When I first got a copy of “Way of The Superior Man” I threw it down. “What kind of arrogant asshole would come up with a title like that?” I didn’t even open it. It wasn’t for another year that I would pick it up in my “david deida-format” men’s group and then I drank in every word. I was ready.

A couple of years later, I signed up for one of David Deida’s 5-day intensives and got rocked. Then, just last year, I buried the book. Finished. Done. No mas.

I work with men all the time who have read Deida and been served by the book and by his live events. Deida’s a badass for sure. I believe he is solely responsible for bringing men out of the “new age wimp” mentality that was common in the 80’s and 90’s. He started making “men’s work” sexy and compelling.

So, again, praise to the man and his work.  He kicks ass. His book is a must read, it is awesome for a certain stage on the path. His stuff is incredible. Deep bows.

And, at a certain point, men will have to transcend and include Deida.

The Deida-Bot

Time and time again I hear friends and clients who dig Deida (otherwise known as Deida-bots) get stuck in his words and concepts.  While I realize that is partly the consumer of his information’s responsibility, it is also partly the black and white teachings around the masculine and feminine that keeps men trapped.

The basic interpretation of Way of the Superior Man goes like this:

Okay, so I have to find a purpose. If I don’t know that I’m supposed to make that my purpose. If I breathe the right way and get in my masculine trustable power, then she will surrender to me. I am supposed to handle her shit storms even if they are abusive. And most importantly, “I’m supposed to fuck her open to God.” Bottom line? I’m supposed to “act masculine” like David Deida says.

This typically takes a man into a pattern of trying harder to get masculinity right. If I don’t do masculinity the way Deida says, I’m not a superior man and I’m probably going to remain at stage 1 or 2. I must not be man enough.

Some women have also become trapped. Their version goes something like this:

“Why won’t he fuck me open to God?” I can’t believe he isn’t man enough to take me and ravish me.  I can’t wait to surrender to him, but he just won’t man up for the task. I’m not sure what’s wrong with him? He’s just too nice. I want him to fuck me and he wants to just talk about his feelings. I better show him I’m mad by screaming at him and challenging his manhood.

The shock and awe of Deida’s live events are quite astounding. Men and women with their clothes on, coming to near orgasm and blowing each other’s minds! It was insane for me, deeply powerful. And, it wasn’t until months later in discussing the workshop with my wife, that I realized I had crossed some boundaries during the intensive. And, even through the workshop temporarily helped our relationship, had my wife been in the room, she would have been highly reactive seeing what I was doing with other women.

What I came to realize over a year after the workshop was over, is that the sexy shock and awe approach is not sustainable. Specifically, it’s not sustainable in a long-term committed relationship.

Sadly, many tantra folks and sexually curious people begin to think what Deida teaches is the norm. Then, when they realize the approach is very challenging to stay with longer than a few months, they begin to think they are doing something wrong, not trying hard enough, and the self-doubt slowly creeps in.

I’m a spiritual dude and have done some serious work on myself. It ain’t happening like Deida says for me in my life.  Very few of us have mind-blowing sex for years and years on end. We open. We close. We love, We shut down. We get turned on, we get turned off.

If we are all honest, sex is tricky terrain, particularly in long term relationships. It provokes our deepest wounds and also has the potential to allow us to feel the most cosmic connection on the planet. Factor in children, stress from work, long days, emotional triggers etc, and sex is a crucible.

The Double Bind

Without knowing it, Deida’s work can put some men in a double bind. On the one hand, men are supposed to show up fully present and it is their responsibility to “open” their woman. On the other hand, if they decide to become real, truthful, and relax into “being” they face getting blamed wimpy, feminine, or called out (in their men’s group or by their woman) for not being man enough.

Deida’s work is a great eye-opener for a man new to what is possible sexually. Deida is much easier and more fun to read than anyone else writing on the subject thus far. For many of these men, it is a step in the right direction.

Nevertheless, pretty soon and innocently enough (in my experience) readers of Deida begin to “perform” to get the technique right. These men, believe, like I did, that if I just “do it right” she will surrender just like the book says. Some of these men don’t have a spiritual practice nor do they want to start one. That would be more “work” a man has to do. For some men, it’s just another self-improvement project that you must master to get the love and sexual intimacy you long for.

However, once you settle into a relationship for longer than a year, his words can dry up for some. The concepts begin to feel flat and simplistic. Paired with my actual, lived experience as a new father and husband, Deida comes up short.

I’m noticing the calcification that can happen around Deida and his teachings.  I’ve worked with a lot of Deida-bots in couples work and had to help them get more realistic.

Moving beyond Deida

But first I am doing triage on myself by working on an entirely different approach to sexuality. With the ongoing mentorship from David Cates of Deep Masculine, one of the trail blazers of conscious sexuality, I am learning a completely different approach to my sexuality.

According to Cates, many men can’t help but get into the performance trap around sex. Cates’ view is that once we plug into our own bodies from a relaxed place, we can experience sex as new, fresh, cosmic, and sustainable.

I imagine other men and women are adding to Deida’s approach to sexuality. If you know them, please leave their info below. Sex is a labyrinth of possibilities. Finding the right guide can make the dance feel a whole lot more doable and sustainable.

Let’s not be complacent about our sex lives, but let’s also be realistic. Sex is yet another vehicle, a mirror, and a path to the love we long for.

What realistic steps are you taking to enhance and deepen your sex life?

_________________________

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Comments

comments

By |October 1st, 2010|personal development, Sex|52 Comments

52 Comments

  1. Martha October 1, 2010 at 9:51 am - Reply

    “Nevertheless, pretty soon and innocently enough, readers of Deida begin to “perform” to get the technique right. These men, believe, like I did, that if I just “do it right” she will surrender just like the book says. Some of these men don’t have a spiritual practice nor do they want to start one. That would be more “work” a man has to do. For some men, it’s just another self-improvement project that you must master to get the love and sexual intimacy you long for.”

    I find this to be true. Deida is not the only writer with which this occurs, and this phenomena occurs throughout the world of “self-help.” My own personal work, and my teaching is limited to men and women willing to step and maintain a spiritual practice to bring true transformation through perception. When you become a better person, all you really care about is love, which is beyond tricks and techniques, to have better sex, or whatever.

    May I share a quote from a friend here?

    “The goal of A Course in Miracles is to wake us up from this dream, which we call our world; our physical experience. The goal of the self-help movement is not to wake us up from this dream but to fix it so that it is more beautiful. Something that is completely impossible because the world we live in is dual, and in duality there will always be opposites. But in the Real world, the Kingdom; our real Home in God, the only thing that exists is love, which is what we truly are.” ~Nick Arandes

    • Barbara October 1, 2010 at 12:27 pm - Reply

      Thanks Martha for the quote from Nick Arandes. I've been working with “A Course in Miracles” for over 10 years and I can still easily get caught in the dream.

    • Jayson October 3, 2010 at 6:12 pm - Reply

      Martha, yup. great quote and great point about many gurus or teachers. We tend to grab on to what they say rather than integrating it into who we already are and making it our own.

  2. Barbara October 1, 2010 at 12:23 pm - Reply

    Hi Jayson, thanks for your honesty in posts. I felt compelled to share my frustration with relationships. 22 years ago I stopped drinking because I did not want to have sex with a drunk man. I knew that, for me, I needed to give up alcohol to attract a man who could be and wanted to be present during sex. In the process, I had to delve deep into my history of incest. I have explored countless healing modalities, spiritual practices, relationships but have yet to be able to maintain a long-term relationship, the very thing that motivated me to keep moving forward through some devastating memories.

    I've been involved with men who have done a lot of self-help work but when it comes to going the distance and committing to a relationship, they find some reason to leave the relationship. I've been involved with men who haven't been involved with self-help, they don't know how to let go of “performing” and just being together, nor have they been interested in doing so. For me, “being” with a man and allowing that energy to build, following the breath through a heart connection is incredible. Men who have experienced that for the first time love it but they don't stick around. My guess is the intensity scares them away. I agree with Cates, both men and women have to plug into their bodies and breath.

    I have a friend who calls me to do tantra and sensual massage whenever he's not in a relationship. He was big on Deida The first time we got together was healing and helpful. So much so that I had thoughts of turning our 20 year friendship into a relationship. I thought it made sense to explore it anyway. I held that thought to myself and got together with him again. The second time was not fun for me. It felt so empty. I needed/need love and commitment to reach those deep places in me and connect with another. Over the past few years, my friend continues to call occasionally, even after I have told him I'm not interested in exploring my sexuality with him unless we explore a complete relationship. In his last attempt, he tried to talk me into it when I told him again that is not what I wanted. At this point, I don't even consider him a friend. A mature man who is a friend would respect what I said, not try to convince me otherwise.

