If you’re like most men (or a woman who loves them), you’ve experienced the challenges of navigating masculinity and sexuality. An important question is ‘why hasn’t there been a deeper conversation about how male biology shapes our consciousness and impacts our lives?’ Well, get ready to dive deep into these topics with renowned author and expert, Paul Abramowitz, in this episode of the We Are Already Free podcast.
If you’re a man who has ever felt stuck in adolescence or struggled to find your path to emotional and sexual fulfilment, or a woman who loves men and wants to understand more about how we work, this episode is for you.
Join us as we unravel the mysteries of male sexuality and learn practical strategies to cultivate meaningful connections and personal transformation.
Links to Paul:
Topics covered in this episode:
- Unlocking the Power of Authentic Masculinity: Discover how understanding and embracing authentic masculinity can lead to personal growth, meaningful connections, and emotional and sexual fulfilment.
- Navigating the Challenges of Adolescence and why so many men get stuck there: Learn strategies to navigate the challenges of adolescence and embrace healthy masculinity, allowing for a smoother transition into adulthood.
- Exploring the Impact of Sexuality on Men’s Lives: Unveil the disappeared conversation around how our biology shapes our consciousness and impacts our lives as men, and gain insights into the profound marriage between our consciousness and sexual development.
- Embracing Wholeness and Authenticity: Embark on a transformative journey to becoming an integrated man, embracing wholeness, and challenging societal expectations.
- The Intersection of Consciousness and Sexuality: Understand the power of mindfulness and consciousness in shaping our sexual development, and explore the intersection of consciousness and sexuality for personal growth and intimacy.
- Of course, so so much more…
Overcome flaccid mornings with the 5-Day Morning Practice Challenge:
If you’re struggling with limp dawns which lead to deflated, drained days, then I have great news for you!
Head to alreadyfree.me/yes to take my FREE 5 day morning practice challenge.
In just a few minutes each day, you’ll craft a custom morning practice that works for you, and puts the juice back in your fruit, the sap back in your trunk, and the bounce back in your step.
Even if you’ve tried and failed to start or maintain a morning routine in the past, this is designed to be easy, simple, and achievable.
As past challenge-taker Emma said, “After struggling with motivation, lethargy and an overly active mind, this morning practice challenge came along at the perfect time. It only took a few minutes each day to complete Nathan’s easy-going, value-packed lessons. I feel motivated and back on track! Give it a go…”
So if you’re ready to rise to the occasion, and meet each day with a grin and a bounce in your step, then give it a go!
[00:00:00] Nathan Maingard:
[00:00:04] If you're like most men or a woman who loves them, you've experienced the challenges of navigating masculinity and sexuality. An important question is why hasn't there been a deeper conversation about how male biology shapes our consciousness and impacts our lives? Well, get ready to dive deep into these topics with renowned author and expert Paul Abramovitz in this episode of the We Are Already Free podcast.
[00:00:31] In this thought provoking conversation, we explore the hard wiring of male sexuality and the transformative journey to embracing authentic masculinity. We'll discover the power of integrating our sexuality with mindfulness, consciousness, and personal growth, say goodbye to outdated societal expectations, and rediscover what it truly means to be a whole, integrated man.
[00:00:56] If you're a man who's ever felt stuck in adolescence or [00:01:00] struggled to find your path to emotional and sexual fulfillment, or a woman who loves men and wants to understand more about how we work, this episode is for you. Join us as we unravel the mysteries of male sexuality and learn practical strategies to cultivate meaningful connections and personal transformation.
[00:01:20] This episode welcomes Paul Abramowitz, an esteemed author, expert, and guide in the field of human sexuality. With a background in both Eastern and Western traditions, Paul has dedicated his life to exploring the intersection of sexuality, consciousness, and personal growth.
[00:01:35] His groundbreaking book, Sexed, delves into the importance of understanding male sexuality for personal growth and intimacy. Paul's work aims to bridge the gap in conversations around sex and empower individuals to cultivate meaningful connections and embrace their true selves.
[00:01:52] He currently lives in Cape Town, South Africa, where he continues his medical practice and provides therapy for individuals and couples seeking guidance on [00:02:00] sex and intimacy. In this episode you'll learn about unlocking the power of authentic masculinity, navigating the challenges of adolescence and why so many men get stuck there, exploring the impact of sexuality on men's lives, embracing wholeness and authenticity, the intersection of consciousness and sexuality, and, as always, so much more.
