It’s Quick! It’s Easy! It’s Fun!

No it isn’t. Not if it’s worth doing, it isn’t. It sounds like the recipe for a rotten shag.

A few years ago when I made my twice or thrice weekly trek to a karate dojo, if there was one thing which turned our very mellow sensei into a raging bull it was the sight of an advertisement for a newly opened dojo which suggested that learning the philosophy and skills of the

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Martial Arts were ‘quick, easy and fun’.

For starters, it’s a pack of lies. Guys work increasingly over many years to attain the status of black belt. Having reached that level most of them then proceed to move up the ten levels of Dans. I’m told that to do that requires as much time and concentration as was necessary to move through the earlier process (if not more).

And easy? Pull the other one. True, it’s easier for some guys, particularly early on. The dojo I attended had half a dozen lads who were New York City Firemen, and the physical training these guys undertook as part of their work provided them with an excellent grounding for karate.

There was another lad, a dancer on Broadway, who became a favourite of the sensei on account of his physical performance of the various katas (the equivalent of musical scales).

His physical build was the total opposite of the firemen. He was skinny and seemingly devoid of muscle, but you soon learnt that the power he could produce from the control of his movement, was formidable.

He always reminded me of photographs of those Oriental Grand Masters who, to me, always looked undernourished. The lads from the fire station were twice his size and looked like they’d have no trouble tossing you on to their shoulder in a crisis.

As for ‘fun’, well yes, I suppose so. As far as I know, none of us were masochists, though let’s not go down the sadism road.

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What get’s me when I see ‘quick, easy and fun’ being used to promote an activity, is that it clearly has contempt for the guys to which it is trying to appeal. Isn’t it closer to the truth to

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say that Life for most guys is too easy? Isn’t part of the objective of leisure activity that it challenges us to become bigger? Greater? It’s not just to ‘fill in Time’ That is the curse of the wimp and the flake.

Surely if you’re advertising the potential joys of a leisure activity the emphasis should be on giving a guy the feeling that by being involved he will experience it as time well spent?

And Time – the shortage of – along with Fear represents our two greatest enemies. Fear for me is the ultimate sicko; however you slice it, it’s after our Balls, defined in the What Men Do Guide as, ‘Courage, Action, Risk and Determination’.

And whilst Time isn’t quite so nakedly insidious, it’s not doing us any favours. O.K., by having Balls we keep Fear at bay, but Time holds the ultimate ace as it alone knows how much Time we’ve got. All we can do to temper our vulnerability is to treat all Time as precious and not involve ourselves in any wanker’s paradise that’s ‘quick, easy and fun’.

The Mother Problem

There comes a time in every guy’s life when Mother no longer knows best.

Having given you life, nurtured you from pup to adolescent, it’s often tough to alter the relationship and ‘let go of mummy’s hand’ (as we say in the Guide.)

Depending on your maturity and the understanding of your mother, this separation process begins in your teens, and ideally leads to you walking off into the jungle, newly responsible for your own shit.

The jungle offers two huge advantages. Firstly, no-one there knows who you are; secondly, as it offers no guarantee of your survival, Struggle is inevitable.

The immediate plan envisaged is to hit the Unknown and begin growing afresh, replacing the outer casing of boyhood Appearance with the inner resiliance of Adult Determination. It’s not about a bigger dick, but about keeping it stiff for longer.

At some point on the journey towards the Hero you are capable of becoming, you’ll encounter someone who you begin to think would make a great companion along the road. You decide to become a team. You move in together.

The sex gets even better (and it was mind blowing in the first place!) No more lonely nights. The petty niggles which are inherent in the need to compromise when sharing space are easy to bear……

But then, for many guys (let’s say as they approach 30), the daily battles of leading himself to become a Hero become too much. They settle for their lot, relinquishing the striving of Manhood to Fate.

Whilst they’re never happy facing up to their chickening-out on what had been their personal struggle, they reluctantly acknowledged that, well, it’s easier to learn golf and become one of the crowd. Fear has cowed another victim into submission.

If his woman is so immature herself that she cannot ‘read the runes’ of what taking-up golf implies – that her man has given up the battle to sustain a foothold in youth and surrendered to early middle-age – it can only be months before she presents him with – wait for it – a spanking new pair of Y-fronts. She has begun to buy him underwear. The guy has a new mother.

Conversely, What Men Do is protect their hard won freedom and the Life in which they can make their greatest Achievement. At all times they remain close to the memories of early frustration and the relentless struggles to bear the hunger necessary to remain true to being their own Man.

A few years into the journey they don’t allow Fate to win with its offers of comfort, familiarity and a future nest of motherly care.

The reassuring care of Mother Love had it’s time and place, but the relentless adventure of becoming ‘greater than Dad’ is the torch which shines the Hero’s way.

For the Man who never ceases to grow, it’s always time to move on.

Only boys need mothers.

About My Balls

When I stand up to take a piss I get everything out.

I’m not sure how long I’ve been doing this – maybe forever – but it’s only recently I’ve become aware of it.

What I’ve come to realise is that I like the feel of my balls in my hand. So now I’m asking myself if this is another manifestation of my weirdness, NOT that I’m weirder than most guys, I suspect. Well, maybe to ‘Joe Average’ and his mates, but then I don’t think of them as Living, so much as only Existing.

Being a guy there’s so many human areas you have to learn to quietly quote understand unquote. For example, you don’t talk about your knob.

Well, maybe you do when you get old and you refer to it as ‘your waterworks’ so you can discus its ‘state of play’ – or otherwise. For younger guys though, you don’t talk about having your balls in your hand. It’s just not a talking point. What pleases me though, is that if I wanted to talk about it with my Friends, I could. They harbour no fears of my balls.