    As a middle-age woman, I find that a lot of the men I meet are looking for that passion they had when they were young. It shows-up as lust and when that dissipates, so does the relationship.

    There are lots of programs for women to help us “attract” our soulmate, to become irresistible to him. I am an attractive, interesting, fun woman but when it comes to holding a man's attention, I haven't been able to do it. I've been married, I've had other live-in long-term relationships but I want a true partner and one who wants to be with me. I don't want someone who just doesn't like being alone.

    I get lonely. I miss the physical and sexual connection but right now, I'm tired of trying. I have done relationship work with some of the best (Kathlyn & Gay Hendricks). My history was intense and it has expanded my awareness of relationship dynamics. Because of my relationship status and challenges, I sometimes go back to thinking that I must be defective.

    Jayson, I haven't really shared anything helpful. But, I thank you for opening this up and allowing me to voice my frustration.

    • Duff McDuffee October 1, 2010 at 3:08 pm - Reply

      I think your experience is far more common than you might think. Best of luck.

    • Jayson October 11, 2010 at 10:24 am - Reply

      Barbara,

      Wow. I so appreciate the truth you layout here. I can appreciate the lonely feelings and the overall frustration. You speak pretty accurately about some men in the world. I imagine your frustration is not uncommon from other women.

      Let's face it, women are far ahead of the curve when it comes to intimacy and relationship. Some men are there, most are not.

      I am left curious what is it about you that keeps attracting a man who leaves? Hmmmm….

    • David January 11, 2013 at 8:39 am - Reply

      That is lovely Barbara. I am looking for the same. Be true, love in love and joy and keep the faith.

    • Lauren Jones June 12, 2013 at 11:23 pm - Reply

      Hi Barbara:

      I’m counselor who does EMDR, which can be very helpful in healing trauma and helping people allow good relationships into their lives.

      Try emdr.com or emdria.org to find a clinician in your community.

      Good luck!

      Lauren

    • Mouse January 6, 2014 at 6:38 pm - Reply

      You are not alone in your experiences with Males.
      I’ve had all these experiences and have given up now although my heart still calls out longingly for a masculine energy that chooses to want to adventure Years with me.
      I don’t get it and i continue to work on myself ‘improve myself as a female’ so i understand men and their wants, how to keep and maintain a relationship whilst listening to my own intuition and dreams. It’s exhausting!
      I want to Live and Be Happy and the silent search for that someone to adventure with on a long term scale, consuming, so i’m giving up. Whether is means i have layers and shells over my kind loving heart. Too bad.
      If it means i’m defective which is constantly how i feel every time then so be it.
      and yes there are waves of loneliness, but like everything in life, even in relationships, being on your own has its ups n downs, negatives and positives.
      My actions & speech are from a loving kind place with everything I do. My family know and experience this as do close friends. I value myself and if a man doesn’t than that’s ok.
      Your not defective Barbara. Your a beautiful loving kind soul! And it’s ok to stop searching for deep love once in awhile as its exhausting. You aren’t alone as a female in your experiences with men. You are Beautiful and Whole, Loving and Kind!
      May you walk in Inner Happiness daily and no longer worry about what Men think you need to be for them!
      xxx

      • Mouse January 6, 2014 at 6:39 pm - Reply

        oh i meant what you think you need to be for a man to love you long term.

  3. Duff McDuffee October 1, 2010 at 2:53 pm - Reply

    It's good to see some critique of Deida from the men's movement—thanks for this Jayson. I think there are even deeper problems with Deida, but you identified many of the more common ones. In particular, Deida's work becomes an excuse for women to act immature and even abusive, with men having to put up with it and “be present” or else aren't man enough.

    What ever happened to mature communication skills? Deida also takes some of the worst of old-school conventional masculinity and spiritualizes it by claiming that “men are like this, women are like this” and gives token exceptions without taking them seriously.

    I had a relationship where we were both deep into Deida and it consistently blew up into drama and chaos again and again, not even lasting a year. I'm now convinced that Deida's methods are not only not sustainable, but actually perpetuate problems between men and women. Deida does have some gems, but on the whole I find his writings patriarchal, overly dramatic, and foolish.

    • Jayson October 3, 2010 at 6:15 pm - Reply

      always appreciate your voice here Duff. Thanks!

  4. Graham Phoenix October 2, 2010 at 9:01 am - Reply

    When I read 'Superior Man' some years ago I was struck by what for me was a different approach. I have not re-read it or tried to work with it so I can't comment on much of your detail, Jayson. What I can say is based on my current relationship of about three years, and is about me and my partner rather than general.

    We were only talking last night about what a great sexual relationship we have, one that is open, honest and based on true polarity between us. The physical relationship stems from a deep emotional and spiritual relationship based on real love. That developed first and was absolutely essential for the physical one. The emotional, spiritual and physical relationship is absolutely based on a strong polarity between us which requires my presence and my inner strength as a man. The power of my masculinity, as far as she is concerned, allows her to trust me and surrender, not to me but to her feelings, desire and emotions, without fear or doubt.

    Tantra has been crucial in developing this between us, but the tantra has not been about sex but about energy. For where Deida goes wrong is that he focuses it on the physical and that's often all that people see. To work together as a couple developing your knowledge of masculine and feminine energies is very powerful. One of our breakthrough sessions enabled us both to approach our dark energy by engaging in a meditation involving fighting, absolutely no sex involved. This then enabled us to see our sexual practice in a totally different light.

    I am no defender or follower of Deida but I would caution you to be careful not to throw away a model based on masculine presence and power, and feminine trust and surrender. Where you are correct is that any attempt to try hard to get it right, or perform, is destined for failure. Only detachment from the outcome will help. You need to grow in yourself and become, as a man, sure and certain of yourself for a woman to start seeing presence and power in you. You can't fool her.

    Sex is tricky, particularly when real life is involved, but a solid spiritual/emotional approach will work. Maybe this is what David Cates is talking about, I don't know, I don't know enough about his work. I like his idea that we have to start with ourselves and our own bodies. If we are not solid here a relationship will not survive beyond 'Shock & Awe'.

    Thank for this post, Jayson, it's a subject that needs to be discussed. For me there is a danger equal to the one of following Deida, and that is rejecting Deida. It forms around the idea that Deida is wrong therefore any model based on trust and surrender is old school and not acceptable. Rejecting Deida is OK but rejecting a perfectly respectable model because he adopted it and made it extreme is not.

  5. Sajit Greene October 2, 2010 at 10:18 am - Reply

    Jayson, I'm so glad you are talking about this topic, which is also relevant to the work I do with women, about empowering authentic sexuality! I agree that Deida's perspective is too black & white, and the way Tantra is being taught in the West is too focused on sexual materialism. I think that a lot of us who've been “on the path” for a long time are getting tired of the never-ending self-improvement treadmill….gotta be a better person, a better lover, a better meditator, and definitely gotta have better orgasms! I think this current time in our collective evolution is more about radical self-acceptance, radical forgiveness, integration, and authenticity, rather than trying to “fix” ourselves to fit into some paradigm of how we are supposed to be.

    • Jayson October 3, 2010 at 6:14 pm - Reply

      yes Sajit, completely agree!

