Saying Goodbye is Hard

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

Letting go to move on

There’s a post sitting in my draft folder on Medium that’s two years old. It was my goodbye post to something I once loved. It was my “Dear Jane” letter, my “it’s not you but me” excuse. It was a post about shutting down one of the most pivotal pieces of work I have ever created.

It was my goodbye to my first blog.

I wrote:

“After 12 years of writing my old blog, I decided to cut off my metaphorical arm. I sat in a California hotel room and cried when I wrote the goodbye post. It sat in my draft folder for weeks before I hit ‘publish.’ I questioned if this was the right thing to do. It’s been 12 years of my life. Twelve years of writing, 12 years of shaping me into who and what I am today. Was I crazy? Did I lose my mind? Did I start to hate writing? No, it wasn’t any of those. It was growth. I grew.”

You realize that the memories of the past and being together again might not be the best idea.

I was going to publish that post when I returned home. Then I waited a few days. The days turned into weeks, then months, and then years. I decided not to give up and give it another try.

It was like a couple that tries to patch things up after a bitter breakup. The feelings that brought you together in the first place “feel” like they’re there but then you realize those are just echoes.

You realize that the memories of the past and being together again might not be the best idea. You hope it’ll get better. You have some good days together but you have to force it. Then one day you have an existential crisis and conclude that you have to break up for good.

That’s what happened to me in the last week of August 2021. I loaded up my About Me page and wrote a goodbye. Then I changed my Twitter handle from @neuralmarket to @ thomasottio and the emotional dam burst.

Big day today. I finally put a big important part of my life in the past. It wasn’t anything bad but I needed to move on. I felt like I was jumping off a cliff but in reality, it was a curb. Will write soon.

– Thomas Ott (@thomasottio) August 31, 2021

I felt like I jumped off a cliff and my stomach dropped like a rock. I questioned myself, did I do the right thing? Was I being a fool? All those feelings washed over and then they were gone. It was over. It wasn’t a cliff I jumped off, it was a curb. I stepped off a curb. A tiny curb.

I took a deep breath and exhaled.

When I started blogging I was working as a Civil Engineer for a medium-size Engineering company. It had its ups and downs but I knew that it wasn’t the right profession for me at the time.

Blogging was my escape from the drudgery of working in a cubicle. I wrote about stocks, the markets, and machine learning. Those were topics that interested me at the time and they kept me sane when things looked bleak.

I pushed myself out of my comfort zones, failed a bunch of times, and succeeded more.

Over time my writing got better and my audience grew. My tutorials on machine learning attracted a lot of traffic and I helped 1000’s of people learning machine learning. It was very a rewarding and fulfilling endeavor!

In time, my writing and blog turned into a full-time dream job when I was offered a sales engineering position at a startup. I became one of those lucky people that turned blogging into a job!

I felt like I’ve found a new voice in me, a voice that speaks with vulnerability and authenticity.

I left my career as Civil Engineer in 2014 and never looked back. I pushed myself out of my comfort zones, failed a bunch of times, and succeeded more.

I grew as a person. My family got better. My partner noticed a new feeling of confidence. My children had a better and more loving father.

I grew.

I grew back then and I’m growing today.

Just like when I left Civil Engineering, I felt like now was the time to leave the old behind. It felt like I needed to let go of the blog to keeping growing, and so I did.

No, I haven’t quit the startup world, in fact, I’m still on that crazy ride! I would never dream of leaving that world behind, but the blog was different.

You see, 2021 has been overly emotional and stressful for me and it’s in that stress that good things can happen if you listen and learn. It’s led me to soul search and untangle myself from emotional and spiritual anchors that dragged me down my entire life.

I felt like I’ve found a new voice in me, a voice that speaks with vulnerability and authenticity. A voice that can cherish the past, with all the good and bad, and revel in the sordid and the pure.

I’ve boarded a new ship and charted a course into the unknown. With salt spray on my face and the wind in my hair, I watch my last port of call grow smaller on the horizon. I don’t know what I’ll find on this new journey, or if I’ll ever get there but right now the sun is shining and the water is inviting.

The OnlyFans Debacle

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

Why You Should Host Your Content

In not-so-new news, OnlyFans decided to kick off adult content from their site because of a problem with their payment provider.

There was such a pushback (read: quitting their platform) from content creators that they “resolved” this issue in a few days.

Adult content creators won this battle but they didn’t win the war.

Why? Because money talks. They underestimated the pushback and the loss of revenue and quickly backpedaled.

While on the surface it sounds like a win but many content creators are not so sure it will last, I know I would be looking for an alternative now.

We all know that money talks, but guess what? This isn’t the end of it. Money will talk again but this time it won’t be the content creators that will win, this time the corporations will.

Adult content creators won this battle but they didn’t win the war.

Over time there will be small Terms of Service updates. They might ban BDSM because of some thinly veiled definition of violence and safety. Then it might be accounts with less than 1,000 fans or less than 1,000 minutes of watch time. Then search results will change and you will be whittled away by 1,000 paper cuts.

I have zero insight into OnlyFans and their management so what I’m writing in the next few paragraphs is purely speculation on my part.

…I wonder just how long Medium will hang on?

When I read of payment provider problems with certain content and new Terms of Service adjustments, it means that something is coming. It could be that OnlyFans is looking to be acquired or maybe even an IPO. They’re trying to protect their revenue stream so they look better on paper. They’re trying to grow up to be adults now.

No matter how pure the intention was when OnlyFans started, it’s a money-making machine now and money always talks. The power shifted from when a handful of content creators gave OnlyFans legitimacy in the early days to them now dictating the terms to you. The collective “we” created this monster because we gave them the power to do so.

The Pornocalypse

On my old blog I wrote an article about how a content provider can own their content and make money. It certainly will require a lot more work and force you to become a bit more tech-savvy but why should even consider this “do it yourself” route?

Because of the Pornocalypse.

The pornocalypse was first penned by writer Bacchus (NSFW link) in 2013 when he lamented the giant media/retail corporations censoring and hiding adult related content and products. Amazon loves to hide erotica results but will show you romance novels instead.

This was 5 years before Tumblr kicked all adult content off its site. Today OnlyFans is rattling the cage and I wonder just how long Medium will hang on?

You remain at their mercy, community or not.

Bacchus’s solution was to buy a domain and host everything yourself. Set up payment subscriptions, make sure you can filter out people less than the appropriate age for adult content in your area, and start producing your content.

But what about accepting payments and dealing with marketing?

An adult content creator’s revenue is tied to how many eyeballs visit their site and ultimately pay them. Places like Medium create a community where people interact and find new content. If you take yourself off these sites your income will surely suffer.

