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Guys, crawl out of your "man caves"

We like the image of Plato’s allegorical cave, but adult sex educator Charlie Glickman calls it the Man Box, or more specifically, the Act-Like-A-Man Box. In a series of blog posts earlier this month, Glickman explained how, in order to be perceived as “real men,” heterosexual guys have to live in a box of strict and limited gender stereotypes: inside the box is typical stuff about height, virility, strength, success, lack of emotion, etc, and everything outside the box is gay or female and ultimately lame. Hello, homophobia and sexism! In the first post he discusses new research on how masculinity, at least in our culture, is fleeting and requires vigilant reinforcement, which results in a lot of stress and anxiety for hetero dudes — because they can’t keep it up (in more ways than one) forever. In the second, Glickman recommends several ways in which men can pick and choose their own masculine ideals in order to lead more authentic, fulfilling lives (for the wary, this includes having way more interesting sex!). It’s a fascinating read well worth a few minutes to consider how, when it comes to gender identity, you might be shackled in a cave or living the life of one of those annoying street mimes.

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