Festive Balls

We three writers are big supporters of Christmas. We’re lucky; we have loving families who are equally enthusiastic at this period of the year, thereby adding to our own good vibrations.

As a result, we all tend to get pissed-off with those moaning minnies forever harping-on about what a shit time it is which they follow up with an endless list of complaints about the cost of everything, the hypocrisy involved in ‘loving one’s fellow man’, not to mention the hassle of their local Tescos being uncomfortably crowded or – can you believe it – closed all of Christmas Day.

It makes you realise what a curse it

is being denied the power to Think Positively.

According to the ‘What Men Do’ Guide, everyone’s Life experiences a major change every seven years. The inevitable result of this is that the ‘good times’ don’t go on indefinitely any more than the ‘bad’ ones.

OK, so you cannot mess with Time or Fate; the only thing you can do is to deal with the low points in a Positive way. As it says in the Guide, when the love of your life has dumped you (for an obvious prick) or some other downer befalls you, looking at it Positively you quickly learn who your Friends are.

An equally Positive reaction which can often be awakened when things get rough is a deeper awareness of what we think of as one’s ‘inner space’ – that element of the invisible which is your private domain, a tiny part of which you might sometimes share with your family and the few guys with whom you’re tight.

But most importantly, it’s the ‘space’, the centre of strength where you have the freedom to ‘live’ alone (or as Ancient Greeks used to say ‘know thyself’). This ‘inner space’ reflects back to how you’re coping with your Life.

Like an audience which observes a character’s eyes to judge if he’s a serious actor or merely performing a hand-job of ‘let’s pretend’, so does the reflection give you the Truth. You can’t fool it; all you can do to avoid it is use the modern routine of some distraction.

And crucially, your ‘inner space’ is where the Positive force presents itself. Here lies what we call ‘Balls’, this Positive quality demanding a capital ‘B’.

Instead of that puny hanging appendage that’s fleetingly aroused by a pair of shapely legs, the Balls aroused by the ‘inner space’ is psychologically rooted in all things Positive.

We three guys love Christmas and the opportunity it provides to ‘spread a little happiness’.

Just by being Positive, and sharing it. So why not join in and share this.

Since first picking up Hunter S. Thompson, I’ve been a fan. His writing screams and spits and stomps about the page. Much like the accompanying scratched and splattered sketches of Ralph Steadman.

The more I learnt about HST, the more I realised that the writing wasn’t a style or an effect; the words were the man. He and his work are inseparable. Like the fingers of the hunter ingrained on his spear, Hunter left his mark on the page. I’m sure this is nothing new for a writer, as they pour themselves into their work and draw from experience, but for me at least, HST goes beyond.

This week I read something he wrote that went a long way to explaining why. It was a reply to a buddy asking for some life advice.

The advice is a must read, the link posted at the bottom of this piece. I won’t try to paraphrase something so brilliantly put. Other than taking away some valuable advice, the link between the man and the work was explained.

For HST the man and the work are one and the same. A man must be loyal to himself. Then he must find an output that lets him maximize his potential. So unlike how we are encouraged to see the world: to aim at a job, then work our way towards it. Hunter says aim at yourself, and keep adjusting as you go. Hence why

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his work is so clearly a reflection of the man.

While suffering a bout of health problems at the age of 67, Hunter committed suicide. I’m sorry not to have his writing around, as I’m sure he’d have kicked seven bells of sh*t out of today’s politicians either side of the Atlantic. He could have done more Hunter.


What Men Do’s Hero of 2013

As we say on the back cover of the ‘What Men Do’ Guide, “Today’s Hero is the football icon with the Balls to tell us he’s gay.”

While football seemed the obvious example, this is equally applicable to all sportsmen – non-more so than a guy who spends the majority of his time in the public eye wearing nothing but a speedo.

But what really makes Tom Daley our Hero of 2013 is that he’s not saying ‘I’m gay, deal with it’ – in fact he hasn’t even said he’s gay – but rather he’s putting his Balls out there and saying ‘yeah, I’m dating a guy, so fucking what?’. He is showing us the Real Tom Daley and for a 19 year old – regardless of gender preference – that takes Balls.

