Male bonding & feeling like a 'real' man

Discussion in 'Relationships, Discrimination, and Jealousy' started by Slamdunk_dude, Mar 30, 2009.

  1. Slamdunk_dude

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    Hey guys,

    I've posted a few times about similar topics but have been pondering a lot recently & felt the need to vent & ask a few questions. As I've said in my previous posts I grew up with very little male presence in my life (no dad, no uncles, brothers etc) & have always found it very difficult to make male friends. To be honest this has very rarely bothered me until recently.

    I'm in my early 20's & for some reason have started to feel really left out. I tend to find it harder to relate to men but have no problem making friends with and/or picking up women. What's interesting is that women almost never think or assume that I'm gay upon meeting me but a lot of dudes do. I don't think I'm particularly effeminate but I guess growing up with all women does leave its mark.

    I still have some unresolved sexuality issues but am kind of at peace with them. I consider myself bisexual but have never done anything with a guy & don't really have the urge to. However I do jerk off thinking about guys & have a fascination with seeing men naked (perhaps even more than women.) I think this probably goes back to the fact that I never had any male bonding experiences at an early age & that curiousity about the male body increased as I got older & became something more sexual.

    To be honest I just want to see how my sexuality develops & leave it at that. I'm just me & if I continue to find the fantasy of men attractive & the reality of women attractive, or if that changes, then so be it! I can't be bothered with pressuring myself any more, plus I've been in a long term relationship with a woman I love more than anything for the last few years. I honestly don't want that to change & feel comfortable thinking that we will probably spend our lives together (she is aware of all my issues & the fact that I consider myself bisexual.)

    However, I really do feel like I need some close guy friends. I know it may sound weird or desperate but sometimes its just as basic as not wanting to be around women for a while (sorry if that sounds awful.) I have never been truly comfortable in my masculinity & I'm actually going to therapy to work out a lot of unresolved issues with my absent father etc. It seems to be working as I am starting to feel slightly more confident.

    I honestly have a fear of 'masculine' activities such as watching sports, going for a beer with a group of guys, anything to do with being naked around other men (locker rooms, urinals etc.) I even have serious problems calling other guys 'man', 'dude', 'bro' etc because I don't feel like a 'bro' myself. My fear is so deeply rooted & the only way to describe it is that I'm afraid that other guys will laugh at me and/or discover that I'm not a 'real' man. I don't even truly know what this means but I have just never felt like another man truly cared about me or loved me (in a completely platonic sense) & I really feel like I need that.

    Sorry to rant, I don't even know what I'm asking for. I guess advice about some ways that I can resolve this issue or ways that I can make myself more confident in my masculinity.

    I'm never going to be the most macho guy in the room & honestly don't want to be. I just want to be comfortable enough in all male situations without feeling like the outcast. I have just come to believe that bonding with other men is something that all men regardless of age, race, sexuality etc inherantly need (with no sexual connotations). Do you guys feel the same? I want to feel what it's like to have a friend that feels like a brother, someone always has your back.

    Again sorry for rambling!

    Slamdunk_Dude
     
  2. D_Bob_Crotchitch

    D_Bob_Crotchitch New Member

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    Don't feel bad. You are not connected to your own gender emotionally. You are like a lot of us. We had a dad that wasn't a true dad to us. Keep on going for therapy. Start trying new things. What you are right now is a wounded soul.
     
  3. B_Bonky

    B_Bonky New Member

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    Bah, I'm not "connected to [men] emotionally" either and I couldn't care less. I had/have a fine father and play sports, do technical/gadget/man-toy activities, but I hate hanging out with men. The only reason I'd hang out with a man is to play a sport with him, and if I could find a woman to do it with I'd rather do it with her.

    If I can't, or don't want to, fuck it then why would I want to be around it?

    Seriously. Whenever I'm hanging around a bunch of guys I feel totally different. I don't want to 'high-five' with them or watch football or ogle women. I just want to hang around with and fuck chicks. If I'm not doing that I want to be by myself doing my own thing.

