On Menopause and MenOr Sex and the Pity 

What is it about men that wants to make them hit at every possible female. By possible, I mean, every potential mate. Do they have to mate so desperately? What drives them so hard that they have to make an ass of themselves? I mean, can’t they figure out when the potential female is not interested? I can understand the pressure of hormones and all that, which incidentally never loses its hold on these poor creatures till death do them part, and can even feel a motherly patience with bad manners, but has civilization had no effect at teaching them to camouflage the original intent? Sigh.

I am 50 and I am menopausal. I like men’s company; I like their wit, their sense of power over the world, their instinctive understanding of the games that men play for achieving power and status in society. As I grow older, some men even share their confidences with me, they expose their vulnerabilities in a natural manner and I feel deeply flattered. Although sometimes it makes me wonder, have I become a matron so soon? You see I have grown up with two brothers, and have brought up two sons; I get along well with men and feel comfortable chatting and sharing my thoughts with them. But, and here is the catch, often, they end up thinking that I am available, loveable, mate-able, whatever.

Then comes the painfully boring part. They start going all woozy; sure, they do cover up their intent, so as not to be seen as a 20 something eager kid, but the menopausal eye can pierce through the thin veiled attempts at camouflage.

What makes the camouflage so thin? The assumption that what he is feeling is what I am also feeling. The assumption that a male has to make several hit attempts for the woman to relent. Mind you, it happens naturally, as though an unconscious switch is flicked somewhere for the hit behaviour to flow smoothly, no premeditated designs, no direct hits, no awareness of the thinness of the camouflage, just a predictable dumbing down of  active minds.

Lets take a look at the types I have encountered, I am sure there are more out there and I am determined to fall in love with the guy with the most innovative approach.

The sensitive, earnest approach  Pours heart out, gets a sympathetic hearing, feels well received in contrast to feeling bullied by the demands of the modern woman, falls in love, believes that this is the love that one searches for all one’s life, wants to raise you to a pedestal.

The insensitive blustering approach – Boasts about conquests at work and play, chants me-me-me, does the dinner-gift- seeyasoon routine, expects the woman to go along and enjoy everything that occurs to him, sizes up all the women that pass by, describes you as ‘yummy’ dish, and bull dozes his way into your life.

The smart alec types  – Hopelessly pretentious, insecure, hormonally overwhelmed, wears the thinnest veil because of  the prescribed moves, thinks he is a compliment to the woman, expects immediate reward.

The older man – Appears cool and distant, non chalant even, feels it is beneath his dignity and stature to acknowledge that he is attracted, becomes defensively superior and patronizing, cynical even, uses his knowledge of women to gauge you all the time, gets driven up a wall and desperate when he can’t.

The younger man – adores you flatteringly, hovers around, sends anonymous mails, nervous of rejection, complains of not receiving attention, tires.

The indiscriminate type – makes quick direct hits, intentions clear, no nonsense, one direct question, Moves on. 

The rejected guy – Anger seething underneath, craves attention, wants more, feels it is his right to take all now, says one thing and does the opposite.

It’s almost always all about them and their thoughts and feelings. No attempts at relating are ever made, its about feeling attracted, getting even more attracted because you don’t seem to respond, getting pent up, followed by a feeling of sour grapes. When you do not respond, they think you are frigid, arrogant, cynical, playing hard to get. It does not occur to them that you may actually not be attracted to them, that they have barked up the wrong tree and wagged their tails at the wrong bitch,  that you have been polite and understanding of what they are feeling instead of putting them in place.

Because this occurrence is repetitive, you begin to wonder whether you are frigid after all, a Victorian prig? But passionate tales of the past do not affirm that. It can only be menopause. Your hormones drive you up a wall – swinging moods, sagging body parts, aches and pains, puffy face, bloated everything else. They make a last ditch attempt at driving you crazy before leaving you forever. Their onslaught reaches a feverish pitch making the monthly swings a pygmy in comparison.

But, beneath it all, there slowly grows a freedom, freedom from having to conform, freedom from wanting male attention, freedom from sex, freedom from social niceties.

When I was a teenager, reveling in the swell of hormones and craving for male company and attention, I overheard my aunts bitching about their husbands. I was horrified at their irreverence for their master and gods who satiated their bodies’ needs. I can relate to that irreverence now, it was born out of this freedom from the hegemony of hormones. You don’t seem to need sex anymore. You can turn your head at an attractive man without feeling slavish. You can stare any man straight into his eyes and watch him go weak in the knees. You have the power and freedom to be just yourself – fat, thin, ugly, beautiful, free, heaven be damned!

Have you ever craved an ice cream, when you were little, and desperately prayed to god to grant you one? Would you long so much for an ice cream any more? Exactly! That’s how it feels. All these days of your life you have felt vulnerable when you needed a sex fix, and dreamed of steamy passionate scenes in the arms of a handsome hero who knew exactly what you wanted and gave it generously. Not any more, you just don’t need it. Poof! No more longings, passion feels like child’s play. You feel ever so much lighter, so much more in charge, your steps turn to strides.

And so, with my light strides, I move powerfully, like Durga or Kaali after killing the demons, while the sad male of the species, get all twisted by the dubious surge of manliness and power in their groins, eternally doomed to be taken for a ride by their hormones.

Sri Aurobindo had coined the word Integral Spirituality, I thought that noone really took notice, neither the world’s philosophers nor the world’s psychologists. I could not understand what Sri Aurobindo said, couched as it was in very demanding English. I got glimpses of what he propounded through the Mother’s writings. some of it made sense, as it confirmed my belief in the deep connection between psychology and Eastern/Indian philosophy. So it was very rewarding to find that Ken wilber has taken the lead from Sri Aurobindo and has proposed a new theory that blends psychology and spirituality, both the eastern and western thoughts. Reading about his theory is difficult, as he sprinkles his writings with generous references to studies and texts written by researchers in psychology and spiritual teachings; but he has obviously taken a lot of pains to explain the integrality of things through the waves, structures, lines concept. I had often wondered how someone can be so deeply spiritual and yet involve himself in sexual misdemeanours or how someone could be illiterate and unexposed to the world and its ways but yet be wise about human nature and be compassionate with people. Wilber’s theory seems to answer why. his theory is expounded in http://wilber.shambhala.com/html/books/psych_model/psych_model1.cfm/

Do write your thoughts if and when you come by this blog

Been reading about Integral Spirituality being propagated by the Philosopher Ken Wilber www.integralinstitute.org and found it interesting in the way Wilber attempts to bridge the eastern and the western spiritual traditions, metaphysics, science, religion, et al. Aurobindo started it first and has writen a lot about Integral philosophy. It was strange how I stumbled upon the California Institute of Integral Studies www.ciis.edu  and found that it was started by Haridas, a disciple of Aurobindo. Seems that Wilber was associated deeply with the institute intially although ho no longer is. fortunately, the ISB www.isb.edu library obliged me in getting the magazine ‘What is enlightenment’ www.wie.org .  This magazine was fascinating, it had a number of articles and an interview with Wilber by the editor Andrew Cohen. it deals with today’s or educated people’s quest for spirituality. 

hmm, i have been deeply impressed by Alan Watts’s writing, found in his writings an explanation of eastern philosphy which the teachings of all the swamis i had heard did not give, he brought home indian philosophy and made it relevant. seems like he too had been deeply associated with the CIIS and led it for quite a while. my attraction to pondicheri added to all this makes me think that i am looking for this east west blend, perhaps explains the deep influence that chinmaya mission and geetha lectures have had as well as the ‘convent’ education and its western education styles. but then these are all words, words, and words. what am i looking for?

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