Wednesday, 21 September 2016

The modern woman needs the emotional leadership of creative men

As long as women are the ones burdened with childbirth, gender roles will exist. Nature herself is sexist, and we need to get used to it.

That being said, men's roles have changed. The modern man cannot afford to base his own existential certainty on his role as a breadwinner.

I do believe, though, that our masculinities provide a tonic to the moral panic of modern life. It is still our role to provide leadership and security for the women in our lives, and it is still necessary for us to demonstrate a fighting spirit alongside our sisters.

They still need us, despite what they like to say. And they need us for more than opening the jam jar and taking out the trash.

There's something important to note here about the exploration of masculinity in a post-feminist world. The uncertainty of men's roles is actually a godsend in my view, because it highlights the mystery and poetry of being a man – no longer do we depend on our careers, our egos and our material or financial value for a sense of self-worth.

That much we can certainly thank the original feminists for. In freeing women, they liberated men also from a narrow, positivist definition of masculinity. We are now free to assert ourselves beyond language, and free from the symbology of capitalism.

The world is coming round to the idea that men are not ended, we are not defunct, and we are not extraneous, just because women too can be their own providers. The great news is that men are no longer defined by their use, or their functional value. And yet, the ladies can't live without us.

This is especially good news for the creative boys among us. The writers and the poets, the actors and dancers. More than a few times I have heard women mock creative men. The old-world, pre-feminist view that creative men are not real men, really does persist.

Let me just say that any woman, or any man in fact, who professes to be a feminist, and yet still clings to the idea that creative men are not real men, is a hypocrite, or worse, a fake. Their cherished views on emancipation only go so far.

So how does the creative man benefit from the more nuanced view of masculinity that is emerging?

Well, one of the key ideals of what it means to be a man is “a leader”. The modern, poetic male, offers a kind of leadership that the modern woman cannot live without.

As they become more independent materially, women are starting to experience the exhausting, existential angst men have always felt – the feeling of disconnection that comes from over-identification with our material value, our bodies and our egos.

Creative men are often mistaken for being feminine because their sense of self is not manifested in material ways. Their courage and their power is directed inward. It is contemplative, rather than physically proactive.

As women become more and more free to define themselves in ways traditionally associated with men, men too are free to go within, to nurture their spiritual strength and their visionary potential.

Women, now more than ever, need men who are connected to themselves, and who can offer a spiritual, rather than material, form of leadership and support.

So, guys, I say to you this: You are a leader. Your intuitive, non-rational, non-financial value, is exactly what women need right now.

Your leadership will not be political or economic. It will not be authoritarian, but visionary, a boldness born from facing your own demons and emotional conflicts.

As women face the challenges of being all things to all people, of being both the economic, self-dependent warrior, and the strong, nurturing mother – they risk losing their spiritual identities.

What they need now are men connected to their own purpose, fearless in the face of uncertainty, mystery and failure. Men who know well, and are unfazed by, dark nights of the soul. Men who can offer courage and leadership in the unseen battle of the human spirit.

So, it's time to hold the head high. Time to embrace your true value as a man. Time to embrace a less defined, less materially certain masculinity, and to harness that mystery to cultivate a new ideal of male leadership.

Saturday, 10 September 2016

We must celebrate masculinity not shame it

We live in an age when men's sexuality is guilty until proven innocent.

Until we deal with the shame and introverted rage of male sexual development, all of feminism will be worth nothing.

It could be domestic abuse. It could be “rape culture”. It could be the neutered maleness of the modern man.

Everywhere you turn the message is – men are failing women. We failed with the Patriarchy. And now we are failing by being too nice, too wimpy, too insecure; or the opposite, too aggressive, too sexual, to objectifying.

It doesn't really matter, as long as you are given to understand – you are failing.

Well, it's time to buck up, is it not?

Yes. I do feel that there is a problem with male culture. I do feel that the range of expression and avenues of emotional development for men are inadequate and, as a result, destructive.

However, apologising is not the solution. Feeling guilty is not going to help.

Shame and masculinity have gone together for too long. Since recorded time actually, and I think it's time to peel them apart.

I won't speculate about the evolutionary reasons why shame and male sexuality have gone hand in hand – suffice to say that shame serves a purpose in a state of nature.

I believe however, that many of the problems that women are reacting to, and what is generally called “toxic masculinity” - come from the fact male sexuality is wrapped up in shame.

