurt any progress we make towards equality, societally and in relationships. David disagrees, and so do several of the readers…agree to disagree & it's a great conversation to have!

      • riannemarie says:

        I enjoy reading fiction about dominance. Quite a lot! And I still did not enjoy that article. Rubbed me the wrong way for all the reasons you listed (50 shades is also, IMO, rather awful tripe).
        I cultivate deliberate power exchange in my relationships, but my choice to do so does not come from my femininity. If it did the relationships I've had with women would have just been terribly confusing, people swooning and surrendering all over the place with no one to swoop in and masterfully take charge.

      • dan says:

        I just read your article; you are a feminist whether you consider yourself one or not.

        • Well, I used to consider myself I feminist. I got tired of how some feminist arguments move into the realm of being overtly anti-male. I consider myself an equalist/humanist. Equality is equality.

  12. timful says:

    I think we can all appreciate the fantasy of being with someone who is better than we are, and in some sense deserves to dominate us, is worthy of our devotion. What is offensive is the idea that every man can be that person simply by being born a man and going through the motions as if he believes it to be true. Intimacy begins with authenticity.

  13. [...] Update: a rebuttal, via Kate Bartolotta. 7 + 1 Reasons Not to F*ck a Woman’s Mind. {NSFW} [...]

  14. roamingbard says:

    I read both articles and comments. It seems that the source of disagreement is a common linguistic phenomenon: the gap between the "connotations" and "denotations" of a word. Generally, each word "connotes" more than one thing, while it has a certain (or several, yet fixed) "denotation" (s) or "dictionary meaning" (s). In David's article, I feel that whenever he uses the word "woman", he is thinking of the “archetypal feminine”, which is one of the many “connotations” of the word “woman”. In Kate's article, in contrast, "woman" is the biological female person with all the nuances and complexities of a human-being, as is the “denotation” of the word “woman”. Hence, David is talking of how to connect to the archetypal feminine from the pole of the archetypal masculine, and of course, he is using the word "woman" in a poetic sense ("This leads us to a beautiful truth about the feminine—every woman is in pain.") Kate, on the other hand, is saying how reductive it is to conclude things about "every woman", because certainly women are different — which is a fact. So her language is more literal and denotative. Bottom line, BOTH are right… they are just engaging different layers of language, and therefore, coming up with arguments which are BOTH correct, but not necessarily related: One is "connotative", the other "denotative". Also, and this is beside the point, it was very entertaining for me to write a comment on the apparently-opposing articles written by a man and a woman, as, in fact, I am a bisexual woman in a long-term Ménage à Trois with two beautiful people, and this is a habit I have developed over the years: seeing BOTH layers of language, and life :-)

    • dan says:

      The woman in his piece is biological (spine, thighs, ear, shaking), and is a story of him inducing orgasm in that woman. He uses "I" to mean him, David Esotica, the ravisher. The woman is the reader who "responds" with "YESSSS" to the piece; he made these clear in his comments here.
      Reading his piece as "connotation" makes no difference to the analysis in this article, and it does not make him "right"; for him to be "right" his piece (any piece) must be denotative. He presents a fiction, one designed to draw me to him.

      • roamingbard says:

        Interesting, dan. However, I have a problem with this hypothesis: "for him to be "right" his piece (any piece) must be denotative." How so? Being "right" always implies something outside language… like being "morally", "philosophically", "socially", etc "right". It has nothing to do with the denotative level. How can you decide on which "right"ness to refer to? What is your criteria for being "right"? Just curious.

        • dan says:

          To have a "right" means there is a "wrong"; to have a "right from wrong" requires evaluation to derive criteria.

          Being denotative means being intentionally specific; connotative means being intentionally unspecific. The specific is evaluated on a single level, as a contained whole; the unspecific is evaluated by guessing at the whole, by parsing and diagramming the unspecific into specifics and the various possibilities these specifics seem to express, but the diagram will never be a whole, nor a contained whole, nor lend itself to any structure- it is vague that it is vague. To use the connotative as a means to evaluate means using vagueness to examine the unknown; the vague will always avoid specifics, so no evaluation using connotation will give anything but the vague. It's literally pointless.

