Trust is something that goes hand in hand with love.
In love and the shared pleasure that is part of it we give our trust and believe we will receive it in return…
Over time in relationship, because we’re human, we experience moments of this trust not being lived up to that make it harder to keep offering and believing in it. Feeling and expressing the feelings found within this and freeing ourselves through forgiveness allows us to reopen and trust once more.
Yet trust between men and women has some unique challenges.
We have found there is one area of trust between male and female partners that shows up again and again. This is the challenge for women to trust men in sex and for men to trust women with their feelings. We see them as two sides of the same coin, a fear of being vulnerable in each, made worse by a lack of understanding, skill and empathy.
Women can easily relate to the feeling the feeling of ‘ickyness’ that arises in her when a man she doesn’t want comes on to her sexually. Less understood is that men have a similar response to a woman who demands that he opens up to her emotionally. It is in sex and emotion that men and women most miss each other. We look at why here…
Let’s begin with women trusting men in sex
Women have a place of deep vulnerability in sex because they generally take longer to get to a point of full arousal than do men and it is easy for her to go into a place of being wrong in it. It is a common point of frustration for men who generally step into arousal more quickly and easily.
Because a woman’s sexuality requires her to open both her body and herself up for her pleasure she needs to feel safe in order to do so. Women respond more readily to a sensual full body approach than a man requires for himself. Arousal in women happens mostly in her body, a man’s begins more so in his mind.
In his desire to do a good job man will treat his woman as he would himself, overriding, or not seeing this need for time in her. In not seeing her need for time, in not having the skill to help her, in resentment of ‘waiting’ or fear of not getting it right he will regularly cross this sexual boundary in his woman. He invalidates her deepest need and touches her genitally before she is fully receptive, expecting and agitating her to open and willingly respond.
In doing so he unknowingly avoids his own vulnerability, the vulnerability it takes to be an amazing lover, as this involves getting more present, more fully into his body, feeling more and opening his heart.
In this place women become very good at tolerating getting less than what they need. They get good at giving up asking for it and even better at performing as if they have it, aka the fake orgasm. This causes huge resentment and resistance in her, whether spoken or not. Over time, it’s enough for her to lose interest in sex altogether, or to live on performing in hope that one day he will get it. She is left frustrated in wanting to find her place of wild abandon and/or deep loving in sex. This resentment leads not only to a lack of desire, but to a lack of love and trust in other areas of the relationship.
What can be done to remedy this loss of trust?
- Women can learn to trust and surrender into their own bodies, finding pleasure in themselves.
- Women can be clear about owning and asking for their needs of time to be met.
- Men can understand that taking time and an all over body approach is not a woman being ‘high maintenance’, it’s her being who she is. Respecting and meeting this part of her will ensure she is interested in, and available for lovemaking for many years to come.
- Men can learn to touch their lovers without agenda, from a place of relaxation and connection rather than wanting them to perform. Allowing rather than forcing things to happen.
- Men can learn to approach their lover from her outside moving to her centre, in her body, her breasts and her genitals.
- Men can learn to get more connected with their own sexual selves, taking the time to go deeper into their bodies, hearts and pleasure.
Secondly, we look at men trusting women with their hearts.
A man’s place of deep vulnerability is his heart and his feelings, because it is generally more difficult and takes longer for him to reveal his feelings than it does for a woman. This leaves woman frustrated at man’s lack of emotional openness and her need for intimacy going unmet.
Because of his conditioning away from his feelings, as well as the rapidity and depth of feeling he’s capable of when he really does go there, man requires a place of safety to open up emotionally. Because woman believes she has the emotional high ground in feeling matters, and finds the language of feeling easy she cannot understand his resistance to feeling and judges him negatively for it. This leads to her cross his emotional boundary by demanding that he emotionally ‘open up’ to her when she wants it, rather than when he is ready. Or it can lead her to miss him in his vulnerability as it is so unexpected. This makes man even more hesitant to reveal himself.
Woman has been taught that vulnerability is about exposing or opening herself up to another person, or to something outside of herself. It is emotionally risky because We call this vulnerability without. It is emotionally risky because she is making herself vulnerable to betrayal if she is not seen and attack if she is invalidated or overridden. She is usually saying something like “I’m totally open here, I want you to see me, where are you?”
We see that here, even though woman believes she is totally vulnerable in reality she is merely exposed in her pain and suffering of vulnerability without, but her inner walls are still firmly in place. To protect herself in this dangerous place she unknowingly operates behind the wall of her emotional superiority.
From here she either:
- Closes down as soon as possible
- Becomes desperate for her man to validate or comfort her
- She goes into a story to justify her fear and woundedness, whether it is true or not
- She is hyper alert to any potential threat in what her partner says or does, seeing it as a threat, whether it is true or not
- She goes on the offensive, attacking him to stay safe in herself.
In this place woman avoids her true vulnerability, the vulnerability it takes to be safely intimate at the depth she longs for (we explain this further down), whilst blaming her man for not going there himself. A man will see her woundedness, will feel her walls, and sensing the threat inside them feel unsafe to open up. He’ll withdraw safely into his cave, head out the door or shift into the offensive by attacking her back.
What can be done to remedy this loss of trust?
- Man can get grounded in himself and stay centred in the face of woman’s woundedness.
- Man can invite woman deeper into her feeling body, not getting caught up in her story.
- Woman can own her own lack of true vulnerability and stop making man wrong in his.
- Woman can hold onto herself in her emotionality, opening in to herself, into the feelings in her body rather than outwards to him. Feeling the feelings in her body rather the story in her head.
- Woman finding this inner vulnerability within herself will see it is a place of strength, going beyond her weakness to where she is fully open, no longer feeling the need to hide or protect herself and totally empowered.
- Woman will be less dependent on how her partner chooses to respond to her, allowing him space to show up with an authentic response.
There is a special place a woman will experience if a man does choose to go deep into his vulnerability. She may be triggered into the deep terror that happens for a woman when she perceives a man in his so called ‘weakness’ of vulnerability where he is, unable to be ‘the rock’ she unconsciously still needs him to be. It is another place woman benefits from connecting to her own inner strength to be able to stay grounded.
A word about vulnerability:
In both of the models above each of us is trying to avoid vulnerability and blaming the other for it.
We have been sold a big, fat lie about vulnerability. We’ve been told that it is a scary, dangerous place. However, it is not the actual vulnerability that is scary and dangerous but our lack of understanding in and inability to be with it.
When we make vulnerability ok, choosing to feel it, to feel it in our bodies rather than make up a story about it in our heads, when we allow it, and even welcome it in it becomes a very powerful place. When we understand to go within ourselves and feel, rather than to open out to another and look for something from them.
This is holding on to ourselves, opening in to ourselves, in both sex and in intimacy.
It’s where we surrender to our higher selves, our minds sinking into our heart.
Love and pleasure beyond description is one of the benefits of true vulnerability.
This is a very deep subject, very real but hard to put into words, with some challenging aspects. We encourage you to contact us for further clarification and discussion if you desire. Call 1800 TANTRA or email here