Amsterdam 3. Picture by Eric Francis.


Here some additional responses to, "Why Men are Afraid of Women", by Phil, James, Frank, Natesh, Debbie, Roseanne, and Genie. Thank you everyone for your contributions to this section. Unused contributions may yet be posted! If you did not see yours, please repost it with the subject header "repost" to the same address you sent it initially. Watch soon for another Reader Contributed series -- details will appear first on the Cafe Blog in the subscriber area. Happy Taurus New Moon!



You wanted to hear from some men on this topic, so I thought I'd drop you a line or two.

I love women. Always have as long as I can remember, since before grade school. I enjoy their company, much more than I do being around men. For me, it's not so much being afraid of them as it is being ill-prepared to deal with them. VERY ill-prepared.

Not sure of the reasons. Could be many things. My Italian/Catholic upbringing at home perhaps, with a pretty dominant mother and a fairly absent (working mostly 24/7) father. My mostly Catholic schooling, especially the grade school years spent with the nuns, an all male high school, and mostly male college.

Thus, my exposure to women as I grew up was mostly under very controlled conditions at best, so I missed out on a lot of the "normal day-to-day" routine (if that's the right word) of male/female interaction that most people take for granted as they grew up. It's not for nothing that many popular TV shows have high school as their environment - it's probably our most shared experience as a culture. That's where men and women really start to interact, and I didn't have that same interaction. True, I avoided many of the problems that can result. I would have been the "nerdy geek" in a "regular" high school, so probably would have had more than my share of the humiliating experiences in my interactions with girls in that environment at that time. Actually, I'm very glad I missed those! *smiles*

Most men I think "freeze" in their ability to deal with women at about 17, right at our sexual peak in high school, and find it difficult to move beyond that age even as they grow older. I know I did and still do sometimes. I had a past life reading once that said one reason I dealt with women at that age level was that in many of my past lives I died around that age, so never developed a more "mature" attitude towards them.

I think (and hope) I have gotten better (at least a little) and have tried to "grow up" a bit in my relationships with them in the many intervening years since then. However, I still feel I'm ill-prepared to deal with women on many levels. Perhaps that's why there are so few of them in my life right now, and they seem to run if I express any interest in them beyond any cursory contact.

Sorry this is so short, but time doesn't permit much more right now. Back to work!



I could rave for hours on this, spiritual growth is of great interest to me. Have undergone somewhat of a transformation over the last decade. Went through the “I grew and she didn’t thing” and knew I had to leave the destruction.

Amongst other things I attended a “Rebuilding” group therapy thing. (post relationship demise course).

Here’s the point; there was very little or no difference between the women and men in the feelings we were going through. Our hurts and fears and needs were virtually the same. I cannot say if our coping strategies were the same because that’s what we were there to learn. I can say that in this group those strategies worked equally well. Or when men identify their feelings as efficiently as women then the differences are far less.

I feel men are in a good position to be fearless in their spirituality because ultimately they have less to lose (women being more likely to have final responsibility for the children and the nest).
It is a long story but I am not afraid of women, I love them in all their glorious diversity.

I am heterosexual but have a diverse network of male and female friends, some very dear mates (see Australian meaning of mates) of both sexes-- and a beautiful Aries partner.

Snake, Taurus (53 on the17th),
Australian in Australia.


I was raised at the height of feminism in a family of women that hated men. The only men were my grandfather and the husbands of female blood relatives (i.e., my dad included). You were automatically presumed bad if you were a man. It was combination of old resentment, current frustration and the excuse of 70s feminism turned into an axe to grind.

Women were presumed superior and my brother and I were taught to treat them as if they were. My mother never had a kind word to say about my father except that he was honest about money. He is, but he has a lot of other human attributes that I was not allowed to acknowledge. It took me a long time to understand the damage to a boy when the mother shows no respect for his father.

At the same time, my mother had this weird way of playing the victim -- there was always an ex-boyfriend harassing her, such as throwing rocks at our windows. Or there was always some guy making more money, or who was too cheap. Or acting like what she called a peasant and getting kicked out for acting in a way that was beneath her. She dumped one boyfriend for leaving a banana peel in an ash tray. For whatever reason, men were always bad. I did not think I was taking this on because I just did not relate to men. I basically split myself off from the discussion by assuming I was something other than a man. I was not a woman, but I was not one of those guys. I was something else. I did not want to be the object of her derision but really I had no reason to be.

Meanwhile, I attended a high school that was more truly in tune with the 1970s. That was another world where young women were called women and not girls, and most of them were impressively intelligent and earned my respect easily. Many were in positions of student leadership and we worked together as equals. It never occurred to me that men would organize society in such a way as to be superior to women, there was no sense of competition, and we got along as peers. Even though the women in my high school were feminists, it was not the kind of feminism that made men bad. It was the kind that allowed women to play their role in life and share responsibility with men.

