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Dear Lover: A Woman's Guide To Men, Sex, And Love's Deepest Bliss Paperback – December 1, 2004
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—MARIANNE WILLIAMSOR, author of A Woman's Worth
"As a woman, I've never felt so understood and validated. Finally, a clear and brilliant guide to unraveling the mystery of relationships."
—MARCI SHIMOFF, co-author of the New York Times bestseller Chicken Soup for the Woman's Soul
"I feel that Deida has reached a new level of poetic genius in his writing, and his understanding of feminine psychology astounds me."
—MIRANDA SHAW, PH.D., author of Passionate Enlightenment: Women in Tantric Buddhism
"We all taste God, taste Goddess, taste pure spirit in those moments of sexual rapture, and wise men and women have always used that rapture to reveal Spirit's innermost secrets. David Deida is such a wise one."
—KEN WILBER, author of Grace and Grit
About the Author
Acknowledged as one of the most insightful and provocative teachers of our time, bestselling author David Deida continues to revolutionize the way that men and women grow spiritually and sexually. His ten books are published in more than twenty-five languages worldwide and are required reading in university, church, and spiritual center courses. His workshops on a radically practical spirituality have been hailed as among the most original and authentic contributions to the field of self-development currently available. He is a founding member of Integral Institute, and has taught and conducted research at the University of California-San Diego School of Medicine, University of California-Santa Cruz, San Jose State University, Lexington Institute in Boston, and Ecole Polytechnique in Paris, France. Some of his recent books include Blue Truth, The Enlightened Sex Manual, The Way of the Superior Man, and Instant Enlightenment.
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Deida's distinctive writing style is intuitive and filled with redundancy, so you'll read that message often in this book (which is written as a series of letters from Deida to the reader as his female lover). To me it's attention-getting the first few times he says it but soon becomes mind-numbing. By the end of the book it's enough already!
Still, this book contains some interesting corollaries for women to contemplate. Among them:
* "The secret to unfolding your heart's deepest bliss is to give and receive love fully, with or without a man. . . . You can learn to open your body as if it were a big heart, vulnerable and full of love's radiant life-force. And it is this disposition of openhearted radiance that will gift the world as well as attract and keep a man capable of actually meeting your heart's deepest desire."
* "Whether you are alone or in relationship, your spiritual and sexual bliss require a daily allotment of whole-body pleasure and deep-heart offering, or else your joy will shrivel like an unwatered plant."
* "Deep heart yearning is not a problem to be solved but a divine pull to open as devotional surrender, as wide as all, now. . . . This capacity to offer your open love is indestructible. No amount of rejection or betrayal can destroy this offering of love."
* "Even when you are tense or upset, you can practice surrendering your body and heart to be breathed open by this love that yearns in everybody's heart."
* "Your yearning attracts and inspires love. If you allow your deepest yearning to show through your entire body, you will attract and inspire a deep man."
* You will attract your reciprocal. "Unsurrendered women attract unpresent men."
* "Your secret sexual desire is to be ravished, lovingly forced open in unbearable pleasure, and taken fully open to God by a man of deep spiritual wisdom, strength, humor, sensitivity, and integrity."
* "Few men are capable of entering a woman's heart and opening her body to God's bliss, but few women are capable of offering their heart and body to be claimed open in this way."
* "Men are terrified of a woman's depth of love and the energy that moves as a woman's sexuality and emotions. And, at the same time, men want nothing more in this life than to merge completely with a woman's devotional love and wild energy. Only as a man outgrows his fear can he handle a woman's tremendous love-energy without running. And only such a man is worthy of your devotional offering in a committed intimacy."
* " . . . you settle for a mediocre relationship because you are afraid to be alone. You fill your heart's yearning with an adequate, but not entirely trustable, man. As you grow beyond being dependent on a man, you may choose to settle for an independent life because you are afraid to rely on a man's support."
* "Eventually, you realize that self-sufficiency is a transition phase. . . . Instead of denying your own needs or limiting your love to self-reliant independence, you realize that, more than anything else, you actually yearn to live open as a devotional offering of love."
* "Your concern for career and self-sufficiency is obviously healthy, but your deepest fulfillment may await risking your heart wide open, offering your bright love to all beings, and giving yourself to be claimed - by a man of integrity, by a family of beloveds, by a world that needs your love. Love is the only way to live that won't leave your feminine heart feeling unseen, ungiven, empty, and wanting--no matter how successful your professional life may be."
* "You want him to notice - in fact, worship - your body's radiant beauty and your heart's light of divine love and he wants you to acknowledge and worship his heart's capacity to spiritually and sexually ravish you open to God."
* "If you want to inspire your man's depth of presence and commitment, offer him your feminine heart's deepest yearning, sexually, actively, and devotionally, receiving him into you completely and responding with full pleasure and trust."
* "Men are like trains. They are going somewhere. Choosing and staying with a man is like choosing to get on a train. You will end up going where your man goes, spiritually and sexually, or you will have to get off his train. You cannot change a man's direction to yours without losing trust in his capacity to navigate."
