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Feeling Stressed and Out of Balance? It Might Be Your Gender Identity

energy gender queer queer tantra relationships yoga Apr 21, 2023

I’m standing in the kitchen, a dropped plate on the floor, staring at my hand. There’s quite a cut on my palm and it’s starting to bleed. This is my wake-up call.

Whenever I injure myself, I take it as a reminder that I’m not present. And that I need to get present pronto. On a bigger level, the universe is trying to get my attention. And I’ve learned to listen.

This was the second injury I’d had in a week. A couple of days earlier, I had given myself an uppercut under the chin with a metal clothing bar at work. And I was still recovering.

Opening my journal to write, I began to ponder these latest happenings on the page. At first, I couldn’t understand. I’d already left an incredibly stressful job. How did this one start to become similar?

My wanderings on the page led me back to a book I’d read by spiritual teacher, David Deida. He writes about the sexual and spiritual growth of men and women. As I’m sure you can appreciate, my friend, many of my studies in tantra have been within the hetero norm. They have all required me to translate and apply the teachings to a queer context.

In one exercise, David asserts that at our essence, we are a particular gender (regardless of our sex). Without knowing this, we can find ourselves out of balance. We experience disharmony during intimacy and our relationships.

And so I did the quiz. He found a simple way to help the participants in his workshops work out which gender was at their essence. They gave their response to two scenarios.

Scenario one.

It’s your birthday. Your partner comes home and says, I’ve taken the rest of the day off work and we are free to do whatever you want to do. Say the word, and we’ll do it!

Scenario two.

It’s your birthday. Your partner comes home and says, pack your bags for a 2-night trip. Everything is already arranged. I’m taking you on a mystery weekend away. Let’s go!

If you resonate with scenario one, then your essence is masculine.  The 'masculine' loves to choose how to celebrate your birthday with your partner.

If you resonate with scenario two, then your essence is feminine. This is where everything is taken care of and you simply have to show up for a great time.

Now, can there be exceptions and flaws to this premise? Of course. But, like anything, take what empowers you and leave the rest. Because it’s all made up anyway.

I spent a week or so ruminating over this question. Was I masculine in my essence or was I feminine at my essence or was I neutral or something else? I looked at how I showed up in my relationship with my partner at the time. I did step into my masculine a lot of the time. My work required me to use my masculinity, it was in my everyday busyness - I could see it everywhere. And so I concluded I must have a masculine essence.

Cultivating divine masculinity

I went to work on cultivating my masculinity. I explored being a Drag King on stage as well as wearing a drawn-on moustache to social events. I turned up the volume on my masculine presentation. I stepped up even more in my relationship.

I began practicing being present and bringing my full presence. I sat in a crowded cinema and practiced holding space for as many people as I could. I observed masculine presence in other people. I watched strangers walking along the train platform, actors, and celebrities. Even people I knew. I studied people with charisma and what was attractive about this.

I practiced sitting, listening for my divine purpose, goal setting, and mirror work. I sent laser beams out into the universe while expanding my energetic body. I even mimicked masculine-style walking - keeping at least a meter or two behind the person I was copying.

And then, after injuring myself, I realised the stress I was under. I had over-cultivated my masculine expression. I went back to the book and decided it was time to cultivate my femininity and relax into it.

After some time, I realised that my essence was actually feminine. What I needed was tending to and taking care of myself. This masculine misdiagnosis caused me to become imbalanced and stressed. I made some significant changes in my life and stepped down from my management role. I started taking care of myself more and engaged in the world and in my relationship in new ways.

Cultivating divine femininity

To cultivate my feminine essence, I did a lot of work through my senses. I used essential oils for my sense of smell. My tastebuds love organic vegan refined sugar-free chocolate.  I added more touch using coconut oil for self-massage and self-pleasure. Redecorating a room with rich colours gave me pleasure through sight. And playing relaxing or uplifting music warmed my hearing. I explored circular movements in the wrists and the hips for vestibular stimulation.

I put myself in positions of receiving such as sitting in the salon chair or getting my toenails done. I breathed deep into my belly while lying on the massage table. I practiced open listening in all my conversations with people.

Practicing surrender meant I had to trust others in new ways. This included being intimate with my partner or when solo. Being a passenger in the car was a great time to practice. But the ultimate surrender was having surgery and putting life in my surgeon's hands.

The divine feminine is not only about surrender and receptivity. It is about everything manifest. It’s the beauty of the physical realm. It can include being fierce, protective, or a storm of emotions. This is where we practice our manifesting skills.


Soon I started to feel more in balance. I integrated the divine masculine and the divine feminine into divine androgyny. This meant I was free to draw on these and any other gender expressions. This served me well in being a well-rounded human and as a lover.

