Is that a banana in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?

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Many men that I work with have explained to me that they aren’t sure how to healthily express their sexual desire, how to embody their sexual energy. They often share stories of having to mask their sexual feelings, pretending that they’re not their, or pretending that they’re something else.

These men are worried that their sexual energy will be intrusive or uncomfortable for the people around them. They’ve been told that male sexuality and masculine sexual expression is predatory and coercive – which it can be.

This is reinforced by the cultural ideal of manliness, where strength is everything while emotions are a weakness; where sex and brutality are yardsticks by which men are measured, while supposedly ‘feminine’ traits — which can range from emotional vulnerability to simply not being hypersexual — are the means by which your status as ‘man’ can be taken away.

What I say to these men is that hiding or stifling your sexual desire, pretending that it isn’t there, or disguising it as something else, will only perpetuate this problem. Because often your expression of sexual feelings is then perceived as disingenuous and disconcerting.

For these men, there is need to peel back the layers of conditioning and fear. There is the fear of being “that guy.” There is the fear of being aroused in public. God forbid you have an erection in public. There is the fear of sexual rejection if you do express your desires. And so on.

I teach men to comfortably embody their sexuality, to breathe into their sexual energy, to not let it create tension in their body, to cultivate integrity with their desires, to communicate with honesty from the heart.

If it isn’t a banana in your pocket, and you really are happy to see someone, are you able to own that feeling, be comfortable and confident with it as you experience it in your body, be present with it and communicate it with both your body language and voice?

Try approaching it this way and see how things shift for you as well as the people you’re interacting with.

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