Shame almost always means repression, and repression is the opposite of expression. But something as primal as the life force of human existence, cannot be repressed forever – right?

The longer it's repressed, the more unhealthy the ways that energy will be released.

Messaging around male sexuality is usually by example, and usually mixed messaging at that. Our life force, our sexuality, is both bad and good, strong and creepy, aggressive and vulnerable.

If you don't believe me – answer me this: when were you ever told by an elder, a potential date, or peer, that your sexuality was a force for good in the world?

Also, can you point to a piece of cultural messaging that tried to convey that idea to you as you were developing into manhood?

No. The message for young men is that their sexuality, their testosterone, is dangerous, toxic, something to be hidden, and only expressed in flirty codes.

Rather than challenge these suffocating memes, the so-called sexual revolution has served only to confine honest male sexual expression to the seedy fringe.

Despite the erotic hubris of modernity, sexuality has become generic and predictable, and the current gender discussion only serves to increase the shame of boys' sexual development.

A concept like “rape culture” is controversial case in point.

Rape is serious problem, most especially in cultures where sexuality is actively repressed. The more repression and shame, the more rape. Shame will not solve toxic sexual behaviours, it will only increase them.

However, rather than try to examine the role that shaming young boys plays in the growth of their primal, sexual energy, the modern gender dialogue is doing its best to repress masculinity in deeper subconscious shame.

Shaming men for their sexuality is not only counterproductive, it's creating a ticking bomb of resentment, helplessness and sexual paranoia.

The only cure for toxic sexuality is to celebrate male sexuality. We need modern fertility rituals that prize maleness, and the hyper-productivity of testosterone.

We need to understand that aggression and ritualised violence are part of our natures, and if they are not celebrated, they become toxic.

We will not deal with the problems of domestic violence, rape and abusive sexuality, by showering shame on men for expressing their sexuality.

We need to create new ways in which the mysteries of maleness are conceived, and the beauty and poetic fury in the masculine heart is unleashed.

The first port of call should be a creative exploration of male sexual desire.

Paintings, films, poetry, songs and photography – a relentless campaign of celebration that reminds the world that men are emotionally complex, irreplaceable and sexually innovative.

Instead of shaming people into being better, we need to free their better angels from the medieval trap of prissy puritanism.

All the challenges normally grouped under the evils of the “patriarchy” can only be adequately addressed by focusing on men and masculinity. Otherwise the battle for equality will only ever be half-won.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Being male makes you a force for good in the world

Sexual guilt. This is something ingrained in the modern man.

We cover it up either be acting in a thwarted, embarrassed way, or we smother it in sexual bravado, sex-addiction and misogyny.

The psycho-feminists are right in one regard – that nice-guy syndrome and misogynist ass-hole are flip-sides of the same coin.

However, these are not essential features of being male. They are not even signs of “toxic masculinity” (a phrase I used to use a lot, but won't anymore).

These two forms of neurosis are ways men negotiate their sense of sexual guilt in a world that has changed rapidly since their grandfathers and, even their fathers, were young.

Instead of evolving new ways to express wholesome sexual identity and communicate our sexual needs, men are in danger of retreating to neutered personae, or reactionary aggressiveness.

What we need is a new culture that captures the fierce power of male sexuality, but which embraces the fluidity of a culture transformed by women's empowerment.

It is essential that shame, guilt, apologetics and paranoia play no part in this new culture.

It is for this reason that I have been, and intend to be in the future, unabashedly critical of the campus feminist culture.

In the past, much of male self-esteem was based on a sense of rank and superiority over women, at least in the public sphere, in the political culture.

Now that has changed. Political and judicial equality have been achieved. What hasn't changed is the way men form their self-esteem, their sense of themselves.

A lot of people think going on about this is just “male tears”, and there is a sense in the Guardianosphere and HuffPostosphere, that “rubbing it in” for men is the solution.

Populist feminists think that they need to write books called “The End Of Men” and “Lost Boys” and drive it home to them that they no longer have the power.

As I have said before, I reject the Marxist subtext of the campus, Laurie Penny style of feminism.

Sexuality is not a class war. Gender is not a clash of economic forces.

In fact, one of the great achievements of second-wave feminism was to eradicate these factors from the arena of sexuality and gender.