    So if you're like me, you don't really feel like you're part of the male crowd, I say there's nothing wrong with you. You just like chicks. I remember even when I was a little kid I'd hang around with girls.. they're pretty, feminine, and wonderful. Men are big, hairy and loud. Not into that.
     
  4. D_Bob_Crotchitch

    D_Bob_Crotchitch New Member

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    Bonky that is you. It's not what the OP stated. He's not had a dad or played sports. He feels disconnected.
     
  5. B_Bonky

    B_Bonky New Member

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    whatever. The OP asked if other guys felt the same, and I told him how I felt about my own situation. And that there's nothing wrong with feeling "disconnected" from those of your own gender, IMHO.
     
  6. B_Hung Jon

    B_Hung Jon New Member

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    This is actually pretty funny, Bonky. Your guy friends sound kinda scary, at least to me. Not all guys are big, hairy and loud! My male friends are lean, smooth and mellow...as well as sexy. They are also wonderful. I'm just thinking that maybe you need some new mates in your life!:biggrin1:
     
  7. SR_Blarney_Frank

    SR_Blarney_Frank New Member

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    Don't worry about being a 'real' man - just be yourself. If you're not comfortable sitting around in your football jersey high-fiving a bunch of dudes then don't hang out with that kind of poseur crowd. I think you're hung up on a stereotype of what it means to be a guy.

    Just like watching football doesn't make you a 'guy' neither does looking at dicks make you 'gay.' I guarantee if you're true to yourself and have confidence (but not arrogance) in who you are, it will radiate and you'll have the respect of everyone around you.
     
  8. bigbull29

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    Always remind yourself as part of your therapy: Other dudes whom you consider "real dudes" are NO different than you anatomically. You have a dick that shoots cum and a nutsack (I saw your pics, and you're all boy to me:wink:). I recommend that when you jack off, try to feel as proud as you can of being male and having a penis. Make efforts to remind yourself of how male you are all the time (when you piss, get a boner, etc)

    Sadly, you have trained yourself to believe that you're not one of the boys. I'm not sure why. Perhaps, you've had different interests than other boys growing up, were teased by others as being effeminate, etc. But what's important is that you change that way of thinking.


    Also, what are your interests?
     
  9. B_dxjnorto

    B_dxjnorto New Member

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    Slamdunk Dude, I'm sure there's a lot of guys who feel something similar to you. Much of your generation has been raised by women. I have a somewhat similar experience in that I am not close with my father or uncles, and we moved constantly while I was growing up so I never developed a substitute relationship with a surrogate such as scoutmaster or coach or neighbor or mentor of some sort. I feel okay now, but I still crave affection from males. I don't have any great advice. I mean, you look good. Guys must look at you sometimes and wish they could get to know you and get closer to you. Being aware that others may look at you the way you look at them may help you to be able to see that others need what you need. It's a simple human need to have appropriate relationships with people, men and women. I think sometimes we go around closed off without realizing that our demeanor may broadcast the opposite of what we are feeling inside. I remember being about twenty-eight and suddenly realizing that I was alone a lot--I remember making a list of the people I knew and wishing I had just one good friend in the world. Lots of acquaintances and coworkers, but no one close.

    I've never been the slap-on-the-back sports type of guy either. Like Stevenvegas says, some of that is posturing--guys behaving the way the think other guys want them to behave. I don't care for organized sports at all, but I do go for other "masculine" pursuits such as biking, hiking, backpacking and the like. The range of "male" interests are not mutually exclusive--a lot of guys like a lot of things, but there are different crowds you find in different activities.

    I wonder if your aversion to locker rooms and normal situations where you may be nude or exposed goes back to your mom making you afraid of child molesters. Just speculating. This seems to be a recurrent theme in several threads on LPSG about young men with only female caregivers and few male role models. Thinking about why things are the way they are can help--you've made a lot of progress along that road already.
     
