Me Jane, You Tarzan: The Politics of Sexual Polarity

Lori Ann Lothian wants to know if she’s wrong for wanting to be ‘ravished’.

First time I was ravished, I was 23. It was in a university building stairwell. He grabbed my hair in one fist, pressed me against the cool cement wall and kissed me with such ardor it took my breath away and elicited an instant wet-panty response. I married him two years later.

This passionate engagement became the yardstick by which I measured all future suitors. And I admit shamelessly to wanting a man to take charge sexually and to not ask permission to love me aggressively. I even remember telling one timid man, post-husband, “Don’t worry, I won’t break.”

But I recently discovered that these days both genders resist the idea it’s okay for a man to fiercely love a woman. I learned this through the more than 150 public comments and hundreds of private emails sparked by my article A Call to the Sacred Masculine: Ten Daring Invitations from the Divine Feminine (a piece that soared to over 60,000 views and 16,000 Facebook likes).

Obviously the idea of a feminine call to the masculine struck a collective chord. It elicited overwhelmingly positive feedback from men to invitations like show us your heroic heart, slay your demons, care deeply and dare to dream.

But when it comes to the invitation to just take a woman, without apology? Some women clobbered me with the dictionary definition of ravish, which includes the word rape. Some men asked if I wanted them to revert to brutish macho stereotypes. Both men and women asked me if what I wanted was to go backwards to a time when women were chattel, an asset in the possession of mostly abusive, power-drunk men.

Gosh no. I was simply suggesting that men be, well, manly. Or at least this woman’s definition of it.


The unexpected popularity of Fifty Shades of Gray (which makes Harlequin romance look like high literature) speaks—no shouts—to the wimpification of men in the era of the Sensitive New Age Guy (SNAG). In the self-help, spiritual growth driven western world, women have sent men the not-so-subtle message to buck up and become more emotionally available.

Yet something has gotten lost in the translation of this request for vulnerability. Instead, I’ve seen men have become emotionally tentative and sexually tepid. When a man I’m in relationship with seems to be asking for permission to sex me up, rather than making his move and letting me choose a yes or no, it’s as if I’ve been given all the power and control. And, unless I’m a dom, that is simply not a turn on.

It is arguably this very desire to relinquish control that accounts for the 60 million sold copies of Fifty Shades—simply, the storyline gives women the option to surrender, to opt for the fine print clause of letting go. It’s a story of a 21-year-old college virgin (yeah, right) meeting an emotionally tortured billionaire man who at first wants to make her his 12th submissive but in the end falls in mutual kinky love. And yes, he spanks her, ties her up and even flogs her (without the genital clamps or fisting, items virgin girl wisely takes off the contract.)

That a bondage-domination-lite hit the mainstream best seller charts is perhaps likely because the mainstream woman (housewife and working girl) is tired of being in charge.

We women have become super-manly in our pursuit of independence to the point that trashy, badly written smut like Fifty Shades strikes a nerve and hits the best-seller charts. The invitation of this book is clear—it’s the woman saying, “Show me your troubled male psyche so that I feel connected to you and dominate me so that I can let-the fuck go sexually and otherwise.”

The lure of being not only not-in-control, but out of control, is a potent elixir for some women who have been asked to step up and compete with men. We don’t want to battle for supremacy in politics, corporate power structures or even sports teams. In fact, we women would prefer to collaborate.

But the feminist agenda has got us women all tied up in the mental knot of “never depend on a man” and “anything a man can do we can do, better.”


Which brings me to this big question: where are we as a gender-neutral society, where women are asked to be strong and capable and men are expected to be sensitive and emotionally available?

We are probably missing out on the juicy current that the natural polarity between a man and a women (an unadulterated feminine and masculine energy) generates. This is a current that writers like David Deida make into big selling books like The Superior Man. Books that ask men to look at their own chest thumping, warrior-hunter nature and say, yes! Books that tell men to penetrate their woman’s moods and remind women that it’s okay to admit they want to be ravished. Because according to Deida, a truly feminine core (in a man or woman) wants to be taken.

Deida sidesteps the whole ravish versus rape debate with this distinction. “The fundamental difference between rape and ravishment is simple: love.” In other words, when a man loves a woman, his forceful passionate engagement is not only welcome, it is desired. When I want to be ravished, I am really saying I want to be loved with fierce abandon by the man I also fiercely love.


I loved a man once, for two years. Yet in the end, I left because he was not willing to man-up (he hated that word) and love me with a ferocious current of the warrior-king. Instead, he wanted to be my equal to the point that he also wanted to be my buddy—not my lover, not the one who would just press me against that wall and bind me with his kisses.

In the admittedly cartoonish film 300, Spartan king Leonides has a queen. Gorgo not only has hot sex with her man, she advises him post-coitus on affairs of state. She is also in many ways, as the film progresses, demonstrably as powerful, clever and brave as the king.

I remember seeing this film years ago and thinking, this is really what I want. I want to be a queen to my king. I want a man who loves me with passionate hands-held-over-my head power and yet, who also recognizes me as his partner, his ally and his equal.

Because I am not the lesser half. Or the better half. I am simply the other half.

And as that half, I am also whole. Within me, I carry the current of masculine and feminine. And it’s clearly my feminine essence that wants to play in the playground of Jane and Tarzan. Of Leonidas and Gorgo. Of heck, yes, even of Anastasia and Christian.

I just want to feel like a woman. Even though I am as powerful as a man.

This article originally appeared in a shorter version in issue 8 of Origin Magazine.

Image: Amazon

About Lori Ann Lothian

Lori Ann Lothian is a sexy daring writer who challenges assumptions about love, sex and relationships in her columns at Huffington Post and elephant Journal and in feature articles at the Good Men Project, Origin Magazine, Yoganonymous, Better After 50 and more. Former editor of the relationship section of elephant Journal, she is now a senior editor at the Good Men Project. Follow her on Twitter andGoogle. Stay informed, sign up for Lori’s mailing list here.


  1. I agree with everything you’re saying. And of course there is nothing wrong with wanting to be “ravished.” It’s healthy to want to passionately connect with the person you love. Fifty Shades of Gray turned me into Fifty Shades of Red and got my fantasy wheel spinning. I say no matter your age, harness your inner Anastasia or Tarzan or masculinity or femininity or whatever you want to label it. (If you need a little help getting ready physically, which can happen with menopause, check out some of these options for vaginal dryness:

  2. My, my, my, it’s getting hot in here.

  3. What is feminine and masculine by societal standards may conform with your liking, author. But it does not conform with everyone’s. Do not speak for all women. We are all different and we all like different things. Share your opinion, but share it as what you enjoy not a rant about what women and men should be like. Not everything in the world has to follow to your liking. Sorry.
    Not all women fit your ideal of “feminine” and not all men fit your ideal of “masculine.” Not every man wants to “ravish” and not every woman wants to be “ravished.”

    • This. A man who doesn’t want to always be dominant isn’t less of a man. This seems to be more her communication issues.

      • Hey Mandy, I recommend reading this article on GMP, David Deida´s The Way of The Superior Man. and Robert Moore´s King, Warrior, Magician, Lover. There´s a lot going on here – there is a crisis of masculinity and men are looking to redefine their masculinity to enjoy our strength, underlined with love and calm as we don´t want to fall into the bad habits of abuse that some men mistake for masculinity. These books have been of real benefit to me and my partner.

    • Not all women fit your ideal of “feminine” and not all men fit your ideal of “masculine.” Not every man wants to “ravish” and not every woman wants to be “ravished.”

      But plenty of us want to be ravished and to ravish, whether we be men or women. Great article.

  4. Revo Luzione says:

    This is a sexy, beautiful, powerful, passionate post.

    I love it, and it arouses my masculine essence. Were you my lover, Lori, I’d ravish you in a heartbeat.

    Bravo, and I hope to see a lot more of this on the GMP. This is what the GMP’s core ethos should be like.

    PS David Deida’s stuff is truly a gift. The man understands sexual polarity, and I credit to him in part for the inspiration that is my sexual, personal, and masculine renaissance.

  5. Mike Russo says:

    This whole article is one of two things: It’s either:

    1 – A personal diary entry that one woman made public about how she wants rougher sex from her partners, which she attempted to make the audience (including herself?) believe that this is what all women want.

    2 – This is just another article attempting to emasculate men. In fact, I guarantee this is at least part of it, because of the “dilution” commentary. That is a direct emasculation/nagging act.

    Maybe you’ve had problems with men who don’t f*ck you hard enough, make you sore enough. Where do you get the right to bag on the rest of us? You want to be f*cked harder? Just ask for it. We’ll f*ck the crap out of you until you can’t walk anymore. Don’t attempt to make the rest of us feel like crap because you aren’t getting it put to you hard enough. That’s ridiculous.

    • Revo Luzione says:

      You’re projecting. Nobody’s trying to make you feel like crap. Nobody’s emasculting you but yourself.

      You feel like crap because you’re projecting your insecurities in the bedroom upon the author’s request to be ravished. Ravishment is not about pure force, it’s not about the foot-pounds of torque your pelvis can deliver into hers. It’s about the projection of a feeling, the feeling of masculine power overtaking the feminine. It’s the way a man uses his voice, his lips, his tongue, his hands, that convey passion and need, and a little bit of “owning” her body.

      It is my Italian nature, when a woman makes mention of being ravished, it is like putting racing grade fuel into a Ferrari. I will eat her whole, I will lovingly command her mind and body, I will possess her, passionately and compassionately dominate her. I will pick her up and flip onto her belly, take charge of the situation. Ravishing a woman tells her in no uncertain terms that she is *desired,* loved, appreciated, protected, cared for, and cherished, because she allows me to lead. Her feminine essence yields to my masculine power. That power, while animating my glutes and my biceps, does not originate from there. Nor does it originate from my loins, though it is greatly fueled by those masculine orbs that gird when I see and smell her. No, true masculine power originates from the heart.

      • Beautifully put Russo. Bravo!

      • I think Justine meant Revo, I hope she did, a wonderful reply to Russo.

        “The fundamental difference between rape and ravishment is simple: love.”

        I don´t feel any love in Russo´s post: for himself, for women, for anything. Sort yourself out bro, be good to yourself and stop stinking the place up.

    • lori Ann Lothian says:

      Thanks mike. Your commentary strikes to the heart of absolutely nothing I wrote about. It’s not about rough sex, or your cock. This piece was about the kind of energy a man brings to a sexual relationship with a woman, which also translates to the kind of energy he brings to the rest of his life…just as the kind of presence I bring to the world as a woman, is reflected in way i am with my man….but you seemed to have taken this awfully personally. Just say’in.

      • Mike Russo says:

        I apologize. It’s been a long time since I’ve read this article. I really don’t remember what it was about. I have a strong reaction to this kind of thing because I have a personal history that haunts me. But I have to say I don’t believe that any strong social forces have diluted men. How the h*** did you think that was going to go over did you honestly think anybody would respond pleasantly to that? You claim I didn’t get to the heart of anything that you wrote. Maybe it’s time for authors to finally consider what the people might respond to when they write. Honestly weight some of your arguments bring whiffs of eugenics. Don’t write something and assume everybody’s going to understand exactly what you meant. That’s illogical and hubrist. I’d be happy to have this discussion. But I want to do it in a way that make sense. People who have no idea. Really have no purpose making a grande arte statements about culture.

  6. Mike Russo says:

    Bump to the comment about women assuming all the have to do is show up. Sex with my last girlfriend sucked, it always did, at least for me. She never acted like she wanted to be there, and she was probably always thinking about something else. And bump again, women do not have the sole say as to whether the sex was good or not. You asked for men to be more sensitive, so now we are. We’re telling you that you have to do some work here was well.

  7. Peter von Maidenberg says:

    Seems like there are too damn many rules to this ravishing act.

    If I’m not concentrating on MYSELF, being all archetypal and animal and nonverbal, I’m not man enough to stir the woman. One touch that is a fraction of a pound-per-square-inch too tender, one jaw muscle not sufficiently flexed, one murmured word followed by her name, and my manliness is in ruins. I have not “taken” her. I have not “led” the dance. I have merely grabbed her disgustingly, like some stumbling “little” male.

    It’s enough to make a guy long for the days of plain old erectile dysfunction.

    (I posted this as a reply to a reply and it got buried. I’m doing it again in hopes it’ll get more visibility. Tough titty if I shouldn’t have.)

  8. I agree with Julie about the archetypal stuff – which often ends up being essentialist. I found Deida’s book utterly offensive and the archetypal discourse rooted in patriarchy with little room for different expressions of masculinity and femininity. When will we move away from basing our sexual life and understanding of sexuality on fairy tales?

    Isn’t it time for the discussion on gender and sex to grow up? When Lori talks about being ravished it sounds like what she is talking about is knowing that she is really wanted, needed, taken, given her a sense of belonging – men want this as well – as other writers have commented on here. When I suggest we grow up, what I mean is that this discourse sounds like a child / princess/prince wanting their parent / prince /princess to look after them/ take care of them/ take control – isn’t it time both genders treated each other as adults?

    I would be more interested in being emotionally ‘ravished’, emotionally wanted , knowing that I am known, that I belong, am loved and accepted. We live in a sex-obsessed society where it is perceived that sex will save us, fulfil us, meet our needs and give us total understanding of issues of masculinity and feminity. In reality sex is a minute part of most people’s life. Yet on this site – Sex associated writing is common place with many associated comments –

  9. So, alot of complaining about how porn have ruined male wiev of sex.
    Can we now say the same about women and romance novels?

    I have to be honest. This talk of ravishment makes me want to laugh. It just like what PUAs are saying but with a prettier ribbon.
    Also: It is NOT unmanly to be afraid of anything. Fear is natural. Fuck anyone that is saying that. This comes from an extremesporting, mix martial artist. If the woman is saying this dump her because she is an asshole and can’t value you for who you are.

    • Also, I as a warrior/king/alpha or wathever you want to call it. Do not want a queen. I have had to, since I was a little boy, endure hardships and fight for my right to exist. I would like an equal, both in the bedroom as in all other things. A queen is someone that I Have to be with not someone that I want. I want a warrior as well. Someone that, when I kiss her, she kisses back a little harder. Pushing me to become harder, hornier and gives as much energy as I. A woman that isn’t afraid to show me how she want’s to be fucked. Here we can talk about energies, synergies and other hippie bs.

      Those women are the ones that becomes ravished. They are the ones that deserve it!!
      Othervise why should I even try? Ravishing is hard work and kinda thankless if it’s with someone that lies there like a wet rag.

      • This!!! cant agree more! I think why I don’t really into ravishing things is because when someone said men need to ravish woman and need to be dominant, I think of one sided sex. Man desire his woman, but woman want to be desired. The woman do not desire her man, just want to be desired. And I don’t like it. If I want to ravish a woman, and show her that I desire her badly, she need to show me that she desire me badly too.

        “Someone that, when I kiss her, she kisses back a little harder. Pushing me to become harder, hornier and gives as much energy as I ”
        Yeah!!! This is what I like!!

        “Ravishing is hard work and kinda thankless if it’s with someone that lies there like a wet rag”

        Again I cant agree more with you.