If anything, we are now free to create a new form of sexuality and gender relationship, from the ground up. We have the great feminists of the past to thank for that. Men have been liberated as much as women.

We are in this together.

It is for these reasons that I wholly reject the nonsense headlines of pseudo-liberal newspapers that try to harness female grievance and turn it into a political campaign.

That is just a corporate trick. Grievance sells products. Black Lives Matter, campus feminism, and the rest of the victim-minded noise culture found on social media and the web in general, is making a lot of people very rich.

Time to ignore it.

For men, it's time to reinvent masculinity. Not to please the HuffPost feminists, but to reignite the critical, frictional and civilisational power of male sexuality.

I take as a given that men and women are biologically different. Gender is not a construction.

On that basis, I see the peculiar male challenge as this:

To harness the raw power of our primitive sexual drive in such a way that it is not only compliant with civilised culture, but also acts as a driving force for its survival.

This is what our ancestors knew. This is what the Laurie Penny-psychos of the world can never admit.

You will find no apologies for masculinity here.

I take it as a given that masculinity is not only good, but that it is a distinct, beautiful, and a crucial ingredient in unleashing the expressive power of human potential. 

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Courage is your birthright!

Last week I sat with two friends of mine from school in a bar in Kensington. We talked as we normally do, about politics and ideas, sexuality and the memories of the crazy people we knew more than twenty years ago now.

I doubt if it takes long for any group of men to start talking about courage and respect, whether it's in terms of particulars or just abstractly, and that's where we ended up.

A friend of mine, who is gay and who has never been the macho type, talked a lot about his idea of courage. The older he gets, the more traditional his ideas of masculinity are, and he basically said a man must be ready to fight, to defend himself physically.

That was the high ideal of courage, and I suppose I would have to agree with him.

I love reading masculine writing, from Hemingway to Homer, there are great examples of fearless feats in the long history of western literature.

High risk masculine courage is revered, or was until very recently. All of this is for good reason. It should be obvious why.

The trouble I had is that it brought home to me that this kind of courage doesn't really speak of me.

For a while I felt ashamed of that. I haven't been tested like Achilles, or Muhammad Ali, or any number of young men who have grown up to defend themselves with their own hands.

Does that make me a coward? I felt for a few days that it did, and I felt like shit about it.

But today I went for a long walk, in one of my favourite parts of London, and I started chewing over this idea of courage.

I haven't abandoned the love of warrior energy that me and my friends were talking about. But it did occur to me that there are other kinds of courage.

This same friend, the gay one, came out to me when he was 19/20 – after knowing me for years.

I fully admit it now, I didn't take it well, and was shocked, felt something of the masculine relationship was lost (another blog post, suffice to say I am over it).

Coming out, to a friend that you know might not take it well – that's courage.

Gay men to me are the perfect examples of emotionally courageous men. What they have to go through a lesbian will never be able to imagine (get over it, it's a truth).

Since the Orlando shootings this special kind of dissenting, isolating courage, has come into sharp relief.

And there are other examples of male courage, that don't involve simple physical bravery.

Men who choose typically non-male professions – male dancers, male nurses, male child-carers and therapists. It takes courage to buck the trend, because as any man knows, masculinity is already fragile, you're not a man until you have proved yourself.

I write about all this, because I know I am not the only one who feels guilt about not being fucking James Bond.

What we forget though, is that most stories of courage and risk are designed to be unreachable fantasies. It's called catharsis.

I came to the conclusion on my long, very non-macho, walk today, that stories of great courage like The Illiad or For Whom The Bell Tolls, speak to us not just because we have excess testosterone.

They speak to us, because the great trial for a man is to be fully himself without losing his masculinity.

Masculinity depends a great deal on social standing, on virtue and leadership.

Very often the movement to be wholly authentic challenges the easy shortcuts society has designed for assessing these qualities.

If I look at the long list of male heroes I have, all of them are embodiments of a specific kind of emotional courage. Whatever physical prowess they have is really symbolic to me.

I admire and look up to men who have dared to speak unpopular opinions, who have challenged social expectations, who have chosen their own path and who have had the intuitive self-command to trust an inner voice over the external, cultural onslaught that we all get from family, school and peer groups.

I suspect that this is the real courage that men admire, and the courage we read about as boys and which still fascinates us in the cinema, is a cathartic reassurance of that inner, emotional courage we know we need.

Being a man is not about living up to social expectations – from women, family or anyone else.

