While the topic of sex and masturbation has come a long way in the last decade or so, especially since Sex and The City, it’s still an awkward topic for a larger percentage of men and other penis-equipped individuals. Specifically, when it comes to discussing it amongst themselves. Male masturbation has always been treated like a dirty secret, and it’s very mentioning to another male has often been met with a shushing motion followed by “what you do behind closed doors…”. While this approach is intended as respectful, it also labels masturbation, and associated details, as something shameful, dirty, and especially private. If we want to break from this stigma we’ve created, it’s time to stop being afraid to talk about it.
“Friends with benefits” is a name that conjures up mixed emotions in a lot of people. Many are reminded of the Mila Kunis/Justin Timberlake film of the same name. Others have thoughts about other times the mainstream media has portrayed it as unsuccessful, or the people involved become ‘involved’ anyway as a result. Conservative people tend to see relationships that don’t have an inherent emotional investment as something that is immoral and “bad news”. But then again, of course, they do.
Some time ago, I made a rather lengthy post delving into what the swinger lifestyle is like and the very happy couples who have chosen to take it up. I wanted to touch on it once more and explore some of the other aspects behind the lifestyle. If you haven’t read it yet, you should. I spoke of what swinging is and what it isn’t, its portrayal in media, and the fears behind them. Many of those aforementioned fears are mainly based around stigmas, and worries of infidelity or damaged relationships. And depending on the level of trust in one another, those fears may or may not be justified.
The other day, I received a message from my wife about a job her father was contracted to do. For context, her father is a ventilation contractor and tinsmith, and often takes jobs way out of town. His client is a successful entrepreneur who owns several bars and a couple strip clubs and was now opening a swingers club in Montreal. An interesting tidbit she also shared with me was an offer this club owner extended to his patrons, offering free food and drink at the grand opening party for everyone who buys a paid membership before opening day. More than 1,400 have already signed up, which kinda took my breath away. I mean, I knew swinging was becoming more mainstream among couples, but I didn’t know the lifestyle had grown so large that 1,400 people within driving distance of this club would readily sign up on such short notice. Naturally, I was curious to learn more.
Often regarded as the most defining feature of masculinity, whether it be toxic, fragile, or otherwise, all centers around a man’s ego. At its simplest of definitions, the ego is the internalized creation of the self. It’s literally what defines who we are and governs how we react to certain situations, and how we interact with people. The male ego is often associated with toxic masculinity or fragile masculinity but is not limited solely to these archetypes. To really understand the role it plays, it’s essential to understand how it works, and how it’s not just limited to men.
The last several years have seen a rise in social media speaking up about fragile masculinity. Jokes have risen up about men needing to only get products or services that cater to traditional male stereotypes. A lot of men feel the need to defend their masculinity with acts of violence, abuse, or a display of logic that is relevant only to him; as if that would prove them right. But I think it’s time for all of us to have a serious talk about how damaged the perceived idea of masculinity really is. I’m not one to say ‘This is how things are, and this is how we should treat it’, But I would like to open up a dialogue with all of you about the issue of masculinity. Because whether directly or indirectly, all of us are involved in how it’s defined.
I’ve been thinking over this for a while after a conversation I had with a friend some time ago. I had mentioned how hearing about the personal fantasies of others really helps with creating plots for erotica, at least for me. My friend then mentioned that they had a private list of fantasies and sexual acts they wanted to perform with their partner. I won’t go into details, but I remembered the name my friend used for that list: “The Fuck-et list”. There’s no arguing the clear reference to the Bucket List with Morgan Freeman, and how it relates to one’s sexuality.
I originally pre-ordered “Amore: A Love Story” back in January, with the intention of reading it and writing this review soon after. Needless to say, I’m a bit late, and I apologize for that. But I find that I’m kicking myself for not having read this sooner. This love story by Alexa Nichols is much more than it appears on the surface. It’s both complex in it’s story-telling, and rife with erotic pleasures to excite you as you read.
Everyone, from those who raise us at early boyhood, to the women we pursue, all play a part in our behaviors, and yes, our egos. Of course, we’re becoming much more aware of the cultural stigma of boys being taught to always ‘man up’ and not to show emotion, but it’s more than just our upbringing, it’s those around us during adulthood who play a role as well. If you think back, there has probably been several instances where you, or someone you know, has made some dramatic exclamation about the opposite sex. Whether it be a guy who rolls his eyes, muttering, “Women, huh?” or a lady groaning in frustration, shouting, “Ugh, MEN!!!” What this does is further build up the stigma of every person of the opposite sex only ever behaving in a particular fashion. “He can’t help it, he’s a guy” or, “What more can you expect from a man?” they all play a role in creating this image of what a man is supposed to be like.