It's not as easy as it used to be...
The definition of what a “good man” is, has probably changed a hundred times in the last 300 years. As I hear stories from my girlfriends, see the portrayals of adulterous men in movies and shows, and date as a single mom in the 21st century, I am appalled at what’s accepted of male behavior these days.
I’ve realized recently that I’m quite old-fashioned. What I believe about dating and love is now out-dated. It seems like so many people around me are dating and/or sleeping with multiple people, cheating on their spouses and partners, hitting on people who are in a relationship, becoming polyamorous, using pornography on the side, or indulging in crushes outside of their relationship. Men I’ve ‘talked to’ on dating sites or over the phone have asked me for sexy pics, sent disrespectful messages, and have expected all kinds of things way too early. After two dates, one guy who seemed like a really ‘great guy’ told me over text that he expected sex soon, that he wouldn’t tolerate it if I wouldn’t put out. I was still trying to figure out if I was even attracted to him! Needless to say, I never spoke to him again. I believe that romantic love and intimacy should be between two people after they know each other well enough to be turned on by more than just their looks. I believe that those two people should always be honest with one another, and once they’re an item, they should keep their eyes and sexual thoughts where they belong: on each other. I know, crazy ideas, right…? I would guess that a significant percentage of men would turn tail and run if I said all that to them.
A couple of decades ago, one of the biggest problems you could have was your boyfriend or husband checking another woman out in public once in a while, or having a crush on a famous movie actress he would never meet, or looking at a porn mag once in a while (all of these things: not a big deal). Okay, and yes, people have always cheated on each other. But these days (God, I sound old), the infidelity possibilities seem endless. He can stay in contact with old girlfriends on social media, and consider it ‘innocent’. He can check out women he’s never met in their inappropriately sexy online pictures, he can FRIEND and message these women, and then erase the messages so his partner doesn’t see. He can follow soft porn on Facebook and Instagram. He can go to porn sites and erase them in his history. He can go to online sex chat rooms, he can set up meetings with women he’s never met. And he can hide all of this with apps that are designed to keep your significant other from finding out about his ‘habits’.
Now, I know I’m pointing the finger at men. I know that women are also capable of doing these things. Ladies, you should know better…really.
The MODERN definition of a good man has to take all of these things into consideration.
To be considered a good man, not only does he have to have a respectable job, be nice to children, be faithful and loving to his partner, not abuse women physically, sexually or emotionally, but he ALSO has to behave on the internet. That’s a lot of pressure!! There are boobs, butts, crotches, arch-backed, half-dressed, undressed, photoshopped, suggestive-ass women popping up in his feed, on his online games, and in his superhero anime movies and comic books on the daily. How can a man CONCENTRATE on his own wife or girlfriend? In a way, it’s not fair. Men, and women, have become puppets to what we see and what we’re told by the media. Our physical reactions to such things just happen, before we have time to think about it. We see so much over-sexualized content so often, it’s no wonder that a lot of us take the bate. People who have a propensity to get excited through visual stimulation, and who use the internet regularly, can only resist for so long.
On the other hand, there are a lot of men using lame excuses and saying it’s not their fault because it’s in front of them all the time. Being a good man takes WORK these days. It takes diligence, almost constant self-awareness, and SELF CONTROL. (Am I yelling?) Have you ever heard of self-control? Have you ever heard of making conscious choices? Some men, if they’re being honest with themselves, need to abstain from internet use altogether, or put controls on what crosses their screens: just to keep themselves in check. In my opinion, if a man wants to truly fulfill his partner on multiple levels, if he wants to be treated with respect, if he wants to be a good example for his kids, mastering self-control around these things is a very small sacrifice.
Here is the sad truth:Society has become WAY over-sexualized. Why? Because sex makes a shit-ton of money. Sex sells make-up, clothes, shoes, cologne, perfume, magazines, botox injections, pedicures, spray-on tanning, gym memberships, diet books, plastic surgery and workout programs. I could go on and on. People have become puppets to the media. And though we feel powerful and excited while clicking on sexy images, or talking in secret to that hot girl or guy who keeps private messaging us on Facebook, we’re not actually empowered. We’re giving in to the drug of the internet. We have succumbed to the pressures of capitalism. Capitalism wants us to feel like we’re not enough, like our wife/girlfriend, or husband/boyfriend, aren’t enough. Because that means we’ll keep buying. We’ll keep clicking. We’ll stay on the internet. Instead of looking into the eyes of our one love. We’re not empowered. We’re either lazy or asleep.
Guys, I feel you. You’re under a lot of pressure to do the right thing, like, constantly. But being a ‘good man’ in a fucked up society, it’s work. And Capitalism has it out for you: It’s trying to take you down. Capitalism wants you to put sex above commitment. It wants you to throw honesty out the window and replace it with a sexual high. But at the end of the day, would you rather be a puppet or a king? It’s up to you.