Tag Archives: masculinity

Daily Sexy Musing: Verbal Foreplay

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I don’t consider myself a flirting expert, nor do I think very highly of the pick-up artist community. The idea of just bullshitting someone into sleeping with you doesn’t really sit well with me. Other than being unromantic, it comes off as the shallowest kind of intimacy. Sure, there’s a place for that sort of thing, but it doesn’t deserve to be glorified.

I’m still a big fan of using words as a catalyst for intimacy. I’m not just talking about the lurid dirty talk that often finds its way into my novels and sexy short stories. I genuinely believe that there’s an art to saying just the right thing in just the right way to turn a tender moment into something extra sexy. It’s not easy knowing how or when to say it, but when it works, it’s downright magical.

There have been only a handful of incidence where I can say with a straight face that I aroused a woman with my words. Those were amazing moments, though. I genuinely hope the women felt the same way. They helped affirm the power of sexy words and saying in just the right way.

The following Daily Sexy Musing is a tribute to how powerful that kind of sexy rhetoric can be. Regardless of gender or circumstances, it can turn a tiny spark into a passionate flame. You don’t need the wit of Shakespeare. You just need a willingness to turn sexy thoughts into sexier words. Enjoy!

I wait for a brief silence. In the chaos that is our lives, they don’t come by often. That makes every opportunity more precious and I intend to embrace every one of them. I need only you, me, and a quiet place where you can hear my voice above a whisper.

We’ve found just the right moment.

We’re in just the right place.

We have a chance to share illicit sentiment and I’m taking it.

I lean in and talk right into your ear. My tone is barely above a whisper, soft and direct so that there is no ambiguity. I leave nothing to chance. I make abundantly clear all the lurid things I want to do with you. Are you bold enough to handle that sentiment?

I say what needs to be said, unfiltered and uncensored. I await your reaction. I see you tense and I hear you gasp. I also notice your legs shifting, as though I struck just the right chord in your intimate anatomy. You try to hide it, but you don’t try very hard. You let me see your reaction. It says so much without a single word.

You turn and look at me. At first, you’re aghast. Moments later, you’re intrigued. Your expression changes. Gone is the look of innocence and restraint. In your eyes, I see the shackles come off. Your heart and your loins are freed. My words didn’t just pick the lock. It shattered every link on the chain.

You dive eagerly into my grasp.

You whisper devious musings into my ear.

You take my luscious verbiage and turn it against me.

Suddenly, the same chords are struck. Body, mind, and heart go in different directions, but make their way to the same destination. Our words provoke actions. Our actions inform passions. Those passions bring out the extremes of love, lust, and everything in between.

I offer more amorous rhetoric. You respond in kind. Like gusts of wind fueling a firestorm, it drives us to the highest peaks of desire. We don’t just remove our clothes. We rip them off. We don’t just caress one another. Together, we plunge into a sea of depthless desire.

All it took was a few words.

All it took was a distinct tone.

From our voice, the greatest acts of love and desire manifest before us.

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Movember Memories: Recounting The Time I Let My Beard Grow For Three Months

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Greetings, and a very happy Movember to everyone. What is Movember, you ask? It’s not a holiday, a new social movement, or some exciting business opportunity that requires your credit card number. It’s actually an engaging, month-long event that helps raise awareness for objectively good causes.

Specifically, those causes involve serious issues affecting men, such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and suicide. In the same way Breast Cancer Awareness Month brings attention to a serious health issue that affects women, Movember does something similar for men. However, participating involves more than just talking about these issues.

Men who participate in this effort show their support by growing mustaches. For an entire month, they channel their inner Ron Swanson to show support for those affected by this issue. It may not seem like much, but it has had a positive impact. In 2012, the Movember Foundation raised $95 million dollars. Also, like Ron Swanson, it demonstrates the power of the mustache.

If you haven’t already, please consider donating to the Movember Foundation. Whether you’re liberal, conservative, feminist, libertarian, socialist, communist, or even an anarchist, it’s a great cause that helps a lot of people. I know gender politics is very heated these days, but providing support to those who need it should not be controversial.

In the spirit of Movember, I’d like to share a personal story that I think is fitting for this cause. It has to do with me and my relationship to facial hair. It’s something nearly every man has to deal with as they grow up. Everyone goes about it their own way. Some have to figure out the hard way that there’s a right and wrong way to manage it.