So what happens when payment providers start complaining that you advertising your erotica novel or you sharing your non-family friendly boob shots? Little Johnny and his Mommy can’t handle all this smut? They tell you to clean up or you won’t get paid? They threaten you with your livelihood.

You remain at their mercy, community or not. What do you do then?

The simple answer is you look for alternative ways to market and accept a different payment option.

One way is to accept Bitcoin. The article I’ve linked hints to Adult stars already doing this to get around payment provider problems. In fact, it’s the best way to fight political correctness and promote social justice in my humble opinion.

If bitcoin owners vote with their wallets and show the world that people can’t be kicked out of the entire financial system simply to enforce political correctness, then sex workers will regularly utilize bitcoin as a cypherpunk tool for lawful censorship resistance. (Selling sexual content is a perfectly legal job.)There are roughly one million creators on OnlyFans, the majority of which are women in the sex industry. Paying women in bitcoin is the most direct, actionable way that any porn consumer can promote social justice.

With Paypal and Venmo clamping down on naughty content, a decentralized payment system with no central banking institution sure sounds like a viable option to me.

What about the marketing part? This is where things get a bit harder.

Facebook wants to be family-friendly while catering to right-wing wackos.

Medium, Twitter, and all other major social media platforms are great at amplifying your work but you remain at their mercy. Why? Because they’re centralized systems and they can flick your sorry ass off them in a second if you farted by accident in their general direction.

This is where a decentralized web ring can make a big difference. Decentralized social media, like Diaspora or Mastodon, are great ways to be part of a network but “own/host” all your content. The only problem is that they’re a bit “techy” to get started.

Why is sex, sex work, the expression of the most powerful force in the human universe so frightening to people?

You can join or build a new community where you control what you want to share and the only place your content resides is on your laptop. So, if you decide to hang up your boots one day, you can delete your decentralized node and no one will ever see your stuff again.

The Pornocalypse Will Come For You

I hate to say but if history is a guide, the pornocalypse will come for you and your content if you’re not hosting it yourself. Also long as your content is legal and you’re allowed to operate such a site, no one can shut you down.

A wise adult content creator will start thinking of an alternative to OnlyFans. They might consider buying a domain, using the Ghost CMS to sell content, or joining a Diaspora Pod (I’m on there).

These are all the things I think about because the Internet is turning into a repressive cesspool. Instagram hides the nipple. Facebook wants to be family-friendly while catering to right-wing wackos. Tumblr tumbled. OnlyFans is turning into OnlyFamilyFriendlyFans. It’s coming for all of us.

My mind swims because it doesn’t make sense to me. Why is sex, sex work, the expression of the most powerful force in the human universe so frightening to people? Why do we let little Johnny and Mary watch war movies but we hide their eyes when two consenting adults slip into bed together?

That question is rhetorical and deserves a post all by itself one day, but make no mistake, the pornocalypse will come for you one day.

Prolific Writing Month

Pen and Paper, © 2021, Thomas Ott

Evolution of a Writer

August 2021 has been my most prolific writing month, ever. It was prolific in the sense of the volume, quality, and emotional vulnerability I shared.

I joked on Twitter that it was because of a nice vacation I took with my family at the end of July. That was partly true but I attribute it an emotional dam bursting.

I had so much stress this year with my parents and aunt almost dying from Covid19 and then the death of my dog. This stress all came to a head when I was in Provincetown with my partner and children.

I turned my miserable work life into something that made me sing every morning.

My father got out of the hospital a day after we arrived there and later in the week I had to give the ok to have my sister put my dog down. It was a roller coaster of a week, to say the least.

Something changed when I came back home, I wanted to write, and I wanted to get in touch with some deep emotions. I stopped writing on my first blog, Neural Market Trends, because that topic had run its course for me.

It was bittersweet, I had penned a draft post on Medium back in 2019 wanting to shut that blog down but I hesitated. Why? Because I owe so much of my current life to that blog. It’s what opened the door for me to the world of Data Science and Machine Learning and helped me make a massive career change at age 44.

You always read about people wanting to make a career change but don’t, and they become miserable till they retire. I turned my miserable work life into something that made me sing every morning.

Maybe lightning will strike twice for me?

I was so lucky that I was given the chance to be happy, and with the support of my awesome partner, was able to seize this opportunity. I felt like lightning struck me, my life has been short nothing of electric since then and I’ve been humbled by the journey.

I penned a few poems and articles in July on new topics I wanted to explore. I was interested in dipping my toes into the vulnerability of emotions, love, sex, parenting, and all the juicy but often confusing things in life. It felt daring, scary, and like I was baring the deepest parts of my soul for everyone to read.

Part of the scary feeling was that I write without a pen name and just for fun. I don’t need to make a living from writing but I can dream about being a professional author, an authentic author. Maybe lightning will strike twice for me?

I don’t know what the future will hold for me but what I do know is that I have a drive, sometimes a panicky drive, to tell my stories. I have a need to share the good, the bad, and the ugly with you but don’t mistake my vulnerability for weakness. It takes a strong person to open up in public and I did that this month, even if it scared the shit out of me.

I want to be authentic to myself…

I wrote so much this August that words just gushed out onto the screen. I shared my story of being a cult survivor and what I think of sex and sexuality. I wrote a few poems and how all we need is love. I dove headfirst into the murky water of emotions and came up for air. I swam further and stronger against the current and wasn’t swept away for once.

August was the month where I dropped so many anchors in my life, the emotional and spiritual weight that dragged me down. I unshackled my life and for once felt the sunlight of liberation on my skin. How a blessed warmth it is!

I don’t know what the future will hold for me but I know that this is the next phase of my life. I want to be authentic to myself because that’s the best way to live.

It’s the only way to live.

All You Need is Love

Photo by Oliver Sjöström on Unsplash

Lessons from an Existential Crisis

I was having a bit of crisis the other day on Twitter and so many members of my tribe came to my aid with kind words and thoughts. Thank you.

I turned 50 last year, right smack dab in the middle of the pandemic. Before that happened my partner asked me what I wanted to do for my 50th. She was fishing for ideas and was planning something special.

I was never a conventional guy, so I suggested maybe a big camping trip. We find a place on the map, set a day and time, and then send out the invites for people to show up, camp, play music, laugh, and reconnect again.

A friend once told me that that the most precious thing you can give someone is your time.

I was so looking forward to the reconnection part. For me being together with the people I love and care about is what’s important to me. I’m never about the gifts, I’m about the cards they write to me and the time we spend together.

It brings me great joy to read the words my loved ones write to me, because I know it comes from the heart. Every year my partner and children ask me what I want for my birthday or Father’s Day, and every year I tell them the same thing. I want a nice dinner together and a card with words from their heart.