When I left that environment, it was a real shock. I experienced many experiences of women being the weaker party, being passive, having no interest in leadership, and acting oppressed in a way that I was just not familiar with. Nobody could be the victim like my mother could, but at least she was taking charge of her life in some tangible way. It took me a long time to figure out what was going on. Women were neither the raging, angry pseudo feminists of my mother and her family, nor the authentic and on the level peers of my high school. It took me a long time to accept the fact that women can be very insecure, and that their reaction of mild panic when I say hello really has nothing to do with me.

It took a long time to sort this out. Fortunately, very fortunately, I kept inheriting positions of responsibility and had many opportunities to work with women and coexist with them in roles where they could take leadership. This has always been the most comfortable position I could relate to women in: as peers, as people with whom authority and responsibility was shared, where there was a job to get done. We have almost always had fun and if I was turned on by them, I learned a long time ago not to hide it.

I think that the most destabilizing thing about many of my intimate relationships was the lack of purpose and a focus that gets replaced with Relationship having some exaggerated role. I am someone who works and associates very well with women, and with men too, when there is a common goal or objective; a framework and a purpose. But a romantic relationship has never been enough of a purpose to give me a sense of stability with a woman. I think meeting our mutual sexual needs is actually better than no purpose at all.

Meanwhile, it's taken me a long time to realize that I am not automatically inferior for being a man. A lot of therapy. A lot of listening to being apprecaited. It took me a long time to realize and admit that I am a man; to say the word. I was calling young women 'women' years before I would admit that I was a man and claim the title for myself.

Part of why I love being a man is because I love women. I need them and I love to feel and experience them. I cannot describe how beautiful they appear to me, visually, and energetically, and I am astonished many times a day by their serene, introspective beauty which I cannot understand or describe. I love to hear about their experiences and feelings. I can hold them or hold space open when they descend into dark depths that I don't usually get to. I love to understand them and provide a sense of understanding. I love to get into their minds, and their pussies. There is nothing like sex with a woman, the emotion of it, the comfort and the adventure. Nothing. It's worth living for. I love to be the person who appreciates as many women as I can, and who is their friend for a long time and who can at different times be the many different men they need me to be.

Black Rock City, NV


There is a commonly held notion that part of man's fear of woman is one of commitment.

I would like to share my views on this by telling my story.

Sadly, I cannot speak for the rest of my gender. I can only speak for my self.

As far as loving someone forever and honoring that connection, I have absolutely no problem with commitment as long as both parties are willing to commit to the work necessary for a stable relationship.

But when I feel the longing to spend the rest of my life with someone, or, when I hear the words, "Let's get married." come out of my lover's mouth; I have to admit that I have shit-tons of fear.

I realize that my past wounds are the cause for my fears, and that my wounds are due to choices that I have made. I don't judge myself for my choices. I strive to accept responsibility for my feelings as I find this to be more empowering.

But deep inside, just like others, I do have fears, mainly of abandonment.

I'm a compassionate and sensitive person, and I am able to go very deep in relationships. And, with almost every relationship in which I have been involved, things tend to become very passionate, very fast. This often happens to the extent that the boundary between where I end and where my lover begins seems very thin.

Usually, within a month after getting involved in a relationship, the subject of a lifelong partnership tends to be brought up by my lover.

Although the feelings are mutual, when this subject comes to the surface, I am reluctant due to my wounds of the past. But, within a short period of time, I feel that I can no longer hold back, and I end up making a commitment.

In every case, within a month or two at the most, my lover decides that they cannot continue in the relationship and that they want to break up.

Although I am sure it is not easy for them either, this is very painful for me, because when I love, I can sincerely say that I love forever. I cannot just turn off the faucet. And Roto Rooter can't help when it comes to da' Faucet of Love.

Do I have a fear of commitment and of women? That's a question that I can't answer with a simple yes or no.

As far as spending the rest of my life with someone, I will be the first to admit that I am afraid of making this type of commitment. I've had to mend my broken heart many times, and although I'm sure that every time it mends it gets stronger, I still have fears.

Do I have a fear of intimacy?An emphatic No! I have no fear when it comes to loving someone and deepening the connection.

I have many women with whom I am deeply intimate. None of these relationships is on a sexual level, but the exchange of energy that is present feels pretty damn close.

As far as guessing why other men may be afraid of women, well, I guess I would have to say that for many, it is because they are afraid of being in touch with their feminine nature.

Most men have been conditioned in their upbringing that it is not okay to express feelings, or to be sensitive. If you show your vulnerability, someone is bound to exploit it.

I can think of one case in specific where I came into contact with this conditioning.

To keep a potentially long story short, I was riding in a car with a female friend of mine and her boyfriend. I was angry with my friend and had voiced my anger, and was beginning to cool off.

My friend sensed that there was something else that I needed to say. I told her that there was, and began to vocalize my feelings.

Her boyfriend told me that I should just get over it, to which I replied that I would "get over it" when I felt I was ready to.

