Welcome back to Tuff Love with Rob Kandell. Om Rupani is the guest on the show today. Om is a New York based photographer, writer and sex educator. He has been teaching workshops and coaching people in the sensual arts and BDSM for over 10 years. His new book Prerequisites to Ecstacy deals with the common obstacles he sees couples getting entangled in that prevent them from going deeper into their relating and their sensuality.
Trigger Warning: This is an intense conversation that contains topics that may trigger some listeners.
In this episode, Om and Rob discuss the concept of the anti-male cultural bias:
- Men these days are being treated as being superfluous, not really worthy and kind of like morons. The masculine archetype is being widely disrespected, almost as if it’s gone obsolete.
- It’s interesting, it’s scary, it’s ugly, it’s destroying relationships, it’s demoralizing men and confusing women. Women don’t know how to use men properly anymore and it’s ruining people’s sex lives.
- This may be a salve for feminine freedom and feminist power, but the end result is that it’s creating some very unhappy women. Om doesn’t think women have ever been as unhappy and as anti-male as they are today. The women walking the earth today are the most amazing, most educated, most professionally successful women. They are brilliant. They deserve all the material and wordly success they have gotten, but they are more miserable than their grandmothers were.
- Today’s women are not happy or thriving in their relationships, they’re not having good sex. It is a counterintuitive thing to say because we’re supposed to be in the most sexually liberated phase that we’ve seen in our lifetime and in the past few hundred years, so you would think women must be having the best sex of their lives. But they’re not. Om thinks that although they’re having more sex than their grandmothers, and more partners, but it’s worse sex and they’re miserable.
- It’s reaching some kind of crisis or boiling point. Om sees over and over again women reaching the same wall. In their 20s they were promised that this life will pay off, then they hit 35, 40, 45 and the panic sets in. The relationship and family has not materialized, and their relationship track record is one of failure.
- Rob plays the counter for this. There are a lot of women out there who would say there is still the patriarchy and it’s still a male dominant society. However Om categorically denies the patriarchy theory. He doesn’t think men have ever wielded power and oppression over women.
- We have lived in different cultures in different times and some of those are outdated and obsolete to us, and they are. Om is from India, which hails from a very chauvinistic history with defined gender roles in the past. But even in those times, the proposition that men were acting as feudal lords over women who were their serfs is nonsense.
- Since the caveman days we have loved, adored and protected our women. We have sacrificed our lives for our wives and children, waged war, died and put ourselves and our sons on the battlefield to protect the women and daughters.
- The narrative that men have enslaved women and used them like objects is poisonous and false.
- Rob plays the neutral CNN-type host. Women have felt they’ve been objectified, treated like objects, treated like property. About 100 years ago they had the right to vote, own property, have bank accounts.
- Om thinks we are living in a time where subjectivity rules objectivity so it doesn’t really matter how you feel. There have been great strides forward and we don’t want to go back to that previous time, because women should have equal rights under the law as men do.
- Beyond that, it should be the end of the conversation on equality. If you try to create justice beyond equality under the law you just create more mischief. There are instances where there is no equality under the law, then take action. If somebody is paying you unfairly, sexually harassing you, mistreating you, absolutely bring them to justice in the courts.
- We need to get over the cultural impact on women today, the ramifications of not having those rights until about 100 years ago. There is enough bloodshed and enslavement in human history to go around forever. Human beings have been horrible to each other throughout history. There is no special victimhood card that means one group deserves more than another.
- Rob wants to talk about the damage, the cultural, pain-body-based, unconscious belief system that has happened that we can’t consciously get over. However, Om believes if we can’t consciously get over it then the human experience may as well be over. You can consciously get over it and the way is: forgiveness. Forgive whoever you think you are mad at.
- Every religious tradition in every part of the world has given us the golden key to forgive. You do have a choice. People are letting themselves seethe with anger and indignation because it is great for the ego to feel righteousness over another.