    • Lace Heward-Thompson June 24, 2011 at 8:39 am - Reply

      Sajit, I agree with you on the never ending self-improvement treadmill.  I have been, as of lately, in a practice of being with what IS.  I have a tendency to fall into depressive cycles, with deep feelings of doubt about everything! Lately, instead of pushing that away, I stay with it. I just hang out with that part of me. I really hate that part of myself, but it's one of the best parts of me! Even in my relationship with my husband of 6 years, my longest relationship yet, I have my doubts and past pains. Who doesn't!  The difference now for me is that I no longer need him to be anything. And, miraculously, I don't need to be anything for him. I'm able to let go and let it happen now naturally because I'm not continually self conscious about “doing it right” and being the “right person” for him or I.  In the moment, any moment, including sex, I have all this doubt and stress.  SO I just am with the doubt and stress. I just let it rest with me. I still act, and do my thang, but I let myself feel stressed and doubtful about it. I let it become me. And the mind doesn't like this! It doesn't like staying with one thing for very long! Especially when it's not given the freedom to constantly BECOME!! That's the whole purpose of the mind is to continually BECOME SOMETHING.  But when you surrender to what IS, your no longer becoming but just BEING. And it's very freeing. So, now when having sex, I'm free to do whatever and however the hell I want because I'm free to feel whatever I want.  I don't have to be anything for anyone. Sometimes sex sucks, and it's just what it is… sucky. I'm with that. Instead of analyzing it to death, I just let it be sucky!! I feel this peace and surrender, and then move on. No my analysis! No more discussions, no more change. CHANGE IS AN ILLUSION!  And, now that I made being with what is my practice, ya, I still think my husband is a looser and an asshole sometimes, but so what!? Those are just thoughts. Thoughts are just going to keep happening. We can't stop them. It's impossible. But so what?! Who gives a crap what I THINK. The bottom line is I don't need him to change anymore so I can “Open” or become anything! He can be whatever I THINK he is, and also I can be with what I am FEELING in the moment I'm thinking something about him. I recognize those are just thoughts, I'm with the feelings that come up with those thoughts, get on with my life, and get off the treadmill of the illusion that I am BECOME AND CHANGING.  And the treadmill of HE NEEDS TO BE DIFFERENT!  We are divine just as we are. Weaknesses, wimpyness, assholeishness, lonerville, bitchiness, and psychopathy… it is all divine. I FEEL IT ALL! I FEEL IT ALL!! MY WINGS ARE WIDE! I TURN INSIDE! Anyway- great discussions! I like it! Being with that one too! :)

  6. Craig Filek October 2, 2010 at 11:37 am - Reply

    What am I doing? I'm working with you and David Cates!!

    In my experience (after trying to work with Deida's stuff, and when that failed me, exploring some of the more traditional “pick-up” material) you guys are offering something so much deeper, more authentic and integrated than I ever experienced when I was trying to “do it right.”

    …and it's “working.” I'm FEELING more than I ever have before. Women are attracted to me in the way I always imagined they “should be” but weren't because I wasn't doin it “right.”

    Who would have guessed that letting go all my ideas about being masculine, and integrating the “feminine” parts of myself would work so potently? Not me… but the results speak for themselves.

    Thanks bro… keep naming the truth. You're livin it.

  7. Andy October 2, 2010 at 4:27 pm - Reply

    Yo Jayson, all:
    I'm liking the “life beyond Deida” approach. I'll boil down my perspective to one conversation with Deida circa 2003. Me: “I'm having a hard time doing the work you describe and just being myself.” David: “If you're not being yourself, you're not doing the work.” There were facets of myself reflected in his work and dimensions of myself that were blatantly missing, and it was up to me to adjust accordingly. If you didn't get into Deida and his work knowing that we're all kind of deceiving each other and playing out some aspects of one big lie, it's not to be taken as absolute, or forgot to heed the “play at your own risk” warning, then you only trapped yourself, Deida-bots. There's no one teacher that has all of your answers.

    • Jayson October 3, 2010 at 6:11 pm - Reply

      right. “be yourself, but do it in a way I'm describing” is kinda how he states it.

      great observations!

  8. Joe Roth October 3, 2010 at 5:32 pm - Reply

    If you enjoy Deida, you may further enjoy “The Mentor, a Man's Guide to Living an Inspired Life”. You can find it on Facebook at “The Mentor Book” or at it's direct site, http://www.thementorbook.net.

    I happen to think that Deida offered some incredible insights at a time when many men needed some direction. His lessons are as relevant today as they were when they first found us. For many, just like first learning geometry or US History, when we know the lessons and have studied most of what there is to be learned, naturally the teaching becomes outdated and maybe even “boring”. When our instructor has opened our eyes, we dont need them opened further with each and every one of his continued offerings.

    But for those that have never studied the teaching of Deida, the gift is still as timely as it was for all of us when we first discovered it. And that is every bit as special today as it was many years ago.

    The Beatles evolved and unlike most groups in their heyday, they were able to continue to find new and intricate ballads that resonated with us as much as their initial work did. Most groups are not fortunate enough to always find new ways to express the things that are important to them. But to the new listener, “She Loves You” is as powerful as anything The Beatles ever shared, and had they failed to have a top ten after 1964, their music would still be of profound influence.

    Deida's teaching stands on its own. For many, it is/was a revolution of the mind and the consciousness of our childhoods. Nobody can take away from me the discoveries that I had through his teachings, no matter what he supposedly “has become” or whatever his intentions are outside of his lessons. To me, he changed my awareness and that can never be taken back.

    Thanks.

  9. ianmcgrady October 4, 2010 at 7:03 am - Reply

    I've read this article and would like to respond, as I imagine many people who are both more and less advanced than the writer will also be reading it. It was passed to me by a friend who views this article as an articulation of his reservations about doing so-called Deida work.

    Statement: When I first got a copy of “Way of The Superior Man” I threw it down. “What kind of arrogant asshole would come up with a title like that?”

    Response: The title seems to come from a phrase that appears in classic Chinese texts. The Superior Man is defined by the choices he makes that correctly and sincerely place him and his efforts in the world, not a regal disposition that Wilhelm Reich would define as a character armor, or relativistic as men being superior to women. It's easy for people who are not familiar with translations of Chinese texts, such as Confucious, to have this impression also. It probably should be entitled “The Way of the Superior Masculine”, given that the energetic underpinnings of the work are less about men and women and more about the mansculine/feminine dynamics of a cosmos and the dance humans play in this big mysterium we inhabit and are – but the book has a stated agenda of being supportive to, and addressing, men who are coping with issues of clarity or vagueness in relation to women, work, and the world.

    Statement: A couple of years later, I signed up for one of David Deida’s 5-day intensives and got rocked.

    Answer: Me, too. I had done some weekends with his assistants and they helped open my heart to myself, and others, and give me useful feedback that was supportive without being mushy or general.

    Statement: Then, just last year, I buried the book. Finished. Done. No mas.

    Answer: If it’s the original hardcover, please send it to me: It’s worth something, according to Amazon.

    Statement: I work with men all the time who have read Deida and been served by the book and by his live events. Deida’s a badass for sure. I believe he is solely responsible for bringing men out of the “new age wimp” mentality that was common in the 80’s and 90’s. He started making “men’s work” sexy and compelling.
    So, again, praise to the man and his work. Deep bows.

    Answer: On the one hand you’re saying that you work with men who are served by the work as you have. Then you say you bow to it, deeply – but your article isn’t just a critique, it positions your teacher as more reasonable solution to the questions Deida addresses. Unsure of what kind of “deep bows” that is.

    Statement: The Deida-Bot / Time and time again I hear friends and clients who dig Deida (otherwise known as Deida-bots) get stuck in his words and concepts. While I realize that is partly the consumer of his information’s responsibility…

    Answer: At my Omega session more than 5 years ago, Deida was adding “take what you like and leave the rest”, “These aren’t literal statements – they’re distinctions that I make which I have found useful for progress in these areas – you don’t have to believe any of it for all I care”, or statements very close to that effect.

    Statement: , it is also partly the black and white teachings around the masculine and feminine that keeps men trapped.

    Answer: For those who have studied Tai Chi, or any Chinese internal martial art, or any martial art, or done anything, exploration of the extremes helps us understand the possible variations in the middle more clearly. He sits and offers explorations of the extremes of masculine and feminine – exploration of one’s “edge” in that regard – in order to travel more freely as body-and-earth-bound consciousness. It’s not a trap: It’s a structure that facilitates learning. Like your friends comments who are adoring ACIM, which says Miracles are learning devices and nothing more than kind of isolated incidents in what could be a fully Miracle-minded individual.

    Statement: The basic interpretation of Way of the Superior Man goes like this:
    Okay, so I have to find a purpose. If I don’t know that I’m supposed to make that my purpose. If I breathe the right way and get in my masculine trustable power, then she will surrender to me. I am supposed to handle her shit storms even if they are abusive. And most importantly, “I’m supposed to fuck her open to God.” Bottom line? I’m supposed to “act masculine” like David Deida says.

    Answer: The basic interpreation of WOTSM is the book. This is an over-simplification and a mis-quote. The book, also, wasn’t written for “you”, and although I don’t have a copy of it with me, I don’t recall it saying “you” are “supposed” to do anything including “act masculine”. That would be along the lines of macho-jerkness which is a contradiction which Deida studiously avoids.

