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David Deida's gender archetypes
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A friend of mine posted a link to a series of Youtube videos containing a "Spirit Sex Love" workshop by David Deida. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5IZrkMZyEWY (part 1 of 12)

It's interesting stuff, though I have mixed feelings about it.

He brings in a good bit of religion, but I find I can get past that by replacing "open to God" with "open to the Universe".

Where I have more issue is that he is very much pushing a one-size-fits-all application of gender roles. I will say that his masculine and feminine archetypes are very useful concepts, and it seems that a lot of the people in the audience weren't in touch with their primary masculine/feminine sides. I certainly could have gained a lot from seeing this when I was 16.

However, I think the polar extremes of gender roles should be viewed more as archetypes, raw materials for exploring different aspects of identity. As roles they are more useful in the bedroom and less useful in overall relationship dynamics. In my experience I find women more interesting if they have some of the masculine archetype (ambition, focused consciousness, drive) mixed in with primarily feminine traits. Women without a focused passion of their own are simply not as interesting. However, for me women do also need to have enough of the feminine archetype mixed in (especially visually) or I find myself less attracted to them.

To be fair, he does bring up that fact that most people do have a mix of archetypical masculine traits and archetypical feminine traits, but his solution to everyone's problem is that they're not sufficiently in touch with their primary side.  He also goes so far as to almost explicitly state that the man's goals need to be the sole driving force of the relationship, which I don't agree with.  This may work for a lot of people, but it's not my style.  I like a little more well-roundedness from both parties in the relationship.

Separately, his techniques for exposing people are effective, but are performed with such ruthless efficiency that they're a little reminiscent of a cult leader.  

Don't let any of this stop you from watching the videos though -- they are quite interesting.  

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In the end, I think of it as to some degree a false dichotomy, like some of the Myers-Briggs categories. You can be both an introvert and an extrovert, or good at both sensing and intuiting.  I want to be able to fully channel masculine energy, but also be able to provide feminine energy as well.  There's nothing wrong with being goal-seeking *and* radiant.  

I know some of you are big fans of Deida, and I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on this.  

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I haven't watched the videos, and I know only as much about any of this as you've described here. And I'm pretty sleep deprived right now. But my first reaction is that discovering that "masculine" and "feminine" are significant archetypes is rather old news. I assume there's more to it than that, but it's hard to imagine anything one could say that isn't retreading very old ground.

I think what's new about it is the set of methods he uses to get people to quickly embody those archetypes when it's out of their comfort zones.

He may not have conveyed it well in the videos (I haven't watched them), but part of his philosophy is that one's natural/primary "gender role" need not correlate with their biological gender, i.e. you can have a biological male who operates with primarily feminine energy.

He also asserts that in such a case, this person would best meet their needs by (a) understanding that their primary energy is feminine, and (b) seeking out a mate (female if they're straight, male if they're gay) whose primary energy is masculine.

I only watched the first one (I just couldn't get any further than that - it was way too woo woo for me) but, yeah, you're right, that is definitely not conveyed at least in that one.

Even so, the idea that one HAS to be one or the other is troublesome to me. I think there are aspects of my personality that are quite masculine. There are other aspects that are fairly feminine. I strive for balance and it seems like that's a good method (though maybe not the only one) to become a complete person on my own, which he seems to think is a good thing.

That's a good point. He does also discuss the concept that it's not a black-or-white thing, that individuals can have a "natural" gender role that's on a continuous spectrum between masculine and feminine, including people who are pretty balanced.

I've had similar thoughts about Deida, but was very very impressed the time I saw him live.

He intentionally turns up the masculine / feminine contrast - way up. But I think he still allows for a continuum, and people being a bit of both at once. He just doesn't let you hide in the grey areas in his workshops.

And yeah, ruthless efficiency. Wow. Especially seen live.

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