The more men come to terms with their masculinity, the more the tension seems to grow between men and women. Yet, from my perspective and my experience, this shift should bring us together. The stress and tension between men and women stem from misunderstanding and confusion. It, so often, comes from people seeing the world in terms that are too simplistic. Masculinity varies for each man dependent on personality, family and culture. The common thread is a set of characteristics that allow men to feel masculine.
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The idea that you create your own reality is one that comes from beyond the new-age love of the law of attraction. In yoga philosophy, it is not said that you create your reality but that you create your experience of reality. This is a crucial distinction that is worth exploring. The way you view the world around you reveals the filter through which you see the world. You have created this filter through your reactions to the various life events that you have lived through.
I find myself drawn into being in charge or leading. In any group situation I find that I see what we need to do to make a group vision work and that I work to create this. In committees I find myself chairing them to create a common vision. I see that this is about my mind and the skills I have developed over my life. I also see it as an expression of myself as a man. I have the ability to focus and see the way ahead—the vision—as well as what needs doing to get there—the detail. It is a part of what I see as my masculinity that I am proud of.
I would like to suggest a way to look at your life that will help you understand why you are here and what your purpose is.
Old people sex is often seen by people as a contradiction. In response to my column about being a good man, ‘What On Earth Is A Good Man?’, a man made a fascinating comment on Facebook about a friend of his wife.
Why do I upset both men and women at the extremes when I write. What am I doing that scares them so much. Why can’t they acknowledge what is really happening in the world and join to make it even better.
My wife has been reading the book ‘Getting To “I Do” – The Secret To Doing Relationships Right‘ by the well-known relationship expert Dr Patricia Allen. She has been reading excerpts to me and I have been getting increasingly agitated.
Mid-Life Crisis Or What?
Does the male menopause exist? Assessing opinions, the field seems to be divided. It certainly doesn’t have such a specific physical component as it does for women, our reproductive organs are fully functional throughout the full course of our lives.
We do not suffer from the hormone imbalance that our female friends experience in their monthly cycles. Overall men are much more steady.
At the time of the menopause, all women experience a profound fall in oestrogen levels. Studies show that testosterone levels in men decline too, however, it seems they dont fall so much and their decline is much more gradual.
Then the male midlife crisis comes around. Somehow our hormones seem to get the better of us. This occurs for most men around early to mid- 40s, about the same time we start to notice that we cant keep up with the younger guys any more and we start to question our performance level. That hidden issue of male performance rears its head.
For many men these feelings trigger a significant behavioural change. Right at a time when – just like it is the case with women – physical changes begin to occur. Some one described male menopause as a stage where changes present itself on a psychological, interpersonal, social, and spiritual plain.
Male Menopause – Man-opause
For men the menopause is sometimes referred to as man-opause. This word relates to the slow reduction of the production of two hormones, testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone and the results of that reduction.
Most of us are familiar with testosterone. It provides the drive, the masculine characteristics of the body (hair, musculature etc.). Dehydroepiandrosterone influences a wide range of bodily and emotional functions such as the immune system, our stress response, our memory capability and our moods.
The menopause for men is sometimes called andropause, because around that same time the androgens, a class of hormones responsible for masculinising effects in the human body – also decreases.
Male Menopause – What are the symptoms?
- Declining sex drive (libido) – less interest in sex, having sex less frequently and enjoying it less.
- Fatigue, lessening energy – the same physical activity takes longer and requires more effort.
- Poor concentration and/or Forgetfulness, also more difficult to focus.
- Feelings of anger, anxiety, irritability, depression.
- Weight gain together with a loss of muscle mass.
- Sleep difficulties – difficulty in falling asleep, not sleeping well and having a restless time before awakening.
- Mood changes
- Confusion, indecisiveness.
- Declining self-confidence.
In themselves, these symptoms do not prove the existence of the andropause, as they are very common. A doctors diagnoses is required.
Male Menopause – Saving the Best for Last?
Probably for the first time in history, men live long enough to experience this decline of male hormones. It is a new field to explore. How would life be without being driven to achieve all the time, or to compete with other men let alone women? Perhaps we are saving the best for last..