    Statement: This typically takes a man into a pattern of trying harder to get masculinity right. If I don’t do masculinity the way Deida says, I’m not a superior man and I’m probably going to remain at stage 1 or 2. I must not be man enough.

    Answer: He doesn’t say “get masculinity right” – he basically says “exploring The Masculine can help align you with what’s right for you”.

    Statement: Some women have also become trapped. Their version goes something like this: “Why won’t he fuck me open to God?” I can’t believe he isn’t man enough to take me and ravish me. I can’t wait to surrender to him, but he just won’t man up for the task. I’m not sure what’s wrong with him? He’s just too nice. I want him to fuck me and he wants to just talk about his feelings. I better show him I’m mad by screaming at him and
    challenging his manhood.”

    Answer: Misconstruing and oversimplifying an argument, and then attacking that false representation, is also not the “deep bow” you’re offering earlier.

    Statement: The shock and awe of Deida’s live events are quite astounding. Men and women with their clothes on, coming to near orgasm and blowing each other’s minds! Wow. But, anyone who is in a long-term relationship knows the shock and awe is not sustainable.”

    Answer: David has said once something to the effect of “you can have more frequent sex or you can have deeper sex that’s less frequent. I don’t think he says that shock and awe last forever as an actual sex act – but people can make their lives more dynamic by shocking and awing themselves through exploration of the masculine and feminine aspects of existence & non-existence. Basically, he’s selling sex to sell God – not the other way around. It’s not “let’s find god through better sex” but “let’s bring God into our lives, and be as God-like as possible while we’re alive so we can feel like we’re more part/not part of things as we need”.

    Statement: Sadly, many tantra folks and sexually curious people begin to think what Deida teaches is the norm. Then, when they realize the approach is very challenging to stay with longer than a few months, they begin to think they are doing something wrong, not trying hard enough, and the self-doubt slowly creeps in.
    I’m a spiritual dude and have done some serious work on myself. It ain’t happening like that for me in my life. Let’s get real people. Very few of us have mind-blowing sex for years and years on end.
    If we are all honest, sex is tricky terrain, particularly in long term relationships. It provokes our deepest wounds and also has the potential to allow us to feel the most cosmic connection on the planet. Factor in children, stress from work, long days, emotional triggers etc, and sex is a crucible.

    Answer: Equivocating The Yoga of Sexual Intimacy and Light” with WOTSM and the entire works of Deida is like equivocating Win Chun to Wu Mei – it’s a subset, a condensed version used for a specific purpose. The part does represent the whole, but let’s not confuse the forest for the tree.

    Statement: The Double Bind
    Without knowing it, Deida’s work has put men in a double bind. On the one hand, men are supposed to show up fully present and it is their responsibility to “open” their woman. On the other hand, if they decide to become real, truthful, and relax into “being” they face getting blamed wimpy, feminine, or called out (in their men’s group or by their woman) for not being man enough.

    Answer: Absolutely true in practice, but it’s not just men and women. It’s any dynamic between the person who identifies with consciousness and the people who identify with life. Children are healthy with structure and develop contempt for drunk parents. My woman, indeed, hates when I don’t have a plan, or when I’m unaccountable. Again: The work is broad-spectrum. The Omega institute is a metaphor – it’s not an end unto itself – it just happens to be an easy-to-identify-with metaphor.

    Statement: Nevertheless, pretty soon and innocently enough, readers of Deida begin to “perform” to get the technique right. These men, believe, like I did, that if I just “do it right” she will surrender just like the book says. Some of these men don’t have a spiritual practice nor do they want to start one. That would be more “work” a man has to do. For some men, it’s just another self-improvement project that you must master to get the love and sexual intimacy you long for.
    However, once you settle into a relationship for longer than a year, his words dry up. The concepts begin to feel flat and simplistic. Paired with my actual, lived experience as a new father and husband, Deida comes up increasingly short.

    Answer: Deida can’t explain every permutation of moment for a man as a parent – it’s your job and choice to be lived by that. Are you asking him to write a guide for parents? Sounds interesting.

    Statement: I’m noticing the calcification that has happened around Deida and his teachings that have me bored, disinterested and wanting to do triage on couples and male Deida-bots everywhere.

    Answer: There’s the agenda. Often students feel they can go beyond, or improve on their teacher’s work. One hopes so for the sake of progress in general. On the other hand, if you’re wanting to do “triage” on couples and “Deida Bots” by marketing yourself to Deida’s market, go ahead – but it seems a disservice to define yourself as being something better or beyond than Deida’s set of information. That said, what is it that you actually stand for? It can’t really be found here. Perhaps that will be your next article, or book.

    Statement: Moving beyond Deida. But first I am doing triage on myself by working on an entirely different approach to sexuality. With the ongoing mentorship from David Cates of Deep Masculine, one of the trail blazers of conscious sexuality, I am learning a completely different approach to my sexuality. Accoring to Cates, tantra is dead. He knows the performance trap men get into around sex. Cates’ view is that once we plug into our own bodies from a relaxed place, we can experience sex as new, fresh, cosmic, and sustainable.

    Answer: No difference from Deida: Breathe, relax, connect. What’s the problem? I don’t think Deida says “be in your head” and your guy says “breathe” and that’s the big revolution. Deida would agree with you that Tantra is dead, as is any codification of anything. Let’s not “confuse the finger pointing at the moon for the moon itself,” to paraphrase Sheng Yen.

    Statement: I imagine other men and women are teaching a new approach to sexuality. It’s time. Sex is a labyrinth of possibilities. Finding the right guide can make the dance feel a whole lot more doable and sustainable.

    Answer: I suspect you’re trying to invite people to your teacher’s or your nascient practice through this not-so-veiled invitation.

    Statement: Let’s not be complacent about our sex lives, but let’s also be realistic. Sex is yet another vehicle, a mirror, and a path to the love we long for. What realistic steps are you taking to enhance and deepen your sex life?

    Answer: I’m not sure what “realistic” means. If you’re equating that with a “middle path” and offering your present teacher as someone who may be representing that, or that your experience as a parent presents you with more of that – that doesn’t mean it’s the “opposite” of Deida’s spectrum. It’s simply using words to describe a kind of space.

    In the meantime, I hope you’ll offer more light on this subject that you’re obviously passionate about.

    • Jayson October 11, 2010 at 10:30 am - Reply

      Ian,

      great comments and challenges back to me. Thank you! I'll write more about what I stand for as time goes by. I'm in a place of deconstruction and death/dying. Letting go of what no longer serves. I'm just talking about how Deida's work no longer serves me and others.

  10. EivindFS October 8, 2010 at 12:51 am - Reply

    As I said on Facebook, I like your post, Jayson. And I think that most of what you're speaking about here is about misinterpreting Deida. I see in the comments here that the misinterpretations are huge and myriad. I have never been to a Deida workshop, but I have been involved in an online community focusing on his work for one year and I have translated TWOTSM to Norwegian.

    I have observed a few things: First, a heck of a lot of people think they're practicing 3rd stage when they are actually practicing first stage. This is okay, but a huge misinterpretation. I have found in my own personal life that as a domesticated man, it has been useful to tap into some first stage from time to time, as a way of integrating. But it's not first stage.

    What is going on is mostly not a fault of Deida's. I have understood how frustrated he is that nobody really gets what he is trying to say. What is going on with his followers, I believe, is that they leave the therapeutic modality completely when they find Deida's teachings. David keeps reiterating that he doesn't do therapy. He does sexual yoga. With sexual yoga, you can shift your state quickly. But therapy takes a lifetime.

    What we all really need to focus on is an integrated practice. I translated the book over the three years I was with my now ex, and partly thanks to that work, our relationship went ever deeper. I would leave an encounter with her totally bewildered, only to go home and translate and go “is THAT what happened?” and then have my whole reorient to being responsible. It really served me.

    My experience thus conflicts with your experience, which may be due to the fact that the two of us didn't live together. I'm not sure.

    In throwing away a teacher who has served us, we throw away parts of ourselves. The most common mistake we do with teachers is project all the answers onto them and when we find out they didn't have all the answers, we figure they had none, so we take all of our investment back. That is INCREDIBLY damaging to our spiritual growth. I'm sure you're not recommending that. I'm simply stating my experience.

    The biggest problem we have in our culture around sexuality is, I believe, shame. Deida doesn't address that very well. Many people thus build a Deida-based relationship on top of mountains of shame. All that shame disconnects us from our core essence and with no contact with that essence, Deida just becomes a headtrip. So I think this is maybe Deida's biggest mistake – underestimating the level of shame people carry.