[00:02:21] Find links to Paul Abramowitz's book sexed and his website in the show notes on whatever app you're listening, or directly at alreadyfree. me. Before we get started, just a quick check in. Are your mornings more collapsed tent than well erected central pole? Do you wake up feeling groggy and unmotivated?
[00:02:41] Imagine starting your day with clarity, energy and purpose. Visit the show notes to access my 5 day morning practice challenge. This challenge will help you rise to the occasion in just a few minutes a day. Don't miss out on this lovingly crafted challenge to transform your mornings and set the tone for a juicy [00:03:00] life.
[00:03:00] Visit the show notes or go directly to alreadyfree. me slash yes to kickstart your mornings. And now please enjoy this illuminating conversation about male sexuality with Paul Abramovitz.
[00:03:12] so I'm very interested. I haven't read your book yet. sexed, and is it sexed or is it? Cause I get a sense there's like sex ed as well as sexed in there in the way that the title is written.
[00:03:21] Paul Abramowitz: Yeah, there's there's a few things. There's sexed, as the book is pronounced, there's sexed, and if you take the X out, there's this, there is seed, S E E D. so That all relates somewhat to the biological imperative, the bodies that we live in as men, which is very rarely examined. Psychologically, emotionally, et cetera.
[00:03:45] So sexed is good.
[00:03:47] Nathan Maingard: Yeah. Yeah. I like that. And so, so how is seed? Cause I mean, I think sex I'm pretty clear on, well, at least up to a certain extent. Then sex ed in terms of the education aspect also makes sense based [00:04:00] on the book. But then what about seed?
[00:04:02] Paul Abramowitz: seed relates to the sperm, which needs to find its way out of our bodies in order to allow our species to continue on in perpetuity and in the female body, the female physiology, there is this phenomenal. technology of of an egg being produced through this great synchronicity of four different hormones in her body.
[00:04:28] So every month at puberty. and until menopause, this egg drops down. But how do we get the sperm to the egg? And so the much of the premise of the book speaks to an yet as of yet as understand an unspoken or disappeared conversation about how living in a man's body, we are imbued with a whole number of physiological traits, which impact our behavior.
[00:04:57] And that behavior, particularly as heterosexual men, [00:05:00] has been caricatured trans culturally and trans historically. So you could say, well, it's really about the culture the man grows up in, how much he, and that's true to some degree. But the underlying reality is that all heterosexual men in all, um, different cultures actually do share this caricatured nature of heterosexual behavior.
[00:05:29] Nathan Maingard: Hello. Sorry, brother. I, I completely lost you for a moment. I'm back now, but, it might've recorded, but let's just go over it again briefly, because I got you up to a culturally and that basically the, you call it a disappeared conversation, which I think is an incredible term that I'm a disappeared conversation.
[00:05:49] I'm interested to hear more about that, but just what were you saying around that?
[00:05:53] Paul Abramowitz: So, one could argue that, that men are different. Heterosexual men are different in all cultures. [00:06:00] And I'll also perhaps expand on why I speak to the nature of heterosexual men other than gay men or trans men. But in fact, all of us are biologically. Imbued from the age of seven weeks in utero to acculturate in a way, and that's not the right term because it, it refers to the nurturing, but to, to move in a direction that speaks to the, the, the caricature that we are often living into as men.
[00:06:30] Certainly adolescent men. And often those of us who have what I call a delayed man syndrome, which pertains to us remaining in our adolescence as adult men, as it regards our sexuality and intimacy.
[00:06:45] Nathan Maingard: Dude, there are so many directions. This is one of the things I struggle with in like three dimensional time is that I just have so many things I now I'm wanting to ask you about, but I'll start with. The one that kind of speaks to, or that at least gave me the sort of felt [00:07:00] like it was talking to me is this idea of the adolescent man, or like in many ways, you know, I'm 39, I'm going to be 40 pretty soon.
[00:07:06] And I feel like I spent most of my life, most of my so called adult life trying to stay. a boy. Like trying to keep trying to avoid, or at least avoiding the responsibilities, the skills, the kind of all the things that would mean that I was now a fully responsible adult man. And I'm curious to hear a bit more about what you mean about that and what that's connected to and yeah, just your, your perspective on that.
