Tami Simon: Welcome to Insights at the Edge, produced by Sounds True. My name’s Tami Simon, I’m the founder of Sounds True, and I’d love to take a moment to introduce you to the new Sounds True Foundation. The Sounds True Foundation is dedicated to creating a wiser and kinder world by making transformational education widely available. We want everyone to have access to transformational tools such as mindfulness, emotional awareness, and self-compassion, regardless of financial, social, or physical challenges. The Sounds True Foundation is a nonprofit dedicated to providing these transformational tools to communities in need, including at-risk youth, prisoners, veterans, and those in developing countries. If you’d like to learn more or feel inspired to become a supporter, please visit soundstruefoundation.org.
You’re listening to Insights at the Edge. Today, my guest is David Deida. David is a bestselling and provocative author that continues to revolutionize the way that people grow spiritually and sexually. His 10 books are published in more than 25 languages, and David is regularly included in the Watkins Review Spiritual 100 list designating the most spiritually influential people worldwide. With Sounds True, David has published numerous books over the years, including one of our all-time bestsellers, The Way of the Superior Man, which is now available in a special 20th anniversary edition with a new foreword by David.
He’s also the author of Dear Lover, Blue Truth, The Enlightened Sex Manual, and more. David Deida is interested in how consciousness and light are polarities that call to be experienced in union. This is not about gender or sexual orientation, but about how we can choose to grow in the yogic art of intimacy. If you’re interested in experiencing conscious light in two bodies at the same time, here’s my conversation with David Deida. Welcome, David, to Insights at the Edge. Thank you so much for taking the time for this conversation.
David Deida: Hi Tami, thank you.
TS: Sounds True has been distributing your books and specifically the book, The Way of the Superior Man—we started distributing that book 20 years ago. And for the last 20 years, it has shown up as one of the bestselling titles year after year after year. And I wanted to start our conversation by asking you, what do you think is the special magic in the book The Way of the Superior Man.
DD: Special magic, that’s an interesting word. I don’t know what the special magic is. I think it resonates—first of all, more women buy it than men. And so I think it resonates with a dimension of what people consider the masculine. I think gender-wise, things have changed a lot since I wrote that book, but the principles are completely universal and timeless, so they can always be applied to the time. So since mostly women purchase the book, they’re resonating with it, they often give it to their man. I think that it speaks to a deeper part of the masculine and it has nothing to do with macho or being tough or strong or anything like that. And what it’s really about is sourcing into the depth of consciousness. So, these days there are quite a few well-known, excellent teachers of consciousness, people who orient our attention to who we are, the self, the being of the deepest part of our heart.
And when we go into that depth to recognize that or relax with that depth, immediately there’s a deep silence, a deep stillness, timeless, unchanging—doesn’t even capture the depth of its immense timelessness. That’s what I call the masculine. That’s what I call the masculine. Not any particular behaviors necessarily, or the way someone looks, but when a beam tilts toward the recognition of who they are as deep consciousness, that’s what I call the masculine tendency. And if nothing arises, there is nothing, there’s just consciousness, perhaps like deep sleep as an analogy. But as soon as something happens, that means there’s motion. What would be silent motionless peace of conscious being begins to vibrate. It doesn’t even begin to vibrate. It’s always vibrating. So it vibrates and that vibration, that change, that energy, that modulation, that dance, that fluctuation is what I call the feminine.
So everything, all modulations of consciousness, all experiences, all sensations, whether you’re dreaming, whether you’re awake in this moment, in any moment you are in—everything you perceive is this motion-filled vibration of energy, of life, of living this differentiation, fullness. Now, all of us, men and women of any gender, it’s totally gender-free. And I’m really happy, finally, that culture has caught up with that. Whatever—it’s not even human. It can be in a dream appearing as a bird or something, but the more you identify with that stillness in any moment with the witness, the conscious being part of this moment—it’s not really part, of course, but that aspect of this moment—that’s a masculine tilt and one’s body becomes still and peaceful and one’s mind becomes clear and you become very present. It has an immediate effect in the human body.
Now, if one’s interest or orientation tilts toward, not even toward, as the vibrations, as the dance—if you feel yourself not as I am consciousness, but I am conscious light, I am light, I am the light of love, I am the conscious light of love, but it has a fulgent feeling, that light, it is a vibration. It’s the nature of change of motion. So when any being is more tilting toward or interested in or identified with the light or energy aspect of this moment, we can call this moment conscious light. If we tilt toward the consciousness, that’s the masculine tilt. If we tilt toward the light, it’s the feminine tilt. And when any being tilts toward the light, their body becomes animated. It does not become still. Their emotions do not go to peacefulness. Their body does not feel the stillness. When one tilts or allows oneself to identify with the feminine, the force of the cosmos moves through us, or our hands and feet.