          From another angle, an emotion or feeling is "valid" simply by existing, but it is not in and of itself "right" or "wrong" without a moral (denotative) structure to evaluate it. Similarly, any perception is "valid" but not necessarily "accurate"; perceiving (experiencing) the vague does not make the vague "right".

          Perception is the beginning of evaluation. That there is perception means there is effect. That there is effect means there is a cause. That there is cause and effect means there is order; perception of order means evaluation has occurred; an instance of conflicting perceptions (a perception itself) means there is observation. The beginning of evaluation is itself continually showing itself "not necessarily accurate" so to evaluate means to improve perception, which means to continually observe the order, the causes, the effects. So any evaluation is based on observation of cause and effect and so (skipping some steps) sustaining and improving perception is the natural state of perception, and its imperative. So (skipping some steps) my criteria for "the right" is that "the right" sustains and improves perception.

          At best, Esotica expresses an "only perception" view, presumptive and so by my standard "non-moral" if not "immoral".

          What is your criteria for being "right"? Just curious.

          • roamingbard says:

            Thank for your detailed explanation, dan. There are several things which you assume as correct, which are only "correct" within certain frameworks, and I would like to highlight them:

            - "To use the connotative as a means to evaluate means using vagueness to examine the unknown; the vague will always avoid specifics, so no evaluation using connotation will give anything but the vague. It's literally pointless."
            Not necessarily. Despite the fact that your hypothesis is logical, it is not all-conclusive: the "vague" created by connotations is not the same as the "vague" synonymous to "pointless". Connotations often are the only way to approach something which does not yield to specification (and you beautifully confirm this earlier). If you rule out connotations as "pointless", you have to rule out literature, cinema, and arts in general, since they mostly function in a connotative rather than denotative manner.

            -“Perception is the beginning of evaluation. That there is perception means there is effect. That there is effect means there is a cause. That there is cause and effect means there is order; perception of order means evaluation has occurred; an instance of conflicting perceptions (a perception itself) means there is observation.”
            Beautifully argued, yet David Hume won’t agree with your “cause/effect” logic. In his framework and similar frames of reference, there is no causality, but we label things as “cause” and “effect” simply because we observe a sequence of events happening in a certain chronological order, so, in fact (and this is what most people find challenging to understand), there is no logical “priority” of cause to the effect. Also, you say “Perception is the beginning of evaluation.” Yes, and no. This, in fact, is one of the most heated arguments in philosophy. Kant says that we perceive things because we already have certain “a priori” frames of reference which make “perceiving” possible at all. So, according to Kant, evaluation begins way before perception. Translating this to the modern world’s practical language, it is quite possible that we won’t perceive things which we have already deemed as un-perceivable.

            -“my criteria for "the right" is that "the right" sustains and improves perception.”
            Beautiful criteria. And since you asked, mine is simple: the criteria for “the right” is a collective of each and every single human-being’s criteria for “the right” (which is quite debatable, like any other criteria, but this is my personal way of seeing it). I am in the same boat with Socrates on that.

            -“At best, Esotica expresses an "only perception" view, presumptive and so by my standard "non-moral" if not "immoral".”
            I personally did not get that from his article, and in general, it is assumed that no one article can ever convey "only perception" view on anything anyway. But it’s cool if you sensed that from his writing. And, personally, I think there is no need to attach any “moral”/”immoral”/”amoral” label to someone’s argument on anything. “Morality” seems to be out of place with regards of an article someone wrote, unless you’re a member of Spanish Inquisition ;-) (just joking!)

            Thank you for your time and patience in giving me feedback. I enjoyed reading it.
            Peace,
            roamingbard

          • dan says:

            Thank you for that; a criteria as the set of all sets of criteria is a stunning conception, though I can't see it leading to anything, but perhaps that is the intent. Those guys never spoke to me or my experience. I prefer yoga/sankhya's assumption that consciousness is awareness being colored, and that coloring is the perception to what I understand Hume or Kant was getting at; when I've experienced consciousness it is bright and spacious.