That’s exactly what I had to go through one fateful fall during my first semester of college. It was an exciting time. The nightmare that was high school was over. My acne problem had finally passed. I had been accepted into my top choice school. I finally had a chance to live on my own and get a taste of real independence. These were exciting times, indeed.

I celebrated that independence in many ways, but one of the first was that I stopped shaving entirely. For me, that was a big deal because I liked letting my facial hair grow. At first, it was just a good way for me to cover my acne. After a while, I just liked the way it made me look. Like my father and uncles, facial hair made me look distinctly masculine. It also gave me some badly-needed confidence.

While living at home, my mother often made me shave or trim my beard. Usually, she wouldn’t let me go more than two weeks without some kind of trim. I understand why she did it, but I still wanted to develop my own manly look. In college, I got that chance and I took it.

For three straight months, I did not shave. I didn’t use any blades, clippers, or trimmers. I just let my beard grow. Compared to all the other crazy things I could’ve done during my first semester in college, it was pretty tame. For me, though, it was a genuine thrill because I got to decide for myself how I wanted to look.

As a result, I learned a lot of important lessons about facial hair. For one, it can get dandruff. That actually became an issue at one point. It wasn’t enough to make me shave it, but after about two months, I had to actually put shampoo in my beard to keep the dandruff from getting too bad.

The next thing I notices is that when food gets caught in it, you tend not to notice until hours later. When a good chunk of your diet consists of noodles and cafeteria food, that is somewhat of an issue. One time, I got a box of buffalo wings for a football game. It got so messy that there were sauce stains in my beard for the rest of the day. Considering how much I love that smell, I didn’t see that as a bad thing.

Then, the weather got cold and I learned something else about having a thick beard. It will freeze up in a cold rain. A week before Thanksgiving, some freezing rain hit the area and I actually felt miniature icicles form in my beard. It was a weird feeling, but I didn’t see it as a detriment.

Shortly after that, though, I finally caved and trimmed it. I didn’t shave all of it off. I just trimmed it. My reason for doing so had less to do with the effects of the hair and more to do with the overall look it gave me. In addition to not shaving my beard, I didn’t cut my hair either. In doing so, I learned that unkempt hair over my entire face just wasn’t a good look for me.

I won’t say I looked bad. I’ll just say that I looked a bit too much like a first-year college student who enjoyed not being told when to shave. At one point, I looked like a crazed mountain man who lived in a cabin without running water. You can get away with that look in college. In the professional world, however, it’s a bit tougher.

After trimming it for Thanksgiving, I finally got into the habit of trimming it regularly. For a while, I just trimmed it with clippers every two weeks. Eventually, I got around to actually shaving parts of it. At one point, I did shave all of it off, but that did not look good on me. By the time I graduated college, I found a look that I embraced.

Currently, I maintain a healthy patch of facial hair that I try to keep trim. I haven’t let my beard grow that much in a long time. For Movember, though, I occasionally let my mustache get extra thick. I think it looks good on me and it helps me convey the kind of masculinity I want.

I don’t know if I’ll ever let my beard grow that thick again. Maybe at some point down the line, I’ll give it another shot. It may look better on me now than it did in college. If I do, I’ll be sure to share the results.

In the meantime, I encourage everyone to participate or contribute to Movember. Again, please take some time to donate to the Movember Foundation. There are serious male issues worth confronting. You don’t have to grow a thick beard like I did. You just have to let your manly mustache do the talking.

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Daily Sexy Musings: Date Night

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When it comes to the concept of date night, people tend to have mixed feelings. I know people who roll their eyes at the idea of a couple scheduling, especially if they’re already together or have been married. To them, the purpose of dating is to find out if someone is romantically compatible. I can totally understand this sentiment.

That said, I don’t agree with it. I believe dating has a much broader purpose. I also believe that it’s something couples shouldn’t stop doing, no matter how mature their relationship may be. From what I’ve observed and read over the years, I’ve noticed that good couples never stop dating one another. They never assume the work is done on a relationship and I think that’s a beautiful thing.

The following Daily Sexy Musing is a celebration of that beauty. Regardless of your relationship status, date night can a catalyst for a strong relationship rather than a chore. There’s a right way to do it, a wrong way, and a sexy way. I think I’ve made clear before which one I prefer. Enjoy!