Our facial expressions, our emotions, our breath, they all become aligned with everything. The seasons, the moon, cosmic forces, unseen forces. It’s immense and unexplainable. As a whole, kind of analyzable, but it is everything. That’s everything, the entire universe. That feminine is all power, all light. And so what The Way of the Superior Man, in the book, although I didn’t want to go into that kind of spiritual depth in the book, but the book is based on that recognition. And so it’s showing whoever’s reading the book that if they allow themselves to know who they are is consciousness, and then incarnate that into the body sexually—and that doesn’t necessarily mean sexual intercourse, but in the sexual play of polarity. Because what we discover is that if somebody tilts toward, let’s say, the masculine, that stillness, if somebody deeply feels, “I am consciousness, I am silent, peaceful being at my deepest core,” they will inevitably sexually attract someone who feels that they’re living blooming light passion at their core.
And those two that make up the full moment of—the silent aspect of the moment, that conscious aspect and the fulgent light aspect. And so in a relationship, not all relationships need this, but this is what I write about The Way of the Superior Man, if you allow yourself to incarnate without fear, grounded in your deepest consciousness, if you allow yourself to incarnate that depth of silent presence, the power of consciousness itself, you will attract the partner who is the dance of the universe, whose body, mind, and emotions are as open to the cosmic flow of life force as you are relaxed as consciousness. And so you will get a spontaneous, alive partner who reveals the divine through his or her life or their life as you reveal the divine through your depth, your silence, your peacefulness of your being.
So, I think that that depth, although I didn’t explicate it like that in the book, comes through. And so people read it of all kinds. I mean, it’s all kinds of people read it and go, “Yes, I’ve had this intuition that this is what I want. This is the kind of partner I want, whether it’s the masculine side or the feminine side.” Though, again, not all people want that. Some people don’t enjoy that play of polarity and all of that, but that book was written specifically for the subset, and most of my books were specifically for the subset of people who really enjoy that play through human bodies. It doesn’t matter who plays which pole or if you change it up. So, if you enjoy playing those poles, that book, The Way of the Superior Man and also Dear Lover describe almost like a pure form—primary colors of energy with the masculine identity, with the feminine.
And if we got to it, I’d like to expand that way beyond those books also, because we could identify with the masculine or feminine in our physical body. And then our body shows those qualities of light or consciousness. We could identify with the masculine or feminine in our emotional body, in which case our emotions are more light-like. Or we could identify spiritually with the masculine or feminine. So if we identify spiritually with the masculine, then we call home that infinite eternal present consciousness. But if we identify with the feminine, we call home the ongoing or eternal flow of love of … There are no words for these things, but we identify with the fullness, with the flow.
TS: There’s a lot in what you’ve already said. And I want to just ask a couple of questions and see if I understand some things and also go a little further. It’s clear to me that as you’re talking about these essences—a masculine, essence or a feminine essence—that it’s gender-free. And also it doesn’t matter if it’s a heterosexual or a same-sex relationship. I get that. Now, when you started talking about how you could change it up, that got interesting to me. And also when you start talking about, you could be masculine or feminine at the level of the physical body, the emotional body, the spiritual body in different ways, now it’s starting to get pretty complex. So, I wonder if you could say more about that. I think most people would say, “I pretty much identify as masculine or I pretty much identify as feminine,” but you’re saying no, there’s actually a lot more complexity to it.
DD: Yes. Well, it’s not that … Yes, there is complexity, it’s not exactly complex. I don’t know what the word I would use. Interesting perhaps. We’re multi-dimensional beings obviously. And let’s just look at the physical part first, the part of what we identify as, like in the waking state, we identify with the waking state body. So you could kind of look down and in your experience, you see a body and it acts a certain way. And then you could look at your partner, your sexual partner, again, this doesn’t apply to everybody, but I’m talking about the subset of people who enjoy polarized relationships. So you would look at your partner’s body, in their experience, and their body would look and move and act a certain way. So at the physical level, the way what I just described falls out is that the masculine-identified body tends to be symmetrical, upright, aligned with gravity like the Buddha’s body, very still, very, very still, and some extremely masculine-identified people, they almost totally disregard their body, it just becomes like a lump.
But even highly yogic masculine bodies tend to be like Buddha bodies or full of stillness. They’re sexually attracted in polarity to bodies that move, that dance, that—the way they walk. So a masculine body sitting there in stillness beholding a feminine body, connected to the forces of the universe, connected to the ocean, and their body feeling the beauty of that immense force that is the feminine body—like you said, it could be any gender—they’re continuous with that force, that’s sexiness at the body level. And vice versa. If you identify with the feminine, if you look down and you see a body in motion and the curves and fullness, and it doesn’t like to sit still for long periods of time and so forth. Then what you tend to be attracted to at the physical level, if you’re into polarity, is a body that’s very present—that’s not really fidgety, that’s not really full of emotion, that’s not really squirrelly, whose spine is not waving. So that’s the physical level. And most people understand that they like a certain kind of presence in the body that they can depend on in the masculine or a certain kind of spontaneous flow of beauty in the feminine body.