Yes, I get some small gifts but it’s that time I spend with them that I treasure, it’s the most precious gift I can get. A friend once told me that that the most precious thing you can give someone is your time.

Time is not a renewable resource. Once it’s gone, it’s gone forever. For some strange reason yesterday that realization hit me harder than ever before and it led to mini crisis.

I left one important thing out of that Tweet because it paralyzed me.

I think what triggered it was a retirement party we were invited too. A friend of my partner was retiring early and her partner and son organized a small retirement party to celebrate. They live on a small farm in southern New Jersey and they’re good friends of ours, so of course, we were going to go!

But the night before I started to feel a bit off, something was cooking in that hamster wheel of my mind. I tweeted an observation in the morning that first I went to weddings, then new baby parties, then some divorces, and now I’m going to retirement parties.

On the drive home, he got quiet and told me that he had two big regrets in his life.

That makes sense, doesn’t it? You’re bound to have a lot of weddings at first and a lot of stuff in between and then retirement parties. Except that wasn’t the end, I left one important thing out of that Tweet because it paralyzed me. I left out the part about going to funerals.

Death has been stalking my family since the beginning of the year. My parents and aunt caught Covid19 in February and ended up in the hospital. It nearly killed them and my sister and I went through a roller coaster of stress and emotions. They all made it out alive, thankfully, but I could help shake this feeling of dread. For the first time in my life, I was faced with my parent’s mortality. They’re not going to be around forever.

Now they’re suffering from long-term Covid19 effects. My mother lost so much weight that she’s just skin and bones. My aunt is losing all her hair. My father lost a lot of weight and had to go back into the hospital after 4 months. He almost died because he was bleeding internally, a side effect of Covid19, his medicine, and being a stubborn old man.

He ended up needing three blood transfusions and was in the hospital for two weeks. He got close to crashing a few times as they figured out how to help him. I was told that if I didn’t bring him that night he would’ve likely died in his sleep.

I’m trying to stay afloat from the dark murkiness of repressed emotions, emotional baggage, societal and cultural expectations, trauma, and a host of other yucky things.

He’s back on the mend now but the levels of stress I’ve felt throughout this much preventable pandemic can probably kill a small horse.

That wasn’t the worst of it. He called me up one day wanting to go out to have some french fries. I gladly obliged and took him to one of his favorite places. He was so happy and we have a great lunch date.

On the drive home, he got quiet and told me that he had two big regrets in his life. These regrets were two mistakes he made as a young man that had such a huge impact on his life. We talked and he wondered what life would’ve been for him if he didn’t make those mistakes.

If he did, my sister and I wouldn’t be here and he would’ve never met and married my mother. My parents have a complicated relationship too say the least. I know he’s not happy and neither is my mother.

Here was my father, a man that I had a complicated past with, assessing his life. The good, the bad, and the ugly. At that moment I saw him for what he was, a flawed man.

That’s what he is, what I am, what you are. We’re all flawed, imperfect, weak, vulnerable, and searching to become whole.

I went swimming this morning with my partner. The water was murky as I swam across the lake. In the middle of the lake, I realized that my existential crisis was a lot like swimming in this lake. I’m trying to stay afloat above the dark murkiness of repressed emotions, emotional baggage, societal and cultural expectations, trauma, and a host of other yucky things.

The blue sky was above me, the sun was shining and leaves moving in the gentle wind. That was my salvation, my authenticity. I was between the two, the dark and the light, with me in the middle. I was swimming with anchors that tried to pull me under in the deep and it was so hard to stay afloat.

I have a wonderful mother-in-law that cries every time we hug…

Over the past year, I learned to shed some of those anchors and let them fall to the bottom of the lake. I wanted to reach the far shore so I can get out and into the sun. I want to sit under the trees and bask in the sunlight. I need to do this for myself, for me, so that I can learn to love myself again.

My heart swells as I write these words because I have so much love in my life, around me, and to share. I’m the luckiest man alive. I have a wonderful son and daughter that think I’m the best Dad ever. I have a loving partner, the love of my life, and we share such deep connection. I have an awesome sister and two rambunctious nephews that make me proud.

I have two wonderful parents that love me and think the world of me. I have an awesome extended family on my partner’s side filled with many nieces and nephews! They all love their crazy uncle from America. I have a wonderful mother-in-law that cries every time we hug; we don’t speak the same language but we communicate through hugs. My brother and sister in-laws always welcome me with open arms.

For there is no more room in our lives for regrets, what’s in the past is in the past.

And last but not least, I have you, my wonderful tribe. A tribe filled with compassionate people, loving people, and brave explorers charting their destinies into the unknown. I see you on an ocean around me and it looks like we’re heading in the same direction. I see you with my spyglass in your vessels, reading the stars at night and longing to find your port of call. A place that is home for you.

I will be 51 in a few short months and I have a new birthday wish. My wish is that one day we all reach the same port together. That we sit across a dinner table and break bread together, share laughter, tears, and raise a toast!

A toast to love! To us!

I wish that we write each other cards and say how much we mean to each other, words from the heart and with no feelings spared. I wish that we become what we need to be, our true authentic selves.

For there is no more room in our lives for regrets, what’s in the past is in the past. We have the rest of our lives to live and what better way to do it but with an ocean of love calling to us.

After all, what else is there?

The Ecstasy of Music and Dance

Drumming Ecstasy, © 2021, Thomas Ott

Lessons from Divine Femininity & Masculinity

At 16 I was “conned” into joining a heavy metal band. My friend Tony thought it would be a good idea to start a band, become famous, and get lots of chicks.

He needed a bass player and said, “Ott, you should play bass!” I thought about it and decided it was a great idea to play music and get chicks. What a winning combination for a horny teenager!

I saved up my money and I bought a used bass and cheap amplifier for $150 dollars at the local music store in town. Then we set out to practice.

One friend played drums and another friend sang and played rhythm guitar. Sweating in a garage and playing what my father affectionately called “coordinated noise.” I loved music and this happenstance started me down a path that forever changed me.

My first band lasted two months because we got into a fight about what to play and how. On top of it, we were disappointed that we had no groupies by this time. My friend Tony and I reformed a new band and we played all through high school and college.

I practiced my bass playing every day after I finished my school work. I grew my hair long and played in a speed metal band. Then I cut my hair and played in a punk rock band. My punk rock years were some of my wildest, craziest, and haziest times of my life.

I regret not making the time for something that I love.

Everything came screeching to a halt when I got a “real job” and moved to New Mexico. My friends were sad, considering we had cut a few 7” records and were getting some notoriety at the time, but I made a choice, playing in the band wasn’t putting food on my table.

