Going Coastal 26 July 2016 Comments Off on Going Coastal

He is rock; she is wave.
She connects him with the ocean’s fluid power;
the source of all life.
He grounds her in solidity.

Without her, he is inert; lacking spirit.
And she needs him to open herself against.

Their clashing is a caressing;

her soft strength slowly sculpts him
into forms he could not have imagined,
and reveals his hidden shimmering.ооо полигон плюсмихаил безлепкин милициядесна болитжилье в Хорватии

New relationships are like starting a garden: they take time and care Comments Off on New relationships are like starting a garden: they take time and care

If we’ve been on our own for a while, we can start to get nervous that we’re never going to meet the ‘right’ woman, and even begin to give up hope. Which of course will affect how we relate to any women that we do meet, and reduce our chances even further.

But unless we’re living like a hermit, we are bound to be meeting women everyday of our lives, and it’s a big mistake to believe that, if we’re not immediately ‘attracted’, or vice versa, this means they, or we, are not ‘attractive’… or there isn’t, and can never be, enough ‘chemistry’ to make a relationship work. The reality is that when we are powerfully attracted to a woman it can be for all kind of complex and buried psychological reasons which have  more to do with our own unresolved issues than with her suitability for us as a partner.

In fact, if we do meet a woman who  seems irresistibly attractive, and vice versa,  the most sensible thing would probably be to run a mile. A relationship based on an instant attraction is more likely to lead to a confusing entanglement than to a healthy life enhancing connection. ‘Real’ attraction is a mysterious thing which takes time to grow, and is rooted in getting to know and appreciate the other person at a deeper level, rather than in how they look.

And anyway, if we depend on being ‘attractive’ to a woman to feel good about ourselves, it leaves us vulnerable to being manipulated by anyone who is willing to flatter us.

Two mutually ‘attractive’ people can have great sex (and there’s nothing wrong with that, as long as they both know it may be time limited) and can reassure each other for a while that they have ‘a relationship’, but the crunch of whether there is any real foundation to it will come… sooner or later.

‘Romance’ is fun, as long as it’s enjoyed for what it is – possibly a delightful step to something deeper, but possibly not. This is the best way to avoid the hurt and disappointment that comes when people who have not been honest with each other, realise that they don’t like each other very much.

Meanwhile, keep your eves open…and be patient.The woman who would make a wonderful partner for you may be right in front of you; you just haven’t noticed her…yet!рекламное агентство москвыникасагрегат сварочный передвижной аддкупить консилер

How To Be A Male Feminist 14 March 2016 Comments Off on How To Be A Male Feminist

This article in the current online edition of ‘Esquire”(!) articulates everything I’ve been thinking about how to bring peace to the ‘gender wars’, in a funny and insightful way,

As a bloke, this is the most hopeful bit of writing that I’ve seen in a long time.

http://www.esquire.co.uk/culture/news/a7764/male-feminism/

 

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A WOMAN-UAL: 12 tips for looking after the ‘womanimal’ in your life. 8 March 2016 Comments Off on A WOMAN-UAL: 12 tips for looking after the ‘womanimal’ in your life.

Womanimals! You’re not sure if you always like them, but you know that you need one. You have many similarities, but there ar also some important differences between you and them, so here are some tips on making your womanimal happy. Btw remember that growing up in a patriarchy will have often been a pain in the arse for most women, and she may  need to be pissed off with you sometimes for no particular reason other than that you’re a man. Take it! but don’t take it personally (unless you deserve to, of course).

