Obviously, I'm not a manly person.
You can tell because I am an intimacy teacher, I wear a man bun, and my shirts are made of light, breathable fabrics.
Most of the men I meet are more manly than me. All of my brothers are more manly than me. I workout at Gold’s Gym regularly, and almost everyone there, men and women included, are more manly than me.
I’m one of the least manly people I know.
If I measured my Masculinity by the conventional projections of “manliness,” I would be an utter failure.
The first time I realized something was up was in Elementary School—it must’ve been 1st or 2nd grade. All the boys and girls had to sign up to play an instrument for music class. We all signed up in private, so I had no idea who was choosing what. The choice was between violin, viola, and a couple other random trinkets. So I chose the flute.
I thought nothing of it, until I got my flute, and then it was time for class. I walked in, and low and behold, there were no other boys in the class, but me. It was all girls. A dozen of them. This didn’t excite me one bit. I was totally caught off guard. I thought to myself, “wait a second, what’s going on here? Why are there no other boys in this class? Aww man, this is a girl instrument!”
Apparently all the boys chose the violin. Looking back, it’s obviously the more manly instrument. But I had to learn that lesson the hard way.
So what did I do? I quit the flute.
I still thought the flute was a cooler instrument. But I quit anyway. Because it isn’t fun being the guy who isn’t like the other guys. Needless to say, I wasn’t happy I chose the flute, and I wasn’t happy I quit either. For the first time, I was torn between what I wanted to do and what I thought I was supposed to do as a man.
That moment seems small now. But it left a mark. And it wouldn’t be the last time this type of experience would happen—just the first.
For the next twenty years, I would go on believing that my masculinity was measured by the conventional ideals of manliness.
My lack of manliness reached unparalleled heights when I arrived at college to discover I was one of the few heterosexual men on campus trying to get a degree in art. But this time around, convention couldn’t sway my decision so easily. So I got the degree.
Over the years, I had convinced myself that I didn’t need to fit in with the crowd. So I found my own way, idolizing the misfits and rebels like Marilyn Manson, Layne Staley, and Kurt Cobain.
Today I look back on all my childhood male role models to find they’ve either killed themselves or become victims of heavy drug addiction.
I was so heavy into drugs myself, that if some significant life event didn’t take place, I probably would’ve found myself following closely in their footsteps.
I must’ve got lucky somewhere along the way.
The first stroke of luck: I met Londin.
The second: I met David Deida.
These two individuals transformed my life.
Through Londin, I discovered what it meant to be loved—and to love—as a whole human being.
Through David, I was introduced to a world where masculinity was not defined by machismo, muscles, or money. It was defined by consciousness.
Needless to say, I was shocked to learn that what the world had been projecting on me all those years was utter bullshit.
And for whatever karmic reasons, I had spent a great deal of my life locked in a basement meditating. Maybe it was my escape from being the middle child of 5 kids. Or maybe it was an escape from getting my ass kicked by my older brother on a daily basis. Or maybe it was due to an utter lack of manliness.
When Londin first introduced me to Deida's work, I was very resistant to participating in an “intimacy workshop.” It sounded like nonsense. But I figured, “what the hell?” So long as Londin paid for it. “There’s no way I’m paying for this,” I thought.
Shortly after we arrived, we were asked to sit down and make eye contact with one another. Then we were carefully instructed to synchronize our breath as we began to explore the space between.
I was shocked. Within a short period of time, that very profound, remarkably subtle type of experience I would come to love while meditating in my basement was suddenly happening again, but not just for me, for both of us.
It wasn’t my hair, my muscles, or my money (or lack thereof) turning her on. She couldn’t have cared less about that nonsense in that moment. What was opening her—making her squirm, softening her body, allowing her heart to trust me completely—was my consciousness. My real Masculine.
For the first time, I realized that this part of me—this aspect of Self that is beyond gender, beyond biological identity, beyond all conventions whatsoever—is what I am. I am That. And That is my value as a man.
This wasn’t some idea I read in a book. Or something someone just told me. I was shown. And watching these women melt in front of these men was all the evidence I ever needed to know just how true this was.
I was transformed.
My life was transformed.
My relationship was transformed.
From that moment on, I’ve dedicated my life to this practice. Everyday I practice. Everyday I study the practice and the great masters who’ve preserved and continue to innovate its genius.
This isn’t just about sex or relationship. It isn’t about becoming more manly, more attractive, or more successful. This practice is about discovering Who you really are—beyond the bullshit, beyond conventions, beyond your genitalia.
It isn't until we experience for ourselves that all she's ever wanted, and all we've ever wanted, isn't the conventional ideals of manliness, but rather to Know the depth of ourselves as Consciousness. It's a truth we intuit is there, we can all feel it, which is why we are so damn frustrated when our lives feel anything less.
If the conventional life just isn’t for you, know that it’s OK, there’s a deeper truth out there. One that may help you better understand what it means to be a Man. And it doesn't require you to be manly. It only requires that you are Consciousness—That which you already are—and a willingness to share that depth with those you love.
It was a series of events that changed my life forever. But quickly I would learn, that all this was just the tip of the iceberg.
I am eternally grateful for my woman, my teachers, and the great masters who have saved my life and illumined my world. And I only hope I may continue to pay that debt forward.