We’ve got a big fucking problem.
There is an epidemic of rape and sexual assault going on all around us. Whether you are aware of it or not, the women in your life – your female friends, your lovers, your mother, your grandmother, your sister, your wife, your daughters – some of them have experienced sexual trauma, probably many of them. Add in the women in your life who have experienced any form of unwanted or sexually coercive behavior and that percentage escalates dramatically – to around 100%. Basically every woman in your life has, at some level, experienced sexually hostile behavior from men.
Lately there has been a lot of controversy around “Pick Up Artist (PUA) Coach” Julien Blanc who was literally kicked out of Australia this past week after a wave of protests for teaching very coercive, manipulative and downright violent “pick-up tactics,” including physically choking women. This is the “dark side” of the Pick-Up coaching scene – men who believe men fulfil their sexual needs by manipulating and coercing women. I could easily say “that’s not what I teach,” ignore him and go back to my life. But that’s not good enough anymore (if it ever were).
Blanc certainly isn’t the odd exception in the news lately. CBC personality Jian Ghomeshi has been caught on videotape being violent toward women; Bill fucking COSBY has been accused of rape – by THIRTEEN different women. And we all remember Elliot Rodger, who went on a murderous rampage in Isla Vista because he felt rejected by women. I wish I could say these are just sensationalist news stories. Sadly, they are not. The truth is the news media is just BEGINNING to cover a small fraction of the problem I’ve known about for DECADES.
I want to raise the bar on what it means to be a good man. And by ‘good man,’ I mean an Embodied Man – a powerful, conscious man; a man in touch with his inner masculine and feminine. A man fully integrated in mind, body and spirit. An Embodied Man is fully expressed and fulfilled in his sexuality, in a way that serves everyone. He isn’t just a ‘good man,’ he’s a great man. And that’s my challenge to all men, to step up and be an Embodied Man. Because the world needs it now.
It isn’t enough for men to simply not be ‘that guy’. It isn’t enough to simply not cat-call and not sexually assault. It isn’t enough to not manipulate or coerce women. It isn’t enough to not slut shame, or actively subjugate, harass or demean women in any way. It isn’t enough as a man to not do the wrong thing to call yourself an Embodied Man. A great man, an Embodied Man, isn’t defined by what he doesn’t do, but by what he does. And ‘not doing bad things’ isn’t an accomplishment.
It’s a very big problem.
And if you think this is just ‘her problem,’ think again. Don’t think for a moment that it hasn’t impacted you directly. It has. It shows up in the dynamics of your personal relationships; it shows up in how women respond/react when you approach them for a date; it shows up in the conversations that are happening in your social media; it shows up in how you were raised and in the challenges you face or will face raising your children. A problem that affects half the population -the half that gives birth to 100% of the population – well, it’s everyone’s problem. Which makes it your problem. And Embodied Men don’t hide from their problems.
Do you desire a world surrounded by radiant, turned-on women? Then they need to feel safe. First and foremost. An Embodied Man consciously and actively creates that safe world for women, both in his personal life and in his larger environment. To him, this isn’t ‘appeasing’ women, but a powerful expression of his inner essence and higher purpose.
There is an undercurrent of anger that flows through a lot of women today. And yes, it is in large part due to the injustices that have been perpetrated on them – both individually, as well as within women’s collective history. In all honesty, though, I believe there is also an anger at the rest of men. Whether consciously or not, it’s an underlying challenge – ‘Where the fuck are you? Why aren’t you doing anything?’
If you look honestly back at your interactions with women, you can hear that frustration, that pleading for you to stop shrinking, denying and hiding – to STAND UP.
Within a number of spiritual traditions, the Sacred Masculine protects, the Sacred Masculine creates safety. Sadly, our culture has replaced this responsibility with a culture of male control and entitlement. But saying no to that culture, without reclaiming your sacred duty, isn’t what being an Embodied Man is about.
The feminist movement has done an incredible job raising the conversation. We can no longer claim ignorance. We can no longer pretend that we don’t know that this is going on. Everyone on social media knows the phrase ‘Rape Culture’ at this point. It’s real. We know what is going on and we know right from wrong.
And the time is Now, for us, as men, to step up and do something about it. To raise our voices. To hold other men accountable. It is time to do more than ‘stop doing bad things,’ but to draw a clear line in the sand, and make absolutely clear to the other men in our lives what is NOT acceptable behavior. While simultaneously illuminating a better path.
A path that will ultimately bring you more of what you want in your lives anyway.
The Pick Up Artist (PUA) culture is ground zero for this. If you are teaching about or in a community focused on men teaching men about women and sex, and Consent isn’t a strong part of the conversation, then you are part of the problem. It’s not enough to say ‘I’m not affiliated with guys like Julien Blanc’ and think you’ve done your job.
Let me make that as clear as possible. If you are active in the PUA/”seduction” community, and you aren’t explicitly speaking out against sexual coercion, and setting a positive example as a good man who loves, honors, and respects women, then you are implicitly condoning sexual coercion, and I for one am directly in opposition to what you are doing in the world. And I call on all other Embodied Men to join me.
There is zero conflict between respecting women and sexual fulfillment. The truth is quite the opposite, actually. If you stand in your authentic power, heal your own culturally ingrained shame, guilt and fear around your sexuality, and heal as well your relationship to the feminine, if you open your heart and show up as an Embodies Man, I promise you will not lack for sexual opportunities. Demand for such men far outweighs the supply. And unlike those who use coercion or manipulation as their “Pickup strategy,” your relationships will be deep, impactful and mutually fulfilling. And if you need support in becoming this kind of man, we’ve created a community to help you do just that.
Ultimately, this isn’t any more about Julien Blanc than it was about Isla Vista murderer Elliot Rodger a few months ago. They are symptoms and symbols of a larger problem that we must address, and we must address Now.
We have it within us to end this Battle of the Sexes once and for all. To end the Us vs Them mentality. To draw greater power from each other’s deeper empowerment. To cease being the crabs climbing over one another trying to escape out of the tank, and instead to link arms and truly rise together. And for men, that means reclaiming our sacred duty as protector of the feminine, to reclaim our courage and moral compass, to remember that an attack on our sisters is an attack on us, and step into being the good Embodied Man you are truly capable of becoming.
The time is Now…
A recognized authority in the areas of sexuality and personal transformation Destin Gerek is a California State Certified Sexologist through the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality and a trained Sex Educator with a B.A. from NYU in Psychology and Human Sexuality. Destin will be presenting the Evolve Live transformational seminar series in San Pedro, Ca Jan. 16-18 to help men and women to overcome “the battle of the sexes”, and create more open, intimate, and authentic relationships.