But now let’s go to the emotional level, perhaps. I mean, there’s many levels we can go to. The mental level might even be a better way. So, at the mental level, if you are identified mentally with the masculine, then everything is in a kind of grid. If you say, “I’ll meet you at four o’clock tomorrow,” in your reality, there really is a four o’clock tomorrow. It’s on the grid: tomorrow, four o’clock. And if you identify with the feminine mind, your mind understands what four o’clock tomorrow means, but it’s not on a grid. It’s more like on an ocean. And I have a much more feminine mind than a masculine mind, for instance. So, I could almost never give a grid-like answer. It just kind of flows creatively. Now, I have a masculine emotional identity and other identities. So, I could kind of meet that within myself. And we can get to that later, how we could do the sexual practices within ourselves. But at the mental level, one partner will tend to have a grid-like mind A, B, C, D, E, not A, B, C, orange, pecan. And the feminine mind, again, it’s much more connected to non-grid-like flows. There’s an intelligence to the feminine mind. Well, there’s a specific intelligence to each one that’s useful in different occasions, but the intelligence of the feminine mind is much more connected to elemental flows, to non-linear, non-verbal, non-rigid things. We can come back to that.
But what happens in an intimacy is the person with the masculine mind would say, “Well, didn’t we agree yesterday that we were going to do blankeddy blank today?” And the person with the feminine will go, “Yes,” but because their mind doesn’t … That results in all kinds of things at the mental level. Now it could be that you have a masculine-identified body and a feminine-identified mind. I have that, for instance. So, my partner, I’ll be sexually attracted to people who have feminine-identified bodies and masculine-identified minds. They’ll be much more organized than me. They’ll be able to keep a calendar better than me. If you look at their drawers, they’ll be more organized than me.
So let’s take it a little farther. So the emotional level, the masculine emotions are like good and bad. Masculine emotions are just basically functional. Like, “How are you?” “I’m OK. I’m not great. I’m getting by.” Feminine emotions, again, are kaleidoscopic, really connected to such diversity and multiplicity that even just asking someone who has feminine emotions, again, any gender asking someone who has a feminine emotional identity, “How are you feeling?”—just as they speak, it changes the emotion. As the words are coming out of their mouth, the emotion changes because they’re speaking about it. And so if a feminine person were to say how they felt it would change immediately. So, it’s very difficult for a feminine person to pin down how they feel. For a masculine-identified person, it’s very simple. “Look, I feel angry. I’m good. I’m fine.”
But to me, the most interesting, because of the time it is, is at the spiritual level or the identity of light and consciousness, because there are a lot of people practicing practices now. And if you have a masculine identity at that level, then consciousness practices are going to resume with you. They’re going to be feel like home. It’ll be self-authenticatingly true that I am consciousness. If you have a feminine identity at that spiritual level, it is obviously true that I am light. Now, of course we are conscious light. There’s no difference, but I’m talking about that sexual polarity again. So if you will, specifically, people who start going to a lot of ayuhuasca ceremonies and use a lot of cannabis and things that are highly feminizing mentally, emotionally, and especially spiritually, then their partners would have to go to the silent side. And so there’s a lot of functional things you can start working with from this where, even at the spiritual level, where one partner accesses their depth or who they are or what the nature of existence is through “I am consciousness” or “I am silence.” And the other partner finds that kind of boring or just not interesting. Yes, they know that they can see their consciousness, but they’re moved by love. They are moved by a force. They are moved, they are motion. It’s not even that they moved, they are the dancing incarnation of love on Earth. So, there are polarities at every level.
So someone like me, I tend to have a highly feminine mind, but a more masculine body and a more masculine, emotional disposition and more masculine, spiritual disposition. I prefer to just live in silence, but that means my partner, a sexual partner, if they happen to resonate with me at all those levels, and not always does your partner resonate with you at all those levels in polarity, and then you have conflict. But if they did kind of connect with me in polarity at all those levels, they would spiritually be identified as light. They would emotionally be identified as that complex … It’s hard to put words on it, the fulgence of emotions. They would be mentally identified with a flow state as opposed to a grid state. They’d be physically … Excuse me, they’d be identified with the grids because they would be masculine in their mind to match my feminine mind. And then their body would be more in motion than mine, then my body would tend towards stillness. Meaning literally during sex or at any time, my body would want to just kind of be still and their body would kind of want to move. That’s almost for every level.
TS: Now, I get this, David, I think as a kind of, if you will, typology of masculine and feminine tilt in these different aspects of our being and how that would help me know and talk about a matching typology that would be complementary to me, bring out the best in me, turn me on the most if I was interested in polarity. Yes, I’d want the polar compliment. I get that. Now, if I’m just a person working within myself, identifying where I have more of a masculine tilt or a feminine tilt in each of these different areas, how does that help me? How does that help me evolve as an individual?
