Toxic Masculinity from a Sex Worker Perspective
By Kendra Holliday | December 11, 2022
I’m going to preface this with the following disclaimer: I’m a witchy, woo woo, sex worker goddess, and this brain dump is going to sound crazy. I’m fine with that, as I fully embrace my hormonal mood swings and non-traditional way of thinking. I live in a society with lots of self-imposed cages, and my motto is “Think outside the cage.”
So, hear me out, let it all sink in, and let me know what you think!
Toxic masculinity goes hand in hand with white supremacy, and it’s making me sick. It’s making A LOT of us sick.
I’ve been diving deep into history, addiction, psychology, science, and more, and I’ve connected some dots.
Centuries ago, people from Europe set out and explored the world. They invaded many areas and took them over. They brought disease, death, and disruption to the people already living there.
They set up elaborate exports and imports of toxic trade – sugar, tobacco, alcohol, and slavery. They brought oppressive religions and destructive concepts that were deadly and divisive.
They declared that people, plants, animals, and places were all possessions. They put up fences, walls, and demanded territorialism.
They sought to control everything, and lived with a scarcity mindset. They instilled and lived in fear. They were hungry for power imbalance. They felt they were anointed by God, and thus justified in all their actions.
These things represent male energy: fire, cars, guns, alcohol, nicotine, conquering, destruction.
These things represent female energy: water, trees, cannabis, sharing resources, creation.
In almost every part of the world, societies respond to trauma and stress with music and dance. In Europe, they use alcohol as a coping mechanism.
The abortion issue and our prison system is based on toxic masculinity and white supremacy. Power, control, greed, corruption.
Margaret Atwood, author of The Handmaid’s Tale, says it’s, “a form of slavery to force women to have children they can’t afford.”
Our prison system is also a huge loophole for modern day slavery. See the book “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness,” and the documentary “Thirteenth” for a thorough breakdown.
In contrast, take a look at the Kingdom of Women, a society in rural China that has a matriarchal structure.
They don’t even have a word for rape. They hear about domestic violence and are disgusted and baffled by the thought.
It reminds me of the compare and contrast of other primates – chimpanzees are a warring, meat eating, bullying territorial species, whereas bonobos are peaceful, vegetarian, and resolve conflict with sex. Gorillas are also a more peaceful species, and orangutans, too.
Sometimes I feel like a bonobo surrounded by chimpanzees!
I’ve noticed that men with military experience are some of the most damaged by toxic masculinity.
I’ve worked intimately with thousands of men. They’ve been in my personal space, my body.
I’ve witnessed thousands of men in their most naked, vulnerable state. I can’t tell you how many have said to me, “You’re the only one who knows this,” as they confess a homosexual experience or erotic desire they are ashamed of.
The majority of my clients are “straight” white men with discretionary income in their 50’s and 60’s. Most are married and have high status jobs.
You’d be surprised at how many of them feel trapped and super stressed out. That’s right, they’re on the highest rung of the ladder and have the most privilege, but they feel so unhappy and unfulfilled!
Society has placed them in self-imposed cages so that they can’t self-actualize.
Our society does all kinds of insidious things to distance us from our primal roots – we’re removed from nature and put into cubicles, cars, cells. We’re discouraged to have feelings, body hair, and body fluids. We’re being turned into domesticated robots, and it’s killing us! We need to be wild, free, able to emote, dance, fuck!
But that’s too scary, so we lock ourselves down and feel guilty for having desires.
Most of the men who see me have had enjoyable homosexual encounters. MOST OF MY CLIENTS ARE SECRETLY BISEXUAL.
It may be the clientele I attract, but many of my men wish to be submissive, pegged, or even feminized. They are tapping into their deepest darkest desires and fears, and it’s deeply terrifying for them. Their whole life they’re told they have to penetrate other people and deny themselves pleasure, so what they want more than anything is to be penetrated, whether it be physically or spiritually! I’m starting to think the prostate is the seat of pleasure in men, or is it the brain?…hmm!
The men, women and couples who come to me and allow themselves to let their guards down and be vulnerable are SO rewarding. It’s so healing. I love holding space and being present for them. I love teaching them self-love and sex-positive education. I love being a passion midwife – helping people birth their sexuality.
The men who come to me and want to put on a performance based act and show off their prowess and the moves they learned watching porn are suffering from toxic masculinity. They don’t “get it.” They’re misogynists – they love women and crave female energy, but if a woman behaves in a way that doesn’t fit their standard – watch out!
