Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Working on being a man pt.7

This is one of many parts in the ongoing series of working on being a man.

I want to talk about sexual desire today.

Take a look at this cartoon by Barry Deutsch real quick.


Then take a look at this comment from Good Men Project:
I think this goes to the larger issue of how society perceives men viewing their own bodies as well. By and large, we RARELY think of men as being insecure over their weight, their skin, the way their asses look in those jeans….these are all body image issues we attribute almost exclusively to women. Men are told to make sure they tell their dates they look nice/smell nice/have nice eyes, but as women, we are rarely told to compliment men in the same way.
I’m almost sure that men have the same worries about their bodies as women do….are/is my boobs/cock big enough? do I smell ok? do those extra 5/10/15 pounds show? will s/he notice that blemish? But, if men express these anxieties, they’re called metro sexual or feminine or queer or insecure or beta. So it’s really not surprising to me that many men remain silent about these particular wants and needs. How many men of been met with incredulity and disdain when they’ve expressed issues with body image?
I wonder how many women routinely tell their lovers how attractive they are? That they have great hair, perfect skin, and an ass that looks amazing in those jeans….hopefully some of us will.
Now I have a question for you.

Do you think that somewhere in between men not being seen as desirable at all and women being desired beyond the point of acceptability and into outright offensiveness the guy in that comic thinks such commentary would make his day is expressing his desire to be desired, just not in the best way?

Hear me out.

You see for the most part when it comes to sexual desire the dynamic is set up so that men do the desiring and women are the desired. So along the way there are no doubt men who feel like they are simply not supposed to feel desired (just as there are women that desire men but are discouraged from expressing it).

So maybe when that guy says that he is overcompensating in expressing his desire to be desired.

The pendulum is definitely out of whack. I'm sure that women who are catcalled don't want the desire from men to drop to zero but would rather have it turned down to acceptable and respectful levels. As a man I can say for sure that I don't want to be desired to the point of being disrespected but I would like to be desired at respectful and acceptable levels.

When it comes to sex, and gender in general, there are definitely forces at work that are playing against men and this is one of them.

So while its real easy to write this guy off as not knowing what its like to be a woman (and he doesn't to be sure, and bear in mind she doesn't know how he feels) and try to leave it at that I think its going to take more than that to fix this pendulum.

9 comments:

elementary_watson said...

Time to check my privilege: I do get compliments about my hair, my skin, my eyes. I also get compliments about being nice or funny. I never thought too much of them, they hardly ever "made my day" because they never hardly ever were linked to *desire*, but that was just being blind to my privilege.

I still would prefer being desired (and that desire being demonstrated) to being complimented on attractive traits by people who do not desire me, but it still is something I enjoy that many men do not.

Toysoldier said...

Danny, I think you make a very good point. Most men are not complimented on their looks. They are never told that they look good or are in any way desirable. While it certainly sucks to get constantly harassed for one's looks, it also sucks to think that no one likes the way you look. Neither one is better than the other, when you really think about it.

Titfortat said...

It seems to me that the point of the cartoon is that she is being desired for her physical looks and maybe that is not what she wants to be desired. I get where the guy is coming from because sometimes you just want someone to want to fuck you.

Tim said...

I am not a big fan of the Good Men Project, truth to be told.
Their writers are not the ones I'd like to have talking about men.

Danny said...

Time to check my privilege: I do get compliments about my hair, my skin, my eyes. I also get compliments about being nice or funny. I never thought too much of them, they hardly ever "made my day" because they never hardly ever were linked to *desire*, but that was just being blind to my privilege.
I'm iffy on using privilege because that almost makes it sound like I think I'm owed desire from people, that's not the case. Its more like saying I shouldn't been seen as wrong for wanting to be desired.

I still would prefer being desired (and that desire being demonstrated) to being complimented on attractive traits by people who do not desire me, but it still is something I enjoy that many men do not.
If I had my pick (as in experienced both) I'd probably agree with you.

Thanks for stopping by EW.

Danny said...

Neither one is better than the other, when you really think about it.
Got it in one TS. When it comes to desire the balance is seriously out of whack. It needs to be fixed.

Danny said...

Welcome Titfortat.

You make a good point that needs to be mentioned. Its certainly true that she may not want to be desired for her looks and it would be a stretch to try to say that all women want to be desired in such a manner (and that's before even getting to those who are not interested in men).

(But even then you could say, "Look she's getting attention when she doesn't even want it.")

Danny said...

And I see that now Tim. I let myself get blinded by the fact that someone else was talking about men. While there are some worthwhile posts over there I think its pretty clear that if they are going to let the likes of Marcotte dictate what MRAs are about (and then try to push that usual "feminism is the only answer" bullshit) then I at least know better than to put too much stock in that site. My money says that in about year it will become another place that claims to be about men that actually has a feminist agenda where men are nowhere the high priority they claim.

Danny said...

I let myself get blinded by the fact that someone else was talking about men. While there are some worthwhile posts over there I think its pretty clear that if they are going to let the likes of Marcotte dictate what MRAs are about (and then try to push that usual "feminism is the only answer" bullshit) then I at least know better than to put too much stock in that site. I don't see myself endorsing that site as a whole. My money says that in about year it will become another place that claims to be about men that actually has a feminist agenda where men are nowhere the high priority they claim.

In the long run what you say may be right Tim.

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