There's something sleazy in male DNA, and it can take a whole lifetime of work to undo it
So I was looking at some old photos and came across a twelve-year-old shot at a gallery in Kathmandu, Nepal. In the photo, I was standing behind a girl I had a crush on, and I had a sinister, wide-eyed look like Hannibal Lecter.
Let me be clear. I was staring at the camera, not directly at her. Also, it could have been a poorly timed eye stretching exercise.
Still, it triggered another review of my behaviour toward her and other women I have found attractive over the years.
I have never considered myself a creep. I don’t think most men do. Yet most of us are.
The reason most of us don’t notice is that it comes so naturally to us. We are just so damn good at being creepy bastards.
With the rise of — well, what is it called? Feminism—nope, girl power—nope… Women’s lib? Nope — ah yes, that’s it, equality, men are being increasingly exposed for their weird antics.
What began with the #metoo campaign has evolved into a witch hunt of the highest proportions. And don’t get me wrong here — a witch hunt is precisely what we need since many of us are witches. We need to be taught a lesson. And I don't mean burning us at the stake. I mean a real classroom-based lesson.
The reaction of men to this change in energy is mixed. Some see the movement as something negative. Others are jumping on the side of women, screaming that they are pure, faultless good guys, happy to let the rest of us burn for our sins.
Then there are those of us in the middle.
The middle is where we turn inward and examine our actions from the past. It’s where we dare to realise that we are part of a big problem, and instead of denying our inherent sleaze, we do something about it.
Men’s creepy antics are not limited to sexual assault or power plays.
It begins at home in the bedroom. How many of us have verbally guilted a woman into jacking us off? These things start when teenage boys lie to girls, telling them their balls will turn blue and explode if they don’t jack them off. It continues deep into marriage, where pathetic middle-aged men practically beg their wives to touch their nutsacks.
These people profoundly believe that the woman is not ‘initiating enough’. The insight for men here is that there is no standard for how often women do that. They will do it if you turn them on, and here’s a profound tip:
Your sleazy begging is not helping your cause.
There is not much sleazier than a pile of biological flesh using their words to convince a woman to ‘yank their chain’ until they get a few seconds of bliss, some juice flies out, and they fall asleep quickly.
I heard a statistic once that men think of sex every eight seconds.
For younger men, this is shockingly accurate. Sure, as we get older, we like other things like football and snacks and videos of people puking on rollercoasters. But at least for the first thirty years of most of our lives. It is our primary motivation for living.
And this is far from pleasurable. The high degree of men’s obsession with sexuality is a torturous state that causes us to commit all kinds of creepy acts like spying on Aunt Betty, who has her enormous breasts out while she eats salt and vinegar crisps and watches Gogglebox.
An example of this is the comedian Louis CK.
There is no doubt that Louis getting his ginger cock out in front of women grew out of some experiences when he was younger. It’s just something that gets out of control. Most men I speak to have had some sexual obsession at some point in their lives. It takes on different forms but they all have one thing in common. When indulged in, they get stronger and quickly get out of hand.
Louis C.K. is representative of the men I️ sit with every day. They are often confused, frustrated, humiliated, and contemptuous of their own behaviors. They do not know why they do what they do, but most all are relieved to be stopped. Such men are often in great pain, and desperately hide their true selves from others. (Dr. Daniel N. Watter — Morris Psychology Group)
Part of the problem with men is that our understanding of women is so fundamentally flawed. We get ourselves into these strange sexual situations because we think women are turned on by the way we are acting.
This overriding desire to have a horny sexual encounter bypasses our ability to see the creepiness of what we are doing.
Growing up, the only sex education I received was a lecture by our headmaster Mr Walmsley on the role of the penis during coitus. (Please note I was in a group and not alone during this lecture). I also once saw a dry sketch of a cross-section of a vagina in the Encylopedia Britannica.
There was no internet.