The night is young, but our love is timeless. Once again, we intend to prove that. True love, does not stop and dedication does not cease. I put in the work. You return the favor. Tonight, however, I intend to work overtime.

We clear our schedule.

We purge all distractions.

We take time to make time for another.

We put on our best clothes. I seek from you the admiration I first saw when our eyes met. In you, see a beautiful memory made flesh. The past and the present converge, memories of old passions connecting with new ones. Time may change our bodies, but it only strengthens our hearts.

Before we even leave, we embrace. Like our first date, excitement and anticipation fill the air. In each other, we first found intrigue. In time, we find affirmation. I feel you and I know who you are. From my touch, I let you know who I am. From a simple connection, a complex feeling emerged and evolved.

It didn’t end with our first date.

It didn’t end with our first kiss.

It didn’t end with our first act of lovemaking.

It didn’t end with our hundredth act of lovemaking.

Like the waves of the ocean or the winds in the air, the feeling is ongoing. It shifts and it changes along the way, new conditions bringing new challenges. Together, we navigate and overcome them. Through every triumph, but especially within the failures, our love grows stronger.

On date night, there’s no obstacle to overcome. There are no uncertainties, anxieties, or tensions to resolve. It’s just us, going out into the world to celebrate this feeling we’ve forged. It begins with us dressed in our finest attire. It ends with us shedding that attire, crawling into bed together, and expressing our in its most basic form.

There’s no strict plan to follow. There’s no requirements with which to comply. The only necessity is you and me, us together for one night. We focus only on each other. Every ounce of effort, intent, and passion is channeled for a brief sliver of time within the chaos that is our collective lives.

There’s no stopping us. Together, we leave hand-in-hand and embrace our special time together. Tonight is our night and no one else’s. The world can step aside because there’s no stopping our love.

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Daily Sexy Musings: Early Morning Loving

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A while back, I wrote a musing about the added sexiness of late night loving. I had a lot of fun with that, contemplating all the lurid things adventurous lovers might do under the cover of darkness. When the sun goes down and people get restless, they’ll find creative ways to occupy their passions. It’s a beautiful thing.

In the preface for that musing, I mentioned that I’m not a night owl. However, I am very much a morning person. In fact, I would go so far as to say I’m kind of morning person that does his best work and his best loving at the crack of dawn. That may sound strange to those who struggle to get out of bed, but that’s how I’m wired and I make no apologies for it.

In that spirit, the following Daily Sexy Musing is a testament to the spirit of early-morning people like myself. More specifically, it’s also an exercise in how that spirit can be channeled into intimate endeavors. Enjoy!

The sun has risen. The first rays enter the window, illuminating our domain and our sleeping bodies. The light hits me and my eyes open. I sense you lying next to me. I remember how we entered the bed, tired and drained. Now, that is no longer the cast.

My body is rested.

My mind is clear.

My heart is eager to start the day.

We work so hard, every other minute of the scarce time we have in this world. We reserve so many moments for the tedious act of living, toiling and struggling in the name of sustenance. To sacrifice so many waking hours, we want and need a sliver of temporal bliss, if only to remember why the rising sun matters.

That moment is here.

That time is now.

I roll over and stir you from your slumber. I find that you’re already awake. Your eyes go from groggy to alert in an instant. You feel it too, the light of the sunrise warming our flesh. Gone is the darkness and all the exhaustion that came with it. We are recharged and reinvigorated. What are two lovers to do with so much energy?

I smile at you and you smile back. No words are necessary. We know what we want. The world is still waking up, but we’re already roused. For some, making love is an endgame for a long day. For us, it is a catalyst.

We waste no time. There’s no need to remove any clothes. We’re already naked, a proactive act from the night before. We skip the theatrics, logistics, and setups of intimacy. We’re already there. Like starting the race at the finish line, what we desire is literally lying next to us.

Under the morning sun, our naked skin touches.

Under the morning sun, our love is illuminated.

Under the morning sun, our passions are ignited.

Like a spark triggering a firestorm, a simple awakening becomes an intimate journey. Rested and rejuvenated, we are at our strongest. As such, our love is at its most powerful. The fruits of peaceful slumber taste so sweet. Lips, skin, and gasps of bliss signal the start of new day.

