Do Men Even Have Feelings?
Men typically struggle with talking about their feelings. Many are conditioned to show as little emotion as possible, the consequences of which can be quite self-destructive.
How can men express themselves in a healthy way? What happens when you don’t acknowledge your feelings? Dimitrius is joined by guest Drew Juanillo as they tackle what it means to be the modern day man along with meeting your emotional needs.
What Do Men Do When They’re Scared?
Drew Juanillo 01:19
As a straight man and having grown up in West Texas and just you know, my career fields and stuff, I still have some of those very, I guess, quote unquote, hetero ideals of what a man is, you know, being tough and, you know, I work on cars for a living and you know, I cuss like a sailor.
Being a man can be exhausting. I don’t want to be little the experience. But I feel like a lot of times men make it harder than it has to be, particularly in terms of masculinity.
You may have all seen the ridiculous imaginary rolls made up by on social media about whether or not it’s feminine to push a shopping cart, or clean the bottom of your toilet, for instance. And you might think, who in the world is even thinking about that. But I’ve actually noticed guys pulling their shopping carts when I’ve gone to Target and Walmart instead of pushing them.
So I don’t think I’m wrong to assume that some of you are buying into that. And what about having to have stuff labeled as men wipes or man bun, or deodorant for men?
Because heaven forbid, you can’t tell right away. And you absolutely cannot be feminine, or even be perceived as feminine. That is the worst thing on earth, you’ll never financially recover. Your credit score will plummet this evening. You can’t even have feminine thoughts, because I have telepathy. And I’ll know!
Yet at the same time, I don’t know I don’t get it. It just seems to be needlessly exhausting at that point. Like what do these men who stifled themselves like this do when they need to vent or be vulnerable?
Or when they accidentally do get that shopping cart that needs a front end alignment from Firestone and an oil change special? And there’s literally no other shopping carts available? Do they just carry everything in their arms? Probably right?
What do they do when they’re overcome by all that pressure, and their own emotions? Well, that’s what we’re going to discuss today. So let’s get started.
Can a Feminine Gay Guy Have Straight Male Friends?
So if you’ve already forgotten, because even sometimes I forget, I identify as a gay man. I mean, I’m really really feminine, right? But it’s true. I checked right before this episode, in fact.
So previously, we talked about what it was like for me growing up in a society that pushes a certain image of what a man is supposed to be, and how that affected my self esteem. Long story short, it did quite a number on my self worth as a feminine man. But I also began to notice the toll it takes on men who seem to fit the ideal mold of what a man is supposed to be like.
If you’re regularly on Twitter, first of all my condolences. That place is a mess right now. As you’re probably aware, there’s quite a bit of ridiculous discourse that occurs on that bird app.
In fact, I’m pretty sure dumb, unnecessary discourse is what feeds that two headed nihilistic mutant chicken that runs all of social media at this point. That’s the only explanation that I can come up with.
But anyway, a common trend I see is that anytime the topic moves into someone’s personal experience with misogyny, or the more unsavory characteristics of masculinity, you have a legion of these dusty individuals in the comments, or replies, gaslighting intentionally pretending they don’t understand cause and effect all of a sudden, or just not comprehending what they’re reading about.
There’s a lot of the latter. There’s actually too much of that. It’s kind of embarrassing.
So yeah, even when we try to have serious conversations about the problematic aspects of manhood, it’s like there’s this automatic aversion to it. Now, if you follow me on Twitter, you already know how I feel about all of this, I make it no secret. But as a super feminine man, I wanted to have this much needed discussion with someone who was on the other side of the spectrum.
So I invited my adorable friend Drew, to speak with me, Drew, like many of my close friends is a heterosexual male, which is interesting, right? A super feminine gay guy having a sizable grouping of masculine straight guys, as close friends. People see us out at a bar, my friends will have their beers.
And I’ll have my rose colored martini and you know, scarf in late April. Because if you know me in real life, you know, I have absolutely no problem being completely out of place.