      • There are a lot of assumptions here by you about what a ravished woman looks like. When my man ravishes me, I ravish back. As for the king-queen analogy, that IS about equals, INTERDEPENDENT partners each on the throne of their innate masculine and feminine power. The trouble with this dialgoue, is you are reading my piece entirely literally, and missing the archetypal.

        • Yes, exactly, thank you Lori! Too many readers are taking this dialogue way literally. Check your preconceived notions of what kings and queens are in the mundane world and open up to the archetypal energies as they exist in our collective superconsious.

        • Equal have a different meaning between men and women.
          An equal is somenone that gives and takes the same as I. Not someone that have the same station. You need to earn it. And women, if you want to do just that, you aren’t doing so by complaining about how so few men just don’t seem to want to “man up”.

          Women seem to believe that they are good in bed by just showing up. This notion is so ingrained that most women I have been with become extremelly insecure or angry when I have said that the sex could be better. So when I hear a woman say that she ravishes back i become a little sceptical. Because what i have found is that the power of who can say what good or bad sex is, lies mostly with the woman.
          This makes it hard to know what women mean when they say that they ravish back. Because the man usually don’t have a voice that can agree of dissagre.

          This kind of domination of sex dicource is seen in this piece as well. You talk about archetypes. But I don’t think that they are so universal if som many don’t agree with them. Alot of men seem to dissagre what the “masculine energy” is. And frankly, their words are more important because they are men.

          • I totally agree with you about the “just showing up” part. And I love the double bind it places men in. Either we don’t mention what could be better, don’t complain about sex and remain chronically dissatisfied. Or we speak up, turn her off, bring on the wrath and scorn and miss out on the boring sex too.

            I think what it means when a woman says she ravishes back is that all the hand-wringing, apply-back-of-wrist-to-forehead comments comparing ravishing to rape were way out of line. Because I’m sure they don’t mean they rape their men back.

            “Women seem to believe that they are good in bed by just showing up. This notion is so ingrained that most women I have been with become extremelly insecure or angry when I have said that the sex could be better. So when I hear a woman say that she ravishes back i become a little sceptical. Because what i have found is that the power of who can say what good or bad sex is, lies mostly with the woman.
            This makes it hard to know what women mean when they say that they ravish back. Because the man usually don’t have a voice that can agree of disagree.”

        • Many of aren’t missing the archetypal, it’s just that it doesn’t fit for all of us. If you ravish back, does that mean you are enlisting innate masculine power and he is enlisting innate feminine power? Curious, not snark. Are you seeing all humans as containing both? Or that males have masculine and females have feminine. I know a great number of women who don’t fit that particular mold….

  10. Thank you very much for this article.

    While a number of people commenting have made points that are very relevant to their own experiences, I had spent a great deal of time in my past relationships tediously navigating what I guess could be termed over-consent. I would never make a move without verbal permission because I’d worry that she’d be offended or maybe just not into it, to say nothing of the embarrassment of being shot down for trying. I’ve encountered a very large number of women who feel similarly to how the author feels: actively desiring of ravishing. Some women are not into that sort of thing, and are of course entitled to their own desires. But time after time, I would encounter women that actively and powerfully desired to experience it, and I WANTED to provide that and was unable.

    One of Lori’s statements summarizes my feelings perfectly: “If a man wants to be ravished that is fine, and it is not unmanly. If a man who wants to ravish his woman is afraid to ravish his woman, that is unmanly….” What I interpret this to mean is that confidence, self-knowledge, and knowledge of one’s partner are desirable and manly characteristics. My partner loves to be ravished. I want to do it. If there is previous consent, then the act can have a great deal of intimacy, and be ENORMOUSLY enjoyable for both parties without asking each step of the way. If something happens that she doesn’t like, we have an established safe-word. We have yet to use it, because we also use clear, honest communication, and we respect one another’s desires.

    Lori, thank you once again for sharing your experience and your article!

    • Lori Ann Lothian says:

      Thank you John for your comment. Yes, a man who wants to ravish his beloved but is afraid, is unmanly in that he is not true to his nature, nor desire. That said, for the knee-jerkers out there, no means no, and ravish does not mean rape.

      • Thank you John for your comment. Yes, a man who wants to ravish his beloved but is afraid, is unmanly in that he is not true to his nature, nor desire. That said, for the knee-jerkers out there, no means no, and ravish does not mean rape.
        I think that’s going to come down to why exactly he is afraid to do so. To strike one out as unmanly at the first sign of fear goes right into the old idea that a “real man” isn’t afraid of anything.

        • I did not use the unmanly word, for the record. It was in response to a direct question up the threat. That said, of course it is not unmanly to have fear. Fear can be a healthy fight or flight response. But if a man wants to passionately love his woman, and is a afraid to go there (even as she invites it) the part that is less than manly, is the reluctance to address this fear. Not the fear itself.

          Men have an evolutionary imperative to protect their kin. Protection, (along with hunting, fighting, defending) require courage. Courage is what men (and women of course) rouse in the face of their fear. Fear is natural. COURAGE is a response to fear.

          So in the end, I guess what manly means here, is courage in the face of fear.

          • Of you course you didn’t start the use of unmanly in this particular string, just following suit.

            I think the reason this is so difficult is the whole mass that is made of the concepts of fear/courage/etc… have some pretty specific implications for men. Implications that frankly women don’t face (they seem to have another set of implications, which of course men don’t face).

            But if a man wants to passionately love his woman, and is a afraid to go there (even as she invites it) the part that is less than manly, is the reluctance to address this fear. Not the fear itself.

            But even then it’s still a question of where that reluctance is coming from.

            Men have an evolutionary imperative to protect their kin. Protection, (along with hunting, fighting, defending) require courage. Courage is what men (and women of course) rouse in the face of their fear. Fear is natural. COURAGE is a response to fear.

            So in the end, I guess what manly means here, is courage in the face of fear.
            Perhaps that is what you meant. The path is still going to be a tricky one to walk because for the longest time men were expected, almost demanded, to show some sort of courage at all times. The problem is the expectation ran so strong to the point that it’s just that men were expected to show courage, we were denied the allowance to even acknowledge the fear in the first place much less the courage needed to confront it.

            (This denial plays out in the form of wrecklessness, bravado, macho, etc….)

            That’s why it’s going to take more than just saying men need courage to make everything better.

          • Then I must be exceptionally manly. Women show courage in the face of fear as well, and we have an evolutionary imperative to protect our kin as well. This makes no sense.

            Some women love being ravished. Some men love ravishing. Vice versa. In same sex relationships those dynamics exist.

            I’d have a much easier time appreciating this article if it was about assertive energy and receptive energy rather than some binary on male and female roles. Roles can switch mid sexual encounter for that matter, and often do.

      • ” Yes, a man who wants to ravish his beloved but is afraid, is unmanly in that he is not true to his nature, nor desire. ”

        Do you likewise believe a woman who is unwilling to be ravished (by that I mean taking great offense to even an attempt to initiate, even when no is accepted as no), is unwomanly, unfeminine, regardless of her reasons?

    • Peter von Maidenberg says:

      Seems like there are too damn many rules to this ravishing act.

      If I’m not concentrating on MYSELF, being all archetypal and animal and nonverbal, I’m not man enough to stir the woman. One touch that is a fraction of a pound-per-square-inch too tender, one jaw muscle not sufficiently flexed, one murmured word followed by her name, and my manliness is in ruins. I have not “taken” her. I have not “led” the dance. I have merely grabbed her disgustingly, like some stumbling “little” male.

      It’s enough to make a guy long for the days of plain old erectile dysfunction.

  11. What about Lori Ann’s article suggests rape? Am I missing the part where she was an unwilling participant in the events she described, kicking and screaming in an attempt to stop the man from progressing?

    There is a stark, glaring difference between passionately taking charge in the bedroom, in leading the dance as it were, and rape. Perhaps it includes role playing or BDSM or an egg beater, but it’s not that prescriptive. It’s about attitude. It’s about claiming a woman and bedding her without a bunch of conversation.

    • Lori Ann Lothian says:

      Exactly! Thank you for shedding some common sense light on my article. I am, however, learning so much about the filters through which readers will interpret my words. This has been valuable. Better than a focus group!

      • Thank you. This is a topic I’m passionate about. Feel free to email me if you’re so inclined, you should have the address in the email you received about this reply. You can also click on the link in my name and search my blog for “duality,” “because they are beautiful,” and “man without a chest” for some examples of my forays into the subject. (I’m skipping hyperlinks to avoid moderation.) I am a religious right-winger, though, so consider yourself warned. Some find me offensive.

    • Peter von Maidenberg says:

      I already do, and you’ve hardly said anything.

  12. For those like me who have embraced the Consent paradigm, it’s understandable that the idea of being ravished is alarming. It brings to mind this image of being taken by surprise and seized by an aggressively enthusiastic (unapologetic, to use Lori’s word) lover, and the suggestion that we’re supposed to enjoy this gives many of us chills.

    The more I think on it, though, I realize this is just one model of how ravishment can work, and a rather unnecessarily paranoid one at that. I can conceive of a different model. For example, it’s date night for an established couple. They’ve gone out on the town together, had dinner and a drink, been flirting constantly all night and are both clearly interested in getting to the bedroom. Once they do, they have ravishing sex – sheet-gripping, breathtaking, sweat-dripping, toe-curling, sex.

    They are both unapologetic, because there’s nothing to apologize for here. Remembering the root “to seize,” this model is not about one person seizing the other (which has that rape-y feeling to it), but rather about both being seized by passion for each other (decidedly less rape-y). In other words, ravishment can happen when consent has already been asked and given, and be totally legit.

    Now, I don’t necessarily agree with the premise that the uptic in sensitive, emotionally-available masculinity has really led to a reduction in passionate sex. This model of masculinity is still developing, and still relatively new. It’s plausible to me that some women were unprepared for the ripple effects of the Emotional Revolution and find themselves wanting certain characteristics of both the Warrior King and the New Age Man (or whatever you want to call him) – which, to some men, may seem like wanting to have her cake and eat it too.

  13. Mike Russo says:

    What would I give to meet a woman like Wanda? Let’s start with what I wouldn’t give. That list is shorter…

    • Ah, well, there are lots of patient, compassionate women out there. A lot of them are just good at hiding (I’m a pretty dedicated introvert myself, aha). I wouldn’t worry about it too much. I just hope that you can be happy with yourself and be satisfied with that. 🙂

      • Peter von Maidenberg says:

        Because he’s clearly too unmanly to satisfy any woman?

        • No, because no one should have to rely on someone else to make them happy. When you expect others to improve your life for you, you’ll never be happy. If you are happy with who you are and what you do, then everyone else can bugger off.

          I’d like you to quote the part where I called Mike unmanly though. As I just finished saying in the comment above that there is no such thing as “unmanly” in my eyes. I would never in my life call a man that. :/ It’s as insulting as calling a woman “unlady-like”.

  14. From the article:

    “The fundamental difference between rape and ravishment is simple: love.” In other words, when a man loves a woman, his forceful passionate engagement is not only welcome, it is desired.

    So all men who’ve ever had their sexual advances turned down by their partner either don’t love her or they haven’t been forceful enough? I’ll just repeat: WTF?

    Gosh no. I was simply suggesting that men be, well, manly. Or at least this woman’s definition of it.

    Perhaps you should focus more on finding a man who happens to be what you define as manly rather than suggesting that men in general should change and adhere to your definition of manly?

    • Tamen, with the first quote it says ” his forcefull passionate engagement was not only welcome, it is desired”, I’m confident that David Dieda intended this to mean literally that the man was welcome and desired by the woman in this hypothetical case.
      Are we now at the point that we interpret almost anything as rape? This is exactly the problem…

      There is no mention of her turning down his advances, nor anthing implying that no means anything other than no in Lori Ann’s article – yet above you (and many others further above) jump to the conclusion she is saying no means maybe, or yes or whatever.

      If your read the article – it is about how politicall correctness and gender fiddling have said women need to be like men, men need to be like women (totaly absurd I know) and then, suprise, suprise, there is less sexual polarity between men and women.
      Lori then poses the idea that the popularity of the bodice ripping romance novels, and 50 Shades of Gray speak to a desire (or fantasy?) in many women for more passion, sexual polarity, being taken by a man etc. and that maybe it can spice things up between consenting adults who enjoy it.
      Much as I don’t like women telling men how to be, I think she is just saying she enjoys it, and wouldn’t it be nice if it was not so frowned upon, or downright dangerous to express.

      • A welcome and desired forceful passionate engagement is not rape.

        You didn’t find anything strange with the statement that the only difference between ravishment and rape is love (when a man loves a woman).I thought the difference would be consent.

        I have no problems with the authors desire for being ravished, I have no problems with her finding partners who will ravish her. I do have a problem with her prescriptiveness, her use of gender policing (unmanly) and the implied expectation that men should just magically know whether a woman would consent or not without her having to communicate it in any way.

      • Lori Ann Lothian says:

        @ Jman Yes. And more than that. Sexuality is a canary in the coal mine….there are broader implications there. But that is another article (sure to be misread, but i will keep trying). Thank you for your synopsis. The most level headed and most reflective of what i was actually trying to communicate.

    • Lori Ann Lothian says:

      thanks Tamen for your comments. I have a man who is manly and who meets my preferences. The article is not about my love life. It is about a collective archetypal shift…

  15. Lori Ann Lothian says:

    It is of little importance here whether the man in the stairwell was a stranger or a date or a long term lover — or the truth, a man I was getting to know over several dates. The ravishment is a place of extreme sensitivity for you, and I am sorry to hear of your challenge around a transgression as a young man. YOu say this event with a cousin ruined your life, even though at the time you did not know it was wrong. What comes to mind as a reader, is 1) you were not intending harm 2) the cousin part muddles it with the incest bit (even though cousins were fair game for marriage in other times 3) you use the word abuse when I wonder if it was abuse of other when I can only assume, at 14, you were exploring your sexuality….of course, you are not divulging the girls age. Which again, leaves questions.

    Mike. I am talking about a cultural question in my article and using my own story as a backdrop. I have never been raped, but I did have a quasi date rape once, as a virgin. That was not a turn on. I know the difference between consenting connection in an established relationship (or one where both people know each other well enough for trust and communication) and the very different topic of rape/violence/harm.

    One is about eros. The other about anger.

    Lori Ann

  16. To Original Author Lori Lothian,

    You have completely invalidated your own arguments. I can’t believe no one has noticed this.

    Quote from a comment of hers:

    “It’s not complicated. I am talking about mutual consent in relationships. Not about a first date.”

    And in your original article:

    “First time I was ravished, I was 23. It was in a university building stairwell. He grabbed my hair in one fist, pressed me against the cool cement wall and kissed me with such ardor it took my breath away and elicited an instant wet-panty response. I married him two years later.”

    This could imply to the reader that the two of you had not even been on a date, he did not know you, and you did not know him. In any context of this outside of your desire to be ravished (which I am still tempted to call raped), this would be considered rape.

