9 Traits of a Real Man

Note: This article was written over 13 years ago.   It was written in the context of dance and how the lessons we learn from dance can be applied to real life and what are the traits of a real man.  I have since updated it and am posting it here as I firmly believe that these lessons should resonate with both young and old.    

I hope you enjoy.

Years ago, I did a video project called “When did I know I was a Man”.  I conducted man on the street interviews with thirty men ranging in age from 18 to 35 and asked a simple question ;  When did you know you were a Man?.   

protector

I was amazed by some of the answers I received.  Some said when they turned 18,  others when they had sex,  others when they had a family.  One even said when he was old enough to drink.

The answer was always some age or milestone in life but never did anyone talk about if or when they had mastered traits that should be the real definition of a real man.

Now you might just ask  “hey, what’s this got to do with Intimacy and sex anyway?”  Well, I’m glad you asked.   Read the post and consider, for yourself, how these traits impact your experience in the bedroom and your life.
 
Women need to encourage men to be masculine – who they really are and not who women think they should be.  This means women should back off.  But, for the guys out there who haven’t got a clue who they are and what real women want and need, here goes:
 

What are the Traits of a Real Man?

Responsibility

What is responsibility?
Responsibility is the unwavering commitment to fulfilling one’s duties and obligations, both to oneself and to others. It entails being accountable for one’s actions and decisions, considering the consequences they may have on individuals and communities.
responsibllity
  1. Emotional responsibility: A responsible man takes ownership of his emotions and communicates them in a healthy and constructive manner. He is aware of his feelings, respects his partner’s emotions, and actively works towards resolving conflicts in a calm and respectful manner.
  2. Commitment and reliability: A responsible man is committed to the relationship and follows through on his commitments. He is reliable and can be counted on to fulfill his promises and obligations. He values the trust his partner places in him and takes steps to maintain that trust.

  3. Financial responsibility: Being financially responsible means managing finances in a prudent manner. A responsible man ensures that financial responsibilities within the relationship are shared fairly, and he takes an active role in budgeting, saving, and planning for the future. He is accountable for his financial actions and strives to provide stability and security for his partner and any shared goals.

  4. Communication and active listening: A responsible man understands the importance of open and honest communication in a relationship. He actively listens to his partner’s thoughts, concerns, and needs without judgment. He strives to create a safe and supportive environment where both partners feel heard and understood.

  5. Support and partnership: A responsible man supports his partner’s aspirations, dreams, and personal growth. He encourages and empowers his partner to pursue their goals, providing assistance and guidance when needed. He sees the relationship as a partnership, where both individuals contribute equally and work together to overcome challenges.

  6. Respect and equality: A responsible man treats his partner with respect, recognizing her as an equal and valuing her opinions, decisions, and boundaries. He understands that a healthy relationship requires mutual respect and actively works to create an atmosphere of equality and fairness.

  7. Personal growth and self-improvement: A responsible man acknowledges that personal growth is an ongoing process. He takes responsibility for his actions, reflects on his behavior, and seeks self-improvement. He strives to become a better partner, continually learning and evolving to meet the needs of the relationship.

Discipline

In a relationship, a positively masculine man can describe discipline as the ability to maintain self-control and adhere to certain principles or guidelines that contribute to the well-being of the relationship. Here are some ways discipline can be expressed:

traits of a real man
  1. Emotional discipline: A responsible man with emotional discipline is aware of his emotions and can manage them in a healthy and constructive way. He doesn’t allow his emotions to dictate his behavior, but instead, takes the time to reflect and respond thoughtfully. This includes avoiding impulsive reactions, being patient, and considering the impact of his words and actions on his partner.

  2. Personal discipline: A positively masculine man exercises personal discipline by setting and achieving personal goals that benefit the relationship. He maintains a sense of responsibility in his personal life, such as managing his time effectively, taking care of his physical and mental health, and pursuing personal interests and self-improvement. By being disciplined in these areas, he can contribute positively to the relationship.

  3. Communication discipline: Effective communication is crucial in a relationship, and a responsible man demonstrates discipline by communicating respectfully and honestly. He takes the time to listen actively, chooses his words carefully, and avoids resorting to aggressive or harmful language. He practices open and empathetic communication, allowing for productive discussions and conflict resolution.

  4. Boundaries and discipline: A responsible man respects and maintains healthy boundaries in the relationship. He understands the importance of consent, both physically and emotionally, and respects his partner’s boundaries without crossing them. He exercises self-discipline by recognizing and adjusting his behavior when necessary, ensuring that both partners feel safe and comfortable within the relationship.