Self-study matters

Gender as distinct from sexuality is a core tenant of queer tantra teachings. The recognition of many genders allows us to explore. We uncover aspects of ourselves that we may not have recognised before.

Self-study is useful in this context. Know thyself. As Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra says: “Study thy self, discover the divine” II.44

When you anchor yourself in an empowering identity, it can lift you up and move you forward. It can allow you to connect with other humans in a powerful way.

Left to our own devices, the "monkey mind" gets louder. That little voice in your head makes negative assessments of yourself and of others. Having an anchor that trues you up to your higher Self, creates room for you to take action and move freely in the world.  This leaves you bigger and more expansive than before.

When you begin to practice tantra, you will have so much energy and vitality. You will need to channel it into something. That something is your gift to the world.

You are never stuck with one gender expression. You may find that your gender expression evolves over time as you continue to grow and develop as a human being. The truth about gender (and sexuality) is that it’s yours. Nobody else’s. You get the say about what your gender expression is and what you’d like to explore and express. You’re the only authority on your gender.

A guiding tool can be whether you are in alignment with yourself and the universe. When you’re out of alignment, you feel off. Things seem off-kilter. You may experience stress or be irritatable and upset. Like me, you may have minor accidents. You may bite your cheek when eating or bump into corners of furniture.

My model is:

Start with the two genders those of us in Western society are born into. Even though we have a lot to undo, we know these energies the best.  There is plenty to unlearn about what is 'feminine'' and what is 'masculine'. As we untangle ourselves, we are taking the aspects of these archetypes that empower us. We will discard the rest.

You may find yourself resistant to exploring this terminology. You may have already worked hard to remove yourself from binary thinking. That’s ok. Nothing will break by continuing your exploration into gender.

Gender is a realm of energy that human beings have put words to. In my experience, starting with something as obvious as the air that we breathe is a great place to start. Once we have worked through these realms, we can go beyond them. When we resist them, they persist.

Step one: Distinguish and explore the divine feminine energy. Learn how to cultivate feminine expression.

Step two: Distinguish and explore the divine masculine energy. Learn how to cultivate masculine expression.

Step three: Distinguish your essence. Which energy is at your essence? Feel into it. It lives within you in the circle in the middle of your body. What’s your essence or core? Is it feminine, masculine, or neutral – as a leaning?

Remember this is not the truth, you’re never locked into anything because you get to say. You always have a choice in the matter.

Knowing which energy is your anchor will make it easier to tend to these core needs. You won’t be oscillating between two energies. You will start to observe when one is too dominant and you need to spend some time on the other energy.

When the masculine has been over-cultivated you may feel stressed and out of balance.  You might have accidents or even bump into furniture more. Watch as you drop things, break things and generally find yourself being clumsy. These are all potential signs that the masculine has been over-cultivated. You need to drop into your feminine energy, surrender, and relax into it.

When the feminine has been over-cultivated, you may feel bored like you're not up to anything. You can feel restless, frustrated, or itching to go. You may feel lazy, like you can’t move, and don’t want to do anything. As a result, you feel sluggish, foggy, and in a haze. You can’t be bothered and lose any motivation or inspiration.

It’s ok if you find yourself in this place. Nothing bad is happening. Don’t make any of it wrong. It's time to lean back into the masculine.

Now you have developed some mastery. You are starting to distinguish between the energies of masculine, feminine, and neutral. You are noticing the subtle differences between them. You know when you are in your masculine energy and when you are in your feminine energy. You also know when you’re out of balance and have over-cultivated one and you need to get back into alignment.


Step four: At this point, we learn integration. Integration is the harmonious merging of these energies together. This state of being, this archetype is both or all. We integrate the divine masculine, divine feminine, and divine androgyny into your being. At any time you can draw on any of the energies and channel them.

This is the ultimate state of being a whole and integrated being. You are whole before this, but this is the next level.  At this stage, you become 100% at home in your skin. You’re a whole and integrated person with the energetic backup of a thousand deities. These deities embody many genders.

During my tantra studies, I was sitting in a raw food café in Koh Phangan when a man came in. He saw me and smiled a smile of curiosity. He said, “What are you? You’re both handsome… and beautiful.”

My answer was, "I'm both."

In my personal gender journey, I’ve leaned into the masculine and I’ve leaned into the feminine. I’ve also leaned heavily into androgyny. The integration of both or all has been the most empowering to me. This means having access to the masculine, the feminine, and a combination of both. At this stage in life, I identify as bi-gender which means both or all.

What are you?

Gender is a journey. One in which you are free to explore and discover what empowers you. Exactly like this article. If something empowers you, it came from the universe. If something doesn't empower you, it came from my humanness. Take what empowers you, and leave the rest.




The King Coach

P.S. If you like this conversation, you’ll love discovering the #1 problem that keeps queer, lesbian and non-binary couples from having a fulfilling sex life. Go to to download your free gift.

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