            I did not mean "pointless" as in no consequence, but as literally having no particulars (ie vague); being intentionally unspecific means giving no reference, no point from which something can be discerned. Art may evoke an intransigence or induce the unspecific, but the point from which the specific experience of the vague shows art uses both connotative and denotative language, though the latter may not be expressible verbally; every Pollock has a border and frame.

            To simply look at a work without evaluation is the "only perception" attitude I was trying to get at; it leaves out the improvement of perception. Morals are not just "thou shalts" but expressions of priorities and experience; looking at the morals in any work helps find the probable or underlying intent, and consequence. Esotica's "superior man" subduction of women aesthetic has as much real consequence as any moral frame; he asks for a fatalistic acceptance of a limited and certain view of gender.

            Engaging fully and opening perception, including to morals and consequences, is (for me) enjoyment and approaching reality; the alternative is striving for ignorance. But then, maybe that's just the unoiled hinges of my thighs speaking. ;) Thanks again and peace~

    • Interesting! And yes, I believe some of the disagreement here is the language use and perception. To me a "mind fuck" as I have always heard the term used, is not something that is a mutual relationship. It is one person (male or female) trying to control/dominate the other.

    • Lori Ann Lothian says:

      This is the first comment on either piece I have read, (mine comments excluded) that steps back and looks at the bigger picture instead of getting ensared in the details. Yes roamingbard, I as well (as editor of this piece) understood the "woman in pain" comment to address the archetypal feminine, which IS IN PAIN. I will be writing my own piece on this, because the wounded feminine (and masculine) is a big part of what this planet is healing as we learn to move beyond a patriarchy that has raped the planet; and an apparently fertility-worshipping matriarchy that we only distantly recall in prehistory.

      To me, David's piece was moving past the partriarchical archtype of woman as slut or virgin, whore or saint. It was reaching (perhaps over-reaching) to the feminine archetype that embraces the holy-wholeness of both carnal and sacred…that liminal place between extremes where a third possibility is born….

      There is a collective urge for the birth of a new masculine and feminine. We are perhaps clumsy in feeing our way, and expressing our way, to that emergent collaboration, an elevated matriimony that this planet urgently needs.

      I've commissioned a piece by a writer (female) who has written a book on Jungian archetypes, to decontstruct why David's piece is such a hot potato.

      I will be writing my own piece as well, exploring this cultural phenomenon of surrender-submissive feminine that caught fire with Fifty Shades…and what it is really (clumsily) pointing to.

      Thanks again for your comments.

      LA

      • roamingbard says:

        Thank you for providing feedback on my comments, Lori Ann. I completely agree with your points, and I am looking forward to reading the article on David's piece, and of course, your own piece on the "surrender-submissive feminine". Being a student of media and philosophy, I am always fascinated by any text which can stir up so much on both conscious and unconscious levels in readers… and having to live with the accentuated polarities of masculine/feminine in myself, I am simply incapable of NOT seeing both poles operating in any argument. Sometimes, in fact, I wish I could just be more prejudiced and personal, but my brain simply does not operate that way (which is not easy to live with ;-)) To the same degree, I understand why certain comments here and under David’s article have been colored by a focus on details and personal criteria rather than a focus on the bigger picture and critical criteria. It’s all cool… that’s the beauty and variety of our human experience.

        Thank you for making this beautiful exchange of ideas possible!
        roamingbard

  15. Erika says:

    Thank you from my body, mind, and the absolute bottom of my heart.

  16. Brianna says:

    Thank you, KATE! I say this with a sigh of relief after reading your article.

  17. Muks says:

    Thanks, Kate! I loved to read your article. Now I can hold my chin up again ;)

  18. sluczaj says:

    "stand beside me and hold me through my pain. It isn’t a way into my pants."

    Kate – I am standing here applauding. The creepy tone of the article was amplified by David's comments.

  19. Ben Ralston Ben_Ralston says:

    Kate and others editorial staff: why did the original piece get published on EJ?
    Because it's just about sex, and not the mindful kind, despite it's pretensions.