We – my two fellow writers and myself – have been trying to assess the effects that Daley will have, especially on young males. Afterall, your first shag with a female is a major marking for most teenage guys even though teenage sex is usually 25% itchy nuts and 75% ego. But maybe now a young guy will learn to embrace attraction and accept that, as we say in the Guide, “it may be clear that it’s girls, girls, girls that get your motor running, but then there is that one guy…”

The definition of a modern Hero was something we struggled with when writing the WMD Guide, settling on the Balls to be Real and live life to it’s full potential. While this doesn’t quite embrace the full heroic ideal, it goes some way to explaining what we mean by a Hero.

And Tom’s actions have shown that he definitely belongs to the Tribe of Heroes. He met someone who made him happy, enriched his life, and so he took the Risk and embraced it. Now he’s publicly announced that he’s with another man, not to grab headlines but purely because he wants to ‘say it like it is’, to Risk exposing his Real self – presumably because it makes little sense to him to be anything other than Real.

Wow, does this guy have Balls or what. And to display this at age 19 … dare we say ‘That’s What Men Do’.

A Wake-Up Call

The author of an autobiography* I’m currently reading says that the definitive element which separates the ‘men from the boys’ is their moral convictions.

Wow. It hit me quite forcibly, not because I’m such a shit, but the lucidity of the statement.

The writer is a psychoanalyst and, from his life story, he’s been around the block a few times.


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have I, but I hadn’t (yet) picked up the clarity of his observation.

It made me wonder if part of the confusion and anxiety which I perceive in my fellow human beings stems from the excess of choice with which we’re all presented every day – coupled with the propaganda we absorb – much, I suspect, subliminally – when vested interests seek to influence our lives.

And technology provides an added complication by its power of distraction, the result of which is too little private time to spend with ourselves in that ‘inner space’ of our mind where all that’s hidden from the world exists. Not only is there too much attempting to enter and be sorted every day, but time and fatigue take their toll.

I sometimes wonder if the bottom line of all this is that what I’ve begun to call ‘pseudo activity’ has the debilitating effect of making it more and more difficult to know ourselves.

And this happens for those of us who, we hope, are constantly in the maturing process. In the ‘What Men Do’

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Guide there’s constant reference to the 7-year life changes which is an inherent element in being human; how we respond to the challenge of these changed perspectives is, I reckon, a very personal way we measure (oh-so-privately) if we’re spending our Life wisely.

Fools, whose fears make them cling to sameness, inevitably stagnate. As for their moral convictions, do they ever reach that state? It strikes me that few people have convictions – about anything. ‘Hang Loose’ and ‘Anything Goes’ seem to be closer to the fashion in the style of the Twenties and Sixties of the last century.

But growing anxiety and the state of Depression seems to be the result.

So, if this is the ‘Dividing Line’ as the man says, it strikes me as a wonderful measure we can all use to get some clarity (and happiness?) into our lives.

It’s certainly woken me up.

*The Pillar Of Fire by Karl Stern.

Being Your Own Man

I was stopped in my tracks in Marks & Spencer yesterday; they had finally produced something that, momentarily, I was desirous of wearing.

This amazing creation was a pair of corduroy jeans in a colour I call ‘shit-brown’ – not easy to find in my experience.

In reality, I’m unlikely to make a purchase as I don’t care for their ‘fit’; it’s too …. too …. well, commonplace. I don’t care for jeans that ‘fit where they touch’; I like ’em to ‘touch what they feel’.

And I like ’em low-ish, that hang from the hips. Years ago I was told that females are turned-on by some curve to a guy’s rear-end, since when I’ve been taking stairs two-at-a-time in the hope it’ll keep my arse in good shape.

I can’t see it – my arse I mean – but where it locks into the top of my legs it feels, well, sort of shapely to the tops of my fingers. This I take as a very hopeful sign as the ‘sensitivity pads’ at the top of my fingers have been remarked upon by more than one who has known them well (and I don’t mean my Grandma).