This was a very powerful moment for me. It was the strongest that I had ever been in defending my sensitivity. And a giant step towards reclaiming my "other half."

I believe that there is much to be gained by becoming more deeply attuned to this "other half." And, I use this phrase because there are feminine men, masculine women, masculine men and feminine women.

We have a lot to learn from this side of ourselves. And, many times we project what we need to learn the most onto those with who we are involved, rather than looking for the wisdom within ourselves.

Deep down, I believe that we all really just want to feel secure and be honored for our needs. We want to understand, and to be understood.

We feel insecure because we feel separate, both from ourselves, and from others. We are afraid to commit due to a fear of being abandoned. And, this is a fear that I have witnessed as being present on both sides of the gender fence.



Hi e,

I agree with both sides of your presentation. Now what do we do?

I can't say exactly how much religion in general has contributed to humanity's sexual and relationship dysfunction, but it's been many moons going on. This bad direction piled on top of many generational tweaks and freaks compounds the problems every minute. Bad energy abounds, and we aren't taught that this needs some healthy outlet and/or solution, although the anti-depressant industry seems pleased.

Seems like, for starters, men and women must WANT to direct their damage elsewhere. And here lies the dilemma. We seem to withhold what we want to share, and we share crap that should be dealt with elsewhere. People get hurt in the process, some die, some go to jail. Whatever the degree of the symptoms, we don't seem to be getting the problem solved because we're so pissed at how screwed we feel - and not in a good way.

It's a huge dilemma, alright, but what to do? Starting the conversation is a good beginning, because anger can be a powerful tool when used for healing purposes. And healing is mandatory for anything to really change for the better. It surely is time to make some changes, so thanks for starting the conversation, Eric.

I'm a 53-year old Snake/Pisces female, hetero, never been married, no kids, no abortions, no boyfriend, apparently solosexual due to personal healing work I've been doing with alternative therapists to somehow clean up buried incest and other bad input from (catholic) childhood. This has resulted in a void in ('avoidin') relationships with men for the past 9 years, and I sincerely believe that years of personal healing will result in a much healthier relationship for me soon. I have a lot to share, as everyone does, but you have to love your Self before you can have a healthy and real love for anyone else. The ill health on all levels -physical, emotional, mental and spiritual - must be addressed and healed, and that must be a conscious desire at the individual level. We get what we expect, and when we're grown believing we aren't worthy of the best, we don't get the best. We constantly second-guess ourselves and others, and since sex has a way of bringing people together due its very nature on the physical level, our emotional and mental bodies have to deal with the fallout of the unhealthy relationships that develop. Sometimes, you just want to have sex. That's not what we're taught. What a mess.

We definitely need some major healing - good luck to us all on that journey to happier lives for our selves and with others.


PS e - Good one.


Well, I think you've managed to list most of the stereotypes about men and women. And like most stereotypes, there is some truth to them -- that's how they became stereotypes--but as you note, they don't apply to everyone all the time. There are more differences between individuals of either group than there are between the two groups.

My suggestion for anyone who is having chronic problems with the opposite sex is that you stop relating to people as members of a group and start seeing them as individuals. That means getting to know who someone really is instead of making assumptions about his or her likes, dislikes, and attitudes based on statistical averages, what society says about the way things are supposed to be, or your past experience with another individual from the same group who in reality has nothing to do with the person in front of you right now. It's a good rule of thumb, one that also works for relationships between individuals of different races, ethnicities, religions, political philosophies, socioeconomic status, or any other classification you can think of that divides the world into "us" and "them."

I am female, 50, Aries, heterosexual, divorced, one adult daughter.




Thank you so much for your blog on self-esteem, abandonment and curiosity. Are you reading my life and reporting on it?

My relationship of a year just broke up. My issue was self esteem, his was abandonment. It was painful at many junctures for both of us. Even my curiosity in sex and sexual fantasies triggered abandonment for him it seems. My fears about my worth and my value to the world had my fragile confidence crumble under what felt like interrogations of my desires and wants in life until I didn’t feel safe expressing myself anymore. But my curiosity has always, always been my friend, my motivator to connect with people, my self, with the world large and small.

I have worked on my self esteem in many ways, for a long time. In working with a coach/therapist/NLP practitioner I’m now transcending the question – it makes no difference to keep wondering about it. It hasn’t made much difference yet in the last 15 or so years. So my practice now is to check in with myself and see what my internal guidance now says in the moment about what I want, what’s the next right move or choice for me. The world and God and I wants me to come out of me and bring my dreams and visions in to action. I will sink occasionally no doubt, but it’s time to move.

Thank you for your writings. I am often inspired to find out more, awed by your accuracy and push to find a new edge, moved by your vulnerable expressions of your life through your words, as I am now.

I know you usually quote people anonymously, which, if you do quote me, please do so anonymously as well. Good travels to you.


PS Japanese women need as much help loosening up in life and enjoying themselves as Korean women - perhaps more. Keep on the lookout for them too.

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