    You can not expect a man educated by a health system that he must get permission from you in order to have sex with you to do any of this. This sort of behavior is by the definition is sociopathic, and he just happened upon the one woman in many (remember, many millions have still not read the books, and refuse to because of the social implications it may have) who would not file a police report on him. that’s fact, and you can’t argue against it. Unless you admit this was not your first meeting of him, and you had given him informed consent previously to do this to you if he ever walked by you in a hallway. In which case, your arguments since then would hold no water, because that would be informed consent, and not a rape fantasy (let’s be honest, this is essentially a rape fantasy.) You are right, it has no connection to BDSM. BDSM implies whips, chains, abuse, but for sexual titillation. What you are describing you want is beyond BDSM. You just want the shit fucked out of you, the kink of leather and ropes and the signifiers of BDSM stuff haven’t even come into play here.

    I, or any man on the planet can screw the shit out of you, anytime, if you like. You can tell us you will be walking at such and such a place, at such and such a time, and if a man were to come upon you, and force you into a sexual encounter, so that you don’t know exactly when it’s coming, we could do that. You would still feel as if it’s a surprise, because exactly when and where would be a surprise, and we could keep EXACTLY when a secret. Whatever works for you. Some of us would actually enjoy that just as much as you might. But we have to have informed consent first.

    When I was 14, I sexually abused a cousin of mine. I didn’t know what I was doing, and I didn’t know it was wrong, I did eventually find this out, and for the next 11 years what I did ruined my life. I couldn’t even look at myself in the mirror, because I felt like a monster. Even after I apologized and she forgave me, it took OVER A DECADE to forgive myself, and I still cry about it from time to time. So forgive some of us if we would like a little bit of previously informed consent. It’s not asking for too much assertiveness out of your ridiculously submissive and HORRIDLY hyper-socialized and not your original idea AT ALL of passive femininity, is it? Oh, it is? What a shame.

    • Er, Mike Russo, I happen to know for a fact that kissing someone does not equal rape in any legal system of which I am aware.
      What happened on the stairwell was a minor form of sexual assault and had she chosen to press charges against him for it, it wouldn’t have resulted in jail time or (for a first time offense) likely expulsion from a campus, though I’d suspect a suspension on most campuses today.

      Otherwise, I cosign your post 100 percent, but thankfully not every form of contact that might be construed as sexual is considered legal rape. Rape still involves orifaces and some sort of penetration. There is a little protection for minor “ravishment”(even if its non-con), at least in the US.
      I’m not sad about that. Most forms of silent escalation involve touch, and not only is “yes means yes” not a legal standard, but the majority of people will probably never practice it exclusively or extensively. Sex is often still filled with non-verbal signals, and probably always will be.

      • “Er, Mike Russo, I happen to know for a fact that kissing someone does not equal rape in any legal system of which I am aware.”

        Have you read the definition of rape as defined by the FBI? Thankfully, it is not the one used by the courts of law YET. That said, kissing IS considered, legally, a sexual assault, if it is unwanted.

        Lastly, the Authors example of ravishing in the stairwell isn’t limited to kissing.

        • “Have you read the definition of rape as defined by the FBI?”
          Yes, I have. To the extent that I’m aware that “forced envelopment” is not considered rape in those new statistical measures.

          I’ve been reading about this stuff since the late 90’s.

          • To clarify the relevance, the FBI definition states any penetration of an orifice by any appendage, this includes fingers and tongues, without consent, is rape. So by the FBI definition, a kiss has been defined by a legal agency as potentially being rape.

  17. Lots of comments and I haven’t read them, so perhaps this has been stated upstream. This is only controversial if you ignore your lying eyes. We can talk about conditioning and this and that, but, as a man, ask yourself what you were doing when she came the hardest. Were you talking to her or taking her? My money is on the latter.

  18. A typical article. A woman doesn’t like the sex she has and shames and complains about men, instead of taking full responsibility for her sex life. Here is my favourite advice on this site made by commenter QuantumInc in a different thread:
    “If a Person A has certain behaviors and beliefs that cause problems for Person A they must change their behaviors and beliefs in certain ways to avoid having those problems.
    Even if Person B has a role to play in those problems, Person A still needs to change themselves first because you can’t really change other people.”

    • QuantumInc says:

      Yay I’m being quoted.

      A lot of sex positive feminists suggest that if a woman says “No” but clearly means “Yes” that one should in fact refuse to have sex with her just to send the message that this confusing and “rapey” behavior is unacceptable. She shouldn’t be able to get laid until she is willing to verbally consent to getting laid.

      I understand that certain language, certainly legalistic terms like “consent” is a turn off, but if a woman finds that talking about sex is itself un-sexy, that is a serious problem, one worthy of therapy. It seems there are a lot of women who still have a subconscious sex drive, but when they think of sex on a conscious level they feel shame and disgust. Trying to sexually accommodate this women is not worthwhile. However helping them change their reaction to sex is in fact worthwhile, (if it is someone you care about).

      I don’t think Lisa the OP meant to claim that verbal consent is bad or unsexy, but her article implies it, and there are others who do make that claim. She also strongly implies that being assertive is more important for men than women, and that it is the man’s place to be the initiator. These ideas date back to a time when women were more or less considered men’s property. It was assumed that women were more virtuous then men, but also completely irrational and unable to make important decisions. It was also often assumed that only a man had a real sex drive, when a woman used a vibrator it was called a “Hysterical paroxysm” and never an “orgasm”, orgasms were male. If a man wanted sex he would ultimately have to force her. It was only immoral if they were unmarried, and/or he failed to honor her. Thus the model for all sex was for a man to commit to the woman, buy her gifts, romance her, before finally engaging in a semi-forceful ravishing.

    • Lori Ann Lothian says:

      I love the sex I have….I see the societal and cultural reasons, that many times, i have wished for the sex I now have.

  19. I’m a woman and a feminist and I say that any “fantasy” a woman has rides SOLELY on her shoulders. If she wants to be ravished, all she needs to do is tell him so. It’s not that hard. It’s fine that many women like to be ravished, but speaking as someone who that fantasy does not appeal to in the slightest, I really wouldn’t want any man to assume that about me just because I’m female and because I’m not a dominant person. In turn, I would never assume anything about a man’s fantasies simply because he’s a guy. If he straight up wanted to be sexually aggressive without asking if that was alright with me, I’d be pretty freaked out. And it’s the same vice versa.

    If this article isn’t about assuming what women want without women saying so, basically it means, “Do this thing that your ladyfriend wants when she asks for it” and yeah, that’s a great message, but it’s a pretty obvious one. I really don’t like people encouraging men to read women’s minds, because it means that everything I say, men feel pressured to think, “Oh, but what she REALLY means is X. Or maybe she means Y? Or maybe I should just react to Z”. No, I mean the thing I said I meant. Everything I say is not a secret “woman” message yearning for a compliment. And I can’t blame men for thinking it, because it’s really what many women expect men to do: read minds.

    As for this “new society” asking for men to be emotionally available and sensitive . . . I say hell. yes. Nothing pleases me more. Other women might not like it, but I’m all for this new generation of man who doesn’t just take what he wants and doesn’t care what I think because listening to a woman’s opinion means he’s either whipped or “so gay” (sarcasm). People keep lamenting the old days, but I am totally fine with the direction we’re headed right now.

    • Wanda (& Pat) Applause! This new type of man, “diluted” or not, is fine with me, too. Just because a person has “50 Shades of Grey” on their nightstand, doesn’t mean they want to do the things portrayed inside the book. They may have bought this grammar-less literary travesty just to see what the fuss was about. Should a man take its presence in the room as a license to tie a woman down and abuse her? Because asking first ruins the fantasy? No, thank you.

      • @W.R.R…

        She can always say “STOP. I don’t like this kinky stuff.”

        • @Jules Will that man stop? If he’s been conditioned by other women that no means yes? That’s the problem. Or one of them, anyhow. And that woman may report him for rape even if he does stop. Good men are reticent for very good reasons.

        • @Jules
          By that point, damage has been done. For some people this could be downright terrifying. And not everyone, particularly not everyone who is afraid and facing someone who’s likely physically stronger, is going to have the capacity to say that. Starting up any (fairly serious) rough play without talking about it first with the expectation that “she’ll just say stop if it’s too much” is neither a smart nor caring way for a man to behave.

        • Yeah. I think my whole problem with this discussion is that the feminists say men shouldn’t behave like what the author is describing, thus defining how men should act and shaming men as rapists for acting that way. The author is also defining how men should act and shaming men who don’t as unmanly (and ironically, none of the feminists seem to have a problem with this gender shaming, just the assertion men should act in ways they don’t like). Nether one is willing to take responsibility for the mixed signals the combined discussion sends out, instead both blaming men for the outcome of the others demands. It’s insulting, and incredibly entitled to think one can define how the other gender should behave. It would be nice if men could act the way they want to act. If they are too aggressive, the woman can say no. The problem in, modern society has deemed that it shouldn’t stop there. If a man is too aggressive and a woman doesn’t like that, it doesn’t stop at no, it needs to enter into the realm of attempted rape accusations and political correctness seminars or the like. And it is this that the author refuses to acknowledge. A man who starts to ravish a woman and STOPS when clearly (vs ambiguously) told to stop, can, and sometimes WILL be threatened with consequences, even though he’s done nothing wrong. This isn’t men’s fault, and if she doesn’t like it, she needs to stop blaming and shaming men and put the blame where it belongs.

          • I don’t care what men do, honestly, as long as it doesn’t affect me. He can be as sexually aggressive, dominant, manly, “I do all the repairs and fix the cars and whatnot while you cook the meals” all he wants! I just don’t think I’d want to date that kind of person. And that’s fine. He probably wouldn’t want to date me. I’d most likely make him miserable. And that’s okay! Just because I don’t want to date a certain kind of man doesn’t make him any less worthy of love. And it doesn’t mean there aren’t women out there who like that in a man.

            The problem enters when men and women press their fantasies on others without asking if that’s okay. To me, that seems like something everyone should agree on, right? And if women complain that the asking ruins the romance or whatever, that is THEIR problem, not the man’s. He should ask and ruin the romance, because it’s better to ruin the romance than to do something his partner does not like/want. If I liked to be sexually dominant (throwing a man against a wall, grabbing his hair and pulling him around by it) wouldn’t YOU want to be asked? I mean, of course you can say no, but it just seems like the logical path of these interactions would be “Hey, I can get pretty rough, that okay with you?”. It doesn’t even have to be “I want to do A and B sign on the dotted line here and here and here and initial here.” All you really need is a head’s up. It’s much easier for a woman to say “Nah, I don’t think I want to do that” BEFORE she’s put into the situation, because I don’t know if men know this, but a man’s strength can be very intimidating. If he’s got her against a wall with his hands in his hair, holding her there, how much harder is it to say no than when he’s sitting across from her on the couch? It’s a lot harder to say no, ESPECIALLY if she doesn’t know him well. If it was my boyfriend of three years, sure, I could say no, whatever (assuming the relationship is healthy). But after three years, I figure we’d know each other well enough to know what the other liked.

            Everyone dislikes confusing mixed messages. People should stop doing that. But I really don’t think it’s a big deal for women and men to ask one another before they do something. If it’s such a HUGE EFFORT and RUINS ROMANCE then maybe that person shouldn’t be dating, women included.

          • Lori Ann Lothian says:

            ” It’s insulting, and incredibly entitled to think one can define how the other gender should behave.”

            It sure is. Which is why i pointed the finger back at us women, for telling you men to be sensitive when what we wanted was vulnerable…and strong.

            • Unfortunately, you also pointed a finger at men with the assertion it is unmanly to fail to do the ravishing. It’s not unmanly to be cognizant of the risks, to be aware of just how much damage can caused should you have miscalculated, even the slightest. 30+ years ago, women could be trusted that, if a man initiated a ravishment and was mistaken (and stopped when prompted to), it would end there. That’s not the case today. A miscalculation can ruin a mans life. It’s not unmanly to recognize that change, that loss of trust.


              That would never happen today, because any man walking down the street kissing any woman he passed would be assaulted, by the women he tried to kiss, by the sensitive man trying to protect the women, and by the police responding to charges of sexual assault. And not a lick of that should be seen as the man’s fault.

      • I have been tempted to get the book at the library, just to laugh at it. It sounds AWFUL, and if there’s anything that tickles me, it’s reading awful writing. And I don’t have to feel bad making fun of it, cuz the author is making bank.

        People don’t always assume men who play violent video games are violent people, so why do people assume women who read kinky books are kinky people? This is why I keep my reading selections private. I have enough people making enough assumptions about me, as a woman, writer, and artist; I certainly don’t need to add more.

        • People don’t always assume men who play violent video games are violent people, so why do people assume women who read kinky books are kinky people? This is why I keep my reading selections private. I have enough people making enough assumptions about me, as a woman, writer, and artist; I certainly don’t need to add more.
          I’m not sure about your use of always but actually yes people do assume that men that play violent video games (and watch violent movies and read violent books) are violent people.

          (The reason I say I’m not sure about it is because you you say “people don’t always assume men…” but then dropped the always when you said “people assume women…”.)

    • @Wanda..

      “If she wants to be ravished, all she needs to do is tell him so.”

      Yes, common sense says so. But, in reality this is not what happens! You’re in denial. Most women are NOT going to tell a man what she wants. She is going to expect him to “read her tea leaves.”

      Just because you are an emotionally available and sensitive man does not make you unmanly. It is a lack of sexual dominance and aggressiveness that does.

      Just saying.

      • @ Jules A lack of sexual dominance and aggressiveness does not make a man unmanly, either. You may be that way if you choose or were simply born that way, but that doesn’t mean all men have to be aggressive or sexually dominant just to be manly. Nobody can dictate for others what manly means. Define it for yourself and yourself alone. My manliness is not based in aggression and dominance. Everybody I know is grateful for this. They like me being kind and sensitive. Both ways can be right. But we can’t decide what manly is for others.

        • “Just because you are an emotionally available and sensitive man does not make you unmanly. It is a lack of sexual dominance and aggressiveness that does.”

          Really? Because fuck that. My lack of sexual dominance is what keeps me out of jail. My lack of sexual aggressiveness means I don’t catcall, don’t grope, and don’t assume a woman wants to have sex with me unless I hear her tell me “yes”. Those are my values and sticking to them is part of what makes me manly. Living this way is how I contribute to making this world a safer and nicer place for my mother, sister, all my female friends, and anyone with two X chromosomes to live in.

          “You’re in denial. Most women are NOT going to tell a man what she wants. She is going to expect him to “read her tea leaves.””

          Frankly, any woman afraid to ask for what she wants doesn’t deserve to get it. You want ravishing? Ask for it. If you can’t ask, then stop whining.

          • Could you concede that that this PC state of affairs that is so common in the Anglo Saxon world, does indeed reduce the sexual polarity between men and women?

            Personal, I think that reading between the lines, body language etc, and going for what you want is very successful with women. Asking every step of the way, come on!

            • I will concede that sexual education and awareness of sexual diversity (“PC”) that’s been gaining education in the United States* does indeed reduce the default polarity between the sexes. As in, exclusively men are no longer expected, pressured, and forced to provide all the initiative and drive in a relationship while exclusively women are no longer expected, pressured, and forced to submit to that initiation. However, I don’t think that at all reduces the polarity within relationships. It just means that now women can be the warrior-queens if that fulfills them, with men as the husband-king if they’d prefer that. Or it allows people to swap roles as they feel fit.