Male Menopause – Treatment
If you recognise some of the symptoms mentioned above, go visit your doctor. Only a medical professional can determine the cause of your symptoms. In case of the diagnoses of male menopause, Hormone Replacement Therapy has been found to be effective. What lifestyle changes can a male make to reduce male menopause symptoms and support his health?
It has been proven that introducing important lifestyle changes will improve the symptoms. Things like quitting smoking, reducing your levels of stress, steering clear of excessive alcohol use, exercising on a regular basis and taking care of your diet are known to do wonders for your health.
Women seem to talk constantly about why men cheat. There is a perception that men cheat all the time, is this true? It creates an impression that men are not to be trusted, do you find this?
When both men and women are asked why do men cheat, the immediate responses are often,
… men cheat to get back in touch with their inner caveman.
… men cheat because they like to play with fire.
… men cheat out of boredom.
… men cheat because they want more sex than women do.
… men cheat because the wife always nagging.
… men cheat just because they can …
These answers come mainly from Urban Myth, are they true, are there any facts to back them up?
Since 1950, when the famous Kinsey sex study found that 50% of American men cheat, the number cheating hasn’t changed much, even with all of today’s opportunities at our fingertips, including the internet and chatrooms.
Why Men Cheat – Is Infidelity A Given?
How true is the idea put forward by men that ‘It’s our biological nature‘?
Scientific research has taught us that there are three hormones inside our body that determine how monogamous we are: oxytocin, arginine vasopressin, and testosterone.
Oxytocin makes people want to stay together. It is the hormone that forges the bond between a mother and her new-born baby.
Arginine vasopressin supports the desire to support your mate or offspring, an important aspect of bonding between couples.
It’s the receptors for these two hormones in the brain that determine us as monogamous.
Then there is Testosterone, associated with libido and sex drive, and also male characteristics such as muscular structure.
Testosterone conflicts with the bonding effects of Oxytocin in driving a person to seek more sexual partners, to be single-minded and to take risks. Men usually have up to ten times more of it than women.
Our brain makes constant, calculated guesses regarding the consequences of our actions. A high level of testosterone seems to influence our calculation in favour of the satisfaction of the immediate desire.
Does that mean men can blame their Testosterone level for the fact that they cheat? Absolutely not, although influenced, we still are responsible for deciding whether to act upon our impulse. So hormones are not the answer to why men cheat.
What other reasons do men have for cheating in relationships?
Many men have difficulty talking about their feelings, let alone showing them. Sometimes it can feel safer to meet with someone new than to speak up at home and perhaps jeopardise their long-term relationship.
Often men are cheating because they don’t know how to be in a successful relationship. Instead of dealing with their hang-ups, like fear of connection or fear of intimacy, they entertain the idea that an affair remains superficial and, therefore, safe.
There are men who cheat because of their own feelings of loneliness, or suppressed anger. Instead of stepping up and addressing those issues they run away and hide.
It seems that cheating can be closely connected with men’s inability to address issues in their lives.
Five Types of infidelity
It is recognised that there are a number of different types of infidelity. Each type of infidelity indcates a different cause of why men cheat:
Opportunistic Infidelity – You have a partner but give in to the attraction you feel for someone else. Driven by lust in the moment, the time is right and usually a little risky. Many men specifically enjoy this type.
Obligatory Infidelity – Based on the fear that not giving in to the sexual advances of the other person will result in rejection by them. This stems from the need for approval.
Romantic Infidelity – You are lost because your relationship is petering out and you look for a replacement, look for affairs. To quote the legenday B.B. King, the ‘thrill is gone’.
Conflicted Romantic Infidelity – You have a strong sexual desire for several people at the same time, as well as being in a committed intimate relationship. You feel confused and that confiding in the intimate partner is not an option, unless you are in an ‘open relationship’.
Remembrance Infidelity – When you fall completely out of love with your current partner and want to get back to when you were in love.
Who Are You Really Cheating, Your Relationship?