  1. Your womanimal will want to love and respect you. Give her plenty of reasons to feel this way. And don’t worry whether you’re rich, smart, attractive etc. enough; a womanimal will love you mostly for how you make her feel about herself. i.e. show her regularly that that you love, respect and want her! NB Find out and use which of the 5 Love Languages she trusts and responds to
  1. A womanimal likes to be stroked… often gently, sometimes not. It can be hard to tell. To  find out which, try one or the other, but change quickly if it seems like you made the wrong call.
  1. If your womanimal likes to feed you, give her plenty of ‘appreciation’ (in whatever way works for you both) so she’ll be motivated to keep doing it. And it helps if you do the washing up.
  1. When your womanimal needs to talk, listen to her… maybe repeat back what she’s said, to make you’ve heard right. Offering sympathy is OK; solutions need to come later. A womanimal may be trying to tell you something different than what she’s actually saying. Try to figure out what she wants you to hear, and respond to that. If you’re not sure what that is…, ask.
  1. If your womanimal is angry with you for no (to you) apparent reason, don’t get defensive; ask for more information. It may be for no reason other than she needs to let off steam. Don’t try to prove she’s being unreasonable etc…just take it. Reassure her that you still love her and that you’re not going to run away just because she can’t be ‘nice’ to you all the time. The dark clouds will pass.
  1. A womanimal sometimes hears what she wants to hear, or even what she doesn’t want to hear, rather than what you’ve actually said. There’s no point arguing; tell her, and even better show her, what she needs to hear. Including, of course, that that you adore her, no matter what.
  1. Womanimals don’t like to be left on their own too often. Leave when you need to, but with a confirmation that you hate to go, and won’t stop thinking about her… and give a fixed timetable for your return. This should assure you a warm welcome back. She needs her own space sometimes too, so be sure to let her go off on when she needs to, without taking it personally.
  1. Womanimals are able to do, and think of, several things at a time. The fact is, she’s cleverer that you in some ways; it’s just the way God made us, for reasons only (s)he can know. Accept it, and be glad she’s still willing to spend her time with you.
  1. The answer to the question ‘Does my bum look big’ and similar questions should always be something like: ‘I don’t know what you’d call ‘big’, but it looks lovely to me!’ And this may be an opportunity to show her just how lovely, of course!
  1. A womanimal may criticise in your company, other partners that she’s had. Show concern and sympathy, but under no circumstances, especially if she’s had children with him, offer your opinion of him or agree that yes, he was a total arse. That may lead her to suddenly remember how great he actually was …. especially in comparison to you…and need to defend him!
  1. A womanimal may worry that she doesn’t look or act the way she thinks a womanimal should. Offer plenty of reassurance that, whatever anyone else might think, she is more than beautiful enough for you!
  1. A womanimal may well be your equal financially, but still want you to get your wallet out just that bit ahead of her, so she can at least decide whether to let you pay, or not.

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Rotherham thoughts 1 March 2016 Comments Off on Rotherham thoughts

Many men, including me,  are depressed by what seems to be an endless stream of news stories about sexual abuse of women and children, recently.  Rotherham is the most recent and possibly most shocking example _ shocking because of the scale of the abuse, the apparent disinterest and lack of support for victims from police, social services and the other people whose job was supposed to be to protect children, and because of the likelihood that there are and/or have been similar patterns of abuse and  indifference in other parts of the U.K.

This was obviously not a rare or one off pattern of activity by predatory men abusing vulnerable female victims, so we can’t avoid the question any longer.  How or why can ANY man actually get turned on and gratified by abusing and damaging a child?   We urgently need research which can provide an ‘explanation’ for this, and some ideas about what can be done about it, rather than looking the other way from a mixed feeling of shame and helplessness, which is what often happens at the moment. The problem is too prevalent, and the results and damage done too severe, to put it off any longer.

Meanwhile, we revile the damaged individuals who commit this kind of abuse,  perhaps getting some satisfaction from feeling that, however much of a mess we may be in…at least we’re not “that bad”!  But maybe these abusers are in some ways just extreme versions of the predominant way that male sexuality, and our ambivalent relationship with ‘femininity’, is shaped and expressed in our culture (and many others, unfortunately). Because of a fear of not living up to social expectations about ‘manhood’, it is hard for many ‘normal’ men to feel freely able to experience and express the range of emotions which would let them be fully human. Living with the continuous pain of being cut off from an essential part of their emotional life may  lead some men to feel so fearful and stressed, even inadequate, that they react in extreme ways which are damaging to others, and ultimately to themselves.

Just as thin models are notoriously not representative of most women, which can make many women feel inadequate and depressed, with unquantifed negative consequences for their relationships with the men in their lives and their mental well being, so most men feel as if they fall short of the macho ideals represented as heroic in contemporary cultural myths, with inevitable damaging effects on their attitudes and behaviours in the ways indicated above.. Hopefully the media world will catch up soon to a better understanding of the f=fuller range of ways in which a ‘real’ man might think and act, but in the meantime each of us can encourage that process by insisting on being true to, and expressing, our full range of feelings without worrying if other men will try to shame us for that. That shaming is rooted in their own fear and envy, and if we insist on our right to be our true selves we may give them the ‘permission’ they need to change and begin to be free of the constraints of the ‘man box’, with a reduction in any need they might have to ‘prove’ themselves using violence or abuse.
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Savile: a more balanced explanation? 26 February 2015 Comments Off on Savile: a more balanced explanation?