They tend to disrespect me – not by assaulting me, but by their actions and feeling entitled to whatever they want. They tend to question, or even push, my boundaries and cancel on me short notice, putting me on unpaid retainer.
When I get one or more of these men in a row, I find myself triggered. I get really upset, and crave alcohol, which is like punching myself in the face. I’ve learned that I need to pace myself and carefully curate who I work with, otherwise I get burned out on toxic male energy.
Men use sex as a way of feeling close, which is why they feel so hurt when their partner never initiates sex – they take it very personally. (See this article on what men wish their partners knew about what they need and want.)
I have a theory that since men aren’t allowed to express their feelings openly the way women can (it seems anger is the main socially acceptable emotion), ejaculation is a way for them to discharge emotion and energy.
Women are allowed to cry.
Women cry; men ejaculate.
So it’s like women have two emotional discharge outlets right on their face, and men have one, and it’s buried and supposed to be kept private!
I can have an intimate encounter with another woman just by sitting across from her having tea – our eye contact is warm and fulfilling. But men often have an intangible protective wall up that prevents that connection. They have to get naked and have their dick out in order to access that level of intimacy and feel fulfilled.
Tears are one of the only socially acceptable body fluids in our society; all other body fluids are regarded with varying levels of disgust.
I say that more men need to be able to cry freely, and more women should learn how to squirt (female ejaculate)!
Let’s DISCHARGE those emotions and energy as often as needed for our health and happiness!
When you oppress and hurt others, you are hating on yourself. Outward aggression is an act of self-hatred.
Be an advocate for equality. Stop trying to control other people. Allow for agency and safe expression. Share resources. Operate on mutual respect.
Tony Porter sums it up well: “My liberation as a man is tied to your liberation as a woman.”
Countries with the highest rates of sexual satisfaction are the countries with the highest gender equality. I always say, “If women are happy, then men and children will follow suit.”
Domestic violence and child abuse are our biggest issues, and it starts from the top – the people in power are punching down – rich white men are punching poor white men and black men, who are punching women, who are punching children, who accumulate trauma and grow up to perpetuate the cycle and become addicted to drugs…this costs are society dearly. Think about how much we spend on prison, legal fees, recovery programs, therapy…
When men are hurting women, they are punching themselves in the face. It’s incredibly self-destructive. They are cock blocking themselves!
We need to address these “shenpas” – these hooks, or talons. We need to learn how to break the cycle, unhook ourselves and become free. I highly recommend the book “Taking the Leap: Freeing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears“, by Pema Chodron.
We need to REPLACE THE FEAR WITH LOVE.
Joseph 2019-06-16 18:34:04
This is God’s work. A clearly thought, clearly analyzed, and clearly written expository of how and why we men so often head down wrong directions, crash, and burn. We are our own worst enemy but though history explains a lot, we still are each singularly responsible for the inconsiderate attitudes of entitlement we demonstrate through our misguided words and behavior. Each of us should immediately commit now to being not just a better man but being a better human being and treating everyone, and I mean everyone, not as things or beings we use, judge, or control, but as sacred and reveared natural spirits of love, to be unconditionally cherrished and nurtured with wonderment and thanksgiving.
Kendra Holliday 2019-06-17 04:37:43
If God is Love, then you are one of the most Christian men I have ever known.
Joan Price 2019-06-16 21:40:12
OMG, I love this post so much. I want to run around quoting from it to everyone I see. Brilliant, Kendra.
Kendra Holliday 2019-06-17 04:36:32
Thank you sooo much Joan. I’m so honored!
Andre Leonard 2019-06-16 22:11:52
Charley 2019-06-17 12:24:49
“Toxic masculinity goes hand in hand with white supremacy, and it’s making me sick. It’s making A LOT of us sick.”
Toxic masculinity goes with white supremacy !? I can’t believe you would say something like this; I thought you were above going with the politics of the time and were a free thinker. Absolute shame on you for saying something like this and promoting such hypocrisy and hatred. There’s nothing hateful whatsoever about people who are white, nor men in general. This just shows that you are not as you claim to be a person who embraces freethinking ideas and liberal values. Again, the extreme shame for you that you are of this mindset, please don’t refer to yourself in the future as someone who loves people, because this does not show that.