              Basically, I don’t think that removing this sexual polarity as a default reduces it at all within individual relationships. It just provides more options.

              Personally, I find that reading between the lines, judging body language, etc., and then ASKING for what I want is every bit as successful with women.

              *I don’t really think “Anglo Saxon” is the right term, as much of what’s traditionally considered the Western World (like, most of Europe) still operates using decidedly sexist gender roles.

      • You’re right. I’m in denial over what *I* would do. *confused* I’m not in denial of anything. I never said women don’t do that. I say they SHOULDN’T do that, so no, it has nothing to do with denial. I don’t date women. I don’t know what they do. None of my female friends date much, so I haven’t much of a clue what actually happens. The dating world is a foreign land I have at large avoided, for this very reason. There’s a lot of bitterness, anger, and mixed messages floating around, and I don’t think it’s worth it. I am speaking as an outsider here.

        Also, there is nothing in my mind that makes a man unmanly. If he says he’s a man and that he feels manly then goddamn it, he’s manly in my eyes. Honestly, there are drag queens I find manly. I don’t know why people are obsessed with calling out “unmanly” men, because the idea of calling out women who are being “unfeminine” squicks me out like you wouldn’t believe, so I walk the walk and talk the talk and hold the same standard for men. If he’s totally submissive and clingy, he’s just as manly as a guy with four girlfriends, a six pack, and a jacked-up truck. I’d really like to call the “unmanly” witch-hunt to an end, because it means nothing to me.

    • “I really don’t like people encouraging men to read women’s minds, because it means that everything I say, men feel pressured to think, “Oh, but what she REALLY means is X. Or maybe she means Y? Or maybe I should just react to Z”. No, I mean the thing I said I meant. Everything I say is not a secret “woman” message yearning for a compliment. And I can’t blame men for thinking it, because it’s really what many women expect men to do: read minds.”

      A-freaking-men! We’d all be so much better off if both sides didn’t play mind games like this.

      I will say this, though: women are conditioned to not speak very directly, to put padding around their meaning and present it in a nonthreatening, nonaggressive way, especially when talking to men, and thus many women sometimes struggle to articulate exactly what they mean (and what they want). Good, open, honest communication can help with this, but still, we shouldn’t just assume that every woman is capable, willing and equipped for a forthright conversation about what they want in bed.

      • Its rare, but truly wonderful when they can speak their minds honestly but non-aggressively.
        Strangely, women from some cultures seem far better at signalling what they want non-verbally.

      • Good, open, honest communication can help with this, but still, we shouldn’t just assume that every woman is capable, willing and equipped for a forthright conversation about what they want in bed.

        But then it’s quite clearly her responsibility when she finds that she’s not getting what she wants in bed. It’s not her partner’s fault for not correctly guessing/not willing to take the risk of guessing correctly based on her skirting the issue, padding her meaning or just plain being indirect.
        It is her who has to overcome her social programming in order to articulate what she wants – her partner cannot do that for her. What I can do is to make sure I am willing to hear her when she starts to communicate with me and to encourage and participate in any communication and not shutting it down by appearing judgmental or immature. Other than that I’ll just have to keep on treating adult women as just that: adults. Saying no and meaning yes without making that explicitly clear in advance (and establishing a safeword) does not fall into any definition of adulthood I adhere to.

        The legal issue has been brought up by several people in the comments, but there are other considerations as well. As someone who have experienced the negative side of someone having the wrong assumption of whether I wanted sex/or how I wanted it purely based on my gender and not on what I actually stated I am in no way or form willing to put my partner and myself at risk by making any assumptions about my partners consent.
        Being called unmanly because of that stance is an example of toxic gender policing which I will not abide by.

        • Nowhere did I say it was the man’s responsibility to guess what she wants if she can’t articulate it. I’m totally with you on that – it would be her responsibility to overcome that boundary.

          I’m going out on a limb here…
          While it may strike us sex-obsessed (tongue-in-cheek there) GMP readers and commenters strange, I think it’s possible and even likely that there are women, and men, out there who just really don’t think about their sexual needs very deeply, never mind their ability to articulate and communicate. People who just accept a less-than-ideal sex life as “this is just how it is” and are content, or learn to be content with it. Or maybe they simply don’t care enough to put in the work to make things better – not because they’re bitter or resentful or have fallen out of love or anything like that, they just don’t prioritize their sex life the way many of us do. AND THAT’S OK. Really. These people don’t need help or pity. They’ve found their own way to handle it and it’s just as valid as anything we might suggest.

          • @KKZ..

            “AND THAT’S OK.”

            No, that is not OK.

            Just because you can cope or handle it does NOT mean it is OK.

            That’s like saying getting 25 to life for murder is OK, IF you can handle doing the time. Hell the fuck no. That is not OK!!!

            • Whoa whoa whoa, I didn’t say anything about coping. Coping would imply there’s something wrong but you’re shouldering the burden and soldiering on anyway.

              What I mean is, not everyone prioritizes their sex life and sexual satisfaction the same way! For some people, having a 100% satisfying sex life is very very important and they’re willing to put in the work to make that happen. For others, it’s simply not that important, so if they’re less than 100% satisfied, they don’t see that as a problem, it’s just the way it is. For them, 80-90% satisfaction may be all they need.

              Maybe I’m just not explaining myself well but maybe an analogy would help? There are people who care a lot about their health and fitness, who work out and watch what they eat and have regular screenings and take their vitamins, etc. etc. Being healthy and fit means a lot to them so they’ll put the work into it. And there are others who simply see it as a priority to be more healthy’fit than they already are. They go to the gym a couple times a month, they try not to overeat, and see their doctor once a year, but that’s about all the effort they’re interested in putting into themselves. Sure, they realize things could improve, they could have more tone or a smaller waistline or whatever. But they’re content with the status quo. The smaller waistline and tone would be nice but aren’t really important to them, and they honestly don’t even give it that much thought.

              So translating that back to sex, I’m saying it’s likely there are people out there who don’t give their own pleasure/satisfaction much thought. Maybe a little more foreplay or more orgasms would be nice, but they’re fine without those things too; they’re not in the least bit resentful or bitter that they’re not getting them. And I still say that’s OK.

              • “And there are others who simply* see it as a priority to be more healthy’fit than they already are.”

                *should have read, who simply DON’T see it as a priority.

              • @KKZ

                Thanks for the clarity. I get it now.

                I would say you are right on this one. I spent over a decade in a sexless marriage. While I was never happy, I simply endured the torment and misery. However, when I saw no prospect for change on the part of my ex wife, I made the decision to divorce. She simply refused to make our sex life a priority period. Nor would she seek help to figure out what was wrong. I was always dismissed when I attempted to discuss the matter in a civil manner.

          • Nowhere did I say it was the man’s responsibility to guess what she wants if she can’t articulate it. I’m totally with you on that – it would be her responsibility to overcome that boundary.

            I am glad you thinks so, but when the dialogue reads something like this:
            A: “I really don’t like people encouraging men to read women’s minds, because it means that everything I say, men feel pressured to think, “Oh, but what she REALLY means is X. Or maybe she means Y? Or maybe I should just react to Z”.
            B: “A-freaking-men. We’d all be so much better off if both sides didn’t play mind games like this.
            … [but] we shouldn’t just assume that every woman is capable, willing and equipped for a forthright conversation about what they want in bed.”

            it did sound a bit like you said that women who doesn’t play a mind game, but rather have an actual problem in articulating and communicating what they want should have special consideration. That in those cases the man should help her get what she wants. The problem in that case is that if she is unable to articulate or communicate her wants there is no other option than guesses and assumptions for the man to get her what she wants in bed.

            • Maybe I was unclear with “We’d be so much better off…” — with that We, I meant humanity in general, not women specifically.

              What you’re pointing out is not really a flaw in my logic, but rather the stark difference between the Ideal Situation (everyone communicates their sexual desires to their partners, eliminating the need for guessing) and Reality (a lot of people really struggle to talk about sex or put their desires into words). That’s sort of what I was getting at… Amen, we should stop playing mind games and just be forthright! But, that’s not always gonna happen.

      • I understand completely. I’m actually speaking from a “wishful thinking” part of my mind, because I’m very much a woman who doesn’t like to make waves. I’m really bad at saying what I think because I just want to be nice, so I think part of this is the reason I don’t really want to date. XD I think I’d be really bad at it and probably string men along when they don’t deserve that, all out of of an effort to be nice and nonconfrontational. I have a bit of social anxiety and always want people to think well of me, which does not make a good dating strategy. :/ I joke (an awful joke, really. I’m shit with humor. XD) with people that I’m ripe for an abusive relationship, so it’s probably a good thing I don’t date.

        I can recognize that it’s bad behavior though. I’m self-aware enough to admit that.

      • I think you’d agree though that whatever the cause for a person not asking for what he or she wants, the person has to take responsibility for therefore not getting what he or she wants want.

        • Directed @ KKZ

          • I replied above to someone making the same comment – and yes, I essentially agree, it is a person’s own responsibility to speak up, no matter what the barriers, if they are unsatisfied and want something to change. And if they can’t bring themselves to do that, then they should at least OWN that it is their own tongue-tied-ness that prevents progress and not blame the other person.

            I know personally that I can talk about other people’s sex lives and sex in general until the cows come home but I still get tongue-tied talking to my own partner about our own sex life, my desires and satisfaction, etc. It takes a lot of conscious effort on my part to overcome the panicky fight-or-flight feeling I get when we try to have earnest conversations about sex. Some days I’m up to the challenge, some days I’m not.

    • Mike Russo says:

      Wanda (and anyone who posted in favor if her points),

      Thank you! as I said in my post below, I want to put every ounce of myself into making love to a woman, but I must be absolutely certain I know what’s going on in her head and that she wants this as well. Of course, it’s not working out great for me.

      For reasons I previously mentioned, I spent a lot of time not able to approach women because I would see how beautiful and smart she was, and how wonderful, and if I were to go over there, I would just add a filthiness to her life. I would put a black spot on that awesomeness. I would add some sort of slime, because I was a monster, and monsters only leave a trail of tears and dead expectations. If you imagine the lyrical content from Ingrid Michaelson’s “Ghost,” that’s how I envisioned women would see me. I still feel this way from time to time on my healing process. If I could just get to know someone, just really get to know someone, I’m certain I could make her so happy, because I just know I could. But she’d have to be really patient because I’m slow to allow myself into someone’s life. I’m not sure I could survive hurting anyone again.

      My point of all this is that THIS is what can happen to a man when he rapes someone. This is what can happen to a good person who makes a mistake and doesn’t realize he’s done something wrong until it’s too late. Is it so surprising that men would almost UNIFORMLY want to avoid becoming me?

      • Communication can be really hard, and I think a lot of society’s pressures can be blamed. Men are expected to be forward BUT NOT TOO FORWARD and women are expected to be innocent and submissive BUT ALSO KINKY PORN STARS and it’s all so messed up.

        I will straight up admit I love reading romance, but I hate about 95% of romance that’s out there because of this problem. “No” in romance always means “yes”, and it really does poison women’s minds into thinking men can just fly in, read their minds, and know when their “no’s” mean “yes”. But men can’t possibly know that. I hate it in dating columns when women complain about men asking if it’s okay to kiss them and I’m all “HOW CAN YOU COMPLAIN ABOUT THAT GEEZUS”. Sure, if it’s the fifth date and he’s still asking for permission, that can be a mood killer, but if it’s the first date and you’re both nervous, then what the heck is wrong with that? It’s just so fickle, such a stupid thing to be turned off by. Reading romance sometimes put me in the minds of men in how I think, “What is WRONG with you ladies?” XD

        The key is education. I’ve never had male friends (only a great relationship with my dad), so it’s great for me to come on GMP and hear the male outlook on life, since I never see it. It really has educated me on men’s confusions and frustrations with women. I am now better prepared for when I do go out and seek male partners. Dialogue across the aisle without judgement is the best way.

        Self-awareness too. This world needs a WHOOOOOLE heap of self-awwareness. My biggest pet peeve in life. XD

        As for seeing yourself as a monster, I can tell you this. I am so sorry that you have to deal with this, and I’m really angry at the mixed messages and societal pressures that made it possible. I don’t know the details and maybe they’re not as important as your desire to learn and move beyond it. I hope that you can find value in the things that you do, even if it doesn’t involve women or love. I honestly believe that anyone can be forgiven and provided a second chance. 🙂

  20. WRR, no need to get defensive. It sounds to me you only tried to ravish your ex because you heard that’s what she wanted. I don’t think you actually want to with a woman, given your history. So I used to be a people pleaser, and its gotten me into some edgy situations. I honor your path of recovery, and I respect you as a man for what you choose to do. If you spend your whole life in reaction to what other people do or say, you will never experience the true joy of doing what is in your heart and balls. This is one thing I have learned.

    • @ Jean B, I appreciate the respect, but Lori’s comment of “unmanly” calls for some defensiveness. At present I’m too deep in therapy and trying to heal to allow anybody to tell me I’m unmanly. One woman liking to be ravished (or a million) doesn’t mean all women like and want it. A man shouldn’t be blamed and shamed for deeming the risks to his life too great to risk it for a woman’s momentary fantasy pleasure. Women need to realize their part in the defensiveness and reticence of good men.

      • Very much agreed

      • Very good point – the range of expression of sexuality in men and women varies greatly, and the range of what we desire varies alot, and is influenced by media, cultural norms & attitudes etc.
        However I do think feminism, PC and “rape culture/rape guilt” have watered men and women’s polarity down, reducing how much ravishing gets done, is expected, and is attempted.

        • “However I do think feminism, PC and “rape culture/rape guilt” have watered men and women’s polarity down, reducing how much ravishing gets done, is expected, and is attempted.”

          This is the point Lori is essentially making. And I don’t think it would generate nearly as much controversy if it weren’t for the spin she’s put on it – that the abandoning of ravishment as an accepted sexual paradigm is a bad thing, or at the very least, not the direction she thinks we should be going.

          I confess I’m on the fence with this one. I agree that the aggression that is implied by the word ravishing is a red flag to a lot of people, in particular people who have been harmed by aggressive sexuality.

          But I can also sort of see her point that there is a certain intoxicating chemistry or electricity generated by polar opposites, the actionable masculine (warrior-king) and the receptive feminine (king’s queen). That’s not the dynamic that exists in my own relationship but I can at least conceive of it.

          The thing is, both parties have to buy into these archetypes for this to work. For some women, the warrior-queen role fits well and is satisfying; for others, to be ravished would make them feel less like a queen and more like a concubine.

          • Lori Ann Lothian says:


            It seems I failed to hit the mark. You and others think my message is:
            “that the abandoning of ravishment as an accepted sexual paradigm is a bad thing,”

            My message is the loss of polarity is a bad thing…the penetrating masculine, the receptive feminine. If a man is tentative, and asks permission, to love me/sex me (in a relationship) i don’t feel I can let go into the arms and heart of a strong masculine presence that can hold the space for my fullness of expression as a woman. this plays out on more than the sexual playing field…..but sex is the canary in the coal mine….

