One of the defining tensions in my life has always been reconciling my feminist political beliefs, my desire for a respectful and egalitarian relationship, and my attraction to more traditional alpha males. I passionately believe in women's equality, in reproductive rights, and in equal pay for equal work. And I want to be in a loving, intimate, balanced relationship where everyone makes a contribution, whatever that might be. So why do those things seem so hard to reconcile with my desire to feel looked after and taken care of? The Frisky: Are Men And Woman Switching Roles In Relationships?
I'm a caretaker by personality. It's just in my nature. Though I've never seriously considered becoming a psychotherapist, I might be a talented one because I'm a good listener and I deeply care about people. That's a fine way to be, of course, but sometimes it can veer off into a no-no zone of continually putting other people's needs and wants before my own. Everyone wants to feel needed, but I'm a strong person and sometimes I have found myself exploited, having to be strong for two people. That's ultimately going to be unsustainable for me.
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Though I have a caring nature, I hate feeling like I'm someone's mommy in a relationship. Feeling as if there's an unequal power balance tipped in my favor makes me nervous and overwhelmed. There's a difference between taking care of someone in the sense that you are looking out for him, versus taking care of someone who seems unable to take care of himself. I was in a relationship once where I felt like I was the only one who had time management skills, or perhaps, had respect for time at all. A friend of mine was in a relationship where she said she felt "like a maid" because the guy had no desire to clean or do laundry. Those things seem like minor annoyances until you start to feel like someone's mommy.
And with all due respect to real mommies, no one feels sexy in a relationship as "mommy."
And it does all come down to sex, doesn't it? How we feel outside the bedroom directly impacts how we feel inside the bedroom. It is no secret that I have a spanking fetish and prefer to be with sexually dominant men, that I get off on not being the aggressor and not being in charge. I was a gender studies student. I am well aware that "masculine" and "feminine" are constructions, but for the sake of conversation, let's assume they do exist. When I yell at the TV screen when Patti Stanger is berating women on Millionaire Matchmaker for having too much "masculine energy," it's because I don’t think one person should be telling another person how to behave, not because I deny those energies exist. Sometimes a man has the more "dominant" or "masculine" energy; sometimes the women does. Both can work. For me, personally, I prefer to have "masculine" energy in my career, among my friends, and with my extracurricular interests and a "feminine" energy in my relationship. The Frisky: My Newfound Respect For Chivalry