    Deida is still relevant, though. Extremely so. You just need to be responsible in how you apply what he is trying to teach.

    Eivind F S,
    http://www.masculinity-movies.com

  11. Audrey October 10, 2010 at 1:28 pm - Reply

    “Okay, so I have to find a purpose. If I don’t know that I’m supposed to make that my purpose. If I breathe the right way and get in my masculine trustable power, then she will surrender to me. I am supposed to handle her shit storms even if they are abusive. And most importantly, “I’m supposed to fuck her open to God.” Bottom line? I’m supposed to “act masculine” like David Deida says.”

    From my experience, I think it pretty much boils down to how conscious each person is in the relationship

    …. “shit storms even if they are abusive” ??? … Yikes! …

    “I’m supposed to fuck her open to God.” …. Whoa … “Supposed to” ??? …

    There is a way deeper way of being in relationship than what either of these comments suggest. Daivd Deida is not to blame for men and women not yet being at that depth of Beingness and relating. Here's giving men and women great big, neon pointers, though …

    “Sadly, many tantra folks and sexually curious people begin to think what Deida teaches is the norm. Then, when they realize the approach is very challenging to stay with longer than a few months, they begin to think they are doing something wrong, not trying hard enough, and the self-doubt slowly creeps in.”

    Again, blaming the messenger! David's giving us pointers … direction … go THIS way …

    “they realize the approach is very challenging to stay with longer than a few months,…” ???

    Clearly these people are not yet ready for this level of opening to God with a partner. Why not just say that? YET, if both partners are conscious, why could they not ebb and flow with the practices? When you HIT the wall with the practices … What, you just give up? Its too hard? HELLO! …. Deepen! … Retreat inside and retrieve, heal and integrate the inner child (oh ya … inner child … wanna bet?) awaiting your attention.

    “I’m a spiritual dude and have done some serious work on myself. It ain’t happening like that for me in my life. Let’s get real people. Very few of us have mind-blowing sex for years and years on end.”

    Point No. 1: So wouldn't you like to be one of the ones who IS having mind-blowing sex for years and years on end?

    Point No. 2: It sounds like 'mind-blowing sex for years and years on end' has been made the goal and is the expectation. To me it's the by-product. The deepening to my Self, to Life, to Love, to God is the goal … and I find that in that state of mind and heart, sex is more than I ever imagined it could be.

    “It provokes our deepest wounds and also has the potential to allow us to feel the most cosmic connection on the planet. Factor in children, stress from work, long days, emotional triggers etc,”

    Our deepest wounds are to be opened to … inner child aspects to be re-collected …

    “Sex is a crucible.”

    “Crucible” – a severe, searching test or trial

    Sex may be a crucible but if it is approached with a sense of … impeccability … Knowing it's something you chose to be your testing ground … your way into Mastery … then its ALL about you, and NOT about your teachers … its all about how you approach it … how you work with your triggers and walls.

    “Without knowing it, Deida’s work has put men in a double bind. On the one hand, men are supposed to show up fully present and it is their responsibility to “open” their woman.”

    “supposed to show up fully present” … 'supposed to'? … Isn't this what YOU want to for yourself to begin with? Why blame her?

    “… it is their responsibility to “open” their women” … Whoa! Head talk! Head approach. When one is coming from their Heart, from a place of 'desire' to open to and take in the Feminine, this is not a chore.

    “On the other hand, if they decide to become real, truthful, and relax into “being” they face getting blamed wimpy, feminine, or called out (in their men’s group or by their woman) for not being man enough.”

    If this is your natural state of being then just acknowledge you embody a more 'Feminine' essence, and find yourself a woman who embodies a more 'Masculine' one – Consciously. Alternatively, acknowledge your ebb and flow of Feminine Beingness and Masculine doingness. Again, it's all about YOU. CLAIM … Know your Self!

    “Nevertheless, pretty soon and innocently enough, readers of Deida begin to “perform” to get the technique right. These men, believe, like I did, that if I just “do it right” she will surrender just like the book says. Some of these men don’t have a spiritual practice nor do they want to start one. That would be more “work” a man has to do. For some men, it’s just another self-improvement project that you must master to get the love and sexual intimacy you long for.”

    Honestly, you can only experience to the level of Consciousness you embody. Seems to me the entire point of David's work is being missed … TOTALLY … if men think they don't have to do the deep inner work to EXPERIENCE 'the love and sexual intimacy they long for'. David, again, offers pointers, which men will follow or not. If the goal is purely great, technical sex conducted from the head … men have missed the point entirely … return to 'Start'.

    “I’m noticing the calcification that has happened around Deida and his teachings that have me bored, disinterested and wanting to do triage on couples and male Deida-bots everywhere”

    I'd offer that perhaps YOU have reached a Wall … calcification of the Heart, perhaps … bored, disinterested … wanting to fix others … Go inside, instead, would be my advice to you. Find the Wall, find the aspect that can't respond … who is calcified … who can no longer feel … do triage there.

    Oh, good … sounds like you are … doing self-triage.

    I still wouldn't trash David Deida. He comes from a very masculine approach. Sounds like David Cates comes from a more feminine approach … which sounds like it suits you better.

    That's all.

    Blessings

  12. Marj October 11, 2010 at 12:55 pm - Reply

    Wow, Jayson. I've been following you ever since I caught a (Global Teleclass?) call with you and Tripp Lanier about a year ago. I applaud your courage and tenacity in reinventing yourself and speaking so candidly about it. Thank you. You and other sexuality/relationship/intimacy teachers, male and female, have sent me into the deepest, most confronting inquiry of self and man/woman dynamics, and it's been a lifesaver, really. Which is why I want to put on others' radar a lesser-known thinker/writer in this conversation. I'm going to sound like his handler, but I'm just a girl grateful for his contribution to me and to the bigger field.

    I'm guessing you've already discovered Robert Augustus Masters (Tripp interviewed him on the NewMan Podcast), but just in case: I think Masters is extending the conversation in ways that Deida doesn't, or hasn't yet. Masters' most recent, exceptionally timely books are “Transformation Through Intimacy: The Journey Toward Mature Monogamy” and “Spiritual Bypassing: When Spirituality Disconnects Us from What Really Matters.” He visits Boulder several times a year, training practitioners in his psycho-spiritual bodywork method, and also serving folks in private healing sessions and group workshops.When he's in Boulder next, November 5-20, he'll be giving a free preview of his work (TBD), and he's doing a presentation and signing of his “Spiritual Bypassing” book at Boulder Book Store on Wednesday, Nov. 16, at 7:30 PM. Grrrreat stuff, too, in the archived newsletters at his website, http://www.robertmasters.com.

    Thanks again for your truth-telling, Jayson.

    • Jayson October 11, 2010 at 9:59 pm - Reply

      Marj,

      Thank you. Yes, I appreciate Robert A Masters. Great stuff. Have seen him speak on monogamy as a spiritual path. Awesome. Will note that he is in town soon. Thx

  13. Rich Okeeffe October 12, 2010 at 5:27 pm - Reply

    One aspect that you sort of touch on, but don't really hit, is the very nature of spiritual, healing, and transformative work. At its core, any work of the Deida nature has an inherent problem. When they exist as a question that is sought into, often times powerful and profound movement is made in life. When it morphs into the “right thing to do” or the correct way to be, the power of it is lost.

    Spiritual and transformative works exist most powerfully in the inquiry and in the being of it. As soon as that seeking is stopped, so goes the power of it. For that matter, religion is similar. When it is a journey about my relationship with God, it has power and magic in it. When it becomes something that is the right thing for everyone or the correct answer for me, it is game over.

    Sadly, most people seem to stop the inquiry as soon as they find the right answer. Until it runs out of juice then they go find another right answer.

    This has been my experience in every transformational endeavor I have undertaken – Landmark, Sterling HAI, Insight, Deida, MOL, yada, yada, yada. I find it particularly true for the work that has tons and tons of multi-variate cultural things going on – sex, money, men/women, etc. There are so many factors at play in those conversations……….

  14. Listen October 13, 2010 at 2:59 am - Reply

    Jayson.

    Me again.

    I want to offer my perspective, which is that Deida's work, in an subtle and ugly fashion, is unhealthy and cruel toward women (and, by extension, men).