But I’m sure they’re also probably thinking, How in the world did that friendship happen? Well, Bob, the nosy bartender, it happened because I’d be which them? I’m an enchantress. That’s how.
But it also proved that it was possible to have this conversation in the first place, no matter how different we are from each other. So with that, I want to bring on Drew.
Drew Juanillo 07:04
Yeah, you know, we’ve known each other for a long time. Yeah, my name is sorry, Drew Juanillo. I am a Libra, and I have a mild Crumbl Cookie addiction. Let’s see been in Abilene, Texas, for the better part of 20 years. I’ve got three kids all six and under. So it’s a madhouse around here.
And they look like him. Just letting you all know.
Drew Juanillo 07:35
Don’t let their mom know too much. Because she she’s worried about that sometimes that I look more like or they look more like me than her sometimes. So it’s, it’s equal parts. I think. I feel like there’s a lot about me that I don’t think people I tend to ramble. So I don’t want to bore anyone.
You don’t bore anyone. So I when I’ve, I’m trying to remember because you know, high school was, it’s now a blur. I think five years ago, it wasn’t so much for me. But I remember you specifically, you were just really like calm and just really chill. And just someone I feel like you could just easily walk up to.
Drew Juanillo 08:16
I think you have me mistaken for the other Drew Juanillo that went to Cooper High School.
That was my impression of you back then. And I’m surprised I didn’t, but then I think about my junior year or in sophomore year. And that was kind of around the time when I was just like, I don’t like anybody.
So, you know, that sort of thing. But I say I mentioned all that to say that, you know, we talk about the relationships that, you know, men have with each other, as far as for myself being like extremely feminine and unapologetic, unapologetically gay man.
And I have now so many heterosexual friends. And it’s just like, such a big deal. It’s not like, you know, anyone has to be anything that they’re not. Right. And so that’s when it comes into play, as far as I mean, what is it? How do we do we put labels on any of this? You know? What are the expectations that we have? And so that really brings me to my first point.
So you know, on Twitter, there’s all these conversations. I don’t know if you’re on Twitter as much as I am.
Drew Juanillo 09:37
I have a Twitter account. I never use it.
Oh my gosh! So you mentioned Crumbl Cookies. Twitter hates Crumbl Cookies.
Drew Juanillo 09:53
I have a mild annoyance with them as well, but go ahead.
They drag Crumbl Cookies every day. And, you know, some of it I think is paid for and sponsored because there’s some other cookie thing, some other I don’t know what it’s called. But I think that’s part of it. I think it’s they’re paying people to tweet that Crumbl Cookies is bad. I’ve never had them. I don’t really eat sweets anyway.
But anyway, that’s one of the topics on Twitter that kind of annoys me. And if you’re listening and you’re on Twitter, you already know what I’m going to say. It’s the constant Gender Wars. It’s like, men versus women, and it’s relationship stuff.
And it’s just constant discourse about what are women expecting from men? What are men expecting from women, you know, and everyone’s just kind of fighting against each other. It’s mostly heterosexual men and women that are doing this.
So from an outsider’s perspective, you know, I view this and I see what they’re discussing, usually take the side of the women not gonna lie, I’m gonna be very, very upfront.
What Do You Bring to the Table?
But it makes me think, because I want to understand all sides, maybe I don’t have to agree with both sides completely. But I want to understand, you know, what drives and shouldn’t have to agree with all sides?
So I want to see what the mindset is what drives both sides to come to the conclusions that they come to. So that drives us is the first point of what do you think? What do you feel is expected of men today?
Drew Juanillo 11:50
I tried to think about that one quite a bit. And what I think…it’s hard because I try to hold myself to a different standard than what I feel like society holds men standard to because I just want I just want better better for me better for my family better for, for everyone really, what’s expected of men?
It’s hard because, you know, it kind of depends on who you ask. Because for me, I feel like a man there needs to be first and foremost, kind of a level of integrity and accountability. That I feel lots of people are missing these days, but I particularly men, younger men.
