by – Kai, lead somatic sexologist
Why is it not OK to hug you man mate or hold each other in a non-sexual capacity? Why is it not OK to cry with your man mate? Why is it not OK to communicate with your man mate about emotions and feelings that you are experiencing?
As a man myself, one of my most profound emotional experiences in my life so far is when I cried in front of another man. “He looked me in the eyes and and uttered a few words” – in an instant every emotion, every tense muscle just gave way to a waterfall of tears. I felt an emotional release that I had never experienced before. Their was no judgement, no need to talk in that moment, my space felt supported by masculinity.
We have taught, and are continuing to teach, young boys in Australia that emotion is not okay. We are teaching young boys that intimacy between one another should be feared. They are taught that this would make them seem gay. Subsequently, to combat this inherent homophobia, the thought of two males in a close friendship must be humoured and justified within society in order for masculinity to be maintained. In a society where women value the bonds between each other, why doesn’t the same apply for men? Louis Hanson
I would like to share an interesting article by Louis Hanson recently published in The Guardian. Louis writes about the emotional life of men, and why “you’ll be right” is no longer enough in society. In the article, Hanson discusses how men fear sharing emotion with each other and draws attention to how conversations with men are often pushed aside. Vulnerability is also discussed. Men are often vulnerable in emotional situations. Personally by pushing my resilient edge and becoming vulnerable I allow myself to open up in emotional states of being. I discuss vulnerability in this blog article here.
MEN the only barrier to sharing our emotions with each other is hidden/blocked inside ourselves. We are responsible for this change. We are responsible for having the conversations. We are responsible to the next generation of men to make it OK to feel and discuss our emotions. So next time when you are with your man mate, why not become vulnerable and start the conversation. Next time your holding back the tears in front of your mate be vulnerable and let them go.
If you are experiencing a mental health emergency, please dial 000 now or call Lifeline on 13 11 14. If you have a mental health concern, please contact your medical practitioner to discuss how you may benefit from a mental health plan and access a psychologist. If your mental health is effecting your sexual wellness why not reach out to Polysoma.