The sun is now risen. Our love has been made. From here on out, our day can only get better.

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Daily Sexy Musings: Well-Dressed Men

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You can tell a lot about a man by how he dresses. Say what you will about someone who wears fancy clothes and buys overpriced hair care products. A man who puts genuine effort into how they look says they value the image they present. It’s not always out of pure vanity. When done right, a well-dressed man can have genuine appeal, including the sexy kind.

I can safely say that I feel genuinely sexy as a man when I put on one of my suits. It’s not just that the suit costs more than discount T-shirts from Wal-Mart. It gives me a sense of confidence and worth. I worked on myself and a nice suit helps put it all on display. The following Daily Sexy Musing is my way of giving that unique feeling some substance to go with the style. Enjoy!

I stand in front of the mirror, wearing a freshly-ironed shirt, a perfectly-tailored pair of slacks, and an imported silk tie that was grossly overpriced. I don’t mind, though. I put it on with pride, smiling to myself as I smooth it out and fix every wrinkle. Then, I put on my blazer and button it up.

It marks the end of a masculine metamorphosis. I’m no longer the man who groaned restlessly as he got out of bed. Now, I’m a man ready to take on the world and look good doing it. Everything about me feels more refined. My poise, my demeanor, and my attitude are heightened. There’s nothing I can’t achieve.

I turn around and see you standing in the door. You look at me the same way you look at a beautiful sunset. You’ve seen me at my best and at my worst. You’ve seen me naked and wearing clothes so cheap they barely qualify as rags. However, in that moment, I become something greater in your eyes.

I am a man of confidence, determined and driven.

I am a man of worth, having strived and earned.

I am a man of grit, willing to work and achieve.

You walk over to me. You place your arms around my neck. You feel the fancy fabrics now covering my body. It may only be the shell, but it makes everything within shine brighter. I feel your admiration in every glance. As I take in your touch, I sense more than admiration.

In these clothes, overpriced they may be, you don’t just see the man I am. You see the man I strive to be. Through what I ware, I say to you that I want to be more. I seek to be a man that others respect. More importantly, I seek to be a man you desire. With every admiring glance, I know I’m succeeding.

I can tell you want me.

I can tell you love me.

I can tell you feel my love.

As I hold you, the fancy fabrics cling to my skin. From a rough-cut diamond to a polished gem, I am the best man I can be for you. It’s enough to make you want to tear my suit off and show why you’re the best lover a man could hope for. I know you want to. I feel it as your hands tremble.

I share your want, but I cannot forget. There is work to be done. I let you admire me as long as you need to. I then whisper into your ear a tantalizing preview of what awaits us tonight. Your smile widens and your face blushes. I’ve just given us both something to anticipate.

I put this suit on with goals in mind and determination in heart. You give me a reason to wear it with pride and honor. Now, I look forward to the moment when you help me take it off.

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The (Not So Secret) Sex Appeal Of Ron Swanson

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What is it about certain men who seem to attract women without even trying? What’s their secret? What are they doing that other men aren’t? These are questions that many self-proclaimed love gurus and pick-up artists have attempted to answer. Since many of those gurus are frauds and many pick-up artists are assholes, I wouldn’t put much stock into those answers.

As a man, I’ve known men who can attract women so easily that it seems second nature. I’ve also known men who can barely talk to women, let alone attract them. Most men, and I would put myself in this category, fall somewhere in the middle. Whether you’re a hopeless romantic or a Don Draper level womanizer, it’s worth understanding the qualities that attract women.

That’s where Ron Swanson comes in. If you’ve watched every episode of “Parks and Recreation” like I have, you know why just saying that name out loud fills the immediate area with greater masculinity. That’s because Ron Swanson is a true man’s man. He has more masculinity in his mustache than most men have in their entire bodies.

I’ve cited Ron Swanson before as someone who embodies a type of masculinity that even self-proclaimed feminists can get behind. He’s strong without being a bully. He’s assertive without being cruel. He’s stern without being heartless. While he doesn’t always exercise good judgment when it comes to ex-wives, Ron reflects a level of manliness that men, women, and everyone in between can respect.

