Norma Jean: Wimps and Ballbusters

Wimps and BallbustersCo-dependents Anonymous meetings are Þlled to the rafters with individuals insisting, "Dependency is lame!" But according to therapist David Deida, we have moved into the era of the "50/50 Relationship," based on equality between the sexes. This newer model is a positive step toward liberation from the dependence-inducing gender roles of the "old world economy" which clearly deÞned "the breadwinner" from the "homemaker," but sacriÞces the deÞned masculine and feminine roles that glued our grandmas and granddads together through "thick and thin." According to this model, men are stuck in a vague transition point between old models of "being a man" and the quest to nurture themselves. This confusion of identity has rendered many men ambiguous to the core, unable to be fully present and conÞdent in a relationship and in their lives. Women have had to mask the unique natural expressions of their femininity in order to succeed in a masculine-oriented economy. Women complain men are "wimps." Men conÞde that women are hardened in their insistence on independence, often describing them as "ballbusters" in business and relationship vacillating between "emotional wreck" and "warrior-like." What hell!These unplanned side effects of social and economic equality between the sexes has inadvertently made us more and more sexually neutralized, giving rise to the "bi-curious" we read about in the Personals. It's as if both sexes have to restrain the fullness of the masculine and feminine forces that lie within to be more balanced and self-responsible. There must be some difference between us, since most people know what kind of lover they want, (he-man or boy chick, submissive female, etc.), whether they be heterosexual, bisexual or homosexual.So where do we go from here? It is deÞnitely a drag in the passionless, lukewarm water of politically correct love.In his book Intimate Communion, Deida describes a place where each gender can give the gifts that lie deep within their sexual, emotional and spiritual core. He calls this "intimate communion," the next step beyond the safe arrangement of the 50/50 relationship. "The ultimate pleasure in intimacy cannot be found in any speciÞc person we can 'own.' acquire, or depend on. Neither is it to be found in a carefully arranged 50/50 relationship with a "safe" man or woman ..." Deida says. "Our sweetest pleasure would be to die to ourselves in love, allowing us to embrace the taboos of love that we secretly desire ... so that the depths of our ecstasy in union is no longer limited by the 'shoulds' and 'shouldn'ts' of our time."Don't give up; everyone loves the ecstatic embrace, lips and skin. There is hope for "tangled bodies, open hearts and enlightened minds" in the next stage of relationship evolution. But it takes guts and maybe a workshop or two with pioneers like David Deida. Onto graduate school,For more info. write: 6822 22nd Ave. N #142, Saint Petersburg, Fla. 33710, or call (813) 824-7840.

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