I agree. I think a lot of men..I..You mentioned integrity and accountability. And we’re definitely going to like expound on that last portion of it, for sure.
But I believe, as far as expectations, what I see in the discourse on Twitter is the constant from the men side, the constant need to deflect from accountability, integrity, where it’s we’re putting all of the onus on the women to make the right decision and men right to do to come, you know, be psychic.
Drew Juanillo 13:14
It’s very reactionary, like, oh, well, the woman did this. So I’m expected to write, you know, let’s break it down to something very, I say simple, simple, is not the right word, but very basic of what a woman’s wearing. Yeah, for instance, she wore a dress out to the club, it’s like, well, she, you know, how could they expect me to not want to jump all over her or, you know, harass her or whatever it is? Yeah. I just that one. That one gets me the most.
Drew Juanillo 13:43
Not only you know, I’m with a woman, like a grown woman, you know, with her, and then, you know, I have a daughter. So I just have these internal conflicts of what these what these guys do. And you know, how they compose themselves and how they react to something like that. And it’s just like, oh, well, she she did that, how could she not expect me to do these things in, you know, like, say, harass or whatever it is.
And I think especially with you having a daughter, yeah, that really hits home because, you know, you don’t want your daughter to come into contact with some of these people who just, you know, feel very entitled and very comfortable with shirking responsibility and shirking, you know, the repercussions of some of the things that they do that are within their control.
And, yeah, that’s gotta have some moments where you’re just you sit back and reflect and you’re like, oh my gosh, like, what am I going to do when she brings someone home or anything like that, like what you put in what is going to take place?
Drew Juanillo 15:00
Sometimes it kind of gets to me just because of the fact that, you know, I still have, however small of a chance it might be to make a change for her life to where she has a world where she can grow up in, you know, things like that don’t happen, you know, for me, there’s still this kind of ideal of hope for that.
But I kind of get sad about the fact that, you know, for someone today, their daughter is still dealing with that, you know, it’s, I don’t want to say too late for them, but they live in a world where that is their reality day in and day out. And that just I don’t know, like, it’s to me a lot. And like,
Yeah, sure, for sure. So I want to see what you think about. I mentioned the Twitter discourse, but I mentioned it a lot, because I deal with it every day. And the biggest thing that pops up in the Gender Wars is paying for stuff that you go out on a date. And women, the women side, they’re like, I pay him for nothing on this day, because you’re the man, you want to be the you know, quote unquote, provider.
So you want to provide the debit credit card for this super 20 Applebee’s meal today? Well, you know, fair, you know, and that’s not including the margaritas I’m gonna get as well. Yeah, well, and of course, you have men who expect something, if they do that, they expect something in return, you and I both have very good imaginations.
And we both know what they’re expecting. Right. And we also know that this year, we have seen a monumental change in the reproductive rights of women. Um, and so what does that mean? What is what goes through your mind when you hear about these things when people are going on dates, and they’re, you know, debating on who should pay and who should not pay.
Should Women Just Settle?
Drew Juanillo 17:08
I feel like that part’s really easy for me, but I’m gonna actually kind of backtrack just a little bit, because you went, you said that, you know, women, you know, they go into these dates. And, you know, like, I want to get this, this and this, but then the guy feels entitled to, like, well, you know, what am I getting after this.
And for, for any really anybody listening, but particularly women, if there’s anything that I feel like if I can impart anything, from a man’s perspective, it doesn’t matter what he gives you, whether he buys you a meal, whether he gives you the best night of your life out on the town, or whatever, he is not entitled to your body. First and foremost.
So at the end of the day, if you decide that I had a good time, but that’s gonna be it tonight. Thank you for paying for dinner. I’d like to see you again, or whatever, whatever the conversation is, but if he says, Can I come inside or anything? If it’s a no for you? It’s a no. That expectation for men to well, what am I getting out of this?
