Men, shopping with your woman can be like foreplay or kill the romance. Women, shopping can be a spiritual practice or an expensive substitute for love. Shopping and sexual essence is a fascinating mirror of sexual polarity.
In general the masculine essence likes to shop functionally, taking as least time as possible. Mission focused. As one man claimed, “efficient is the word that keeps coming up for me. Shopping seems largely a distraction. Or a test! Not to get lost in the Feminine, wandering the aisles.” Another describes his supermarket shopping methods, “I bring a list, have a budget, a time frame, and I keep socialising to a minimum. I feel a need to stay aware to counteract being lured into the timeless, feminine place created to make me buy more of what I don’t need.”
Very different to many with a feminine essence, for whom socialising while shopping is part of the pleasurable experience. I love fabrics, textures, fragrance, shape, colour and running into people I know while wandering. When I was a busy filmmaker living in the fast paced city, I would refresh myself by walking into a wonderful lingerie store and just looking at the items. Touching them was rejuvenating. My mind would relax. My energy would revive.
I also spoke to Thelia, a woman who loves shopping. ‘It makes me feel good, its very opening! I enjoy the whole process, and part of it is interacting with the shop owners.”
Robert, a man in his early sixties, described shopping for a motorbike, “I want something and go and get it with no room for ambiguity. I decided on the size, colour and model clearly in my mind. All the thought has gone into it first, looking at magazine articles to find out more about it, and talking to other enthusiasts. I identify my target and then I go in for the kill and all that’s to be decided is the price. I have previously visualised myself owning the bike, riding the bike, even washing the bike. So all my energies go on getting the best price. If I could get it cheaper I would – its a win.”
And for David “I just want to own the good thing, I don’t want to search for it.” Matt shares “I walk into a shop and walk around the entire shop scanning everything. If nothing catches my eye I walk out in 20 to 30 seconds. Usually what catches my eye is perfect.”
And do you think this quote comes from a man or a woman? “When I find something I really like I buy more than one because the process of personal shopping is boring so if I buy more than one I might not have to do it again for a long time.” It’s a guy. Robyn tells me that “I had to stop my man buying all his shirts in the same colour and style. I told him people would think he is wearing the same, possibly dirty, shirt every day.”
As the masculine is essentially devoted to his mission and purpose in life, his shopping habits reflect this. I know a man who has twenty of the same shirts in his wardrobe. For the feminine this is so foreign, we may have twenty dresses but they will all be different.
Each of us will at times swap into the other essence. A masculine essence can also enjoy the pleasure of design, shape, colour, especially if he is interested in these things as part of his mission. A feminine essence can be purposeful in the supermarket, focused on her list, but then if she runs into someone she wants to engage with that will often take precedence. Ultimately the feminine values connection more than purpose or time. I can imagine how frustrating this could be for the masculine if he didn’t understand that the feminine is made for pleasure and devoted to love and connection.
For the feminine essence, at her best, the art of shopping for adornment is a spiritual act to magnify her love-light. For many women the best shopping happens without a plan, ‘incidental’ shopping that is about serendipity, unfocused pleasure and creativity, a sensuous, sacred dive into her bliss nature.
For many men this is torture. Thelia says, “Clothes shopping is about beauty, I love making myself attractive.” A young woman reveals “I spend a whole day shopping and I try things on just for the fun, playing, I’ll even try on a ridiculous outfit to see what it feels like, even though there is no way I am going to buy it.”
Sadly, shopping can also be a substitute for love, an attempt to fill the emptiness in a woman’s heart and womb, which like every addiction eventually fails. ‘Retail therapy’ can provide a temporary boost in endorphins but it wears off. Shopping can also be an attempt to bolster up low self esteem. As Janice revealed “of course its an addiction, an uplifter. If I’m down or if I’m on a diet it’s a reward. But it doesn’t last as its external. If I go shopping and its an expensive purchase I feel like I’ve gambled, I feel a shot of adrenaline through my system, its both exciting and scary.”
Women have clear needs when their man comes shopping with them. Stephanie says, “I want him to be present to my joy in the shopping and be part of it with me, relating to me and being adoring of me…….the worst thing is shopping with a man is if he’s in a hurry and doesn’t give me time or space to shop. Men can be judgmental… “shopping again, how pathetic is that!’’
Robert says, “Shopping for pleasure is a waste of time (for me) but if you like women you are interested in how they react to pleasure. If I’m shopping with my beloved I’m willing to take part in that for her sake – watching her going in and out of the dressing room and showing me dresses. It’s like foreplay. I get so much joy and pleasure in witnessing her reactions. The process is eying the colour, the feel of the fabric and what would it be like to unzip it… It’s all part of the same continuum.”
Many women prefer shopping with their women friends. No stress as to time constraints or male boredom. They can just enjoy it. I personally remember a highlight shopping experience when I was in a dressing room with two friends, all madly trying on the same dress in different colours and sizes at once.
Victoria says, “When we shop for clothes for my man, I take over completely (but he only ever buys what he likes, even if I don’t like it, which I sort of admire).”
And at the supermarket? Victoria describes “I haven’t pushed a shopping trolley in years, he does this (what a joy!). He’s meticulous in reading ingredients, this is a total turn on!!! I so admire that quality of caring about what you eat. He pays for everything, even though it’s our money, the fact that I don’t even carry my purse into the store makes me feel very taken care of. When we get home he brings everything in so I don’t need to lift the heavy bags, again I feel taken care of which makes me want to reciprocate.”
Understanding and embracing these differences means a relationship of mutual appreciation, offering each other the gifts of your essence. She can help him feel valued. He can help her be purposeful when needed and also appreciate her feminine essence so deeply she shines even brighter.