Getting into Bed

At a recent meeting one of my fellow two writers came up with the suggestion that the What Men Do website ought to have a section headed, ‘We’re In Bed With…’

This struck me as an excellent idea for several reasons.

Foremost of these, it demands that we give serious thought to seeking out those with whom we wish to be associated. After all, publically declaring those with whom you wish to align yourself is very similar to the Action of ‘Puttin’ ‘em up there’; you’re back with Telemachus and Alexander and those guys (a few of whom are still around) who were unafraid not only to ‘Think through’ the qualities of those with whom they publically bonded, but also used their instinctive powers of Feeling and Sensing to ‘smell out’ those with whom they felt comfortable.

No, forget comfortable; it’s sharper and deeper than that. There’s Balls involved too. The unexplainable recognition of a similarity of Purpose and the determined striving to get there brings together a declaration of shared values from which there arises a solidarity of strength.

Armed with this mutual awareness of strength, subsequently seeking out those groups, organisations and individuals with whom we are keen to get into bed’ has exposed the different emphasis to which each of them is struggling to provide help and where necessary, overcome the Fear that all too often prevails in the darkness of the mind.

For example, we’ve been giving a lot of thought to those guys who get sucked into a state of depression or who are seriously considering topping themselves. And as a result of this not being an area of Awareness that we feel comfortable giving any guidance on, ‘getting between the sheets’ with C.A.L.M. (The Campaign Against Living Miserably) is one way we can guide those who need help.

It’s pretty obvious that the guys at (or check their page on Facebook) understand this area of pain and confusion at its deepest level. We don’t, but it’s great to have the feeling that we’re tight with those who do. In that way, having realised that a sufferer needs more than our commiserations and an aspirin, we don’t feel quite so pathetically useless.

And of course there’s other folks out there with similar basic objectives to ourselves with their own areas of emphasis and expertise. It struck me that, as a general heading of what we are offering, it would be Caring – Caring being defined as ‘Love in Action’.

Once you cut through much of a guy’s personal anguish what you come upon is the feeling he has that he’s not Cared about; that no-one loves him or values his existence. Would anyone notice if he failed to get out of bed one day?

I exaggerate – perhaps – but it’s surely that sense of being ‘Cared about’ that we need to make clear is available to a guy in need – that human warmth is there to be touched and grasped if he can only reach out.

This ‘lack of being Cared about’ feeling is, I suspect, particularly real for a guy in his late teens or early twenties who has suddenly come face to face with the fact that being a guy, he’s psychologically alone. He’s expected to become ‘his own man’, somehow automatically.

Or imagine a guy leaving jail; such camaraderie as existed there no longer provides what human closeness was on offer. Meanwhile, now part of what could be a friendless world he has no logical reason to believe that anyone gives two hoots about his existence. Being Cared about? ‘Don’t make me laugh’, is his cynical response.

As the What Men Do Movement grows we think one of our early objectives is to seek out the opportunities for bonding which will ultimately make us all stronger.

We need a big bed and to have the Balls (Courage/Action/Risk/Determination) to welcome all those for whom Caring provides the basic motivation for their existence.

Taking One for the Team

An article arrived at WMD HQ this week, sent to us from a follower based in New Zealand, with a message that we should “Do a ‘Real-Man’ piece about this guy”.

All I can say is, Tevita Ngalu is more than a ‘Real Man’. That’s under-selling him. He’s a Hero.

Have a read of the article posted below and watch the incredible video, but to summarise:

It’s a story of the New Zealand weightlifting team, and of two men, Tevita Ngalu and Richie Patterson.

Tevita Ngalu had a pulled quad muscle, although I have read elsewhere that it was actually torn; whatever he’d done to it, it’s not going to feel like a massage, that’s for sure. But even though weightlifting is very much a solo sport – a person, a weight, a lift – because of the way it’s judged, Ngalu had to lift 157kg in order for his teammate, Richie Patterson to compete at the Olympics.

Despite being strongly advised against it by the competition doctor and his coach, on his second agonising attempt, Tevita Ngalu, with a grunt and pain etched on his face successfully completed the lift.

And after all that, what does he get out of it? Nothing.

His team-mate Richie Patterson, however, gets the chance to compete at the pinnacle of the sport.

One of the other two writers came crying to me recently – OK, I exaggerate…slightly – his current frustration concerning a blog he’s working on based around the blurb on the back cover of the Guide where it refers to ‘the spirit of what’s dangling between your legs’.

When I showed him the Ngalu story he almost flipped.

‘Well that’s it isn’t it?’ he screamed. ‘That’s the exact spirit I’m trying to elucidate – the one this guy in New Zealand is actually doing.’

He then showed me what he’d written so far. He’d compiled a short list that read:

Taking Action

Defining Identity

Processing Discovery

Binding Team with Trust.

I told him his list looked fine, he just needed to add ‘Setting an Example’ and ‘Self Sacrifice’.

Which brings me back to Ngalu. I said earlier that he doesn’t get anything out of this Heroic effort. That’s not true.

Through his sacrifice he has shown beyond doubt that he is one of today’s Heroes. And that isn’t because of his amazing feat of strength, impressive as it was. Being a Man has nothing to do with physical strength. He is a Real Man because he has seen an opportunity to Give of himself in order to help another and has done everything in his power – arguably more – to help that other guy.

He knew the only physical thing that he would get out of this was a whole load of intense pain. And yet he still pushed himself to handle it in order to help another.

