• Since the previous post triggered a wide range of reactions, let me try and sum up what we deal with, based on my observations. I’m talking about guys in their late twenties, early thirties.
    • somehow try to convince ourselves and the people around us that we are worth something. Some do that by joining an extreme political movement, see my post on the Flemish group Schild en Vrienden, some do that by showing off their muscles (as my dad did when he was 35), some do it by trying to make as much money as possible (that’s the road I am on)or showing off their skills, some try it by owning a fancy car, beating others at games or by having a fancy house or other possessions. Some try to sleep with as many women as possible (tried that, makes you feel good for a while, tends to anger lots of folks though and it takes up an exorbitant amount of time).
      The louder and tougher we act the more insecure we are. Funny how women don’t see through that and fall for vain guys (and won’t even admit they fall for them)
      Especially today examples of super succesful guys fly all around us and we wish it would be us hitting the jackpot. Not Bill Gates, not Zuckerberg, not Musk, etc We want to make it. And even if we claim we are satisfied with a simple, insignificant life that we won’t be remembered for, inside we suffer. We all suffer if we’re not top of the food chain. I swear you can measure this in blood tests, how good a guy feels about himself, I swear their will be a strong link with where he sees himself on the social ladder.
      The struggles of today’s men aren’t that much different from guys in ancient times. We want to shine. If we’re honest. We want to be hot shots. And in the end, of course, we are just average. And especially in today’s society most jobs require our feminine side. We have to smile when we don’t want to smile, be polite at all times, and we are forced to hunt paper, not deer. Plus we hardly ever are part of a team that depends on every member for its sheer survival. Maybe men today are kinda sad, because their material comfort is almost a guarantee, but spiritually there’s nothing, no happiness, a void, they don’t feel part of a larger community, they are on their own. So many of us become so, so vain and arrogant to delude ourselves that we are great, that we are special. But we are mostly missing a collective set of values. That explains the rise of extremist groups, they provide that higher common goal. Today’s goals are individual goals. It explains why Trump’s slogan ‘make America great again’ was so great again, the people who voted for them are the victims of hyperindividualism, but they don’t realize that, Trump in his slick, instinctive way gave the down-trodden a common goal again, however vaguely defined, emotionally it was magnetic. Important note: often we want to shine so much that we will do anything that will get us applause, meaning that in the long run we end up with lives we don’t want, we just got them while running after other people’s approval.
      We don’t have rite of passage, a ceremony, a test, that shows us the older men accept us, as boys, as men. So important, so lacking in our culture. We also don’t pass on a clear set of values to boys anymore.
      We often think about giving society a positive direction, but we are distracted and in the end choose to invest our energy in other things, making excuses for our lack of engagement.
      Most guys struggle with the confines of monogamy that society demands. This is to keep society safe. Without monogamy 15 percent of guys would get about 80 percent of the women. This would destabilize society. Monogamy is a compromise. For women it’s a disturbing idea that men, almost all men, start very actively thinking about sex with other women after about two years of sex with the same woman, if not sooner.
      The happiest guys I meet are devout Catholics. I don’t agree with the Catholic Church -although I’ve always had some sympathy for the Jesus character- but the deeply Catholic guys I meet are a bit more cheerful than the others. They struggle with all of the above, but they seem to accept their lowly status more easily. You know, they can say that everything is God’s will and not see everything as personal failure or personal triumph, it’s just God’s will either way. It also makes sleeping around with other women impossible as the Catholic faith is like some spiritual chastity device. I don’t envy them, but they deal with all these struggles in a spiritual way. I’d rather get wet from pussy than from holy water though. I’ve tried both and the former makes me way happier. There’s also something unexplored about Catholic guys, Catholicism is so restrictive that you can’t even be open to every facet of your own soul. You have to repress a lot. So maybe all the cheerfulness is only superficial.
      We struggle with sex. A lot. Even the guys you think aren’t. There really are some things men will never share with a woman. I’ve heard some pretty sad shit from guys over the years. The only time I was very close to full sexual satisfaction was when there were so many women in my life I didn’t have time to sleep anymore and practically passed out any time I went to sit or lie down. Blissful years. But so, so, so time-consuming. At one point I lost all my money on women, to keep this life-style going. If I had understood money making better back then I might still be leading a life like that. Anyway, you can’t talk to women about sex, when it comes to sex they can only think in stereotypes and polygamy a fate worse than death to them. I already know that this point will be the only one to get spirited reactions.
      We struggle with the legacy of our fathers. Who they were. What they passed on. What they wanted us to be. We carry their insecurities around, their regrets, their dissapointments, and those of their fathers. It’s a damn heavy burden.
      We think about leaving a legacy
      We think about how we are so small and if we are stupid and aggressive enough we delude ourselves into thinking we are important by posing with manly stuff like guns or other masculinity symbols
      We try to be perfect
      If we’re smart enough we try to endear ourselves by being the first to openly list our many mistakes. A tactic that can backfire
      In the end we are desperate to be loved, to be respected, to be accepted as valuable members of a community, desperate for growth, and scared shitless that we might look foolish in other people’s eyes. And yes, we do feel a strong need to make women happy, but we also desperately long for variety and excitement. A different smell, different movements, different preferences. It’s a fight, to give up the life magnifying variety for dull stability and security and some respect. Monogamy to some degree earns you the respect of society. Society is the result of caging men and men willingly undergoing that submission. If we don’t we get chaos, violence, danger, randomness. So the men who submit to this are rewarded by ‘respectability’. It’s a poor compensation for living your life like an adventurer, but most men accept it. Though they will almost be conflicted about it.
      The simpler you are as a guy the better your chance at happiness
      I personally struggle with knowing my male friends’ sexual secrets and then meeting their girlfriends who live in the illusion that their guy doesn’t ‘cheat’. I don’t hypocrisy and I don’t like illusions, I’ve lost all my mine and I get annoyed from people who still live in theirs. I keep my mouth shut, of course. No good could come from telling them.
      We do deal with values. We want to be knights. Protect the weak. Save the damsel in distress. Rescue the princess. Fight off the barbarians. Not an easy aspiration in a time of desk jobs… But not entirely impossible either. There are many ways to protect the weak and save princesses. In fact, I think at the moment I might be saving a princess just by being her English and using the lessons to really listen to her and value her.
      If you’re a guy with a big appetite and huge desires and big expectations and want to fulfill your potential then you are in for a steep climb…

    So, let the hate mail arrive, because that’s also part of it, women think what a man should be like and they find it hard to accept us the way we are. To be fair to women though, us guys are equally clueless about dealing with women.

    PS I selected this picture from Dances with Wolves because I feel John Dunbar’s quest in that movie is very similar to what guys are looking for, to some degree at least.