I lived in New Mexico for 5 years, and those were glorious years indeed, but I grew lonely for home and moved back to the Garden State. I met up with my old friends and we “got the band back together” again. Only this time we played improvisation type of music, in the vein of Phish, moe. and the String Cheese Incident.

Those were good years but I left the band as we were all getting married, having kids, and working like crazy. It’s with a heavy heart that I regret this. I regret not making the time for something that I love.

I had reached a level of heightened ecstasy…

I love playing music because of the one most amazing thing about it, the ecstasy.

Musical Ecstasy

It doesn’t matter if you play, sing, listen, or dance. Music can alter your consciousness and deliver you into a state of ecstasy.

I can’t explain the feeling but you know it when you feel it. There was this one particular time when we were “jamming,” a term we used to improvise music. We were playing a very trance-like groove and everyone was doing their musical runs.

She utterly drips with feminine energy…

When it was my turn to take a run I felt like a spirit entered me. It was a feeling I had never in my life felt. Something through me and into my hands. I made the most incredible run ever. It was like I was orgasming music, it was pure energy and bliss.

I had reached a level of heightened ecstasy and have never felt the same afterward.

After that song, my bandmates told me it was the most incredible piece of bass playing they had ever heard and seen.

That was almost two decades ago but I remember it like it was yesterday.

The Beat Lives On

We took a trip to Florida this year to check out a college for my daughter. We were in Sarasota for a few days and spent the entire time at all the different beaches.

Lithe women adorned with lights and flowing accessories danced seductively to the rhythm that the mostly male drummers beat.

One day my partner mentioned that she read there would be a drum circle at Siesta Key beach at sunset. It was supposedly the largest drum circle in all of Florida and the United States. My partner and kids have never been to a drum circle and it was years for me, so we decided to go.

Arriving in the parking lot I could hear the beats and I felt its energy enter my body. I felt something I haven’t felt in all those years.

The beat was primal and there were so many different drummers. There were children with their mothers in the circle. Guys with dreadlocks and lots of women dancing in the circle.

My kids gave me that “what’s with all this weird stuff going on Dad?” So I showed them that it was ok by getting into the drum circle and dancing. If you scour my Twitter account you’ll find a video of me dancing very badly but enjoying every minute of it.

Night fell and the children left with their parents but the drum circle carried on. Lithe women adorned with lights and flowing accessories danced seductively to the rhythm that the mostly male drummers beat.

It was as if the men were courting the women, and they took all that male energy into themselves and expressed it through their bodies. It was as if the energies was mixing and the women were creating some new and beautiful with their female energy.

It’s like the creation of life. A man’s sperm is absorbed by a woman’s egg and she makes a new life from his vital energy and hers.

I felt like I was a voyeur and was watching a musical act of sex. The men were giving and the women were receiving.

I was mesmerized by all this.

Feminine and Masculine Ecstasy

I want you to watch this video of a drum circle. Pay particular attention to the women in the black dress.

The beat is energetic and she starts to dance. She bends her hips to a drummer, tussling her hair seductively, feeling the beat course through her body. The drummer eagerly gives her the primal energy that she needs.

She utterly drips with feminine energy and all the male drummers read this instinctively.

Another woman enters the circle and starts to dance. More women enter and start to dance. The woman in the black dress moves from drummer to drummer, like she’s choosing a lover.

One drummer had stopped for a second starts to drum harder and faster as she approaches. She communicates with her body that he needs to compete for her, and he does.

Of course, this dance is teasing and flirtatious but its ecstasy serves one big important thing in this life we all share.

It is in the throes of ecstasy that we can connect with the Divine. We can break out of all the attachments that hold us back and ride the energy surge.

We find that pure energy deep inside us and let it flow through us we come to know God and Goddess.

Who are they you may ask? You are them, you are God and Goddess.

It was a short time after I got back from Florida that I bought a Djembe drum. I started to practice and felt alive again. I will no longer forgo my need for the Divine and I yearn to tap into that primal beat of life and love.

One evening I was practicing and my partner said that I was getting pretty good at it. Then she surprised me by doing an impromptu dance as I beat my drum. She flowed with the beat for a few seconds and flirted with me using her hips and body.

I couldn’t help but notice how beautiful she looked at that very moment and how Divine it all was.

Hey! I just started a newsletter about society, parenting, sex, and love. How original! You should signup for my newsletter right here. Thanks!

Are We Ever Off the Market

Photo by Allef Vinicius on Unsplash

Always Be Dancing

Ok, I have to brag a bit. I’ve been working out and losing weight. It’s a big deal for me because I have the “best looking” dad body out there. It was such an awesome dad bod that my doctor told me I was obese and put me on blood pressure medication.

Yikes! Wake up call! I used to be underweight as a kid and now I’m o-fucking-bese.

So I’ve made a course correction. I’m down 25lbs and need to go another 25lb but damn do I feel good. A proper diet, occasional intermittent fasting, and kettlebells in the morning can do wonders. Plus I go swimming a few times a week down at the lake.

I hang on to every spoken inflection, the tone in what was said, what their body language was, and ultimately what actions they took.

I feel stronger, look better, am more in control of my eating habits, and have a raging libido.

But this post is not about my exercise routine and before I continue, I have to give you a bit of my background about myself.

Simply put, I make my living reading people’s body language and by making presentations. I obsess over what people say, how they say it, what they do after I interacted with them, and so forth.

I hang on to every spoken inflection, every tone of what was said, what their body language was when they said it, and ultimately the actions they took. I work tirelessly every week to make comprehensive presentations and take great pride in communicating complex subjects in an easy-to-digest way for my customers.

Doing this has led me to present at conferences and in front of 100’s of people, and it’s giving some insight into group dynamics and how they evolve. I’d like to think that I have a very high emotional quotient (EQ) and heightened sensitivity to human interactions. So when female friends and acquaintances started commenting on my weight loss, I took notice.

…a female friend mentioned to me how there were wife swap parties in our gated community.

At first, I thought they were being polite but then they started to make more vocal comments about it when my partner was around too.

One evening at a small gathering we hosted — with lots of wine and champagne — a female friend mentioned to me how there were wife swap parties in our gated community. Not once, but three times.

Have I embarrassed myself in the past? Hell yes!

Another female friend invited me out for a drink one night and casually mentioned that she’s polyamorous.

Then my partner’s walking friends told me I looked good and that I was turning into a hottie. My partner was next to me at the time.

…I might have to put a leash on you …

Of course, all these interactions fed my ego and I am guilty of sometimes reading too deep into these things. Have I misread signals in the past? Of course! Might I be misreading these signals? Probably.

Have I embarrassed myself in the past? Hell yes! Do I try to stay humble and objectively analyze these interactions? I do.

But then my partner made a passing comment in our kitchen. She said,

You know, if you keep losing weight I might have to put a leash on you and keep the ladies away.

