Originally Posted By: TheBobcatAgain

JayBro - You wrote, "...it is through vulnerability and other non-stereotypical male traits that I have been able to re-affirm my masculinity." Can you explain that to me? It sounds useful.

Your idea of group therapy/weekend retreats is a good one. I went to a WoR 4 years ago - and it was great - but I didn't talk about my lack of masculinity; I concentrated on my CSA. I would attend a group session to talk about masculinity, but I haven't the money to afford to go to one just now.


Hey Bodcat!

Well by that quote regarding vulnerability, I was referring to acknowledging my feelings and life experiences, as well as not worrying about if my interests and personality are "manly" enough or not. I found that being my authentic self, other authentic men who are comfortable with themselves and enthusiastic about the world around them have gravitated towards me. It is a leap into the unknown and a very vulnerable situation for one to put themselves out there, but there are many rewards because it enables one to make deeper connections with other individuals. Personally, sticking to superficial, mindless social expectations and stereotypes of what a man "is" only left me feeling empty and disconnected from others. I wasn't being myself and truly growing as a man... instead I was a robot without the software to host authentic individuality. wink

You will find that "men" are simply "people" with all kinds of interests, world views, abilities, appearances etc. The feeling of lacking a masculinity is more a symptom of a larger identity crisis and self-exploration which is not solely dependent on your gender. The men who I am friends with are straight, bisexual, and gay; they like sports and hate sports; they are nerds and they are jocks; they make a lot of money and live paycheck-to-paycheck etc etc...however what makes me connect with them beyond superficial labels or interests is their emotional intelligence. They are open to expressing themselves authentically, and likewise they encourage others to do so around them. When that happens, everyone involved in the encounter feels self-affirmed for who they are. "Real men" don't put down other men for existing and "real men" don't see difference as an invitation for hate or feel threatened by it.

It is not seen as a manly trait to be yourself (whoever that may be!) and allow yourself to be vulnerable, however the men who go down this path end up being the men most secure with themselves and most happy with life.

The men's CSA group therapy that I am a part of is free of cost and run by an organisation (essentially an NGO) which runs programs for abuse survivors and helps in on-going investigations. In this city there are also a number of other groups run by different services and they are too are all free. While every jurisdiction is different, maybe there exists something similar where you are?
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