Mothering men

What do men want, sexually and spiritually speaking? A somatic therapist draws on psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan, the Tao Te Ching and personal experience

waltzwithbashir3-300x1681The first in a two-part series by SMADAR DE LANGE — What is a man’s deepest longing?

Some believe the simplistic psychological answer: men are predisposed to merge with their primal mothers, to feel once again the ultimate fusion and primal dyad of mother and son.

Perhaps, in actuality, this longing is for a space in which they may feel absolute safety, sweetness, and bliss.

Our society’s development has translated that longing into a psychology of needing to merge with a woman, in general — as opposed to the biological mother, in specific. Some interpretations translated that longing into a practice of merging with the ultimate feminine nature.

To heal a wound with love

Many of us have been hurt, abandoned, or abused — we may even carry the wounds around with us. Sometimes an exchange with an “other” is the best way to truly go through the “growth and healing” process.

Being a woman, biologically, does not necessarily connect someone to her femininity. By the same token, a biological male is not incapable of being in touch with his feminine aspect.

But when an intimate relationship creates the exchange, there is a greater possibility for unconscious material to arise in the psychic process. But even this cannot, with certainty, lead to the desired meeting with the “ultimate feminine nature.”

So where does that nature reside? In listening to my girlfriends describe their experiences of delivering a child, I am able to sense one example of this ultimate nature: in their stories, birth is an empowering process. They experience themselves as a woman on an archetypal level and feel themselves as the source of life and death, and to the infinite.

(In the remarkable video below, a young woman travels from Russia to the Mediterranean — and experiences a natural childbirth in the sea.)

And women are not always aware of this magnificent force. As the psychoanalyst, Jacques Lacan, said ‘the woman’ does not need to be aware of her virtue as a ‘portal’ in order to be one.

To make love: a portal to the infinite

Making love can merge the intense experience of masculine and feminine into a vortex of infinite time shared by the couple. The energy flowing, breathing, and intention are feeding the space the couple share, allowing for complete synergy.


fanddiegosmallA telling pop culture reference is the connection of Frida Kahlo with Diego Rivera (pictured at left). Kahlo shared that her love for Rivera was as if he was part of her own cells.

The New Age paradigm many times uses the word Tantra as a label to describe such merging. However, that term has greater meaning than what the “California lifestyle” has to offer. The Dalai Lama, for example, is a Tantric monk, regardless of his celibacy.


To be a mother to men

Women often share that they mother men as an aspect of their adult relationship. I remember telling my lover that I feel him “in my womb.” This is another example demonstrating the relationship with the “other.” The space between the two of “us” can embody any manifestation of love.

In the Tao Te Ching, the complexity and simplicity of knowing “the one that cannot be named,” or “the absolute,” is always a feminine quality. In our modern era, Lacan, perceived “the woman” as the portal through which he could experience the “real.”

Part 2: Smadar explains how feminine and masculine impulses can be integrated

smadarSmadar is a gifted intuitive and somatic therapist who has 14 years of training in transpersonal psychology and spiritual advancement.  She is currently completing her doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology at Santa Barbara’s Pacifica Graduate Institute.

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3 Responses to “Mothering men”

  1. A thought provoking article Smadar!

    Two questions arise in my mind.

    1. How do gay people fit into this equation? Gay men are certainly not interested in merging sexually with women.

    2. Since both males and females have the beautiful experience of the sweet bliss of the womb, wouldn’t both genders be trying to recreate that experience, not just males?

    It seems dangerous to suppose certain behaviours, whether they be “masculine” or “feminine” based on our biological gender. For instance, people are always appalled when women are found out to have carried out horrible acts during war times, or to have murdered their children or husband. On the other hand, it’s still shocking in our society when a male wants to work as a daycare teacher.

    Maybe we need to stop dividing each other by labels like masculine and feminine and embrace a continuum of behaviour that people are capable of.

  2. I agree with Cyndi, in that this is a thought provoking article, and find her two questions well worth considering deeper.

    I am not certain about the actual motive in this article as it, apart from the first paragraph, came across to me to be primarily considering the (true, hidden, unknown) powers of the feminine nature from a woman’s point of view, as opposed to addressing the initial question, “what do men want”. (but i may not have gotten it
    As a (male) reader i had to do a bit of my own “mind bending”, in order to see the connecting thread, as well as the personal relevance the title had provoked in me. :)

    But apart from this well-meant critique, i launched myself into the reading experience with great interest and particularly enjoyed watching the vid from the aspect of sensing how i may react to the images shown.. (my immediate feelings: awe and admiration for the to-become mother’s meditatively focused and powerfully liberated attitude in the film, a little annoyance for the presence of the camera, deep joy & harmony seeing her play with the kid in the water, and tears of joy & amazement when she brought her own child to life …).

    My thoughts are, that what men want, sexually and spiritually speaking, might (to begin with) be better considered as two separate aspects.
    While the sexual aspect, notwithstanding its possibility for opening channels, which lead to dormant energies to achieve wholeness, seeks to primarily achieve a kind of short-haul fix – a temporary loss of inner equilibrium, the latter, always experienced simultaneously – rarely on a conscious level, often on the subconscious, would be the actual long-term goal to merge.
    I do believe that the wholeness (or merging) aspired during sex is not restricted to the primal motherhood, but rather extends to a complete oneness, though the mind might only be conscious of partial aspects of this oneness to be in need of fixing (e.g. peace of mind, feeling of belonging, joy, creativity, inner balance).
    Male’s lasting goal, which regards spirituality, isn’t any more about a unification with the female archetypes as it is about the unification with the inner child, the inner beast, the inner plant, earth, fire, air, and atoms, and is therefore equal to that of the woman – that of any living creature – the longing for absolute oneness.

    While i think it’s good practice to study these concepts, and at certain times during ones eternal quest also beneficial to remember them, there comes a time in everyone’s life when it is more beneficial to unlearn the importance of those labels, in order to actively and fully merge with our ultimate reality.
    Thus, labels (and their various small printed definitions) such as man, woman, father, mother, adult, child, birth, death, cast, rich, poor, etc. will naturally present themselves less as opposing (and therefore attracting) concepts in our minds (and therefore in our bodies, too), as we become ready to choose to identify ourselves more and more with the one.

    I thank you for the direction shaping morning you have provided me, by publishing your article.


  3. Sexual choice has nothing to do with the male soul’s longing to return to the womb, his origin. All is sexual. All was born from HER sexual organs.

    Women don’t need to recreate what they already embody. They ARE the womb/abyss.

    And this is not about BEHAVIORS based on sexual orientation. It is about the souls desire to reunite with its self or feminine half. “Masculine and Feminine” are words that describe two DIFFERENT operating PRINCIPALS. It is about more than gender.

    And what we need is to fully comprehend the principal that we are operating as and our relationship to the opposite of that principal before we can ever begin to comprehend oneness.

    Do you have a healthy relationship to women? If not, then you can’t understand, comprehend, embrace or even approach oneness. Especially when it resides within the divine feminine principal.