The first time I was confronted by a guy who wasn’t hyper-masculine or insecure about his identity as a man was in high school by my high school sweetheart. I vaguely remember the first time I saw him cry. My first thoughts about this activity had nothing to do with his masculinity. There was no place in my brain that lessened my opinion of him due to this visible show of his emotions.

In reality, I’m an emotional bitch. Just thinking about things that upset me can bring tears to my eyeballs. Watching other people cry generally makes me want to cry too, so having to witness his emotional pain did not sit well with me at all, because crying is supposed to be for girls. A myth that most Americans are brought up on. So, I think one of the first things I felt when seeing his tears was confusion. Boy + tears = what? I had no real idea because I’d never seen a guy cry before.

Besides “dating” (a word used very loosely) an emotionally abusive asshole who frequently cried when he finally got over being mad at me about some shit I didn’t even do and actually felt bad about calling me a whole host of bad words to the general theme of “slut”, my second encounter with men who were unburdened by the American taboo of insensitive, aggressive, alpha-male–expected to be strong all the time and hold in all of their feelings man syndrome was in Paris.

It was a little more than baffling to have a man wait on me hand and foot, bring me coffee in bed, and cook for me. If this royal treatment weren’t enough, the physical appearance of the gorgeous man I was sleeping with at the time really iced my cake. He had long, curly hair, wore very fitted clothing, and was definitely not afraid to use his hips during the salsa. Of course, being an untrusting American girl absolutely entranced by the strength of the feelings I had for a man who made it all the way to the allusive third date, I was totally skeptical of the heterosexuality of a man who not only wore shorts that stopped above his knees, but also wore t-shirts as tight as mine, participated in foreplay, exhibited patience, and appreciated my high sex drive.

That last bit may come as a bit of a surprise because of the readily accepted reality that men should be praised for bedding many bodies while women should be shamed for that same behavior. And I have been shamed many times while living in this very sexually repressed country that loves to sexualize women when it lines their own pockets and is convenient for them.

There’s no one way to be a black man! #carefreeblackboy #carefreeblackboys #blacklivesmatter #funnymoneyrock

A photo posted by Anye Elite???? (@anyeelite) on

I never experienced this shame while I was in France, though, one guy did help me pull down my cropped sweatshirt to cover my back claiming that I was doing the right thing (by attempting to cover my body) and praised me for my efforts by telling me that I wasn’t a slut with a very proud grin on his face, as if being called a slut is the worst thing that could ever happen to me. Unfortunately for him, he never got to find out just how slutty I really could be. 😉

Besides this weird little hink, none of the guys I met seemed to be at all concerned about any other guys I might have been seeing, never asked, probably didn’t care and were perfectly happy meeting once a week or so, having beers, and capping the nights off with guilt-free orgasms. If this lifestyle sounds appalling to you, it’s either because:

  1. You’re still hanging onto your virginity (which is fabulous. I hung onto mine until I found my high school sweetheart.)
  2. You’re a prude. But very possibly secretly nasty as fuck.
  3. You’re insecure and can’t handle a relationship in which you are not the only source of someone’s orgasms
  4. You’re into monogamy. Which is admirable, but given my dating history and continuous string of fabulous bedmates who are horrible people, is not an option for me right now.
  5. You’re my mother and want me to only ever have one sex partner, also known as, my future husband.
  6. You’re my brother and want to crush the skull of every man who’s ever “used” me.
  7. You’re my father and want me to die a virgin.

Having guilt-free, string-less sex with intriguing, charming men was an addictive feeling. I might be biased, but American men seem to be a lot less intriguing and charming, but none of them have ever brought me an eclectic array of cheeses at 5 o’clock in the morning either.

Not having a single inflated ego to answer to, really did a lot to reduce the stress in my life and almost completely erased that inner voice that always encourages me to lie when someone asks me if I’ve been sleeping with other people.

It should basically always be assumed that I am sleeping with other people if I never agreed to monogamy. This is the kind of declaration that brings wounded egos, anger, accusations of being the leading attraction of Slutsville, and a whole host of other hyper-masculine, hypocritical, and really fucking annoying behaviors that nobody should feel the need to tolerate for the sake of regular orgasms.

Would-be crush, maybe even Love with a capital “l”, now turned evil spirit who haunts my wet dreams with his adorable smiles, slightly obnoxious commands, and overinflated ego has really helped refine my idea of what it means for a man to be comfortable with his sexuality. Flower crowns, the sort of adornment that instantly brings about denials of men’s masculinity and accusations of homosexuality, have become a very wide-spread symbol in this world of Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat filters that let us alter our appearances in just a few seconds.

But why would a manly man want to wear a flower crown? That’s the whole point, isn’t it? To give up society’s ideas of what it means to be a man and to accept that you might just fucking like flowers even if you are a man, and why should being appreciative of nature damage other people’s opinions about you? It shouldn’t. But it does.

Because flowers are things traditionally reserved for women. They’re soft, fragile, and always wilting, and thereby, not suitable physical representations of the strong protectors and providers we expect our men to be. And why should they be? Women are just as much of protectors and providers as men these days with our full-time jobs, ability to monetize our own sexuality, and the choice of when and if we ever want to become mothers. Women’s roles and images in society have been changing to ones of independence and strength, but yet, not all women are characterized in this flattering light, so why are men always expected to be strong if we do not expect the same of our women?

I believe that men should be raised believing that they can show their feelings and be accepted and women shouldn’t bash those rare men who are comfortable and open about their emotions. Despite all of my faults, I have never seen men who wear tight jeans, or have nipple rings and long hair, or who like to cry while watching Titanic as anything other than men with their own preferences and distinct personalities. None of these things make them any less manly and none of those things society expects of men prove that they truly are men. I have always felt stronger ties to guys who are open about their feelings with me and don’t hide from their emotions. How can anyone build a real bond if one of you is always hiding a part of yourself?

Why so serious, guys? You can prove your masculinity by actually being a man, being yourself, showing your feelings in a way that does not make you a controlling, insecure little bitch. Bitch. Noun. A word we use to cripple men and make them feel weak. Feminine. Unmanly. Bitch. Noun. A word we use to demean women who enjoy sex, are independent, and strong. Of course, the emotional impact of this word used against a man will give any man pause, cause him to reign in his emotions, and make him pretend that he does not care about a person or a given situation. But caring is beautiful.

If women can give up their vibrators with desperate hopes for fabulous sex from an actual man, then men can pull their own dicks out of their asses long enough to see that all of these hyper-masculine qualities that America loves so much are actually screwing you out of getting screwed.

Since America is probably not going to cuddle you at night, believe in your dreams, or give you head before breakfast, I think it is a better idea to heed the advice of a woman who has dealt with enough of hypermasculine bullshit to desire moving to France permanently. Of course, that’s totally up to you guys to decide whether you want wives and orgasms every night or an eternal string of one-night stands, meaningless relationships, and “gold-digging” sex bunnies.

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Maple Summers

Believes in freedom. Helping to bring openness to a sexually repressed country. Eradicating slut-shaming. Defending women of all walks. Encouraging explorative and healthy dating and relationships.

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