I continue to be surprised by the writings of Abraham Maslow. No more, perhaps, than by the depth of his interest in the intricacies of human sexuality. (Who knew?) In masculinity and femininity and their relationships to human motivation, creativity, growth, and self-knowledge. It was, in fact, from a brief analysis of male-female courtship or mating-type behaviors in his journal—from his notes on a form of looking he refers to as a woman’s “dropped gaze”—that I was inspired to write this post. Although, I’ve decided to steer away from using the terms, “gaze,” as it refers to a man’s look and “dropped gaze” for a woman’s response to that look. I’d prefer this post take on an entirely different connotation.
Indeed, what concerns me here is the feeling of that look. Of exploring, once again, that mode of personal self-definition (or redefinition) that hinges on the aesthetics of the moment. On the aesthetics of self. The poetics of it. I want to explore the sensual nuances of that gesture of arousal, of acceptance, of yielding, and anticipatory pleasure that I recognize, by my own experience, simply, as a long, slow blink. The discreet aversion of a woman’s glance in response to a man’s desire. To his wanting. To that hard look.
A long, slow blink, to me, is a yes. It is subtle and almost reflexive. A closing of the eyes, a bowing, even a slight—and slightly coy—turning of the head, a momentary blush. A quiescent smile. The blink is sweet. It is soft and pretty. And, by all appearances, it is still.
I daresay that the blink is a profound—perhaps, even the profoundest—communication of a woman’s desire for submission. It is an acknowledgement that I am wanted. A take me now. Or, as Maslow describes it, a nonverbal cue to “be gentle with me, but don’t stop.” More than that, it is my experience that the blink represents a desire for the assertion of masculine power, of sexual prowess, of unbridled passion. It says, I know you want me, and I want you to show me how much.
There is, in fact, a world of difference between the blink and the kind of downward gaze that signals powerlessness, weakness, or intimidation. Indeed, the blink symbolizes a kind of a courage. It reflects a feeling of trust. That you will be strong and passionate, but sensitive with me. Firm but gentle. In control but kind. There is behind the blink a tremendous force, and I do not refer simply to a woman’s courage to submit herself to a man’s desire. I am speaking instead of a tremendous emotional rush, including the electrifying physical response that informs such a seemingly benign act as a blink, or a prolonged downward glance. The blink, even in its stillness, its placidness, its perceived inertia, is fire. It is a reflection of the deepest manifestations of a woman’s sexual desires and needs. It is one thing for me to be aroused. It is quite another for me to avert my eyes in a gesture of submission. It is by way of the latter that I display my vulnerability. That I express the depths of my longing to be taken. To be ravaged. To yield to a man’s strength and command. To be guarded, if only for a time, by his capable hands. Though, I risk myself in the process. It is in the blink that I reveal my courage to trust, to give, and to relish in the thrill–and the gratification–I get from simply allowing myself to be enjoyed.