In this blog I am now going to investigate relationships between women and men. To understand where I am coming from here is some personal history – to give perspective.

When I was younger I had great sympathy for the feminist movement hopefully always treating women as equals. When I went to Africa, I had relationships with women there. The culture, and nature of these relationships, were very different. It was Southern Africa where AIDS was prominent, and very simply this was caused by promiscuity. To begin with I found myself overwhelmed by the availability of gorgeous young women for a 42-year-old man. Whilst I had had sexual relationships, mostly serious personal relationships, I moved in circles where sex was not reaidly available. When younger I sought sex and love but I was very independent – this basis was formed by my spiritual needs.

Up until I was 32 I had one meaningful relationship which I initially thought was love. I had a period of maybe two years in which I was “successful” finding different partners in meaningless relationships but mostly I was not sexually satisfied and for me at that time my desire for a meaningful relationship was also not satisfied.

At 33 that changed as I fell completely in love. This relationship was so deep and bitter it altered my relationship goals completely. I was in love but not loved. I became a provider but never found satisfaction. My spiritual desires were dragged down and in the end I was forced to leave after being extremely battered emotionally – feeling the scars for a long time afterwards. In retrospect from the word go I was exploited as I became the provider for the woman and her children, but of course this is just one view of the relationship – from my side. After a couple of years I was still in love but began to assert myself making demands against the exploitation. These were rejected and I left. I would assess that for many my leaving was not socially acceptable as there was a child and 2 teenagers of working age involved, but I was personally suffering and the giving was in one direction. They were left with the home that they failed to maintain, and I had financial burdens as a consequence of this years later.

Following this I still sought sexual relations but not avidly as I was unwilling to be damaged again, and nothing happened. My own hurt and the women I knew through politics meant no sexual interaction. That is not to say political people were not sexually active, it just didn’t work for me.

When I moved to Africa young women actually sought me – for my wallet and the security they thought that brought. I was not looking for love but was hoping for companionship and a pleasant home, African women were very homely – comfortable. All I found was sex and turbulence. That turbulence had enjoyable moments but it was never fulfilling relationship-wise, it was mostly just enjoyable, but risky, sex (AIDS). After Africa there was a brief fling with a Filipina in Oman. Whilst there I had begun to think Asian women were an answer because they had a reputation for a commitment to home.

Later as I became confirmed in my Buddhism I began to believe that religion needed to be at the basis of a relationship, so when I moved to Thailand I moved with hope. But in Thailand I just saw mutual exploitation, the men exploiting the beauty and vitality of the young girls, and the girls taking the men for their money. Obviously there are exceptions but they are few and far between.

In this blog I am making an attempt to look at relationships between the sexes. I believe tradition is nearer an understanding of the way relations work, but that tradition often has culture and family to back it up. Are those traditions close to an understanding of relations? Women and men come to relations with totally different mindsets, mindsets governed by totally different physicalities and emotions. Quite obviously Nature has given women and men different roles in procreation, is it sensible to see equality in everything but procreation?

Feminism came in because of violence, and bullying is never acceptable – bullying of any form. Feminism has changed the way we view genders. The “Victorian” man dominating the home even with the use of violence has been well rid by feminism, at least it is not now socially acceptable. But feminism has brought gender equality, and this appears to me to be an intellectual framework of equality despite natural differences. It is this intellectualism I am primarily attacking here, typical of it is the following interaction. I was discussing with an Australian woman my experiences with the women in Africa, she had never known me there. She came with a preconception of sex tourism. I explained that I had one relationship that was off and on for most of my time, one woman I loved, one woman I cared for, two that were sexual over 6 years. In Australia that track record would not be considered promiscuous even if it was young people exploring, but for her the preconception was all that mattered so after I had opened my heart to explain my relationships she simply said “sex tourism”- an assessment that has ignorance on so many levels. When you have such ignorance being displayed it is no wonder that relationships don’t work. Fundamentally relationships need listening on both parts, and an examination of what is rather than preconceived frameworks that distort. As a man in a relationship I was always the most vulnerable I can be. When in love I was a lost puppy, and in retrospect it seems that love was just used. Being love is the greatest expression a human can give, are men at risk loving women – at risk loving? The world needs love, and the world needs to prepare to accept love. But is it safe to love? ,