The Masculine in Relationship – Interview with GS Youngblood

Dawn Wiggins
Today, I am sitting down with GS Youngblood, the author of The Masculine in Relationship: A Blueprint for Inspiring the Trust, Lust, and Devotion of a Strong Woman. GS, you experienced a painful divorce, and it led you to do a bunch of personal work. To shift and transform your perspective. Can you tell me a little more about that?

GS Youngblood
Yes, I felt a certain compulsion to do this work. I don’t want guys to go through what I went through in my marriage.

I was married to a very strong woman, and I was unaware of polarity dynamics. She needed a man who could inhabit the masculine pole, whereas I had come to the point where I was just trying to keep the peace. Ultimately, it led to our separation.

I remember very vividly the day I told my kids that our marriage was over. I can save men from having to go through that, but more importantly, I can save kids from having a split home.

Three-Part Masculine Blueprint – Respond vs. React, Provide Structure, and Create Safety

Dawn Wiggins
You acknowledge that there is a systemic issue around true masculine leadership.

What often happens is that women get into a toxic masculine space where we become angry and nagging, and we emasculate our partners, where what we actually want is leadership from our man.

The situation escalates, and the dynamics turn into the woman being labeled as ‘crazy.’ When you were talking to me about what was missing in my relationships in the past, I felt very seen. You discuss this idea of polarity dynamics. Can you expand on that?

couples dancing tango, book The Masculine in Relationship

Polarity in Relationships

GS Youngblood
Firstly, I want to acknowledge David Deida, the author of The Way of the Superior Man. When I talk about polarity, I’m speaking a lot about his principles. Mine are the practical extension of that and what you do about that in real relationships. In certain situations, you have a lead and a follow. Firstly, I need to say that all my gender references are just for my ease of speaking. It doesn’t matter what gender we’re talking about. What’s really important is you have one person in a masculine pole and one feminine pole, and it could be either gender.

Let’s say we’re tango dancing. In tango, you have a very strong lead-follow dynamic. It doesn’t work without that. If you have two leads, you’re constantly clashing in the tango. Now, take this notion of polarity into the realm of intimacy, where the goal is to keep the juice of that intimate relationship alive.

If you’re doing the taxes, doing the laundry, or figuring out how to take the garbage out, you don’t need polarity. When you get to intimacy, and you bring that same sameness into the relationship, it tends to get dull.

In this scenario, you are asking the question, “What do you want?” as opposed to somebody having clarity and saying, “This is where we’re heading.”

If there is a person in the relationship that wants to be in their surrendered feminine, but they are constantly having to step up and fill that leadership vacuum, they become irritated. Polarity is the notion that somebody’s going to bring leadership that is so strong and competent it allows the other person to surrender to their lead.

This is no different than at work. We need people to step up at work. The majority of people like that and are happy to fall in line with somebody who seems to have a clear vision of things. This is even more pronounced in a relationship because you’re in this realm of intimacy where (presumably) there is one person who wants to surrender to their feminine energy. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a woman.

Dawn Wiggins
There are plenty of times when I know my husband appreciates when I lead in a scenario. We all need an opportunity to tap out.

a man is sitting in front of his laptop, writing something down, and holding a cell phone, book The Masculine in Relationship

Not a Manual for Alpha Man

GS Youngblood 
I teach men that there needs to be some areas where they step up and bring that leadership. I’ll give you an example: vacation planning. In many couples, the woman does the vacation planning. I challenge my guys to plan the next vacation. What I mean by that is to go and research three destinations, what it will cost, and activities to do there. When those actions are complete, go to your partner and say, “Hey baby, I think we need to take a vacation this year, and here are three places that I would love to go.” That is life leadership.

Sexual Leadership

Dawn Wiggins
Do you remember that chapter where you talked about sex? You say that you can’t play the same music over and over again.

GS Youngblood
There is a huge need for more sexual leadership from guys who have become tentative in the bedroom.

Emotional Leadership

GS Youngblood
Emotional leadership is key too. Usually, the woman is saddled with the need to bring emotional leadership into the relationship.

I say to men all the time, “You want to change your dynamic with your partner? Start bringing some emotional leadership into your relationship.” Quickly, your relationship will feel similar to when things were ‘good’ before the years of emotional neglect built up.

Dawn Wiggins
Many women that I encounter will be reading this and saying, “GS, you did this work, but why wasn’t my husband willing to do this work? Why? What’s wrong with me? Why am I not worth it? Why am I not good enough? Why?”

a man is sitting on a table with a cup of coffee, reading a book

How to Become More Masculine

GS Youngblood
Many men think that to start to do the work is an acknowledgment of not ‘being masculine enough’, and that can be hard to admit. Men don’t want that to be even partially true.

