A 43yr Old Man Goes On A Secret Mission

by Joel L, Australia.

A couple of years ago, on my way to a Universal Medicine workshop, a conversation started with the friend I was staying with.

The conversation moved to women’s beauty routines and the effort they make to pamper themselves. I noticed a reaction in me when it came to thinking about me doing ‘that stuff’. I never saw Dad do it, surely Men are tougher than that, a bit of cream after sunburn is okay, but anything more and you were a ‘nancy’ (sorry to anyone called Nancy).

I made a choice in that moment to feel what might be behind my reaction rather than just run with the reaction. What I found brought me to tears – a life-time of wanting, yearning to be touched that tenderly, to be held with that much love, to be allowed to ‘pamper’ myself. A lifetime of choosing rough and tumble over caring and gentle.

That was when the secret mission was launched… I was a bit embarrassed at not knowing where to start, so I did what any self-respecting man would do in this situation… I called my wife. After a couple of pointers, I headed out on my own to the ‘girly sections’ of a department store and to those ‘smelly’ shops with soaps and stuff.

It was a bit overwhelming – lots of smells, lots of choice…I stayed away from anything pink (of course), and if something said ‘for men’ it must be safe to test! I got a bit overwhelmed by people trying to spray stuff on me… it was obvious that they had no idea how serious this situation was.

Stage one complete. I walked away with body scrub, bath oil, moisturiser, my first bathrobe since I was a child (not too fluffy of course), and one of those brushy things. NB: no rubber ducks or toy boats.

Back at my friend’s house… no kids, no wife, just me, my bounty and my ‘not too’ fluffy robe. I sank into the bath… first miracle… I didn’t want to leave my wife and join a ‘Kylie Minogue’ tribute group… second miracle… It was AWESOME… third miracle… realising that maybe a rubber duck could have been a nice touch. Stage two complete.

Stage three… repeat often.

268 thoughts on “A 43yr Old Man Goes On A Secret Mission

  1. This secret mission shows clearly how much we accept images of how it has to be (to be a man) and hence, the boundaries that are not to be crossed if you want to remain in the ‘safe’ zone. That is why by following images we miss out on the beauty of life.

  2. Rubber ducks are essential and a lot of fun to play with. I trust you have since then aded them to your repertoire. In the shop you can always pretend it’s for the kids, okay?

  3. Having been a pink lover (not the band) all my life it is hard not to think of pink as being a normal colour for anyone including guys! It says a lot about society and how much we are damaging men in their expression of their tenderness when they do not feel safe to wear or do anything associated with pink.

  4. I find it hard to see the lack of care men have for themselves, the hardness they go into to protect themselves and the cuts and bruises that get ignored as they soldier on, men are equally worth caring for in just the same way as women and I love that you went and bought a fluffy bath robe. A fluffy bath robe is currently in my shopping list as I realise that I also haven’t had one for about 20 years and can feel how supportive it would be to put one on after long soaks or in the mornings when the house is cold.

  5. Joel thank you for sharing your secret mission which I feel, will not only inspire men to explore their innate tenderness through pampering themselves, but also inspire many women too.

  6. I love how you have highlighted here Joel, that we have a choice to feel what might be behind a reaction, rather than just run with our reaction. This is key to identifying what we are avoiding feeling in our body, and realising the truth we are not wanting to accept and address.

  7. I have to say it is not just men but also many women too that have forsaken their innateness and actually fought against it and have shoved that ‘yearning to be touched that tenderly, to be held with that much love’ into the bottom pit, and can actually freeze in the face of being met with the deep tenderness, especially from men.

  8. So so gorgeous, simple, deeply profound and funny too. And what you share about reaction here is priceless, to choose in the moment to feel what is underneath that rather than just run with it … that is pure gold.

  9. Joel I always love reading your blogs, they are light-hearted yet down to earth, having a bath with bubbles, or scent is always a great way to connect and wind down, and to nurture yourself if that is what the body is asking for, and I love how you have embraced a new self-nurturing way into your life.

  10. Women are clearly not the only people who deserved to be pampered, nourished and cared for and this is a great blog Joel reminding us of this fact.

  11. Hilarious – showing us that love is never too serious and that there much be playfulness too. An interesting blog writing about this subject – that does raise awareness for us all.

  12. Playful but revealing how much unsaid pressure is put on men to act a certain way. These imposed rules of what it is to be a man are acutely felt when a man dares to live his own way and hence not succumb to the rules he has been told to live.

  13. This is such an inspiring, light and fun sharing Joel, as exploring the way we care and look after ourselves actually can be.

  14. LOL this is funny but so relevant to where most men are at is to allow themselves permission to pamper themselves in what ever format it is.

    This ‘toughness’ imposition is really imposing. I see my male family members in such disarray and soon as tenderness is presented to them, they love it but don’t know how to sustain it and soon return to their hard routine.

