The World In The Life Of A Guy: Part 1 -Sex

Written on my wall since high school is a simple question printed on a label maker. “What Makes A Man?” it says.  This ambiguous question, with no clear answer, is something that I come back to regularly as I contend with realities of the world. Hearing stories about what men are capable of both good and bad makes me question what type of person I want to be. Over the last several months I’ve been posing questions to people around me about their interactions with men. The answers I received were confusing and at points horrifying. I want to show you what it’s like for a regular guy out there in the world, one who doesn’t necessarily know if he is an outlier or the rule.

Sex, it always starts with sex. A stupid place to start but a grand motivator for most men.  Guys will usually have a story about something they do or have done because of girl. I among them found my love of running because of a girl in high school telling me she liked guys with runners bodies. As I get older, this departs from the much more innocent motivations of young; a desire to get from point A to point B as quickly as possible is found. Guys are motivated by sex.  I can’t honestly deny this, what changes is willingness fight against this all-consuming emotion to find a higher ground to stand on.  In our mind, sex it presses up against us, invading our thoughts and without strong mental fortitude it wins out the day. It whispers fantasies and delusions into our ear, denying that reality in which we are for one that could possibly be if you were to play the game right. That is no way to condemn us to being sex fiends, but something we must contend with.  That inner strength is what I find as being the man is all about.  The ability to put these thoughts and feelings aside for something that is much greater than the hedonistic vices of sex can provide me.

It’s that relationship, though, between guys and gals that so intertwined with this dynamic that it becomes bogged down but the tension between friendship and sexuality.  From When Harry Met Sally, a movie about a man and woman attempting to have a friendship that eventually turns into a romantic relationship, even the one of the protagonists clearly states that he doesn’t believe men and women can be friends because sex will get in the way. This idea was foreign to me, why can’t we foster and hold relationships with people of the opposite gender?  It’s within the expectations that are held, the way we picture things when I say I have a relationship with a guy friend versus a girl friend. Not to mention the amount of narratives I’ve heard from women of always having to be wary of ulterior motives when entering a friendship with a guy.  With all I’ve heard, the hesitation is warranted.  Love is a drug, and we are addicts, so if you need a fix, you’ll try to get it from anywhere. 

Do I believe we different from the previous generations of human beings in such a way that we can deviate from this cycle of sexual magnetism?
No, but I do believe in the human spirit, which can look create the world we want and I do believe in values and the ability to motivate ourselves to relationships that go beyond sexual attraction.

In this regard, I find to be the best way to end this conversation about being a guy in this sexual environment is talking about what I strive for. This comes from many hours thinking about the kinds of relationships I want to foster along with listening to troubled tales of the lost souls out there in the world. My truest goal is to find a place and strength to be able to say no to sex.  With the ability to wait and find a sense of truth beyond the physicality of it all. Don’t get me wrong intimacy has a place in every adult relationship, but I don’t want to be under the control of these feelings. It’s not to deny them,  but to find a way to curb them appropriately. The world does not revolve around sex and I shouldn’t either, I want to enjoy the world and people for who they are and not have this lingering thought in the back of my mind. It’s what I am working towards, and something I want for my relationships in the future…but hey, at the end of the day I’m “just a guy” right.

How to Define A Line

It has come to my attention that I have trouble defining who I am. It is something that I look to others for insight.  Using others a mirror of sorts, looking for feedback. I can tell you that when everything is right, this isn’t a problem, but when thing takes an unexpected turn sometimes, my whole identity is shaken.

It’s not as dramatic as it sounds, it takes time for the layers of me unravel.  The longer the detour, the more I have trouble with this.  Only after unraveling everything I am gets called into question. Who am I?  What do I mean to other? What role I play in their lives? How do they see me and is that how see myself? These are questions I have asked myself FAR too many times.  I try to be as self-aware as possible.  Knowing my faults and working on them. I have a worry I cannot see everything, and that I am missing a glaring imperfection in my personality.  I am hard on myself for that reason, looking for errors so that I can fix them.  That is under the juvenile pretense if I can fix myself enough people will love me.

It’s silly and ridiculous, the notion of needing to be good enough for love.  I can give a long history of reasons as to why I feel this way, and knowing enough about people gives me the insight that that idea is purely internal. I know it’s wrong to feel this way, but my other concern is the feeling come and goes as it pleases, not to when it pleases me.

At this point, I have trouble with who I am.  Doubt is born within my heart and mind.
I am smart, but I don’t get treated like I’m smart so maybe I’m not.
I am fun to be around, but no one seems to want to be around me so maybe I’m not.
I am dependable, but no one depends on me so maybe I’m not.
It’s these ridiculous things that I hate in myself.  It whispers in my ear, telling me that I am not, and I will never be.

I am consistent, having learned to fight through it. I found traits based on my perceptions.
I am healthy.
I am a deep thinker.
I am serious and have a dry wit.
Adding to my lists, I am creating a building that requires no one to keep it standing.

I don’t know if cutting people out of this process is a right or wrong, but I do know it does help with sanity when I can lesson the load on I expect from others.  Self-esteem is not my strongest trait, alternatively, self-efficacy is.  I may not be the most confident with who I am, but I am confident with I can do. Anything I put my mind to.

Maybe I am too caught up with the man in the mirror and should be more concerned with what he does than who he may be.