VA survivor asked in another thread:
I need my maleness affirmed - not my sexuality. How do I do this, when my maleness has only ever been affirmed through sex?
i think that this is an important topic that needs to be addressed on its own - and not lost in the thread that has some other major points being discussed.
with that in mind i offer the following thoughts and hope that others will add their own. this is my personal belief, and it is likely that there will be some differences of opinions. i think we can all benefit from the open exchange of ideas.
What is masculinity?
Obviously it means more than the type of organs you’ve got between your legs.
To me, it means that I must start by rejecting the popular cultural definition promoted by the stereotypes and hawked by the entertainment industry and mass media that has caused so much damage:
It does not mean big muscles or a hairy chest.
I does not mean a big penis and balls and the ability to get it up at the slightest whim.
It does not mean that you have slept with more women than you can remember.
It does not mean that you are hard-drinking, smoking, chewing and spitting, swearing and trash-talking.
It does not mean you are good at football, wrestling, hunting and fishing, or any other traditionally macho sports or past-times.
It does not mean aggressiveness or violence or using brute force to get your way and intimidate or defeat others.
It does not mean hyper-competitiveness that must win at all costs and cares nothing about the collateral damage to others.
It does not mean that you practice cut-throat business tactics to make big bucks, drive a powerful car, and own a fancy house.
It does not mean that you never show your emotions, and above all, it does not mean that you never cry.
It does not mean that you go it alone as a rugged individualist and never need anybody else.
By these requirements, I was an absolute and abject failure as a man.
The only ones of all of the above that I ever mastered were the last two – and those ultimately failed me.
OK – so if the above list is NOT the essence of a man – then what is?
Telling and supporting the truth, no matter how hard it is.
Standing up for what you believe is right – no matter how unpopular.
Lending your aid to those without the voice, strength, or position to defend themselves.
Working the best you can with the resources you have to achieve the dreams and goals you have set.
Reaching out to help others and also accepting help when you need it.
Doing whatever it takes to care for, protect, and seek the best for those you love.
Expressing what is in your heart openly and honestly.
Enjoying sex without apology, shame, or guilt – in the way you were created to – to celebrate your own body and the love you can express for your partner – and to bring you both joy.
Being true to yourself.
Knowing that perfection is not attainable but that to give a 100% attempt at living a good life is the best than anyone can ask or expect.
not the final word...