    In an ideal world, perhaps, his approach might work. In our present imbalanced culture, I find his utter disregard for the female burden of sexism both disrespectful and irresponsible. In my view, the reason Deida's approach doesn't work over the long term is precisely for this reason–a relationship cannot ignore the broader culture in which its two constituents live, and Deida's nondual approach to sexuality amounts, essentially, to a spiritual bypass of the cultural issues that our embodied selves remain crushed inside, and which must be worked through at a different level entirely than the one at which Deida's naive tantra lives.

    The initial thrill he offers might work temporarily, but neither you nor I can live in that state forever, and without an accompanying (or preceding) effort to address systemic sexism, his methods will only end up perpetuating the patriarchy–an exhausting prospect for men and women both.

    I'd not be quite so hasty to praise the man just yet.

  15. JoshuaGribschawBeck October 13, 2010 at 10:02 pm - Reply

    Perhaps men who are no longer interested or attracted to what David Deida has to offer and are interested in what Gaddis and Cates are putting together fit the more “balanced” model that David Deida describes in his books. He suggests most men are masculine in their core but that there are a few who are more balanced with the energies consistently.

    This would allow for the masses of men who are more “masculine” or masculine but it conditioned out of them to be served by Deida's work and for the other more balanced men to benefit from Deida work for a time or a bit but also from a Gaddis and Cates product or service.

    I see myself a bit more balanced and fit in at about 65/35% Masculine/Fem (with a plus/minus 5 pts in either direction) :O) I still find Deida relevant to me and I love much of what Jayson offers too.

  16. Ryan October 20, 2010 at 3:08 pm - Reply

    Thanks for your comments Jayson. The call with David Cates has shifted my thinking. I have noticed as I read Deida, I feel this pressure to “be more masculine” and it doesn't feel good. I really value my masculine and feminine qualities in myself but I also want to be attractive to women and respected by men. I don't really agree with Deida idea that most of us have a masculine or feminine essence but I would say that most of us identify with one or the other. I don't like the either/ or feeling; I think I can be more fully masculine and more fully feminine without having to hold back any part of my natural expression. What do you think Jayson? I am interested in how your self-understanding has evolved in working with David Cates, and I look forward to this series of calls.

    Ryan

  17. Commander Mcjeff October 25, 2010 at 8:26 am - Reply

    I'm currently reading “Sex at Dawn”, and one thing that strikes me about both Jayson and Deida's writings is that there seems to be an assumption of long-term, committed monogamy as the natural and desired state for all of us. (By the way, I've read and worked with Superior Man, and it is beneficial)
    Yes, we will all benefit from understanding who we are in our gender, and by understanding male/female dynamics. However, it seems to me that perhaps some of the assertions made assume that the natural state for men and women is that long-term committed monogamous relationship.
    I don't think we are wired that way…and while that type of relationship might be our ideal that we aspire to, our wiring creates a lot of conflict.
    Deida touches on this here and there in Superior Man, and mentions that one must work in the context of one's culture.
    I say we should work to change our culture and its assumptions and structure.
    Maybe then we can all act more authentically.
    Of course, whether it's Jayson, Deida, Cates, or Ryan & Jetha (the couple that authored Sex At Dawn), the most important thing to remember is to think for yourself….

    • Imogen May 6, 2012 at 2:14 am - Reply

      I am a woman, and having given control of my life to my masculine aspect for so long, I’ve burnt out, and have been rediscovering, reclaiming, and sincerely enjoying giving my feminine aspect prominence in my life.

      I mention this because as my monogamous man and I have discovered, when I am freely shifting as I happen to do frequently (without the immaturity and outbursts- my masculine aspect brought about a lot of emotional steadiness to me in general, and I am a peaceful person overall), my man and I experience a sort of non-monogamy within our monogamous relationship. I naturally present as many different “faces” of me, which gives him great variety, keeps him guessing a bit, but still sure of my loyalty and desire for him. I am “every woman” in a way, and he gets a thrill out of this shifting me, all of which is truly me, not an act.

      It is a mistake in western culture, having emphasized the masculine stability over the feminine shifting, to have presumed that this shifting is the same as deceit, or falseness, or insecurity. I am none of those, yet I shift, and he gets every woman. His non-monogamous tendencies are fulfilled by this without me doing anything but honouring my own way of being, because this all just happens naturally. The variety of dynamics between us, throughout our time together, is nearly infinite.

      I have a preference for monogamy personally, and I have been delighted to discover that the (presumed) variety of non-monogamy can exist within monogamy. I think that the variety that you mention is absolutely healthy and germane to human nature, and until my man and I began this leg of our journeys of self-discovery, I was perplexed by how this all works (having five children together begs the question of how the desire for that variety is possible or beneficial- with additional people, that is), but we get it now. It does work, but honesty to and knowing oneself are obviously the most crucial aspects of learning and growing into a genuinely fulfilling monogamous relationship.

  18. Owen Marcus October 29, 2010 at 7:49 am - Reply

    Jason I agree that there is a lot of power in what Deida says and I agree his teachings can become a trap for men and women. He has opened up men’s work with his taking men out of the model of ‘being sensitive’. We needed that.

    I wonder how much the attachment to his model is him or is our need to be in the box of a model. Over the last 35 years I have seen myself and thousands of my clients look for the next model. May be it is my upbringing as a Catholic that has me looking for the next model to attach myself to. I know my Catholic upbringing taught me to spot double-binds. I agree as with so many models, Deida can evolve to be a double bind.

    As you know all too well, as men we have no instinct model of masculinity in our culture. Our dads, schools and work environments models of being a man are limiting. It is as if we have a nutritional deficiency we are attempting to fill. Yet I do see as we evolve our masculinity our models are less restrictive and more empowering.

    I had a similar response to my introduction to Deida – he is full of shit, wow, I get it, others need to get it and ok – what is next. I ask new men to read his Superior Man when they join our groups, in part because I know Deida will push their buttons. Also it helps to bring up questions about focusing on being sensitive at any cost.

    Like you Jason, I default to the more organic approaches to being a man. Certainly in relating to women sex is a key. My training in Sacred Sex wasn’t so much teaching me techniques as it was teaching me to open up to being fully present. Isn’t that ultimately what we all want? I am not there, but I do have a focus on what I want.

    Thank you for opening up the box of being a Superior Man. It is fun building a new model of masculinity with the work others have done before us. As much as I see the limits of what went before us, I feel great appreciation for what men like Deida have given us.

  19. Arbiter April 13, 2011 at 10:15 am - Reply

    It's really hard to find a balance between over-generalization and over-specificness.

    It seems to me . . . that the discussion here has erred on the over-specific side. So let me, please, suggest a simple correction to that:

    ** I myself think that 99.99% of the problems that people have with Deida stem from their own interpretation and practise of his teaching. That would include: their own self-evaluation of how suitable they are to practise the teaching AT ALL (not just when and how and to what extent and etc . . .).

    ** But there is also a high-level underpinning for Deida's work . . . that IS open to question: the polarity (Yin/Yang) paradigm of reality (and corresponding Feminine/Masculine microcosm of it). I personally think this paradigm is not as sophisticated as a Multiplicity/Unity paradigm. If true, that ultimately makes a difference.

    I suspect, however, that very few people realize Deida's paradigm so deeply . . . that they ever hit up against those ultimate limits. (As analogy: think of the difference between Newtonian and Einsteinian physics. It's only at the very extreme margin that Newtonian physics is not a completely adequate account. It's only at that point that it's clear that Newtonian physics is just a limited subset of Einsteinian physics . . .).

