People sing all the time about their crushes, unrequited love and romantic break-ups; about feeling awkward, unsure, in despair, overwhelmed, happy and inspired. Although these days the sexual imagery on music videos
and on TV is the more predominant message and it can appear that the tender feelings of first love are at odds with today’s world of ‘out there’ sexuality.
Statistics say that online porn makes 30% of the Internet traffic worldwide. That is huge and shows how much online porn is watched. Sexting and wanting to only have casual sex have become normal. Almost everybody posts about their sexual and romantic successes and failures and it seems that sex has hijacked all romanticism, but has it?
Let’s take a closer look at how much nowadays romantic love is still the underlying drive of our ‘dating’ interactions even though we believe in ‘friends with benefits’, poly-love and sex as the ultimate fulfilment in human life.
Where is the prince with the damn white horse?
As women, we have been taught to be good girls, obedient, tidy, and smiling and although often unspoken, we are brought up in the need to be rescued by Prince Charming as on our own, just being who we are we are incomplete and never enough.
When we are little there are the Disney princess stories – beautiful, innocent and in love and later on, advertising, movies, mainly everything tells us that we should wear particular kinds of clothes, style our hair in a certain way, and play all sorts of games to attract the attention of men.
From romantic movies, we learn that we should wait for Mr. Right. It doesn’t matter whether he’s already in a relationship with someone else, whether he cheats, or whether he needs time to realize that you are the one. We accept that men are setting the standards for the way we relate with them. We adjust our needs to them. They just want ‘friends with benefits’, we accept….. in the hope that he will come and truly love us.
Every typical romantic movie ends with getting him and being a complete woman for the first time in her life. We learn that without him, we’re nothing and that ‘love conquers everything’.
...and Men? The role of prince charming seems to have kicked the dust...?
Boys and men grow up feeling the pressure to perform as the ultimate alpha male in a hyper sexualized world. Just have a look at how society, media, gaming, TV, advertising, the music and the film industry is showing us what it means to be ‘a real man’?
- Being sexually dominant and experienced
- Being desired by lots of women, and not committing to a relationship
- Having power and control
- Being competitive in sports and drinking, etc.
- Having money
Being successful and intelligent
- Being tough and not crying or being able to show feelings or pain
- Showing emotions through yelling, being aggressive and violent
So no wonder boys and young men become tough and rough and live their life from this world where they constantly need to prove themselves by being confident, dominant, overpowering and abusive.
So, how does this allow boys and young men to be tender, sensitive and sweet?
How do you feel if you see a boy in a pink top, crying or expressing their feelings? Are you able to be there for them and accept them for who they are or do you feel uncomfortable with this and find yourself laughing at them?
The strength of being a sensitive man...
When we hear or say ‘man up’, ‘toughen up’ or ‘don’t be a pussy’ we are actually saying: “Ignore your sensitivity and when you are hurt simply override what you are feeling and pretend it didn’t hurt you.“
Most boys and young men learn from a very young to dismiss their tenderness, sweetness and sensitivity and to train themselves to be numb and tough to not appear to be too soft, weak, ‘girly’ or ‘gay’.
From a young age boys and men learn to block and dull down their sensitivity and learn to become hard and tough as this is a safe place to be as a ‘real man’.
However, if you connect to and accept that sensitivity means to sense the world around you, be aware of what is going on and how you feel in a situation it becomes your true strength and supports you to handle whatever situation you are in without needing to be tough, pretending you don’t care.
Sensitivity is your true strength!
“Being sensitive is to sense the world around you, be aware of what is going on and how you feel in a situation and express what you are feeling.”