How to Be a Man & Ditch Toxic Masculinity

9 minutes read -
Irina Yugay
Written by
Table of Contents
Summary: Masculinity is often misunderstood. So what skills should you have in your arsenal to be a better man? Here's your guide on how to be a man in the modern world.

We don’t mean to be crude, but men should be “conscious cocks.” Emphasis on the “be,” not have.

Because this isn’t about your penis (not entirely). Rather, it’s about true masculinity and how the traditional perception of it has failed you in life.

The reality is, being a true man isn’t about being a perfect man. It’s about being a perfectly conscious man

So what’s it take to be a “conscious cock” — one who wins in bed and the world? It takes a man.

What Does It Mean to Be “A Man”?

Men are often told to “Man up!” or “Stop crying!” or “You’re such a chicken!” You name it, they’ve heard it.

As you can imagine, this societal programming has little to do with being a man. On top of that, it’s detrimental to men’s mental and overall health. 

Scientists explain that men who adhere to these patriarchal beliefs are more prone to experiencing depression, stress, substance abuse, and even anger issues. 

Why? Because masculinity (or its perception) interplays with men’s social connections, which are paramount for your well-being. 

In other words, it’s NOT manly to seek and mobilize social support when you need it. No wonder why lots of men maintain a desire to be independent, rejecting any help. 

Since they make up half the world’s population, it’s time to redefine what it means to “be a man.” To do so, let’s look at the prevalent reality and ideal situation.

Toxic masculinity vs. true masculinity

Who doesn’t want to be a tough, anti-feminine, and powerful macho? They look hot, but they are only bearable in the Hollywood blockbusters — just like a Mexican hot sauce is only good on a burrito. 

In real life, machismo is called toxic masculinity. What’s more, it’s detrimental to men in the first place. According to Kristen Springer, Ph.D., associate professor of sociology at Rutgers University, men with toxic masculinity avoid seeking preventative health care.

This makes a man’s life “a constant performance,” as Justin Baldoni, actor and author of Man Enough: Undefining My Masculinity, puts it. In his interview on The Mindvalley Podcast, he explains, “Without even realizing it, you’re doing all these mental gymnastics to try to figure out if these actions will make you look like this or that.”

Call it modern stoicism or traditional competitive dominance. Still, scientists have finally tossed out the idea that traditional masculinity norms are in any way healthy. 

Listen to the full podcast episode here:

What’s true masculinity, then?

True masculinity has nothing to do with toughness, antifeminism, and power. Instead, it’s the embodiment of divine masculine qualities, such as giving, confidence, boundaries, and expansion, balanced with divine feminine traits, such as receiving, sensitivity, collaboration, and compassion.

Unlike this common belief that there are only two roles for men to embody — a doormat or an asshole — true masculinity is that very sweet spot between the two.

For example, Kristopher Lovestone, sex educator and author of the book Conscious Cock: The Empowered Sexuality Manual For Men, uses a “conscious cock” as a metaphor for embodied healthy masculinity. In Asian cultures, a rooster represents protection, courage, a clear voice, and communication.

In the same way, “conscious cock” represents warrior-like behaviors based on “awareness and sensitivities, communication and relational skills and understanding of how women work and experience arousal with modern sex education and perspectives.”

Unlike unconscious toxic masculinity imposed by traditional norms, it’s not about domination and bulldozing your way through relationship problems. It’s about a conscious connection with your partner and co-creating a true relationship and love-life satisfaction — together. 

So If you want to know how to be a more attractive man, you need to learn how to connect with others consciously and consistently.

Juan Pablo Barahona on how to be a man
Juan Pablo Barahona, trainer of Mindvalley’s Ultra Presence Quest

How to Be a (Better) Man: 5 Tips From Mindvalley Experts

First and foremost, redefine your perception of masculinity. When you see where you at, you can move on to something better. In this case, to a better version of yourself as a man. 

Here’s how you can be yourself and truly “man up”:

1. Be a human

Justin believes that you don’t need masculine qualities daily. He says, “You don’t need to lead with your strong fist. You’re not in this dominant power struggle where you’re trying to prove your worth every second.”

All you need to do (or be) is to be a human. Being a human is never a gender-specific state of being. We all have humanness, and being a good human is a universal virtue in itself.

The ideal way to be a man is to be a human.

 — Justin Baldoni, actor and author of Man Enough: Undefining My Masculinity

2. Become aware of your feelings

So, how are you feeling right now? Or, how do you feel about being a man?

If you start thinking about these questions, you have to start again.

Unlike women, who are able to feel emotions in the body, men don’t ever check in with their feelings and emotions. This skill (and it’s a skill!) isn’t in their masculine arsenal. In fact, it’s the men’s level zero to become aware of them in the first place. And for most men, it can be more challenging than Kung Fu

The more you practice cultivating your emotional awareness, the easier it gets. Once you master this level, you can move on to expressing them and regulating your emotional responses in a healthy way.

3. Be vulnerable

In the “man club,” you don’t show your vulnerability in front of other guys. A vulnerable man is a mythical creature that exists in other dimensions. This is how we adopt this coping strategy from our fathers to fit in the world where men don’t cry (and only women can get away with expressing their intense emotions).

Justin calls this adaptation “closing up the gates” — when fathers and sons can no longer be vulnerable with one another. And these gates remain closed for other men too.

Instead, you want to open the gates and be brave enough to be vulnerable in front of our guys. Fathers need to show their weaknesses to teach their sons true strength. And sons may, too, finally break this vicious cycle by being vulnerable with their dads.