It chuffs me to write this because I suspect it isn’t true for most guys. I carry a growing prejudice that since the French know-all, Rene Descartes (1596 – 1650) came up with his big sound-bite, ‘I think therefore I am’, we’ve placed far too much emphasis on the (supposedly) superior status of the Thinking man.

I don’t mind ‘brain boxes’, but I think the pendulum of human values has become far too distorted against the Feeling and Sensing area which are both rooted below the neck. With the head now the big swinging dick, I reckon we’ve got the tail wagging the body.

But to return to my balls… the most recent joy of having ‘em in my hand was fifteen minutes ago. That’s when I had the urge to work out why I was getting off on it.

Was it erotic? Was I suddenly anxious for some action? No. So why don’t I just settle for pulling out the shaft of my tackle as I assume most guys do?

Having ‘em in my hand, I now realise, gives me a sense of who I am; that I’m unique, not a ‘Joe Average’, but a guy who has the courage to be himself. (Weird a little, maybe, but hey, I can handle that.)

‘They’re MY balls’, I say to myself, a healthy reminder that this is MY Life and I’m gonna live it My way.

P.S. Am I right – about most guys just settling for the shaft?

The Caveman

By BanksyDeep within you lurks a killer. A wild man, sweaty from the hunt, caked in the dried blood of his last kill. He’s the Caveman, and he’s in your DNA. Actually, let’s not call it DNA – let’s call it blood. Thick, gloopy red BLOOD. He’d prefer that. Occasionally you’ll become aware of the primitive within.

It happened to me today.

I slept at my brother’s last night, and this morning I had to use his towel. I say ‘had to’ but I was glad to… because as I stood there drying my balls with his towel, the Caveman appeared out of the shower’s steam (I may have made the steam up to make it feel a bit more dramatic).

The experience of using another man’s towel kind of delighted the primitive within. The bit of me that’s happier in the trees, covered in mud as opposed to the sanitised, “now wash your hands”, single-use, sterile world we live in.

The moment was a reminder of something Real. Of Flesh, Skin, Scent, Sweat – the things we cover up and disguise. And then I wondered why? Is it to distance us from the other animals? To convince us that we’re something pure, after all ‘Cleanliness is next to Godliness!’

And when did we stop sharing towels? Did a particularly vicious bout of crabs do the rounds in the changing cave at Mudchester United Rockball team?

I’m not saying we need to walk around stinking, covered in filth. It’s just good to be reminded of what we’re made of, and if it takes the scent of another man being rubbed all over my body, then so be it. I AM MAN!

Perhaps for you, you’ll get a flash-back of life in the trees when you next bite into a succulent nectarine and let the syrupy, sticky juice roll down your chin and shirt (or better yet – your naked chest). Or maybe it will be a beautiful woman gliding past that stirs the savage with-in… especially is she’s wearing leopard print.

Next time the Caveman cometh, don’t dismiss him as a savage brute who only thinks with his cock and talks with his hands, consider his understanding of the world, of reality, and that he’s programmed for survival… He’s got your back.

Let us know when the Caveman next appears for you.

When You Want To Kill The Bastard

I am lucky enough to work on a daily basis with one of my very close Friends.

Or should that be; I am unlucky enough to work on a daily basis with one of my very close Friends.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my job – I’m certainly not here for the peanuts they pay me…that’s when they actually pay me. And sometime it feels as though I live here as it takes up such a huge chunk of my time. And then there’s the…sorry, I’m getting side-tracked, this isn’t supposed to be a rant at my job. You’ll just have to trust me that I do actually like it and gain a huge personal sense of purpose from it.

(I just noticed that in the course of that paragraph I went from loving it to liking it… it’s been a long week.)

And I love my Friend, at least most days. I think it’s great that we work together, particularly in the type of organisation in which we work, as it has, over the past few years, certainly made our bond tighter and our Friendship closer.

But sometimes…. let’s just say blood threatens to run.

I’m often reminded of the WMD Guide’s description of your cock “a great mate much of the time, but a bloody awkward one occasionally”. That dick is a great description of how our Friendship plays out at work.

It only ever seems to be a problem when we argue. I say ‘argue’, a more appropriate term would be ‘fight’.

Let me get this clear, I’m not talking about some childish playground fall out where grudges are held – what happens at the office, stays at the office and we always, always, give each other a hug before we leave, no matter how many dents, scars and bruises the fight has left us with.

The problem is that we’re both very stubborn, and if we feel strongly about something then neither of us back down unless the compromise is worth it. This is great when we fight side by side, as resolute as the Spartans, however when we come up against each other it’s like head-butting a brick wall – except instead of a brick wall it’s the other guy’s head.

And we know each other’s weaknesses. This is the kicker. When the ammunition is running close to empty, one of us will reach for the low-blow. The right word, phrase or slight of character and a potentially straightforward debate becomes a full blown screaming match, if not worse. Make it personal, heat up the other guy’s emotions, then, as the blood flows faster through his veins and the primal instinct to fight kicks in, all logical argument will fail him.

And that’s when the red mist falls on both sides and all logic goes out of the window, occasionally followed by a chair or, on one instance, one of us.

I have no idea who is ahead in these battles although, if we really wanted to find out, the bodily scars are keeping a tally for us. But the winning doesn’t matter. Both of us want the best for the organisation so, if we were to step

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back and look at the bigger picture, on almost every occasion it doesn’t make a difference who ‘wins’ as both ideas will probably achieve the same ends.

Thinking on those lines, our regular skirmishes make no logical sense. But Life is bigger than logic so I don’t see these battles letting up. They keep us on our toes, tighten our bond of Friendship and, deep down, I think we both really enjoy them.

And anyway, where’s the fun in Life if you can’t get bloody with your Friends every now and then. It worked for the Ancient Greeks.