Sex and Violence: The two non-fungible measures of a man

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The Lost boys

We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War’s a spiritual war... our Great Depression is our lives. We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won’t. And we’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off.
— Chuck Palahniuk

Boys are lost, searching for their vision, their manhood, searching for their place in the world. They search for purpose. I know this because boys have asked me for it. It's not hard to find, but it's hard not to fear. Many boys make up a place because it's guaranteed they can get there, that it’s safe, and it is what their ego wants of them. I use the word boy and the word guy with a purpose. They are placeholders for a males delayed adolescence.

A boys adolescence is his innocence, a guys adolescence is his impotence.

A man walks over to his place in the world and plops himself down in its center. He then dares the world to remove him. A guy waits for an invitation, a map, and an escort. Instinctively, he knows where he’s supposed to go, but since no one has offered it to him, it’s not valuable to a guy. After all, why would you want to go there, if no one else will tell you how great it is? This place is the pursuit of sex and violence. It's the place where men just fit, it's our Valhalla. No invitation is required.

I was invited to speak last year. The topic was about men relationships, and unfucking themselves. I was not there to offer an invitation to that place. I was not there to give a vision, a rite of passage, or any mancertification. I explicitly said this, and could not have been less persuasive if I were talking to the wall. The only questions people asked involved their vision, their rite, their certification exam. What checklist exists that could prove I am a man? I gave very dismissive, very flippant responses:

"Go knife a deer and eat it's still-beating heart."

I was speaking earlier on the concept of DEER (defend, explain, excuse rationalize), so it received a muffled response. Not funny enough for laughter, but clever enough for a chuckle. Guys still bring it up, and I've since given it enough thought to put my words onto paper. We used to be handed an invitation for that place. The invitations were signed Queen and country, noblesse oblige, the strong family patriarch, the American dream, your man card, or the salt of the earth. Insert any of the phrases you see from advertisements for beard oils, assault rifles, and half-ton trucks. They drop it on you, like the load of gravel into the back end of the all new 3500.

Our strong arm isn't needed anymore. We have robots to do the heavy lifting, we have computers to do all the intellectual labour. We have instant dinners delivered daily to your door, dishwashers to free up a woman's time to pursue her own fortunes in business. We used to be Atlas, holding his world on his shoulders, broadening them to handle the load. those days are over. We aren't needed anymore. So what's left? Where is our place?

Sex and violence are the only two non-fungible measures of a man. They aren't as tough as they used to be, so you have no excuses not to meet them. They are the place you should be, or at least not avoid.

They don't build them like they used to

I

They don't build us like they used to.

It wasn’t easier, but it was simpler back then. I celebrated my best friends military retirement by taking him to Amsterdam. We took the time out of our hedonism to view the allied cemetery in Oosterbeek. It was a park, full of people walking their dogs, wheeling infants in strollers. Was it more, or less reverent than at home where we never set foot in them? I didn’t count the graves, but according to the plaque, hundreds of men had died liberating it. I notice, of all the gravestones, only one had was for a man older than 25. The few survivors were similarly aged. Those survivors, they could look in the mirror and know they capable of asserting their will onto other men with finality. What conflicts would arise on their return that they could not handle with amusement? I'm not saying that life was a cake-walk, I'm saying that it could never compare to the very real threat of violence they already conquered. I'm not guessing, I've spoken to men like this.

During Remembrance Day (Veterans Day to anyone stateside) I had the pleasure of meeting a Korean War veteran. There used to be some friction in the Legion’s, where WWII veterans didn’t consider Korean War vets to be worth of joining, keep this in mind. I paraded that morning in full ceremonial dress, as per tradition. As per tradition, you head to the nearest Legion and spend some time with other veterans. If you’re lucky enough to find a legion still run by veterans. There I was, double breasted suit and a chest with a modest amount of medals for my rank. A visual acknowledgement of time at sea, missions deployed, time served … so noble amirite? I'll never forget that conversation with that gentlemen, whose name I couldn’t remember today. He asked about my deployment with a mixture of curiosity, and vicarious living.

“Look at him, the tadpoles doing what I used to.”

He asked about the stresses, the good and bad times. I asked him the same.

"They threw me out of a plane with a bunch of explosives, and told me to blow up anything I found that was made out of steel." … so noble, amirite?