    Go Joel…..Set the way for others

  15. Your secret mission Joel is a beautiful reminder that men too deserve to pamper and nurture themselves – I look forward to reading about stage 4.

  16. Haha and classic article about a subject close to my heart. People that know me know I love to smell great and look the same. I have always, since I was in my teens bought face care products and colognes to use to start and end my day. My father always used to use an aftershave lotion that had a smell after he shaved and also to put on if he was ever going somewhere special. Growing up I would always let him splash some on me as well for a bit of fun. Now my draw has all the necessary things, face wash, scrub, moisturisers etc etc. It’s not strange or even a stretch for me and when men talk to me about it I don’t rub it in their face (haha) I just speak of how much I love using these things, how they feel and what they do next is entirely up to them, my routine won’t change.

    1. This is so lovely to read Ray, I give good quality shower wash, shampoos and conditioner to my father and he absolutely loves it because otherwise he is left with the dregs. We have this attitude that when it comes to caring, men aren’t worth it which is so far from true. We all need to deeply care for ourselves however that may look.

  17. In the world of ours, things are clearly demarcated. This is what a man does, and that is what a woman does. And we play along until you discovered that there are some things the other side is doing that feel lovely and you ‘dare’ one day to try it. It takes courage but it is worth it.

  18. Beautiful Joel, Stage 4 may even include stronger scents and fluffier fluff . . . never discount anything! This is inspiring me to pamper myself more.

  19. Such a sweet little secret confession, I often wondered what it would be like for boys and men and if they ever wanted all the things that we as women are allowed to just have without feeling any guilt or shame, it is beautiful to hear we are not so different but men certainly do have more obstacles to overcome to get to the pamper room.

  20. I love your beautifully open and playful sharing of your experience Joel in exploring your innate tenderness which is gorgeous to feel.

  21. Ha, brilliant! The reaction in some men is huge when a woman is showing any ‘pampering’ towards themselves so I take my hat off to Joel allowing himself to feel what was behind the reaction. Every reaction, subtle or obvious offers an opportunity for growth so being aware of changes in my body when I am presented with something that I may find uncomfortable is certainly a moment to take stock and address and not to simply ignore.

  22. This is such a profound example of how ideas and beliefs of what a man or a woman should or should not be, this consciousness that preside over our society today, cap us from living and loving the realness of who we are and the richness of life we can experience and enjoy when we allow ourselves to surrender to be in connection to our tenderness, our love, our essence within. We also greatly miss out on sharing these gorgeous qualities with each other. There is nothing quite like being met by a man who walks embracing his tenderness – truly heart-melting every time.

  23. We don’t care for our infant boys any differently to our infant girls and if we didn’t allow ourselves to be influenced by the picture we have of boys as they grow up we would all still treat ourselves with the same tender loving care whoever we are.

  24. Joel it was delightful to read this blog again. I used to think all the fuss women made with their beauty products was a waste of time. I prided myself on being a soap and water girl with no frills. This all changed when I had my first facial, which was done as a favour to my daughter who needed someone to practice on as she was training to be a beauty therapist. The time and care she took was something I had never done for myself and she explained why I should bother with cleansing, exfoliating, toning and moisturizing. From them I started my own daily beauty routine. It is definitely linked to feeling that I am worth it, and of course we all are. I hope you are repeating your self-care activities often.

  25. Amongst the fast-pace of today’s world and the stress it induces for both men and woman equally, launching your secret mission Joel after ‘a lifetime of choosing rough and tumble over caring and gentle’ is a worthy undertaking for all men to nurture and commit to. But, in no way should it be ever secret, hidden or ever stealth guided as do we all honestly think women are the only ones that feel the pressures and need to be nurtured and honored with some regular TLC in this day and age? Go for it men, you deserve to be appreciated and appreciate yourselves equally to that any woman ever can be.

  26. Oh the pure Joy of shedding the ludicrousness of what our societies (currently) demand of men, and embracing yourself Joel L.
    p.s. My husband bought a women’s scent not so long ago – loves it. And the care he takes in choosing such things for himself and his own routine, can at times put me to shame… I learn a lot as a woman from him – as it should rightly be.

  27. I too learnt to choose “rough and tumble” instead of being caring and gentle with myself because I had hardened my body so much in protection that it had become a normal way of living. Learning to let go of the hardness has taken several years but layer by layer is dropping away the more I accept and treat myself with the love I deserve which deepens my self-worth and how much I value myself.

  28. Congratulations, your mission accomplished! I am so impressed you didn’t wait till you went home to start. You make it so light-hearted but I can totally understand how big a deal this must have been. And now 4 years after this sharing was first published, I hope you are continuing this often and perhaps got over your reservation about pink.

  29. I just realised Joel, you wrote this now nearly 4 years ago. I would love to hear how you’re pampering yourself these days? Have you upped the ante or come up with any other rituals?

  30. Thank you Joel for another great sharing, I would have to say as a woman pampering has not come easy for me, but just like you I am opening up to explore nurturing me in my body.

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