Thank you for this essay, I feel what you are saying is important!
synaesthia
161

Your comments were far more insightful than the original post.

You examined and explained where your attitudes and perceptions come from. My guess is that a large percentage of human beings feel shame for various reasons and express it in very different forms. But it takes a lot of courage to be that honest and vulnerable online, which probably eliminates about 90% of the people who write on this site.

In addition, you didn’t project your own feelings on women or claim to know what they were thinking. You even gave your girlfriend the benefit of the doubt about whether she perceived you as disgusting considering her comments applied to men in general. That eliminates 95% of the population. I only know a handful of writers on this site who have the maturity to do that, and have personally fallen well short of this mark many times.

Finally, your memory of being thirteen and hearing your mom say with disgust that “all men care about is sex” is one of the biggest reasons so many men feel shame. If one in five women and one in twenty boys suffer sexual abuse as children, think about how many people in our population are suffering from PTSD. And almost 50% of all women have been victims of some form of sexual violence in their lifetimes. Add to that all the women who have had bad relationships or painful divorces, and I think it would be a miracle for any mother to have an unemotional and unbiased conversation about sex with her son. (Fathers are just as bad, if not worse, with their children, but in different ways, so I’m not just blaming women.)

I hope you can have this kind of openness with your girlfriend and heal some of these old wounds.

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