It stuck with me all these years. I was a good sailor who asked fucking Popeye to take a look at my career. He never had to ask himself if he was a man since the queen awarded him the title out of necessity. If I am being honest I never asked either. I avoided asking out of a fear of the answer. A few metal trinkets and some cloth weren't going to confirm it for me, they were symbols with nothing behind them. Any doubts of that were washed away with a few wets and a five minute conversation. Well, that and an order coming from the Admiral a few years beforehand.

The RCN were going to to issue more medals as a force-retention initiative.

They told me I could be a man by offering a trophy, but not the game I had to win to earn it. Man-via-participation-trophy. It was hollow. I understood now why civilian guys would tell me why they didn't serve, once they found out I did. I understood why these guys felt the need to create excuses for a question I never asked. They needed a reason to say:

"I would have been a man, if not for [insert excuse here]".

We used to get invitations to this place, because people needed us there. We don't get invitations, but still think we have to RSVP.

II

I took my girl on a vacation to Seattle some years later. I took her to my regular bar we enjoyed during our port visits off to pier 66. If you've ever been to Seattle, I'm talking about Cowgirls. Good times were had by all of us hairy-bags. Now? It was novelty for her and it was nostalgia for me. Afterwards, we did the early morning drunken stumble back to our hotel. My attention couldn't have wandered off more than a second. I look back, and some drunken asshole had her by the arm. She was yelling at the guy to let her go, he had a friend not far off staring at it all. I can't remember the name of the man who blew up Korea for work, but I can remember some drunken idiot touching what was mine … so noble, amirite? I have no idea what caused this and she was too drunk to recall either.

I took the guy by the neck and tapped his head into a shitty watercolor print on the wall. The only other time I remember a man wrapping his hand around someones neck was when I got into it with my stepfather; It's funny how we go back to what we know. I wasn't thinking. There was no negotiating, no talk, no calling for help. No one got to tell me what to do here. I just did it, and dared someone to remove me from the situation. His friend dragged him away and I dragged my girl back to our room. We never saw them again. I cut my hand pretty bad, lucky for her. She gets to play nurse before passing out from the booze. Lucky for me I cut my hand superficially and got to horrible first aid, without worrying about passing out from the blood loss.

I wasn't dropped off in Korea to be violent with the Queens authority, but I was dropped off in a hotel in Seattle to take care of my own. There was no invitation, so I crashed the party.

III

Violence rarely happens today. It rarely has for me and I've actively gone to places where it's expected. I grew up blue collar in a rural town, I joined the military, I deployed overseas; I should have been surrounded by violence … but I wasn't. The few times I had, and it paled in comparison to the men in Oosterbeek, or that man in the Legion. It's bittersweet; I was never tested like they were. Still, I worked with what I had. They were invited. I walked up, took a spot, and waited for someone to remove me. I had been working out since I was 17, I had a black belt in Tae Kwon Do while in college. I trained in MMA to pass the time between sails. I had childhood chores on our ranch, where I was picking up rocks out of fields, chasing cattle, branding calf's, hauling irrigation lines, and riding horses. I'm not saying this to brag. My hardships didn't compare to my step-fathers, my military service didn't compare Korean vets. When push came to shove, I worked with what I had. I was able to hold my own each time these small opportunities were presented. I didn't beat my chest over it, I never got the satisfaction to warrant it. I didn't need to start a fight after bar hours, I didn't need to have an audience or talk shit someone after I ran out of alcohol. I did what I had to do when I had to do it. I didn't worry at the time if it made me a man or not.

Everyone wants to be a bodybuilder, ain’t no one want to lift no heavy-ass weights.
— Ronnie Coleman

I know I'm not the only one who sees it. Are guys really avoiding their dream of being a soldier because of flat feet? Are guys really avoiding a fight because they were worried they may lose respect if they lose? Do guys really believe that by avoiding it, the question of their masculinity got to remain unresolved?

My stepfather got an invitation because they needed hard labor for a lifetime. The veterans got an invitation because the queen needed things blown up. I never got an invitation, but I crashed the party whenever I got the chance. They got their certification. I made sure I didn't avoid mine.

Sex and violence

I

How can I know there aren't others? Many make the case for being a good dad, a loyal brother, a good earner (what I flippantly call a good plow horse). Fatherhood? If that were the case, why are over half of children looking at their step father, or none at all? My mom gave me the title man of the house at 6 years old. Fucking 6, couldn't even be bothered to make it in to a shiny trinket and pin it to my chest? What good is being a man if you give it to someone who cant color inside the lines?