We both laughed and I did what any ego-stroked male would do, I strutted around the kitchen like I was a badass. Every man reading this will understand that feeling and every woman will make the same eye-roll my partner did.

I got bored dating within my extended friend pool and decided to try

That night we connected very vigorously behind the bedroom door. As I drifted to sleep I had an epiphany, I realized that we’re never off the market.

Competition in the Sexual Market

I gained weight when I quit smoking 20 years ago. I started dating a woman with a small child and decided that I didn’t want to be a bad role model for her kid, so I decided to quit.

Quitting smoking was one of the hardest things I did up to that point in my life and my ex-girlfriend help ease my cigarette cravings by having a lot of sex with me.

One of the last things she said to me when we broke up was, “don’t start smoking again,” and I didn’t. What I did do was start eating and gained a few pounds. 5 pounds became 10, then 20, and so on. By the time I met my partner, I was already overweight.

I got bored dating within my extended friend pool and decided to try Internet dating was new back then and wasn’t the cesspool it is today. I wrote a nice profile about my wants, desires, and likes, attached a photo, and uploaded it. Then I created my filter and started messaging women.

I was looking for the one special someone to dance through life with, to hold each other as the music played on.

After a few weeks, I started going out on dates. Some were good, others were horrible, but I needed to get out on that dance floor and dance with potential partners.

I didn’t realize how competitive the sexual market was but I always knew that dating and the game of love was one big dance. For me, it was about finding the right partner to ‘flow’ with.

I had a fun time, to say the least, but I had a mission. I was looking for the one special someone to dance through life with, to hold each other as the music played on.

A few short months later I met her. Dating, traveling together, engagement, marriage, house, and kids came in fast succession.

“the lobster guy was hitting on your wife!”

While my life started to take off, my weight kept creeping up. I didn’t care because I resigned myself to being “off the market” there was no need to compete anymore because I had won!

I had won my prize and she was married to me! I can let myself go now, because what’s the point anymore. Right?

How utterly wrong I was.

Dancing with your Partner

When you go dancing you dress up nicely for the type of club you go to. The same can be said about dating and competition. It can be a good thing.

My partner was “hit” on when we were in Cape Cod a month ago. I wasn’t there at the time but she was with her friend buying lobsters. The first words out of her friend’s mouth to me was “the lobster guy was hitting on your wife!”

The competition for and the desire others feel for you makes you feel like you matter.

I joked that I should go down there and beat him up and we all laughed, but I know it made her feel good inside.

Let’s face it, it’s a nice feeling to be desired by someone other than your partner. Both men and women want to feel desired and love to be flirted with.

It’s like being asked to dance, it doesn’t have to mean much more than just a dance but it makes you feel like you still matter.

The competition for and the desire others feel for you makes you feel like you matter.

You matter to that person or it shows your partner that you matter in the eyes of others.

Now, do you hear the music playing?

That’s the key, you still matter.

Are you divorced? You matter. Are you overweight? You matter. Are you 65? You matter. Are you LGBTQ+? You matter. Are you drowning in the dating pool? You matter.

Whatever is going in your life and no matter how bad you feel, you absolutely fucking matter. A LOT!

How did I feel about a guy hitting on my partner? It didn’t bother me much to be honest. I’m the luckiest guy in the world and I’m honored that my partner chose to share her life with me, but I still pretended to be a bit jealous.

I did it in a silly flirty way to let her know that I desire her above all the rest and that she matters a helluva lot to me.

That’s why we’re never off the market. We need to be on the market to feel desired and matter to ourselves and others.

Now, do you hear the music playing? I hope so.

May I have this dance?

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Love, Let it Flow

Photo by Christopher Beloch on Unsplash

I love you. Yes, you! I really do. I want you to know that you mean so much to me and since the day we first met, I reserved a spot for you in my heart. I smiled when I found that special place for you and me, for us.

Do you remember when we first met? It was by accident but what a happy accident it was. I sensed your energy when the connection was made. In an instant I knew you had that je ne sais quoi, that special something that makes me smile every time I think of you.

Life brought us together and I know that our paths are crossing now, I just don’t know if we’ll travel together for a while…or for a lifetime? If we part ways and you walk your road, please take a piece of my love along with you.

When the road becomes dark and lonely and you feel sad, take my love and bring it inside you. Let it shine the way forward for you and let it bring you comfort. Let me be there in spirit for you.

Take as much as you need, it won’t run out but do me a favor, share your love with others. Hold a place for the people you love in your heart. There is always so much love to give for it bubbles up from deep within us.

I have so much love for you, I can’t contain it. Let it flow, let it flow, let it flow! Let our love flow forth like a flood. Let it bring the vital nutrients to others so they may grow in love.

I love you. I love you so much that it hurts. I hope you realize how much love there is for you when you need it. How deep it runs when you want it. How much it can heal you.

This is my love letter to you. Please write back, and soon. XOXOXO

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Parental Sex

Kissing and in Love, © 2021, Thomas Ott

Traumatizing our Kids one Sexy Act at a Time

Parents, do you remember the time before you had kids? You know, those carefree times where it was just you and your lover. Long walks on the beach, romance, cuddles, and gratuitous amounts of sex?

Then one day in the throes of passion you both say, “let’s make a baby!” The sex becomes primal, you dream of the perfect family together, and 9 months later your life changes.

Holy shit does it change and fast!

My wife(39) and I (41) have sex pretty much every night. We try to keep it quiet, bedroom door shut and locked at all times, nothing outside the bedroom, but they have to know, right? I mean bed creaks and whatnot, not to mention the occasional moan that I have to remind her that the kids are still in the house. [via Reddit]

WTF Was I Thinking?

Any parents reading this will have their “WTF was I thinking” moment. Being a parent can be incredibly stressful. Your life changes the moment your child draws its first breath and screams at the top of its lungs.

The whole relationship dynamic with your partner changes and suddenly it’s not about the two of you anymore, it’s about this cute little bundle of joy. That bubbly squealing little creature with cute toes and giggles that needs constant changing, burping, and cleaning up milk barf.

We have sex nightly. Our teenager knows. Sometimes she gives us shit about it. We all have a good laugh. via luv2bstuffed

Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids and I wish I had more! But after baby #2 Mrs. Ott gave me that look that said, “don’t you dare put any more babies in me! I have a knife and I know how to use it.”

Vasectomy, here I come.

Sexy Time

I’m putting this up front and center, my kids killed our sex life in the early years. I think every couple with kids sees a drop in their sexy time activities. You’re so exhausted from raising, caring, and cleaning the little rug rats that sex is the furthest thing from your mind. Never mind all the household and work duties you still have to do!