As such, Ron is in a unique position to provide insight into the world of masculine sex appeal. There are multiple instances throughout “Parks and Recreation” in which Ron attracts women. Whether he’s in a serious relationship with Diane Lewis or whipping a crowd of women into a frenzy as Duke Silver, it’s well-established that women find this man attractive.

While that probably isn’t surprising, considering Ron’s character is played by an equally-manly romantic in Nick Offerman, I feel it’s worth scrutinizing the particulars of that sex appeal. I believe there’s insight to be gained from Ron’s masculinity and how it attracts women.

Now, and I wish I didn’t have to disclose this, I don’t mean to imply that this assessment speaks for all women. I am not a woman, nor do I claim to know the various intricacies of the female thought processes. I understand that women have a variety of tastes when it comes to men. Not all of them are going to find Ron Swanson attractive.

When it comes to high standards of male sex appeal, though, Ron checks more boxes than most. That’s why I feel he’s worth singling out in the interest of scrutinizing the most attractive traits associated with masculinity. In doing so, I hope other men can learn from his example.

There are many ways Ron demonstrates these place throughout plays out in “Parks and Recreation,” but one episode in particular encapsulates the essence of his sex appeal. That episode is entitled “Lucky.” It takes place in Season 4 while Leslie Knope is in middle of her campaign for City Council, but Ron’s role in the side-plot to the campaign drama is where there’s more action, including the sexy kind.

That plot involves April Ludgate trying to hook up overly-energetic, exceedingly-dramatic Chris Traeger with Andy’s female professor. It’s not out of the goodness of her heart. Anyone who is familiar with her mannerisms knows that’s not her style. Her intentions are more self-serving because Chris recently suffered a break-up and April believes finding a new love interest will make him less annoying.

Her plan seems good on paper. She invites Andy’s professor, Linda Lonegan, to lunch with her, Andy, and Ron. There, they just happen to run into Chris, who’s eating alone. At first, everything seems to be working. Chris, through the charisma of Rob Lowe, shows a keen and overt interest in her.

While he’s doing this, though, Ron is sitting right next to Linda. He’s showing no romantic interest in her. He’s at a restaurant. His only interest is in how much steak he can eat and how many vegetables he can throw away. Ron does have a romantic side, but he also has priorities, especially when steak is involved.

It’s also worth noting that Linda is a women’s studies professor. In previous episodes, she makes very clear that she identifies as a feminist. I also have to note that she’s not the kind of radical, man-hating feminist that loves to fuel outrage culture. I would categorize her feminism as a healthy, balanced brand of second-wave feminism that dealt with more overt forms of gender inequality.

While Ron doesn’t bring those issues up, they’re a big part of Chris Traeger’s efforts to attract Linda. He effectively filters everything he says to Linda through a feminist lens, going out of his way to use the kind of rhetoric that demonstrates he understands her worldview and embraces it. Initially, Linda does seem interested in him.

Even though he’s very sensitive with his rhetoric, Chris is no beta male. He’s very masculine in his own right with how he takes care of himself and pursues things so energetically. He’s also played by Rob Lowe, who certainly has many traits of an attractive man, even by Hollywood standards.

Despite those traits, Linda ultimately rejects Chris’ invitation to join her for some land kayaking, which isn’t nearly as sexy as it sounds. Then, shortly after Chris leaves, she turns to Ron and invites him back to her place for activities that don’t involve kayaking. Ron, having had three steaks at this point, accepts and it’s overtly implied that they make love, as evidenced by him wearing his red polo shirt the next day.

To understand why Linda chose Ron over Chris, though, it’s important to break down how Ron acts in this scene. Even though Ron wasn’t attempting to attract Linda, she was still drawn to him more than Chris. According to some of the science behind the traits women find attractive in men, that actually makes sense.

From the moment Ron joined Linda in that scene, he was his usual poised self. He didn’t ask for specials from the waiter. He knew what he wanted, which was a porterhouse steak, medium rare. He was confident in his decision, as well as polite and assertive. Those are traits that are both attractive and respectful.

In addition to his demeanor, Ron’s mannerisms reflect confidence and certainty. Even though he eats three steaks, he’s not a slob. He conducts himself in a way that feels approachable and unimposing. Even if he doesn’t try to attract Linda, he does everything necessary to avoid repulsing her.