  10. D_Alfredo Hites

    D_Alfredo Hites Account Disabled

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    dude, you're very smart. the best advice i can give you is to keep doing what you're doing and be yourself. you are very in tune with yourself and have a level head. that will only serve to bring you success. as time goes by, and you get older, you will become more and more secure with yourself and others. a lot of guys feel the same way you do to varying extents.

    the best way to overcome fears is to actually experience the things you are afraid of. do it and it will feel good. maybe read some books on the subject. one could argue that most of the males in our society now are lacking some sort of male identity because of how our society has become. in our culture, there isn't really any prevalent male right of passage ritual; and many males don't have a father figure to teach them.

    in my opinion, that is the primary benefit of organized sports for males growing up. it is one of the only ways for guys to bond in an all masculine way. this is crucial and, looking back, was very beneficial to me. i never wrestled in high school (no program) but wrestlers seem to really have a strong bond with each other which i think is awesome. they aren't afraid to be naked around each other, which in my opinion, is how real men should act; instead of the ultra prissy ones nowadays doing the towel dance.
     
  11. quert

    quert New Member

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    hey slamdunk, i had a similar experience to you, and i feel kind of disconnected sometimes too. most of my friends are women and i think other guys can just sort of tell that i'm different. that makes me kind of afraid to do "guy stuff" too. i used to think it was just because i wasn't interested, but i realize that part of me is also afraid of not fitting in, i guess. so i tend to stay away from other guys, which means i never learn how to be social with other guys. i know some people are saying it's not a big deal, and maybe it's not. but i feel like i'm missing something, and maybe you feel the same way. well, where in so cal are you? maybe we can start a club for guys who want to learn how to be guys lol.
     
  12. NCbear

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    Very few guys are the loud jock or hairy mechanic or outdoor hunter (stereo)type. There's a lot of room in my conceptualization of "masculinity" for a tremendous variety of ways to perform it.

    Get to know guys who are interesting and different from the norm. They don't have to be bisexual or gay; they don't have to have "unresolved sexuality" or similar feelings. They just have to be reasonably comfortable with who they are.

    Then take a closer look at them and think about why they're comfortable with who they are.

    As a previous poster said, it's all about confidence. Well, I agree with that, but I'll add another point: It's also all about loving yourself for who you are, flaws and all.

    NCbear (who hopes you'll soon begin feeling more like what you already are: a "real man" :pats you on the shoulder: :gives you an encouraging smile:)
     
  13. B_Nick4444

    B_Nick4444 New Member

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    what you're feeling is a very real, recognized, and documented need

    what you need to do is to start doing things that will involve you with other guys, as that is how guys get to relate to, and bond with each other -- shared interests and activities

    that can be achieved with writers, artists, tech geeks, jocks, and spectator types

    I've always found it easier to find the type of guy I can relate to as a friend among straights -- for some reason, gays have always struck me as off-balance

    straight guys, you will find, are more readily accepting, and are naturally better friends

     
  14. Stephenmass

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    Nick, sometimes I guess I can agree with this. I'm surprised because you are 100% gay that you may consider "your own" off balance? I think you meant in general because with straight guys for the most part, the sex quotient isn't there, which makes it easier to bond and become friends with them. There are many "off balance" str8 guys too Nick!

    Slamdunk, I do think that todays society at least here in the States is that males are not encouraged to bond (non sexually) with other males. It's a shame actually, because we are all human and wouldn't it be great to have a few close same sex friends that we could confide anything to and not be judged? Wouldn't it be great to actually (non sexually speaking) love a few same sex friends of yours because you simply think their friendship is that important to you? It's too bad really; women have us beat by a mile in this same sex close friendship subject.
     
  15. B_Nick4444

    B_Nick4444 New Member

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    true

    and a couple of my straight buds come to mind, including my favorite sailing and SCUBA buddy

    they are, in fact, off-balance in a lot of areas of their life and thinking

    (which sometimes gets me into some on the edge situations ..."Well, here's another nice mess you've gotten me into, Stanley!" ...)

    but as far as friendship, and being buddies, they are spot on, and solid


    (and it really pains me that I'm beginning to lose a lot of them to marriage, in the sense that the range of access I'll have to them will be truncated)

    there may, in fact, be some gay guys out there that show the same solidity,

    the overwhelming impression I have, however, is not



     
    #15 B_Nick4444, Apr 2, 2009
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2009
  16. B_dxjnorto

    B_dxjnorto New Member

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    And that's what true friends are too. They know everything about us and still love us.
     
