On the Art of Femininity

I believe there is no more influential factor in forging a creative life, for women, than harnessing the power of femininity. In fact, it rankles me whenever I hear femininity dismissed as “absence” or “ornament” (especially when women do it) because I think it represents a fundamental misunderstanding of how to utilize the power of our feminine traits. If we look briefly, for example, at traits such as openness, receptivity, sensuality, and yielding, none of these is synonymous with insufficiency, or lack. None of them represents a void or even a form of helplessness or powerlessness. There is, however, a vulnerability inherent in each, but it is from that vulnerability that I believe the feminine aspects of our personalities derive their strength. Recognizing that may be a challenge sometimes. Putting our feminine energy on display and wielding it with full force is most definitely an art form–a wonderfully intricate and creative practice. As for me, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Here are some thoughts on femininity as an art:

Femininity is nuance, not absence.

Its meaning is always read between the lines. That is not what makes it subordinate to masculinity. That’s what makes it complementary and what makes it duly powerful. Femininity is poetic. Its potency is suggested–hinted at–but never stated. (It doesn’t need to be. If you’re truly in command of it, everyone around you can feel its energy. It’s kind of a show-stopper.) Femininity is an unscripted and overt sensuality. It is grace. In its openness, in its receptivity, it finds not lack, but courage. Femininity is movement. It is a slow and seductive dance between boldness and restraint. The secret is in knowing when to give, how much to give, and when to pull back…if only just a little. It is a fluid kind of sophistication that endlessly refines its own edges. And in itself, it is enough.

A life without nuance–without variation, subtlety, and shades of meaning–would be horrifically boring. It would also be rigid and intellectually stifling in any number of ways. (No offense, guys.) Femininity is fundamental to expression.

It is also fun. And wildly interesting. And colorful. And sexy. (If executed properly, it has the added bonus of bringing the man of your desires straight to his knees, if that’s what you’re looking to do.) Of course, the real power of femininity is born out of self-knowledge. We can’t expect to be possessed of ourselves and to harness the full power of the most complex aspects of our personalities if we have no idea who we are or who we’re capable of becoming.

The art of femininity requires authenticity.

Overt sexiness isn’t enough. I am a firm believer that a woman who holds her capacity for tenderness and vulnerability in as high a regard as her sexuality commands the utmost respect. Why? Because she knows who she is. And she hasn’t thrown any parts of herself away. When a woman is comfortable in her own skin, it literally emanates from her pores. Authenticity may take practice, but it’s worth the effort.

“Make me want…”

I don’t know too many women who would tell a man outright to make her submissive at his whim. Where’s the pleasure in all that brutishness? Don’t make me submissive. Never do that. Do make me want to be submissive. Now, that’s another animal altogether. Make me want to feel every bit a woman. Make me want to be enveloped. Make me want to delight in the process of sinking deeper and deeper into my own openness. Now, that–that takes some serious finesse. Do that and you have absolutely mastered the art of seduction…and the more important art of complementarity.

49 responses to “On the Art of Femininity”

  1. Damn. That’s really all I can say. I love the part about “make me want to be submissive”…because in that moment it also means that you can trust your partner and that you feel safe, instead of feeling afraid or unsure. Men and women really can and should compliment each other, they are yin and yang.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! Yes, I agree, we are definitely yin and yang…and the whole dance of “make me want to be submissive” can and should be so sublime 🙂


      • You’re welcome, but I meant it. I wish boys and girls could get this sort of advice as they were growing up, but too many don’t. And the culture is mostly geared to selling things, and using sex to do it, so there’s no guidance there, either. But for those women who know these things, life is a pearl of great price. This summed it up for me, as a man, for what is most important:

        “Overt sexiness isn’t enough. I am a firm believer that a woman who holds her capacity for tenderness and vulnerability in as high a regard as her sexuality commands the utmost respect. Why? Because she knows who she is. And she hasn’t thrown any parts of herself away. When a woman is comfortable in her own skin, it literally emanates from her pores. Authenticity may take practice, but it’s worth the effort.”


      • It’s great to get a man’s opinion on this post, so thank you for taking the time to comment! I agree that most boys and girls aren’t taught this kind of thing, and I think it’s sad. From my perspective, as a woman, there is so much about our femininity to celebrate, if only we understood it as an asset, if only we knew how to use it. You are correct when you say that, then, “life is a pearl of great price.” Well said, indeed. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • There is much to celebrate. Just seeing this post and how you describe feminity was such a pleasure. There is too much competition and too little complementarity between the sexes. I love how you look at this. Be well.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello! I have started a quest of vulnerability. I made the vow to become really intimate with her…. Thanks for this post that’s really helpful in linking the great feminine. I will remember your words when vulnerability will suck and I will want to close up and instead, I will call in the great goddess! Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Spot on! This is an awesome description of femininity and the power that lies within it. It’s a shame that we live in a society that has corrupted femininity to the point of having a negative connotation. Our true power lies in embracing our nature as women, not in striving to be like men.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. […] I am, of course, not an expert in these matters—in the do’s-and-dont’s of creating oneself, or of the use of ritual or other integrative processes in carving out a more fulfilling existence. I am simply a woman who has, herself, attempted a bit of alchemy. Who followed her intuition. And opened herself up to the possibility that, with the right combination of feeling and imagination, it is possible to restore to the feminine its rightful sanctity. A sanctity that is expressed, day in and day out, in the performance of ritual. Ritual for the sake of expressing our desires, of aestheticizing our impulses, of being wanted, of feeling pretty. The kinds of rituals that pattern our individual stories. That tell us who we are. I did what came naturally. I wrote about my feelings and attempted to examine the range of needs, wants, pleasures, and even the demons they pointed to. I explored every aspect of the feminine I was able to identify. And l exalted it. I turned it to gold. In truth, the entire process may have been easier—or, easier for me to understand the mechanics of—if I had gone the goddess route. Delved into pre-existing archetypes or myths. But, as I said, I have a difficult time internalizing that kind of imagery. So, I designed my feelings instead. And, while I am not a professional, I do believe my personal exercises in fashioning my femininity may offer some atypical insight. Or, at least, a different, markedly un-clinical perspective on what it may mean to help a woman understand herself, learn to honor herself, and, most importantly, to define for herself, in her terms, what it means to harness the power of the feminine. To be woman fully. Now, post-experiment, here are some thoughts on femininity, as both nature and art: […]


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