In the ‘What Men Do’ Guide there’s reference to the near-magical knowledge which master craftsmen have at their finger tips – a form of intuitive know-how quite different from the basic knowledge of the brain and ‘what makes sense’.

Thinking about it I reckon this is why I often feel ‘out of it’ – ‘out’ meaning a sort of dissatisfaction with what passes for prevailing opinions, which is what seems to be acceptable to Joe Average. That’s why, for instance,

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I’m the only guy in Halifax taking two steps at a time on the escalator when ‘Joe Average’ is taking the opportunity to have a free ride.

And I’m not saying that a life of such slovenliness leads to a flabby arse, lumps of cellulite appearing here and there leading to the cover-ups from Marks & Spencer, but then nor am I saying it isn’t a contributing factor.

Actually now that I think about it, ‘Joe Average’ has been getting on my tits recently with his bland acceptance that if it’s good enough for the crowd, it’s good enough for him.

(Perhaps I should point out to those who haven’t got themselves a copy of the Guide that ‘Joe Average’ is the ‘bad guy’ in the plot. This is because he personifies the human seed with which we’re all born but that remains sterile and wasted in the ‘bud’ stage. (Deep, huh?). This is because he lacks the Balls to make any attempt to blossom – if you get my drift.)

So much for my moment of amazement in M & S, since when I’ve been wondering, now that they’ve got the colour right, is it conceivable they’ve tossed aside the ‘Joe Average’ fit?

I think I’ll take a closer look.

Decisions Decisions

I’ve got this theory that we don’t make many decisions in our lifetime. Sure, when it comes to, ‘The chicken or the beef, sir?’ we can be decisive. But it’s the bigger, life altering decisions I’m talking about.

Most people perhaps make a handful: Do I go to university or not? Is this the person I want to spend the rest of my life with? Is 65 too young to retire?

And, to be honest, I’m not even sure that many guys actually, actively decide upon those big things. They just go with the flow. They either end up following what everyone else is doing and go to Uni, or maybe financial circumstance makes the decision for them. At thirty-odd, after a few years in a relationship, it becomes time to get married. Then when 65 rolls around your boss decides whether it’s time for you to retire.

There are hoards of people ready and waiting to make decisions for you. Your mother, friends, boss, government, the people at the electricity company… will gladly point your life in a direction that works for them.

And that’s the point, without making choices you will naturally follow the twists and turns that life throws your way. At age thirty, or 40, or 50, you’ll find yourself in a place you definitely don’t want to be. At which point you’ll promptly make some rash decisions to make up for a lifetime of drifting. Friends and family will look upon the ‘new you’, buying the motorbike or telescope, and chalk it up to a midlife crises.

Nobody wants to be that guy.

So, with this ahead, now is the time to grab your life by the scruff of the neck, wrestle the decisions away from mommy and the teachers and busy bodies, with their self-serving ‘advice’ that comes with the euphemistic label, ‘your best interests at heart.’

To point your life in the direction you want to go in, you need to take the time to know yourself. It’s vital to tune in to the inner you, and listen and sense for what, of the infinite possibilities in this world, are revving your engine.

Then start making the

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decisions to get there. It’s What Men Do.


Men and Women are different. Agreed?

However, in order to understand this it is probably better to think of them as ‘Male’ and ‘Female’, the reason being that the ‘difference’ is rooted in the biological.

You will have noticed this ‘difference’ of course; your knob might even have experienced a little twitch as you read the word ‘female’, your Awareness of gender difference being so intensified in your own biological make up right now (we say this assuming you are currently in your 3rd or 4th seven year cycle, i.e. between the ages 14-28). The desire for a shag doesn’t peter out at age 28, it’s just looked upon differently.

So to return to this ‘difference’, how you consider the subject largely depends on your age. If you are currently part of the age group referred to above your thoughts on ‘Womanliness’ envisage a physical creature you wish to strip naked, fondle in every human crevice then enter, thrusting your cock as deep as you can for as long as you can.

And of course there’s nothing ‘wrong’ with this, at least we don’t think there is – providing the female being entered is as enthusiastic for the encounter as you are.