  20. Indian Drama Serials June 10, 2011 at 1:15 am - Reply

    WOW! What an event. Deida is a real wealth of knowledge. Wish I could be there…

  21. Lace Heward-Thompson June 24, 2011 at 2:39 pm - Reply

    Sajit, I agree with you on the never ending self-improvement treadmill.  I have been, as of lately, in a practice of being with what IS.  I have a tendency to fall into depressive cycles, with deep feelings of doubt about everything! Lately, instead of pushing that away, I stay with it. I just hang out with that part of me. I really hate that part of myself, but it's one of the best parts of me! Even in my relationship with my husband of 6 years, my longest relationship yet, I have my doubts and past pains. Who doesn't!  The difference now for me is that I no longer need him to be anything. And, miraculously, I don't need to be anything for him. I'm able to let go and let it happen now naturally because I'm not continually self conscious about “doing it right” and being the “right person” for him or I.  In the moment, any moment, including sex, I have all this doubt and stress.  SO I just am with the doubt and stress. I just let it rest with me. I still act, and do my thang, but I let myself feel stressed and doubtful about it. I let it become me. And the mind doesn't like this! It doesn't like staying with one thing for very long! Especially when it's not given the freedom to constantly BECOME!! That's the whole purpose of the mind is to continually BECOME SOMETHING.  But when you surrender to what IS, your no longer becoming but just BEING. And it's very freeing. So, now when having sex, I'm free to do whatever and however the hell I want because I'm free to feel whatever I want.  I don't have to be anything for anyone. Sometimes sex sucks, and it's just what it is… sucky. I'm with that. Instead of analyzing it to death, I just let it be sucky!! I feel this peace and surrender, and then move on. No my analysis! No more discussions, no more change. CHANGE IS AN ILLUSION!  And, now that I made being with what is my practice, ya, I still think my husband is a looser and an asshole sometimes, but so what!? Those are just thoughts. Thoughts are just going to keep happening. We can't stop them. It's impossible. But so what?! Who gives a crap what I THINK. The bottom line is I don't need him to change anymore so I can “Open” or become anything! He can be whatever I THINK he is, and also I can be with what I am FEELING in the moment I'm thinking something about him. I recognize those are just thoughts, I'm with the feelings that come up with those thoughts, get on with my life, and get off the treadmill of the illusion that I am BECOME AND CHANGING.  And the treadmill of HE NEEDS TO BE DIFFERENT!  We are divine just as we are. Weaknesses, wimpyness, assholeishness, lonerville, bitchiness, and psychopathy… it is all divine. I FEEL IT ALL! I FEEL IT ALL!! MY WINGS ARE WIDE! I TURN INSIDE! Anyway- great discussions! I like it! Being with that one too! :)

  22. Octavian September 24, 2011 at 11:06 am - Reply

    yeah, I can relate to what you’re saying. I also was big into Deida’s teaching a few years ago.

    But then I started Osho groups, primal therapy, Tantra, Meditations… and everything started to settle for me. I;m more centered, more present, more meditative with each passing day. I;m more in touch with my inner world, that focused only on the techniques.

    I guess everybody has their own unique way of evolving. Now, when I listen Deida, it feels a lot different. I can say that growing thrugh experience changes you. But only listening to him, you’ll remain the same, the only thing is that you acumulate more stuff in your head…

  23. Patrick February 18, 2012 at 9:21 pm - Reply

    The part of this blog post that I appreciate the most is about the author’s journey, the authenticity and candor is refreshing.

    However, the interpretation of Deida’s work given here seems to be seriously distorted – and not of service to people considering delving into Deida’s work.

    After having read 4 of his books and attending a 3-day workshop, I would say that his most important messages are definitely NOT about mind-blowing sex and and performance (for example, check out his book “Blue Truth”). That some people are arriving at his workshops with that as THEIR focus, though, is their issue. I could see how many of his teachings would shift that focus.

    Instead, I think his teachings for men to look more deeply at their masculine essence is hugely important. And I don’t think his message is as simple as “be more masculine”. I would be more along the lines of “explore the ART of masculinity”. His teachings around the 3rd stage of masculinity are quite profound, much deeper than mere messages of sexual performance, they seem to me to be about deep self-actualization.

    People who find Deida’s teachings rigid may want to take a look at whether they are the ones applying his teachings too rigidly. Because as I’ve heard Deida say many times, his teachings are not a dogma to be believed, they are something to experiment with. And that his teachings about the 3 stages are a teaching tool, not something to analyze your life through moment by moment.

    • Jayson February 20, 2012 at 4:49 pm - Reply

      Thanks Patrick. You are most right on bro. My beef with Deida certainly was coming from how I worked with his teachings. Seems like you were trying to speak to me directly there. The proof is in his students. Who are they and what are they like relationally? Thanks for the solid reminders from your experience.

  24. Mark Parbus November 1, 2012 at 1:30 pm - Reply

    The problem with the various disciplines is that people become disciples. They blindly accept and integrate things that may not fit them. I have read Deida and other writers. I take the tools that they offer, keep what fits and discard the rest.

  25. Sonia Funk December 9, 2012 at 10:28 am - Reply

    It seems to me that most have missed who Dieda is. He is a teacher, he teaches a class, he is a human with a perspective and beliefes – to assume his ‘class’ is the only one necessary for the degree in life/sexuality – and to think that he truly believes his class is all you need – is just another way of deflecting your own 100% responsibility for you own life and happiness. Or, if you like the 90/10 rule, which I do, make that 90%. and even if he does think he has the full answer, well that right there should tell that he doesn’t. that is basic intuition and if yours is a bit out of whack, then you’re probably the only one that can fix that. Why do we even need to criticize someone who’s work has helped to put us on such a wonderful path to discovery? shouldn’t we just think it’s beautiful that it took us this far and be grateful that we did indeed hit a wall with it, were taken a back and forced to re-evaluate? Is that not what teachers are truly for? is that not a beautiful gift? I read the superior man, at no point did I feel it was saying my femininity gave me the right to be abusive or careless. That is a choice that women who are looking for an excuse to be so, make to read into it. you cannot tell me it’s otherwise. I work with Tantra to help people understand their own and other’s personal boundaries and authentic relating, I KNOW this is what happens. If Christianity has been able to use the bible to justify all sorts of things throughout history, how would Deida’s writings be spared the same? Infact whose writings have ever been spared this? That’s the way it’s supposed to be or we’ll stop thinking for ourselves. Why not just say, Thank you David, for sharing your truth in a way that put me or helped me along the way to mine? Expecting him to have all the answers is as lame as religious followers who are disillusioned into thinking that their pastor/priest should have all the answers and then being disappointed that they don’t. it really is our condition as humans, we want someone else to do it for us. be they religious leaders, doctors, government, whatever. as another basic example, it isn’t any different than a person who becomes religiously vegan, feels better for a while and then a year or two down the road encounters immune system problems because they’re not getting enough protein. Is it really vegan-isms fault? I don’t think so. It is the fault of the person that was looking for the final answer to a problem and stopped listening to their body and soul and it’s ever changing needs for balance. It’s psychological and emotional laziness (aka. fear) – wanting someone/something/anything to tell you exactly how it is so you can grab hold of it and control your world with it – it’s the perfect way to do it because then you can blame them when things go off course. It’s hardly evolution though, is it?
    anyway, I am glad there was some recognition here that ‘parts’ of what he teaches are good, and I could be wrong, and I don’t mind if I am, but I still think the bigger picture was missed…

  26. Devin Horn April 5, 2013 at 9:05 pm - Reply

    I just found David Deida’s Blue Truth. Amazing for me just now with what I’ve gone through as a “single” dad over a three year pain storm of growth. All I can think when I read this article you wrote is that EVERYONE is responsible to be themselves. If you fell in a trap its there for you to learn from and get closer to you being your own being on the journey to total freedom (whatever that is!). Anyway, don’t believe everything you read. All the self-help searchers need to remember, everything is a con a little bit always!

  27. Heather Day April 14, 2013 at 1:54 pm - Reply

    Coming from the feminine side- and as someone who recently tried to read “Dear Lover”- I couldn’t agree more. Deida perpetuates the dichotomous masculine/feminine in a way that truly encourages performance. At times, “Dear Lover” verges on smut novel descriptions of vanilla sex- waiting to be “claimed” and moaning “please, please” as the woman waits for the man to enter her.

    I’m not sure I totally understand how this is helping us to truly open to one another. Yes, there needs to be a masculine and a feminine. But must the feminine always be the ravished, while the masculine is the ravisher? And must our conception of sexuality always be divided as such? The shock value descriptions belie the full potential of this work. Perhaps it makes it more accessible to the broader population, but I think we’re missing out on a big part of the conversation.

    I’d also, however, like to question your use of the word Tantra. I think in this context, you refer only to the more popularized concepts of tantric sexuality, and not the entirety of the philosophy and system of beliefs. In the fullest depths of tantra, sexuality is not any different from meditation is not any different from sharing a meal, because *everything* is sacred and *everything* is worship. The philosophy of total acceptance.

    So, I would beg to differ- Tantra is not dead. Tantra, in fact, is more important than ever. And yes- while we can certainly learn from Deida, I personally have put down “Dear Lover” in favor of learning more from this ancient teaching.

    • Jayson April 15, 2013 at 4:10 pm - Reply

      excellent points Heather! thanks for your input and reflections.