It's something we have to discover and grasp with both hands, and very often the shocking truth about who we are does not fit in with the cultural memes we have grown up around.

It takes courage to discover your masculinity. It takes courage to choose it too.

To be a man, is to live with courage, even when the truth about your masculinity terrifies you.

So it's time we gave ourselves a break. Courage is an emotion, and we all have it.

Feels good, doesn't it?  

Thursday, 16 June 2016

I'm baa--aack!! The return of the Brando masculinity

Marlon Brando represents a sophisticated masculinity
I am reigniting this blog.

It is time. For about four years I wrote consistently about male issues, and I explored areas of my own mind and subconscious and sexuality that I didn't know were burning away inside me.

I don't know why I stopped. The sneering, hipsterish campus feminists had something to do with it. The PC, affronted look people gave me when they realised what I write, as if I had somehow betrayed them just by offering a perspective they refused to see as legitimate.

What is that view? Well, it's not a dogma, or a world view.

It's simply what happens to be in my head at any given time, on the topic of masculinity and male sexuality.

Marlon Brando is the patron saint of this blog, and he will continue to be. Brando embodies my vision of a sophisticated but no less powerful and fearless masculinity.

The difference between the Brando masculinity and every other mode of masculinity I have come across, is that the fearlessness is internal as much as external.

Brando had emotional range. It's not just about “letting the men cry too”.

It's about what emotional experiences the culture allows men to explore without stigma. And the dimensionality of those experiences.

Brando blew it all away, and for a brief moment, masculinity looked like it had an alternative path of evolution. I really believe that, and I believe history will prove me right about Brando.

But another theme of this blog has always been the vested interest in limiting the emotional range of masculinity.

The feminists talk big about breaking down barriers. But it is my experience of the kinds of women that preach about female emancipation, that they are the most reactionary and conservative when it comes to masculinity.

It's one thing to emancipate women. Quite another thing to challenge traditional masculinity.

It's very trendy to be feminist. It's very unacceptable to apply the same critique to masculinity.

There's a lot to lose. Feminists like to challenge what it suits them to challenge. But change masculinity, then the whole house of cards falls down.

That's why these same women are so resistant to it. They will say all the right things, but how they act, and how they treat the men around them, tells a different story.

But unlike in the past, I am not going to waste time trying to persuade stale, middle-class, boring women about my view of masculinity.

There are plenty of women out there who get it. Plenty of women who genuinely love men. Not just male cultural forms, but they really love men, and they refuse to see their insecurities as the product of some class oppression.

They don't believe that we live in a rape culture (ridiculous idea) and they don't believe that men are some higher class that exploit females as a resource.

But like I said, I am not going to try and persuade anyone. None of what I write is an invitation for your opinion.

You have had too much scope to voice your opinion. It's time to shut up for a minute.

This blog will focus on celebrating masculinity – the kind of masculinity that I want to see in the world, and which does not pander to the safe, bourgeoisie tropes that allow it to sit alongside the campus, rape-obsessed feminists that I am not allowed to criticise.

So this is just a shot across the bow.

Daddy's back, and he's smarter, more pissed off and more relentless than he's ever been.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Men's mother-need is a cause for understanding not shaming

Men spend most of their time trying to deal with the need for a mother. You either become a dick, and cut off your need for intimacy with a kind of rage and abusive materialism in your approach to sexuality, or you become a dependent, someone completely at the mercy of your need for emotional fulfilment in women. Misogyny and 'playing nice' are the same thing at the root – a way of distracting oneself from feeling helpless in the face of feminine sexuality.

As with all things in life, a balance between the two is needed. Not for the good of women, but for the good of ourselves. The aim, and it is not small feat, is to recognise the primal nature of the mother-need. It isn't going away. It is basic, and it is essential to us. The need for the mother is a yearning for the source.

The shame about the mother-need is a popular issue in post-feminist culture. It is often relayed to a man that 'he just needs his mummy' or 'I am not your mother' etc. etc.. And this is done with a sneer and scorning smirk. However, the motivation behind such accusations should not be taken as some neutral intellectual barb. It is a form of manipulation.