DD: Well, there’s several ways, but I wouldn’t make that jump so quickly. To me, this is a tool specifically to be used in polarized relationship. So, everything we’ve been talking about is like screwdrivers use for screws, nail-cutters used for nails.
TS: No, that’s good. That’s helpful. It helps me understand it.
DD: So, I would say that these tools are not built for that, but they could be applied to that. So if you’re asking me to apply it, I could, but it’s not native.
TS: Let’s stick with this tool for this polarized charge in relationships. And now I’m going to have to come forward with this. You and I have talked about this before, David, and you’re very straight ahead in The Way of the Superior Man book, you write that about 10 percent of the population are people that you would call neutrals, who have a neutral sexual essence, are not going for this charge of polarity. And I think I fit that category, and if your numbers are right—and that’s one of my questions is where did you get this number? Then approximately 10 percent of our listeners also fall into this category. So, I wanted to hear a little bit more about that, just so the people who are listening who may be our neutrals can keep that in mind and relax with it.
DD: OK. Wow, there’s a lot in there I can respond to. So first of all, the book was written of course more than 20 years ago. That was my personal experience. Although, my background is as a scientist, that this is not a scientific test from a large sample. This is clinical/anecdotal, my personal experience from more than 20 years ago. These days it’s more complex because so many people now have loosened their various fixed identities that that tends neutralize people. It tends to balance people. So I would say it’s a higher percentage these days of people who—it doesn’t matter that much to play in polarity, or they like to play in polarity near the balanced part. So, there’s a lot in there we could go into but let’s start at the top. Some people will thrive. I’m just going to talk about the spiritual level of this. So you’re an individual. It would be OK whether you felt like sitting and being being, meaning you identify with the masculine at that level as an individual. It would also be OK if you hated that. So there’s a lot of people, for instance, for whom the idea of sitting on a cushion, facing a wall or some version of that for an hour in silence, is excruciating. There’s nothing in there that … So, those kinds of people shouldn’t feel guilty. They may dance. Now, a balanced person just means a person who’s near the center of it, that they could possibly do both. Now, how do I say this? Everyone can benefit from, let’s say, sacred dance, which is a feminine practice and sitting in silence being, which is a masculine practice. Knowing where you are on that spectrum just helps you to relax with the, kind of, percentage.
I’m making this up, of course, are you going to spend 80 percent of your time in a spiritual practice in silent meditation and then 20 percent of your time in sacred dance? Is that what’s going to most fully develop you as a spiritual being? You don’t have to. And again, if you had a partner, probably very different, but if we’re not talking about partners now, that would be one way to use this to develop as a being. And if you were more balanced, you would probably do both sides fairly equally. So, if you strongly prefer one or the other, then you’re not balanced at that level. And we can go down through each level. So as an individual, how it would matter where you identify? Do you want to pick one or do you want to guide this for me so I know what to address?
TS: Well, I think what I’m actually asking inside myself is this knowledge can help me, as you say, it’s a tool for polarized relationships. So, it can help me understand the charge that I feel, the sexual charge in a relationship.
DD: Or the repulsion or the frustration or the boredom.
TS: And how to pick a partner that would be a good match for me. So I get that.
DD: Or how to play the yoga in partnerships, so both of you are getting the fullness of the relationship. Yes, how to play that?
TS: So how to play that yoga—I’m interested in understanding more about that. That’s not clear to me yet. And I think that would be helpful. I’m trying to understand how to apply this in a way such that the person is going to grow. They’re really going to grow as a person by applying this model in their relationships.
DD: Well, to me, growing … To answer that question, I need to tease apart a few other things I think, but—
TS: Yes, go for it. It’s all yours, David.
DD: Well, no, no, no, we only have a limited period of time, and I really want to address what you feel would be the most useful for people. But to me, growing as a person means that you’re fully in the moment, authentic with yourself, not resisting the moment, embracing everything as it comes up, working with it but without resistance, fully expressing yourself. There are many dimensions to grow in as a person, and that again is not my … There’s a lot of people who teach that. So, growing as a person is super important but [inaudible 00:31:06]. But growing as a person is very specific. To grow as a person, you time things a certain way so you can heal.
There’s different forms of growth. One form of growth is healing. And you could ask like, “How can you use this to heal, to grow through healing?” And again, I would say, well, healing is a specific function. It requires care and patience, things heal at their own rate. You can’t rush them. It takes a lot of space and respect that the vibration, the arena for healing, well, like a hospital. But just, it’s very safe. It’s very caring. It’s very supportive to heal. That again, is not what the emphasis of this work is.