One can say they are a good father and no one can tell him otherwise, who are you to question it? You can be a kids best friend, or a strict disciplinarian. You can be the head of the household, or the guy who was suckered by a single mom; suckered into loving their kid too much to leave, regardless of her piss-poor behavior. Where in those examples is a man? Is there really any value in being interchangeable, in being fungible, in being vague? It's less charitable, but in being gullible and manipulated? Is all it takes being able to tell a story not one can call you a liar on? Is a man something you can't gain, but can lose? I still don't color inside the lines.

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I still don’t color inside the lines

Our loyalty by itself is no better. The lowest-tier guys will give their loyalty just for a whiff of pussy. The highest of men will give their loyalty to someone valuable and deserving. They both can have loyalty and it's tangential to our value as men. Being a man makes it valuable, It's not valuable enough to make a man.

Is our ability to work that which makes the man? We live in the information age. Our work is only as valuable as the bacon we bring home and the gratitude of those who need it to survive. Women are getting better educations, earning more than men in greater numbers and the trend isn't slowing, it's accelerating. We live in the land of abundance, bacon we can bring home costs three dollars at Loblaw's. Is this the value we place on the man-as-plow-horse? Do we hold our frozen-foods masculinity on our backs as Atlas held up the world? If I remember, Atlas wasn't exactly happy with his lot in life either. If Heracles wasn't so damned clever, he would have ditched his responsibilities without reservation. Everyone can earn money. Some can earn money by earning your money, and they couldn't even be bothered to make it in to a shiny trinket and pin it to your chest.

Everything else we think of as manhood markers have been devalued beyond use. If everyone can do it and no one needs it, what good is it?

II

When I strip everything away, only two things remain. Strip away all the protections of modern civilization. When countries are in civil wars, what two things happen? Men are killed, and the frequency of sexual assault gets slightly worse than a modern ivy-league college campus. We become the Lord of the Flies. Give me the conch! I will fuck it before I cave piggies head in with a rock.

"Can't we all just get along?"

No Piggy, we cannot. Hyperbole aside, cut back all of our prosperity, growth, and civility; cut it down to the bare minimum and there they are staring at us. Sex and violence.

Our hind-brain is seeks sex, our hind-brain seeks violence. I wonder if a girls hind-brain is wired to see attraction in the former, through protection from the latter? It must be terrifying for a guy. Objective proof you are a man. Objective proof for women to reject you with if you're not. The world doesn't care which one is true, but it won't let us know that until you tried. It's just as well, we wouldn't believe the world if it tried to.

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America isn't obsessed with sex and violence; it's obsessed with authenticity (or avoiding it). It just so happens that sex and violence are the only two things that you can't fake, and we keep coming back to them as the definitive "measures of the man." We can fake wealth, intellect, status, kindness, political acumen, parenting, looks-- there's no objective measure of any of these things, a man can construct any identity he wants, people might not buy it but who are they to say? But a fight isn't a matter of opinion, it is too real.

--The Last Psychiatrist

When guys ask for an invitation, a road-map, or a certification, they miss the point. That guy is asking someone else to make him a man. What kind of fucked up request is that? Would you like your big brother to put your dick into a girl while he's at it? Would you like your big brother to beat up everyone who doesn't show you the respect you deserve? The fantasy of the coercive mastermind holding the Leviathan on a leash? this is a female fantasy for horse girls and Boris Vallejo paintings.

Are you a horse girl? Are you a Boris Vallejo painting?

Looking for society, the church, the queen, your job, or your fantasied army of online comrades to make you a man is no different than the horse girl. It's worse, at least Boris' oil-based beauties know they broke that beast in. At least the horse girl actually broke hers in. Who wants to pretend they could be a man if only [insert excuse here]? Tell me again how much of a man we are, when we must have it gift wrapped? Get busy fucking, and get ready to compete and win in the modern sense of the word. We aren't violent in the way we used to be. We aren't clubbing every threat around with our cudgel. Conquering the workplace, asserting your frame on the world; we live in a sophisticated world, and have sophisticated tools to conquer it. They have to be objective, no bullshitting ourselves.

We can't be a man while fantasizing about being a woman.

III

The excuses one makes to avoid this place are faux-virtue. Have you seen a guy with his girlfriend in tow when they meet Chad? A man will be unconcerned, and rather aloof. A great line from one of the married red pill men I talk to:

"If you want her, I'll throw in the truck for free!"