The truth is, whether we like it or not, we as men function under the pressure of having to negotiate a number subconscious desires and needs which we feel threaten to overwhelm us. One is the need for the mother, and one is the procreant urge for sex. 
The need for the mother should be nothing to be ashamed of. The need for the mother, when repressed, is what creates sexual abuse, fear, power-games and dishonesty. Contrary to what people like to think, shaming men for the mother-need does not force them to 'mature' or 'become a man'. Rather, it requires them to bury the most natural desire of all, an already complex urge that becomes quickly toxic if it is not integrated into the personality.

The mother-need is an ambivalent thing. It captures the true nature of love – where hate, passion, need, desire to be independent, helplessness and power all converge in one attachment. If the complexity and emotional conflicts of this attachment are not faced up to and recognised and, as I say, integrated on a conscious level, relationships with women are going to be an impossibility for men.
The Freudian desire is not as relevant as the simple conflict of need and desire for release. This conflict holds men in a double bind for most of their lives, and a failure to face up to it imprisons them in either blind co-dependence, or an aggressive and often misogynistic aloneness.

Post-feminism's attack on men, the denigration of male sexual urges, and the shaming of the male mother-need and its use as a form of social manipulation are threatening to bring about deeper and deeper crises for the culture of masculinity as a whole.

Why does this happen? Power. Sexual politics uses the language of feminism, and liberation, and equality, but actually it entrenches the worst of so-called patriarchal values.

What is more, it puts up ever widening barriers to the reform and evolution of masculine psychology. It deepens the hold of the original disease of masculine abusive tendencies towards women, rather than liberating them. And it does this in the name of feminism. This is Orwellian, and grossly dangerous.

The sad fact is that for all the posturing of third-wave feminism, what has happened is nothing more than a false revolution. True reform of masculine pathologies, and this blog recognises these as being pathologies and abusive to women, requires a wholesale revolution in sexual awareness. That means helping men to understand and face up to the true power of of the mother-need. Sarcastic, debonaire whining about men's dependency on their mothers is not going to help this. It is, in fact, part of a wider attack on masculinity, entrenching repressive tendencies in the male mind.

Surely the great feminist revolutionaries would want us to reform male culture, rather than entrench the abuses in the name of silly sexual power games and gender politics?

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Letter to a young masculinist: You're young, you're handsome and you know what you are. Fuck everyone else

Hero: Brando doesn't care about your opinion
Masculinity is difficult to define. And actually it can't be defined. But we all know it when we see it. 

As I write this, it is only now that I see the beginnings of who I am as a man. 
I always knew my own mind. I always knew my own values, though I struggled to articulate them. What's changed? Not my idea of who I am, but my experience of who I am. You go through enough, and you test yourself enough, suffer enough, to realise who you are. I have been pleasantly surprised by how much the person I now experience myself to be, is the person I always thought myself to be when I was younger. 

The big thing here is not thinking of yourself as enlightened. It is just knowing that the needs you have are natural needs, and in the acceptance of those needs you find a kind of peace. Maybe peace sounds to self-congratulating. What I mean is... rest. 

Whatever the truth is, I still need a mummy-figure sometimes, and maybe I will always feel a certain amount of lack in that regard. But what's different is that I don't attack myself for needing those things now.

Other people, they think they know things but they don't. The think they see the truth about you but they don't. As soon as you show that you need something, that you lack something, and that you harbour a desire to get that something from them, they either treat you with suspicion, or they delude themselves into thinking they have power over you, even if that power is simply just being able to 'see' you.

These people are idiots. They know nothing of the Socratic maxim, 'the wisest man is is he who knows he is not wise.' They think phrases like that are just cool things to say, or that they pertain only to the natural sciences. Of course this is not true at all, they pertain mostly to the sciences and explorations of the mind. They become most relevant in human relationships.

It is a factor of our generation that we mistake familiarity with knowledge, fanatical connoisseurism with wisdom. What our generation does not realise is that true wisdom is the ability to be able to empty the mind of its own concepts. To empty the mind of its cleverness.

As Sun Tzu says in the art of war, he who knows the enemy but does not know himself, will win half of his life's battles. He who knows himself, but knows nothing of his enemy, will lose at least half of his life's battles. He who knows his enemies, and knows himself, is indestructible.

So what people say about you is irrelevant. And I do mean completely and utterly irrelevant. Those who like to espouse on other people's lives will think I am being ignorant. Or that I am advocating a kind of arrogance. I am not. None of us needs a lecture on seeing things from other people's perspectives. What we do need to cultivate, however, is the habit of trusting our own natures, the in-built wisdom of our perceptions, and putting a greater trust in those things than external, second-hand reflections.