What I would say to your female clients and readers is: Let him have his space.

If he were to engage in this work or read the book The Masculine in Relationship, give the man space to do it in private, and don’t ask him what he’s learning and how it’s going. Your desperation to have a better relationship and more polarity dynamics will be obvious, and he will experience that as pressure. He may feel that there is something broken or insufficient about him.

Men are driven by feeling competent in life. When we’re not feeling competent, we feel shame. You wanting your man to change may shut him down and make him more resistant than he needs to be.

Dawn Wiggins
What an interesting concept. Just the acknowledgment that there’s work to do for men and for women in a marriage can trigger this shame and shutdown response because you need us to see you as a competent man. For many men, it’s hard to face that level of insecurity that something might be wrong.

The Journey of 1,000 Miles Starts With a Single Step

GS Youngblood
A lot of women have hit their breaking point. But I will ask them to be more gentle than maybe it feels natural. Recognize our tenderness around your disappointment, which is very painful for us. The journey of 1,000 miles starts with a single step. Now, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t show it, but we’re trying to grow some shoots in the ground here.

Dawn Wiggins
Remove the drama.

GS Youngblood
I like to describe it as ‘amplification.’ In many cases, behaviors are triggered by something from our childhood and then amplified.

I always tell women, “Give your man the cleanest expression of your pain. The minute you put blame or attack or smuggle in disgust, you have given him something to defend against, and he will get defensive.”

It creates conditions for an argument. Also, don’t step in immediately to fill the leadership vacuum. Women are competent, and if the guy doesn’t step up, she will move ahead and do it.

Let It Happen

Dawn Wiggins
This hooks right into a woman’s tendency to want things to be perfect. The compulsive urge to step in and do it right, whether it’s for something as simple as dinner but especially when it comes to childcare.

GS Youngblood
Let’s have some empathy for what is happening on the woman’s side. The man could be doing nothing or be absent-minded. And the more contempt that creeps into the relationship over time, the quicker and the more violently she steps in. She thinks, “Get out of the way, asshole. I’ll take care of this again.”

A tall man with brown hair, blue shirt and white jeans is standing on a table in front of a woman with brown hair and white top.

Step Up and Lead

GS Youngblood

Women can even reiterate: “I need you to handle this, and I need you to handle it competently. This is what I need from you as my man.” Try to rest in the anxiety that it would induce to say that to your man and not jump in.

Another method is to have an objective conversation about your longings.

Start with reassurance that you love him and you want to be with him, then move on to your needs.

“I realized I’ve been longing for you to step up and lead. The other day, when I asked your opinion on what we should do about our son’s grades, you didn’t even have an opinion, and I really wanted to see some leadership. I want to partner with you.”

Dawn Wiggins
Let’s take a moment to talk about how much work is involved in a man truly embodying masculine leadership. This isn’t a thing where a woman can just tweak her presentation and boom, he shifts into embodied masculine. You advocate for a lot of personal development and healing work.

Take Action

GS Youngblood
It’s not an easy path. This is not a cognitive endeavor, it is a somatic endeavor. For some people, you can have cognitive ideas, techniques, approaches, and intentions. You can say to yourself, “I will be better, and I will lead more.” The problem is the minute your nervous system gets jacked, your anxiety arises. There’s a lot of discomfort associated with it, and you’re trying to stop discomfort at all costs. In these situations, you become defensive and dismissive. You can have all these ideas, but the minute your nervous system is triggered, you just revert to your old habits.

Daily Embodiment Practice

GS Youngblood
I am a huge proponent of a daily embodiment practice to ground the nervous system. In most cases, a grounded nervous system would solve whatever problem you’re having. Men come to me with all their unique circumstances and challenges, but almost always, the answer is getting your nervous system more grounded. That doesn’t happen in a day or a week, or a month.

Dawn Wiggins
Wow, that is something I want women to hear. You weren’t about to save this relationship just by changing your approach. A man or a woman has to be committed to completely reworking and overhauling their somatic experience of living life, relationships, people, and triggers. This is a healing process.

GS Youngblood
Terry Real has a great name for it: The Whoosh. When your nervous system goes boom and the anxiety explodes within you. After years of embodiment practice, it gradually gets quieter.

Dawn Wiggins
By daily embodiment practice, do you mean meditation?