- There is no bigger high for the human ego than to say, ‘I am a victim, you have wronged me, I am right over you and I am going to hold this position to my dying day.’ It’s not the most enlightened position to hold. If you really feel you are stuck in this position, forgive.
- Forgiveness of yourself, forgiveness of a gender, forgiveness of a culture is really important. However, Rob is arguing the simplicity of what Om is saying.
- Om is open to all options and keen to hear other solutions. The path of indignation and anger that he sees going on has been tried before, and we know it doesn’t lead anywhere other than more confrontation, violence and pain.
- The expansion of the victimhood identity will crush you under it’s weight.
- Anger leads to separation.
- The extreme right and the extreme left are hijacking the conversation right now as if that is the true war. Most of us are in the middle saying, ‘what happened?’ and both the extreme right and extreme left should be held to the law and get them out of our streets with their violence and destruction.
The topic shifts to couples and the work Om does with couples:
- Rob does agree with Om’s proposition that men are being treated like morons. One of his tag lines is, ‘women are getting angrier and men are getting dumber in today’s society.’ His approach is to facilitate understanding of each others’ human condition, communicating, learning from each other.
- Om’s approach is to be very pragmatic. He asks people, ‘Is what you’re doing working for you?’ If it’s working you don’t need a coach, go and live your life. If it’s not working for you, maybe it’s time to try something else.
- If you are holding a huge resentment towards an entire gender, then you show up and ask why your relationship and sex life is unfulfilling, that’s a clue. The pragmatic solution: forgive men.
- Women have hurt men, men have hurt women, we are built to piss each other off and hurt each other and break each other’s heart. Forgiveness is not an active element in that game. You will burn out.
- We are all horrible human beings, we are not conscious, we all have triggers, we are all short-sighted, we are all selfish, we are all not our best at all times. If you don’t have a mechanism for forgiving and releasing all those hurts with each other, you’re kind of doomed.
- That impasse right now is happening at a whole cultural level.
- It’s a charged thing to say and to realize, but Om says you need to realize that you are as evil as anybody else. True forgiveness happens when you truly in your heart realize that we are all as horrible as the people we are accusing, no one is an innocent.
- Think about how many people you have bad-mouthed that person (that hurt you) to, how many bad thoughts you had about that person, what energy field you held that person in. That is an aspect of your vengeance. Most of the time the person who thinks they’ve been hurt does more damage doing that.
- Of course traumatic incidents that happen to you will create crisis in your life and be a trial out of hell for you. It isn’t a minor event that you should just get over in 2 days. But over 3, 5, 10, 20 years the end solution is always the same: you have to find a way to forgive.
- You have to forgive the other person, forgive yourself and you also have to forgive God. If forgiveness is not an element on your side, you will suffer deeply.
- You need to honor the feelings of grief and pain, but ultimately get in agreement with the life circumstances that have happened to you. You won’t be able to reach forgiveness if you’re in denial or haven’t felt your pain completely, through and through.
- There is a feeling from a commenter and from Rob that men today are being punished for the actions of men from previous generations, that they have no way to combat. Om rejects the premise because we’ve all hurt each other and wonders why men are accepting this guilt.
- Clean up your life if you feel you have hurt people. But if people are taking things out on you that are not your responsibility, that doesn’t help anything.
- Rob’s approach with his current partner is not to take on her pain with other men, but to be an example of a stellar man, and to hold the space for her to process her feelings through therapy and other means. So instead of saying, ‘get over it’ it’s saying ‘I want to be a partner with you in going through the processing of your feelings.’
- Om says that men want to be useful to their women and that this is the way Rob can be useful to his woman and it’s a good match.
- From a cultural point of view, there are some practical things men and women can do to bridge this gap beyond forgiving.
- Om’s anchor is in dominance and submission play and he firmly believes that men and women are different and that’s a good thing. The joy of life is in enjoying, appreciating and acknowledging our differences.