To me Ngalu is the very definition of a Hero – someone who, no matter what happens, will always have your back…

…like the guys who followed Alexander and literally fought back to back with their Friends, their own body offering protection to the other (see the Guide – ‘Friendship – The Ultimate Risk).

And what was Ngalu’s response to his own Heroic feat? … ‘It’s just hurt. I’m not going to die.’

It’s guys like Tevita Ngalu who remind us what sport is really about. It’s not the winning, the medals, the trophies that really matter at the end of the day.

It’s the Heroes that sport can create. The (sadly too few) Men who get up there and set a positive example to those of us still finding our way on the journey to becoming Heroes.

Here’s the article

Here’s the video


Chess vs. Poker

The WMD Movement is spreading. This week’s post comes to us from Our Man in Manhattan:

Okay, so the title is misleading. It should really be: Chess AND Poker. But saying “vs” is a little more exciting, don’t you think?

I have a 3 year old son, and I am determined he will learn how to play both of these games. Here’s why:


A board game. 64 squares. 32 white. 32 black. You have an army of 16 pieces. So does your opponent.

The object of the game is to trap and “kill” the other guy’s king.

Checkmate. From the Arabic “Shahmat “– literally, “the king is dead”

That’s it.

Pure logic. No shenanigans. It’s all there, on the board, to see.

The exact opposite of…


Unlike chess, poker has minimal intellectual content, aside from knowing the basic rules. It’s about instinct, bravado, bullshit, and Balls.

And let’s not forget fickle Lady Luck.

Three things you should know about poker:

1) Although it is counter-intuitive, a flush beats a straight. A straight is 5 cards in sequence (2, 3, 4, 5, 6). A flush is 5 cards of the same suit (all 5 cards are hearts, clubs, diamonds, or spades). The odds of getting a flush are 507 to 1. The odds of getting a straight are 293 to 1. Bottom line: having a straight feels good, but it simply isn’t that great. Deal with it.

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2) EVERYONE has a “tell.” A twitch in the eye. Talking too much/too little. Leaning forward with a weak hand. Leaning back with a strong hand. As a good poker player, you will learn to read these “tells.”

And, perhaps most importantly…

3) Losing SUCKS. At some point, the guy at the table that you LEAST like, I’m talking the most obnoxious wanker on the planet, will beat you on pure dumb luck. And he will clown you, mercilessly. It will be tough, but you need to keep your cool. Seasoned players know this is simply a “bad beat”. Next time, it will be your turn for Lady Luck to sit with you.

It’s easy to win like a Man.

It’s tougher to lose like a Man.

But that’s What Men Do.

Checkmate, motherfucker.

Don’t be a Dick

A couple of weeks ago I read an article on the BBC News site by technology reporter David Lee. The article ( is about the closure of ‘revenge porn’ site

The article has stuck in my mind – not because of the content but because of the mentality of its subject, Hunter Moore.

Moore is quoted in the article as saying; “As sad as it is, hurting or ruining people’s lives as people say, is entertainment for some.” and “I just monetise people’s mistakes that they made and it’s kind of a shady business. But if it wasn’t me, somebody else was going to do it. All I did was really perfected the way to monetise people’s naked pictures.”

These highlighted for me the real darkest area of the internet – and a lot of our new technology – and that is the de-humanisation it appears to be having on us all.

Think about it. If Moore had taken these women and paraded them down the street naked and against their consent, all the time shouting through a loudhailer “she cheated on her boyfriend’ or “hello sir, is this your daughter? Did you know she’s a dirty little whore?” he would be arrested and branded a psycho.

The internet is equally as public an area as the street, the subjects of the photos are equally as vulnerable – if not more so as the scope of access is global. So why is it seen as acceptable?

I guess it’s the same problem as ‘comment cojones’ – be it on blogs, youtube, twitter, whatever. There are some amazingly disturbed responses that you can’t help but think – or maybe it’s hope – that no-one could be such a dick in real life.

And therein lies the problem. The internet is real life. The people being abused online, be it by people they once trusted flogging their intimate images, or by strangers telling them that they should kill themselves, are real people. The protection – or rather disconnection – of a screen seems to have made us, as a society, forget that.

Or maybe it isn’t that these guys are forgetting that the person on the end of their hateful barb is a real person. Maybe the issue is that they are forgetting that they themselves are a real person. We all know stories about people pretending to be someone they are not through the anonymity of the internet; well maybe this is another manifestation of that.

The majority of these guys are probably those whose sap has dried up, their Balls now merely decoration. They have lost any kind of Determination in their life and are unwilling to stand up for their beliefs – their Integrity is long gone.

But suddenly they have this opportunity to be aggressive and forward, and because it’s anonymous that means there is no Risk – their Balls aren’t on the block. These are inevitably guys who have bought in to the popular misconception that to be a Man means to be aggressive and to ooze testosterone. The fact that this isn’t an accurate description of them worries many guys to start thinking they are less of a Man.

Of course it doesn’t.

In fact, what does make them less of a man is the fact that they feel it necessary to belittle others and don’t even have the Balls to stand behind their statements.

Whatever the reason, it’s no surprise that we’re having trouble adapting to this fledgling method of communication. 100,000 years ago we bonded through grunts, gestures and sensing. Language started evolving around 50,000 years ago, and is still evolving now. Internet communication hasn’t yet reached its twentieth birthday as far as being accessible to the general public.

So we’re still learning, fine. Learning requires fuck ups.

But does it really require us to forget what it means to be human and start acting like dicks?