Well, you know what, you’re getting time out of your house, and you get to go have a date with a girl. And you don’t have to sit at home alone. You know, that’s what you’re getting. If you’d made you made the decision to pay for the food, you know, this could have been a conversation beforehand. Like, for in general, I believe that. Typically, it’s usually the men, I would say, are the ones asking for the dates.
Now, that can change as you say, like, Okay, well, you know, I’d like to go get drinks at another place afterwards. And if that’s her idea, it’s just like, if she wants to treat, then by all means, because you know, he is not entitled to whatever it is he thinks he’s entitled to after the fact.
Do y’all see? Do y’all see why I brought Drew on today? Do y’all understand? Are you getting it like, this is not going to be the manosphere, you know, thing where we sit here and we comb our beards, and we say that women are women are just awful human beings. Like that ain’t gonna happen here.
Drew Juanillo 19:09
And there are terrible people who are also women, but I mean, that’s, you know, obviously a very completely different conversation because…
Oh, yeah, we’ll get to that. And in later episodes, for sure, yeah. So my thoughts on it are, whenever that discussion comes up, and men are like, Well, what do you bring to the table and blah, blah, blah, and all this other stuff that they are regurgitating from Kevin Samuels?
I just say we’ll we’ll get to him later, too. I just say that all you have to do to shut down that entire discourse and I wish more of you would do this is just say that you know what, women don’t have the same reproductive rights as men. So the end. You know, that’s it. That’s all you got to say.
Drew Juanillo 19:59
But yeah, it’s like, oh, okay, so you’re paying for dinner? If I accidentally get pregnant tonight, are you gonna pay for all the hospital bills?
Drew Juanillo 20:07
And are you gonna clean? Are you prepared to take care of this family? You know,
Exactly. Write it on a napkin, do what you gotta do.
Drew Juanillo 20:17
There’s a…there’s another podcast that I listen to. I’m not gonna plug the name or anything, but they have a saying, and it’s just, like, be something like, be rude, be weird, whatever, stay alive.
And, you know, don’t be afraid to, like, get in the guy’s face, you know, because if you say he’s insisting on, you know, getting something out of it, and it’s a no for you, and you tell him no, and you, you know, express that, like, you feel very strongly you want to stand your ground.
And if he pushes back on that, that’s an immediate red flag. And really, it’s doing you a favor getting that out of the way from the get go. Like, I don’t want to deal with that.
What is the Definition of Being a Man?
Well, well, well, that’s three wells Drew. So all of that to say…
Drew Juanillo 21:06
Do you have…do you have a definition of what a man should be?
Drew Juanillo 21:16
Simple answer, yes, I do have a definition of what a man should be, I feel like a man should, again go back to be accountable for the for his actions and his words, you know, not backtrack, and like, oh, you know, you know, have some integrity with that.
Raise the bar, not just for himself, but the others around him. So that everyone that he comes into contact with and every every other man that those men come into contact with, that they feel like they’re in a in a space where they can feel safe and valued outside of, you know, what physically someone can bring to the table, I still feel as a, as a straight man, and having grown up in West Texas, and just, you know, my career field and stuff, I still have some of those very, I guess, quote, unquote, hetero ideals of what a man is, you know, being tough.
And, you know, I work on cars for a living, and, you know, I cuss like a sailor, but I feel like in this kind of, I feel like it’s gonna go into a little bit of a topic later of toxic masculinity. And I hold myself back from trying to falling back into some of those habits of toxic traits, like, be a man’s man and tough it out.
Or, you know, I feel like there’s an element of value to those qualities of you know, you want, I feel like a man should be, you know, strong there should be a leader and and what I define a leader as this kind of goes back to the things of accountability and raising the bar and making sure everyone around you can feel like they have an equal seating at the table and, and all of that not just somebody that dominates everyone around him, I don’t feel like that’s a leader.