And another form of growth would be growing in an art form or in a yoga. So, a sexual yoga, for instance, or a sexual art or painting or music. And to grow, let’s say whatever, as a dancer, you do not play it safe. You specifically press your boundaries. So, to grow in your art form, whether it’s your sexual art or as a writer, whatever you consider you want to grow in as an artist or as a practitioner, there are times where you completely just go at an easy pace, but there are also times to specifically grow where you’re working against old patterns. It takes effort. It takes work. Sometimes, it helps to have someone to really push you, whereas to heal, you don’t want anyone pushing you. You want someone supporting you. That’s a totally different arena, different vibe. And again, that then if we said like, “How do you apply these principles to sexual yoga or the yoga of intimacy?”
Then it’s not exactly growing as a person but it’s growing in the art of intimacy and you can become very good in an art and still not be healed, right? So, we can come back to that in a second. There’s a whole ‘nother category of growth, which people call spiritual growth, I guess. Then the way I separate that from the second category of yoga growth or art growth. And to me, spiritual growth is in this present moment, recognizing its perfection. I am conscious light and that takes no time at all. It takes practice to stabilize that recognition, especially under stress. But that recognition is not really growth, especially if you make that recognition in the future, a growth thing of it, you miss it.
TS: I think this is good. You’re making some really important distinctions. That’s helpful. And I’m interested for this conversation, if it’s OK to grow in the art of intimacy, the yogic path of growth—how we can use this model you’ve laid out of masculine and feminine essences in different forms of expression, in different parts of us. How do we grow in the art of intimacy using this model?
DD: Well, it would depend on … Again, none of this is systemic, and especially with my mind, it’s all applied to a very specific situations. So, if a couple came to me in intimacy, let’s say, and one partner said, “I would like to go farther, deeper in this intimacy, but I don’t trust fully this partner, or I don’t feel he or she—I don’t feel they’re here with me.” So, then we would dive into that and these tools come to work immediately because most masculine-identified people would think that they’re present when they feel presence. So, when a masculine person feels themselves as consciousness, they think other people feel them as sexually present, but that’s not true.
So by learning how a feminine-identified body requires a masculine-identified body to display that natural consciousness, learning that as an art, not just like from childhood, like plop, like this is how you’d be a sexual partner from porn or whatever people learn from. But how do you allow consciousness to articulate through your body sexually? Conversely, how do you allow the force of light to articulate through your body sexually? Now, when you start doing that, and sexually, again, I don’t necessarily mean intercourse, I just it could be at the dinner table. It could be sitting on the couch together. Just a big part of it is the physical body is usually where people start.
And so if your throat, for instance, is constricted, if your heart is constricted, your belly’s constricted, the first thing to do would be to completely relax that central channel, the soft parts of your body, down the front, your tongue, your throat, your heart, your belly, your solar plexus and your genitals. And if people practice enough, that their body is responsive enough, soft enough, alive enough, not clamped down in that area, and sometimes that takes some work to open up. But when the body’s open like that, there are very specific exercises you could do, for instance, to bring the depth of masculine consciousness. Doesn’t get into your bodily gender. Doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter what genitals you have, or even if you have genitals or if you’re dreaming, but you can bring the depth of that consciousness through the physical body.
Of course, you could do this at a business meeting. You could do this at other times too. And there are uses for that, but you could bring it through the physical body in a way that your partner receives it as—they feel it is present. They feel it is trustworthy. You’ve done it as an art. It takes practice. You have to do something over and over because you, by tendency, do it through habits. Often through past traumas, we express our sexuality. So, there are artful ways of using your fingers, artful ways of using your tongue. But it all is emerging from a softened, responsive core of your body, your throat, your heart, your solar plexus, your belly. These are your anatomical regions. You might’ve had your stomach removed, hysterectomy, but that doesn’t matter. We’re talking about just the central part of your body, the central part of your physical being.
It can transmit, if you’re aware of it, masculine, feminine transmissions. If you’re not aware of that masculine-feminine difference, then you skillessly just plop sexuality and love through your body. Like, willy nilly, this is the way I ended up from my parents, so it comes up this way. But rather than that, and that’s what all the books are about in detail, you can practice specific practices that allow the clarity of these forces to come through. And that’s how you grow in intimacy. Instead of just sitting there going, “This isn’t working.” Pretty much every chapter in The Way of the Superior Man and Dear Lover describes specific ways of doing these things. Now, if you wanted to give me an imaginary specific situation, I could apply it.
TS: OK. So, you did a good job of explaining how a feminine-essence-identified person can reach out for her masculine-identified partner and say, “Where are you? I can’t find you.” But now let’s turn the tables, David. We have someone who’s masculine identified and says, “My feminine-identified partner is always in my face, always wants something from me. Just won’t give me the space that I need.” How would you coach that feminine-identified person to learn from this model? What tools can you give the feminine identified human?
