Ten things I’ve learned from being a straight man

Note: I went without internet for a bit. It was tragic, only having access at work. I don’t know how I survived, but somehow I did. Bla bla First World Problems bla bla. Anyway, here I am again, and I’m hitting the blog with renewed vigor.

  1. We men are different in groups than by ourselves. If you are a lady dating a straight guy, have you ever wondered…”how come my boyfriend is so sweet to me, but such a jerk when he is with his friends?” It’s because social constructions of masculinity are enforced in groups, and we feel like we need to live up to those rules. By ourselves, we write poetry.
  2. Men are every bit as emotional and moody and giddy and weird as women. Many men are capable of processing emotions, checking in, and all of that good (and sometimes bad) stuff. Working in an office with mostly women, I find I am constantly flipping between gossiping with my co-workers and asserting my masculinity to avoid emasculation as much as possible.
  3. Having a father figure to look up to is critical in helping us grow up and learn what it means to be a man. You can be raised by a lesbian couple, and still have a father figure to look up to. You can be raised by a mom and a dad and not have a father figure to look up to.  My dad didn’t have a consistent dad that was around, so he never knew exactly how to be a father to me and teach me how to be a man. He did the best he could, but I’ve always searched for father figures among my friends, in my work and at school to provide that kind of guidance.
  4. As a man, I want to get in a fight, and win that fight. I don’t know if all men feel this way; I know a lot of men do. I haven’t been in a fight since grade school, but there are times when I want to stand up to somebody and punch their lights out. In my mind, everybody around would clap and give me an award for finally standing up to a bully. Or something. Also, I’d impress a girl.
  5. If you aren’t a guy’s guy (and maybe if you are?) you will come across as gay to some people. I do fairly regularly. You then are put in a situation where you have to explain that you aren’t gay, but you’re open-minded and liberal…without coming across as slightly homophobic (and I mean this term in the “phobia” sense of the word). I have often felt the need to apologize for being straight. Is that strange? That’s probably strange.
  6.  There is a rush that comes with male camaraderie. Winning a basketball game together; watching hockey on television; shooting bull at a bar; working out at a gym, grunting together.
  7. I am attracted to 65-75% of the women I see (under the age of, say, 55?). But to find more than just a base attraction with somebody is the challenge. You start to learn that acting on those instincts is not always wise in the long-run.
  8. I think most men like numbers. Sports stats, science, math, number of lovers/sexual partners, rating systems for athletes/women/men/movies, hobbies, collections…we have this Aristotelian need to collect and categorize.
  9. I often feel that by working in an office, I’m not doing “real” work. I’m not hauling, chopping, cutting, breaking, installing, pushing, pulling, dragging, or killing. My hands are uncallused, my back is unbent.
  10. My default emotional states are: moody, excited, angry, anxious.

1 Comment

Filed under tenthingsivelearned, Uncategorized

One response to “Ten things I’ve learned from being a straight man

  1. Josh Bowman, you are a wise man.

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