            Dalai Lama imagines western woman will save the world. Damn it. No. Let’s do it together, men (Kings) and women (Queens)

            • Peter von Maidenberg says:

              If I asked, and you turned away…I might not want to take you. Maybe just slap you across the face and leave. There, how’s that for manly?

              • Peter von Maidenberg says:

                May I retract the above? It was insensitive. I don’t go around hitting people when they disappoint me.

  21. I have to say I find this intensely confusing. I read any number of posts, often on the GMP, from women who describe their constant awareness of the risk of sexual violence. The message (to the men) seems to be render yourself as “safe” as possible and not only take “no” for “no,” but require a clear “yes” for just about everything.

    Then this, and others like it, lamenting how unassertive, oversensitive, and unmanly we have become and demanding we toss women against the nearest hard surface and have our way and expect that’s what she “really” wants and we’re not real men if we don’t.

    It strikes me as the masculine version of the madonna/whore dichotomy and is just as confusing and corrosive.

    All things together, this article seems badly lacking empathy for the real situation men face dealing with women. The idea that the “divine masculine” or “masculine nature” is something that one woman can access by her own sexual preferences seems just as odd as a man defining womanhood by his particular sexual taste.

    When I was younger, less experienced, and maybe less secure these sorts of commentaries from women bothered me – I kept asking myself if I was doing something wrong. Nowadays, I just figure I am what I am, part of what I am happens to be a man, and I see no reason to question that based on one woman’s tastes dressed up in Jungian terms. To each her own; but I just don’t see how trying to be a Harlequin romance caricature is doing either men or women any good.

    • Lori Ann Lothian says:

      These are good points. But what if a harlequin romance character has something of value? The odd part is, those romance novels are as popular among modern women as Fifty Shades. Why? That is what I want to know?

      My preferences is not why I wrote this piece. I wrote it because i was observing my female friends, of all ages, in the last few years, whine about their men who were too simply to solicitious and not agressive enough sexually. I happen to have as well experience that issue in my serial monogamy career, though with the man I am now married to, the sexual communication and polarity is beautifully meeting both our needs. (and no, not in a BDSM way, just in a juicy fun ravishing way).

      That said, sex has many different moods. It’s not always a ravishing one. In a mature relationship, there is a wide range of expression.

      However, when ravishing is entirely absent, it is then women tend to seek that desire in fantasy, books and movies. The Outlander series a few years go, soared on the fact the man was a “ravisher” as much as the tale of historical time travel. women friends recommended it to other women, to get their manly man fix.

      I don’t have all the answers here. I am just curious, and the article was mean to provoke discussion and be provocative.

      Lori Ann

      • The odd part is, those romance novels are as popular among modern women as Fifty Shades. Why? That is what I want to know?

        Why are there so many people buying and playing all these combat and assassin’s computer games?
        Do they really want to go out and shoot/murder all these people, or do you think that maybe they are just fantasizing?
        And what about all the women *not* buying Harlquin/FSoG?

      • Lori this is my problem with your “ravish” idea; your examples. I think I can see what you are trying to explain, and I grasp you mean an established commited couple, etc. But 50 Shades of Grey and Outlander as examples of “ravish” don’t work. I realize my perception is viewed through the lens of a male rape survivor, but 50 Shades made me very upset. To me, Christian Grey is not only a bad portrayal of an abused boy, he seems terrible abusive, controlling, co-dependent and a basic asshat. Also the book is wrong in many ways on the BDSM front. Aside from it’s appalling abuse of the English language, it (to me and many others) is a book about a man abusing a woman. As for Outlander, that depicts a forced marriage and marital rape, not ravishment. The rapist young husband also hits his wife and beats her. Later, the rapist husband is raped by the villain; this is a brutal and horrific male anal rape. So how is that book a great example of a nice fun “ravish”? The fact that these and all bodice-ripper books are called “romance” disgusts me. To those of us who have been raped, men or women, your rape and abuse filled examples of great ravish romance are an offense. There must be better examples out there that show “take me now” wild sex without depicting (and conveniently relabeling) scenes of rape and abuse. In a committed relationship, if a man wants to initiate wild sex and finds his lady receptive (and knowing her well, he can tell she is eager) by all means, ravish away. But don’t impose this on all men, all women, shame or blame or all us unmanly; and please do look for examples that don’t (for many of us) celebrate abuse and rape.

        • Lori Ann Lothian says:

          You are right. I was not looking at the broad storyline in Outlander, only that hundreds of female friends and friends of friends have raved about the manly man hero of the book…..and sorry, i skimmed it, so did not have the full picture. And yes, the 50 shades was unreadable pulp smut for me, but I am looking at the cultural acceptance (feeding trough, even) that this book became.

  22. I want to ask you a question Lori, do you think man who want to ravished by woman instead of ravish her is not manly and not masculine? And how about woman who want to ravish a man ? Do you think shes not feminime?

    Because this is impression I got from you while reading this article.

    • If a man wants to be ravished that is fine, and it is not unmanly. If a man who wants to ravish his woman is afraid to ravish his woman, that is unmanly….

      In a relationship, both partners of course take turns being the ravisher/initiator. This piece is not about sex, it’s about polarity.

      Lori Ann

      • so a man who is afraid of doing unconscious sex ( or rape ) with his woman is not manly? Well then I would rather be an unmanly guy

      • Lori you said: “If a man wants to be ravished that is fine, and it is not unmanly. If a man who wants to ravish his woman is afraid to ravish his woman, that is unmanly….”

        So me, a male rape victim since age four? I’m “unmanly” because I’m afraid to ravish a woman? Even though I may risk prison if I try and she changes her mind? Or perhaps I didn’t read her mind correctly? Also, not all women want this. You don’t speak for all women, as I don’t speak for all men. But after all I have survived, there isn’t a thing about me that can be called “unmanly”.

  23. One thing that strikes me about Lori’s article is that she’s talking about fantasy. Unfortunately she’s describing it as some sort of New Agey spiritual truth. But it’s a fantasy, a fairly common female fantasy about being overwhelmed by a powerful male. (See: 50 Shades of Grey, and practically any boddice-ripper romance novel.)

    The thing is, if you have ever been in a relationship with a controlling, selfish, domineering jerk, you will quickly realize that those kinds of men are horrible to be with, and relationships with them are a living hell. I got involved with a controlling, borderline abusive man once in my life, at age 19, due to my very low self esteem. He was the kind of guy who would insist on “taking” me sexually whether I liked it or not. It was not exciting, it was a terrible, unhealthy relationship that I ended (fortunately) after 6 months but it took me years to understand why I got into that relationship in the first place and why I stayed in it for so long.

    Why women fantasize about being dominated or “ravished” is a complicated question psychologically and I think this spiritual divine male-feminine energy nonsense (sorry, that’s my opinion) does everyone a disservice The NYT had a lengthy article some years ago. I’ll look for,the link and post it. One theory presented in the article is That female sexuality is primarily narcissistic (not necessarily in a negative sense) in that what turns women on is the idea of being sexually desirable and therefore it is a turn on to imagine that a man is so overcome by lust that he can’t control himself.

    My suggestion to women is that we need to stop expecting men to read out minds and talk to them about what we like sexually.

    • Here’s the NYT article I mentioned. Fascinating reading.

    • Sarah, you’re my hero for the day.
      Thanks for the link, and for that astute distinction between fantasy and reality, as diverse as those may be.
      As much as I found Ms. Lothian’s article interesting and entertaining, it seemed a little too intoxicated on its own conceits to be of much analytic use.

    • hello Sarah:

      I am not describing a fantasy, nor a new-agey truth, but rather a collective perception of what a man/masculine is supposed to be in this day and age–which is, frankly, a diluted version of the warrior-king archetype. I am attempting in this piece, to look at a broader picture than individual fantasy–and my point about 50 Shades becoming a run-away-hit with women, is BECAUSE it is speaking to an unmet desire from the female contingent, for a more potent and untempered masculine. Not abusive, just strong.

      As for your situation with an unhealthy controlling man, that is called co-dependency, and in david deida speak, it’s called a stage one relationship. It might interest you to read Intimate Communion, to see what is possible in a stage three relationship, where the sexual polarity is present and active, in the context of mutual respect and love.

      • Agree.


        You wrote,
        “My suggestion to women is that we need to stop expecting men to read out minds and talk to them about what we like sexually.”

        OK, but this is AFTER the relationship has commenced. What about sexual aggressiveness during the chase so to speak. After 2 or 3 dates, why can’t the man “ravish” her since she is obviously interested?

        Also, as I mentioned above there is still anti-social behavior present today where many women (like yourself) refuse to talk to stranger. I am not chastising you. You have expressed valid reasons for such. But, I find it a bit much when a non-threatening man approaches a women and she views him as either weird or a pervert.. Under Lori warrior-king paradigm, he is simply being a man.

        You gave the recent example of the guy who asked if he could buy you a cup of java. You simply said “No Thanks.” Understandable. However, if he tried to engage you in convo, he would have been rebuffed as well. This happens frequently to a lot of men. Yet, when men do not approach women, they (many women) are equally unhappy.

        I think Lori does have some very valid points.

      • I’ve lost my comment twice to the auto-refresh so I’ll try to make this brief.

        High sales volume among women for a fictional book that handles a dom/sub relationship DOES NOT EQUAL a high female desire for the kind of relationship depicted in the book.

        This book got media attention that many, many, many other newly published books (by respected and talented authors, no less) simply do not get. It got this attention for the same reason Amy Chua’s “Tiger Mother” book got attention – it’s sensational! radical! controversial! And this media attention fed into sales.

        I’m sure some portion of the women who bought this book feel the way you claim they do, wanting more aggression/assertiveness out of their wussified men. In their company, however, are women who bought the book out of curiosity; who were sick of the hype and wanted to read it so they could judge for themselves; who feared what it meant for feminism and wanted to discredit it; who are already part of the kink community; who were turned on to it because of its connection to Twilight; who enjoy romance novels of any stripe; or who simply wanted some light summer reading material for the beach.

        Moreover, purchasing it does not mean they LIKED it, let alone were turned on by it. I purchased a ticket last night for a movie I did not end up liking very much. I chose to see it because the previews and the buzz made it look intriguing, but I was ambivalent at the end. Yet by the logic you’re implying, because I contributed to the gross ticket sales and profit for this movie, I must be endorsing it and the content within and indicating that yes, I like this and want more of it.

        Fiction is fantasy; fiction is entertainment. A person can be entertained by something without wanting it for themselves. I’m entertained by Sex and the City, but would run screaming from Times Square if that were my life. I have a lot of Jane Austen on my bookshelf at home, but I don’t want to return to a life of dowries and arranged marriages and classist boundaries and sexist rules about who can and cannot inherit an estate. But it sure is good bathtub material!

        So, no, high sales volume of a particular piece of fiction is not “speaking to an unmet desire.” If anything, it speaks to the power of media hype, the power of curiosity, and a cultural obsession with sexual taboos. I don’t think you can use 50 Shades’ collective commercial success as evidence of the desires of its readers; there are too many nuances and exceptions. I’d be more interested to see a study of all the women who have read 50 Shades and see how many of them were turned on by it, and how many would say they want their men to act like Christian Grey. That would be far more telling than simple sales figures.

        • Brilliant, brilliant analysis. It’s foolish to think success in the US (semi)free market system indicates anything more then good PR campaign.

        • Lori Ann Lothian says:

          You are incorrect in your assumptions here. First, the publsher’s marketing campaign for Fifty Shades was not in anyway unique or over the top (yet many books fail to rocket like this one, in to such high sales in a short time. But more importantly, the publisher’s compaign was second to the popularity of what was already a self-published ebook book on a fast-rise through social media/word of mouth.

          Here, from Atlantic Monthly, excerpt, “The first volume was released as an e-book and print-on-demand paperback in May 2011 by Writers’ Coffee Shop, based in Australia, with the other two books following over the next six months. From what could hardly be a more obscure launch, the books began to gather momentum on the Internet through blogs and social media so that, by January 2012, chatter among its readers reached places like suburban Connecticut, and a group called on Manhattan’s Upper East Side invited James to make a visit.

          Anne Messitte, publisher of the venerable Vintage division of Random House, realized the appeal Fifty Shades of Grey clearly was having on a highly desirable audience, including among some women she knew. So she initiated negotiations with James and a representative that culminated with a deal in March valued somewhere near a million dollars, according to news stories at the time. Messitte scored one of the true publishing coups of this era and deserves accolades galore. Shifting reading habits in the digital age played a role, too. Messitte believes that the extraordinary speed with which Fifty Shades of Grey has reached its audience is directly attributable to the Internet. Word of mouth is vastly amplified by social media, giving it the potential to shape the culture for books as nothing like it has ever done before.”

          There are a lot of articles out there trying to analyze just why this now trilogy has worldwide sales of apparently over 145 million–the time frame in which this occurred is without precedent. Mere marketing is not the key. The key is the cultural collective nerve/chord the topic/content of these books struck. There is something happening far beyond good advertising. This is and was a case of huge appeal (even as many readers disliked the god-awful writing, they still were drawn in by the content)..mere voyeuristic titillation. Or just a herd-mind rushing to see what the ruckus is about? Or something more universal and telling…?

          • “The key is the cultural collective nerve/chord the topic/content of these books struck.”

            Is it really? I’m struck by the fact that there have been many books and stories covering this territory, some with real no-kidding literary merit and well-drawn characters. And some that at least give the sense that some editing was done some time. Not exactly runaway hits. I find it hard to believe that the topic was that big a deal (except perhaps for the puzzlement it generated).

            What I noticed most about what I read in 50 Shades (I couldn’t finish the book – I could have lived with either irritation or boredom, not both) by contrast was the characters – a doe-eyed milktoast virgin and a conveniently reducible man whose internal workings were ripe for incessant pop-psychologizing. I really couldn’t stand either.

            If this book was supposed to answer some real soul-hunger for domination on the part of the female population, it seems thin fare.

            I also don’t think we would be having this conversation about, say, whether women not fitting the mold of a male-oriented erotic novel are “unwomanly” for it. That’s the bridge too far. If you want a different kind of man, fine. Find him.Calling men unmanly for not being what you want, and using Jungian terms to justify it, just sounds like a dodge. The king-warrior doesn’t exist. Even when there were actual king-warriors, he probably didn’t exist. There’s just us.

            I also can’t see how this should be taken as truth any more than the idea that because crime novels are popular the population has a deep desire to murder people or be cops; or that Harry Potter fans want to be wizards.

            Ok, well . . . maybe I’m off on the latter example.

          • I revert to the premise that 50 Shades is highly entertaining fiction without being directly or even indirectly representative of the desires of the women reading it and what they want out of their own relationships. To me, that is too large a leap to make.

            And I didn’t say it was the book’s publishers or authors who led the charge in marketing this book; on the contrary, it more or less went viral, thanks in no small part to its original ties to the Twilight universe and the power of the Twi-hard fanbase. Without those factors, this book would likely not have made the rounds on the internet that it did. Word-of-mouth marketing is still marketing.