He’s all over the news yet again, so I was relieved to come across the below piece by a psychologist writing in the Guardian, because it takes the wise and insightful perspective of acknowledging that he was a deeply damaged individual who was not ‘responsible’ for who he was, and so in some respects (I would say) not responsible for his actions. A profoundly disturbed and unhappy man who was allowed looked to commit horrific acts, rather than an ‘evil monster’.

We as a society, and more directly the individuals who worked with him, have a huge responsibility to bear for building him up to the point where all his predilictions for casing damage to others were encouraged past the point where he was able to have any control over them  , and then for looking the other way when that damage came to light. In my view, all the fawning or complicit professionals who ignored what was happening when the evidence was right in front of them, are almost more culpable and deeply hypocritical than the man himself. Because they, in theory away, knew better and understood their personal and professional responsibility for providing care and protection to their charges, whereas Savile probably couldn’t.

I think the last paragraph is crucial. We need to support inadequate parents so that they are less likely to raise children who are so damaged that they in turn are driven to damage others.
And we must understand better how to recognise, and then help and support individuals with such inner demons, even having compassion and understanding for them,  rather than blaming and demonising them and/or being blinded by the trivial egoculture of celebrity which gives them every encouragement and opportunity to indulge in precisely the kind of fantasy driven and abusive behavior that they need to learn to control.

To explain Jimmy Savile’s crimes as evil or wicked misses the mark. The important lesson is that he was deeply disturbed, as well as disturbing. Some of the psychology behind his abusive behaviour – which was set out in more, shocking detail today – can be pieced together from its pattern. Many of the assaults were without warning. He would suddenly place his hand somewhere he should not, plant his mouth on unsuspecting lips. Frequently this was done in public places. The root of such intrusion is projection.

It is a mechanism we all may use when we have an uncomfortable feeling to get rid of. We sometimes employ each other as emotional dustbins: you are feeling depressed or angry and without thinking about it, you do something to make someone else feel those things. To understand what Savile was feeling when he groped in public, hear how his victims felt – humiliated, powerless, frightened, finally angry. Those will have been the emotions he lived with and, more or less, urgently needed to extrude.

In many cases sexual arousal seems to have been almost incidental, with no attempt to achieve orgasm. There does not seem to have been a single instance of Savile displaying true affection, or a wish to give pleasure: in his life he had no sustained, loving relationships.

On the occasions when he achieved orgasm through penetration, or by compelling his victims to fellate him, they report him as having immediately lost interest once he had ejaculated. They might as well have been inanimate objects. This would be consistent with Savile having had a high degree of dissociation – feeling at one remove from events, a detachment. In accord with that, he must have had several different selves, enabling him to flit between roles, from charity worker to famous DJ to abuser, and quickly back to non-abuser.

He had what is known as the dark triad of personality characteristics: psychopathy, Machiavellianism and narcissism. These are common in famous or powerful people, and part of that mix is a strong likelihood of sexual promiscuity. Such people often are able to slide effortlessly between personas. They are usually impulsive stimulus seekers, easily attracted to substance abuse, risky sex and gambling. Savile must have had a fantastical inner life – grandiose, wild and desperate. While his main predilection was for girls and young women, he sometimes ranged from five to 75-year-olds of both sexes and, it seems, may have engaged in necrophilia.

He created safe environments in which he could act at will. His experiments beyond young females may have been because the buzz from them had worn off through repetition and he sought more extreme kicks. Given that inflicting distress was his primary goal, the gender and age of a victim might not matter.

We do not know whether Savile was abused as a child. The only clear fact is that he had a very intense enmeshment with his mother, seeing all other women as mere vehicles for his distress, marriage unthinkable. We also know he had a semi-psychotic relationship with his mother after she died, perhaps believing that he could communicate with her.

Most probably the dissociated position from which he abused – a cold heartlessness – resulted from a lack of responsiveness from his mother in the early years. Studies suggest that early care which is not responsive to the child’s needs, or overcontrolling, significantly increases the risk. Dissociation can also be caused by emotional abuse (being demeaned and harshly criticised), as well as the physical or sexual varieties.