DD: OK. In this case, first of all, I would work with the masculine-identified human because he shouldn’t be with somebody if he feels that way. If it’s a he, I’m saying that if it’s a masculine-identified person, they shouldn’t be with somebody if they’re masculine identified, unless they choose to be. And we could come back to that. So let me ask you to be clear, just so I’m clear what you’re asking so we can focus on it. Are you saying, so this masculine-identified person feels, with their partners in their face, lots of energy all over, too much. They can’t deal with it. Who’s my client in this moment, the masculine person or the feminine?
TS: The feminine-identified person is your client in this moment.
DD: And so she’s saying—I’m going to say she because it’s easier for me to remember that we’re feminine-identified instead of going through the dyslexic thing—but she’s saying something like, “I can’t, he complains all the time.” He again, not necessarily he. “My partner complains all the time that I have too much energy. I’m too intense. He wants me to stop talking. He wants me to talk less. He needs more space. What’s all that about?” And I would tell her that the masculine is identified with emptiness, is identified with space. Home base is space. So, the first thing is to allow her, again, their masculine-identified partner to deeply get space.
I don’t know what that means for that person. We’d go into that. But does that mean to sit alone in a room intensively for 15 minutes. And maybe they never put down their phone for 15 minutes, so they never get that space. So, she could support him—again not gender-wise—the feminine partner can support the masculine partner to have deep silent space, to soak in that, to revitalize their masculine battery in that deep silence. That’s one thing. Now, another possibility is that … We have to be careful here because it can be understood differently. The feminine person, the feminine-identified being, her genius—as we were talking about earlier—is the yoga of expressing life force. In this case a love life force light through the body, in the case of intimacy. And so how she, again, not necessarily … How she walks into the room, literally walks in the angle of her hips, the relaxation of her diaphragm, the tilt of her neck, the sound that comes through or just a moan, “Ooh” as she walked into the room. Those are the things that a masculine-identified person responds to.
So, a masculine-identified being finds almost any interaction irritating. That’s a very strong statement, but to be specific, masculine-identified people find the motion of attention to be stressful. So when they have to move their attention from one thing to another, from this to their partner, for instance, from the iPhone to their partner, from the book to their partner, from nothingness, sitting in meditation to their partner, that motion of attention, there’s almost a pain in it to the masculine. It’s just like to move attention, to not just simply let consciousness be. That motion of attention is almost inherently unattractive to a masculine partner. So the feminine partner doesn’t understand that because the feminine partner, her body lights up in the motion of attention, in that play of attention, her body is light itself. Light is that which is seen.
So it’s energy, it’s motion itself. So the motion of attention turns on the feminine body. So the feminine body walks in the room, again, let’s say she for simplicity, the feminine body walks with the room and she’s all filled with energy. And she feels it as joy. She feels it as happiness. She feels it as love. And the masculine person would say like, “Oh Jesus, how long is this going to take? How long will this be?” And he—again, not necessarily— moves his attention up and look at her. Yes, she’s beautiful. But Jesus Christ enough, enough, enough. Now, if the feminine partner understood that, that that’s inherent to the masculine-identified person, that she might walk into the room differently as an art form. Rather than expressing her inherent happiness, which is a very healthy thing to do a lot of the time, maybe most of the time, but when you do art, when you sit down at the piano, you don’t bake a cake, you focus on an art.
So if the art in that moment is intimacy, which is what we were talking about, the art of intimacy, the yoga of intimacy, then she would walk into that room specifically modulating—and by that I mean artfully, lovingly, sensitively, with practice though—modulating her conductivity of the energy. Her tilt of her pelvis, the angle of her diaphragm, the relaxation in her throat, in eyes or fingertips or toes, they would all be articulating the elegance of beauty of life force itself. And that has a specific grace, a specific beauty that is divine and a masculine partner would not find that irritating and overwhelming. A masculine partner, if they were equally as developed would be in awe of that. If she came to me and said, “He’s complaining, I’m overwhelming.” And it’s like, “Great, he’s sensitive to your energy.”
So first thing, make sure he sources his space, you know, depth, space, conscious being. That’s his home base. So, make sure he has that to do, but then if you want to, I’m speaking to her now, if you want to take responsibility for your side of the art form of the yoga, of the practice, then you would not necessarily express your normal happiness as you walked in the room like you would with a friend, but it’s not a friend. It’s a moment of art, you would artfully, skillfully allow love light to flow through your every part—your thighs, your fingertips, everything.
And the masculine partner pretty much could see her, would have a very different response to that energy. And so there’s all kinds of ways of applying this. And again, it works both ways. To come back to your previous question, if these were two more balanced people in intimacy, if it was two more balanced people in intimacy, they would, I’m going to use the word take turns, but I don’t mean formally. But there would be some times when one partner would be overwhelming the other in energy, if you will, and then it would reverse. And so it would be much more fluid, but the principles would be the same in the art form, if you will.
TS: Now, if you were to summarize for me, David, and this is a big question, but I think you can take it. The most important guiding principles if someone wants to grow in the yoga art of intimacy using this model that you’ve laid out, of the charge that’s inherent in polarity. What are the most important principles to grow in the art of yoga intimacy?
