Letting go of who you think you should be and trading that in for who you want to be is the sexiest thing anyone can do.
That’s what feminism means to me, and here are five reasons I get a tingle in my loins around short-haired*, independent women.
* = not all feminists have short hair, and short haired women are not necessarily feminists
1. A Feminist Can Talk About Sex
One of the most important things women have reclaimed through feminism is ownership of their body.
Feminism encourages a woman to speak to what she wants, what she doesn’t want, and it shifts the narrative of sex from a woman being passively involved to being actively involved.
Last week I was with a woman who, despite me asking and sharing my own desires, wouldn’t clearly articulate what she wanted. I ended up having to ask multiple choice questions and although I was impressed at how creative I got, I would have preferred it if she was able to just say what she wanted instead of having me guess.
In my experience, the more a woman uses her voice and speaks up for what she wants and doesn’t want, the better sex will be.
2. A Feminist Gives Me Freedom
As a man, one of things that shuts me down is expectations.
I have a lot of great man skills and I’m happy to use them, but it’s a huge turn off when women simply expect me to be a certain way, or worse… get upset that I’m not living up to what they were told a man “should” do.
Some days I can carry the world on my shoulders, and some days I’d rather not. When a woman doesn’t see everything masculine as “my job” it gives me freedom to not only relax but to do those masculine tasks with joy and enthusiasm rather than expectation and obligation.
Feminists have deconstructed gender in a way that they can co-create a relationship based on how we want to show up within our gender roles, instead of how society expects us to.
3. A Feminist Knows What They Want
There’s nothing more frustrating for me as a man than being with a woman who won’t say what she wants, and I’m not just talking about sex.
Throughout history women have been told that they should defer to what a man wants, so when I ask a question like “where do you want to go for dinner” it’s normal for a woman to just say “I don’t know” and expect me to take the lead.
Feminists have rejected the notion that a woman should act this way. It’s such a relief when I meet a woman that has a strong opinion. It makes my job as a man easier and it makes it more likely that we will be able to create win-win situations.
Am I saying a woman always needs to have an opinion? Of course not. Should men also offer their opinion? Absolutely. Even the response “I’d like you to decide” shows a level of agency that gives me the feeling that she is coming from a place of choice rather than fear.
4. A Feminist Finds Strength in Other Women
I believe one of the things we are sorely missing in today’s relationships are people besides our romantic partner that we can count on for love and support when we need it the most.
Feminism reminds women that sourcing all your needs from one man isn’t a good idea, and as a result women have looked to each other for support.
Feminism and sisterhood go hand in hand.
For me, that’s essential in a relationship, because when a woman has the deep support of other women she is more resourced, more secure and can choose to be with me because she wants to, not because she has to.
5. A Feminist Can Play Both Ways
As a man, I’m good at being dominant in bed, but if it’s the only thing I do I get bored easily. I want to be with women who can give fully and receive fully. I want to be able to relax into receiving, knowing that she can enjoy taking control just as much as she can enjoy relinquishing it.
This quality of being “polarity fluid” allows for a more complex sexual relationship, and it makes me more excited to play with people in the future.
Not all men think feminists are sexy, and I get it. I’ve been there.
One of the ways we as men maintain our own sense of power is by accepting the cultural norms that are in place and not actively working to change them. Society is still biased, no matter how far we’ve come.
Ultimately, my preference toward feminists doesn’t come from a desire for gender equality, although I think that’s important. It comes from a deep desire to be met by women, to feel like they see me as their equal, and not some father figure or 1950s-style head of the household. That’s a lonely job, and honestly I don’t think men ever really wanted that.
The best relationships have always been built on love and respect, and I’m grateful that feminism has helped us all get closer to that.