  17. psychodrama

    psychodrama New Member

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    We're about the same age, but both sexes rarely mistaken me as gay, but I am.

    I also think that men regardless of age, race and/or sexuality has that inherent need to bond with another man. I guess, I might consider myself lucky because I had a male friend, who is, of course, straight, and is about my age too, who is not bothered by my sexuality. He constantly brags about his need to fuck a 'chick' and maintain his status - all of which he talks about with me, while I also started to talk about my need to find a hot one tonight.

    It actually started rather difficult because I felt some attraction (sexual), but it never happened. I decided to open up and tell him honestly about it, and he surprised me when he told me he knew all along that I was gay, but that did not lessen his regard for me as a friend. I was quite frank in telling him that I considered him a good friend and to initiate something 'sexual' in nature would only ruin it. It's been almost 14 months since we became friends and it could have been a different story if I decided to initiate something. He never had any sexual experience with gays, and he was also quite frank in telling me, he simply don't want to have any.

    I think you can find a male friend whom you can bond with and even become your closest friend if you have respect for each other, and is really interested in knowing what's going on with your life as you are with his. But there should be no hidden agenda.

    A true friend accepts you as a whole and will recognize your qualities as well as your flaws, would even try to help out in case you ask for help. Being true to oneself and not pretending to be another person just to be able to get accepted by a group will only create problems later on.
     
  18. eastbaydude

    eastbaydude New Member

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    OK, I'm going ot save you a boat load of money on therapy.

    Spend a couple of months making male friends.

    You don't have to hang out in sports bars if you don't want to. Do some other things. Volunteer with Habitat for Humanity and learn to build houses. Take a sailing class. Work with the Sierra Club rebuilding trails. Get a part time job at Home Depot. Start working out and then find a workout partner. All of these thigns will put you in contact with other guys and help develop you as a man. Take it slow and easy. Don't be needy. Be fun. It will happen. Good luck.
     
  19. D_Martin van Burden

    D_Martin van Burden Account Disabled

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    Yeah. I agree with what eastbay said. It sounds like you want male companionship and friendship, but you're afraid that in order to make it happen, you have to expose yourself to groups of men that make you flinch. To me, they're called "frat boys." And to me, you also sound like you suffer from the same issues that the lead character Paul Rudd played -- that movie in which he's trying to find a guy to take the place as his best man at his wedding or some such.

    I agree that you should just hang out with guys because you're probably psyching yourself out, imagining it to be worse than it really is. On the other hand, you shouldn't feel pressured to immerse yourself in uncomfortable situations. I say, just do the things you like doing and, if guys happen to be there, make friendly conversation.

    Needless to say, men are dealt a huge blow in this society if they can't act butch and rugged and insensitive all the time. Being someone who was never that adept with a ball, I think we fuck up our young sons out of fear that they won't be "tough enough," and they internalize that shame. And we're so jacked up by the process that we turn around and constantly check how manly we're being, and we judge other guys and put 'em down to make ourselves feel better, and we end up doing dumb shit like calling each other fags even if our dicks don't work that way. I think it's just as bad for gay people. That's why they do all that "straight acting" bullshit; it's because they are made to believe that all gay men are necessarily effeminate, and they end up turning on each other over some arbitrary bullshit. (Maybe they have it worse than we do.)

    Either way, man, you shared something big. Great! Now let's do something about it. Keep us posted.
     
  20. purplewhitemajor

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    I agree with a lot of what has been said, I too have felt the same way you do. I have dealt with not being the most masculine guy around but that didn't make me any less of a guy - if you know what I mean. My friends just accept me for who I am. I too grew up around women and all the women I knew were very dominant. It's kind of an advantage because you have insight into the female brain. I stopped worrying about fitting in with the guys and I couldn't be any happier.
     
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