Last night as I lay alone, absorbing darkness’ silence, I began to contemplate the pleasures of a man’s embrace. At one time for me, lying in the arms of the man I love and who loved me back was the only true sense of home that could be experienced. It was my shelter from high prices, arrogant bosses, sweat stenched bus rides, frustrated dreams and self-torture. It was my sanctuary. But now that I am ‘sans homme’ where do I find my sense of home? And do I really need a man to feel sanctified?
During my adolescence, under my mother’s bed was my escape from life’s uncertainties and gruelling Saturday morning housework. The cool touch of the concrete against my skin coupled with the dark enclosed space made me feel safe. Tucked away under the bed I would get lost in thoughts of a torrid romance (fuelled by my voracious consumption of Mills & Boon novels) with a tall-handsome-rich business tycoon who would save me from a humdrum existence. He would send me a hundred white roses on my birthday; he would use his psychic powers to determine that when I say x what I really mean is y; he would know just where to touch to send me to heights of unimaginable ecstasy and he would be religiously monogamous. This Mills & Boon inspired fairy tale has been the blueprint for my perfect man and the perfect intimate relationship.
I know, you must be wondering how naive and gullible can one woman be. What might surprise you (although it should not) is that for most women, whether they admit it or not, the Mills & Boon man is their ideal man. The reason many women are unhappy with their heterosexual relationships is because they are forced to settle/work with men who do not match their expectations of an ideal mate. It would be hard to blame these women for their unhappy state as their expectations are the result of ideological socialisation. It is symptomatic of modern society’s tendency towards irony: preaching one value while practising another. Our angst as women comes from our ability to settle with the ‘frog’ while longing for Prince Charming.
But is it wrong to desire the Mills & Boon man? After all, isn’t true that whatever the mind perceives it can achieve? Why can’t women desire and get the perfect mate? Why should we have to settle?
‘Good better best, Never let it rest, Until the good becomes better, And the better best – this familiar maxim was drummed into our subconscious at primary school to teach us to never settle but to strive for excellence in all our endeavours. Ideals are the building blocks of modern civilisation. Humans are always aspiring, not only in thoughts but in actions, for circumstances that will ensure not only their survival but also their happiness. Women have the right to demand and work towards finding the man who fulfils their expectations. Society can facilitate our quest by legitimising all masculinity, so that men can feel comfortable to be moulded into the men we want them to be. We are after all the nurturers in our society; let us nurture our men to complement and make us happy.
Do I need a man to be happy? No. Do I need a man to give me a sense of home? No. But as a woman I am aware of my physical and emotional attraction to men. I am also aware of the pleasure and happiness that is derived from connecting physically and emotionally with a man. Do I need that in my life? Most definitely!
Note: This was written in 2006 -I was younger and maybe not too wise 🙂