[00:07:35] Paul Abramowitz: That's a beautiful question. And in the most extreme form. One of the terms used for that is, is kind of a Peter Panism, is of the, of the boy never really growing up and the the notion that we are, from my point of view, we are, as men and women, sent out into an ordeal of puberty [00:08:00] because in puberty we are separating from a very familiar child hood and puberty comes by nature of this biological imperative and shuffles our world around.
[00:08:11] For us as men, we're introduced to what I call a holographic hypersexual hyperspace. In other words, everything becomes quite focused on the sexual. Things that were not that important before become very interesting. A pair of breasts, for example, which were funny, perhaps as a child or interesting, become quite serious.
[00:08:31] And that's all by biological demand and by biological design. And so there are a number of experiences that we have during puberty as boys, which are a shared common way of experiencing the world. alL of a sudden our, our attention is focused like a laser beam on sexual [00:09:00] interest and sexual opportunity.
[00:09:02] And by the time we get to adolescence, our brains are pruned at about the age of 26. Everything that we've used stays. Behind everything that we haven't used gets pruned away. So, you know, we are compelled in many ways towards masturbation as, as boys in puberty. Some of, some of my own research and the research out there shows that we will masturbate from, you know, two to three to four times a day with a fantasy, usually around a body part.
[00:09:40] of a woman. And it's important also to say that our sexual fantasies as men and women are quite different. So we have this, we have this imprinting on our brain, which develops and stays after puberty, after adolescence. And so many of us will find that we're Carrying our [00:10:00] adolescent way of being that's sexual and also with regards to responsibilities and how we, how we find excitement in entertainment rather than perhaps transformational ways of moving into adulthood.
[00:10:16] Many of us are left with that and if it's unexamined. We can live our entire lives in that place although at andropause when we get to be older men and our testosterone goes down, our actioning towards sex might not be as flagrant, but our desire might still be there. And that's because the brain is pretty much designed in a way to, to, to keep us somewhat interested.
[00:10:43] in, in sex and sexuality. I'll also add to that, Nathan, the fact pertaining to your question is that there are, there are very few examples of, of men out there who, Either in our community or out there in the larger society who actually reflect what it, [00:11:00] what it looks like to be an adult man. And we have also the industrial complexes of romance and sex, which, which tend to pull us back into that space and the industrial complexes of movies.
[00:11:17] And entertainment, which tend to delay that that, that crossing of the threshold into, into manhood. But I, I would say in coming back to the disappeared conversation, much of that has to do with the. orbiting around the adolescent sexual space for us.
[00:11:42] Nathan Maingard: And if you were to say. Is there kind of a standard way that a man or that an adolescent, whether he's 16, 17 or 35 or 55 could move from, from that sort of. stuck adolescence into his manhood. And I'll, [00:12:00] I'll briefly contextualize this with a story from a tribe that serves a plant medicine. They, they called the Huni Kuin and they are, I've sat with them before with this, this beautiful ayahuasca medicine.
[00:12:13] And some of the people who come are, you know, some of these leaders. Are men who are sort of 23 years old and they've got, you know, a wife back home. They've got a kid maybe, and they are some of the leading healers and shamans and teachers in their tribes. And for me, when I first saw that, it was a shock because I couldn't imagine how I couldn't imagine myself at 23 years old, having anything close to that kind of capacity.
[00:12:38] And it it's connected with what you've just said is that I, I used certain parts of my brain and I didn't use, or I use certain parts of my behavior. And then I didn't use others. And there was a. I like what you said. There are pruning, which is a bit scary as well, but then how do, how does someone like me or how does someone in our culture where we have these kind of lacking examples, how do we consciously move from that [00:13:00] adolescence into that holistic, masculine adult man?
[00:13:04] Paul Abramowitz: So that's a, that's a multifaceted, wonderful question. And the answer is, is of course also multifaceted. And I'll, I'll backtrack it as I answer that question, because as I find myself more embedded in. For example, the consciousness changing space of the men's work that both of us are involved in or were involved in, I discovered that this great drive towards consciousness or building awareness through mindfulness or Qigong or yoga, or even you know, taking plant medicine um,
[00:13:42] always seemed to improve. skirt the issue of our sexuality as men and it occurred to me and having grown up in a home where my father was a gynecologist and a sex therapist, I started thinking about this at the age of 11 and I [00:14:00] had access to his books, I had access to Forum Magazine, I had access to questions that were being asked by couples, who were struggling in, in the meeting of the, of the male and female in the heterosexual relationship.
