Sunday, April 13, 2008

Leading By Example

A reoccurring issue that often seems to aggravate confident women in female-male relationships is the problem of a proposed female-loving man who tends to “top from the bottom”, so to speak, or feign devotion to pleasing a woman while only serving her in the ways that turn him on. Worse yet, some men claim to revere a woman's will, then try to push her to participate in sexual activities which they desire after she has made known to them that she does not.

This mixed message from the male can turn off a woman and even discourage her from sharing her dominant side with them at all. This situation confronts a woman with two choices- continue or leave. The question, however, is ‘can a woman stay with such a man and not be topped by him?’

I have found that men who try to dictate the terms of our encounters through their selective resistance are best dealt with by standing up for my principles and not backing down. My terms for our sexual activity or dating are the only ones that matter to me, and his resistance to them makes him less worthy of my time. Although, I do customize my expectations according to the varying capabilities of certain men if I think they have the potential to do much better for me in the future.

However, when I refuse to compromise the boundaries of my pleasure I risk being rejected by the man I am correcting for failing to heed them.

I have been walked away from by a number of men who initially showed respectful behavior towards me. Upon telling them something that clashed with their existing ideology on what they should be capable of, or what approach to relationship with women was best for them, those men disagreed with me and then withdrew. This has happened with two dating partners, once with an online admirer, and a few times with a past lover.

One dating partner originally responded to my corrections, but when it came time for him to admit his need to take direction from me rather than just giving me lip service and some flowers, he rejected my beliefs and my leadership.

Another dating partner took my comments that he should get a car, a proper place to live, and a broader range of dating skills to mean that my standards were too high for any guy to meet.

One online admirer had difficulty accepting some ideology he was unfamiliar with from me and stopped writing me.

And the past lover responded to my reprimanding of him several times by throwing an intellectual temper tantrum and threatening to leave.

Each of those times I refused to budge from my original perception of their difficulties, left them with a farewell correction, and let them follow their bright ideas elsewhere.

What eventually happened was that the first dating partner contacted me to flaunt that he had started to see someone else; then after two and a half weeks of silence he text messaged me, emailed me a few times, and sent me an overgenerous birthday present, all without my encouragement. The other dating partner started texting me a month later, right after he got a better apartment, and has been texting me since to offer new dating options, all of which I have ignored up to this point. The other admirer wrote me back after a while with a more open-minded response and has been chatting with me avidly since then. And the past lover wound up returning each time to ask for my forgiveness and admit I was right, with two-week delays each time, and eventually discovered for himself a passionate affinity with my way of seeing things to the neglect of his interest in other women for a year after I broke up with him.

What has this taught me? It has taught me that I don't have to be afraid of letting a man sulk. It has taught me that I don't have to be afraid of "winding up alone" for rejecting a man's unappealing treatment of me and not responding to him until he cooperates with my standards. Even when it requires me to be alone for a period of time, that demonstration of confidence from me eventually returns more male attention than it initially costs.

Because men follow women who lead. Men seek the attention of women who follow their own convictions. A man is motivated by a woman who rewards him with attention for joining her in following her convictions, and who denies him her attention for straying from them. And when a woman has convictions about how she deserves to be treated, and how a man is in need of treating her, her convictions become the goal post and every man a competitor. And men love to compete.

Men will doubt in their ability to reach her goals. Men will deny the validity of those goals and claim that no one can reach them. But when a woman is meeting her own goals with her own treatment of herself and her quality of life, it becomes obvious to men that her goals are attainable and it is their own performance that remains unconvincing.

This doesn’t mean that men don’t have certain needs and convictions of their own. Men are focused by nature and are at their best when their focus is singular. So, men have the need to keep their focus on one legal code, one authoritative standard, be it that of an institution, a gender group, or an individual. And each man has a need for a personal criterion for selecting that ultimate leader and deselecting the leadership of others.

A man who is open to female leadership uses his own criteria to select a female leader that inspires him in personal ways, outside of gender dynamics. However, it is the woman’s code of behavior and goals for quality of relationship that give him direction as to how to win her approval and inclusion of him in her plans.

What makes him attentive is not necessarily what pleases him. It is what challenges him mentally or socially, what indicates that there is a higher level of achievement for him to apply his efforts to, that gets and keeps his attention.

In the end, I follow myself- my own perceptions and beliefs that are
based on my feelings and experiential knowledge- because I am only happy when I am happy. And when I am happy, I am confident, which is the most alluring quality in a leader for those who like to follow.