  28. Lily April 29, 2013 at 12:54 am - Reply

    Thank you for this article. I have a hard time finding anyone who is willing to intelligently challenge Deida in any respect. When I first read his book aimed at women trying to fix their men (out of curiosity- I was single at the time and a roommate gave it to me saying it saved her relationship) the message I got was, “Look, sweetie, your strident postmodern feminism is going to leave you barren and cold. Do you want to be with a man or a pussy? Oh, by the way. His ‘direction’ is always going to come first, and if you want his attention it’s up to you to melt into a pool of femininity on the couch every time he comes home, run your fingers through is hair, and stop trying to get him to talk about his feelings with you. Just talk about his ‘direction’ and be happy with all the masculine fucking you get as a result. He really isn’t ever going to care about your shit, and the highest calling you could hope for is to support him in his life purpose.”

    The tantra practitioners I meet in the Bay Area all have this black and white Deida-bot approach, and none of them are in committed relationships.
    In fact, they tend to firebomb their short, intense relationship within a few months.

    And yet, I get it. I do believe that the emasculation of New Agey 80 and 90 men needed to end, as you say. But I don’t think that coming around the back door and asking women to play second fiddle to a man’s mission in order to have a “balanced” relationship is the answer. In fact, it smacks of Catholic school relationship liturgy I grew up with and immediately triggered my WTF response.

    So thanks for the article. I know his work and his story offers value to some. It just makes me nervous that this so-called enlightenment requires me to let go of the psychology of Western feminism.

  29. mel June 25, 2013 at 6:44 pm - Reply

    Hi Jayson

    I enjoyed reading this blog even if I felt I was on the outside of much of the conversation ( I have never read David Deida). I identified most strongly with the words of Heather Day
    ‘In the fullest depths of tantra, sexuality is not any different from meditation is not any different from sharing a meal, because *everything* is sacred and *everything* is worship.”
    The greatest sex is spiritual and it is about total surrender.”Maleness” and “Femaleness” disappear(lose their separate identity)

  30. Dalkoiya August 26, 2013 at 6:58 pm - Reply

    I appreciate and celebrate this insightful view of being a man in relationship to a woman as it is very much my own.

    The union of two awakened beings in a devoted love partnership is a true odyssey into uncharted territory.

    Thank you for being a rare and welcomed reflection Jayson!

    Loving Kindness to you + your family!

    Dalkoiya Batchelor

  31. Mike d August 26, 2013 at 8:12 pm - Reply

    Having read “Superior Man” I can tell you that 50-% is great and the other 50% is filled with so much New Age pussy woo-woo it disgusts me. He gets it right in the first part; master yourself and Live your purpose 100% and you will live your life with power and honesty and nevf have to capitulate to a woman. And he gets this right; your woman w always test you directly and covertly. But where he fucks up badly is this notion that women are semi-divine avatars of the Universe. That they are dirties and oracles in th flesh. That they are due any kind of worship or pedistalization. This fucking tool gets it about half right, and should he ever decide to translate this book into everyday language free of his New Age gabble, men would flock to his seminars. Instead, he’s telling wussy yuppie bothers to be real men but only if it gains women’s permission.

    David, drop the swami role. Speak like a man. You’d do better, I know it.

    • Jayson August 27, 2013 at 9:08 am - Reply

      mike, while i appreciate your perspective, it’s shaming and blaming and keeps you in a certain stage developmentally.

  32. Sam August 27, 2013 at 8:04 am - Reply

    I just typed into google “what is the divine masculine? david deida” and came across this article… it is really hugely refreshing to read an alternative point of view to the one perpetuated by David Deida in his book “Dear Lover”. My first love was a very, highly sexed, masculine man… he could easily “ravish me open to god”, yet he failed to embody the balanced expression of everything else a woman needs for along term, sustainable, family oriented, relationship to survive… which is a man who is caring, considerate, loving, kind, thoughtful and respectful.

    In my experience it is not so easy to find a man (or woman) who is able to balance the two aspects – incredible, intense, ravishing sex – and long term stability. I know that for the long-term my second partner is the better choice for me… and yet the sex between us in not the way David Deida has described it ‘should’ be in an ideal partnership… (infact the first time round his book caused us to split up – though we are happily re-united now) after learning for myself that this new partner, although not the kind of lover David Deida describes men ‘should be’ …is a very loving and more sustainable male in the long term than the ravishing, intense kind of sex I had with the first partner – sex which quickly fizzled out after the chemical connection and lust died, leaving me with a very broken heart.

    I think love & sex may not what many couples believe it to be. True love transcends the glamour and intensity of the ravishing, lustful kind of connection David encourages women to seek, possibly at the detriment of dismissing a very good long term partner (as nearly happened with me and my love) and yet what he advocates is often only sustainable in short term interactions.

    At this stage in my life, I believe true love may not be a question of about whether a person is standing fully in their masculinity or femininity, or most evolved self …or whether they are able to live up to another persons ideals (as in David’s book “Dear Lover”) – but rather, whether they are simply stood in their authenticity & heart.

  33. Maya February 14, 2014 at 5:27 am - Reply

    I hope that these comments will serve to both balance some misunderstandings and also add to the conversation:

    Jayson, I appreciate that you named clearly, “the interpretation” of Deida’s work… After many years studying David’s work and studying with David, including being a trainer trainee at the one-time 3D intensive – here are some perspectives I came to:

    - David himself says, “If you’re looking for 2nd stage work, this is not it.” In other words, David’s deepest gift – as I received it – met those who *already* have/had a 2nd stage healthy we-space dynamic, which include all of the green-meme skills of authenticity with self and others, transparency, compassion, etc. David explicitly wanted to work in the development after that. In reality, however, many who were attracted to the work (at the time I frequented it) were not skilled in healthy 2nd stage we-space work. This left a strange kink in the community (in my opinion) – a bunch of folks trying to channel a higher developmental practice, without having the skills, insight or discernment that would come from a prior stage of development. Result: As a coach, I often found myself working with peers in the community to help with 2nd stage development skill-balancing and healing.

    - The map is not the territory. We live in a world of soundbites, 30 second commercials and 180 character texts to each other. As a result we can tend to “rush listen” for the “core message” and then think we “know” what another person is trying to convey. And, often, we can be dead wrong in our interpretations. I watched many of my colleagues in the Deida community take bits out of context, reduce bits to unliveable black-and-white gibberish, and misinterpret practices without the integration of a much larger conversation, and then promote the filtered understand as “David’s Truth”. I know we all have filters, and I too have mine, but I saw a fuller message than that. Just because someone claims that they understand the work doesn’t mean they actually do. In fact, in *any* spiritual community the masses will tend to a reduced understanding where only a handful will embody the core intended transmission. A simple example, my understanding of David’s work in it’s body is not about the sexuality – sex is merely the portal he uses so as to engage a much deeper, richer subtle-field dynamic and transpersonal conversation.

    - We humans will be better ‘listeners’ when we learn that everyone has shadow and developmental edges. David is no different, neither is Ken, Marshall, Joseph, or any other ‘teacher’. That means that – inevitably – despite best efforts – transmissions get twisted through the filter of developmental issues. If we audience members can dialogue respectfully and appreciatively about a teacher’s gift – while also being authentic with what we see of shadow and developmental limitations – we can take the gold of a teacher’s work and leave behind the limitations. That doesn’t mean throwing the baby out with the bathwater, no mas. It means realizing there are strengths to be utilized, and a context within which they are coherent. It means “right action” for those teachings, as well as recognizing that there is also a context within which the teachings – or our interpretations – are incomplete. I hope my distinction about David’s 2nd stage commentary will inform us – as his audience – to hold the value of David’s gift as well as we acknowledge the limitations.

    In my experience of David, ultimately his invitation was about breaking free of a certain set of limitations and opening energies in areas our culture did not (and still does not) cultivate in healthy ways. He cultivates cross-style archetypal integration toward Self (capital S self) awakening. He activates energy channels and integrates body, mind, and spirit in practice. He gave me and others an opportunity to meet HIS teacher – a spiritual journey that informed my relationship to Grace and enriched my life. He also calls in an opportunity for choice where we can be blinded by societal norms. He plays the instruments of Art, Big Heart, Big Mind, Spirituality and Play as an orchestra few teachers know how to handle. He applies those instruments to something so fundamental with such mastery that people mistake the object as the subject. In all of that mastery, his work is an unparalleled gift (in my opinion).

    AND – there’s a “healthy we-space” conversation to be had that was not his gift to give.

    Thank you, Jayson, for the ways your work enriches a healthy we-space in relationship and in community.

    Blessings,
    Maya

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