This isn't a threat, this is an introduction, a signal that he fucks, he doesn't need to prove anything. If she leaves, he will find another, he's aloof about it.

As a contrast, guys work hard to minimize Chad, to avoid the question on whether he can take his sex(woman) from him. The fight was over before it even started. The girl knows it instinctively. You may not win any points for puffing out your chest when Chad makes his move, but you sure as fuck lose points when your spidey-sense tingles at his mere presence. Women play follow-the-leader.

"Chad gave my guy the tingles, why wouldn't I have them too?"

Sex is important as food is important. It's the only thing that matters, until you have eaten.

A minefield of reputation traps, a constant threat of rejection. We used to fear rejection because it sucked when no girl in your village of 50 would fuck you. Now one fears rejection because it attacks what makes him a man; a rejection of ones intrinsic worth. If you buy into your mommies idea that you are a special little boy, I imagine it must be a big deal to that ego if someone disagrees. It's much easier to assume you are a pussy slayer, if only [insert excuses here]:

She's a lesbian, she has a boyfriend, I don't like slutty girls, I only date high quality women, I want to get to know her before I sleep with her.

Notice a pattern?

Not fucking you doesn't make her a lesbian

I'm calling bullshit on all of it. How would I know? Because I used to be that guy before I started fucking women. Ask any man with a decent notch-count and he will say the same. Those strong and rational arguments that you believe look weak and emotional to anyone listening. Imagine how your game looks to women when even men can see a guys unattractive behaviors. They are wafting off of a guy, a visceral stench. While the guy thinks he's washing the failure off himself, he's bathed in it for all to see. Like the story The emperor has no clothes, except hes only the emperor in his own eyes. To everyone else, he's just a naked little boy, and everyone knows he's not wearing anything.

I've been rejected, sometimes harshly. I've been rejected with a large audience watching. It sucks, it really does. But I don't die, I don't dismiss it an call her a lesbian. I take it in stride. I may have failed, but at least I know where I stood. I worked, I killed my ego, I get to see my scent and I am able to clean it. I scrubbed it more with the sponge of rejection. Eventually, I got to that point where I didn't get a rejection, and it turned out the girl was actually a lesbian!

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Just because she's a lesbian doesn't mean that was why you were shot down. I can affect the world around me, more than the world can affect me.

I can't remember her name, a cute girl from the east coast 'bye. It's something Newfies end every sentence with. She was a few years behind me in my trade specialization. I wish I could give a detailed field report of my game that night but it was too long ago and the details are too hazy. I'll call her Stacey. Stacey was good friends with a girl I went to basic training with, Charlotte. Charlotte's legs were as loose as her morals, and they both got her to rise to the top of the ranks. I can't fault her for capitalizing on her skills, it would be stupid not to. The navy gave her an attraction-boost that small town Saskatchewan never could. I remember Stacey talking me up at the Pacific Fleet Club during our version of happy hours, turned up to 11. I took her back to my place, and I'll spare you the details. This was during my mattress on the floor, milk crate for TV stand, saving-up-for-a-house days. Once we finished, she dismounted and went back to the PFC to continue drinking with the gang. I wonder, was I a part of a scavenger hunt? Stacey didn't really talk to me much after that. I found out 4 months later she got a girlfriend. Depending on your perspective, I'm either the reason she gave up dick forever, or a lesbian giving it a good college try to make sure. I've never been rejected right after a money shot before, but I know it had nothing to do with me. There were many girls before here, and there were many girls afterwards. I know some other guys that had a crush on her. they were too afraid to approach her. Some guy who thought themselves a man, if only it weren't for [insert excuse here]. He pretends the question of his manhood is still up in the air. It's not. He should have tried to fuck her. Better to live in reality, than pretend to be capable. It sure as shit beats calling her a lesbian after shooting you down. You may be right, but it's not the point.

Sex and Violence

What does all this talk of fucking a lesbian have to do with being a man? What do you think choking a random dude in Seattle had to do with being one? Over a year ago some guys asked me what their rite of passage should be. They asked for an invitation. I blew them off, but I Now have an answer for them. Sex and violence. We are never going to get it as good as our forefathers had. There's no more great war, and unless you've got the chops to become a mercenary or special forces (hint: you won't) We work with what we have. Be able to stand up to the world, and affect it more than it can affect you. Go get shot down, call her a lesbian, then learn how to get yours even if she is one.

There's your fucking rite of passage. Go getum tiger.