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jasonrogersusa1875 karma

Thanks for your q! From about age 15, I started traveling to international Under-17 and Under-20 competitions and doing quite well. I had the Olympic dream in my mind, but it was still a distant possibility. It wasn't until I made the US national fencing team at age 18 (this is relatively early for fencers) and decided to ship off to train in Ohio with a top Russian coach that I really thought I could make the team.

jasonrogersusa1171 karma

Thank you! I think many men learn (through culture and from other men) that the must think and behave a certain way to be respected as a man. But many of those expectations are wrongheaded or, at the very least, taken to encompass all scenarios when they really should be restricted to certain domains. I think it's these expectations trap men into the "man box" (the belief that anger is the only emotion they are allowed to express). When you don't talk about stuff it boils up, the expectations grow more extreme, and you see more destructive behavior, and the cycle goes on.

jasonrogersusa1159 karma

I would say that the number one thing is patience. Many men get it in their heads that they need to be Spartans in the bedroom. And when they begin telling themselves the story that they are failing, it because very difficult to reach them. This happened to me time and time again. In those moments, it's also helpful to remind them, at the end of the day, it's intimacy that a partner is after. Sex and pleasure certainly an important component of that, but it's not everything. It probably won't sink in the first, or second, or third time. But if you keep saying eventually if your partner is willing to do the hard emotional work, it will begin to seep in.

Relationships make the issue easier to deal with. If there's a history of trust (hopefully) it can soften the fear of being judged or rejected. But even in a hookup, I think the above is still true.

jasonrogersusa795 karma

I mean...what's the point?!

jasonrogersusa784 karma

Secrets are toxic. I hid my secret (except in the obvious scenarios when it was impossible to) for so many years thinking that if someone found out it would be too humiliating to bear. So my advice would be, if there is something eating you inside, find some that you trust (or a professional) and share it with them. Ultimately vulnerability is not weakness. It is strength. Unburdening the fear of someone finding out is a pathway towards becoming whole, happy, and joyful.