I don’t feel like that’s a man that just shows Honestly, I feel like it shows how weak minded and we experimentally someone can be if if all they’re doing is having to put others down around them to lift themselves up. That shows me right then in there that you know that that’s not a man, man quality, you know, that’s not not for me at least.
And then then we can go into I guess, like the, like a gender identity of male, but that that’s easy, you know, if you identify as male, identify as male, like that was simple done. As far as I agree,
I agree with you on, I would say the same thing. I would say that, pretty much what you said about integrity earlier and about accountability and leadership. I think the leadership aspect, especially now, because we are not on equal footing between the two between the genders, we’re not on equal footing right now.
So the responsibility is on identify, you know, because identify as a gay male, on us to be the leaders and to be the examples and to lead the charge on the change.
It shouldn’t be, like I mentioned earlier, where we’re placing all the responsibility on women to take control of the situation that if we’re being honest, a bunch of old white guys decided I don’t think we should be doing that.
I think it should be where there are those of us who were sitting up here all day talking about, you know, how men are, you know, like you mentioned tough and strong and such and such Okay, well then, we need to step up and we need to you know, do something about this.
So, I totally agree with those aspects. I, as you know, a very gender non conforming person. I I have always kind of struggled with what it means to be an actual like, man, you know, man, because growing up a man was they played football, they lifted weights, they, you know, spit and chew tobacco,
Drew Juanillo 25:17
They go shoot in hunt and do it. Yeah. Interesting. I mean, I go to the gym every day, but that’s like that, and I work on cars other than that it’s like…
Right! Right. So being a person who goes to work and hills and doesn’t fit into what is considered masculine or whatever. I struggled with that. I was like, Okay, well, then, I mean, what does it really mean?
But then I noticed in being a supervisor and being leader, myself being chosen for those positions, like not even, you know, placing myself in those positions.
It was kind of like, well, I mean, when it comes to being a man, and those qualities, they’re not that strong, and the tough and all that other stuff. That’s cool.
But at the end of the day, the qualities that we mentioned that were most drawn to the the leadership, the integrity, the accountability, those are really if you think about it, not gender specific. Right, exactly. I was just thinking that, but at the same time, they need to be more specific to the average man nowadays.
Because I don’t see that there are so many of us that are taking accountability, that are being honest about our intentions, that are leading anybody, to be honest.
I see a lot of individuals who any opportunity, like I mentioned earlier, they shirk their responsibility. They find any way to blame anybody else for their circumstances.
And it’s like, no, as a man, you have so much more so much more of an advantage than your female counterparts. And your your refusal to act on that is not the fault, not their fault.
That’s on you, buddy. Yeah, because you don’t have to be a tough macho, you know, like I mentioned earlier, spitting in twin tobacco, all you have to do is something that’s not even gender specific to succeed.
And so that’s what really just had me sit back and reflect, like, Okay, well, yeah, I’m, you know, a person who watches Sailor Moon, and I wear heels to work, wear makeup on the weekends, and all this other good stuff. But at the same time, there’s really no definite way to define for myself, what being like a man’s man really is?
Because they’re all things that anybody can do. Yes. They’re all things that anybody can do. And when you really think about it, nothing has to be gender specific, anyway, if you really want to be extreme and radical about it. And so that helped me realize, well, you know, what, I can consider myself, you know, pretty decent dude. Pretty decent guy. You know?
Drew Juanillo 28:42
I’m putting that on my tombstone.
Pretty decent guy. So, I think what a lot of we were talking about younger men earlier, and I think a lot of what is missing for them is they don’t have those positive male role models.
Growing up, I had, my grandfather had my stepfather. And my grandfather was alive during the Civil Rights Movement. And so I got a lot of history, and I got a lot of wisdom in that regard, and what it means to be someone who looks after people, and as a provider.
I think what’s missing is we’re not there are people my age, who I feel like need to be stepping up and becoming those leaders and those individuals who can now impart wisdom to the younger men in the younger generation. And unfortunately, we’re not seeing that I made a tweet the other day, and this is about the black community and in particular, where I was saying that we don’t have leaders anymore. We have rappers.
