Guys, Crawl Out of Your Man Caves

We like the image of Plato’s allegorical cave, but adult sex educator Charlie Glickman calls it the Man Box, or more specifically, the Act-Like-A-Man Box. In a series of blog posts earlier this month, Glickman explained how, in order to be perceived as “real men,” heterosexual guys have to live in a box of strict and limited gender stereotypes: inside the box is typical stuff about height, virility, strength, success, lack of emotion, etc, and everything outside the box is gay or female and ultimately lame. Hello, homophobia and sexism! It’s a fascinating read well worth a few minutes to consider how, when it comes to gender identity, you might be shackled in a cave or living the life of one of those annoying street mimes.

Read the full post on SUNfiltered


  1. @Johnny

    While I don’t question your experience with having sex with “the most partners, and the most attractive partners”, I can’t help but wonder what it is about that that defines “sexual success” for you.

    There’s nothing in there about the joys of getting to know someone, even if it’s a one night stand or a trick. There’s nothing in there about the discovery of new ways to experience pleasure, connection, joy, or love. There’s nothing about exploring different types of sex, and believe me, there are some amazing pleasures out there. There’s nothing in there about how you feel about your sexual experiences- it’s all about bagging the babes.

    For that matter, there’s nothing in there about the pleasures and experiences of your partners. Does it matter to you that they enjoy it? That they feel happy after? Or do their experiences not factor into your definition of sexual success?

    So does that mean you have the “best results”? Well, by your definition, it does. It seems rather limited to me, but then, as I’ve said, I don’t care much for the Box.

  2. ^ We’ll have to agree to disagree on that, May. I’ve been out of the box, and I’ve been in the box. In the box is better socially, professionally, sexually and psychologically.

    And as a sexually preoccupied person, to me, there can be no greater proof of the box’s righteousness than feminine approval. Women respond to me WAAAAAAY better when I’m in the box. And it’s not just to me. Women like boxed-in men best, even if there are exceptions to that generalization.

    I love the box! No pun intended.

  3. @Johnny

    “The fact is that men who possess strongly stereotypical masculine traits get the best results, sexually speaking.”

    I couldn’t disagree more! I would say that men who are open and honest, who celebrate who they really are, and seek out the partners and lifestyle that they really enjoy, are the ones who get the best results.
    As I read it, idea of this article is that men don’t all actually want the same things, the same partners, the same quantity of partners. Neither do we all look the same, act the same, have the same interests, or want the same careers. So we shouldn’t pretend that we do! We get to be whoever we are, want what we want, and live the lives we want… not worry about whether we live up to some social norm of “maleness.”

    So it’s not about how “to get the chicks,” my friend. Believe it or not, women aren’t all looking for the same kind of man, either. And, Johnny, if you’re having success with women now, you probably still will, even if you step out of the proverbial man box.

  4. This article leaves women out altogether! Female reaction has everything to do with the construction of the man-box once you’re, say, over 18 years old.

    The fact is that men who possess strongly stereotypical masculine traits get the best results, sexually speaking. They have the most partners, and the most attractive partners. I’d say that this goes for gay guys too, but that’s another discussion…

    So either you’re in the box, or you’re trying to fight your way into the box. Not to impress other dudes, but to get the chicks.

    The author seems focused on men who make asses of themselves trying to fight their way into the box – the bullies, the homophobes, the try-hard tools.

    I like to think that I, for one, have slipped smoothly into the man-box without being a dick. And it’s worked out well for me. The man-box is a good place to be if you’re not a jackass.

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