Usually you are cheating yourself. Most infidelity involves pretence and lying to yourself. Personal honesty is key to preventing this. Don’t promise to be anything that you are not. If you like hunting women, if that is you at your core, stay true to your word. Don’t start creating false pretences by telling women you always want to be with them. Because you know you don’t.
Remember you will always feel the pull of polarity. The decision to take it further, however, is always yours to make or not. Your Testosterone creates urges, it does not control you.
Graham Phoenix counters the ‘equality’ of Gloria Steinem.
On Friday over at Good Feed, we heard Gloria Steinem say, “We know that women can do what men can do, but we don’t know that men can do what women can do.”
They are extraordinary assertions that cry out to be challenged—not just the statements but also the assumptions behind them.
I have never heard of Gloria Steinem and am not aware of the work she has done. I am British, and in the UK we tend not to be as brash or confrontational in our passions. We see things more as shades of grey. Sadly, the Colbert interview with Steinem had no shades of grey.
The issue is equality. This is the hottest political issue in America. It fires people up and sets them against others, others they want to be equal to. It was the British philosopher Bertrand Russell who said:
In America everybody is of the opinion that he has no social superiors, since all men are equal, but he does not admit that he has no social inferiors, for, from the time of Jefferson onward, the doctrine that all men are equal applies only upwards, not downwards.
I see equality as a different beast altogether. Where Steinem sees equality as people doing the same things, I see equality as people having the freedom to do what others do.
“Equality is not in regarding different things similarly, equality is in regarding different things differently.” —Tom Robbins
It’s about celebrating our differences while opening ourselves up to freedom of possibility for all. While in Britain we have made great strides, there is still a long way to go. We work on issues of race, gender, sexuality, education, poverty, and age from the perspective of opening up channels of opportunity. In sexuality, we abolished our ridiculous law making buggery illegal and have created same-sex marriages. Recently, it has been deemed illegal to ban guests from a hotel because they are homosexual, even if they owner has a strong religious belief against homosexuality.
What is important to understand, however, is that we don’t require everyone to be gay or experience gay sex. Most of us are not gay and that is OK, as long as we give gays the freedom to practice their beliefs in the way we practice ours.
Steinem wants women to be men and men to be women. In her world, we each need to do what the other does. It’s fine if we want to but she requires that we have to.
“Before God we are all equally wise—and equally foolish.” —Albert Einstein
I have worked with gay Christians in the past, helping them to come to terms with their Christianity and their sexuality, so that they can live both without confusion or guilt. I am at one with what they believe. Homosexuals believe that they were born gay and their orientation remains no matter what socialization they put themselves through, never mind what society puts them through. This understanding is even more pertinent with transsexuals who believe they were born trapped in a body of the wrong physical sex.
When people own up to and live their sexuality, they live what they were born to. It is the same with men and women. We were all born to a degree of masculinity or femininity, and when we live our lives fully, we live in that masculinity or femininity.
Masculine and feminine are different, with differing qualities, characteristics, and skills.
This does not mean that men should do men’s work and women should do women’s work. It means that we should do the work or live the life that is most in tune with our character. There are many women who desire and are able to do work that is normally associated with masculine characteristics, work that requires the focus and power of masculinity. Equality is when anyone is able to do this work, when anyone is able to recognize these qualities within themselves and live accordingly.
Equally there are many men who desire and are able to do work that is normally associated with feminine qualities, work that requires love, care, and compassion. Equality is not requiring all men to do this or all fathers to nurse their children, even if the world might be a better place of they did.
The world exists and prospers through the tension and excitement of polarity. The interplay between masculine and feminine is one of the key drivers of society. To flatten this out with a distortion of the concept of equality is to damage society in a dangerous way. America is a society that is in danger of losing its way. There is pressure for women to become men and, most worryingly, there is pressure for men to become women.
Men are losing their way because they are confused and afraid. They are afraid to stand up and be men and they are afraid not to. They are afraid of the reaction of women such as Steinem, and they find it difficult to do anything other than ignore them or, as Colbert did, mock them. What we did not get in the interview was any coherent argument from Colbert. As a man he didn’t know how to counter a woman showing such strength.