4. Embrace your average 

Have you ever wondered why the ancient Greek craftsmen carved statues of their glorious gods, heroes, and athletes with…erm… slightly unimpressive-sized genitalia? So unimpressive that they could easily cover it with a wine leaf?

As it turns out, the ancient Greeks weren’t into big penises. They believed that a giant phallus represented lust, foolishness, and ugliness. On the contrary, a small penis represented moderation, honesty, wisdom, trustworthiness, and logic — the virtues of true masculinity.

Sadly, nowadays, men don’t learn about masculinity from art or literature. They learn about it from porn that depicts masculinity that, frankly, the Greeks would laugh at.

Not only does porn cause small penis syndrome, but it also supports the false belief that women experience orgasms from penetration alone. In reality, about 75% of all women don’t experience orgasm from penetration.

According to Kristopher, instead of obsessing over the size of your penis, you can direct some focus into a) what you do with it and b) how you use other parts of your body to please your partner?

“You can create art on your partner’s genitals,” he adds.

Bibi Brzozka, sex educator

5. Invest in foreplay

The most common female fantasy is being ravished. But most men have no idea how to co-create this experience without crossing a fine line between boundaries and consent.

Moreover, being constantly exposed to porn, men have conditioned their bodies to solely one type of stimulation — mental. And the human mind is insatiable.

Bibi Brzozka, sex educator, in her interview on The Mindvalley Podcast, explains that pornography is done for men by men, making it action, friction, and goal-oriented.

Porn sets men up for complete failure to understand women and how to please them. She says, “Women should fully trust and relax, so it takes time. We need foreplay that builds up excitement and pleasure.”

And this foreplay starts outside of your bedroom. So you want to invest your time, energy, and imagination. Needless to mention that it takes dedication and loyalty to each other’s pleasure. So take your time.

Listen to the full podcast episode with Bibi below:

6. Activate your core

Juan Pablo Barahona, transformational spiritual leader and trainer of Mindvalley’s Ultra Presence Quest, explains that your core is your energetic Core-set. It’s what gives you fire and passion in life. You can think of it as your authentic masculine power that’s often blocked by your past traumas and societal programming.

This is why it gets stuck in the three lower chakras, causing men to operate from the survival and competition mode.

When you release stagnant energy from your core, you move it up into your heart, throat, third eye, and crown. This is what it means to activate your masculine Core-set to be full of energy and creativity and live from your authentic self.

Vishen, founder of Mindvalley

7. Become unfuckwithable

According to Vishen, founder of Mindvalley, you should not give a f*ck about what others say or think of you. So saying the word “f*ck” out of loud is already halfway to becoming unf*ckwithable (okay, there’s a bit more to it). 

In essence, it’s a state of being “when you’re truly at peace and in touch with yourself. Nothing anyone says or does bothers you, and no negativity can touch you.”

To cultivate it, you need to become whole again by restoring your self-esteem from traumatic experiences.

We all have had incidents that make us question ourselves, undermining our capacity to pursue goals unique to our souls. This is how we become so dependent on external validation.

Here’s how you become whole in five steps:

  1. Let go of attachments: You fear criticism because you get attached to praise. Losing someone means losing part of you that makes you feel a certain way. In other words, you attach your sense of worth to something external. Instead, you want to be grateful for who you are. 
  1. Love yourself: Cultivating self-love is crucial because when you love yourself, you no longer seek validation from others. And through self-love, you can heal your holes from within.
  1. Set self-fueled goals: It’s an easy executable goal that you could attain even if you lost everything in life. These goals create a sense of safety and security independent of external circumstances because they are already within or around you. For example, you can aim at being surrounded by beauty or feel connected to the divine.
  1. Reframe failure: While pain is inevitable, suffering is optional. So if you want to eliminate this option, you need to become invincible to failure by seeing it in a new way. In other words, you need to see failure as an opportunity to become a better man.
“Extraordinary minds do not need to seek validation from outside opinion or through the attainment of goals. Instead, they are truly at peace with themselves and the world around them. They live fearlessly — immune to criticism or praise and fuelled by their own inner happiness and self-love.”

— Vishen Lakhiani, founder of Mindvalley

Becoming an Extraordinary Man

True masculinity is men’s divine essence. Still, to unlock it, you need to unlearn most things you’ve known about how to be a man. 

This process is tough. But with true masculinity, you don’t need to make it tougher for yourself to have fun on the way.

If you are ready to reinvent yourself as a man to become the best man you can be, Mindvalley is the right place to be. You will learn to become more confident from within, ignite your passion for life, embrace your emotions and feelings, tap into your intuitive self, and cultivate long-lasting relationships with men and women.

Check it for yourself by unlocking your free Mindvalley access and trying sample classes of quests designed to help you become a better man and a better human. We recommend starting with Be Extraordinary by Vishen and Ultra Presence by Juan Pablo Barahona.

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Irina Yugay

Irina Yugay

As a former self-development and self-transcendence writer at Mindvalley, Irina uses words to transpire empowering ideas, transcendental feelings, and omniversal values. She's also an ascension coach who helps her clients grow their spiritual awareness and actualize their true nature. With a deep empirical understanding of the spiritual journey, Irina shares her insights and experiences with the readers to inspire them to transcend their limiting beliefs and achieve higher states of consciousness.
Written by

Irina Yugay

As a former self-development and self-transcendence writer at Mindvalley, Irina uses words to transpire empowering ideas, transcendental feelings, and omniversal values. She's also an ascension coach who helps her clients grow their spiritual awareness and actualize their true nature. With a deep empirical understanding of the spiritual journey, Irina shares her insights and experiences with the readers to inspire them to transcend their limiting beliefs and achieve higher states of consciousness.

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