Matt 2019-06-24 09:32:07
She didn’t say there is anything hateful about “people who are white” nor “men in general.” She discussed toxic masculinity and white supremacy, both real phenomena that one would hope most people would agree (perhaps another way of saying “the politics of the time”) are bad things. Of course, the politics of the time are very divided, and it’s become clear that one side of that divide is so hyper-sensitive, easily triggered and in need of safe spaces that even the suggestion that toxic masculinity and/or white supremacy are problems worthy of consideration is automatically seen as an attack on their entire ideology and Dear Leader. I wonder why that is?
Charley 2019-06-25 19:21:10
I don’t know what article you read, but it certainly wasn’t the one that she posted online. Her comments were EXTREMELY HATEFUL and completely out of line with societal standards. Sure, there’s a lot of division in America today, but that’s no reason to single out a single group and claim that they are the entire reason for why there is toxicity in the world. Everyone’s to blame and she didn’t say that in her article, she explicitly stated that it was white people, and particularly white males to account for all the problems in history.
All I can say is that her moniker “The Beautiful Kind” is mislabeling at its extreme; she ought to call her self “the Ugly Kind” because that’s actually what she has inside of herself-there’s nothing beautiful about her whatsoever and the fact that she can spew such hatred is a dead giveaway. That’s all I have to say about her and her distorted viewpoints. Just for the future. Don’t sell yourself as someone who cares about humanity because you are a fake and plastic person.
Mildred 2019-07-02 07:14:31
You cant argue with stupid.
brushfire 2021-08-03 14:28:12
Charley, please read again… white “supremacy” is not indicative of all white people, and “toxic” masculinity is not indicative of everything masculine. Acknowledgement of the concept of Exceptionalism and its byproducts is just being a student of history…being white and masculine does not predicate toxic or racially-exceptional behavior…those traits are learned through cultural propagation… jeez…this is why we have a culture that believes that folks should carry a firearm just to walk down the street to buy a sandwich and call it “freedom.” laughable how easily you got “triggered” by a bit of critical thought….free your mind, your ass will follow.
Kendra Holliday 2021-08-03 17:38:18
Thank you for this astute comment! Wishing for patience and compassion in these trying times.
Ayub M6 2021-12-23 08:22:07
Please contact me Kendra. My email was returned. It’s hard to understand the correct email for you. Waiting.
Till we meet… I’m ready to make the consulting appointment. Let me know. Date & time. Your my Christmas gift. You’re beautiful. Please let me buy you a present.
Brian 2019-06-24 20:15:34
Spot on. You are such a good writer. Keep up the good work
Steve 2019-07-02 19:18:23
Kendra Holliday 2019-07-02 20:41:37
Why thank you!
George 2019-07-13 07:47:33
Well done Kendra. Charlie misses the point that you are making, which is that toxic masculinity is primarily toxic to MEN, and that women and society are collateral damage. The interesting parallel that you mentioned, to white supremacy, is what got him fired up. You didn’t explore the parallel more deeply because you are mainly interested in sex (which is what we love about you!) but let me take it a bit farther. In what ways is white supremacy toxic to whites? In addition to the serious societal issues you mention, there are personal consequences. Race is an issue is all of our personal and professional relationships and creates a wall of uncertainty and distrust around motives, expectations, etc. We miss out in the richness of personal and cultural connections that are available when we engage with people of differing backgrounds and ethnicities. I am currently reading Robin DiAngelo’s “White Fragility” in which she makes the point that we need to talk more about how our prejudices not only hurt others, but ourselves as well.
You’re a smart lady, K!
Kendra Holliday 2019-07-13 08:29:27
Why thank you! I will definitely circle back to the book you mention “White Fragility”, thanks for mentioning it!
Cipriano 2020-10-08 09:16:25
The whole notion of toxic masculinity is sexist. There’s nothing toxic about a Y chromosome. Destructive behavior by a man is simply destructive behavior. It’s no different for a woman. Her destructive behavior is not an expression and indication of toxic femininity. Generalizing any behavior or ideation as being characteristically male or female, other than reproductive functions and lactation, is pure folly. Taking the addition leap of associating male with bad and female with good, is overt sexism. It’s sexism per se.
The answer to sexism that does exist isn’t to layer-on more sexism, which this posting does. It seems to be in fashion now to claim to hate only haters, which makes one simply a hater; to claim to be intolerant of intolerance, with makes one simply intolerant; and to be sexist toward sexists, which makes one simply sexist.