However, despite all the energy you expend on this and however often you indulge in it you will learn very little about Womanliness. If anything.

Let’s back up a minute and consider the situation anatomically. As a male your tackle, when erect, is convex and shaped for penetration whereas the opening the female offers is concave and styled to receive.

Additionally, what the male ‘shoots’ is shaped like a torpedo, ideal to ‘hit’ the female’s target and begin the Life process all over again.

So much for the physical …. but it doesn’t get us any closer to understanding ‘Womanliness’, in fact we suspect what we’ve just described in terms of ‘male’ and ‘female’ could apply to a chimpanzee or a cocker-spaniel.

And the torpedoes aside, the action is all visible; but whilst we observe the female is sweating as much as you are, it doesn’t reveal anything about what makes her the mysterious creature she is.

So how can we find it, ‘dig it out’, bottle it and take a sniff when we want to remember what it was like, clinging as deep as we can to this ‘female’ even as we’re pumping like fuck? Meanwhile, she keeps her secret to herself.

Or does she? If she does, is

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it deliberate or is this ability to spin an invisible web in which we males become not so much caught as absorbed, something which eludes her control?

Our penetrative cock (of which we’re oh-so-proud) can’t get to the root of it, but perhaps nor can she. It’s a primordial essence that’s always been a part of the package, perhaps – and we’re just guessing here – to sustain a balance to offset our greater physical power and, well, Balls.

What we think is that ‘Womanliness’ has to be accepted as a Mystery which is uncrackable. It’s like a lollipop that, however relentlessly you suck it, never loses its flavour; it’s like a fragrance which lingers, inexpressible, irrational, quite beyond the puny power of ‘Thinking Man’ ….

… so don’t make yourself sore fellas, kidding yourself you’ve the tool to plumb the depths; you don’t.

Settle for being a frustrated male and learn to wallow in your condition.

And enjoy it.

Making Time

In a recent edition of

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The Times, the columnist Robert Crampton, wrote an article based on a recent study which had suggested that in order to sustain ‘good health’, guys should meet up with their closest friends at least once a week.

This, inevitably, threw up the question of Time – or rather the shortage of.

I’ve always found Time an elusive subject, one which never receives a satisfactory explanation. Truth is, I don’t understand where ‘yesterday’ goes.

Is it ‘over’ because it has somehow evaporated (say), or is it one of those things that’s only over for me – the reason being the way I’m constructed which only allows me to ‘live’ one bit at a time, thus going under the name ‘Today.’

In other words, it isn’t that ‘Yesterday’ no longer exists; it does – somewhere – but I don’t have the equipment to ‘live it’ anymore; its continued existence is now, for me, only as a memory.

But ….. to return to The Times article, it set me wondering how much the ‘no time’ re-action is merely an excuse – that Time is actually a reflection of our Will Power. If I want something badly enough – enough to get my Will into gear to have it – then chances are there’s a much greater likelihood that I’ll obtain it. Whether I’m able to ‘find’ the Time is therefore dependent on my Will.

A regular feature in most lives of Achievement is the power the achiever has over his Time. The guy gets up at dawn, has a piss, feeds the dogs, then hits the objective in hand. His day is carved up Timewise as a reflection of his Will.

And maybe Caring comes into this. Things didn’t get done, not because he couldn’t ‘find the Time’, but because he didn’t Care enough to get his Will Power in gear.

There’s a section in the ‘What Men Do’ Guide entitled ‘Piss Or Get Off The Pot’ which keeps coming into my mind as I write. Maybe we don’t need Will Power to take a piss ….. or maybe we do but it happens so often we don’t think of it that way. “Do I want to take a piss or would I prefer to get wet in the groin region?”

Habit seems to be largely in control here as all guys know the experience of ‘I don’t have Time right now’, only to learn to live to regret it. Creating Time, we learn, isn’t an option

But meeting up with our mates is an option, and if we want it badly enough, our Will ‘finds’ the means with which to do it.

Methinks if we allow ourselves to go along with all this Time bollocks, we actually ‘Live’ for much less Time than we could have.

Life’s a Struggle – Right?

