Vulnerability is sexy.
Let me explain. Bear with me, though.
I have this friend. My best friend, but also so much more than that. My person. We haven't "defined" ourselves yet, but love, with her wise and tender palms, is molding the shape of our infant relationship.
As he holds me each night, I press my ear to his chest and feel a beating heart that elicits love, pain, and a blurred, yet beautiful mixture of both. I look into his eyes, lulled by incoming sleep, and see through the glassiness a potent soul that brings the mixture to life through all vessels. He, more than almost anyone else I know, is brimming with passion, with feeling of all shades and sonorities. His veins permeate with love, and I'm lucky enough to be a receiver of it.
Yet, society seems to teach us that men like him - bold, strong, confident men who evolve into accomplished professionals, exemplary husbands and fathers, guardians of the home - men like that aren't supposed to cry. They are the big spoon, they open that jar, they carry your heavy bag, their shirtsleeves are stained with your tears, and not vice versa. If they're overflowing with waves of feeling, they must clean up the spill before anyone notices it. Without even being aware of it, 21 years of skewed gender based expectations has forced this man of mine to built a blockade in front of his precious soul that, with some help from a more than friend, is crumbling and diminishing beautifully. It should never have been there in the first place.
I've been told frequently that I am an emotional person. People have recognized that in me and called me mature. They see each feeling I harbor - raw and exposed, written in bold font across my face - and called that beautiful. A year ago when this boy, who then was still just my friend, did the exact same thing, he was called "weak".
That night, 2am on a Thursday, with his head on my lap and his secrets in my ear, I saw the wall that I did not know existed, begin to fall. Vulnerability, hiding shyly behind a curtain of expected manliness, looked at me for a brief moment with her glassy, blue eyes and smiled. A part of him he, perhaps subconsciously, kept locked away from reality greeted me for the first time, then scurried back into its cage, fearful of a monster named judgment. It was brief. It was beautiful.
Romance helps. She is able to unlock our deepest fears, our weaknesses, our greatest desires in life and love. For we are never as bare and vulnerable as we are when she emerges from her chamber and yanks the reigns of our sanity.
But it's an unreliable path. The real solution is a voice. Us. The ones who are allowed to cry when life slaps us in the tit. We are the solution. A woman wiping tears from her man's cheek. A woman opening the jar, carrying the bag. A woman looking at an emotionally powerful man, a man with glassy blue eyes that see a gorgeous bird and linger for a moment, a man with his heart written in bold font across his face, a man who isn't afraid to fall on his pride and be propped back up, a woman looking at that man, and saying "I want you".
Because vulnerability, emotion, feeling, regardless of what God gave you, is super sexy.