    • Lori (elephant love editor) brought me the guest post to look at & we discussed. My initial reaction was: no way, not a fit for us. But then I thought, since this theme is showing up often culturally right now, it was worth including so that we could discuss it. I asked Waylon to look at it as well, and he agreed that while the general tone and point of view was pushing the boundaries of our editorial mission, with a rebuttal or response (i.e. my article) it was worth publishing to have the conversation.

    • Lori Ann Lothian says:

      As the editor for this piece, I find it interesting to view the range of responses. EJ had an editorial discussion around this piece, and in particular, I had the author flesh it out so that as one of our "reviewers" noted, she could feel his heart along with his cock.

      The idea of "appropriate" means there is a box beyond which EJ should not venture. Yet our motto is the mindful life, not the cloistered one. What being mindful means, to me, as an editor, is allowing a diversity of expression; encouraging communication and debate with the intent to create bridges of understanding; and publishing quality writing with powerful messages.

      In my own life, I try to live by the rule of ahimsha, do no harm. This piece of writing is not causing harm. It is stirring up dialogue. And that can only be a good thing.

      It is interesting to see how many women readers responded positively to this piece. For those readers who object, mindfulness might entail looking both at why you dislike the piece so much–and considering as well, why so many others like it.

      Lori Ann

      • Well, I agree that there are things that are an appropriate fit with the editorial mission and pieces that aren't. This is why we have an editing staff. This one was right at the edge of that, for me.

        • Yes, It's not like there are "taboo" topics. It's the treatment of them that matters. Our recent piece on BDSM myths (http://www.elephantjournal.com/2012/10/six-myths-about-kinkbdsm-lyla-cicero/), for instance was a well received hit, though even there I am sure there were readers who complained. Because EJ grew from Buddhist/Yoga roots, there are some readers who probably expect the content to across-the-board be "spiritual." Yet even in Yoga, you have the tantric sex material.

          Sex can and should be explored at EJ (with the mandate to bring a greater awareness to the table) because sexuality, along with health, money and spirituality, is a fundamental area of human interest.

          As elephant love editor, I want to see sex, and love, explored far beyond the Cosmo girl shallow end of How to Please Your Man, or Better Sex Positions etc. For me, this piece by David E offered–in it's closing paragraphs–and evocative and powerful and poetic invitation

          That invitation is not for every reader. But you can't please all of the people…all of the time.

          LA

          • Padma Kadag says:

            The "growing from Buddhist and Yoga roots" and the expectation, from some, for more spiritual articles….In the couple of years I have been reading EJ there is an idea around "mindfulness" as being representive of Buddhism or Yoga. This is a difficult idea to blog and it shows. There is very little Buddhism here and the Yoga repeats itself adnauseum. My feeling is that any article is fair game…that particularly from a Buddhist perspective, nothing is taboo or too mundane to blog. I understand that you have a target audience and that is obvious. But please do not limit yourselves to this sort of "mindfulness' business which repeats itself over and over. Any subject should be explored. In regard to "tantric sex"…there is not one article published here which to me , acurately portrays it. And there will never be one which does. Thank you for doing what you do.

          • HI Padma…It's lori ann here–I agree. Just saw this thoughtful reply. Yes, beyond duality, everything…

  20. Hello everyone. I posted this comment on David's piece as well:

    The comment range here runs from appreciation to scorn, which means the article has struck both a collective nerve and chord. There is not much in the middle, where discourse is about the bigger picture. I see this piece as having social significance beyond the BDSM overtones—in fact, perhaps addressing the loss of sexuality polarity between men and women in an age where women are expected to be as powerful in business and career as men, while also retaining our femininity, and receptivity. Fifty Shades was a hit, to the tune of 60 milllion sold copies, because women readers were compelled, fascinated and curious, not to mention turned on, by Anastasia's submission to a dom. Yet that poorly written book was an extreme, and it did not really hit the mark for most intelligent and strong women who perhaps yearned not for submission, but for a deeper surrender in sexual contact with a beloved.

    And yes, men too can surrender or want to experience surrender. It's not about gender. It's about receptive vs active polarities.