* "A young rigid woman, closed down and energetically dead, is far less sexy than an older woman who offers her heart-open pleasure in surges of abandoned moans and undulating sensuality, whose devotional eyes and mouth and vagina and legs move and open as unquenchable yearning, whose trust is total, who gives her man her deepest heart and every ounce of her own pleasure as a gift for him to feel, worship, and behold--such a woman is agelessly sexy. She is grounded in her heart and generous with love's offering."
* "Besides your heart's pleasure, your heart's pain is also a gift, if given through an open body and heart. . . . But there is a big difference between accumulating your emotions--eventually expressing them in a toxic dump of tense build-up--and being able to spontaneously express every nuance of emotion as the flow opens through you. Spontaneous emotional expression, from your deep heart through your open body and relaxed breath with no closure or tension, is a natural expression of love--even if love is expressed as sorrow, anger, or fear. . . . With practice, you can learn to offer your pleasure, pain, and emotions spontaneously and responsively as soon as they occur, letting go of them instantly, always with your heart open and connecting with your lover's heart."
* "Men constantly crave feminine energy, especially in safe forms that don't demand depth."
* "Men tend to leave relationships too soon, always looking for a better option. Women tend to stay in relationships too long, always hoping that their man will change and grow."
Now for the kookiness. The following little nuggets just seem way, way off base to me.
"Clitoral orgasms are the most superficial orgasms, requiring little if any emotional or spiritual trust--a vibrator can be used to achieve this pleasure. Nevertheless, clitoral orgasms can prepare you for surrendering more deeply." OK, so he's telling us that some kinds of orgasms are more evolved than others. Let's see, didn't we finally get permission some decades ago to jettison the myth of the vaginal orgasm?
The chapter entitled "Choosing Abuse and Refusing Love" is simply bizarre. There Deida asserts that if you choose to wait for a good man, taking care of yourself while your career progresses, your friends grow, and your life improves, you a choosing to be a victim of abuse. Huh? "The mistreatment is not from a man, but from yourself. You are actively closing, protecting your heart from love, shutting down so your body and heart don't ache so openly. You may be damaging yourself as much as any man could damage you. . . . You've grown used to some suffering, and you truly love your well appointed home, your friends, your cat, your garden. . . . you are choosing to play the victim to less love than you know, deep down, you deserve." Oh puhlease!!!
The chapter entitled "On Showing Your Heart's Light in Public" contains this interesting characterization of Deida's own gender: "When your heart is fully claimed by divine love, you have no personal neediness to be seen. Your body is open and flowing, alive with sexual energy, radiant with delight, and resplendent with the shine of love--you don't want to desecrate love's fullness in the oinking barrage of men's psychic grabbing and groping."
A final note. Deida's original contribution to relationship theory is his idea that in our time men and women are working out what it means to be in a stage 3 relationship, with stage 1 being the role-bound relationships of earlier generations, stage 2 being the egalitarian ideal that emerged with the modern women's movement, and stage 3 being based on the understanding that cultivating the male and female polarities in relationship is what keeps sex passionate and bonding. The idea is appealing, but what bothers me in Deida is a subtle flavoring of male dominance, since it's always about "your man's claim," "your man's taking you open to God." Contrast this with the female-pleasure-based paradigm put forth by Regina Thomashauer in *Mama Gena's Owner's and Operator's Guide to Men* and you'll see what I mean. Both Deida and Mama Gena agree that feminine energy is the most attractive force on earth, but I find Mama Gena's ideas more revolutionary.
The first simply is there are large claims made to what his insights will bring. All his books promise to "guide" us into deeper spiritual understandings in the sexual realm. (And seriously, who wouldn't want that, right?)
The second "new-clothesian" quality of Deida has to do with his form of discourse. The thing about his presentation is, there are copious amounts of spiritual beauty backed up by an subtle but constant wash of judgementalism. The structure goes sort of like this: "you want this, you don't have it, I know why you don't, here is what you need to do."
But what if one does not totally agree with any of these "stepping stones" to understanding? The answer always seems to be that "you are not open enough yet to see it". "There is some blocking element in you".
Very little of his metaphoric insights about "gender" or "essence" or most any of his ideas for that matter, are ever presented as "one can think of it this way" but rather as "this is how it is". He states every belief he has about sexual spirituality with what I consider a totally unwarranted confidence.
And he has a system of "stages of growth" to pigeon-hole "where you are stuck".
So yes, of course, I want to "get it". Yes, of course, I want to have the deep blissful place that is "my potential". Yes, I really am wanting to "see the emperor's beautiful clothing!"
But honestly, while he earnestly and often eloquently gives gifts of insight into the subject, he also is rigid, arrogant, patently condescending, and as a writer, can be deadly dull and repetitive. Most of his core "beliefs" are for me painfully flawed. After reading this book, all I could think was, he really does not have much insight into the depth of the feminine essence nor a "feel for" life as a woman.
I would never recommend this book to anyone.
Most recent customer reviews
Definitely some food for thought
Probably could have felt confident ending a bad relationship sooner