Check with the experts, read the surveys and just about any “top 10” list and you’re sure to find it:
It’s what every man knows women want, it’s what they want, it is the quintessential masculine characteristic, guaranteed to result in success by any standard or measure, including the sex life of your dreams. We need it, want it, have to have it – confidence makes the man!
Maybe you’re such a man already. A confident man. A man who knows what he wants and how to get it. But if you’re like most of us, confidence is anything but absolute, presenting itself more at certain times than others: Confident at work, riding bikes off-road, behind the wheel of a car, or in bed – confident somewhere perhaps, but always in all things – not so much.
So, if we were to gather around a table, and prepare a list of what constitutes a confident man, what might our list include? Not the simplest topic to consider. After all, the matter of men and how to be confident is the subject of countless books, workshops, postings and similar proselytization. But while confidence may be difficult to define, let alone teach, we can readily imagine all of the benefits a confident man enjoys:
- Confident men are pickup artists, able to charm the panties off any woman (and half the men)!
- Confident men are suave beyond measure, knowing what to do and how to do it, in and out of the bedroom.
- Confident men can not be intimidated by anyone or by any situation or circumstance. They’re the first ones through the door.
- And while we’re at it, why not throw in tall, handsome, muscular, rich and well hung! Wouldn’t these traits be the likely reasons for such confidence?
We could go on and on, of course, adding to the list of skills and capabilities a confident man would surely possess. In fact, nothing would be beyond the reach of such a man, no attribute or skill we could imagine would be too great a test for his abilities. Confident men are omnipotent, capable of anything, even in matters beyond our imaginations. They are, the sexiest men alive!
The point I’m trying to make with this ridiculous list is that this ideal image, this icon of masculine sexual energy, rarely, if ever, exists in the real world. It is a figment of our culture, the heroes in our movies, and yet it has become a standard by which many men are compared. Toss in some divisive marketing, where insecurities are created and leveraged to sell goods and services, and it’s no wonder men and women are questioning confidence like never before.
We can all readily imagine how this scenario plays out – when people find themselves measured by standards or set to goals that are beyond their reach or reason. Sure, some may rise to the challenge, content with their progress, gratified by their accomplishments despite the odds against them. But even more often, unreasonable goals are met with discouragement that forestalls progress, or causes people to withdraw – when they know that they can never measure up.
I have observed this model of behavior time and again, when meeting and talking with men about their sexuality. Men who compare themselves to this ideal, as if to possess such skills and attributes would be the answer to their sexual dreams. Or some men that are effected even more deeply, reluctant to even try – defeated before they get started.
And it’s no wonder, how does one obtain the confidence of accomplishment, if you don’t already have “what every woman wants”?
There is no denying that many men find confidence in their accomplishments, and with good reason. Success is a potent contributor to one’s self-image, to one’s confidence. Trust me, as a writer nothing has been better for my confidence than the 20,000+ shares my writing has recorded on The Good Men Project (.com). And yet, I could not have waited for this positive reinforcement to begin to publish, I had to use another model to find the confidence it took to push that publish button.
Men, and their quest to be confident lovers, often put themselves in the same position; thinking it takes great skill and proven abilities to be the kind of confident man every woman wants. This type of confidence, confidence by accomplishment is an effective and reliable model, and yet, there is a better one. One that is not dependent upon a wish list of unreasonable goals and objectives. A type of confidence that is available to any man – the confidence of acceptance.
Confidence of acceptance comes from a place of being as comfortable with what you don’t know, as you are with what you do know. It’s about the kind of acceptance that acknowledges life’s imperfections as ordinary and common, and that starting from this point leaves one open to learn and grow, rather than to exaggerate and defend. No false bravado, no need to pretend, only sincere effort is required.
Starting from a place of acceptance begins with an honest assessment of yourself, your desires and interests and your experience in pursuing them. Next comes the steps into confidence when you are able to unapologetically share that self with the world.
With the confidence of acceptance comes relief from any burden of standards or expectations. There is no longer any need to measure up, only the peace of mind that comes from knowing what is and that you have the power to improve upon it. Evolving from beginner to student to master is a natural progression that can not be rushed, there is no replacement for experience. But starting from a place of honesty creates room for your partners to be similarly honest, which leads to better communication, intimacy, and all of the best sex.
So say goodbye to the old stereotype that measures a man by his accomplishments and aptitude. Forget the unreasonable and unreachable goal of the omnipotent man and replace it with the confidence that comes from the courage to say to the world – this is me, take me as I am.