Man hands on misery to man. Since abuse, rather than genes, is now clearly emerging as the principal cause of both personality disorders and psychoses (like schizophrenia), it is all too possible that Savile drove some of his victims as crazy as him. It is horrible to contemplate the possibility that he may have spawned other abusers by his crimes.

The only way to have avoided a person of Savile’s psychology would have been a society that puts the needs of every small child first. In that case, his relationship with his mother would be noticed and appropriate help provided.industrial craftgac internationale spedition gmbhсколько стоит линолеумалександр лобановский досье

The Lost Women of British Jazz 21 September 2014 Comments Off on The Lost Women of British Jazz

Janine H. Jones uncovers the secret history of women’s jazz and the tragic story of how a burgeoning musical equality was deliberately snuffed out. This programme transports us back to post-WWI Britain, where women were experiencing their first taste of emancipation. The UK was becoming a hotbed of music. Bars, clubs and bottle parties hosted bands every night and ladies were jazzing right alongside the men. In their own words, female musicians of the Jazz Age tell their stories.

You can listen to this mind and ear opening programme  here

As a man and as a musician, this programme left me lost for words (almost!). Total respect for these women artists struggling so hard against such difficult odds. Comparable with the obstacles facing black musicians performing in the American South at around the same time, I’d guess.For some reason, I imagined that, while I knew about pervasive sexism in other artistic fields (how many well known women composers, visual artists or writers are there, compared to men?), I somehow imagined that in jazz it would have been different.

This quote from the programme sums up my disappointment in finding out different.: “In the 1920’s women musicians broke into the jazz field through skill and determination but ever since have been written out of jazz history due to an overwhelming pervasive sexism in a musical form which grew from liberation and emancipation. What a chance we had to level the playing field in keeping with the spirit of jazz, and what hope we’ve dashed when we’ve sought instead to exclude and close doors since then”.german translation videoменю никас харьковmfx brokerкисть для растушевки теней

Win win! 30 August 2014 Comments Off on Win win!

It seems that some men go into a panic the moment their ‘authority’ is challenged by a woman …especially one they are close to – all too often (according to the domestic violence statistics), leading to punches being thrown in an attempt to confirm who is wearing the (literal and metaphorical) trousers in the relationship.

This can leave  both partners feeling frustrated and dissatisfied, often leading to a cycle of mutual recrimination. At this point the sexual fire in the relationship usually dies away, and the man (or woman) may resort to having an affair or to fantasising over the distorted sexual images which are  easily available on screen.

Thankfully, there are also many men who are not afraid to nurture, and be nurtured by, partners who they see and treat as equals – while not wanting them to be ‘the same’. Learning about, accepting, supporting and celebrating each other.

I am sad for the men who are apparently unable or unwilling to go to experience the pleasures of sharing mutual acceptance and respect with their partners. It look me a while to feel at ease  with this and appreciate how great it is

At the same time, I think and hope that more men are realising that if we cut ourselves off from our feelings, because we’re afraid it’s not ‘manly’ to show emotion, we become so out of balance it’s equivalent to a kind of mental illness, and in that state we’re unable to give or receive the love we actually crave, and can become a danger to those we are close to (as well as to ourselves).кейсы для косметики купитькупить appleноутбуки асер аспиреfrench translation service

Everyday Sexism 28 May 2014 Comments Off on Everyday Sexism

This ‘Everyday Sexism’ video was a real eye opener for me.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2014/apr/04/everyday-sexism-turn-tables-women-men-video

I sort of knew this kind of thing happened to women on the street etc., but didn’t realise how often, or what it must feel like to be on the receiving end. Or how ridiculous and insulting it is.

I’m not sure that sexist men are necessarily conscious of what underlies their feelings or their need to behave like this. But maybe if they scratched a little bit below the surface, and would be brave enough to admit to themselves, the roots maybe in a lack of confidence and a fear of rejection by women.

If there is to be any hope of changing this behaviour, men need to do more to untangle and understand the ambivalent feelings, attitudes and behaviour towards women that most of us have at some time, rather than just falling back on dismissing sexist men as “arseholes” etc. Then we can begin to grow up and earn the respect of women that most of us actually want, but may sometimes feel too inadequate (and ashamed) to deserve.отзывылечение рака +в германиимихаил безлепкин фотовыходные

Ban prostitution? Comments Off on Ban prostitution?

This programme features a former prostitute talking about why she thinks prostitution should be banned. It puts the lie to any ideas that being a ‘sex worker’ is just another freely chosen job in the hospitality business etc
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