Knowing your parents love each other doesn’t create trauma. via akaghi

Then Nature pulls a cruel trick on you. She still makes you horny. You want to initiate sex but your partner is not in the mood. Then when your partner initiates sex, you’re not in the mood. Things start to get weird because you’re not in sync and then if you’re lucky, might have sex once or twice a month.

But then you talk and you decide to work through this. You schedule a time to be intimate. You might get a babysitter to watch the kids so you can go out on a dinner date.

While the having sex may be a bit embarrassing for youngsters, it sure beats the undercurrents of resentment and…hard to find the right words here…that come from a sexless marriage. via ByCriminy

In time things start to turn around in the bedroom. There’s more intimacy, the kids are getting older, and you can sleep in with your partner. Suddenly there’s more time for you and your partner to get a bit wilder in the sheets.

Then one evening in the vocal throes of passion your son calls out from his bedroom, “Mom? Are you Ok?”


Was he listening to us the whole time? What did he hear? OMG, it’s so embarrassing!

Why are these kids always watching and listening?

My son started realizing about age 15 that my husband and I were like two horny teenagers. He thought it was funny. He tells his friends that if they come over they should stay on the far side of the house.

It led us to have open conversations about sex and we can talk about anything. I think people need to stop hiding sex. via AnnieB512

Oh right, they’re kids and they’re learning from you. All the good from bad, the right from wrong, and wondering why Mommy is crying from her “nightmares” a few times a week.

Traumatizing Your Kids

You and your partner ARE NOT YOUR PARENTS. I want to state this loud and clear. How our parents handled their sex lives in the context of their upbringing and society at the time is different than what you and I face today.

It hasn’t always been this way for us though. There was a 5 year or so slump, starting at almost exactly out 7 year anniversary, which is also about the point that we had two small children running around sucking all of our collective energy. via MichiganDad1

I like to believe that parents of today are taking a more realistic approach to parenting and sex. A healthy couple realizes that sex is important to maintaining a well-functioning love and family life. That means they have sex frequently and the probability of the kids finding out about sexy time increases.

An ex-girlfriend of mine was horrified when she walked into her parent’s bedroom and saw her mother giving her father a blowjob. She was a teenager at the time and knew what was going on but she never considered her parents to be in a sexual relationship.

So, for me and my wife, the thing that helped our sex life most was reconnecting outside of the bedroom. Even with a pretty good relationship, it’s easy to get complacent and just not really connect much anymore. via selfishlicker

She confided in me later that at first she was freaked out by it but was happy that her mom and dad had a loving relationship. Her mom talked to her about it and that was that. The message was this: mom and dad have sex, we like it, and we’re going to keep doing it. Just remember to knock first!

That’s the right behavior to model for our kids. You want them to learn what a happy, healthy, and loving relationship is between their parents so that one day if they choose to become parents or not, they can have the same loving relationship with their partner(s).

Parents expressing their love for each other is not traumatizing at all. It’s completely normal and why, for the life of me, do we shy away from this topic?

Would the world be different if put this front and center, show what a loving partnership is really about? Would we change the trajectory of the world? Would there be more peace, tranquility, and bliss?

Let’s face it, sex isn’t everything but it sure means a lot, especially to us parents. It’s how we reconnect, show love and affection for each other, and help bring new life into the world.

I think modeling a healthy, loving, physically intimate relationship between two loving individuals is great parenting.

As my husband says, “I refuse to do the walk of shame in our own house.” via luv2bstuffed

I want my kids to understand how important this all is for themselves and for their future partners and lovers. Even if it means shutting their door and cranking up the music tonight.

Oh yeah!

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Men, The Rules of Engagement Have Changed

Dancing, © 2021, Thomas Ott

If You Learn the Dance, The Sex will be Incredible

I’m off the dating scene, have been for many years, so my perspective here is coming as an observer. I know many single women and men of diverse backgrounds and genders and live vicariously through their successes and failures in their dating lives.

…they pounced.

Speaking purely as a cis-heterosexual male, these are my observations and why men need to up their game. If they do, the sex will be incredible. Why? Because we men are being misled away from the real prize, a deeply fulfilling love life with a partner or partners.

Women Don’t Like Sex, right?

I don’t know about you but I was told growing up that women didn’t like sex. They would use it to settle (read: trap) down with a well-earning man. They’ll seduce you, get you into bed, give you a few moments of pleasure and then show up at your doorstep 9 months later with your baby.

Of course, the expectation was that you — as an honorable man — would marry them and live thereafter, happily ever after if you were lucky.

How sad.

When I navigated the dating scene in my early 20’s, I began to realize that women liked sex. When certain parameters were met, like discretion, consent, comfort, and safety, compatibility, they pounced. They became sexual beings, which in many cases knocked me over and created a big deal of cognitive dissonance on my side.

Punk Rock

My cognitive dissonance started when I played in a punk rock band in the early 90’s. We gigged in and around the Lower East Side of NYC. I lived an alternative musical lifestyle but was surrounded by many other alternative lifestyles.

The bookstore was affectionately known as the “Devil’s Playground.”

The punk rock ethos was simple, do it yourself and fuck societal conventions. In those years I was exposed to all sorts of people, from young punk rock lesbians, foxcore, empowered women, to sex communes, fights, and great music.

Those years were some of the haziest ones in my life but what I can remember, I remember fondly.

Love, Sex, and the Smell of New Books

It was in the months before I moved to New Mexico when my first experience with a woman in control of her sexual agency happened. I graduated from college that year and was looking for a full-time job in my field of study but as the economy was suffering, no one was hiring. I was lucky enough to get a part-time job at a book store. The way I figured it was that $6 an hour was better than $0 an hour and I liked books, so maybe they had an employee discount.

It was through her that I’ve come to know the power of a woman in control of her sexual agency.

The bookstore was affectionately known as the “Devil’s Playground.” I was surrounded by young writers, kinksters, and bohemians. It was wild. There would be hookups in the elevators, trysts in the back room between the shelves, and once or twice oral sex in the romance section.

I met her a few days after working the day shift. I had pinned my name tag to my shirt and accidentally placed the sticky with my name on it off-center from the name tag. I didn’t even know her that well until she walked up to me and said, “Hey, do you know your name is off-center?” I replied, “Yep, that’s me. Always off-center.”

…a woman in control of her sexual agency is terrifying to the patriarchy.

I didn’t know it then but I had just lit the flame of an incredible fire. It wasn’t long till we coupled together and my mind was blown. Our relationship, while doomed from the start, became a small but important chapter in my life. It was through her that I’ve come to know the power of a woman in control of her sexual agency.

Of course, it wouldn’t be years later till I reconciled the dissonance in my head but I never forget my time with her and for helping me all those years later.


