The Modern Male – An “Erection In A Vest”

There is an article currently doing the social media rounds titled “How Sad Young Douchebags Took Over Modern Britain”. Originally appearing on, it looks at how young males seem to be slipping in to a scarily vapid existence, with many appearing to be nothing more than an “erection in a vest” looking like “Ken dolls dipped in tea and covered in biro”.

The article is obviously over-sensationalised for ‘comic’ effect, but in amongst the rant like tirade there is a genuinely worrying message. Time and again we are reminded of the lost, almost purgatory like state, that modern young males find themselves in. Usually this comes in a more obvious form, such as the horrific stats on male depression and suicide, and the awareness raising work of organisations such as CALM.

But the preening, cock-sure, penis waving of so many young guys, particularly in towns on a Friday and Saturday night, is surely another manifestation of this malaise which has taken over the British male – and I’m sure it’s not confined to our island.

Many modern guys have ceased to live at any personal depth, everything is now purely about surface. This is reflected by the importance which is placed on appearance. Ridiculous amounts spent on designer clothes; beauty regimes that in the past would have been seen as excessive even by a billionaire’s arm candy; the obsession on what the Vice article calls “balloon animal muscles”.

The muscles are the biggest tell-tale sign of the surface element of these guy’s lives. For the most part these are not – or are only partly – muscles crafted through time in the gym and rigorous exercise. Obsessive weight lifting still screams of a vain surface existence but at least there has been some work put in, a degree of effort, the struggle which indicates something may be worthwhile. But even that takes too much time for these guys who want to wank over the image they see in the mirror, so they spend their money on muscle building supplements – these guys now live at such a surface level they need to take short-cuts to vanity.

And to what purpose?

Therein lies the point. There is no purpose. These guys have latched on to vanity and self obsession because it’s easier than the search for purpose and the risk that it entails. Life for them is looking for the next shag – young men have become sluts.

Towards the end of the Vice article it suggests that this situation has come about because nobody wants the young British male anymore. The breadwinners of old seem unable to find a new purpose in society and so shy away from any purpose.

The young male’s crisis of existence seemed terminal enough when viewed purely through the lens of guys not being able to handle any more and taking their own lives. When coupled with the pandemic of walking erections hitting the town every weekend it seems that the guys who are coping with life, embracing the struggle and dealing with it, striving for purpose and doing What Men Do, are actually in the minority.

The Adult Man is an endangered species and, unless as a gender we tell the easy life to go fuck itself and embrace the hard route, aiming to become as great as we can be as individuals, extinction may be around the corner.

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