DD: Well, probably the most important would be to relax as who you are, as deeply as you’re able to relax, to be what you are, to relax as you are without adding anything or subtracting anything, just to simply be what you are. And then from that place to feel whether you tilted toward silence or tilted toward motion. And as you felt that you would practice in your body, the practices required from your body. Some of those practices would be yogic. Some would be therapeutic, some would be physical therapy, some would be anything.
You would practice the practices your body requires so that consciousness or the light of being would flow through your body with so much beauty, you could transmit to your intimate partners within seconds the depth of vulnerable love and trust that we’re all here to share with each other. So, I would know who you are by relaxing who you are. I would incarnate that through your body. I would do whatever processes you needed to do to incarnate that, which all the books are about, these are the basic principles, and then offer artfully through your body, specifically through that responsive central channel, but then through the whole body.
TS: Can you explain to our listeners what you mean specifically when you’re referring to the central channel and how that comes into play here, how we’re offering through our central channel?
DD: Sure. It’s easier for me, so I’ll address a feminine-identified-bodied person first. And you could remind me to do the other side if I forget, please, or however you’d like to go. But if I was incarnated and identified with a feminine body, and again, this could be a dream or a phase, I don’t know, but in this moment, if I’m identified with a feminine body and my partner is not connected to me in loving attention, and specifically if my partner breaks attention, then that creates pain in my body instantly. So my healthy feminine body would wince in pain in whatever specific way it does, but it would wince my diaphragm, it would wince. My belly, it would wince. Now, over a lifetime—especially with trauma and abuse, which for so many people is commonplace—we’ve been pummeled. Our central channel, meaning our genital region, our pelvic region, our belly or solar plexus or heart or throat, the whole columns.
If you imagine a column down the center of our body has become bent and rigid and tight and wounded, it’s very difficult for, for instance, a feminine body to spontaneously show the pain they feel when their partner isn’t present because their body can’t show it. Their body is hurt from the past. So, they would apply whatever they needed to do. And this isn’t about that, but they would get body work, they would do therapy, they would take trauma work. There’s all kinds of great work that people could apply depending on what they needed to do so that eventually, and sometimes it’s quite quick, but so that their throat, let’s just say to simplify it, let’s say your throat, your heart, and your pelvic region, and your genital region or your belly region, but your throat, your heart, and your belly are responsive.
Meaning when your masculine partner breaks presence, and as a feminine-bodied being, you feel that as pain, “Ah!” in your body. It spontaneously shows at your throat, “Ah!” And just as spontaneously lets it go. Because holding it is a sign of past trauma. So, your body would show a wince and then it would be free of the wince. Now, if you had a masculine partner who is roughly as developed as you in their awareness, they would notice that, they would see you wince, and they would realize they had just caused you pain. Now, it may take a week of that, a month of that—I don’t know, people have habits—until your partner realized that they were causing this pain every time they blank. But you wouldn’t have to mention it to them because your whole body would kind of lovingly, tenderly, vulnerably, responsibly express all of these feelings as they move through your body. They wouldn’t be held back. They wouldn’t be rigidified, they wouldn’t need to be verbally expressed or mentalized. They would just spontaneously be expressed and a masculine person can easily see that and deal with that. What they can’t usually deal with is the discussion part, for certain reasons. One way I would suggest, then, is that a feminine-body-identified being would do what practices they needed to so that their throat, their heart, and their pelvic region are transparent to—meaning they reflect, they conduct, like a musical instrument or like a dancer—they show the fluctuating feelings coming through the body that the tone of their voice, it’s not rigid or modulated like this, but it kind of reflects whatever they’re feeling. But so does the tilt of their pelvis. And so all of that becomes workable for a masculine being. Whereas if it’s hidden behind the inevitable wounds we all carry, if it’s not being expressed, it’s quite difficult to work with. That’s one example of a feminine-bodied person applying a practice to their central channels so it could express spontaneous feelings in a relationship, and then it grows.
TS: And then let’s shift to the masculine-identified being.
DD: And it’s at the same moment? Really I’m a very specific person when it comes to applying these. So he’s, I’m saying he meaning the masculine-identified person. What’s the moment?
TS: He’s also working with his central channel to grow in intimacy.
DD: Got it. Thank you. Most masculine-identified people live in what I had referred to earlier as a kind of grid. They’re not really in the physical dimension the same way as a feminine being is. So the very first thing for most masculine beings is to become aware they have a body and then to become … Let’s speed this up. They become aware of that central channel we’ve been talking about. And then again, they learn whatever they need to do to undo enough of the past hurt and trauma and tension so that they’re central to their throat, their heart, their genitals—could respond in the moment. And then the key for most masculine practitioners is connecting their central channel to their partner’s emotional flow or their partner’s central channel. If they’re both practicing that, so that most masculine people have never, I don’t know how to say this, felt inside the feminine.