  5. Continuous growth and discipline: A positively masculine man recognizes that personal growth requires discipline. He engages in self-reflection, seeks feedback, and actively works on improving himself and his role within the relationship. This includes acknowledging his shortcomings, taking responsibility for his actions, and demonstrating the discipline to make positive changes.

Do the Work

It’s important to note that discipline should be approached with balance and respect, and should not be used as a means to control or dominate a partner. Instead, discipline should be practiced in a way that promotes personal growth, mutual respect, and the well-being of both individuals in the relationship.

Honesty, Integrity and Self-Awareness

Be honest with yourself.  Know yourself.   I’ve seen many men who thought they were great, strong, smart men who were not.  I’ve also seen some who were but thought they were not.   Ask your partners for an honest opinion and be man enough to take it to heart.  

Are you personally in touch with your own shadow? Have you truly confronted your Anger, jealousy, judgement, grief, shame?

Trust
Treat Women Like Women
  1. Respect: A positively masculine man respects a woman as an individual with her own thoughts, opinions, and autonomy. He values her ideas and perspectives, listens to her with genuine interest, and considers her feelings and needs when making decisions. He respects her boundaries, both physical and emotional, and never engages in any form of abuse or disrespect.

  2. Equality: A positively masculine man views his partner as an equal and promotes equality within the relationship. He believes in shared power, responsibilities, and decision-making. He recognizes that both partners have unique strengths and contributions and values their differences. He actively supports and encourages his partner’s personal and professional growth, treating her as a partner rather than a subordinate.

  3. Kindness and empathy: A positively masculine man shows kindness and empathy towards his partner. He treats her with love, tenderness, and compassion. He is understanding and supportive during challenging times, offering a listening ear, a comforting presence, and emotional support. He shows empathy by putting himself in her shoes, seeking to understand her perspective, and offering reassurance and encouragement.

  4. Partnership: A positively masculine man sees the relationship as a partnership built on mutual support and collaboration. He actively participates in household chores, child-rearing (if applicable), and shared responsibilities. He recognizes that both partners contribute to the relationship’s success and actively seeks ways to contribute and make his partner’s life easier.

  5. Emotional support: A positively masculine man understands the importance of emotional support. He creates a safe and nurturing environment where his partner feels comfortable expressing her emotions without judgment. He validates her feelings, offers reassurance, and provides a listening ear when she needs to talk. He is sensitive to her emotional well-being and supports her in times of stress or difficulty.

  6. Appreciation and gratitude: A positively masculine man appreciates and expresses gratitude for his partner’s presence in his life. He acknowledges and values her contributions, both big and small. He expresses his gratitude through words, gestures, and acts of kindness, ensuring that she feels loved, cherished, and appreciated.

It’s important to note that these qualities are not exclusive to traits of a real man and can be practiced by individuals of any gender identity. A healthy relationship is built on mutual respect, equality, and kindness, where both partners treat each other with love, care, and consideration.

Communication
 Communication and Active Listening

A responsible man understands the importance of open and honest communication in a relationship. He actively listens to his partner’s thoughts, concerns, and needs without judgment. He strives to create a safe and supportive environment where both partners feel heard and understood.

Here are some key aspects of how such a man would treat his partner:

  1. Respect: A positively masculine man respects a woman as an individual with her own thoughts, opinions, and autonomy. He values her ideas and perspectives, listens to her with genuine interest, and considers her feelings and needs when making decisions. He respects her boundaries, both physical and emotional, and never engages in any form of abuse or disrespect.

  2. Equality: A positively masculine man views his partner as an equal and promotes equality within the relationship. He believes in shared power, responsibilities, and decision-making. He recognizes that both partners have unique strengths and contributions and values their differences. He actively supports and encourages his partner’s personal and professional growth, treating her as a partner rather than a subordinate.

  3. Kindness and empathy: A positively masculine man shows kindness and empathy towards his partner. He treats her with love, tenderness, and compassion. He is understanding and supportive during challenging times, offering a listening ear, a comforting presence, and emotional support. He shows empathy by putting himself in her shoes, seeking to understand her perspective, and offering reassurance and encouragement.

  4. Communication: Effective communication is essential in a healthy relationship, and a positively masculine man communicates openly and honestly with his partner. He listens attentively, validates her feelings, and expresses himself in a respectful and considerate manner. He encourages open dialogue, addressing any concerns or issues that arise in a constructive and non-confrontational way.

  5. Partnership: A positively masculine man sees the relationship as a partnership built on mutual support and collaboration. He actively participates in household chores, child-rearing (if applicable), and shared responsibilities. He recognizes that both partners contribute to the relationship’s success and actively seeks ways to contribute and make his partner’s life easier.