[00:14:14] And so I began to think at an early age, deeply into what society was giving us, as opposed to, what was indeed the antidote or the counter conversation to what society was giving us. And landing in a deep space of listening to thousands of stories of men who were asking the question that you were asking.
[00:14:38] In fact, they were coming, I think, in, in large, if we had to, you know, provide a meta, a meta reason why people were coming to the work to see what was working in their lives, what wasn't working. I think it feels as if, and at least it was for me, it was to find this initiatory path into. [00:15:00] into another way of being out of adolescence, out of, out of this sort of somewhat also chaotic and less defined way of being.
[00:15:11] And as I listened to these thousands of stories, because I came with a background which had a prism into how our sexuality impacts us as human beings. I started to realize that the that that a sincere conversation around how our sexuality impacts our consciousness was missing. And I looked for it, I looked really hard for it.
[00:15:37] buT I, I saw conversations pertaining to men who were perpetrating. I saw medicalized conversations around men seeking help for premature ejaculation. And erectile dysfunction, and I saw conversations around the asexual man, but I didn't find what I called the men in the middle of the bell curve, straightforward [00:16:00] guys, straight guys heterosexual men who were dying literally to find out how to integrate whole masculine With with our sexuality, which, which was often expressed through the adolescent insignia of, you know, how to get more sex how do I move on from my sexual and not stay.
[00:16:24] with my partner. How do I avoid intimacy and all of those things? They might not be asking that question, but that's what their lives, that's what my life reflected as well, when I, when I, when I started to look more seriously. So it requires an uncomfortable examination, um, into how I became the man I became through integrating this, what I call biological imperative.
[00:16:53] of being asked to become what I call a reproducer of the species. And just [00:17:00] as, for example, Kayla Osterhoff is a neuropsychophysiologist, has identified that there are in fact four different places in the menstrual cycle where a woman will emotionally feel differently. I am stating or claiming that there is a profound marriage between our consciousness and our sexual development and that it hasn't really been.
[00:17:27] identified before, and it's what I've tried to, what I've tried to do in the book. provide a map.
[00:17:34] Nathan Maingard: So let's. Let's get into that. Let's get into kind of the core piece here because it keeps turning back in that direction, which makes sense, but it sounds like there's this, I think you've, you've talked about it as the, the imperative hard, hardwired for sex. And I'm so, so what is this foundational thing that us.
[00:17:53] Heterosexual men are confronting in ourselves and how does it affect? And then, yeah, but [00:18:00] basically let's start there. What is this thing? What is, what does it mean to be hardwired for sex?
[00:18:05] Paul Abramowitz: I'm pleased that you, that you, that you used that term, because to me, for me, the term hard white for sex is where our human inquiry had gotten to, hard white for sex, and then lots of cartoons and funny stories and, um, self deprecation around feeling this this incredible pull towards sex and how each one of us expresses our sexuality, but the deeper inquiry, the deeper mapping of how that happens, why that happens, and its impact on me, and how I spend my sexual energy with those who I love in my life, and even how I spend my energy, because as I point out in the book, how I define myself as a sexual being bleeds into all aspects of my [00:19:00] life as a man.
[00:19:01] Less so, perhaps, as a woman, but as a man, there is there is the design. to hijack, well this is biology's design, I call it our reproductive biological intelligence, to be able to hijack our consciousness, our awareness, and it does so potently at the age of, you know, 10, 12, 13. And so the design by nature needs to have what I call predictive reproductive behaviors in us.
[00:19:36] And those are all the caricatured behaviors. Those are the reasons why we dress in a certain way. The reasons why we think we can improve our ability to To, to hook up with a woman and all of those things they're acting hard and fast in the adolescent brain. And as we said earlier, they get left behind in our [00:20:00] deeply grooved behavioral and habitual pathways through adolescence as we move into, as we move into manhood.
