03: Sexuality cont’d

with 2 comments

The Way of the Superior Man: A Spiritual Guide to Mastering the Challenges of Women, Work and Sexual Desire by David Deida follows many of the basic tenets of Lawlor. Describing the “newly evolving man,” Deida charts previous phases in masculinity, the first of which involved a stereotypical masculinity where relationships could be defined as “the macho jerk and the submissive housewife.” Then came the stage that continues for most men today in which they seek to find some balance in their lives. Entering into Harvey Mansfield’s territory, Deida claims this kind of balance-seeking has resulted in “sexual neutrality.” Closely echoing Lawlor, Deida says balance is fine, but it must not gloss over the fact that “sexual attraction is based on polarity.” Or, to give the formula a sufficiently Deida-esque spin, sexual relationships “need a ravisher and a ravishee; otherwise, you just have two buddies who decide to rub genitals in bed.”

Deida notes that the masculine sexual energy of which he speaks can belong to either the man or the women in a relationship, but that one partner has to have it, and that is usually the man. In alignment with Mansfield’s vision of manliness, Deida describes this masculine energy as being “mission, competition, and putting it all on the line (indeed, facing death).” Men with this type of energy, according to Deida, will always be turned on by feminine energy which is characterized by “radiant women, beer, music, [and] nature.” The next stage for men that Deida proposes assumes “men and women to be social, economic, and political equals,” but also celebrates “the sexual and spiritual passions inherent in the masculine/feminine polarity.”

While Deida’s point is that masculine and feminine sexual essences complement one another, this does not mean that this process is free from struggle. Indeed, the complementary process is largely one of negotiating power. When teasing out what men are actually after in their pursuit of women, he says to men, “You’ve had tit. You’ve had pussy … And none of it lasted. It wasn’t even that good as long as it did last. Your need is far deeper than any woman can provide. So what is it?” The answer, Deida suggests, is spiritual fulfillment. This fulfillment can be discovered via sexual relationships with women, but it is not the relationships themselves that provide the fulfillment, rather the spiritual gifts and awareness the relationships facilitate.



Written by Joseph Gelfer

August 1, 2010 at 12:31 pm

2 Responses

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  1. “You’ve had tit. You’ve had pussy … And none of it lasted. It wasn’t even that good as long as it did last. Your need is far deeper than any woman can provide. So what is it?”
    This is the classic “I-it” relating style. A woman is merely tits and pussy? how does this kind of pornographic talk make it into the academic literature? You’re right, this chapter certainly does stimulate my revulsion. Maybe if Deida would try approaching other human beings, including women, in an I-Thou relationship, he would not be left so cold by the sexual act.


    July 11, 2013 at 6:26 am

    • Deida doesn’t present himself as academic, thankfully, but he nevertheless gets more readers than any academic.


      July 11, 2013 at 9:03 am

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