In a world where men already hold a lot of power over other people, what does the term male empowerment really mean?
To find out, we have to look at the difference between the power given to men by society – and the definition of male empowerment.
Male Empowerment Definition
Empowerment is not the same as power over someone or something. Instead, empowerment stands for self-awareness, self-esteem, integrity, and the ability to uplift others. This results in a state of equality where power can be shared.
To be an effective male empowerment coach, it’s important to observe all the ways our society actually disempowers men – while equally putting them in charge of other’s lives. This formula is a recipe for disaster, and we can see this situation playing out all around us.
Harmful Messages to People Socialized as Men
1. Emotions are a Sign of weakness
One of the most harmful messages boys and men receive is that their emotions are something to be ignored, overcome and never be displayed. This repression can lead to depression and unresolved rage. Additionally, a lack of intimate expression also frequently harms relationships with partners, family, friends, and children.
2. It Is Your Job to Be the Hero and Provider
So many men walk through their lives, feeling like it is their job to be the knight in shining armor. They feel pressured to provide emotional stability, fix bad feelings, and basically keep their partner happy.
In heterosexual relationships, this means that most tension-filled conversations end when the woman feels better. Men’s feelings are repressed or ignored. For gay men, it often means avoiding these conversations altogether, as each partner is trying to take care of their own feelings.
3. You Are Inherently Better and Deserve More than Others
While it might seem like this message would have positive consequences, it actually encourages a lack of empathy in men. This separates them from others and creates loneliness.
4. You Should Want Sex and Be Able to Get It – No Matter What
Societal messaging like this can have extremely harmful consequences.
The worst of them is when this message results in a man feeling entitled to sex. This entitlement can end up with men crossing boundaries and violating women.
The other harmful impact is that men don’t take the time to really discern for themselves what they want. They don’t listen to their feelings. Sometimes, they might end up having sex when they don’t really want to. And other times, they feel like they should be able to have sex with someone they are not really attracted to.
All this can lead to the belief that they suffer from erectile dysfunction (or ED) – when really, they just aren’t feeling any desire.
How to Empower Men
To empower a man, you need to know how to help him with low self-esteem issues, and build his confidence as a man.
Male empowerment coaches help men feel connected to the people around them. They work with their clients to uncover what they want relationally and sexually – and to be discerning about their erotic and partner choices. Sex coaches for men also teach their clients emotional intelligence.
How to Help a Man with Low Self-Esteem
Look for some of these signs that indicate a man is struggling with low self-esteem:
- High levels of alcohol consumption
- Poor hygiene
- Self-deprecation – making jokes or negative comments about himself regularly
- Self-criticism – you can usually identify this if a man is always apologizing, or engaging in obsessive self-improvement programs
Because men are often valued for what they can provide, they feel inadequate if they are not good providers. This can be part of what causes low self esteem in a man. Part of male empowerment is helping them see their inherent value.
Ways to support men’s sense of worth:
- Help men feel loved for who they are – not what they can do
- Encourage them to share their feelings. Make sure you listen to them, empathize with them, and take their feelings seriously
- Encourage them and support them in their interests outside of work
- If you are their partner, show them your desire and attraction to them
How to Build Confidence as a Man
If you have been socialized as a man and want to know how to build your confidence, follow these steps:
- Stop beating yourself up about your failures and shortcomings, and focus instead on your good qualities.
- See if you can be gentle on yourself and allow yourself to make mistakes.
- Give yourself space to feel your feelings.
- Permit yourself to follow your own dreams and desires.
Sexual Confidence for Men
Another important part of confidence for men is sexual empowerment. The pathway to gain this sexual confidence is to:
- Move Beyond Shame: This happens when you embrace your Core Desires (what you want to feel during sex), and your Hottest Sexual Movies (what you want to do during sex), whether or not you have someone to engage with.
- Get Rid of the Scarcity Model and Move Towards Enthusiastic Consent: This means teaming up with a partner’s desire instead of trying to manipulate it. This is how you move from appearing creepy to coming across as and feeling confident.
- Become an Amazing Lover – and feel confident in your ability
- Ask for What you Want in sexual experiences
Why is Emotional Intelligence Important?
Because they are told to repress their emotions, people socialized as men are frequently described as emotionally unavailable. Yet, their emotions are often shamed and repressed. This stunts the development of emotional intelligence and emotional availability.
Before we can address why emotional intelligence is important, we need to define it. When it comes to sex and relationships, emotional intelligence means being able to:
- attune to your partner energetically
- empathize with their feelings, needs, boundaries and capacity
- share vulnerably about your own feelings, needs, boundaries, and fears
- engage in mutually arousing experiences, based on what each of you wants to feel during sex
- share loving sentiments and appreciations
How an Experiential Sex and Relationship Coaching Training Can Help
So – how do you develop or improve emotional intelligence? And how do you cultivate interpersonal and sexual confidence? The answer is to practice, practice, practice.
One of the best ways to do this is with others, interested in practicing emotional and erotic intelligence around intimacy and sex. The Somatica Training provides such a venue. In the training, all of these tools of emotional intelligence as they relates to intimacy are broken down into experiential practices. Men can learn step-by-step how to attune, empathize, share vulnerably, have connected sex, and speak lovingly and appreciatively.
The wonderful thing about rehearsing in a group setting is the access to so many different people. The emotional intelligence training offers a chance to intimately experience people’s wide range of emotional responses and erotic desires. The training is also an opportunity for coaches to learn how to teach emotional intelligence, and to help them gain self-esteem, confidence, and sexual empowerment.
Join us for next Free Online Intro to Somatica, and learn about how you can empower yourself, men and women around intimacy and sex. Or if you’d like to study up more now, watch our webinar on how to empower men: