Thoughts On Modern Men's Sexuality
I saw a discussion on a local Facebook group for men (not a men's rights activist group) revolving around modern masculinity and positive vs toxic masculinity. The discussion had multiple dimensions to it, but most of my thoughts went around how we approach sex and what needs changing. This is written from a heterosexual perspective and may have limited applicability to other orientations.
1. Kill The Lothario
The image of the Ladies' Man with abundant sexual partners is toxic and harmful to men unless they reject it as an ideal altogether.
2. Having a lot of sexual partners is bad for your health
HIV/AIDS doesn't occupy as much cultural space as it did when I was younger, but last time I checked it hasn't gone away or been cured either. There are plenty of other STDs too.
3. Having a lot of sexual partners is a dangerous lifestyle in other ways
Abortion is coming under heavy scrutiny in much of the USA for its legality, and access can be a problem in other parts of the world. If a pregnant woman doesn't want to terminate, she has (or should have) enough autonomy to make that decision, meaning a man can be stuck with supporting a child he doesn't want.
4. The Term "Sexual Conquest" Needs To Go Away
Conquest implies taking something you didn't have either through force or guile (like a Trojan horse of some kind) which is not how good sexual relations are formed.
5. Sexual Accords
A good sexual relationship, especially in the #metoo era, is built on mutual consent, and though I don't want to make things seem transactional, there is a give and take and mutual benefit (by which I mean pleasure and gratification), which is more like a deal or accord than a conquest.
We are a couple of generations into boys and men who can think of gains in terms of levels that are achieved through a particular skill in pushing the right buttons in the right combination. This kind of thinking combined with the Lothario ideal in #1 has made a lot of dangerous individuals like "Pick Up Artists" who treat sex like a game of how many sexual interactions they can gain because they have the right 'code' to achieve it with any woman.
7. All Women Are the Same
No, not really - but if you don't realize that this is false, and treat every woman as a highly unique individual, the trap of #6 and #1 is that much easier to fall into.
8. Enter The Incel
Now we've got a group of boys/men that think they should have access to sex with women, that more is better, and that if they say X and perform Y they deserve that sex. Incels (short for Involuntarily Celibate), don't see that the flaws were in the first principles that their philosophies are based on, but rather think that the world itself isn't operating correctly.
9. Day Trading Vs Long-Term Investment
I"m not an expert on financial investment, but my understanding is that day trading is dangerous and a gamble, and basically capitalizes on volatility and chaos in the market, while sound investment is more long-term and safer. It can involve research but also knowing when to get out. Treating relationships similarly might be a good idea.
10. The False Dichotomy of the Lover vs the Fighter
You can be both or neither, but men need to eclipse these definitions of themselves that boil down to sex and/or violence. We can be builders, dreamers, poets, philosophers and so much more.