Collateral Damage

Discussion in 'Loneliness' started by SyrusDrake, Dec 7, 2016.

  1. SyrusDrake

    SyrusDrake Fapstronaut

    This post was too long for reddit's AskMen. So I hope one or two people here can be bothered to read more than half a page.
    Also: I'm sure similar posts have been made before. But I'd like to hear your thoughts on my specific situation here...

    (Warning: Super long post...sorry...)

    I don't want to bore you with my life-story but I think I should give you some backstory, even though some people might know it already: I'm 26 years old, never was in a relationship, never had sex, never even kissed anyone. I've had a crush for about two years until recently. I became friends with her but never managed to get it further. When I just straight out confessed my feelings, I had to learn she had met someone just a few weeks before.

    A few days ago, I decided I should inform my therapist about noFap and sent him some preliminary info about it. He replied by saying he agreed that there probably was an underlying issue related to shame. And that made me could a compulsion to watch porn be caused by shame?
    I did some research over the past five days or so, read about positive masculinity, sexual shame and so on, and the stuff I read made me think. One way I used to justify frequent masturbation was to kill any and all sexual energy. I didn't want sexual urges to be in any way present when I was interacting with females. I started to explore the idea of sexual shame, again and found some interesting articles.

    And slowly, the pieces of the puzzle started coming together. To be precise, I don't think I was ever ashamed of my sexuality, I was and am afraid of it. I'm mortified by the idea of making a woman feel uncomfortable with inappropriate, sexual behavior. In fact, I'm mortified by the mere idea of making a woman uncomfortable. Whenever I lament my horrible (approach) anxiety regarding the other gender, I always, directly or indirectly, seem to get an answer that boils down to "You shouldn't be afraid of rejection. It happens to all of us."
    But nobody seems to get the idea that I'm not (too) afraid of rejection. I'm afraid of making a girl feel uncomfortable or worse, being regarded as a sexual predator. It has gotten to a point where I won't even look a girl in the eyes when crossing paths with her. I deliberately look down to signal my submission and harmlessness.

    As I was reading more content like this article, an idea started to form inside of me. My mother was an extreme feminist in her youth and obviously still supports the cause today. And while I was never "brainwashed", her direct and indirect remarks obviously left an impression on me. I learned that assertive men are all chauvinists, that cute, feminine girls are weak, that men who want sex are pigs and so on. I was taught, by her and society in general, to respect women, to never overstep boundaries etc. And while this isn't wrong, let me make an example to clarify the problem I think occurred: Imagine you have a town road with a speed limit of 50 km/h. Obviously, you want to make sure everyone drives safely so nobody gets hurt. Unfortunately, some jerks race through the town doing 100 km/h. You tell everyone not to be a jerk and drive 50 km/h slower. I was one of the guys who were doing 50 km/h anyway because of course! But now we're told to drive slower and we just grind to a halt...

    I'm not saying feminism is bad per se. I disagree with some current, extreme movements but I obviously agree that everyone should be treated equally and with respect, regardless of gender. But still, I think I might be "collateral damage" of my mom's and society's feminist "battles". I'm a shy, introvert, anxious, emphatic person by nature. And by constantly hearing that all men are potential rapists and that all women always have to fight off unsolicited sexual advances I got so afraid of making any kind of move that I won't even smile at girls anymore. I've become so afraid of becoming one of those "chauvinist pigs" that I will even make sure no part of me is touching her when a woman sits down next to me on public transport.
    See also this for a better explanation of the idea than I could ever write.

    So...does anyone know this feeling? How are you dealing with it? Are there any resources on how to overcome it and still be respectful, without becoming a PUA? Or even more generally, the idea of "masculinity" currently has a very, very negative feeling to me. How can I learn to embrace positive masculinity without becoming a jerk who harasses women?
    And please, this isn't supposed to be an anti-feminist hate thread...
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2016
    Mankrik and PMD like this.
  2. Frühlingstimme

    Frühlingstimme Fapstronaut

    After Freud's publications in 1909, determinism gained a new strength, many people believed during that time that we are a sum of our surroundings, and parents are the main influences on their child's lives.

    I was very involved with Freud's writings during my adolescence, but today, I think Freud's theories were mostly wrong. You being shy is not your mom's fault, I think this is a too comfortable position to set yourself into. If this were the case, murderers would have violent families, sexual abusers would be abused by their parents, however, many murders come from perfectly normal homes, sexual abusers get their influences elsewhere and many other things we could explain using our parents, are simply not true.

    We are not what the world made to us. We are what we choose to be, facing what the world show us. That is why each person is different. Not necessarily you are shy because your mom is a feminist. She can have had more influence over you than your dad (maybe all?) and this only means that you understand and respect women for who they are, and acknowledge their position in society. There is a brand of feminism that can brainwash people, and I hope it's not the one your mom is engaged. Fanaticism exists in all religions, and in philosophic views too, some people take it more to the "hate men" side.

    I mentioned Freud because he thinks all our psychological traumas come from sex. But like I said, I don't agree. I think you are overthinking over this matter, you are a little shy, and everyone are when approaching girls for the fear of being rejected. Maybe a good experience would be if you go to night clubs and hit on the shy, and weird girls, probably then you would see how is normal to be shy and you are more confident than some people around.
  3. SyrusDrake

    SyrusDrake Fapstronaut

    I specifically mentioned this because I hear this constantly and it's simply wrong in my case. Sure, I think rejection sucks. But I don't avoid girls because I'm afraid of rejection! I'm afraid of making them uncomfortable. That's a very crucial difference.

    Also, I'm not saying that my mom is responsible for my approach anxiety. Again, I specifically point out that I'm shy and anxious by nature. But if you already are shy and then hear that women always feel creeped out when a man approaches them, it's going to make things worse...
  4. Mankrik

    Mankrik Fapstronaut

    Interesting, I never considered these observations before. However the notion of being afraid to make women feel uncomfortable, paticularly being afraid as coming off as a predator or someone super despearate for sex makes sense. I dont wish to be percieved this way very strongly as well so it is quite possible I hesitate to initiate partly because of this fact. I realize this fear is illogical to an extent if you have honorable motives. It is perfectly natural and acceptable to demonsrate true feelings of emotion towards another person despite society withering these pillars of natural love and respect for one another. A lot of guys do just want sex though, so as someone who dosent I want to distinguish myself from them in a way. I guess we just have to use trial and error and find a good middle ground between submissive and assertive. The most important thing is keeping your minset, outlook, an aura pure; there are too many factors at play - find courage to find what works. Hopefully I will take my own advice in finding a girlfriend one of these days lol.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2016
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