- Polarity and DS roles can increase the play. Emphasize the differences, because they’re there but they’re being de-emphasized these days. The more educated, the more advanced the cultures, the less they’re having sex.
- The Butterfly Effect book, about the advent of free porn, has affected the rise in erectile dysfunction, the lowering in sexual activity and decrease in teenage pregnancy (which is a good thing) because guys are moving towards porn instead of being with women.
- Om believes porn becomes like an outlet, where men can’t relate with real human beings who are complex, but still want to have sex, so they have spend a lot of money on the women on the other side of the screen. Real women are always going to be more nuanced, complex and PITA than a fantasy woman on the internet. It’s short-changing your life.
Mark comes on the line to discuss forgiveness, and then Rob and Om discuss and respond to questions and comments from the live listeners:
- There’s an important element that’s not easy to achieve, and the word Mark uses is alchemize. You’re transforming one energy into another. It starts with willingness and then ability. Depending on the level of trauma, pain, the amount of the process it takes to do the alchemization is significant or insignificance.
- The first step is letting yourself off the hook for whatever guilt you are holding or allowing to come in.
- “What does forgiveness mean?” is a question that can be answered at multiple levels, psychological, existential etc. Om’s answer is that forgiveness is soul retrieval.
- Our most intimate soul relationships are with the people we have not forgiven. The energy bands coming out of human beings, the biggest energy cords go to the people we have not forgiven. That’s where trauma is. It is a breaking of the soul and in the most existential terms, until you forgive you won’t get that piece of your soul back and thank the experience for the lessons.
- Mark speaks to the idea of forgiving God, or whatever you call the higher power. In his spiritual education, there was the idea that God has created the path for us as a way for each individual to exercise the part of them that needs to come forward. Without it the development of the soul isn’t possible. Each individual has to make the effort or not, according to their free will, to alchemize the reaction.
- Om doesn’t think God has a personal relationship with us the way many spiritual traditions believe. It’s a game we’re playing with ourselves, and it’s our journey, the journey of our soul and faith. It’s a big arc of the soul.
- Om says it’s not logical and linear like some people portray. We should be stewards of the planet, but from the soul perspective, there are games we are playing at the soul level that we don’t necessarily understand. At that level, linear time and our entire framework of causality goes out the window.
- One comment was questioning the idea of opening doors, or giving up subway seats, to a woman just because she is a woman. It’s a tension in every day life. Om’s thought is that if you are in doubt about engaging a woman in any way, don’t engage. Get clear agreements. Open doors for women that you know like it and appreciate it. Don’t assume any relationships with strangers, it doesn’t help you these days, it’s risky.
- In the older days, there was a consensus of chivalry and on how to be a good man. We have lost that consensus so it’s up to us to reformulate that in specific relationships.
- Women are being assholes when they yell at men for opening the door for them. In whose book is that a good thing? Don’t treat other people like that. Equally, a man who yells at a woman for not saying thank you when he opens the door for her, is kind of creepy and sociopathic, and is assuming a relationship that’s not there. Stop that game altogether.
Find out more from Om
Om’s website is omrupani.org where you can find more information about his book, his coaching and his workshops.
His new book, Prerequisite to Ecstasy: A No-Nonsense Guide to What it Really Takes to Create the Love and Sex We Say We Want, was written to explore all the relationship patterns that couples are getting stuck in and preventing them from even seeking a real sensual education. The book is about how to build a better relationship, how to be a grown-up in a partnership and setting a foundation from there to build a great sex life. If you are unable to hold a partnership because you don’t know how to be with a partner, resolve differences and support yourself, training you in sensuality is a fools errand. It never works. You need to know how to build a relationship and have a decent communication, keeping anger and resentment at the door and give support to your partner. If you have that foundation, Om can give you great techniques to make your sex life better. If you don’t have that, it’s like building a house on sand, it just doesn’t work. People have gotten deficient at forming any relationships, not just romantic relationships, so these skills are important all round.