Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Man Reviews The Man Project

There is a silent rule that men aren't allowed to talk about sexuality. I feel this line reflects the prevalent mood: "[It is as though] a guy with a sex blog is the intellectual version of a flasher."

You got to figure, in Western Culture, at least, male sexuality was a given. Gender roles were clearly defined, often at the detriment of women who were often treated as second citizens.

Then we've evolved. Women fought for their rightful place as equals (lets be real, the war isn't over but incredible ground has been gained). Now, in a serious discussion of sex and sexuality, you will always be talking about female sexuality. A male orgasm is elementary. We're past that. The thinking is, if we really want self discovery we have to delve into what makes women tick.

What is male sexuality? What does it mean to be masculine? The perception is that it's puerile. Locker room talk. Fake, Neanderthal, misguided machismo lacking self-awareness. Men's magazines with barely clad women on the front. Articles about hair gel and lifting weights inside.

In reality, it's treated with silence. We don't talk about sexuality with each other. We don't talk about what it means to be masculine in the 21st century. I agree with David Jay: when it is brought up, it is usually joked at. "Traditional" masculinity is no longer a serious mode of self expression, of self actualization. However, a suitable model has yet to present itself. It's as though we have to each invent ourselves as men and hope what we've created for ourselves is "right." This incidentally, is the underlying theme to Fight Club but I'm too pretty to go around getting punched.

With Neckties, the hope was to create a space to talk about porn and how it affects us in ways it never affected our fathers. How it shapes us and perhaps turns us to people other than we would have been. This is incidental to a grander discussion of sexuality in the 21st century. But my approach is a small buildup. Small increments of self investigation. Perhaps a few steps back at times, like years of psychotherapy.

Rachel Rabbit White gets where I want to go much faster, with a whole lot more people. Behold The Man Project. Also behold this "best of" the Man Project. Read it. Love it. Self edify.

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