Love, Self

5 Sad Ways Gay And Straight Men Both Struggle With Their Manhood

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5 Sad Ways Gay AND Straight Men BOTH Struggle With Their Manhood

Perhaps the sexual orientation we choose is different, but, in general, men are more alike than not. Since the dawn of my coming out, I've been fighting to come to terms with my gay self, my "man's man" masculinity, and my heterosexual detour of 38 years.

I always felt uncomfortable in the confines of my heterosexual skin. Of course, that's because it wasn't my true self.

I didn't realize a great majority of the gross discomfort eating me alive was actually deeply rooted in my traditional masculine energy and male DNA (not my sexual orientation). It took me being out of the closet, and about 40 years of living, to truly learn how to be confident and grow into my manhood comfortably.

RELATED: 5 Priceless Lessons Straight Guys Can Learn From Gay Men

Once I figured this out for myself I wondered if other men — gay, straight, or otherwise — also feel that we're so much more alike (than we care to initially notice) than different. It turns out men all struggle with some of the same things in our culture:  

1. The pressure to be a "man's man"

The sense of hyper-masculinity that often divides the gays from the straights isn't just a fear of gay guys. Many "normal" males experience less than masculine moments and don't know what to do with them.

Solution? Define masculinity in your own way — live it, be it, breathe it! Define being a man for yourself, not for the comfort of others.

2. Feeling inferior in the bedroom

At some point in your life, you've wondered if your penis measures up and will perform to the task at hand. Guess what? Gay or straight, all men experience performance anxiety and inferiority complexes.

Get over it and admit — our penis is simply an appendage that, just like our arms, fingers, toes, and legs, sometimes works at peak performance, and other times — well — not so much. In those moments when it doesn't come through for you (or for your partner), remember it isn't a sign of being less of a man.

3. Craving permission to show our "feminine side"

I'm not advocating cross dressing here. (However, if that's your thing and you feel man enough to do it, then go for it.) What I AM encouraging is letting your softer side show. It isn't going to make you a bleeding liberal or light in the pants.

Inviting our "feminine" forward is like exploring a new IPA or fine Pinot Noir. Heck, if you want to explore as if you're at a Tequila tasting bar, go for it. The point is, when you explore your feminine side, you're simply saying, "Damn, it feels good to take that armor off and slip into something a little more comfortable!" Plus, your gal or guy will probably find it kind of sexy to see the softer side of their man.

RELATED: 5 'Manly Man' Things Guys Do That Turn Women All The Way Off

4. Embracing a bromance as a non-sexual thing

From the days of our forefathers, there's been a vibe of "Check him out" among men that's never been spoken. It's there, but rarely uttered because that's significantly way too much information for most men's ears to absorb.

Then one day, some linguist coined the term "Metrosexual," and before you new it, bromance was slipping off our tongues. Suddenly it was cool to have your bromance with the man of your masculine dreams, no sex required.

I say all this to explain that admiration between men is just that: admirable! And it's a significant piece of building a positive world to live in. So go ahead, give that bro a wink, a high-five, and throw in a tush pat for good luck!

5. Crying once in awhile

Screw the days of "never see a grown man cry" and cut loose with the water works. Joy, pain, giddiness — no it's not just for women, it's for HUMANS — and frustration are all means for establishing a "Men's Crying Group Meet-up." Tears release stress and negativity and allow positivity to step back into place.

There's nothing more sexy to your woman (or man) or empowering to your kids than allowing them to see the main man in their life being a human who is allowed to feel vulnerable once in awhile.

Now, about the "differentness" that divides us gay and straight men — sexual orientation. How about we all just wear our own as a badge of honor? It's our differentness that sets us apart, systematically keeps guys from living together who shouldn't cohabitate, and prevents women from gnashing their teeth, ending up with the less manly men to try to fix it.

Of course, for some women, they'd appreciate having their own 24/7 shopping mate, interior designer, and coffee chat girlfriend who really gets their issues with men. But that's what best gay friends are for; actually, it wouldn't hurt you straight guys to have one to help you impress your gal, and conversely it wouldn't be too tragic for gay guys to have a best straight friend for doing the manual labor stuff that "gay men just don't know how to do."

The moment we start embracing our sameness as men AND digging our differentness, the sooner we unite in oneness to make the planet a better place to live. Are you with me, brother?

RELATED: Am I Gay? Hey Straight Men, Be Honest: You're Gay! (Or Bisexual)

Rick Clemons is a Certified Professional Coach. Sign-up for his free video series "Coming Out Without Coming Unglued!" or connect with him through his Coming Out & Life Coaching Newsletter.