            Pride and Prejudice has been reprinted again and again and again, studied in universities, made into a multi-hour television series and at least one feature film, told and retold and updated and modernized, and more than a century after its writing, people still quote that infamous first line. Compared to that, the “success” of 50 Shades is a flash in the pan, its influence no more valuable than that of any other trend.

            And I doubt very much anyone will still be talking about 50 Shades in even 5 years (well, I guess it’s inevitable a movie will be made of it, Hollywood won’t let something this massively profitable pass it by). P&P is timeless; its themes have spoken to generation upon generation of women (and men!), which, going by your logic, indicates that the type of romance depicted within that book has enormous popular appeal. Compared to that, 50 Shades is a flash in the pan, no more influential or valuable or significant than any other trend.

            • Argh, I repeated myself, sorry. Got lost in thought.

            • Lori Ann Lothian says:

              People will not be talking about 50 shades in five years. They will be talking about the books written about it, or about the collective archetypal significance of it’s success. For one, its a badly written book. See my review. (

              But it’s also telegraphs a message for those who can hear: Woman are looking for men to bring a kind missing presence to the union (control and domination are just extremes of power and leadership.).

              My book will be one of those, read in five years. Of the same title as this article.

              • Lori Ann Lothian says:

                sorry for the typos> jet lag

              • @Lori Ann..

                “Woman are looking for men to bring a kind missing presence to the union (control and domination are just extremes of power and leadership.).”

                Yup! You are spot on Lori Ann.

                We have appearance versus reality. The reality is that far more has remained the same than has changed.

                The more things change, the more they remain the same.

    • Hear, Hear!

    • Lori Ann Lothian says:

      hello Sarah:
      I am not describing a fantasy, nor a new-agey truth, but rather a collective perception of what a man/masculine is supposed to be in this day and age–which is, frankly, a diluted version of the warrior-king archetype. I am attempting in this piece, to look at a broader picture than individual fantasy–and my point about 50 Shades becoming a run-away-hit with women, is BECAUSE it is speaking to an unmet desire from the female contingent, for a more potent and untempered masculine. Not abusive, just strong.
      As for your situation with an unhealthy controlling man, that is called co-dependency, and in david deida speak, it’s called a stage one relationship. It might interest you to read Intimate Communion, to see what is possible in a stage three relationship, where the sexual polarity is present and active, in the context of mutual respect and love.


  24. Too many people here frightened of their own shadows. I do rape scenes with my girlfriend all the time, it’s not hard. Just fix up an arrangement whereby no means yes: means actual no. Read up on subspace and aftercare a little bit, and off you go. Enjoy!

    I would be careful outside of a committed relationship, though, for obvious reasons.

    I realize our relationship frame is different from most (sex is always default yes, her body is mine to do what I want with within a few extreme hard limits), but at the same time rape fantasy really is one of the easier ones to fulfil. It’s also one of the most cathartic.

    • Above should read:

      ‘no means yes: “safeword” means actual no’.

    • Dom/sub relationships are a good context for the ravishing because there both parties know what is consented to before the act. Lets remind people that rough sex is not abuse, as long as both persons want it.

    • Too many people here frightened of their own shadows. I do rape scenes with my girlfriend all the time, it’s not hard. Just fix up an arrangement whereby no means yes: means actual no. Read up on subspace and aftercare a little bit, and off you go. Enjoy!

      Nope. Not scared of shadows.
      Just pointing out the obvious, that the author of this article totally misses out on the “arrangement” part, implying that it is by no means necessary for a “real man”.

      • Lori Ann Lothian says:

        Where do I say there is not need for mutual pre-agreement. But the agreement is not a not a BDSM level with safe words. It is, in the context of an existing relationship, as I say. “Don’t worry, I won’t break.” In other words, it’s okay to be primal.

        The range of interpretation of my words, is amazing to me. And a lesson.

    • Mr Supertypo says:

      can you not use the international recognized safe word? or du you prefer to invent your own, you know like something special or private?

  25. You don’t seem to understand the Dom/Sub relationship. For all the control a Dom displays, it’s the Sub that is always truly in charge. Modern feminists have screwed this up in modern heterosexual relationships by denying the power of the sub and turning them into the victim.

    • Um, kind of?

      I never really buy this “the sub is truly in charge” stuff. I understand where you’re coming from, but I think you can overstate it easily. Sure, my girlfriend has her safeword and her limits. Actually I have my limits as well, which are no less important to what we will and won’t do than hers. But within those mutually agreed limits her body is my playground and she has given herself over entirely to my authority, my mastery, my control. She will do what I order on command, because that is her place.

      I feel “the sub is always in charge” devalues the depth and beauty of submission.

      At least as some people practice it. I can’t speak for others.

      • “I never really buy this “the sub is truly in charge” stuff.”

        Have you ever actually discussed it with a Dom or Sub (or both)?

        “she has given herself over entirely to my authority, my mastery, my control. ”

        Can you repeat that, who did the giving? who can take all that away with a word at any time so chosen? Who’s set the limits?

        “because that is her place.”

        No, that is the ROLE s/he has CHOSEN to play. All your power as dom can be stripped away with a single word, and you think that is meaningless? I’d strongly suggest actually speaking with someone in the lifestyle before dismissing the argument. Or do some internet research, it is a common topic.

        • Oh, sure, I understand where you’re coming from and agree. You’re stressing the power dynamic concerning frame negotiation, I’m stressing power dynamic once the frame has been negotiated. I don’t see our views as incompatible at all, in fact quite the opposite.

          My only quibble is really is that I feel “all the power” even concerning frame negotiation is a bit of an overstatement. It shouldn’t be like that.

      • This discussion reminds me just how unappealing I find BDSM. Thanks for confirming that for me guys

    • I also think it’s very possible to evoke subspace so deep it’s almost impossible for the sub to communicate: a mental state so extremely relaxed and passive you could do anything with them at that point. Certainly I’ve experienced this myself. Surely that is the height of powerlessness.

      • “Surely that is the height of powerlessness.”

        Is it? to be so relaxed, so without concern, so confident in your own safety and security as to not worry a single bit… you call that powerlessness?

        • Powerlessness, yes. I have read accounts of people who have been abused while in that state. Unfortunately their confidence was misplaced. It was tragic and heartbreaking to read.

        • Mark Neil, you’re my hero today, for all these comments. Sub is not powerlessness. A safeword stops the game; breaking that is rape, no matter how “into the power” a “Dom” might feel. It’s mutual consent and a sub or slave does that, is that, by choice. They shouldn’t be shamed for it or treated as weak for it. Male subs (like me) are often treated like they are weak, powerless and “disgusting”. Any Dom or Domme who took the illusion of their power too literally or calls a sub “lesser” shouldn’t be allowed to Dom at all. There is too much abuse today because of Doms who are egomaniacs about their imaginary “power”. Thanks for all of your comments.

    • I find it curious that my article has evoked BDSM talk. It says to me that the potent masculine and receptive feminine is so much in the collective shadow, that when It comes up in an article about “ravishment” the discussion defaults to kink. I think kink is great, I have played there a bit in my life. Yet what I was communicating in the article was not that end of the spectrum, but rather the middle of the darn thing. We have come so far the other way–with men having to be sexually timid, politically correct and yes, terrified of rape charges, that we have lost the healthy middle space where men are fully able to safely embody their warrior-king archetype…and women, to allow the full receptivity of the sexual feminine to flourish in that context. This was never about rape fantasy, nor bedroom play, but about collective mindset in the west, about what sexual polarity looks like. Right now, it looks diluted.

      • For clarification, this was the paragraph that set off that comment:

        “When a man I’m in relationship with seems to be asking for permission to sex me up, rather than making his move and letting me choose a yes or no, it’s as if I’ve been given all the power and control. And, unless I’m a dom, that is simply not a turn on.”

        And ultimately, you have been given all the power and control, legally, politically, literally.

        To be honest, I actually agree with a great deal of what you’ve said. It is an unfortunate loss of trust. My problem, and it is a BIG problem, with your article, is your laying the blame for this squarely at men’s feet. You are demanding men take the risks for your pleasure, complaining that they aren’t doing so, and ignoring the causal effects of WHY they stopped doing so, as if nothing within the law has changed to make taking such actions far more dangerous. That;s offensive, given the cause for the increased risk is likewise blaming men for the opposite.

        • Lori Ann Lothian says:

          Mark. You are right. I did not properly address the rape-crime issue that men come up against. Social conditioning was my angle, and looking back, I could have added a segment that addressed the legal/criminal environment where consensual ravish and rape have fuzzy margins.

          • Just out of curiosity, are you familiar with the term elevatorgate, and the event that that term identifies?

            • Lori Ann Lothian says:

              I am now. How does this apply?

              • In the elevatergate incident, Rebecca Watson was approached in an elevator and asked to coffee. When she declined, it ended there… for him. She then proceeded to complain about this, telling all guys “don’t do that” women don’t like it. When she was challenged about making the broad assertion of what men should or shouldn’t do, and what women liked or didn’t like, she claimed her concern was justified “because she got rape threats”. She equated a proposition for coffee that ended at “no”, with being threatened with rape. Coffee… rape… and her complaining about this event and the feedback to it has been earning her notoriety and money for over a year now. So if a guy can be humiliated as a potential rapist for asking someone out for coffee in an inconvenient location, do you really think it’s fair to blame men for not outright ravishing a woman? Because if he starts, she stops him, he stops because she stopped him, she can still accuse him of attempted rape, sexual assault, etc. be it legally, publicly, whatever. The current FBI definition of rape, if taken literally, includes a kiss.

                This is why so many of us have taken umbrage with the gender shaming/policing language.

      • @Lori Ann..

        I can certainly agree on much what you’re saying.

        But, is it a Western thing or an American thing? I wonder to be honest. I have very close Asian and Hispanic friends. I do not observe the levels of acrimony in their relationships or marriages. In fact, we have had discussions about the issue you have written about. Most of them feel it is a uniquely American thing even though most were born here an are American. It is a cultural variation I believe. Your thoughts?

        I briefly date a woman of Hispanic (South American) origin. She held a totally different view, a more traditional view. She felt that American women had taken things too far. According to her, much of the type of behavior American women complained about in men was petty. Not being a woman, I will not venture and say I agree. Until you have walked in some one else’s shoes, it is hard to judge….

        I am more of a traditional man. I don’t mind asking a woman out or being the aggressor. Honestly, never have thought about it. But, my experience with women is quite limited. However, I am now single at age 50 and have been so for a little over 2 1/2 years.

        What I have observed and experienced more than anything is this lack of social openness with a lot of women. It is as if you are a pervert just for attempting to hold a simple conversation. But, I am undeterred. I have a damn the torpedos mind set to be honest.

        • Lori Ann Lothian says:

          Yes. It might be a North American thing….the one exception in my serial monogamy years post first marriage, was the Italian from Milan. That was a lovely energy, a man who was not afraid of “taking” me–in the context of an established relationship.

          I am going to research the cross cultural implications. Thanks for this point.

      • Ok, but as a man I don’t always want to be the “Warrior-King” in bed. In fact, I almost never do!

        I do enough fighting, competing, and taking charge during the rest of my day. I study and learn as hard as I can at my classes. I work out until I reach my physical and mental limits almost every day. I struggle to perfect my music, trying desperately to reach that song I hear inside me and pull it out. I sweat to make the best food I can each night so me and my friends can enjoy a nice dinner.

        But when I comes to sleeping with someone, I don’t enjoy “ravishing” someone. I worry about hurting them, physically or emotionally. I worry about not fulfilling them. What if everything I like isn’t the same as what they like? In most of my relationships so far, I’ve been forced into that role because I’m male and you know what? It often means I don’t have a good time.

        So you can enjoy being ravished, but not all of us men enjoy ravishing you. I’d rather create with a partner then take over and force her to play the rules of my game. And I don’t think that makes me “diluted” in any way, it just means you weren’t expecting the type of masculinity I’m offering.

      • @ Lorrie – 12:33
        I agree that collectively it has become watered down, and the line of the “show me ..fucked up male psyche.. so I can let-the fuck go sexually” is gold! and defiantly food for thought.

        Personal preferences vary, but I sense that most women (that I’m attracted to) occasionally want to “let-the fuck go sexually” or “get their brains fucked out” as we call it here, and when doing so I often get an awesome surge of power and adrenaline and indeed feel like a warrior or animal, and I enjoy interacting with the woman’s animality, and receptive fertility.
        Its awesome and judging by women’s grateful feedback, somewhat rare.

        Critical though, is your reference to Dieda “Love is the difference between ravishment and rape” –
        Sometimes this can be what I call ego-sex – not super connected, fairly quick but still considerate and getting her off, similar to one-night stand sex.
        But to do ravishing well I find I need to be very aware of her experience, desire, body etc. and as Dieda would say completely fuck her with my love.
        Sometimes you can get in a place (in touch with inner feminine?) where you know what she does/could feel and you take her there, or you know what you want and you do it to her – while you’re aware how she feels it. Fantastic stuff, and absolutely no place for asking permission every step of the way.

        Regarding society, I spent my adolecence during 90’s in Ontario, Canad and drowned in political correctness and feminism – I later had to unlearn all the pc & feminist crap about verbal consent, male guilt blah blah blah
        My chemistry with women was awefull – shy, ashamed, insecure yet interested and super confused, and sex was more anxious and awkward than more anxious and awkward. It took Fight Club “I fuck like you want to fuck” for me to go for what I wanted in bed, and trust my instincts with women – I have rarely looked back since, and its only been when a woman is telling me what to do/say/feel in bed!

        • My current boyfriend was a lot like you. He was overly respectful, almost timid in bed. It took me a long time to convince him that I actually want energetic, animal sex. I finally told him one night, kind of frustrated, “I don’t want you to respect me! I want you to f$&k me!” Once he was able to believe that, he really got into his animal side, which is fun for me. 😉 But we still have to do a little role playing sometimes where we “pretend” that I’m a completely slutty, drunk chick he met in a bar. That’s the only way he can really let go.

          I’ll repeat my earlier comments, though, that “ravishment” scenarios are dangerous outside of an established relationship. If you are having a one night stand, “no” has got to mean “no”, 100% of the time. That doesn’t mean you can’t have a good energetic f&$k, though. Consent does not have to be boring.

        • Lori Ann Lothian says:

          Thank you for your refreshing comments. Yes to all of the above.

  26. Lori Ann:
    As you say in your first reply, it’s really a catch 22 (for the men, that is, naturally).
    This sort of “consentual ravishing” that you seem to demand is really a contradiction in terms, literally speaking, that puts the pressure of nothing less than mind reading capabilities on the men.

    Either it’s consentual, and then you’re not really being “ravished”.
    Or else it’s not consentual, and then it’s rape, pure and simple.

  27. Great article! I can definitely identify Lori!

  28. Lori, thank you for this article. I completely understand where you’re coming from. I’m a man in my mid-twenties and due to career and personality I am anything but aggressive. I am always the first person to suggest compromise and to try to accommodate everyone’s needs. I have spent most of my life trying to come off as non-threatening as I can.