  6. Emotional support: A positively masculine man understands the importance of emotional support. He creates a safe and nurturing environment where his partner feels comfortable expressing her emotions without judgment. He validates her feelings, offers reassurance, and provides a listening ear when she needs to talk. He is sensitive to her emotional well-being and supports her in times of stress or difficulty.

  7. Appreciation and gratitude: A positively masculine man appreciates and expresses gratitude for his partner’s presence in his life. He acknowledges and values her contributions, both big and small. He expresses his gratitude through words, gestures, and acts of kindness, ensuring that she feels loved, cherished, and appreciated.

It’s important to note that these qualities are not exclusive to masculinity and can be practiced by individuals of any gender identity. A healthy relationship is built on mutual respect, equality, and kindness, where both partners treat each other with love, care, and consideration.

Courage and Protection

Take measures to safeguard and support your family and those facing unjust attacks. Prepare for emergencies and establish a well-thought-out plan. Stand firm in asserting boundaries, employing strategic approaches. Anticipate future situations and remember to demonstrate leadership in your actions. 

Anytime Wendy and I are out, I am always conscious of our surroundings.   I never sit with my back to the door.  When walking down the street, I make sure I am on the road side.   It is my duty and my honor to be her protector and make her feel safe.  She has entrusted me and put herself in my care.

traits of a real man
traits of a real man
Inspire Submission

Submission today is such a terrible word to use because we have been indoctrinated into a belief that a woman should never submit to a man.  That somehow, by submitting,  the woman loses control.  Submission is the ultimate act of control.   In life and dance, submission is the ultimate expression of trust.   

The person submitting is actually the one in charge.  Yes,  you heard right.   Submission is a decision that must be made with each direction.   

 Submission cannot be force, rather, it must be earned.  I’ll say it again. 

 It Must Be Earned.  

In a relationship, the perception of submission can vary depending on personal beliefs, values, and cultural contexts. However, it is important to emphasize that healthy relationships are built on mutual respect, equality, and consent. Here are some perspectives on submission that a positively masculine man may hold:

  1. Mutual consent and collaboration: A positively masculine man recognizes that any submission or surrender of power within a relationship should be based on mutual consent and agreement between partners. He believes in open communication and active collaboration, ensuring that decisions are made together and that both partners have an equal say in the relationship dynamics.

  2. Respect for individual autonomy: While submission may be present in certain aspects of a relationship, a positively masculine man respects his partner’s autonomy and recognizes her as an equal and independent individual. He values her thoughts, opinions, and choices, never seeking to control or dominate her. Instead, he encourages her to express her needs and desires and actively listens to her perspective.

  3. Trust and emotional safety: A positively masculine man understands that submission, if it exists within the relationship, should be based on trust and emotional safety. He creates a safe environment where his partner feels comfortable expressing herself and knows that her well-being is a top priority. Trust is nurtured through consistent actions, open communication, and the demonstration of respect and support.

  4. Balanced power dynamics: A positively masculine man strives for balanced power dynamics in the relationship. While submission may exist in certain areas, it should not result in a significant power imbalance or be used to manipulate or exploit the partner. He actively seeks to maintain a healthy equilibrium of power, ensuring that both partners have an equal voice, agency, and influence in the relationship.

  5. Constant growth and self-reflection: A positively masculine man recognizes that personal growth is an ongoing process. He engages in self-reflection and examines his beliefs and attitudes towards submission. He questions societal norms and expectations, constantly seeking to evolve and improve as a partner. He remains open to dialogue with his partner, discussing their thoughts and feelings regarding submission, and adjusts his behavior accordingly.

It’s important to note that submission, like any aspect of a relationship, is subjective and can be interpreted differently by different individuals. The key is to foster open and honest communication, mutual consent, and a respectful approach to understanding each other’s needs and boundaries. Each relationship should define what submission means to them and ensure that it aligns with the principles of respect, equality, and consent.

Wendy has given me this gift and it inspires me to move mountains for her.

It must be freely and willfully given or you are just a bully.  Inspiring submission demands selflessness on your part.  Inspire her to accept your invitation by inspiring her trust.    How do you do that?  Did you read 1 – 8 above?

Conclusion
Masculinity extends beyond stereotypes, and we’ve explored its application in dance and daily life. True masculinity is rooted in confidence, courage, responsibility, discipline, honesty, integrity, kindness, listening, defending the weak, and inspiring submission.
 
It’s about embodying strength and empathy, not dominance. We must lead with confidence, inviting connection and growth. Taking responsibility means prioritizing safety and enjoyment for our partners.
 

Do you agree, disagree?  What is your opinion?  What do you want from the men in your life?