Men, the women all around you are speaking up these days. They’re rebelling against the relationship escalator. One size does NOT fit all so why should we only choose one choice? Is that a choice at all?

We men always got a free pass because the patriarchy allowed us to but women? Nope.

We hear it all the time and we get conditioned by it. A woman that likes sex outside of the confines of marriage is a slut. Oh and if you got a girlfriend that likes to get freaky, well she’s not the kinda girl you bring home to mother.

Consent, communication, honesty, and freedom are all valid things I expect for myself

Yet we men are supposed to conquer and get that sex count up there. You’re not a man unless you “bang a lot of broads.”


Why are we men supposed to be very sexual and yet women are supposed to be chaste? It doesn’t seem to work very well now, does it?

The simple answer is this, a woman in control of her sexual agency is terrifying to the patriarchy.

Finally, in today’s world, we’re beginning to see what a world would look like when women are no longer sexually repressed. They want to be free and they want to own their sexuality.

…we were never taught to consider women as sexual beings.

This is NOT a novel concept and with the loosening of the chains that held them down, new demands and new rules are being made in real-time.

Consent, communication, honesty, and freedom are all valid things I expect for myself, so why shouldn’t women have it as well? For the men reading this and if you can internalize the new rules of engagement, the sex and your relationships will be mind-blowing. Your world will be rocked when a woman unleashes her raw sexual power on you.

And for the few men that already understand this, it’s pure bliss. Yet there are too few of us that do.

The majority of my brothers are suffering from the same cognitive dissonance that I suffered from all those years ago. The conditioning we were taught as young boys is only exasperating things. We were never taught the correct emotional coping mechanisms to adjust to changing roles because we were never taught to consider women as sexual beings.

I’ll give you an example.

Have you ever thought about your mother in the throes of passion? Or your mother taking your father’s cock in her mouth? Or even your mother having lovers?

Does it make you cringe? It used to make me cringe but now I’m like “good for you Mom!”

All of a sudden they went from having zero women in their life to dancing nearly every weekend with women at their sides.

I have to admit when I first figured out that my mother and father had sex to have me, I was horrified. Now as a parent, I have age-appropriate talks with my kids about sex, love, and relationships. I don’t want them to be horrified to know that their mother and I have a deep and active love life.

Why? Because it’s normal and healthy. I don’t want my daughter to fall into the same trap that many young women fall into and not realize her full sexual agency. I don’t want my son to be trapped by the patriarchy, I want him to be in full control of his emotional capabilities. I want them to be whole human beings and enjoy this short time we have on this earth together.

I want them to dance through life.

Men, Learn to Dance

I got an interesting piece of advice when I lived in New Mexico. A coworker told me that I should learn how to country and western dance. He told when he was my age he was single. He and a buddy went to a country and western dance bar for a drink one night. What he saw that night forever changed him.

He saw all these beautiful women, dressed up, on the dance floor. They were dancing with their friends, having a great time. Where were the men? They were at the bar drinking beer and watching the women having a great time. They were wallflowers, afraid to venture out on the floor and engage with the ladies.

The world turned for him when he saw a single-man line dancing with his partner. The two were having a great time and when the dance was over, another woman took her place. He then danced with his new partner and with a new woman after each song. This went on throughout the night with all these ladies.

the women of today want to do the Tango, the Salsa, all the seductive and sexually charged dances.

It dawned on him that he and his friend should learn to dance, and they did. All of a sudden they went from having zero women in their life to dancing nearly every weekend with women at their sides.

While we never talked if his dance partners became lovers — and I suspect some did — he learned a valuable lesson. You need to learn the dance, the love language of the times, and just get out there!

Don’t be stuck in the way your father danced, times are different. The Jitterbug is quaint, the women of today want to do the Tango, the Salsa, all the seductive and sexually charged dances.

Get your ass out on the dance floor.

What should you do? Learn the dances, metaphorically speaking.

I’ve written this before but I believe, deep down in my core, that life is a dance. Life is playful and it’s meant to be enjoyed.

The same can be said for sex. It’s playful and it’s meant to be enjoyed. We have sex for so many reasons, sometimes it’s with other partners, sometimes it’s just for fun, and sometimes it’s to bond closer.

Men, our roles are changing and women are asking for us to come out on the dance floor. Don’t sit at the bar, don’t be a wallflower. Yes, the rules of engagement are different now, but they are better.

Get your ass out on the dance floor. Learn the new dances the women want to enjoy and enjoy them with them. I promise you, the sex will be mind-blowing.

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What does it mean to act Like a Man

Emerging Masculine Energy. © 2021, Thomas Ott

Real Men Apply Within

There’s a scene in Godfather I where Don Corleone chides Johnny Fontane about his “whining” for a movie part.

He grabs him, shakes him, and then slaps him exclaiming, “You can ACT like a Man!” Then he scolds him for crying like “a woman.”

The next scene is Don Corleone asking Jonny Fontane if he visits with his family, stating that any “man that doesn’t spend time with his family can never be a real a man.”

There’s a lot to unpack, good and bad, in those two scenes.

These stereotypes, the bullshit we men have been fed since birth is killing us

As a teenager I laughed at this scene, just like Tom Hagen, all my male buddies laughed because Jonny Fontane was crying like a woman.

Little did I know at the time we would slowly model our behavior on these types of movies. You know, the manly ones. The war ones. The violent ones. The ones where we take by divine right.

We thought that’s what acting “like a man” meant and we wanted to “act like men!” Yet it never occurred to us what acting like a man is at its most basic and truest form.

Looking back now I can see it was Hollywood perpetuating stereotypes, the strong silent man, the emotional woman that needed to be dominated by men only she didn’t know it yet. The toughness of killing your enemy. To the victor the spoils of conquest! GET SWOL!!!

These stereotypes, the bullshit we men have been fed since birth is killing us, and it has to stop for the sake of the world.

We were the three Musketeers, our lives were filled with adventure, exploration, and happiness.

Seriously, the survival of the world rests in Men’s hands because of the system we’ve created.

It dawned on me. We’re out of balance, especially us men.

But we’re asleep and we unknowingly keep preserving a dysfunctional and unsustainable system. We keep patching up the structure against the wind of change and in the face of extinction.

The Pecking Order must be Preserved

I spent my early formative years with my nose buried in a book. I read a lot and before I got interested in girls I spent all my time outside, playing music, fishing with two friends, and riding my bicycle. I was never interested in team sports and only had a small circle of close friends.

The bullying has changed and the sad fact is that the pecking order is preserved

We were the three Musketeers, our lives were filled with adventure, exploration, and happiness. It was the zenith of our inner children and I could write a book on those times. Sadly only this Musketeer lives on to carry that torch, but that is for another story and another time.