    Lori Ann
    elephant love and relationships
    editor

    • Shay says:

      Sure, men can surrender. But the man wasn't talking about himself surrendering. He was talking about "claiming" a woman's sex (by fucking her body and mind). Internalizing the effects of patriarchy doesn't make you healthy. We're NOT merely or only or just polarized creatures. Duality is a societal concept, we don't have to be only "good or bad" or only "right or wrong" while there may be shreds of truth in his writing, why such a defensive attitude about it? Why not just accept that some women find this behaviour by men to be extremely creepy and borderline predatory? Why the telling us that we're wrong to feel this why when a man says/does these things TO us, instead of WITH us? There is a HUGE difference in doing something TO someone and doing something WITH someone. And I'm into various kinks and S & M and BDSM somewhat as well, so I do understand the "alt scene" and the desire for a lack of control. But his piece was creepy. It just was. You gotta own up to that and deal with it, and hopefully learn from it.

  21. Charolette says:

    Thank you so much! The article was upsetting to me as well. I try very hard to remain unbiased towards an author and reflect on why something written effects me the way that it does. Usually when something produces an extreme reaction there is some room there for reflection and perhaps growth but….this particular author continues to write sweeping generalizations about women and does not seem to notice that he does so! I think my growth in this situation is patience, tolerance and perhaps giving my voice an opportunity to speak.

  22. iambethanne says:

    Thank you Kate. I couldn't finish reading all of David's article because I thought really, this is what I am supposed to feel? NO!!! I DON'T THINK SO!!! I only opened the article to see what all the buzz was about. And I was actually saddened to think this is what people think is "normal" or desirable.

  23. Vision_Quest2 says:

    The point-counterpoint expressed in the first article and the pushback in this one; is a better metaphor for an equal sexual "exchange" than the original article was as a metaphor for gratifying sexual encounter.

  24. bikesandmath says:

    Your logic is very confusing. Firstly, polarity inherently implies that two things are different. Wether they have opposite charges, applied forces or opinions the two "poles" are different. A force is a characteristic of an object not an object in and of itself. It's definition in your example, Force=mass x acceleration (F=ma), clearly shows that there must be a mass present. So, while two objects can have equal but opposite forces applied to them it depends wholly on what those objects are as to the outcome of this applied force. You seem to be mistaking have equal characteristics (charge, force, etc.) with being inherently equal. Why is this relevant? Because there are no two people that are equal. We may have equally valuable characteristics but we are not equal. You, in fact, make this argument for me when you state that the masculine pole and feminine poles are equal but different. I am unsure as to why you insist on using the word equal.

    This is all relevant to the point you bring up later – Social equality is most certainly about fairness but it is not about making one person equal to another, it is about giving them the opportunity to let their characteristics shine without having unfair disadvantages despite their differences. Everyone has different talents, strengths and weakness' that make us valuable. And saying that the original piece is not about that is missing a key point as to why it has upset so many people!

    The original piece defines very narrowly what is expected of a man and a woman and is an example of what the social equality movement has been working to eliminate. In fact, making broad statements about all women or all men hinders our ability to reach a place where we can equally share all that is within us. The original article is insulting to anyone who wishes to explore sexuality in a way that opposes this twisted idea of what is masculine and feminine (at least defined here). And the worst part is that nowhere does the author attempt to blend the two but rather concentrates merely on the conquest.

  25. I agree to an extent. If there is no polarity going on, there will be no interest. But! I think it varies per person and per relationship so widely…we are each on such a unique continuum of yin and yang within our personalities that to describe it as "every woman" feels like a really poor fit. I've seen you write on the topic in the comments in a way that feels much more accurate to me.

  26. cassandralanesmith says:

    Thanks for this, Kate. I felt like I needed to respond to David's article too, but you've said everything I wanted to say here. His article really creeped me out. It was like he was trying to convince me what an awesome lover he is in hopes of getting me (and all women) to want to 'surrender'. I love the idea of presenting fully embodied surrender to your partner during sex, but only when that partner has earned my surrender by being equally open and compassionate. David's words do not prove to me he is worthy of a woman's surrender; instead they make me worry he sees women's bodies merely as tools to perpetuate masculine dominance. I get that he was trying to talk about the polar relationship between masculine and feminine energies, but his word choice made the concept sound disturbing instead of divine. Thanks again for speaking up.