[00:20:08] tHis reproductive biological intelligence has two foundational pieces as I As I can identify for now, the first is the hard and fast rules of what our biological sexual hard wiring is. That's our testosterone, our dopamine, the development of our brain, for example, something I call overt alertness is the ability of a man to, to see at 180 degrees a sexual opportunity and then to notice what the mind does with that.
[00:20:43] In fact, I think one researcher said 200 milliseconds it takes for a man to, to recognize. If something's on for him or not and that's almost before the, the conscious mind is aware of it. So all of these [00:21:00] designs, the fact that the median preoptic area in the brain, which is the, uh, mate, sexual identification areas, two and a half times bigger in a man than it is in a woman.
[00:21:11] So you'll often be chatting to a male mate of yours and you'll see his eyes moving off to the side in a kind of a distractive manner. You know, every time I say that to a man, it's a, it's a kind of an internal smile. So, so there are these designs and somehow they have bypassed our inquiry as a very curious species.
[00:21:39] This, this design of how our biology is, is imprinted in order to, to, to move to what I call a sperm to egg opportunity. And a lot of the answer to the question that you're asking me, Nathan, [00:22:00] relates specifically to each of us as men, finding out how that happened. You know, there's a book, there's a book.
[00:22:09] I don't know if it was around when I was going through puberty called what is happening to my body for boys to understand what's happening, but there isn't a book. There wasn't a book until I wrote mine, I think. What happened to my body? What happened to my consciousness? Where did I get taken to?
[00:22:30] And how do I, how do I come back from there and claim my masculinity with, you know, with a wholeness, with sex included? So, I'm not sure how much that answers your question, but it is a long conversation.
[00:22:45] Nathan Maingard: no, of course. I mean, it's, it's interesting to me on a few levels. One is that, that this hasn't been more of a conversation in our society or there hasn't been more looking into this, but I want to move into the second part of this, which is where you say. Hardwired by nature, [00:23:00] evolving by choice. So what would you say, and I'm sure there's.
[00:23:04] Many ways one could take this, but like, what would it look like for an integrated man who is, has done this work around being hardwired for sex and has come into that wholeness you just mentioned? How do you think that might show up or what behaviors or patternings or relational dynamics might that kind of man then step into in his life?
[00:23:26] Paul Abramowitz: beautiful. So I think one of the great, predicaments, and I outline a number of predicaments for us as heterosexual men right at the beginning of the book, but one of the great, um, predicaments is the predicament of often feeling like we're not able to meet our woman in a particular place, or, and certainly if she's she's done some of her own work.
[00:23:48] And, you know, I once, I once in the therapy space, saw a man for the first time, and he said, I said, What brings you here? He said, My partner wants me to be more intimate. He said, [00:24:00] but I don't know what the hell that means. What does that mean to be more intimate? And the beautiful thing about intimacy is that It, it speaks not only to an intimacy with another person, which, which of course is crucial to the wellbeing of any relationship, but it speaks to the invitation of the intimacy with ourselves, which is where all intimacy must, must begin.
[00:24:29] And the model that I use and explain is that it moves. This, this journey of arriving in this place, because also to say importantly, we don't actually ever arrive, but we begin to see aspects of ourselves change, and we also begin to see the world differently. And we also notice that we're being received differently.
[00:24:58] And those are all [00:25:00] primary subtle changes, which are evoked through simply. The willingness to become curious, called curiosity based research, when we, when we become curious about ourselves, there isn't any space for judgment, which is a primary detractor, really, and it's a place that I used to go to very often, but when I, when I think, Hmm, that's interesting, this is showing up now.
[00:25:28] I wonder why it's showing up, and then I workshop that, it takes me to a far more expansive place, this, this fantastic curiosity. So the needle is moved from the entertainment place, or the place of lightness, or not being able to sit in The deep gravitas of life itself with our partners and with ourselves, it's moved over into a transformational space.
[00:25:57] So it's not to say that [00:26:00] lightness is no good. It's really about building a broader bandwidth. It's not about chucking out entertainment or chucking out lightness of being. In actual fact, the paradox is that when we move over to that side of transformation, there is a, lightness of being that we haven't really known before because it comes through the integration of all of who we are as men and as women too, but all of who we are as men.