It was the summer before Middle School. Sixth grade. The year that all the girls started carrying purses in school and my male classmates started a lot of team sports. I remained happy doing what I did before, reading, fishing, and playing music.

Somewhere around the first or second week of school, the bullying started. I was thrust into a pecking order. The next seven years of my school life were hell and I have almost no happy memories of High School at all.

Granted, things are different today but many of the problems remain. Bullying is still there no matter how many programs we make school kids attend. The bullying has changed and the sad fact is that the pecking order is preserved.

My teenage kids feel it. They live it every day and they hate it. My daughter gets leered at by boys. My son is shunned because he’s one of those smart kids.

Let’s face it, I didn’t have it that bad. I wasn’t a woman or a woman of color or even a transgender woman.

But I notice a difference. There is a difference in the pecking order for girls versus boys. Boys tend to be higher up in the order than the girls. The boys maintain their order and the girls, ruthlessly maintain theirs.

Everywhere I look I see a pecking order. I see it in the schools, in my community, at work, in society at large. It’s everywhere and every one of us suffering from it.

Let’s face it, I didn’t have it that bad. I wasn’t a woman or a woman of color or even a transgender woman. I was always higher in the order than them. Why should I care? Right?


I have White Male Privilege

Just by being a white man I had enough privilege to be above women in the pecking order. I got lucky when I was born. What if I were a black make? Would that be any different? You bet.

But I have a problem with those words, pecking order. Boy does that sound phallic. It’s like we’re all getting fucked by it and we don’t even know it.

Let’s get to the point and call a spade a spade. Pecking order is nothing more than the patriarchy. It’s a system that perverted Masculine energy and its protective power to keep us all under its thumb.

It’s what holds women of all colors, all genders, and men down.

Yes, it holds men down.

My Gawd, it’s like a raging fire. The feeling of strength and raw power is intoxicating.

This realization came to me when I watched the infamous Gillette commercial.

Holy shit did my male friends flip out.

“Not all Men!”

“How dare they attack me like that! I would never treat a woman that way.

“Those are other guys! Not me!”

“If I saw bullying I would step in and stop it!”

“If that was me I’d do something about it!”

“Do something about it.”

Do something.

Do. Something.

We need to do. We need to do better.

We can Act like Men

For the readers that carry Feminine energy, I can’t fully describe to you the feeling of Masculine energy.

My Gawd, it’s like a raging fire. The feeling of strength and raw power is intoxicating. It looks at self-imposed limits and laughs at them as it blows past them. It needs to protect, it needs to hunt, and it needs to bond with Feminine energy. It’s playful and warm. Snuggly even and it’s constantly burning. Always so hot.

While I relish every bit of this energy it has one big weakness. It can be easily perverted. Think of a fire, it can burn down your house or it can heat your house. It has to be properly contained and harnessed. Let loose it can be destructive. Contained it can be useful.

It can also be used for evil when contained, like a flame thrower.

That’s what this world has turned us men into, flame throwers.

When Masculine energy is perverted as such it turns into what we know as toxic masculinity and preserves the patriarchy (aka the containment).

This perversion is what I ruminate and reflect upon every day. I ask myself, am I acting like a man is supposed to act? Am I acting like a real man? Where am I being contained? Where is the inequity in the system? Where am I reinforcing it and where am liberating it? Am I good father? Am I good son and brother? Am I good husband and lover?

Honestly, this introspection is very confusing and often I have more questions than answers. On top of that the messages I get from media, friends, family, and work confuse me even more.

It’s always the same message: conform to the system.

They don’t why they’re angry but they feel it and it becomes a time bomb.

Conform to the roles that the system has forced upon us men and women. The system is there to contain us under the guise of protection.

It’s a powerful weight that crushes boys and only gets heavier the older we get. Boys are confused about how to “act like a man” and end up lost. They look to the system and see the metaphorical chains that hold them back and get angry. They don’t why they’re angry but they feel it and it becomes a time bomb.

After I got my ass beat…

It affects everything in our lives. The boys grow up to be men only by age and struggle to form healthy relationships with partners later in life. They can’t navigate changing roles in society. They can’t deal with empowered women. The patriarchy they grew into and were molded for doesn’t make much sense anymore.

This, to me, is the root of toxic masculinity.

Three conflicts

I practice Karate and follow a strict set of codes to guide me in my martial arts journey.

There’s one particular open-handed kata that means a great deal to me. It’s called Sanchin Kata and it’s loosely translated to “Three conflicts.”

These three conflicts often mean the physical, mental, and spiritual pushes and pull we have in our lives. Once we achieve balance we can be as one with Heaven and Earth.

You have to dig deep into yourself and overcome.

The Kata requires intense concentration. You are in full tension and your breathing is focused to clear your mind. You dig your feet and toes deep into the earth and pull its energy into your core.

Then, you get hit. You get punched and kicked. The instructors try to break your focus to achieve unity with Heaven and Earth. You have to dig deep into yourself and overcome.

This is where I reached deep down inside me and summoned my Masculine energy. The precise energy that pushes me to overcome any obstacle. It’s the fire that I roar to the world.

After I got my ass beat (like the guy in the video) I had a moment of clarity. If I’m striving for balance, what does that say about the world? What does that say about us Men and our relationship with the world, our mothers, sisters, lovers, and partners?

It dawned on me. We’re out of balance, especially us men.

The world is out of balance. The protective Masculine energy deep inside of us was perverted and used to create a system of control -the patriarchy- under the guise of protecting our womenfolk.

Control and perversion. That was it.

Masculine energy was perverted with the intent to control Feminine energy. We contained the energy of women and placed their free-flowing oceans of Feminine energy into a small bathtub and then we men pissed in it.

It’s no wonder they’re upset. I would be too.

Scratch that, I am upset.

My message is clear for us Men is this, we need to tear it all down. We need to take our Masculine energy and become the liberators the world needs. It’s time we step on the world stage and truly liberate the oppressed.

This is how we can act like real men.

I don’t know about you but I can hear women crying for our help. They are repressed, harassed, treated unfairly. We refuse to listen to them because we the patriarchy must be preserved!

They yearn for our true Masculine energy in the purest and rawest form possible to let their oceans of Feminine energy flow free again.

Why? To achieve balance, and balance can only be achieved when there is unity and equality. Yin and Yang in opposition but in balance.

We must break the dam that holds all of us hostage and we must do it now.

Burn it, men! Burn it all to the ground.

I firmly believe that men need to be agents of change and we can start today.

Listen. Reflect. Change.

That’s all there is to it. These three actions are crucial to our liberation of all sentient beings, but do not be led astray. Seek the purest form of yourself and effectuate the change.

This is how we can act like real men.

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