It’s not a secret anymore. Women make me nervous.
On any given day, it would be easier for me to jump naked into a pit of venomous snakes, freeze my tongue on a streetlight post for an entire winter, or consume a five-course meal of double-edged razor blades than to muscle-up my best sense of composure and socialize with the ladies.
Whether the encounter is platonic or professional, one lady or a gaggle of gals, the anxiety is always the same.
While most men would smugly bow up their chest, parade around their power, and freely frolic with the ladies, my anxiety would be borderline hysterical at best. However, I must admit I’ve become a pro at offering up my best faux-frolics. In fact, my mastery of this illusion rivals an academy award performance.
Under my skin, however, the invasive feelings of angst are difficult to ignore. Simply put, I would feel like a drop of testosterone in a sprawling sea of estrogen.
Because of this phantom phobia, I consider myself a testosterone novice.
My paranoia will be put to the test on June 22-24 during the BlogHer17 convention in Orlando. The conference organizers expect an “exhilarating mix of content creators, social media stars, entrepreneurs, top brands, activists, and fans.” Carefully note the title of this event: BlogHer17 as opposed to BlogHim17. Clearly, this conference is tailor-made for women bloggers.
I am not a woman.
However, I’m certainly an exhilarating content creator and blog fan. After all, I write for FeminineCollective.com – the leading women’s blog for original, raw, unfiltered stories. In that respect, I clearly qualify as a conference attendee.
But what about my gender?
Although my kids claim I’m metrosexual, I plan to dig deep into my raw masculinity to ensure it easily overpowers any amount of estrogen that may escape from my psyche. As I mingle among the ladies, no one will know that I would rather vacuum the house than mow the yard. Besides, as a testosterone novice, I will work tirelessly to fit into the social mix by focusing on my polished faux-frolicking skills.
It took years of practice to become a testosterone novice. After all, I was raised by a single stay-at-home mom who possessed very few masculine traits. In fact, she was the epitome of the 1950’s housewife – she took pleasure in her dress-wearing-cookie-baking-housecleaning identity.
I had few male role models during my formative years. Although my older brother taught me how to fish, play poker and chess, and lift weights at a young age, I was isolated and alone during my awkward teenage years. My impression of the opposite sex was forever shaped by the decades-old made-for-TV movie Sooner or Later. I translated the plot Dave-style from ‘innocent teenage love’ to ‘learn how to play the guitar, and you’ll have automatic confidence and charisma with all the ladies.’
Although I eventually learned how to play the guitar, the film certainly didn’t help me with my clumsy social skills with the opposite sex.
I still love Sooner or Later, although I would explicitly deny that fact at every opportunity. In fact, I recently watched the film on YouTube and found myself just as engaged as I was in 1979. But at the same time, I began to hate the film for giving false hope to my 14-year-old self. Thankfully, I learned to embrace myself as a testosterone novice while perfecting my faux-frolicking talents.
Meanwhile, I learned to appreciate, value and love all women. In return, I’ve built many rewarding relationships.
If you plan to attend the BlogHer17 conference in Orlando, be sure to seek me out and introduce yourself – I love to meet new people. I guarantee I’ll proudly display the epitome of confidence. I promise we will build a strong and lasting friendship. I guarantee I’ll be secretly trembling under my skin.
(If you somehow glimpse a healthy supply of Xanax in my left hand and a small flask of liquid courage in my right, pay no attention to those insignificant details. Instead, enjoy my expert faux-frolicking skills as they will be in full-effect.)
I admit, my self-branded identify as a testosterone novice is nearly phobia-like. Perhaps there’s a diagnosis code for my paranoia. If one exists, I’m certain it’s hard-coded in my medical records.
My wife explains my fear of women effortlessly:
“If I didn’t make the first move, we’d still be shaking hands.”
I have no doubt she’s right.
Thankfully, when I attend the BlogHer17 conference, no one will notice that I’m a testosterone novice.
And I’m cool with that.
Photo Effects: Dillon H. Burris ©Dave Pasquel All Rights Reserved