I’ll start right off the bat by saying that I’m neither exceptionally sexy nor exceptionally beautiful in appearance. Men I’ve expressed such doubts or such a lack of confidence to have reassured me that I have this or that attractive feature. But I know that the reason that so many like me, and so many are attracted to me is not really about my looks. (I mean, if I really was better looking, I could make a living off of modeling, Hooters-type waitressing, stripping or being a cam girl, and I’m not quite there.)
No. The real reason many men seem to like me is simply that they can confide in me their darkest secrets, without me being judgmental or hateful in response. This seems so simple to me; I mean, we’re all human, we all make mistakes, and we all do things that we know are wrong or that feel icky to us later. Most everyone has a dark side to them that they’re not proud of. To me that means though that, if I can acknowledge my own faults and still love myself, it is second nature for me to do the same with others.
But it really seems to me that many of the men I’ve talked to online need someone sympathetic to talk to in a way that most women don’t. Perhaps it’s that women are able to cry on one another’s shoulders and express their emotional vulnerabilities with much, much less fear of being mocked and stigmatized for such. In fact, it may even be more beneficial to women to express psychological vulnerability, because it seems to make them more attractive, owing perhaps to the male instinct towards protectiveness.
I don’t think, however, that men have it so easy when it comes to their own psychological struggles and inner turmoil. It’s me the high school friend, now a veteran coming home from service in Afghanistan, yearns to chat with at 3am because no one else probably cares enough about what he’s been through there. I’m the one a YouTube “celebrity” reveals his sickest secret fetishes to, because no one else would listen without judgment or revulsion. I gave a high school friend the opportunity to cross-dress with me at an anime convention, promising to keep it secret from his dad. He’s beautiful “as a woman”. I wish he could feel comfortable doing it every day. I say of a Facebook group member’s photograph that his eyes contain sadness, and later and privately, he confides that it’s because his wife of 18 years is leaving him for someone else. Another man I’ve known for a long time tells me of the horrific nightmares he has every single night.
All of these experiences, though tainted with sadness, I feel also enhanced my life. I also hope that I was, by simply being that “shoulder to cry on”, helpful. It’s hard to know sometimes what to say or how to respond. But I think just listening is sometimes all that you need to do to be a friend to someone in pain. Being a teenager in the early 2000s acquainted me with these books called “Post Secret”. The idea was, that people would send post cards of their most personal secrets, things they’ve never had the courage to tell anyone else. From those books, I always wondered if telling the secret in such a way was beneficial; I think that it must be in some way. I know from personal experience too that having someone I can show all of my vulnerabilities to is valuable. Our doubts, weaknesses, and struggles are something we live with every day and yet, rarely come across a person that we think will listen sympathetically. No wonder it’s so powerful to find someone who will.
The world is a frustrating and too often harsh place. This applies to both men and women. But women do seem to get more support for their psychological problems. Usually, it’s the men in society that have all the pressure to be strong and to comfort everyone else; their spouse or girlfriend, their kids, their family, etc. They’re supposed to be psychologically sound rocks women can lean on when they’re afraid or feeling insecure. So then, when men are afraid or insecure, who can they lean on? Well, it seems that finding a woman they can talk to is too often a slim possibility.
Sex workers often take the place of intimate friends or psychological counselors in many men’s lives. Women who engage in the practice confide that they never expected that they would play shrink to their clients, or that that would sometimes be more of the reason they got called than the sex. Most of these men have wives or girlfriends, but to their significant other, they are afraid to express their darkest thoughts. They want to look like a confident, strong, knightly kind of man to their ladies. But secretly, many of them find themselves needing the company of someone who is guaranteed to listen to them and care, or at least, pretend to care, and not be offended or put off by what they have to say.
And yet, this is a problem that is definitely made worse by feminism. As much as feminists talk a big game about how they don’t hate men, they shame them for going to sex workers, for having sexual desires, and often just for being men. It’s a power thing. In their eyes, women have no power, men have all the power. So, according to that faulty notion, sex work is nothing but men exercising their dominance and control over women. The reality is very different; men are in my experience, doing this, when they know it’s fake and they know it will jeopardize their relationships, just because they need someone. And the anonymity and secrecy of being with the sex worker or mistress means that they can often be emboldened to say what they really want to say, without holding anything back. That’s why a man will leave his wife and go to the same stripper for years. It’s really sad, a sign that at home he does not feel that he can express his weakness to his wife, who is supposed to be his emotional support. In the feminist theory dogma, this is framed as a sign of the “whore-Madonna complex”. They say that men cannot see women as human, but that they only see them as either good women to marry, or bad women to use for sex.
There is some basis for such a judgment, but I think women also choose the role of either whore or Madonna whenever it suits what they want to get out of the men in question. I feel that in this situation, it’s the woman with the power definitely. They exploit men’s often complicated sexual and psychological needs for their own profit. They fake sympathy, patting his shoulder with one hand while the other hand reaches into his wallet.
I do not see men as “money objects” the way I swear a majority of women do. They know if they confide in me, I ask for no reward. I’m not doing it for anything but because I deeply care about each and every one of them and wish them the best. But with that, I think if I ever were single, a hundred guys would want me to be their girlfriend. I think that if I were ever in serious trouble myself, those men would remember me, and do anything they could to help me. That’s just how powerful it can be to simply listen to and care about men. And yet, I’m not doing it for what they can give me back. I just like knowing that if I can talk to someone who’s hurting, I can help them feel better. You do sympathy for sympathy’s sake, or not at all.
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