    • "Only when that partner has earned my surrender by being equally open and compassionate." I agree!

      Thank you Cassie! I would still love to see a response from you if you want to write one. I think there's a lot to be said here.

    • sluczaj says:

      well put, Cassandra, I think debating the issues of submission and surrender is interesting in itself, but here it is a sidetrack from what disturbed me. I think the creepiness of the article in question was the tone its stated purpose – to seduce and conquer every woman in the world. That sounds kind of stupid – because it is.

  27. Auki says:

    David's article was over the top. Who's making the editorial decision to post that kind of crap on this website? Where's the spiritual integrity? Integrity and good taste are getting hard to find here. There's a whole world out there in dire need of healing. Is that the best you can do, Waylon? I won't be renewing my subscription.

    • As managing editor, it was my decision to post, in order to have this discussion. I talked with Waylon about it, and he agreed that including it, with a rebuttal, was boundary pushing, but worthwhile. Since there have been a range of responses to both pieces, it's clearly not a cut and dried issue. I agree that his article was over the top, and I would be reluctant to accept other submissions from a similar perspective.

      • hey kate, see my note below to Auki…and yes, you are right. This is far from a cut and dried issue–yet one thing is clear, it has generated a polarized love it/hate it response. That just makes me curious, frankly. That is what good journalism does, it reveals the collective shadow. This piece, with a counter piece by you, was a huge shadow dance of the apparent right and wrong, good and bad….

        Some women read this piece as a surrender (which is a female perogative) and others read it as a power play/rape. most interesting to me too, is when people take their dislike of a piece of writing and then throw shaming, blaming and character attacking statements at the author.

        That says more to me, about what is not healed in those whose anger is provoked to attack levels, than it says about the man who wrote the article.

        Lori Ann

    • Auki–here is note of mine, to another woman who saw the piece as a rape culture collusion. This might help.

      Escape zone and safety zone are what I hear you wanting EJ to be for you. Yet, the choice to read a piece that you are not enjoying is your choice. If you must play the Rape Culture card (a huge stretch here) there is a thing too called "victim culture"…being a victim of your choice to read a piece but to project the responsibility on others, in this case EJ editorial.

      EJ presents many facets of reality and respresents many kinds of readers. Some would object for instance to LGBT lifestyle material on our site, which do also cover, or the upcoming series on Men and Pornography (pro and con) which we are doing in conjunction with The Good Men Project.

      Bottomline, is, if you don't like it, don't read it. Why throw a baby out with the bathwater, and ditch the whole magazine because one article, in one subsection, (or a few) are not to your taste? (PS: that is also why we label pieces Adult, or NSFW –not safe for work– or Nudity. To forewarn our reader before they click the link.

      Lori Ann
      elephant love and relationships
      editor

  28. mivox says:

    Thank you for this! The original essay came off so arrogant, manipulative, and patronizing, I was saddened to see it published here. And I would like to add my voice to the other commenter who enjoysBDSM, but found David’s piece to be a very unhealthy way to approach any sort of power game.

    Reading his comments here further cemented my already low opinion of his attitude toward women. He reads like a pick-up artist who uses women’s orgasms as his scoreboard.

  29. Teresa says:

    Well said Kate! David's article actually kind of put me off sex for a bit. (but after an hour with some bleach and a metal scrubbing brush I feel clean and ready to interact again lol)

  30. Dee says:

    Hallelujah!!! I was so pissed and completely flooded with a torrent of frustrating feelings (the same feelings I felt when I started to read 50 Shades of Gray) after reading David's article! That can't be what other women feel and I don't ever want to make love like that! I immediately opened your article and felt like every emotion I felt was completely validated by your words. You are a true woman in touch with your true heart and soul.