I swear, since my two writing colleagues asked me to write a blog on Struggle, it’s been one hassle after another …

…. but then, one of the elements inherent in becoming an Adult which we’ve stressed pretty heavily in the ‘What Men Do’ Guide is the importance of Struggle.

We reckon, not only is Struggle desirable, but that it’s vital.

It’s vital because it creates the raison d’etre for the ‘Will to Live’ – one of the two major dictums of a purposeful life as claimed by the German philosopher, Albert Schweitzer. (The other is having a ‘Reverence for Life’.)

It follows, of course, that ‘Struggle’ is a good thing, as without it, Life becomes increasingly meaningless and a hum-drum condition. (I can’t take a daily visit to the betting shop as a part of life seriously – ‘my problem’ I realise.)

Actually, it scares me – the idea that I might reach a point when I’ve no reason to get out of bed each morning – except to take a piss. And then what?

Fortunately, as I work for a charity where finance is a constant hassle, the daily Struggle for one thing or another is relentless.

As a way of easing the regular tensions that build up, the way the place is organised is pretty loose. As a result, when I suddenly become aware that my current Struggle is greater than the determination of my balls to stick with it, I use that as the reason to quit for the day. I fear that I’m becoming a wimp, so before Self Pity and a lack of Self Respect creep into the equation, I go home.

Being one of the writers of the ‘What Men Do’ Guide, it’s difficult to write asserting the virtues of Struggle …..  and then discover oneself chickening-out form a challenge. I experience a sense of something despicable – the kind of thing one suspects politicians do constantly, totally oblivious to how we despise most of ’em.

I’m never going to be a Hero … and that’s a condition I’m happy to settle-for; what I’m desperate to avoid, though, is that anyone might conclude that I’m a phoney.

And maybe that’s the basic source of my own very personal Struggle – the incessant need to convince those I’m close to that I’m a solid guy who you can trust and who’ll make a genuine effort to understand when you come to me to talk about your own Struggle(s).

And I find it almost laughable that, the moment I’m finally on top of my current Struggle, blow me, another one appears crying out for a solution.

It’s crossed my mind (more than once) that this new Struggle is actually my fault … that it’s appearance is somehow connected to my natural curiosity.

But that’s another story……

Growing Pains

I’m fast approaching 30 and even faster letting go of the miniscule, one-in-a-billion, ‘but maybe’, wish-upon-a-star chance

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that my name will one day be on the back of an England shirt, chanted by euphoric fans, and screamed by countless wannabe WAGS…

Gone too are the dreams of being picked up on the high street by a fashion scout, whisked in a private jet to New York to sign million dollar deals to be the face (and body) of the next smelly that sends women weak at the knees.

And I don’t have the stomach for porn (yes, stomach). So without my body available to take care of all my needs… it looks like it’s up to the rest of me.

I’m lucky that I have a great job. It’s enjoyable, challenging and engaging. The trouble is, there are a lot of people that want it. I’ve seen them, and don’t tell me I’m paranoid. They’re all around me. They come in under the delusive titles of Intern and Junior…

They’re there when I arrive at work… and they’re still there when I leave. They are putting in a shift – a serious shift – to get their hands on my job. ‘My job’ is the wrong way of looking at it, it’s ‘a position’ that I occupy… for now.

So with these young gunslingers honing their talents and taking aim, it’s up to us to stay one step ahead. If we’re going to last (I’m talking to my body and me) we can’t sit back and relax. We must keep growing.

No one else is going to nourish our mind with all it needs to develop. I have to read and see new things to make sure nothing goes stale. My radar needs to be on, sensing what’s coming, where is the best place to dig for water. It’s a constant quest to stay fresh and become bigger.

The truth is, without growth I become utterly frustrated and miserable. Everyday I want to get broader and go deeper. And I’m not just saying that to ward off the young bucks nipping at my heels. I don’t even think about them, they’re just a good way in to talk about the perpetual need for growth. It’s not an external pressure, like the fear of obsolescence and thus having to read up on the latest technology, it’s an innate, internal drive to be bigger.

It’s What Men Do.