Beyond what he does, the way Ron speaks is just as powerful. He’s a man of few words whereas Chris will literally go overboard with adjectives and adverbs every chance he gets. His persona is endearing, but he also comes off as intense. For many women, including Linda, that can be a turn-off. Intense men tend to be complicated men and many reasonable women don’t have the energy for that.

On the other end of the spectrum, Ron is much simpler and transparent with his wants and desires. He says it himself in the early episodes of “Parks and Recreation.” He likes pretty, dark-haired women and breakfast food. That kind of simplicity makes him easier to understand and easier to work with. From Linda’s perspective, keeping up with Ron is much less tedious than keeping up with Chris.

Even from a physical standpoint, Ron conveys more raw masculinity than the health-obsessed Chris. While Chris may have six-pack abs and a very healthy resting heart rate, Ron has a manly mustache and studies show that women find facial hair more attractive. While the presence of facial hair probably wasn’t the determining factor for Linda, it likely played a part.

In the end, Linda found herself between two very masculine men. She ultimately went with the man who demonstrates the most attractive masculine traits just by being himself. Her decision doesn’t just highlight the many ways in which Ron Swanson is personifies manliness. It singles out the traits that appeal to women on a basic level.

Ron Swanson is assertive, protective, frugal, stern, loyal, dedicated, and hard-working. He would function just as effectively as a hunter in ancient times as he does as the Director of Parks and Recreation for the city of Pawnee, if not more so. He’s someone who could still care for his lover if civilization collapsed and zombies overran the cities.

It’s here where Ron’s sex appeal goes beyond simply attracting women. Unlike egocentric pick-up artists or hyper-sensitive ladies men, Ron Swanson conducts himself in ways that men and women alike can respect. In turn, he treats men and women with similar respect.

He doesn’t hold women to a different standard. He treats Linda as an equal and not a prize to be won. He leaves it up to the woman to decide if she finds him attractive enough to be with. In the end, he made Linda’s decision both easy and appealing. It’s the kind of masculinity that men, women, feminists, men’s rights activists, egalitarians, and Americans of all stripes can get behind.

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The Humor In Mutilating Men Versus The Atrocity Of Harming Women

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It’s one of the most traumatic things a man can experience, the permanent damage or total removal of his penis. Whether by accident or intentional violence, he’s badly injured on a physical physical and psychological level. His ability to identify as a man, experience intimacy with others, or just feel basic pleasure is irreparably damaged.

Just mentioning the possibility of losing his penis will make most men cringe. Joke all you want about how much men glorify their genitals, but it really is an important part of their bodies and their identities. Losing it is like losing a limb, which does plenty to cause serious mental trauma. Add losing a key aspect of their masculinity to the mix and that trauma becomes amplified.

Despite that trauma, men losing their genitals is fodder for comedy. Recently, Netflix released a movie called “The Package,” the plot of which is built entirely around a man who loses his penis in an accident. That movie, if you look it up on IMDB, is listed as a comedy. Imagine, for a moment, a movie that tried to make a comedy out of female genital mutilation. How much outrage would that generate?

There’s nothing funny about women’s bodies getting mutilated or even harmed in any serious way. For men, though, it’s actually a pretty common trope. You don’t have to look too deep into the history of media to find jokes about men losing their genitals.

It’s a famous line in “The Big Leboswki.”

It’s a recurring theme in “Fight Club.”

It’s a sub-plot in an episode of “Rick and Morty.”

It’s a primary plot in an episode of “Family Guy.”

Even in media that isn’t overtly comedic, it still becomes a joke. Just look up the various internet memes about Theon Greyjoy from “Game of Thrones” for proof of that. In each case, the mutilation of men and the loss of their masculinity is portrayed as something that’s inherently funny. The fact that Netflix made a movie about that premise shouldn’t surprise anyone.

Even in the cases of real stories about real men losing their genitals, it’s prone to plenty of humor. The most famous case is probably that of John Wayne Bobbitt, whose wife cut off his penis after he raped her. While Bobbitt was, by all accounts, a horribly abusive man who deserved plenty of condemnation for what he did, his name still inspires jokes.

When people say the name Bobbitt, they don’t think of all the abuse he imparted on his wife. They think of how funny it is that his wife cut his dick off. While he was able to get it re-attached, many other men aren’t so lucky. Whether it’s public perception or daytime talk shows, a man losing his penis is still seen as funny.