    Needless to say, it surprises people sometimes when they get to know me better and find out that sexually, I am assertive, I am aggressive, and I take what I want (within the bounds of consent, of course). If these two personalities seem contradictory, that’s a feature not a bug. I spend most of my life being friendly and non-aggressive, and about as far from the word “ravage” as you can be, and sexually is the only place that I can really let go and be a different, more aggressive person. I suspect that most men who want to ravage and women who want to be ravaged do so because it is the one opportunity to embrace that other side of their nature, in a safe and nonthreatening way.

  29. PursuitAce says:

    FWIW….I believe I’ve read most of the Tarzan books, and Tarzan never ravished Jane. It was more of a classic love story kind of thing.

    • courage the cowardly dog says:

      Pursuit, you are kidding right? Its an allegory. If you don’t know what that is look it up.

      • Huh?…well maybe you are smarter than me…
        …on the other hand, maybe it’s just a poor allegory which doesn’t match the art forms it’s derived from, but may match the misconceptions or fantasies of the aforementioned art forms by some of the current readers of this article.
        So…I really don’t know who’s smarter, but I do know I feel better…so, I’ve got that going for me.

  30. This is what is driving so many men to sex workers.

    The message to men is to be different. But, again what women say they want and what they actually want is two different things.

    Again, I am not really sure why men bother with relationships anymore.

  31. courage the cowardly dog says:

    How about this scenario. You’ve gone out on a couple of dates with an attractive woman and on this date she drinks more than she usually does, but she is not falling down stumbling drunk. You drive her home, she invites you, you, with some reservations, accept after a bit of coaxing. You walk up the stairs with her and she turns to you plants an open mouth kiss on your lips. You were already feeling a bit horny, but kept your control to this point. She then whispers in your ear “Ravish me, Ravish me please”. You are developing an erection at this point and she can feel it. You force her against the wall with enough force that she bangs her head against the concrete wall, but remains conscious. You pick her up and carry her to her apartment where en route you pass a neighbor and smile sheepiously at the neighbor. YOu make it to her apartment and fish her keys out of her purse, glance back at the neighbor who glances back at you and you open the apartment go in and force f*** her for an hour or so. You wake up the next morning before she wakes, dress and go home. You don’t call her back right away and a couple of days later there is a knock at your door. Its the police with an arrest warrant charging you with rape. You let the police in, they cuff you and take you to the police station where your booked, arraigned and have a bail of $100,000.00 because you are considered a flight risk because you are a saleman who travels quite a bit. The evidence they have is that you bought her 4 scotches over the course of an hour and a half. She is about 115 lbs and you are 180 lbs. She has a bump on the back of her head. The nice neighbor tells the police that she appeared unconscious, but she was resting her head on your shoulder affectionately. You admit you drove her home, but say you she invited you in and she says she didn’t. That happened to another client of mine. He was ultimately acquitted, but think about what he had to go through because he thought the woman wanted to be ravished. Don’t do it. My client never will. It is not worth the risk. At least don’t do it until you have a signed affidavit that that is what they want and even then I would proceed with caution.

    • I think fully consensual ravishment scenarios can work in an established relationship but don’t try it with a one night stand and never with anyone who is drunk.

      If you want to do anything really kinky you need to talk it out ahead of time and maybe even get the parameters in writing. I have read a couple of news accounts the last few years in the SF Bay Area rough sex/BDSM gone wrong where the female partner claimed it went beyond what she agrred to, into really sadistic and abusive stuff, while the men said it was consensual rough sex. The women in question seemed credible – they had to go public with their BDSM lifestyles and reveal a lot if embarassing stuff which I’m sure was difficult, yet it is possible the men in question really thought it was all consensual (I don’t know). Charges were dropped in both cases that I’m thinking about, but I’m sure it was a traumatic experience all around. So, that is probably beyond the “ravishment” we are talking about but illustrates the risk of misunderstandings when having sex with someone you don’t know well.

  32. There appears to be some insecurity from men here who think that feminism has beat masculinity out of the world. If you think that a belief that women should choose to be whatever they want is a threat to your masculinity, you are insecure. Some women are choosing in a loving and trusted relationship to decide for themselves that they would like to be ‘ravished’ once in a while and you’d rather point the blame at feminism which enables them to do so, which makes the distinction between rape and sexual fantasy that almost no woman was allowed to decide for herself before the feminist movement. There is also nothing unmasculine about being unmacho, it may not be to your taste but a gentle man is not unmasculine

    • I’m insecure, I’m unmanly, but I don’t think its feminism who makes men not masculine. I think its just because all men are different , some of us are masculine and manly, some of us like me are not. I cannot ravished any women because I’m too afraid to have unconscious sex with her, and I’m too afraid to be a rapist. I’m okay with that. I know I’m insecure for cannot showing my masculinity in bed, but I don’t care. Its me. I don’t blame feminism for my insecurities. Its part of me.

      Many women want to be ravished. I don’t blame women for that. But I don’t want to ravish any women, and don’t blame me for that either. Don’t assumed I hate feminism just because I don’t want to ravish any women, inlcuding my girlfriend, even if she beg me for it. Casual sex, one night stand, sex with girlfriend, wife, I dont want to ravish any women. Dont blame me for that.

    • courage the cowardly dog says:

      There is no insecurity here, just disgust at the mixed, ambiguous message women send that allows them to destroy a man’s a life if they so choose. Feminism has beaten the man out of men. Didn’t one feminist call all coitus rape once. Tell me that doesn’t send a chill down your spine if you are a man. Sexually aggressive men are sometimes considered abusers, rapists, sexual molestors and at other times masculine and appropriately commanding and dominant with no percievable distinction in the behavior. Its BS. Get sexually aggressive with a woman, even if you think it is welcome, you do so at your peril. I know of too many stories of that happening. That is why the rules of evidence in sexual assault cases is different than it is in virtually all other criminal assault cases.

    • @selina

      “ravished once in a while..”

      It that disclosed before marriage? Or is it another one of those unspoken things women think men should read their minds to discover?

      While feminism does not trouble me, I honestly ignore all the stuff women say. I just observe what they do and discover what they really like. If they like rough sex, I try to hammer her silly….etc.

      Men. I have some advice for you. Just ignore all this gibberish. The reality is that very little has changed in the way women view sexuality…They still much prefer aggressive and dominating men. All this other crap is just lies and half truths.

      • It should always be discussed, if people can’t be open to discussing their sexual needs and wants with their partners, there is a problem with the relationship full stop. I never claimed that men should learn to read women’s minds, I agree that women tend to use words that disguise that we really mean (saying ‘fine’ when its not etc). Furthermore, it’s not for you tell one half of the population what to do. Not all women prefer dominant aggressive men because much of the time, those kind of men turn out to be arseholes at best and abusive at worse. I’m not equating men with abusers but the more dominating and aggressive anyone is (both men and women) the more likely they will become manipulative and abusive. To tell men that its alright to have the potential to be an abuser is wrong in my opinion because then a man will never be able to tell the difference between right and wrong. A woman should be able to tell you what she wants and not wants and if she can’t, its her problem and leave her to deal with it

    • Dr Warren Farrell was speaking at the University of Toronto this past weekend. He was there to discuss the trend of boys and men falling behind in all area’s of society. Feminists organized a protest, and used a quote discussing this very topic “What is now called date rape, was once called exciting” to call him a rape supporter. Don’t deny the part feminism has played in this shift. Feminism has advocated for greater power in charging men with rape. Yes, feminism has advocated for women to be able to choose what they want to be, but that includes being a victim when it’s convenient.

  33. I do not think women should ever say “no” when they mean “yes” unless you have agreed to it in advance as part of a fantasy scenario. I’m an attorney and I agree with others who have posted that it is simply too risky for a man to proceed when a woman says no, unless you have a very clear understanding of the roles you are playing.

    Women, if you feel bored with overly respectful, tepid sex then speak up and suggest some role playing or something.

    • courage the cowardly dog says:

      I am an attorney as well and I see the powers that be on here obviously do not provide a meaningful platform for those in dissent to provide opinions that are strongly critical of the opinions articulated in the piece in as much as several of my posts have been deleted even though I have stuck strictly to the posting guidelines. So much for intellectual discussion. This is why you can’t have bipartisanship in America. But I agree with, before you “ravish” men, get permission. Something like “May I ravish you now, darling” That’s a turn on.

  34. courage the cowardly dog says:

    Feminism has successfully beaten the man out of men. Congratulations!

  35. I can see why most women want to be ravished, but I just cant do that. As an emotional guy who is really feel vulnerable during sex , I cant ravish a woman, push her to the wall without asking her or giving her sign if she want to have sex or not. Not like ” do you want to have sex?” I mean like kissing and cuddling, but I cant ravish and push women to the wall. Its not me. And after reading so many rape article and how so many women get raped and assaulted, I cannot do that to any women. It would make me feel like a rapist, even to my girlfriend. And I hate rape so much.

    Maybe I’m not manly and pussies, but I don’t feel I need to change myself to be more manly in bed. I just do what me and my girlfriend like. Luckily my girlfriend is not a typical submissive woman in bed. Actually there is no dominant and submissive part with me and my girlfriend during sex. Sometimes I’m the one who initiate sex, sometimes its her. Sometimes when we were having sex with me on top , she pushed me and get on top of me and she told me to stay still because she wanted to take control. That’s my ideal sex, there is no dominant and one submissive , but its more like a dynamic. One minute I could be dominant and the next minute she could be the one being dominant. Its more fun to me and my girlfriend. I don’t like typical sex scenario when the guy is the one who always initiating and doing all the job, it’s not sexy to me. I want my woman also desire me badly like I desire her. Thats sexy!!!

    • Congrats on having an equal relationship that satisfies both of you. 🙂 I see a lot of articles complaining about men not catering to women’s fantasies, but really? Women’s fantasies are THEIR responsibility, and I say this as a woman. The less men assume about the collective “woman” fantasy, the happier I will be. It means no one assumes anything about me because of my gender. I would much prefer a guy who asks first and acts second. I don’t care if that’s “unmanly” and I don’t think men should care either. If someone told me something I do is “unfeminine”, well, screw them! So I think men should have the same outlook. You are who you are, and that’s enough. Clearly your girlfriend doesn’t care, and I think that’s all that matters. 🙂

      • John and Wanda, agree all the way. There is no need for gender stereotyped controlled behaviour, it doesn’t make you more or less masculine or feminine to be flexible and equal

  36. As long as it is with a trusted partner, trust is the most important thing. I’m still not sold on ‘he can take what he wants anytime he wants it’ because that is also the message that if you are in a relationship, ‘no’ is not a word to be used anymore. I don’t see how it is unmasculine to be emotionally available. Otherwise he will just be a caveman

    • courage the cowardly dog says:

      Selina I see a huge difference between what you seek and what the author of the article is suggesting and therein lies the problem. There really is no way of knowing what a woman really wants even if you have been with her awhile because while she may implicity or even explicity consent to being “ravished” a subsequent argument with that woman could convert the ravishing to an alleged rape. I mean even if the charge is determined to be with out merit, who wants to haveto undergo the anxiety of being so charged, even if you are not convicted. So men proceed to ravish at their peril. My suggestion is avoid it altogether by just not ravishing.

  37. Fight Club was when the penny dropped for me, has been much more enjoyable, and had good feedback since 🙂
    That said, ravishment isn’t every bodies taste (some partners of mine would have taken along time to get to that) and generally a bit of familiarity or knowing your “on the same wavelength” helps to take the plunge. Strange thing is that confidence & intent seems omnipotent at times, ie the successes that come with a nose-full of coke. Too much respect or consideration turns into timidity and is deadly to passion.

    I don’t condone rape by any means, but feminism, the properness and PC-ness of society makes guys less likely to ravish their women, in fact many younger men have likely only heard requests for the “considerate, romantic, understanding..etc” version of “lovemaking” (In German its called Blumschensex, baby flower sex) hence the importance of the sex scenes in Fight Club.

  38. p.s. for those enlightend souls who wish to embark on an amazing journey, read either of the following books by David Deida.

    Intimate communion
    Way of the superior man

  39. I think there is a lot of confusion around this area. For a woman to want and enjoy being ravished, she has, inside her head already given consent for that to happen and for her to enjoy this.

    This is far removed from the act of rape which is a non consenual act.

    • courage the cowardly dog says:

      What’s in a woman’s head isn’t always apparent in her behavior and if we believe we know what is in your head and act on that and we are mistaken, we could end up serving time in prison for it. If its ok with you, I just assume avoid that. No thank you. Better to be safe than sorry.

  40. Lori, you make some good points in the article. I offer my perspective here:

    Passion is important in sex, period. In both partners. (ravish is another word for passion in this context) The deeper the authenticity, intimacy and trust, the more safe an open each person will feel to let that life force energy surge unabashed, and unencumbered…there will a rhythm, a dance, a pulse. It’s an art. It will not be one sided, where one person is taken and the other person in charge. It might start out with an initiator, but both men and women want to be taken, let go, surrender at some point, and I don’t think anyone wants to do all the “work” all the time. It will be different at different times.

    Polarities are important for the heat and energy of sex, but these energies – masculine and feminine – are on a spectrum and vary within different people at different times. For example, I am much more feminine in sex (one of the areas I allow myself to be fully in my feminine), so it works for me to be more of a receiver, most of the time, but I can be a giver too. The best love making in my experience is the kind that is organic and flexible and in the moment…not easily accomplished with pre-conditioning and all of our hang ups about and around sex, but still, it happens, and when it does, we aren’t left trying to figure out what’s what – it just beautifully IS.

    But then I remember, my/this experience is RARE…that in general there is so much wounding and confusion around sex. Understandably hackles go up when someone says a man should ravish a woman, or uses terms like aggressive, forceful, etc. – because we hear 1 in 4 women are raped and 1 in 3 sexually abused or assaulted. And almost all of us know one or more of these women, if not are one of them. So, this is why people are hyper-vilgilant and sensitive because of the pervasiveness of the abuse. Even though YOU are speaking about it in a different context and a valid one at that!! I think it may clash with some people’s realities and the pandemic of sexual dysfunction we face.

    I’ve heard so many men say or write about being afraid to “step up” in sex in many ways because of triggering past abuses in their partner (one of the reasons I’ve often wondered why men don’t take more of a for real stand against violence against women – as it always affects their relationships with women somewhere down the road). What we have done to sex is tragic and I think that’s why all the confusion in the bedroom…but if we can just keep coming back to our hearts and work through our stuff, I think we’ll get it figured out.

    • Jessica (and Lori); I agree about the damage rape and abuse have done to so many women, thus making it hard for men to “step up” and be Tarzan for fear their female partner will react badly, but I have to add this: many men are also raped, either as a child or as an adult (for me and many others it was both). Sometimes the rapist is a man, sometimes the rapist is a woman. My abusers were both. It has left me scarred and haunted too and sex can be a daunting problem at times, for me and my partners. 

      Lori, an ex girlfriend was on a phone telling her female friend how she wished a man would “ravish” her. She expressed it all: held up against a wall, hand on throat, tossed to the bed, restrained, and “taken”. She sounded so turned on, breathless at the idea. 