[00:26:31] And I think, I think the universe wants to welcome all of us in all of our different shades. It's, it's us that doesn't want to do that. And, and when we do that, we move over into the realm of what I call our intimacy quotient. And the intimacy quotient, and fascinatingly enough, this has been spoken to also by [00:27:00] one particular western scientist, fantastic doctor and psychiatrist or psychologist Peggy Kleinblatt, the intimacy quotient that I ascribe to her indices are our ability to focus more deeply, to be immersed more deeply, our ability to see our intimate relationship as a field of communication, spoken and unspoken, as an adventure, rather than, you know, this is the World Cup final and it's only happening once in four years.
[00:27:30] It's like, no, it's an adventure. We're going to try something out. We're going to explore. I'm going to explore myself. I would love to explore you. I invite you to do the same and to willingly step courageously into transformational episodes. Multiple transformational episodes. Multiple ayahuasca trips or mushroom trips without the meds.
[00:27:58] You know,[00:28:00] because the meds are going on here in our brain anyway, it's a matter of inviting another way of being and recognizing this profound experience that we're having, you know, moment to moment. So overall, Nathan, I would say the movement from lightness to holding a far more gravitational, aspect of the world and myself is where a man might find himself when he takes that journey.
[00:28:37] Nathan Maingard: When you say entertainment, I'm curious to know what that means for you.
[00:28:43] Paul Abramowitz: first of all, as it relates to sex and sexuality, it's the, it's the compulsive nature towards seeking out new sexual opportunity. So, and, and, and compulsive ejaculation, [00:29:00] compulsive relationship to, to the dopamine, to the dopamine kick of it. If you expand that into, into the lived experience outside of our sexuality it's useful to know that our, our brains are designed for novelty.
[00:29:20] So the tendency to, to give our attention to things that are continuously novel is a form of entertainment because one could argue that there's very little integration of that experience and that's no more better defined for all of us on a daily measure when we're scrolling through social media, for example.
[00:29:45] Or even listening to podcasts, for example. I believe there's a fitness around integrating information and to a degree, we could say that, that we're, we're losing that fitness because there's so much information [00:30:00] around, we're going from one interesting thing to another. And I often say to my clients, when it comes to, when it comes to exploring our own sexuality, um, one of the disclaimers that I have is it's really important to begin to.
[00:30:17] differentiate between what's interesting and important and what's interesting. And when I say interestingly important, I mean important as it pertains to my life, important as it pertains to how I show up in the world and who I bring to my partner and my family. Interesting is generally the kind of stuff that we scroll through and we find it interesting, but it's useful on a personal research point of view to find out what percentage of time we're spending in this interesting zone versus this interesting and important zone, because that leaves us way over on the other side of entertainment.[00:31:00]
[00:31:00] And I'm calling it entertainment on purpose because it needs to be called what it is. Otherwise, we're in trouble of thinking that it's something much more important than what it is. Right?
[00:31:12] Nathan Maingard: Yeah, the reason I asked you about it is because that's resonating with me deeply. I realize I spend still more time than I would like to. Entertaining myself through scrolling is exactly that scrolling on social media, watching movies et cetera, and just really becoming deeply aware of how addictive it is and how easy it is in a way because of that dopamine hit where.
[00:31:36] I want, what I'm looking for is a sense of satisfaction, a sense of fulfillment. And instead of, and then instead of sitting with the discomfort of, wow, I have, I could choose to do anything right now. And that's a big responsibility because some of those things are going to be. Taking me in a good direction.
[00:31:53] Some of them are not, et cetera. It's like, I can actually just very quickly pick up my phone and get the dopamine that I'm, that, that part of me [00:32:00] is looking for, but it doesn't, it actually then ends up, as we know, those addictive cycles, I wake up on the other side in a worse situation and still have the same challenges I had before I chose entertainment.
[00:32:13] Paul Abramowitz: Exactly. Beautiful and beautiful awareness that you're, that you're aware of that. And I think that awareness is the first step to stepping. beyond that. And without that awareness, we're in that, we're in that sort of hypnotized zone. It's also important, I think, when, when I hear you speak to that, and It's also important to, to give yourself a break and to say, and to notice that everything in the world out there is pulling us in that direction.
