When she asked me how many sexual partners I had been with; her line of questioning completely baffled me and sent my thoughts into a whirlwind of confusion. I could feel my hands growing clammy, the strength in my voice sunken to a dull whisper, and the once confident man fell privy to the pressures of not wanting to be misunderstood.

And as quickly as she asked, did I lie and tell her an untruth; a number that neatly resembled a puzzled reality.  And the more questions that she asked that dealt with my insecurities the more times I responded with a safe answer and not the truth.

For many men, a woman’s inquisitiveness and openness makes us feel cornered, pinned down and trapped. Rather than share in this exchange of transparency, we have an image to uphold. That image we hold on to with a death grip is the traditional script of masculinity – the sense that we have to be in control and next to perfect. Yet women have no problem sharing their fears, insecurities, and even shortcomings. 

Women have mastered this thing we call communication – except how to communicate with men! That barrier has been one many women have tried for decades to figure out, but the certainty to that mystery, is that men have not allowed women IN - close enough where the masculinity wall no longer exists. Why, you ask? For a man, holding on to his masculinity in many cases is the only thing we feel we have. And if we have to gamble with potentially losing it over a conversation of truth and dare, we will dare to tell the truth more times than not.

Some women may find that hard to believe because of the ever-growing confident, conceited, and cocky men. Truth be told – we will hide behind those 3 C’s so that we don’t draw attention to the areas in our lives that we wish we had better control and a handle on.  For example, we know how beautiful you are, but we still silently question ourselves as to why you would choose us. We would like to think that we know how to please you sexually, but in our minds we constantly question if we really are enough.

We are far less organized, managers of time, and detail oriented than we allow you to see – if that weren’t the case you wouldn’t have to continue to rescue us when we forget to make the reservations, mail the utility bills, or even remember to call our mothers on her birthday!

As much as we don’t like to be in need of you and want to stand on our own two feet – you actually provide the balance we have earnestly prayed for, went to school seeking, and even switched careers in search of. And now that you know you provide the balance we need, can you not throw it in our faces or remind us of our inadequacies?

We want to feel comfortable sharing our unfavorable flaws – without you judging us. I’m letting you into this mystery man, but I ask that you walk carefully and love the places that I hate, embrace the areas I regret, and strengthen the areas that seem to be dying.

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