  31. nylassej says:

    Thanks for writing a response, Kate. I had a hard time getting through the original article because I was having a hard time keeping it down – strange, considering everything he describes, separately, sound like acts/attitudes I might enjoy, but something about the entire piece just creeped me out. I tried to empathize by reading his little blurb bio but when it described him working with his partner (business? romance?) I felt even more uncomfortable- was this about their private sex life? Not sure…anyway I can respect his truth and your truth but mine matches yours a little more…
    Maybe it is just hard to express personal experiences and beliefs around sex without offending somebody, but I have to agree that the "every woman", the "whilst" (and I'm a language dork) and the repeated "fucking beautiful" made me feel like I was listening to a wannabe new-agey pirate who crashes parties to talk about conquests as if they are artful masterpieces of romance…

  32. Michelle says:

    At first,I felt the sexual,primal energy of his words. As I read the article by Kate,and the responses to all of it,I felt his choice of experience was egoic. Coming from an empath,I felt there was nothing from a higher consciousness about it . But everyone has their own ideas and concepts of how they choose to be loved. I could only surrender to that space with a man who we would share so much more . I think he should have stayed away from all the generalizations about what woman want and feel in the union of the masculine and feminine energies. He might feel this is his ultimate expression of his masculinity. I am not into that sense of a man . That kind of mindfuck turns me off . The way I experience the exquisite surrender is through my trust,respect,and open communication with my partner. Like religion,sex is an individual path to " God", ecstasy, and the other . Love and light is what I surrender to in everything I choose to experience.

    • Jen says:

      I just posted a similar response. The term egoic is perfect. It is not pure spiritual union, which in my experience is the most satisfying and goes far beyond this realm and the stereotypes presented he presented. He seems to "Win" something here. I think that is the underlying annoyance for a woman who is truly sexually empowered and comfortable with her own sexuality. As I presented in my response below: What if it is me who wished to F*&^ you? What If I pursue you? What is the dynamic then… because it's not about the pursuit, it's about communication, consciousness (out of the ego) and divine communication, which is a state of ecstasy that brings you out of your own body.

  33. Ken says:

    I was mostly un-awed by David's original article, except for the part about:

    "This leads us to a beautiful truth about the feminine—every woman is in pain. It is a pain that goes deeper than the reach of any brutal force or cold analysis. It is something wrapped inside her, around her spine, engulfing her chest. But it is not something to be feared. This is a beautiful pain. It emerges when she feels that hunger. A hunger to be loved and cherished. To blossom. To feel. To touch. And yes, to be ravished. She feels it in anticipation and in deep harmony. It comes during times of loss, despair and fear. It groans in her sex, screaming in her thrill. It drives into her skin with touch. It deepens with burning love."

    This hit me especially strongly because I, as a man, have felt this pain, too.

    Thank you Kate, for expressing that pain is a condition of humanity, not femininity or masculinity. It can't be something we can bond or connect over unless each sex recognize it.

  34. [...] To the other half, you caught our attention. We felt the stab deep into our bellies from those opposed to his view. [...]

  35. Jeana says:

    I am very drawn to the idea of surrender in sex, but for me, BOTH partners have to be surrendering. In some ways, the original 7+1 piece was sexy and alluring, but the major thing that's missing from it for me is his willingness to also surrender, to be vulnerable, to admit and feel his own pain. I, personally, can't fully release and let go unless my partner is just as engaged, just as surrendered.

    That to me is the ideal, but of course I realize that people–men and women–vary in their preferences, which is something that the writer of the original article doesn't seem to be in touch with.

  36. onesadhaka says:

    Love it! I knew you could elucidate this much clearly and less angrily than I…and you did. Unchallenged ignorance just multiplies…

  37. Kejanz says:

    yeah girl !!! superbly said !!! thanks for your response to him ! thanks to elephant for publishing it on the post!

  38. WarriorWidow says:

    ok. I only read a few comments, so I am not really addressing anyone in here, but the original authors, I guess. And I hear what both of you are saying. For me, when I read the original article, I was moved. I didn't mind the word F*ck being used…because it didn't sound like it was about just a screw. I think the idea is that to get to most women, most people, you need to engage our minds…if you start with our minds, everything opens more fully. And when you are fully open, the thorns and fear and doubts all melt away. And that is a deep passion, which usually makes me want to use the word f*ck. That type of opening makes me want to be taken. And to take in return. And also, for me, I don't like pain, but sometimes when I am that open, brief moments of the rough in contrast to the tender send me over the edge to somewhere magical and tremendous. I'm sorry you were so angered by the article. I'm glad you wrote about your anger. I am also glad the original was written.

