Friday, April 3, 2009

More Shifts Towards Masculinity

Here are two major shifts I noticed in my growth into manhood.


I usually start to gawk more at men after I've sinned through masturbation/fantasy/porn.  Today, my eyes scanned a few good-looking men shortly after I masturbated.  


Unless I knew that they were able to connect emotionally with me, I had no interest in them sexually no matter how good looking they were.

Then as I was driving, I saw a very manly looking guy in a car with a girl next to him.  I admired his manliness and allowed myself to let the admiration stay without judging it.  

When I arrived home, I got out of the car and noticed that I was walking with a very male stance (attitude).  I caught myself doing that and then realized that I was feeling very manly without even trying to be.

Rather than to feel lacking as a man when compared to that guy in the car, I internalized the manliness as my own.


I am less and less able to be "best friend" with my wife.  However, she tells me that she is loving me more than ever before.  So, how does that make sense?

  • I have been doing a lot more fathering around the house (fathering is a man thing.)  I am the initiator and keeper of family devotions (another man thing), and I also do the cooking to relieve her of her stresses (another man thing -- to care by doing physical work).
  • I am gentle with her when we make love.  I make sure she feels warm and comfortable, I give her sensuous massages.  Sometimes, I just tell her that I really want her and I devour her emotionally and sexually.  When I have an orgasm, I am 100% present with her--no fantasies.  It's all about me wanting her.  She knows she is loved and wanted, and she tells me that she has never felt so beautiful on the inside.  (I guess these are all man things too.)

What's sort of "negative" is that I've become a lot less bestfriend-like (maybe girlfriend like even) with her.  I don't really want to tell her what's going on with my intimate relationships with my brothers.  Yes, she knows about it in general, and she knows that it's a good thing.  But I don't feel like I want to or even need to share with her the details.  I feel like it's really something between men.

On the outside, I imagine I might appear like the strong, silent type.  But inside, I am just content with her as who she is--my wife, my woman, the mother of my children--and at the same time, thinking a lot about how much I miss hanging out or talking to my brothers.

Is the above a manthing too?  Is this similar to typical guys who don't talk much with their women, but think about spending time hanging out with the guys?  Cause I do think about playing basketball with Brother B quite a bit.

  • Oh, and tonight, after dinner, I held her hand, walked her towards the car, and opened the passenger seat for her before I opened my own door.  It felt like the most natural thing to do: protect your woman -- she is soft and beautiful, treat her so.  Then she suddenly remarked, "you've NEVER ever done that before!"

- - - 

I think I am becoming less and less afraid of being a man.

Hand me a basketball.


  1. Since becoming a lot more involved in the online community of SSA guys, I've been trying to share some of the conversations and guys with my wife. About a month ago I did this, cause I felt like may be I wasn't allowing her into my world/friends...and she was like I'm happy you have those guys and the community, but you don't need to tell me about it...I'm happy for you though.
    I was like...ok, I was mostly sharing because I thought may be she felt "left out"...but I was wrong.

  2. My brother, who I always have had an incredibly deep relationship with, is an excellent Christian, father, brother, husband, and teacher (he's a high school principal, and he commands respect but is also very compassionate).

    I know he tells his wife everything. They have no secrets with one another. They are, after all, Biblically joined. It's like when I revealed to my brother that I was SSA; he informed me that he would have to tell her. I didn't mind, of course, because they are one and the same and I understood that.

    Of course, not telling secrets doesn't mean that one is obligated to give every detail. She's a surgery nurse and he's a principal. They have busy days filled with lots of different interactions and of course they don't have to go over every detail, but at the same time, if something major happens or they're going through emotional hard times, I think being husband and wife means that they are obligated to tell each other.

    I also think it's perfectly fine to be best friends with your wife. My brother and his wife have similar interests. They read a lot, and they're sci-fi nerds (their term; not mine) and they just get on well together as friends.

