I’m a Man and I Have Issues

I’m a Man and I Have Issues

It didn’t feel normal or spontaneous.
Between being scolded by your conservative [female] relative for doing something “immodest” and listening to your friends whispering about touching certain [private] areas on maids’ and female cousins’ bodies, you eventually learn to associate the opposite sex’s body with shame.
There has got to be something shameful about it.

When we were kids, my aunt used to hit my cousin when she’d sit with her legs spread apart on the beach, even though she was only eight, like me; while I, on the other hand, could run around naked.
When I was a bit older, my mother used to get furious at me whenever she caught me peeking at our maid Hoda’s chest while she breastfed her son.

I had trouble the first time I had actual sexual intercourse.
I didn’t know I could feel shy. Me! How? Why? Was it even possible?

I had always fooled around in the streets of Cairo, you know.
I got around a lot and did stuff on the streets, near the club, at tutoring centers, at school, etc.
I almost took off my boxers one time in the middle of a main street—you’ve got to believe me.
I didn’t feel shy or embarrassed then. I was proud of being a man, messing around with a hot babe in the middle of a crowded main street in Mohandessin.

Yes, proud. I was a man who was always hooking up with girls from good families. Why shouldn’t I boast about it?
Despite this, I found myself feeling shy the first time I had full intercourse.I felt shy because she was more spontaneous than I was, bolder; she was free.
She was a foreigner. Her body wasn’t taboo to her. Her body was just her body.
I couldn’t believe it when she took off all her clothes. She took them off in a second, without thinking about it. Unlike us; we wear a hundred layers, and each layer takes about an hour to take off.In a second, she was standing there naked like the day she was born.

And in that moment, I felt like someone standing on stage for the first time.
I quickly took off my clothes, so I wouldn’t have time to think. I couldn’t let her think I was shy or less enthusiastic than she was.
And the moment I took off my clothes, the thoughts started swarming in. I got scared.
I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to perform well. I was afraid I wouldn’t be manly enough!
I was afraid my penis would be too small. It’s not small, but how do I know what the men she slept with before were like? I was afraid I wouldn’t know how to…

How do people know whether or not they know how to do it?
I bet they find out in situations like this!
What will she say about my body when she sees my belly?
Come on, man up. Man up. Man up.
Don’t come too fast. If you come too quickly, she’ll know you have no experience.
What will I say to the guys? If I lie to them, they’ll know.

So many fears. Not just because it was my first time, but because, here, masculinity is gauged in centimeters, minutes, and moans. And the few words of praise she’ll say.
These few things are what separate those who are men from those who aren’t.
Even though I was naked, I was still afraid she’d see my body.
I was afraid she’d see something unmasculine about me, or something she’d interpret that way.
I was scared to the extent that I wanted to get up and leave.  

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