GS Youngblood
Meditation is a component of embodiment. In meditation, you generally close your eyes, and you use your mind to notice that same mind’s thinking. You use that same mind to not think those thoughts, and then you let go and disidentify, but all the while, you’re using the same mind. It’s quite incestuous. People try meditation for years, and they continue to drift off into thought, get frustrated, and quit, and it doesn’t really help them.

Embodiment is different. Embodiment is not trying to do anything. You take some of your attention and turn it away from the thinking mind and into a sensation in the body.

You and I are both sitting in chairs, and we can feel the weight of our butt in the chair. I’ll look away, close my eyes and just feel. When you do that, it naturally crowds out those thoughts in your head.

Dawn Wiggins
Your awareness is focused so powerfully in a different space with a different sensation.

GS Youngblood
Physical sensations are more attention-attracting. I find embodiment much more accessible and effective for people.

The Masculine in Relationship & The Art of Embodiment For Men book covers

Nervous System Awareness

Dawn Wiggins
For those of you who have joined the Post Divorce Roadmap—my 21-Day Journaling program—the first week of prompts is about embodiment and being connected with the body.

GS Youngblood
My second book is called The Art of Embodiment for Men, and I created a companion video course to go with the book. We go deep into responding versus reacting, providing structure, and creating safety.

Nervous System Training

Dawn Wiggins
Nervous system training is the trending conversation right now, and we’re starting to understand how nervous system health translates to relationship health and personal health, as well as how we respond to the world versus react to the world. As a mental health professional and a trauma-informed EMDR therapist, I am realizing that so much of what has been called mental illness is actually poor nervous system health. We have been so bombarded in a modern world for so long that we don’t even know how disconnected we are from our true operating selves.

My clients ask me: “Why did my marriage fall apart? Why can’t my husband do the work?” So much of it is about a modern lifestyle where we don’t rest and heal our minds and bodies. We cannot tolerate the amount of stressful stimulus that facing our insecurities brings into our minds and body.

Cultivation of Spaciousness

GS Youngblood
In this video course, I talk a lot about a new topic that I’m learning from one of my teachers and starting to really implement in my life to great effect.

It’s the cultivation of spaciousness. This is not a quality that’s really ever associated with masculinity, but it’s powerful to have spaciousness within you to receive the moment as it is—instead of how you want it to be or how you don’t want it to be.

I feel so free because of this; I’m working with men on it.

Dawn Wiggins
That’s beautiful. Life is an adventure rather than a mission. And in a relationship, it’s exploring that adventure for women and men together and being with these unfolding moments.

GS Youngblood
To add a little to that in the female dynamic. For me, with my partner, it’s about what’s happening to her at the moment.

For example, if she’s upset about something, my natural inclination may be to push it away because it’s pretty intense. But spaciousness allows you to be present.

feet of her and him sticking out underneath the covers while they are laying in bed.

Own Your Sexuality

Dawn Wiggins
The discussion around sex is interesting, especially in a post-divorce world if you are coming out of a marriage where sex has probably fallen off quite a bit. There is a certain insecurity that comes to the surface around the rejection and hurt.

Let’s talk about what really great sex looks like because, too often, women don’t know how to advocate for good sex. It could be our insecurities or body image, or all the puritanical rhetoric we’ve internalized. There’s also a wildness inside all of us, but maybe we don’t have a healthy relationship with that wildness, so it manifests in one-night stands or unsafe sexual behavior. What does great sex look like in a good dynamic?

GS Youngblood
You’re talking about people getting back out there, and there’s a lot of pain associated with sex.

I love a woman who is in touch with her sexuality, but everybody doesn’t get to access it.

Let’s just say it’s a third date. She could make a sexual reference, and that’s going to turn me on. But there might still be seven or eight more dates before the sex happens.

I love a woman who can bring it but will make me wait.

Dawn Wiggins
That’s refreshing to hear.

GS Youngblood

We want to know you’re a little wild but don’t believe our actions around sexuality early on because our more animal brain will pursue the sexual relationship, but our higher brain doesn’t. We want to wait. We want to make it special.

Take Time to Fall in Love

Dawn Wiggins
In the book The Masculine in Relationship, you gave beautiful permission for us women to embody our sexual selves and be in touch with that, but not feel pressure to perform or to make some exchange of sex for love.

GS Youngblood

We need more time to fall in love. I don’t necessarily mean ‘the L word,’ but more of the energy of it. We need more time and sexuality prematurely cuts that off.

Dawn Wiggins
Science backs all that up. The psychology, the somatic experience, and the various hormones that get released at different stages of courtship.