There are toxic behaviors. They are exhibited by people wo happen to be women. They are exhibited by people who happen to be men. They are exhibited by people who happen to be intersex, asexual, or otherwise non-binary in biological sex or gender. The notion of toxic masculinity is asserted as an overt form of hatred, kntolerance, and sexism. That doesn’t mean it isn’t fashionable today.
Gary 2021-11-08 21:39:07
I see your point, but one source defines masculinity as qualities or attributes regarded as simply “characteristic of men”. Women too can exhibit masculine attributes in the traditional sense. And when I talk about being in touch with my feminine side, I’m not referring to the one X chromosome I have.
Again, I see your point, but it seems too politically correct. Some people think a woman can’t be a chairman, and must be called a chairwoman instead, but that still has the word “man” in it. So then we go with chairperson, but that’s become a hint it’s a woman. Hard to purge the language of all that can be seen as sexist.
Kendra Holliday 2021-11-09 09:04:07
You make some very good, fair points. Thank you Gary!
Mike j 2021-08-03 13:45:23
Excellent article and very well written. As we all know, you can’t please everyone and of course you will be criticized by those who disagree. I am impressed with your writing ability and the ability to overlook the harsh criticism. Keep writing your articles because there are many of us who learn a lot form your writings and expressions. We would be lost without you. Great work Kendra.
Joe 2021-08-05 13:45:20
I enjoyed your blog post…you are an amazing and lovely woman!
Hector 2021-08-13 08:36:05
This is off topic, but have you ever feel frustrated about that notion that open relationships cannot be romantic? In literature, stories about sex positive people/people who have open relationships are always considered porn, never romance.
Lately, I have been trying to write a story about two people who have an open relationship, but I want it to be romantic, not porn. I wonder, though, how to make the blurb catchy.
Does any of you sex positive people here want to help me? May I show you the blurb I have written so far so that you can guide me?
Charles 2021-08-14 05:11:50
“…many of my men wish to be submissive, pegged, or even feminized. They are tapping into their deepest darkest desires and fears, and it’s deeply terrifying for them. Their whole life they’re told they have to penetrate other people and deny themselves pleasure, so what they want more than anything is to be penetrated, whether it be physically or spiritually!…”
My desire to be pegged has NOTHING to do with being submissive, feminized or fear. It just feels good.
Kendra Holliday 2021-08-14 06:10:48
GenericUsername 2022-04-15 21:11:59
Far be it from me to weigh in on any type of heavy subjects like this but, if I can just say, from now on I’m looking for one of those “live laugh love” signs that says “Women cry; men ejaculate.” in any of the aisles from the At Home store. I’m putting that sht on my wall. 😀 Your view point is well shared in this post.
Michelle Renee 2023-01-05 10:22:24
Well said. I’ll be sharing. 🙂
Bob Horan 2023-01-13 02:34:17
I agree with everything you wrote completely…I would love to edit your piece here and add a few additions…
Women are very much a part of the patriarchy….
Women accept toxic masculinity and work with it…
Great women have a hard time letting go of the lessons they’ve had ingrained in them by toxic masculinity. It’s easier…
The challenges are mighty and pervasive, I am so appreciative of your piece. Hate to say it but, a book and narrative video series could be in the future.
More to come, these thoughts have been pervasive in my life as I see the value of mainstreaming them. Anyway, awesome article and have loved following you from afar but in stl for years
Kendra Holliday 2023-01-13 05:34:19
I appreciate your edits and feedback. It would make for a good discussion topic. I might schedule a zoom event for my SEX+STL community, thanks for the idea!
D 2023-03-08 23:12:51
We have toxic masculinity because when shit hits the fan, nobody calls a feminist.
Kendra Holliday 2023-03-09 02:43:50
A feminist is “an advocate of women’s rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes.” What does that have to do with being helpful and capable?
d 2023-03-09 06:48:01
Let’s be honest. The expression “toxic masculinity” is a made-up term used by women to compensate for their own inferiority complex. Since, they are not “worthy” in their own mind, they have to find someone or something else to blame.
I am not saying those women are inferior, I am saying they “feel” they are.
But, lets admit it, women ARE different than men. Not better or worse, but different.
Kendra Holliday 2023-03-09 10:08:15
I agree with you – women are different than men. Brain scans prove that. https://stanmed.stanford.edu/how-mens-and-womens-brains-are-different/
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