Parents were generally silent on such subjects as sex, and when young humans have no education on an issue, the brain takes matters into its own hands and make assumptions based on what it hears, sees and feels.
For a generation that learned about sex from porno magazines, VHS videos, Hollywood, television and discussions with fellow young guys who knew less than us, this was not an ideal start to sexual life.
We are born with powerful sexual urges that are uncontrolled and without direction. This energy needs to be controlled early through education. Otherwise, the energy trends towards whatever we learn informally through observation.
The #Metoo campaign has been beneficial.
I don’t say it's been beneficial because I am a man trying to suck up to women and be one of the good guys. I’m not one of the good guys. When it comes to sexuality, I recognise myself as part of the problem. By becoming aware and not being afraid, I can now work on myself and uproot this horrible conditioning from my being.
The #metoo campaign has been beneficial, not because it has exposed the witches. But because it has triggered a re-education of men toward sexuality and particularly women’s psychology around sexuality.
You may wonder if men are dumb enough to think that something is a turn-on when it’s a violation. We are. It’s not that men are born dumb (You could argue that) but that there was no education for us, and we became ruined early.
That statement is not an excuse. It’s an admission and a commitment to be better. That is what the world needs right now.
Yes, the internet is becoming a place of saturation and misinformation. Still, it’s all there if you are willing to put in the work.
You may feel like you are married and that it is too late for you. The thing is, this isn’t just about you.
Young male children learn from the role models in their lives. If you are not aware of how you physically and verbally act around women, your children will learn by watching you.
This concept doesn’t just apply to sexuality, it applies to everything. If there is no education, the mind educates itself based on what it has at its disposal. If that’s Hollywood films and newspapers, so be it.
At birth, our inherent obsession with sex is neither good nor bad. But it is channelled by the subconscious habit-forming decisions we make as children and young adults. So it needs to be directed clearly and early.
Children also learn from how they see their parents treating each other, and whether they care for and respect each other. Some children see adults ‘putting down’ or making fun of people of the other sex, or even themselves. This can teach children to feel unhappy about who they are. They can learn to feel afraid of, or think less of a particular gender. (ACT Parentlink)
Sex needs to become an open forum.
We might think this is inappropriate for children, but it isn’t. Sex is taboo because we made it that way. Our religious upbringing and inherent self-loathing and shame make us unable to face that aspect of ourselves.
As a parent, it sure can be daunting to talk about sexuality to your kids. Ironically, it is your own lack of that early education that has made you feel that way. According to Psychology Today
Human sexuality is complicated, and it’s a heck of a lot more to it than penis-in-vagina intercourse. Your kid wants (and needs) to know more than simply how babies are made, how to avoid STIs, and how to prevent unwanted pregnancy. For example, topics such as sexual orientation, masturbation, oral sex, and sexual assault need to be addressed, too.
Our children don’t have a shameful attitude toward sex at the start, and we have to do everything we can to make sure they don’t develop it. These negative habits are often a legacy passed from one generation to the next, most of the time unconsciously.
I’m not saying we expose children to sex or porn. It’s like in France how they educate children on drinking wine, and it becomes something to enjoy and respect as they get older.
This world we live in seems much more complex than the one in which we grew up. From a sexual perspective, it isn’t. Adults just hid things more back then, and no one knew how to talk about sex without feeling embarrassed or ashamed. Another reminder from Psychology Today:
Remember that not all kids are heterosexual and cisgender. Depending on your child’s gender identity and sexual orientation, they may need to know different information when it comes to navigating relationships and keeping themselves (and their partners) safe. “Sex” doesn’t necessarily mean the same thing to someone who is LGBTQIA.
Even for us creepy old guys, it’s never too late. But we need to work hard. We need to read more, talk more, and be more honest about who we are.
Let’s not hide behind the good guy complex or the saviour complex anymore. Let’s admit our mistakes, recognise the creepy bastard in ourselves and do our best to rehabilitate him for the sake of this generation and the next.