Contrary to what the self-congratulating types think, this is not ego. Ego, as the Bhagavad Gita tells us, is attachment to external identifications of the self. The quickest way to root out the narcissistic tendency, is not abnegate the self. Rather, it is to acknowledge, with compassion and perspective, the instincts and desires that have become the basis of our negativity.

Yes, you may be vulnerable. Yes, as a man, you will feel shame about your vulnerability. It is the hardest thing, however, to be able to accept your vulnerability. Other men will hear it and avoid you for it. Women, sadly, will mistake it for immaturity. Most people, will use it against you. 

Even if they won't admit it, they will feel better about themselves in witness of your vulnerabilities. 
The task is to be able to practice self-acceptance in such a way that does not condone a shameful rigidity and lack of growth, but which also doesn't increase the shame of our wounds by masking those vulnerabilities.

The tough love here, is that you can't get help from other people. You ARE alone in this. However, it is in that aloneness that you cultivate the confidence to be yourself. Alone does not mean cut off, or alienated. On the contrary, the chances of resonant relationships forming in your life greatly increase when you are comfortable with yourself.

It can't be emphasised enough though, that this doesn't mean some false, zen-like ideal of 'being at peace with yourself.' No. It's about being at peace with your unrest. Resting in your turmoil. Stop looking for the elusive place of permanent poise. Stop trying to 'be a man.' Be a boy. Be at peace with that within yourself. Be needy, be volatile, be angry and whiny. Once we become able to live with these things within ourselves, and not deny the power they have over us, then they affect our external relationships less and less.

Do you come over as a dick-head to others? Fine. Do women pass you up because they can't associate emotional wounds with their socialised ideas of what a man is? So what. The test of moral integrity does not lie in external judgement. People enjoy seeing the worst in you, because it makes them feel better about themselves. It's a quick fix, isn't it. Feel superior, rather than heal. It's the easy way out.

These days I don't care if people think I am weak. Or if they think I am infantile. I don't care if their opinions of me are that of a self-aggrandising judge. These people appoint themselves.
Nor do I care what women think. Not really. I like to feel desired, and I like to be wanted. I am not over my neediness. But I can honestly say now that what's more important to me is my inner space, the validation of those needs, rather than their fulfilment. Whether those needs are met or not is no longer my chief concern. The truth is, we all know that as we get older, many of our needs will NEVER be met.

I feel no need now to either force those needs on others, not hide them from others. I don't care if I never get laid again. Do you think I am lying? I am not. The validation of my sexuality and my sexual needs is more important to me than their fulfilment. I have my methods! What matters to me is the standards to which I hold myself. And being a human being, with the privileges of modernity and Western heritage, I am perfectly capable of holding myself to account.

I don't need a woman to tell me how much of a man I am. I don't need society to tell me whether I am a 'good' person. And I certainly don't need the full-time censorious chorus of snippety opinions to validate my existence for me.
I have learned the hard way, that my own experience is enough. Right or wrong, in the validation of that experience, I find my growth. 

This is a non-normative truth. I am not talking about morals. I am talking about virtue. I am talking about empowerment, and without empowerment, morals, opinions and academic or back-slapping chit-chat aren't worth a damn.

I know who I am. And who am I? I am boy with a mother-complex. I am man with a sexual appetite big enough for three grown men. I am not very clever, I am outright dumb when it comes to analytical intelligence. I am very intuitive. I am very impatient. I am aggressive. I can be fanatical and judgemental, and I can be thoughtlessly overbearing in conversation. I am lazy, and spoilt and self-obsessed. I can be idealistic to the point of irritating pretension. Above all of that, I am blind to my weaknesses, and therefore arrogant.

I have some decent qualities too, I think. But so what. The point is that I am a real pain in the ass, and the more so as I get older. I don't care though, because I accept those things. 

That doesn't mean I condone it or justify it. Just that I see myself for what I am, and I don't want someone else's desire for me to mask my nasty parts. In my nasty parts I find a necessary honesty with myself. I know that whatever the truth is I am trying my best, not just to get along, but to improve – to grow. And that's enough for me. 
Those of you who want to stand in judgement of me - as men in a competitive way, or as women in a sexual-selection kind of way – can kiss my cock. Fuck you.