5 Guys Talking: The Second Half of Manhood

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What happens when you get five guys talking about ‘the perfect relationship’?

Managing Editor Justin Cascio, Editor in Chief Noah Brand, and GMP community members Mark Sherman and Kenny Bodanis welcomed Dr. Adam Sheck, author of “In Search of the Magic Pussy” and “The Mojo of a Man Living with Purpose” to a Google Hangout to discuss how man take responsibility for their relationships and find meaning in their lives.

The panelists’ ages ranged from Mark Sherman’s seventy years, down to Noah and Justin, who are both thirty eight, placing us all well within reach of what Adam calls the second half of manhood. Skip ahead to 7:52 for Adam’s explanation of what Carl Jung says is the difference between men under and over the age of forty. At 16:00, Adam talks about men’s deepest fears. Watch the entire On Air Google Hangout above to hear what these men have to say about seeking satisfaction in our relationships and in following our personal passions, at any age.

Want to be a part of the conversation? Each month, Premium members of The Good Men Project are invited to participate in live Google Hangouts—this was the first—with a special guest who brings a unique insight to one of the themes we discuss on The Good Men Project.


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  1. Megan,

    I totally agree with you and would like to call Bullsh*% as well on this. You are preaching to the choir when it comes to sharing emotions, it IS a sign of strength, especially in men, who seem to have weaker emotional “muscles” on average than women (physiology or social conditioning?).

    AND, I am sticking to my personal AND professional experience on my statement. You and those in your circle may appreciate/admire/encourage the men in your life to express their emotions. You are in the minority. The majority of men and women in our society are NOT you, are reacting more from the reptilian brain, not the cerebral cortex.

    While neither of us wants to perpetuate these beliefs, I would suggest that we all need to acknowledge that they exist. Yes, we want them to change, yes we can be the agents of that change. Denying that there is truth here, is colluding with it.

    As an additional FYI, a number of my female friends and colleagues commented on that part of the talk as well. One said to me that even though she felt fairly evolved, she felt EMBARRASSED to admit that she did indeed prefer her man to be strong and not share his weakness. That does mean that she acts from that desire/tendency, yet it is still there inside her. And if someone like her, who has been working on herself for a long time and in such a committed fashion still has a part that wants that, what about those who don’t have the time, energy, finances and other resources to do deeper work?

    There is NOTHING weak about the feminine, that NEVER came out of my mouth and is your hypothesis, not mine. Physically, emotionally, spiritually, I have no doubt that the feminine kicks the masculine ass nine times out of ten.

    Justin, thanks for the poke.

    Adam Sheck

    • Adam,
      Thanks for the response. I realize that you never said that there was anything weak about the feminine. I didn’t mean to imply that those were your words. They were mine, and I said them because I’ve long been observing the equation of feminine = weak, sometimes in my own social circle, but mostly in film and television where terms like “lady” , “woman” , “girl” and “female” are often used in a pejorative way, thrown at men to imply that they’re weak. You’ve probably seen this yourself: someone will say to a male, “Stop crying like a girl!”; or a sergeant will call tender, young army recruits “Ladies” as if it should be demeaning. This type of thing seems to send the message that female/feminine = weak. Tell me, is this how men interpret it, or is it just me?

      Regarding emotionality in men, you mentioned your friend with a preference that her man “be strong and not share his weakness,” and you seem to suggest (correct me if I’m wrong) that her preference, shared by the majority of women and men in our society, is a deeply-ingrained response from the reptilian brain (I’ll take your word for it, as I know very little about it). Is this reptilian brain the root of the interpretation of emotionality as “weakness” as opposed to “strength”?

      And if your friend, as enlightened as she is, still finds this belief showing up, what about the people who don’t have the resources to do the deeper work? The only resource I’ve found to be absolutely necessary is the will to inquire into my own experience. Anyone with the will to do so can look deeply into their own experience and see that the emotions felt, and the expression of them, say nothing about whether the one feeling and expressing them is weak or strong. Emotions are energy and sensation in the body and have nothing to do with “weak” or “strong” or any other concept; this association is socially constructed and is not inherently true. But people will keep believing this untruth until they don’t. I don’t really think it’s up to anyone to try to make people change their beliefs or preferences or social conditioning, but I hope that those of us who see the untruth of such an association and gender stereotyping do nothing to promote them (and I’m not at all saying that you do promote them. In my previous comment, I’d jumped on one sound-bite from your GMP chat, and that was unfair, so I apologize for that).

      For anyone interested in questioning the truth of their thoughts and beliefs, I recommend the wonderful, free on-line resources of Byron Katie’s “The Work”.

      • Tim OConnor says:

        There’s a long way to go, but the paradigm of the strong man–stoic, in control, impenetrable–remains, well, strong, in our culture. “He didn’t cry at Mom’s funeral. He’s strong.” Nope. This guy short changes himself, his kids and even his mom. A strong man is the fellow who can cry in his grief, show empathy, and let his feelings surface, whether joy or anger, sadness or fear. He can also be a warrior or a king when he needs to. It’s weak man who won’t ‘go there,’ who refuses to try to understand what his distressed teenage son is feeling, or meets his partner’s concern with rolled eyes, a dismissive wave or a fist. Man up guys, the old strong is the new weak.

  2. I want to address something Adam Sheck said regarding emotional availability. He stated that he believes that, despite what women may claim, they don’t really want an emotionally available man (one who is not only open to a woman expressing her [negative] emotions, but who also openly expresses his own) because they would see it as a sign of weakness, and then not want to be with him.
    Sorry, but I’m calling Bullsh*t on that. Why? because (A) there is NOTHING WEAK about showing emotions. It takes a great deal of strength and courage to be honest about one’s emotions; (2) vulnerability does not equal weakness; again it takes a great deal of strength to allow one’s self to be emotionally vulnerable (and even Adam himself mentioned 1 or 2 regarding depression); and (3) where’s the evidence that a woman would drop a man like a hot potato because he opened up emotionally? This is a myth. Let’s stop perpetuating it.
    More often the case, it is men, not women, who see emotions [especially negative ones] as a weakness, probably because emotional expression is considered a ‘feminine’ attribute, and therefore, ‘weak’. Again, this is myth. Please, let’s stop perpetuating it. Feminine attributes are not weak or inferior.

    • I would like to see Adam address that in his upcoming article, as well! At another time in the conversation, I thought we were more in agreement that fully realized adults have both masculine and feminine attributes. It may still be the case that we have old-fashioned and unconscious expectations of one another: men for women’s emotional availability, women for men’s strength.

      I’ll poke him on Facebook and ask him to come on over here and respond.

  3. i only planned to listen to a little bit around the 7:52 mark highlighted, however i ended up listening to the end.
    that was a good convo guys


  1. […] can see last month’s discussion with Dr. Adam Sheck here on 5 Guys Talking: The Second Half of Manhood. This month, we’re having a panel this time with several invited guests, as well as our Premium […]

  2. […] Watch: “5 Guys Talking: The Second Half of Manhood” with Dr. Adam Sheck […]

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