This is a guest post. It is not my original work. The author will remain anonymous for the sake of confidentiality.
I was never like other boys my age when I was growing up. Whereas they were always
roughhousing and playing around in the dirt, playing sports and other competitions of physical strength, I was the weird, sensitive kid, who was drawing pictures or playing the piano or setting up armies of Lego men in the grass to write stories about. Without a doubt, I stood out, not for my inability to be social, but for my striking contrast in how I socialized.
This difference continued until about 14, when the pressures of adolescence and
hormones took over my life. The nature of the game changed, and it changed in a big way.
At this time, I discovered there existed, in childhood, a certain neutral ground and common understanding between boys and girls, one that I took for granted for so long, until biology changed everything. My sister and I, for instance, knew a certain platonic friendship that was very rare for siblings. There was never the awkwardness between male and female that began to occur as soon as genitals and androgens and hormones became involved. And perhaps most strikingly to me, there existed, around 15 years old, a certain twilight zone between child and young man where I felt that I had one foot in each camp, and it was a beautiful thing. When boys become men, the difference is not only mental but also physical. Girls change physically into women as well, but the difference is less apparent, and more subtle and graceful from what I can see. At 15, the hormones were developing but had not yet carved out the male physique, broadened the shoulders, chiseled the face, turned my body into the very opposite of what a woman’s is. I existed, briefly, as a very childish looking young man with a sex drive of pure fire.
And it was fucking great.
True, at the time, I had no chance in hell of getting laid, I still don’t, but more and more I’ve realized that getting older isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. The privilege and prestige that is gained by becoming a man isn’t worth it – ok, so you can buy alcohol, get a better job, rent a car. For what?
I recently had the opportunity to speak with a traveling Hindu monk and he discussed at length with me the downfalls of the material world and the danger that over-indulgence in sexual entanglement poses to men. I tend to take the words of people like this with a grain of salt, but there was something in the back of my mind that sensed reason and truth in all of his words.
This guy was on to something.
The problem with over indulgence in sexual entanglement is the same problem with porn. It cheapens something that could be unique and amazing if you allow it to be, but, in a world that thrives on quantity over quality and over-exaggeration of our need for things, this is shouting into the wind.
I interpret my need for a more personal, intimate and meaningful relationship as actually a feminine need. It’s men who are often blamed for promiscuity and not caring about relationships over sex alone, perhaps unfairly so, but I think there is something to be said for the fact that women tend to develop feelings toward sex a lot easier.
Enter into this conundrum the fact that I am a male who suffers with, among other things, body dysmorphic disorder, obsessive-compulsive-disorder and bipolar depression. The first of those began afflicting me as soon as I hit puberty. There was always a voice inside that didn’t want to get bigger, that didn’t want to grow up. I realized quickly that even though unhealthy, starving yourself was one way to remain small. The cycle of health and relapse began, and continues to this day. As a guy who plays music, I am highly sensitive and aware of the beauty of subtlety and expression rather than action in life. I believe that everything you do is a manifestation of that, and I think it’s a shame that a lot of men feel like they can’t express something unique about themselves because it’s not innately masculine or they will not be free from the judgement of others. To make a long story short, these are issues that for once, in my entire life, I am proud to have. The represent a sensitive side to me and something that sets me apart from the herd of men who go around, either repressing or not having to begin with, any form of an insecurity or inner voice of abandonment from the main stream. In short, these things make you more interesting. And what’s so bad about that?