Where are Positive Role Models for Men?
Drew Juanillo 30:05
I saw that. Yeah, I think you linked it to Facebook or something. I saw that.
I probably did. Because I stay telling y’all what I say on Twitter or on Facebook. Yep. And, um, but to broaden that. I mean, you can really, you really can, you can broaden it. Because if you think about it, these young men don’t really have those really educated and wise people to look up to.
They have influencers, rappers, people who have a platform, but they also have ulterior motives for having that platform. They’re not really in it to revitalize the community and everything like that they’re in it, because they want you to buy stuff from them. And they want to sustain the lifestyle that they are currently living. Yeah.
Drew Juanillo 31:01
Give off the image of a certain lifestyle.
So then it becomes hard to recognize for them, I believe, what a positive male role model should be. And so that brings me to what do you think it means to be a positive male role model?
Drew Juanillo 31:20
It that one’s kind of a difficult one for me, because I, I never really had many growing up, my parents got divorced when I was about seven years old. And then my dad had moved to DC while we were in Texas. So I, he wasn’t a very active role in my life, I wouldn’t say he was necessarily negative.
He was never, you know, like a bad dad or anything he just was, I guess you just call this absent to an extent, and I didn’t really have any answer, or uncles to look up to, you know, we didn’t really have anybody here when we moved to Abilene.
And so for me, I mean, like, my, personally, my male role models would have been mostly like teachers, the few male teachers that, you know, I had, but for me, I think, to be a positive male role model, the active in whoever’s life, it is that you’re affecting.
Drew Juanillo 32:29
So for me, you know, that’s like, being a dad. And however, I may falter at that. I feel like I’m messing it up every single day, really, I want to be there every single day for my kids. That’s like, my most important thing.
So it’s, it’s being there, it’s, you know, showing that you care outside of whatever you have going on, you know that somebody else’s life means something to you more than what it is that you can get out of it, or will get out of them. That kind of unconditional love, I guess?
Words of Wisdom for Younger Men
Well, that’s a good answer, actually. Because there’s a lot of even guys that are younger than us true that are still not present in their children’s lives, and make no effort to be.
And when you mentioned, not really having that stable male role model growing up, I just wonder what you would impart, I wonder, I want to ask you, what would you go back and tell your younger self that you know, now what is what is the wisdom that you would impart to yourself?
Drew Juanillo 33:40
Be kinder to yourself, because it’s not a lot of instances where others will be kind for you. And if you can be better for yourself. You can be better for others. Don’t hold things in a laundry list of things I could tell myself really,
Those are good though. I like that. Be kinder to yourself, don’t hold things in. Because we do that a lot. We do that a lot. I do that a lot.
Drew Juanillo 34:08
That’s honestly that’s a huge thing for men these days is go to therapy. I use that a lot and talk about your problems. You know what I mean? Yes, yes, get it out. So you don’t hold it in and bring it out on somebody else.
We are taught even me girly, gay Dimitrius was taught to not really express your emotions and hold it in and lock it up.
And I had a lot of emotions that I needed to express because you know, growing up as a little girly gay individual in West Texas. A lot of crap that happened. There’s a lot of crap that I needed to get off my chest.
And I did not. I did not know how. And it carried on till I was an adult like it does for many men carry On, and it presented itself. You know, I tried to tell when I worked with the Boys and Girls Club and I work with kids who I saw that same thing going on.
I would always try to tell them, Look, if you don’t talk about it now, it’s going to talk for you. Right? Eventually, it’s gonna come out some way. So the best thing to do is to try to get it out now, while you can while you
Drew Juanillo 35:25
And before it bleeds into other aspects of real and starts affecting other people.
Exactly. So I think that’s all we got for today. I will talk to you all later. Oh, and drew, I forgot to tell you. I love you.
Drew Juanillo 35:45
Love you too.
But y’all see? I got him. I got him just now. Boom!