[00:32:47] And it takes quite a courageous and momentous set of awarenesses to harness whatever powers we have and to begin [00:33:00] to move in a direction that gives us, or can give us profoundly more pleasure, more joy, more sustained and real sense of being in the world,
[00:33:12] but out there, we don't really hear the possibility of that. For example, your podcast is one example of. An antidote to all of these industrial complexes, the industrial complex of entertainment, Netflix, Showtime, the news industrial complex, the romantic industrial complex, all of these complexes. And I'm not a huge conspiracy theorist, but it's really.
[00:33:40] It's really hard in my own sort of court of judgment in my brain, it's really hard to imagine that some smart people haven't figured out already how to capture the attention of the human being. Through fantasy, [00:34:00] through imagination, through dopamine, through all of those things. And, you know, the freedom that we have lies not in those things.
[00:34:08] The freedom that we have is in the recognition that there is a world pulling us in a direction. And it's a place that I sort of came to in my own realization. I felt pulled, but, but I was allowing the pulling. And through, as you mentioned, dopamine and you know, past emotional knotting I allowed myself to move in that direction.
[00:34:33] And it required the power of group work and therapy and all of those things to, to help me make the choice not to pull so strongly in that direction anymore. And what I found was quite extraordinary, actually.
[00:34:48] Nathan Maingard: I'd love to hear you speak more to the idea of what helps because, so I'll just as an example, I am working with CO my coaching clients. A lot of it is [00:35:00] purpose work. A lot of it is actually more and more I'm realizing is narrative transformation because generally most people I speak with know about.
[00:35:07] Breathwork and meditation and journaling and ice baths, like, most people know the, the strategies that are going to shift their state, that's going to align them and give them more capacity to show up in the world. But the piece that overall seems to be misaligned is the personal narrative or the personal mythology of people around, which leads to the self doubt to self sabotage, the I'm a failure.
[00:35:29] I suck like, and those are all the stories we've been fed. Forever. So, one of the things that I offer through my, my coaching is actually writing a personal custom heart song for my clients at the end of our time working together. So we do a, a program and then I, and I write a song based on who they really are based on the work we've, we've kind of.
[00:35:47] Uncovered or the, the authenticity that we've uncovered in this person and then putting it into song as, as song and story is such a powerful shifter for humans. Like we, we operate so primarily on the stories. And [00:36:00] so doing that has been really powerful. So the reason I'm telling that story is that. I had one of these songs to write for one of my clients and I was feeling a huge amount of resistance.
[00:36:08] I was feeling scared. what if I can't write another song, you know, all the stories of what if, you know, and I was, I was putting it off and I was prioritizing quick dopamine hits because then I can feel good now. I don't have to go through the, the trial of what if I fail, cetera.
[00:36:22] And what I then did is because I really want to show up and I really want to serve this client and I want to be this. This person that I believe myself to be. I brought that to my men's group and I, it was an accountability piece for me. And through the process of reflecting my desires and my fears within a safe group space, that gave me what I needed to align my actions with my.
[00:36:47] My actual intention, my authenticity and write the song, which I then did. And so you've spoken to a few things. You've mentioned curiosity, therapy, group work. Do you want to expand on any of those or are there any other things [00:37:00] that for someone who's on this path of holistic integration, that that would be beneficial?
[00:37:06] Paul Abramowitz: Another beautiful question. I think for me the overarching understanding that
[00:37:13] our lives are,
[00:37:15] or let me put it this way, our lives might well be orchestrated in such a way that the benefit of learning becomes a tool in and of itself for growth. So all adversity relationships are in fact wonderful fertile vectors for deepening not only our human experience, but if, if a client or an individual is so inclined to understand that there is a larger, you used the word narrative, that there's a larger narrative taking place. For my own experience at about the age [00:38:00] of five. I had what seemed like a strange experience, perhaps to some people, but I had the sense, that I was in a reality that was pretty separated and pretty unfamiliar to me. I, I seemed to be familiar with a more unified environment. I also realized I was in a body.
[00:38:20] I realized that my lower jaw moved and my upper jaw didn't move. So it was as if I was a consciousness that was understanding that I was inhabiting this foreign thing, this foreign body. And I also realized, although I didn't have the terminology for it at the time, but also realized that There must be many, many different realities.
