Chapter 2. The Game of Love
What men need to understand first and foremost is that women for the most part are ready and in fact intensely longing for a deeply loving, dynamic relationship with men. And they’ve been yearning for this for a very long time. It takes two to tango as they say. But while women have been ready to dance, throwing out hints and sending alluring looks left and right, men have been lost in a game of poker, oblivious to the deeper nature of women, more transfixed by the thrilling prospects of winning or losing their life savings than exploring the true potential that lies within the dreams, feelings and longings of women.
Because in the typical unbalanced male point of view, life and love are games to be won or lost. Women are to be conquered, along with everything else they either desire or feel threatened by. Think of Tiger Woods and his mistresses, which apparently numbered more than a hundred. Being the greatest golfer in the world wasn’t enough. Being rich and famous wasn’t enough. Having a beautiful wife and a child wasn’t enough. Even having an affair didn’t satisfy him. So he had another, and another, and another, to absurdly self-indulgent extremes.
This exemplifies the big distraction that keeps many men from going deeper into themselves. There’s always something more waiting somewhere just beyond reach. If they make a million dollars, then they want a million more. If they win the horse race, then they spend all the winnings hoping to win even bigger. If they win the game, the business deal, the war, the woman, then it’s on to the next battle to be fought, to prove they‘re even more of a force to be reckoned with. And if they lose then they are no longer men, until they can regain their pride and their manhood by somehow getting back on top.
Men have been ever searching for something that remains just beyond their grasp. It’s the buried treasure, the Holy Grail, the Fountain of Youth, El Dorado, Shangri-La. That something that will finally meet all of their expectations and desires and make them finally and truly happy and content and at peace in the world. But El Dorado or some version of it never existed, or was never found or else was nothing like the vision conceived of it once they got there. What men have failed to realize in the endless quest for something precious yet elusive out there in the world, is that the Holy Grail and the Fountain of Youth were both simply metaphors for something far more valuable than any material thing, which lies within.
At the center of this constant hunger for some hidden treasure buried at the bottom of the ocean or deep in a cave guarded by menacing dragons, is a disconnection with some long lost part of themselves. That something is feeling. That something is love. Women know this because they are the embodiment of love, feeling and emotion. They’ve felt the disconnect all along, and they know that the solution needed is quite plainly and simply a deeper connection between men and women on a heart and soul level. And they know that it requires men contacting some spark of the feminine within, in order to be able to make that heartfelt connection with women.
But the masculine psyche generally doesn’t feel the disconnect because it is mostly disconnected from feeling itself. And yet, something is clearly missing; there’s a restlessness that keeps men wanting something more, something else, something greater. And so they continue on their quest for that tantalizing vision of something out there in the world around them, searching everywhere but where it actually lies, hidden in the deepest recesses of their own consciousness. And the women, ready to dance, to engage, to make some real love, to explore the depths of human passion and potential, sit idly by, twiddling their thumbs, busying themselves with assorted tasks that help pass the time, feeling the void gnawing within them as they wait for the endless game to end.
The man folds, slams down his lousy hand of cards, goes to take a piss, grabs another beer and then heads back to the dim light of the silent table of brooding, sullen men, hoping this time he’ll win big. The woman finishes the dishes, wipes her hands, glances in his direction; and knows in her heart that he’s still a long ways away.
Maybe they have sex later that night. But it’s just a chance for him to relieve some of the tension from his frustrating losses, before he turns the other way and soon enough is snoring away loudly. They may have screwed and stoked up some momentary passion. But he never actually touched her in the slightest, not the truth of who she is.
This scenario is an oversimplification of male-female relations of course, and may seem like an exaggerated one, especially to those men who have experienced fairly healthy relationships with the women in their lives. But in reality, it’s probably somewhere around average. There are certainly countless examples of loving, cooperative, balanced relationships between men and women all around the world. And yet, there are also many, many abusive ones, as we all know from the news stories and statistics. But you don’t hear too often about the woman who beat up her husband, because it‘s almost always the other way around.
It’s hardly debatable that men have a much greater record of violence and mistreatment against women than vice versa, both in modern times and throughout human history. From the burning of witches to designating women as property, not allowing women to vote, keeping them veiled and hidden away in the home, not allowing them to divorce an abusive husband or even to drive a car in some countries today, to laws stating that forcible sex by a man of his wife isn’t rape, or that women can’t associate with men outside of their immediate family, punishable by death, human society is riddled with instances of male discrimination, domination and much worse against women. And yet it’s hard to think of a single account of an organized campaign of prejudice by women against men. If you search hard enough through the history books then perhaps you’ll find one buried away somewhere. But it will take some serious digging.
Now, in saying all this, the point isn’t to engage in male-bashing and induce a guilt trip in men. That isn’t at all what this book is about. The point is simply that what men need to understand and acknowledge and accept, before anything can truly change, is that women have every reason to distrust men. This is an essential realization when it comes to moving forward into a new and completely different mode of relating between the sexes. Women need to sense and feel that men have acknowledged and taken responsibility for their past mistakes, before they can trust them to move into that deeper level of relating, the one they’ve been yearning and waiting for.
And this is also important to realize because this distrust and wariness has kept women hiding much of themselves from men, so that they are a mere shadow of who and what they can truly be. Women have within them infinite reservoirs of radiant, creative, wise, passionate, ecstatic, orgasmic, loving energy, just waiting to be awakened, explored, honored and reveled in. And they desire a man’s sensitive, attuned touch and attention and love to bring that part of themselves fully alive (or another woman‘s, as the case may be). Because bringing this vibrant, pulsating, juicy energy to life requires interaction, uniting, a relationship with another.
And yet in a sense, ironically, sadly, this is precisely what keeps men away from the deeper core of women. Because on some subconscious level men sense that women are a Pandora’s box of swirling, unfamiliar energy that they aren’t quite sure they want to open up and let loose. Whatever is inside there, it seems highly volatile and unpredictable, to say the least. Better to keep a lid on it all, keep things under control and not take any chances. And besides, there’s a poker game to play.