An expert in getting back up again – writer, speaker, teacher

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The #1 Reason Men Struggle with Relationships (And What to Do About It)

Men lie.

We live in a culture that encourages lies and shame.

Men are rarely supported in speaking their truth.

We are supported in giving up what makes us vulnerable, real and ultimately human.

Male gender assignments start early thereby limiting and infringing on our ability to become better men and human beings.

Primarily, we learn to lie often and always about our feelings.

Many of us are not taught that having and worse yet sharing our feelings is a big fat no no and should be avoided no matter the consequence. Men not being able to cry no matter the consequences is not just a stereotype or punchline to a bad joke.

I know several men who have witnessed the burial of parents and beloved siblings who refused to give in to the grief that would be a natural and healthy emotional expression.

I know several men who have such an inordinate amount of emotional pain inside of them that I am awestruck by their ability to function on any level.

Men who are not allowed access to a full emotional expression do not make for great companions nor are they able to be great resources for themselves in terms of liberatory and radical self love.

If a person is not allowed to feel they will not allow themselves to fully love another nor allow another to fully love them.

Part of sharing feelings also involves creating tools that will allow us to express the "good"ones as well.

The ability to experience powerful and loving feelings is something we often struggle to incorporate.

In bell hooks' wonderful, We Real Cool, the concept of coolness is addressed and deconstructed as necessary and problematic.

Men,particularly men of color, get introduced to the culture of cool via the men in our lives whose only emotional expression is one of anger and cool.

Coolness was the chosen mode of being and the indicator of all future success.

I was often reminded of my inability to be "cool" and not exhibit an emotional response regardless of the circumstances.

Whether I did a jaunty dance step because I made the honor roll or physically showed my disapproval of an injustice or the cancellation of my favorite show, the message given to me was clear.

You are not cool.

Uncool men will not make it in this society.

At 45, I have style but still lack cool.

I am ok with this.

We often inflate our talents, abilities and personal accomplishments and downplay our lack or inability to "make something or crate a certain result". I have had several failures in my life.

As an American Male, I am coerced into keeping my failures to myself. Male culture does not allow or encourage reflection and honest self and emotional assessment.

We are "supposed" to know what to do and have all the answers all the time.

Dealing with and accepting disappointments is another trap that confuses and seduces us.

bell hooks states that men can be seduced by power because it offers long term and ongoing rewards.

This is another lie that men get pitched that it is easy and simple to partake of the power structure (patriarchy).

Patriarchy's cost is never examined:men lose so much.

Men are not taught that emotional needs are important so when an opportunity (participation in patriarchy) is presented that requires that they give up more of their souls (lying), it doesn't feel odd.

Men who are disappointed sexually are never shown or resist ways that would increase their enjoyment of sex and lead to greater overall emotional satisfaction.

When young boys and then men are told to "man up ", it leaves them angry and confused with no outlet to address their pain.

Male culture is steeped in grief.

Many men can only address grief when they are drunk or high.

Men need tools that allow us to sit in and work through our pain.

It is time to stop lying and pretending that things don't hurt.


Warning!! The Occupy movement is just beginning…

The Bronx students who dared to claim their rights by starting RESISTANCE and demanding a better education have forced us all to listen to what has become a serious social change movement.

When I received an email yesterday informing me that a group of young people had now taken up the fight, two things ran through my mind : this movement will be highly successful and we have no idea what we've unleashed (the power and enthusiasm and unyielding energy that is the exclusive property of youth).

Remember that many movements for serious social change started with young people at the core.

There will be those who want to argue with me and state facts, opinions and discrepancies. Those of us who have memories of eight track players, three televison stations and (gasp) life before the internet have done plenty in keeping the status quo (life, economic meltdowns and global warfare) debilitating for most of our citizens.

As an older generation member, my job is to support and offer guidance when and if it is asked for.

I am part of the 99% who was led to believe that if we worked hard and did the right thing we could at least aspire to the 1%. No one ever discussed if this was the best use of our time not to mention what this would cost the world and ourselves in terms of social upheaval.

The young students in the Bronx are challenging us all to look at a very misguided and upsetting way of dealing with pedagological endeavors that train young people to do nothing but passively consume. This current change is as powerful as it is scary.

The people who formed and maintain RESISTANCE are now forcing us to do the unthinkable: challenge our values. While I am thrilled about all ten of the demands (by members of RESISTANCE)for educational change that would fundamentally change The Bronx, Nyc and the world, three of the demands stand out and rock me to the core.

1. The Demand for Quality Instruction

2. Smaller Class size with a Teacher/Student ratio of 15:1

3. An overhaul of the Community Board that consists of at least five student representatives

Perfectly reasonable demands and expectations. It is my understanding that Quality Education is removing the "one-size-fits-all" business and determining what type of instruction each student requires. Instructing from a "real world" experience ensures that each student has the skills to think and create their lives regardless of the amount of education they pursue.

A fifteen to one teacher/student ratio provides for greater personal interaction and less behavioral problems. When I taught, most of the behavioral issues were sorted out by provididng direct interaction/instruction and interruption of "acting out" and attention seeking shenanigans. Managing fifteen student behaviors is different than even twenty or god forbid thirty .

Finally, the students want to represent themselves (five strong) on the school board. This is the most powerful entity suggested. By mandating that there be a rep from the student body, young people learn ownership of their education and pride in how their schools are run. It completely does away with what I refer to as "passive education".

It puts power in their hands and decision making practices in their minds.

It teaches collaboration, standing up for one's beliefs and working with and using difference to problem solve and create change.


Smart Slut 3… The decision to be victorious

My new favorite past time is falling in love with men’s potential.

Instead of taking an honest look at what a person presents as their true self, I like the big game of pretend. Basically, I wasn’t very bright and instead of examining my choices regarding my health and well being , I decided to jump into another ill-fated romance.


Smart Slut 2… Love will not keep you HIV free

Most of the HIV positive people I know became infected in the course of a relationship.

After talking with a good friend from overseas, I was informed of this incredible theory. My brilliant ally and I discussed at length the risks people are willing to take and for what reason.


Fucking Dobey Gillis

Six pack abs, huge cocks , all night sex parties and drug induced orgies are now officially over.


Does Hyper Sexuality Start at Five?

When baby animals don't get touched they die.

If this is the case for lesser developed creatures, why do we think humans can survive without touch?


Did I Sign a Youth Death Sentence?

I am a cowardly murderer.

I stood by watching the hate and homophobia of the world devour our youth and did nothing to prevent it. I could have spoken up. I could have screamed. I could have demanded they take me.


Six Dead Kids Who Needed More than Safety

Whenever I have worked with young people, the issue of safety is obsessively focused on. You can't touch them (unless it is in front of other people and even then it's frowned upon). You can't be too involved or concerned and above all you can't share any personal information that would provide real world insight (see Seth Stambaugh's firing for proof).


Knowing Uncle Calvin for What He Is

When I was a little boy, my father's best friend was a pimp.

Uncle Calvin was dapper, charming and always sported the latest fashions. I had no idea what this man did for a living. The only thing I knew was that there were all of these women around him and I couldn't figure out which one he was married to.


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