GS Youngblood
You can do some of the things that you would see at a breathing and eye-gazing workshop. I’m sure you have experienced this yourself. You can do things that are highly sexy and energetic. Men can embody their own sexual desires—not out of control or dangerously—but allowing the raw, primal nature of it to show through.

Dawn Wiggins
So in all of my work with clients over the years, the thing that then happens is there is an expectation conveyed that I perform. If that doesn’t happen, the man can become aggressive, whether it’s physical or verbal, or emotional.

Toxic Masculinity

GS Youngblood
This entitlement is the toxic part of masculinity. I do believe that exists deep within the darker hearts of men. Thankfully, we’re making progress in that realm.

For men, the art is bringing your primal nature, but your higher brain is still in control. Don’t be aggressive and entitled and dangerous.

Dawn Wiggins
Love that. Thank you for acknowledging that. 

Dating Advice: Use Masculine Blueprint

GS Youngblood
The Masculine Blueprint is what women should look for in a relationship. Is this guy reactive? Does he seem to get unhealthily fired up?

Whatever criteria you’re looking at now – attractiveness, money, intelligence, charisma, chemistry – add to that blueprint diagnostic.

Does it seem like this guy’s got a grounded nervous system? Ask yourself that. Does it seem like he has leadership qualities? Is this guy going to keep me safe? Does the guy have a certain responsibility about him that he can provide? And most importantly, although it’s hard to determine, can he keep me emotionally safe? Does he deeply listen to me?

I can’t speak for women, but I bet a lot of people overlook those kinds of qualities. And so I’ve always thought of the blueprint as a diagnostic that women can use to help find the right mate for them and not repeat their divorce journey by picking a man that ultimately wasn’t a good fit.

Dawn Wiggins
I want my clients to be asking themselves the same questions. Ladies, do you have a grounded nervous system? Are you bringing provisions into the relationship? Are you showing up with your own purpose?

a heart in the sand, ocean water is flowing in, book The Masculine in Relationship

Lead With Your Heart

GS Youngblood
Can I add one to that, Dawn? Do you bring your heart? Most women are more emotionally oriented, but in terms of the expression when things get tough, can you give the cleanest expression of your heart, and can you gently help us come back to ours? We need that.

Dawn Wiggins
The reality is women and men are all in this together. Women have been so disconnected from our true feminine nature that we struggle with vulnerability. We have an entitlement around anxiety, emotional drama, and weaponizing our emotions. We have the same accountability to come back to our true feminine selves and learn to communicate from our hearts. Also, how not to settle and then blame you because I chose to settle.

GS Youngblood
I have a quote from the book The Masculine in Relationship: “You may or may not be the problem, but you are the solution.” And so I put all the weight on the men, not because it’s their fault, but because I want to empower them and stop looking for the answer externally. Now, do the women play their part? Yes.

Men say to me: “Why do I have to do all the work? I go to work all day and I provide this great life and I have to come home and do all this stuff too?” I get it. I’m empathetic to that and I ask them, “Do you want her in her masculine or do you want her in her feminine?”

Dawn Wiggins
GS, you have shared so many beautiful things with us today. Tell us more about how we can find you, your work, and what you’ve got going on.

GS Youngblood
I recommend my book he Art of Embodiment for Men and the video course for everybody to go deeper into daily practice. I teach men but women can get a lot out of embodiment too. Visit my website Instagram. So ladies, send your men my way.

And Dawn, I wish you all the best in your quest to help women. As you said, we’re all in this.

Dawn Wiggins
Thank you, I hope we can speak again in the future.

Divorce recovery coach Dawn Wiggins

...helps people crack open. Challenging the status quo, she integrates multiple modalities from EMDR to EFT tapping, journaling, homeopathy, and movement, embracing remedies that heal both the mind and body. Divorce recovery coach Dawn Wiggins is on a mission to deliver life-changing therapy in an accessible, scalable, affordable way and make waves in the world of mental health with the same enlightenment that happens in her office. Part science, part essential oils, pure magic.

share this article:

Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest

more like this:

Loneliness Doesn't Have To Be Forever

Download the free Loneliness Roadmap and gain access to a powerful combo of tapping and journaling… 
So you can say goodbye to crippling loneliness.

Gain Access Right Now

get the checklist

So you can set, stick to, and love your boundaries

Get the Guide

Attachment Style Self-Quiz

Loneliness Journaling & Tapping Exercise

Gain Access Right Now

Loneliness Journaling & Tapping Exercise

Gain Access Right Now