Anima: The feminine part of a man’s personality. The part of a man’s psyche that is directed interior, in touch with the subconscious.
Man up. Be a real dude. Boys don’t cry. These instructions have been encoded in our very flesh as juvenile guys. We learn quite early to bury our greater amount compassionate, feeling, and sensitive natures underneath layers of bodily postures, attitudes, and exaggerated personalities that emphasize and augment the characteristics that will win as approval as chaps. We create personas that dominate our lives, a mixture of dream and flesh, athletic overtop of our exceedingly tender vulnerabilities. We suggest those personas to our sex partners, exchanging em in the form of fotos, and beast dialogues on dating apps. We fuck as if those personas are, actually, who we are. The problem lies not in our personas, themselves. Truly, we may contain some of the very attributes of maleness that are extremely prized: stature, strength, a stern ability to remain calm beneath pressure, a gruff exterior that is joy to crave. The real problem lies in what we are not allowing to be felt within our depths--the characteristics that might disclose our fixed personas to be a charade, a bulwark against the tender little boyz that live within us.
In moderate scenarios, we conveniently project those characteristics onto honeys. They are greater quantity emotional. They are weaker and unpredictable. They are icky, possessing strange genitalia. We divide ourselves into fellows who are “gold stars,” guys who have not sullied their homo identities with modest and curious exploration with hotties. In worst case scenarios, we project those qualities onto dudes who we desire to denigrate; they are shamed for being bottoms, having willowy frames, speaking in higher pitches. These projections are often despairing attempts for studs to validate themselves and enroll others into a toxic game that favors their inadvertent, yet insidious, denial.
The spiritual experience of gender is one in which we collapse our notions of opposites, cradling our wounds in one hand and our treasures in the other. We at no time have to resolve which hand to toss. If we dare, we may carry our polarity boldly, making space in our outward presentations for flexibility, joy, bending of gender expression when desired, and healing our relationships with the babes in our lives and the archetypal woman inside our own psyches. Whether or not we admit it, that babe is always within us watching, expecting for the healing that is merited by us all.
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