Many men are terrible with friendships.
With women, they are often taught to see any connection or common interest as sexual chemistry, an invitation for sexual exploit. This is why when women sincerely just want a man as a human friend, it is considered “friend-zoning”.
With men, they are threatened by perceived masculinity. It becomes more difficult for men to show emotional vulnerability the more threatening the other man’s masculinity appears to be. In the last six months, I’ve had no fewer than nine different guys privately express to me how threatened they feel by my masculinity. They are reluctant to bring women they are sexually interested in around me. This is something I’ve heard throughout my life. It’s exhausting having to constantly be challenged by other men, and it feels very lonely. I find myself acting unnaturally passive or feminine to set their fragile egos at ease. None of this says a word about how patronizing it is to the women in their lives. None of the women they are “protecting” from me are so shallow as to require such chivalry.
I’d rather have true friends than “steal” your women or “cock-block” you. What’s more ridiculous is how twisted their perception truly is . . . these same guys “get” far more female attention than I ever did, but for all the wrong reasons. They are basing their self-worth on the shallowness they fear, the very thing that keeps them fragile. How hot is she? Did I make her cum? Does she like my dick more? Does she love me the most?
Many men are so preoccupied in competition with one another that they never stop to emotionally support one another. Women often do all the emotional labor while fending off an onslaught of unwanted disingenuous sexual attention. That is the hardest truth for all men to learn: they do not want to screw every woman, and they do not want to fight every man. Competition becomes more important than actually being present and knowing themselves beneath the mask of masculinity.
Lately, I have been craving a cuddle buddy. Working and being super busy has left me little time with my partner, yet I crave affection. I used to think that meant sex. With men, homophobia reigns supreme. If they (we) were able to watch a movie while cuddling and not feel the insecurity of our sexual orientation, then it would become an insecurity about domination. Men are usually striving to dominate, to be strong and controlling with their women. That feels impossible with another man cuddling you. Men are taught that affection and sex are synonymous. They are not. I love my partner’s touch, but as a man twice her size with muscles, I’d enjoy some strong hands occasionally. A man’s touch. This insurmountable image seems impossible when men feel uncomfortable just standing next to me as it translates into sexual competitiveness.
Feminism is the idea that you are seen as a human first, that who you are is defined by the content of your mind, not your body. Men need this as well. So long as our privilege insulates us from realizing that we deny ourselves the same potential, we are imprisoning our identity. We are denying ourselves feminism. It is why men resent women so much and are so hostile, for feeling undeserving of being more than a man.
Men are defining themselves by the squareness of their jaw, size of their muscles, width of their wallet, and ability to “game” women. We must endeavor to be more. If you see my masculinity before getting to KNOW me, then it is no different than seeing a woman for her breasts or thigh gap before her intellect and passion. Men must begin seeing each other as humans first and foremost. If I want a hug or to cuddle with you, it doesn’t mean I want your asshole. Just like a woman who smiles at you doesn’t want your cock. If I dress masculine and my muscular genetics make you uncomfortable, it doesn’t mean i have any desire to see you diminished or hurt just as a woman isn’t “asking for it” in a tight skirt.
Having an easier time emotionally connecting with women speaks directly to your toxic masculinity.
The fear of being threatened, that our only true confidant is a sexual partner, an emotional vault we can tame with our cocks means you see sex as the highest form of emotional bonding. It is a sign that you are not fully in touch with your emotions without the reassurance of your masculinity and that your image of masculinity comes before your identity as a human.
Having an easier time physically touching a woman is homophobic. If you think that all pleasurable affection comes from women alone, then you think all affection is sexual, every hug, massage, and cuddle secretly hoping to become sex. This is misogynistic. Deep down you are judging a woman by her fuckability before the quality of her mind. Affection is far more than intercourse. It is similar to the immaturity of screwing because a woman looks hot. You are only using a single sense: vision. The scent of a partner, the texture of her skin, the sensation of warmth and cold, the taste of her tongue, feel of her grip, is all more powerful and intimate than numbly ogling a beauty from afar. Judging a good lay because she has large breasts and a tight ass is as senseless as believing that good affection is only with an attractive woman wanting to sleep with you.
You can have an amazing connection with a woman and it not be sexual. You can cuddle with a man and it not be sexual. We have billions of bodies, sex at your finger tips with dating apps, and social media networking. Yet, it is genuine connections that are in rare supply. It is what we all crave, feeling lonely at parties, unable to penetrate small talk or our preconceived notions.
Men need friends who understand their perspective. Our society needs to tear down the fearful insecurities that divide us. True equality comes from seeing people for who they are, not gender, race, handicap, orientation, religion, or the size of their masculinity.
Many of you have accepted me for the gorgeous unicorn I can be . . . but would you accept my rage, my fear, my prejudice, the vulnerabilities that I desperately need good friends to help me see? Or am I doomed to suffer alone because I threaten your masculinity. Must the privilege I recognize also be the anchor that drowns me?
I recognize that befriending women tends to carry a suspicious eye toward the masculine way I carry myself. I need to prove my character before their ability to see me as more than an aggressive brute. I understand, women live in a world beset by rape and harassment. Yet, I also recognize that this will never change, and I will not be seen for who I truly am until men take the first step. Men, you are not in physical danger. You are threatened only by your insecurity. We must begin seeing past our petty primitive drive to dominate and fear of being threatened. We no longer need to protect women. It is time we have the strength to support one another emotionally, vulnerably, and affectionately. It is time that we become more than sex obsessed warriors fighting off potential rivals.
Imagine a world where men are free to explore without shame, indulge without guilt, where tears are welcome, affection as varied as cuisine, that our senses and emotions can be satiated without label or expectation, where you bond with others based off their mind, truly getting to strum the strings of their thoughts absent genitalia. It is a life that consents only to what you truly desire. Shared by everyone.
A version of this post was originally posted on BarbarianEffeminate.com and is republished here with permission from the author.
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