Sunday, July 16, 2017

Distorted Male Body Perceptions

Whether we perceive our body as 'less than' or 'more than' perfect, the reality is, the ego can have a field day with either perception. (Dennis Jones)

I remember an interview with a black student from Brown University in which he complained that he was stereo-typed all through his college years. As a 'well-endowed black guy' he got lots of sexual attention, yet he didn't feel appreciated as the person he was. He said he felt like a cliche! Well, there probably was some truth to that, but there might also have been some stereotyping in his brain, merely assuming that women thought of him that way. Did he truly always know what the woman he was climbing in bed with perceived and experienced at that time?

Then there was the other story of a Jamaican English teacher in Japan who drooled over exactly the same problem statement. In 'Black Passenger, Yellow Cab', he told his story that as a black foreigner, and well-endowed on top of it, he was an attractive target of the sexually quite open Japanese women. He felt that he had his hands in the cookie jar for years, but then he also complained about being depressed. The book hinted that the problem was his low income, but the reader was left wondering whether his promiscuous life-style had something to do with it. He lived the stereotype of the well-endowed black guy running after petite Japanese women, yet perhaps all his soul was longing for was to find his true love instead.

The experience of physical male abundance is the statistical outlier. More guys complain about the opposite problem, the fear of having too little to offer in bed. The compensation strategies might be more or less obvious, body-building, a big car or a big pay-check. But then, again, the perceived problem often just lies in the head. It takes merely one woman to tell them that they are perfect as they are, and the struggle should in theory be solved. Unfortunately it takes a lot of convincing though, to silence a fearful and suspicious mind.

The problem statement is always the mind, period. Stereotyping of all kind is a mind exercise. It is about thinking about the average, about classifying and about judging. The solution is the awareness that the mind will always be restless no matter what the subject. Of course, it also helps not to fall for the stereotyping trap. Insight can occasionally silence the mind, but mostly the mind only get silenced when the heart takes over. When we see a guy in a suit, when we see a blue color guy, or a rock musician, actual experiences, biases, and assumptions all together mingle in some distorted perception of life as is. Yet, when we talk to each other, when we truly listen; when we fall in love with the person we are with, and the situation we are in, that's when the mind gets silenced and the stereotyping disappears.

When you love someone you will do whatever it takes to join the partner on her level, and will override all your priors and expectations.

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