    I personally have always had a good sense of masculinity, I think, despite my SSA. I admittedly have a thin, somewhat-feminine frame and a stereotypically "girly" demeanor, but my family has never treated me as anything less than a man and I've never seen myself as anything less. If male peers ever gave me a hard time, I usually just confused them with a comeback (having a 9th grade reading level and vocabulary in 3rd grade had its uses).

    What we consider masculine is often nothing more than cultural stereotype (appearance, posture, voice, interests, etc.) Biblical masculinity has to do with your spiritual strength and fortitude, not with your ability to play basketball or whether or not you talk with your hands. That's what I've always thought, at least. :)

  3. Daniel: My wife is also not so much concerned to know the details than she is to know that everything is okay. After reading Jay's comment, I thought I'd share with her more, but she wasn't interested in the details. Mostly she just wanted to snuggle and feel safe and loved. And I can do that! ;-)

    Jay: I still tell my wife everything. What is different is that I used to have "only my wife" whom I confided in, and I had no intimate male friends with whom I could connect at a deeper emotional level. I see more and more clearly now that it was too much "just her" to the exclusion of having healthy male intimate bonding (something I never had in my life, until now). I suppose for the OSA man who has his gender-identity intact, having a wife-best-friend would not be a problem because the OSA man doesn't have a deficit in male-gender-identity. For the SSA man, having only his wife to confide in and no deep fellowship with other men can be a cover up for fear to relate with men in an emotionally healthy non-sexual way. At least, that is what I am discovering about myself now.

    But your response is very interesting to me on another level. You say you family all treat you as nothing less than a man. Do you have a blog post you can point me to where write about some root-element to the development of SSA for you? If you come from a fully healthy male-gender identity, why do you struggle? (I'm not doubting, I'm sincerely curious in a most respectful way.)

  4. Hey TCM. I don't have a post about it, really, so I'll just answer here. No, I really don't see any "root-element" to the development of SSA for me, other than the fact that I was born a human. I'm a five-pointer, so I'm pretty big on the Total Depravity thing, I guess. :)

    We're all born with failings. We're all born sexually broken, since we have the ability to lust after people who are not our God-given spouses. I happen to lust after other men but I see myself as no more or less broken than a brother who lusts after women who aren't his wife.

    I guess I've just never quite found that any of the "root element" theories worked for me. I had strong relationships with my dad, brother, and my male peers in school (we were more the smart, bookish set instead of the jocks, but they were still awesome guys and great friends). I thankfully have never had to go through any kind of abuse.

    Not that I don't think those theories work for anyone. They very well can. Even if it's more of a placebo effect, there is only good that can come from healing family relationships and coming into a greater sense of gender identity. It's just that, for me, they simply don't work and I'm okay with that.

    There is no root cause for my SSA. Heck, it could be biological. If I fit any developmental theory it's the one about decreased male hormones for those in a lower birth order (I'm the youngest sibling) with a higher age of the mother (she was 45 when I was born). A biological cause doesn't rule out God's law, since we're all born into sin anyway.

    I'm rambling now, sorry. I guess my main point is that I'm more concerned with obedience and looking forward, living my life to serve God, rather than focusing too much on a past that, in all honesty, I was rather blessed to have and can't complain about.

  5. Thanks for leaving me your comment, Jay. It's giving me a lot to think about. If you don't mind, I would like to pursue a conversation with you about your experience sometime in the future because yours does sound more unique and not fall into a typical explanation.

    I have met another man who was straight all his life, but then because of disappoinment with girlfiends, decided "for convenience" to let gay guys get him off. And then he got hooked, and became same-sex attracted. Another atypical case.

    I think like a researcher, so I'm always open to understanding things as they are, rather than to privilege a theory when the data doesn't support it.

    Thank you for sharing. I really appreciate it!

  6. No worries, TCM. If you'd like to continue this discussion, I am always available through e-mail (found through my Blogger profile). Hope you have a great day!