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Men feel pressured to be ‘manly’ findings suggest

Manly men in action Tony Curtis and Roger Moore in ITC/ATV series The Persuaders!


Men feel pressured to be ‘manly’ findings suggest

Half of men feel pressured to be “manly,” according to new research.

A survey of a wide range of males, half of whom are sexually active, found that 50% feel under pressure to perform masculinity and eight in 10 agree that there is a societal pressure for men to behave a certain way. For nearly half, this pressure comes from expectations like knowing how to be “handy” around the house (49%), while others feel forced to act a certain way in front of others (48%) or have a specific body type (41%).

This may be holding men back from being their true selves, as 29% admitted that they wish they could embrace their feminine side more. Conducted by OnePoll for LELO, the survey found that these moments of self-doubt add up, with the average man experiencing feelings of insecurity over 900 times throughout the year.

Many feel particularly misunderstood when it comes to romantic relationships (31%), their sense of humor (29%) and their financial knowledge (28%). Twenty-eight percent also feel misunderstood by others regarding their sexual needs (28%).

In the bedroom, 39%, of the 2000 polled, feel pressured to be “manly” during sexual interactions, implying that they need to be dominant or in control (49%) and have a certain amount of physical strength (40%).

Luka Matutinović, chief marketing officer at LELO:

“In a world where societal expectations often dictate how men should behave, particularly in the bedroom, it’s disheartening to see that half of men feel pressured to conform to traditional ideals of masculinity. We should challenge these stereotypes and embrace a more inclusive view of masculinity. Men should feel free to explore their true selves without the burden of conformity, especially regarding intimacy. We are eager to break down these barriers and promote a culture where everyone can fully enjoy their intimate moments without following a set script.”

Nearly two-thirds of men agree that part of “being a man” means that there are some topics that are off-limits to talk about with anyone (62%). According to respondents, the topics that hold the greatest stigma in society for men are emotional sensitivities (50%), sex lives (45%) and mental health (39%).

Consequently, 54% believe that their friendships with other men lack depth as they often struggle with talking about their feelings (37%) and sex lives (31%). More than a quarter of respondents can’t even remember the last time they discussed their sex lives with male friends (27%), expressing that it’s made them feel awkward (31%) and anxious (17%).

When it comes to sexual health, half of all men agree that masturbation is one of the most stigmatized topics; so much so, that just 39% have ever talked about masturbation with their male friends. Forty-five percent said they’d feel judged if their partner knew about their masturbation habits.

But American men are ready to retire these stigmas — some of the topics that they wish weren’t considered “weird” to talk about with other men are their emotions (41%), mental health (29%) and sex lives (28%).

Luka Matutinović, chief marketing officer at LELO:

“In a society where many men feel there are limits to what they can talk about, it’s essential to recognize that some topics, like emotions, sex lives, and mental health, carry unnecessary stigma, As a society, we must create a safe space for men to discuss these sensitive subjects openly. By breaking down societal norms and fostering a safe space, we pave the way for authentic dialogues. No judgment, just sincere discussions that empower men to connect and build real, meaningful relationships without holding back.”

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