      I decided I’d try, just to please her (she liked to tell me she would leave me if I didn’t please her in bed, and abuse issues had left me lacking too many times). So I tried to “ravish” her, push down on bed, be Tarzan, everything she had said she wanted an hour before; and it freaked me out and made me sick to my stomach, but I tried to do what she said she wanted. 

      Then the worst happened: she got angry. She fought me off and screamed at me, what was I doing, was I crazy? She called me stupid and sick and a rapist, and many other things not fit to write here. I ran for the bathroom and threw up and she was hitting my back the whole time. 

      I’m also bipolar and feel very confused by normal relations between people, and this was too much. We broke up, needless to say. 

      I am bisexual and in a solid poly relationship for years now with a man and a woman, but they know about my abuse and do not ask me to be Tarzan. The only way I might want to play now is if I am Jane. I do dabble in BDSM but always as the sub, the Jane. I do this in safe and negotiated limited sessions with a safeword. Calling my Dom a rapist afterward has never crossed my mind. 

      The idea of landing in prison because a woman gets angry at the time or later and reports you for rape is so beyond what any man should risk. Even in a relationship, communication is key, as you said; but unless the couple is married and deeply in love, good at communication, the risk is too great. Others posted here that a man broke up and was seen with a new woman and the former woman got mad and reported him for rape. Also, since it is entirely possible for rape to occur inside a marriage, why should any man risk a “ravish” that could later be called rape? 

      As a rape survivor myself, I know false claims of rape are more rare than many seem to think, but that doesn’t mean it never happens. I once had a girl in high school seduce me into a make out session, and when her parents walked in she jumped up and screamed that I was trying to rape her. They were religious and she was supposed to be a “good girl”. So a male doesn’t even have to have sex to be accused of rape. The risk is too great. I’m sorry some people (not just women) dream about Tarzan and can’t find one; but the blame shouldn’t be on men. We have too much to lose. 

  41. Jonathan G says:

    I’d say you’re not wrong in wanting to be ravished. I find it totally understandable: How intoxicating it must feel to have a man desire you so powerfully that he disregards the usual constraints in order to have you, whether those are social conventions or even considerations of whether you consent. All get tossed aside, so great is his yearning. It’s the purest expression of his id, admitting no possibility for artifice or deception.

    But in our society, consent does matter. Consent does not factor in the fantasies, because consent of the fantasist is the sine qua non of her fantasy. In the real world, it doesn’t work because the man should act as if your consent does not matter– but only if you consent to it. Think of how that looks to us men, who hear from some quarters that the only valid consent is explicit, enthusiastic consent. Given that precept, we can try to ravish a woman and then only find out after the fact whether it was rape or not. Obviously, that’s an extreme case. In the real world, guys should only go for it if we have some reasonable signals that a woman would welcome it, and between reasonable partners, the man would stop if the woman decided that she did not consent, and she wouldn’t begrudge the attempt.

    So do you see where that leaves us guys in regards to ravishing women? We have to act like we’re overcome by desire… except we have to exercise self-control to stop if she should say ‘no’. Except we have to maintain some situational awareness in a rational corner of our brains to look for signs that she may not actually be into it, but doesn’t feel comfortable articulating a ‘no’. And we’re putting ourselves out there by offering this show of burning desire which, ultimately, she can reject. (Imagine that– she still exercises significant control of the situation, which undermines the “out-of-control” feeling, does it not?)

    “Ravishing” still happens, of course, but it’s an undertaking fraught with many potential psycho-socio-political pitfalls. You’re aware of many of them, as you feel conflicted about feeling the desire to be ravished. So a little understanding is in order, I think, for the guys who haven’t worked out how to navigate the potential pitfalls successfully to become like Tarzan.

    • Lori Ann Lothian says:

      I wrote a long reply that evaporated. I just want to say thank you. Your candor and your refreshingly insightful sharing is heartening, to this woman. The quote that stands out is the very one that GMP is using in it’s sidebar. ““Men should act as if the woman’s consent does not matter—but only if you consent to it.”

      Brilliant. And quite the catch 22.

      The solution lies in communication. But THAT, is a different article…

      • And it’s that precise reason why I personally take umbrage with the assertion that men need to “man up” and take a woman. There are very real consequences to what you are attempting to shame men for. And you don’t even seem to realize, or care.

        Dr Warren Farrell spoke of this type of thing in one of his books. He discusses the man takes charge, ravishment type of interaction and said (I paraphrase) “what we now call date rape, used to be called excitement.”. The past Friday, Dr Farrell was a speaker at the University of Toronto, where he was discussing boys and men falling behind in society in all factors of life. Feminist protesters disrupted the event, and they used that very quote to claim, without context, to claim Dr Farrell was a rape supporter in order to silence what he had to say. You want to blame someone for men not ravishing you anymore, blame them. Don’t, yet again, put the blame on men.

        In college, especially in the US now due to the dear college letter, all that is required is some crocodile tears to ruin a man’s life. The woman gets two chances (she gets to appeal if she doesn’t win the first time) to prove he was more likely than not (lowest standard of proof) to have done it. Men in that environmental can not afford to have any doubts that they may have actually raped someone. So I find it very offensive that you don’t even realize that you’re sitting here, attempting to shame men for not doing something that can very easily ruin his life, all because it makes you feel better about yourself. Who do think you are to demand this kind of risk from men, and worst, to lay the blame on men for not doing it, when it is feminism that has ensured the mere accusation of rape is sufficient to destroy a man’s life, that the evidentiary requirements for rape have become so trivial, and the consequences for misuse of this power are minimal? How about you stop with the shaming language and take some responsibility for your own sex’s part in your loss?

        Honestly, I likely would have been supportive, if you hadn’t laid the blame at men’s feet (as everything else is). But you seem ether blissfully unaware of, or selfishly uncaring about, the very real consequences men face for taking the action you so callously demand.

    • Random_Stranger says:

      Well said, this “ravishing” is simply a sexual fantasy. Intimate lovers can perhaps role play but could not, nor should not, attempt in real life. Like so many other sexual fantasies, reality offers more risks than rewards. Credit feminism with bringing that dichotomy to light.

    • I really don’t think it’s as complicated as all that. Especially as it’s all going on in her head. She’s getting off to the idea that you really want her… a lot. And that you’re giving her the illusion of not taking no for an answer, so throw in some submission fantasies. But, like I said, the turn on happens in her brain, so it’s not like you’re doing anything really outrageously rapey. And I think most men are adept enough with body language to recognize the difference between excited and turned on and excited and terrified.

      Speaking for myself, it doesn’t feel at all inappropriate to hold a woman’s hands over the head. Or to have my hand on her neck. Both lightly. It gives fodder for the imagination and is nothing at all like clamping down on someone’s mouth to muffle their cries or truly trying to restrain someone. Likewise, who hasn’t wrestled with their friends enough to recognize the difference between someone who’s struggling and fighting vs someone who’s writhing and wanting to rub against you?

      • courage the cowardly dog says:

        Not taking “No” for an answer could result in a criminal rape charge which can carry up to 25 years in prison in some states. The loosening of the proof required to prove rape, an achievement of the feminist left, has dampened men’s appetite for the “Ravish”. My advice to men is if a woman says “No”, no matter what you might think might mean otherwise, put your pants and leave.

        At the very least feminism has made things more complicated and ambiguous.

      • I don’t think that you can ever know what is going on inside another person’s head. You have to ask. Explicit verbal consent is not some kind of daemon.

        Women like Lori can get their kicks inside established relationships, where consent can be arranged hours or days beforehand.

        • courage the cowardly dog says:

          O I can see it now “Sweetheart, can I ravish you now”? “mmmmmmmmmmmmm, I guess so”, BAMM, up against the wall she’s goes, “oooooooooooo that was a bit too hard, I changed my mind, No”, “Ok”, Zip. Bye, “Hey, where are you going?” Home.

          • I agree that “no” means “no.” And god help the guy who can’t get that through his head. But, maybe you’ve been sleeping with the wrong women.

            • courage the cowardly dog says:

              That’s false. No doesn’t always mean no. There have been occasions,like I said in another post, where I started to loosen my belt and the woman said, “No,” I immediately backed off and started to refasten my belt only to have the woman pull me back and start to unfasten my belt herself. So No, doesn’t always mean no. I am quite certain my experience is not unique.

              “maybe you’ve been sleeping with the wrong women”

              so by that statement I take it that you mean there are women who say No, but don’t mean it?

        • John Schtoll says:

          @Mike_C: Sorry but consent given days or hours before hand is called RAPE or Sexual Assault in my country , Canada.

          Don’t believe me….Read about this case that went to the Supreme Court

          In this case Consent was given, but was by law revoked when she was choked. It is very important to note about this case, they had done this lots of times before.

          WHY did the woman go to the police, because they broke up and many months later she went to the police. BTW, if I remember correctly SHE was on his side during the court case because she recanted.

  42. With the ultimate right partner, you want to finally open up and mesh together without holding back both physically and emotionally….call it whatever you want….it is really bold and yet vulnerable to trust a partner that deeply…the words to describe are sometimes inadequate….I’ve heard Nancy Friday use the word “obliteration”….

    Yes, it’s hard finding the right words or the right metaphors to describe something so ineffable….

  43. Jean Brandt says:

    HI, I’m a man. I’ve always been the sensitive type, but I’ve nurtured a strong, passionate masculine side. But when it comes to women, I tend to treat them as porcelain I might stain or break, or avoid them due to fear of the dark side (the ego-user, not exclusive to men or women). I have met my own dark side, and came out on the other side trusting in my heart’s goodness. But I still tend to shut down, try and be helpful and pleasing, and not be vulnerable in the presence of women. I’m sure there are mother issues there. But the kind of woman you self-describe as is the kind I feel I am meant to be with; and part of me wants to love her in that same unrestrained way. I guess I have a balance of masculine and feminine inside me, and I don’t know how to be both a woman’s friend and lover. I actually am in love with a woman right now (of course she’s with someone else), and yet I have no clue how to tell her without feeling like a bastard. Looking for an honest viewpoint from a stranger’s perspective.

    • HI Jean:

      Thanks for such candor. I don’t think we need as men or women, to try to suss out the “mother-father” issues as much as we need to stand in the presence of our true nature–which is beyond gender, but also within gender. If you are someone who wants to ravish, then your core is masculine (this is basic david deida talk). You can stretch, like a vocalist with great range, all the way up and down the masculine and feminine spectrum, but in the end if you are honest with yourself, you are the ravisher. I can’t say much about your love for a married woman, other than good luck with things working out for everyone’s highest good. hugs

  44. Through the eyes of essence, I saw gender for what it was- a way station on the karmic quest for wholeness. Perhaps this is what it means to be trans-gender, in fact? You identify with gender until you are ready to transcend it. When you enter great love’s door, you enter an entirely different dimension. The ultimate form is polyphrenic- an inclusive, holy embracing of all archetypes and energies. The perfectly blended juice of divinity. One giant God gulp..

    • yet even as we are more than our gender, we are still our gender. So do we transcend it Jeff? or do we integrate it, bringing the masculine and feminine currents within, into a lovely double helix of rising and descending energies. From this alchemy, we embody our beyond-gender divinity, which also plays consciously in the land of duality and polarity.

  45. Lori, it is like you are living in my head. I have been wrestling with these thoughts and wondering how to write about them without being accused of promoting rape. I’ve also been worried that if I write about wanting to be ravished that some stranger might show up at my door and put me to the test. I don’t want to be raped by a stranger, or truly taken against my will. But I want my man who loves me to have his way with me, to hold me down and make me surrender. I want to be ravished. My husband and I have a game where I fight him off. He always wins because he is bigger and stronger. Sometimes I need him to show me that just as much as he needs to know that he can always conquer me. But because we are deeply in love and care so much about one another we both know this is a game, a serious game that could be dangerous, but a necessary one that fulfills both of us in some primal way that cannot be easily articulated.

    Except by you. You did a marvelous job here articulating when I know to be true, but am too timid to say out loud yet.

    • Yes. It’s not politically correct to voice a desire for sexual surrender–which is far different than sexual submission. Surrender is a response to love. Submission is a response to power. I think we have confused these, and made a bit of a mess of sexual polarity in the process.

      • I possess many traits that people consider masculine. In my everyday life I’m a forceful and decisive person who needs a lot of control. I do not like to be told what to do. If I were a man I would definitely be an alpha male. But in the bedroom I need to be conquered. I don’t want control there. Like you’ve said, I am tired of controlling everything and I want someone else to take charge in the bedroom. But for me I will not relent without a struggle. My man must win me over. Sometimes he does that with a candlelight dinner and a back-rub and sometimes he needs to do it by showing me that he’s bigger and stronger than me and can take what he wants any time he wants it. It is his challenge to figure which approach I need because I’m not helping him figure that one out. He’s got to work for it.

        Trust me. I work too in my own ways. And thus is the dance of love.

      • courage the cowardly dog says:

        I am calling BS on this. Surrender v. Submission, really? Its a distinction without a difference. I have been sexually aggressive with women and what I have learned is despite what you hear, when they say “No”, they don’t always mean “NO”. In instances of passion as I Ioosen my belt they have said “No’ and my intellectual self takes over and I refasten my belt and begin retreat only to have the woman pull me back down and begin to loosen my belt again. So what is going on there? I am an attorney and though the criminal law is not my specialty I have provided pro bono services to men charged with rape and I assisted in the defense of man who was charged with rape of a woman he knew and the facts were very similar to those you describe in the beginning of your piece. There was a tremendous amount of ambiguity in the situation and yet he is now serving 12 years in prison not for rape, but for “aggravated” sexual assault. The “assault” which was reported as a rape wasn’t reported for several days after the incident, the “victim” had been out to dinner with her assailaint on the night of the incident and they woke up the next morning in the same bed together. She claimed to have felt coerced and physically threatened. But the incident took place in a stairwell like you describe. Our client said she had told him she wanted to be “ravished” but never said “No”, she says she did say “no”. Interestingly, the “victim” reported the assault after she had seen her “assailant” with another woman a couple of days later. Women are ambiguous and men end up in prison. We are appealing.

        • Exactly, Best case; a woman like the author gets her fantasy fulfilled. Worst case; the man goes to prison.

          A woman must clearly show that she wants to be ravished.

          • courage the cowardly dog says:

            Its a travesty. Because of a woman’s ambiguity a man’s life is ruined and he sits in prison. If the situation were reversed where a woman were inprisoned unjustly there would be a made for TV movie. But its just a guy. You know he is a neanderthal and even if that is what the woman wanted him to be at the moment, he sits in jail and is now he is the one being ravished. No thanks.

        • Excellent post.
          Young men who sleep with women, as Courage and Jonathan G have noted this is an extremely dangerous game. This is rather like playing the mythical tune for the female preying mantis – one wrong note, you get eaten


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  2. […] my Awakened Dreamer blog, all in a dither about my writings elsewhere on sexuality. For instance, Me Jane, You Tarzan: The Politics of Sexual Polarity now buzzing up the popular charts at Good Men Project online […]

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