Conversely, any media that shows a woman being harmed in any way, even if it’s just a slap in the face, is seen as an irredeemable atrocity. Watch shows like “Married With Children” or “The Simpsons” and you’ll see plenty of scenes where Al Bundy and Homer Simpson badly injure themselves through their antics. However, there are exceedingly few scenes that ever lead to the women being harmed.

Anything that leaves any lasting scar on a woman is inherently abhorrent. There are even major international organizations that work to combat practices like female genital mutilation. When women lose their reproductive organs from disease or injury, it’s seen as a tragedy. Anyone who laughs at their pain is rightly scorned.

Why is this, though? Why is it that an entire comedy can be built around a man losing his penis while any plot that involves a woman getting hurt in any way is dead serious? That’s not an easy question to answer. It can’t be entirely attributed to the gender-driven  double standards that I’ve singled out before.

I don’t claim to know the full answer, but I think it’s worth discussing, if only for the sake of maintaining a balanced perspective. I don’t doubt that many have their theories. Some may attribute the humor we find in men getting mutilated to trends in modern feminism. I would strongly disagree with that.

I believe that this idea of laughing at male mutilation while gasping at female victimization preceded modern feminism by a great deal. I would go so far as to say it goes back much further than that. I believe this unique quirk in gender dynamics has roots in ancient pre-modern societies that transcend geography, culture, and ethnicity.

At the core of this phenomenon is one unpleasant, but inescapable truth. I’m probably going to upset some of my fellow men by saying this, but I think it needs to be said.

We NEED to be comfortable with men getting mutilated on some levels.

Take a moment to stop fuming. Then, take a moment to consider why we would need to be okay with this in both current and ancient societies. From a purely logistic standpoint, it makes sense.

For most of human history, men were expected to carry out the dangerous, back-breaking, body-maiming work that built our civilization. Regardless of location, culture, or traditions, putting men in these situations was necessary. Someone needed to fight the wars, plow the fields, hunt dangerous animals, and work in factories.

Until very recently, men had to fill that role because women were at a severe disadvantage due to the dangers and risks of child-rearing. In the pre-modern world, the most vulnerable individuals in a society were pregnant women, newborn infants, and women in labor. In 18th-century England alone, there were 25 deaths per 1,000 births.

With odds like that, there was a legitimate reason to give women extra protection and care that was not afforded to men. Men didn’t have the babies and no society could survive in the long run if it didn’t have a growing population. That’s why, for better or for worse, there are so many cultural and religious traditions that encourage women to remain in domestic roles.

Those same traditions, however, establish a dynamic requiring that we accept a certain level of male victimization. It’s one thing for a man to die in battle or having his genitals maimed in an accident. It’s quite another for a woman, who are tasked with birthing and caring for a new generation, to endure similar harm. Another man can still impregnate a healthy woman. No amount of men can impregnate an injured woman.

I know that dynamic is offensive to both feminists and men’s rights activists because it reduces their value to their reproductive capacity. I get why that’s offensive. Even I find it offensive, as a man. However, therein lies the most critical detail with respect to male mutilation versus male victimization.

These disparate standards, which predate the modern era by centuries, are still very much ingrained in our society. We still see women, especially those of breeding age, as more valuable than men. We romanticize young men who heroically sacrifice themselves in war, but recoil at the idea of young women suffering a similar fate.

Add emerging demographic issues with respect to declining fertility rates and the same incentives for accepting male mutilation are there. We still need people to have children for society to grow and function, but more women are having fewer children and more men are eschewing the pursuit of families entirely.

In terms of logistics, that increases the value of every woman who wishes to have a children and decreases the value of men who refuse to go along with that plan. In that system, a man losing his genitals or suffering a severe injury has to be funny in order for the situation to be tenable. By the same token, any harm coming to a woman has to remain extremely taboo.

Logistics aside, it’s still an unfair predicament that undermines the suffering and trauma that men endure. The fact that we have to be okay with their suffering while overvaluing the suffering of women is bound to fuel more egregious double standards. Movies like “The Package” certainty don’t help, but so long as this age-old gender disparity persists, men losing their penises will remain fodder for comedy rather than tragedy.

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