They live in a more grid-like reality. They don’t understand what it feels like to live in that highly responsive ever-changing body. So by connecting their central channel, so I would specifically say for instance, to allow his throat to feel and kind of mirror in a way, even just internally her throat, his heart, her heart, or diaphragm, his belly, her belly, and then to use his practice, his breath, in whatever he would be practicing to connect with her and open her. Again, most people have never felt the masculine partner do this. They’ve never felt a masculine partner feel their subtler, emotional bodily state inside the other masculine body. Their masculine body is so disconnected usually, that’s a huge shift in connection. And then I would say for the masculine partner to connect that capacity, it might take months to do this, but then to connect that capacity to feel her, the feminine partner’s central channel with his central channel to actually kind of mirror them, to connect that to his identity with consciousness.
So, how deeply in that moment is his throat connected to the emptiness spaciousness of consciousness? How deeply is his diaphragm? Is heart connected or at one with or pervaded by the space of being of consciousness, or is it contracted? How deeply is his genital region or pelvic region, how deeply is this masculine identified being’s region connected to their conscious depths, their pervasion of being. And then their body transmits it to the feminine person’s body. And so the yoga of intimacy at depth is connecting two bodies in a way that transmits consciousness in light, or conscious light through two bodies instead of one.
And again, all of these practices can, and most usually are done within one body. But what we’re describing is how to make sex, which is usually just a mammalian trauma-fest, into an art form, a transcendental offering in the form of deep love and consciousness. And so a good first step is to open that central channel, the pelvic region, heart region, diaphragm region, throat region to the expression of your realization or relaxation as consciousness and the flow of love light as your body or through you.
TS: David, I just have one final question for you. I pulled a quote out from The Way of the Superior Man, and the quote is that, “Fear needs to become your friend.” And I wonder if you can speak to that. Somebody who was listening with us right to this point and says, “I’m excited to grow in this way, but I notice fear comes up for me. How does David suggest we grow in the yogic art of intimacy and make fear our friend?”
DD: Well, again, to differentiate therapeutic work from that yogic practice or art practice, again, therapy or healing takes patience. You don’t push someone, you don’t push yourself into fear when you’re healed. There’s a different thing. So we’re talking, I just want to be clear on that because I wouldn’t want-
TS: No, it’s important. It’s very important.
DD: Yes, very important. But if one is in the moment practicing the art form, not the healing aspect of things. But then fear or resistance is actually the sign that you’re at your edge. You’re at your … If you’re a dancer or a musician or something, and there’s something you just can’t quite do, it’s often because we haven’t pushed ourselves up, push is not even the right word. We haven’t explored beyond the comfort zone. So, there’s a little area just at the beginning of that that would be the fear kicks in. And by becoming your friend, what I mean is you don’t back away from the fear and go, “Yikes, no way. I’m not exploring that.” But also you don’t go, “Dang, I’m pushing through the fear.” You don’t push into it, you make friends with it.
You become intimate with the fear. You breathe with the fear, you soften your body with the fear, you go, “Fear, you’re showing me something here.” You read the fear, you take the fear as a display. It’s a self-display ultimately, of course. And so you’re showing to yourself that push pull right at the edge of where your consciousness is willing to explore, right at the edge of what you’re willing to metabolize into love. And so that edge of fear or resistance in the artful practice is one way to play that edge. I’m just referring to that quote. So, making friends with fear means softening. They’re not pushing too far, but also not staying way behind the fear. And that’s how you develop an art, not necessarily how you heal.
TS: It’s an important and good distinction. David, there’s so much we could talk about your work has evolved so much over the last two decades, and at the same time, it’s all there in the books. The books are still relevant, powerful, and yet underneath the surface so much more also to be discovered.
DD: Well, thank you. I hope people make use of them. Thank you, Tami.
TS: I’ve been speaking with David Deida. He is the author of the book, The Way of the Superior Man. Just a few years ago. We released a 20th anniversary edition of the book. It’s been translated into 20 languages. Also, Dear Lover: A Woman’s Guide to Men, Sex, and Love’s Deepest Bliss, my favorite book by David Deida, it’s called The Enlightened Sex Manual, and more. David also has a new online membership site. It’s deida.info if you want to learn more about that. And David, again, thank you for being a guest on Insights at the Edge.
DD: Thank you, Tami. Great to talk with you.
TS: Thank you for listening to Insights at the Edge. You can read a full transcript of today’s interview at soundstrue.com/podcast. And if you’re interested, hit the subscribe button in your podcast app. And also if you feel inspired, head to iTunes and leave Insights at the Edge a review. I love getting your feedback, being in connection with you, and learning how we can continue to evolve and improve our program. Working together, I believe we can create a kinder and wiser world. SoundsTrue.com: waking up the world.