I will admit that I have an interest in integrating sensuality/sexuality into my personal definition of myself. I’ve had a great deal of trouble dealing with my femininity, and how that affects both my sexuality, and my ability to be sensual or even seductive.
My base self-image comes down to independence, strong-willed, focused, blunt/honest, and while I have the ability to be diplomatic/tactful/compassionate, sometimes it is more important to actually speak the truth instead of the polite lie.
Because of this, society has a horrendous tendency to see me not as a female, but as a range of things from “wanna be male,” she-male, battle axe, or simple hard-assed bitch.
Which means that any attempt to be flirtatious, seductive, or any other form of “girly” is automatically seen as a manipulation of the other person’s feelings OR that I am being “inauthentic to myself.”
Regrettably, it comes down to both an attempt to limit the range of feminine identity and a horrendous myth about what love is supposed to be (both on an internalized and external aspect).
We are told either:
- We attract those who are who we are at a base level.
In essence, if we are needy and weak, we attract those who are needy and weak. It places the blame of “poor romantic choices” firmly on our own heads. While we are responsible for our romantic choices, many of the causes behind those romantic choices involve subconscious issues, which are often hidden deeply behind our own unwillingness to see them. And our minds do EVERYTHING they can to avoid revealing those issues.
- We attract our exact opposite.
In this case, the myth STILL blames us, because if we are strong and independent, we either attract soul-suckers or people who want to change and “tame” us. If we are weak and dependent, we attract those who want to control everyone in their sphere of influence.
Either way, it comes down to society telling us it is “our fault” when we make bad poor romantic choices, which is a radical over-simplification of the situation.
Yes, we are responsible for our choices in life. HOWEVER, responsibility and blame are NOT the exact same thing. Blame NEVER fixes any problem. We supposedly learn this as kids – that it doesn’t necessarily matter who is to “blame” for something, what matters is that the situation gets FIXED.
Blaming is simply an attempt to gain the moral high ground or in some other way be superior to the one being blamed. Falling into this blame-game is exactly why so many of us – male or female – get into abusive relationships. We are so used to scapegoating ourselves that it is easy for us to accept it when our abusers tell us it is all our fault.
How many times to we hear the stories of the abusers who say, “it’s your fault, YOU made me angry. Why do you always make me angry?”
But it can be more subtle than that, and sometimes the abuser doesn’t need to even say anything. It can be the knowledge that our abuser was abused as a child, and we blame ourselves for triggering those memories, and thereby excuse their abusive response.
What and who we attract is not a simple black vs white situation. Yes, I have attracted a LOT of users in my world. And as I’ve grown and changed, I’ve gone from attracting the obvious users (i.e. the guys looking either for a sugar mama OR just a mommy), to attracting much more subtle users – ones who hide their behaviors beneath a veneer of concern and compassion.
I attracted the controller type as a younger woman, and now I seem to attract the “I want to tame you” types, because I have finally learned to play to my strengths in a more healthy fashion.
There are far too many issues involved in the process of attraction. It is NEVER simple. So, let’s quit blaming ourselves and instead choose to FIX the problem.