I call masculinity a cult because it is. It's something you're indoctrinated into that blinds you to the truth. Growing up in Flint, Michigan, I remember asking friends how to talk to a girl I liked. I was told to lie to her, to keep her off-balance. Having "game" was all about manipulating girls, getting them to give you sex, then tossing them aside. As a man, you're also taught to keep your girl in check, to maintain control. But you cannot control someone and love them at the same time. You only control things that are beneath you.

I'm guilty, too—I was a card-carrying member of the cult of masculinity. I was addicted to pornography for years, and that impulse was fueled by the thought that I was more valuable than my wife. I and other young men in my community watched our mothers and sisters be abused, which taught us that we were worth more than the women in our lives. When my wife finally said she wanted out of our marriage, I remember thinking, Fuck this, I'll just go get another woman. But a little voice inside me kept saying, Maybe it's me. And I couldn't put that thought away. Once the egg got cracked, there was no putting it back together.

I went to rehab eight years ago, then did a 90-day sex fast. I wanted to take sex out of the equation, to see my wife as a human being. Getting deprogrammed changed everything. Einstein pointed out that we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them; we have to rise above that mindset. Even though we're trained not to admit it, men want intimacy—for someone to see us for who we are and love us regardless. But to get true intimacy, you have to be emotionally open. You have to be vulnerable.

I'll spend the rest of my life making amends to my wife. Still, it's a joy to be out of that culture. And it feels good to speak out about the harassment I've faced—being groped by some Hollywood player. I see these men submerged inside this mentality, and I can only shake my head. They're in Guyana, sipping the Kool-Aid. I've been called a pussy, been told "all your muscles are good for nothing." But the question isn't "How strong are you?" It's "What is the real enemy here?" The process of being deprogrammed is eye-opening. Once you call yourself on your bullshit, you start seeing it everywhere. And now nobody can steal my joy.


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