  39. Karine says:

    Wow. David's number 8 actually made my body tense, in like a 'warning, possessive, psychic vampiric' sort of way. To me it signals a powerful underlying need to possess and control, and a powerful dysfunction. That's my gut reaction to it.

  40. Wow, I did not "read" David's article at all the way you did Kate. So interesting; in fact probably the most interesting aspect of all is this polarity. The article spoke to me in a yearning, craving way. It spoke to the depths of me that have yet to be explored and discovered sexually. In part because I have not been able to surrender to it, and by so doing (or not doing as the case may be) have not chosen men who were able to go "there". All that has shifted for me now and I for one cannot wait to be "taken" in this way; to be "SOUL FUCKED" as I wrote about here recently. I see a lot of overlap with that.
    David's article spoke to me in the same way that the work of David Deida does at times, and while it is not a direct comparison there are many aspects about the ideas of women wanting, desiring and craving that strong, masculine presence and yes "taking" of us in a very dominant way. Of course there is a "dance" og give and take and I felt that David did address that as well.
    Anyway, for me it was a profound read and exactly what I seek.
    In love and light, Debra

  41. Jen says:

    I think the issue is that there is a generalization/stereotype/ tired archetype here. The conquest and the chase.It seems the author, who clearly enjoys the type of lovemaking he is describing, enjoys the chase and conquest. This is the Madonna archetype. The "good girl" who holds out, makes you wait; you find her deep inner "pain" and you dominate her. You win in a sense. There is a clear sense of achievement in the article. I think this may be what annoys some women. Because I do believe it is a very mutual act. This is what is going on in YOUR mind. Not exactly hers- always. This is the Madonna/ Whore bullshit that still pervades within our society, UNCONSCIOUSLY. Sure, this is ONE WAY to view and have amazing sex. Do I enjoy this at times, yes. Amazing love making doesn't ALWAYS come from that in my female perspective. I believe, in my experience, that it is the connection between two people. The ability to be completely present and aware of what is going on between you and your partner. To be in a divine state of communication. Sure, Some nights I may want to be ravished- ok. Other nights I may want to F*&$ the Sh^& out of you…. In fact I may try to ravage you. I may remove you from your state of consciousness and seduce YOU AS A MAN. And I may really enjoy that. SO, WHAT IS THE DYNAMIC THEN? I have chased you… you have succumbed to me…. Hmmmm. Is that satisfying, or does that make me the second part of the paradigm… the "Whore", or what I like to refer to as the Sexually Empowered Woman???? A woman who is so comfortable, in fact, that she knows her own needs and wants and sets out to satisfy them. Is it not as satisfying to the author to be pursued, himself? Because, I surely get off on that as well. But I wouldn't call it "Fucking your mind". I would call it I want to F'ing come. You F'ing turn me on, just by your smell, your presence, the thought of you inside me, and I need you, NOW. How about that? There are all kinds of sex, for all different occasions, and to look at it in a limited fashion, limits the act, the connection, the people, and the divinity of the entire GIFT that we have been granted in the ecstasy of the union. The best love making I ever had was when I felt the man and I connected, with whatever we were feeling, right there.. at that time. No Paradigm, whatsoever. There was no notion in my head about any of what you stated. I was just there and present, and so was he, with everything that was occurring. We consciously took breaths together, even. It was hours and hours of interplay- of Divine communication. No one was dominant, no one was submissive… we just knew through some divine energy how to please one another. And that, my friend, was magic. It brought us both to a state of consciousness that was beyond the realm of all words and stereotypes… it was a complete letting go of self fro BOTH people. It was SOUL F'ING You should try that. It's better. I hope everyone has a chance to experience that. Bu you must first drop all of the paradigms in your head. Try it.

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