[00:38:42] And this was born out in my, my research later on in the book, where I realized that, researchers had figured out that we as human beings can only see one 10th of 1 trillionth of 1 percent of the electromagnetic spectrum. If you think about the fact that we place all our narratives and our [00:39:00] truths on one percent of one tenth, one millionth of one percent of our realities, it's a pretty frightening conclusion to come to, and I love the fact that you do the narrative work with your clients, and I think it's I use a lot of that as well, and it's a primary, it's a primary foundational tool to see how we've all constructed in order to stay safe or whatever, we've all constructed a book about how our past looked like.
[00:39:31] And so we, we carry on with the same ink and the same narrative, the same style, et cetera, et cetera. And, and the beautiful opportunity to change that into another way of being. But the overarching aspect for me has. has been the great privilege to see through that prism from the age of five, which is the possibility that in fact, we are so much more expansive than we've been given to understand.
[00:39:59] [00:40:00] And the reaching into What my beautiful partner Karina and many others have referred to our essence, our, our very being before we got set upon, which is also what the narrative work does, but the possibility and as some, some clients have been able to reach into the possibility of the purpose, the soul's purpose, possibility of understanding the usefulness of being in a body, this body.
[00:40:26] and being constricted down into all of these emotions. The usefulness of understanding that and harnessing that as a possibility then allows our compass really to move a degree or two or three to the other side. And as you know, if a pilot sets off and goes off course one, one degree, they'll end up in a, in a very different place.
[00:40:49] And the journey also looks extremely different. So for me, I would, I would add that. If clients are so inclined, if [00:41:00] you are so inclined to begin to integrate that knowledge that's now being put out into the world, there's a wonderful man called Christian Sonderberg who's spoken about pre birth memories, and the choices of choosing this body and being in, being in the human experience.
[00:41:19] If one is so inclined, then opening up to that possibility. with a curiousness,, not a judgement a curious inquiry, can in fact, and does in fact, I believe, change our moment to moment experience of the world, the deepening of our compassion for ourselves, the deepening of compassion and empathy for others, and the ability to, it gives some kind of a fitness to our ability to, to weather storms and integrate storms in a, in a way that otherwise can seem to be quite tedious and, and difficult.
[00:41:57] The last thing I'll say is that as a [00:42:00] culture, certainly the West, we've moved into a place of trying to make life more and more comfortable for ourselves. And I would argue that Comfort doesn't always align with transformation, and since, if we can imagine, if this planet was a school, actually a university, where we get a PhD in being a human being, if we apply our attention in that way, we begin to see adversity, in some way as a gift, even while we're having it, believe it or not.
[00:42:37] I know oftentimes we can look back and say, geez, that really helped me to change. But the, the, the mystical nature of changing adversity into a learning experience, like a difficult exam, helps us to harvest a lot more from that experience than we would have if we were just trying to get away from it.
[00:43:06] Nathan Maingard: Yeah, it's so interesting. I just started listening to talking of interesting and educational, interesting and valuable, interesting and important. I think you said, and I've been discovered a new channel on YouTube that we're not new, it's not new, but a friend sent it to me. So it's new to me. And this person does a lot of quite long form videos about story and about things like the hero's journey, et cetera.
[00:43:28] And, and I'm watching one now where he's basically, he's like. The hero's journey is not true in a way of like that life is not like a hero's journey and I'm, and I think, and so far I, I mean, I'm enjoying, I think one of the things I'm enjoying the most about it is just listening to something that I actually very much disagree with and without judging it, you know, like I'm just enjoying hearing this person speak and just being like, not a chance, dude, like everything you're saying is, but I, he's speaking beautifully and he's clearly thought deeply about it.
[00:43:57] Yeah. And so his whole premise [00:44:00] thus far is that the hero's journey is a problem because we, we apply it to our lives, but it doesn't actually. And that's where I disagree is that I see that when we, when I give meaning to this, what is potentially could potentially feel meaningless of like, why is this happening in my life right now?
[00:44:18] Like, why did my tire go flat on my car or whatever? Like this sucks. I'm late already. And I've got somewhere to be. And now my tire's flat. This is bull. But right in there. Is a hero's journey. Should I choose it? I have the choice for that to be a hero's journey or not. And I think that's the distinction that I'm witnessing for myself.
[00:44:36] And again, being, there's also, we've connected such a big story to being a hero, being a hero as in Superman, like the one who has all these extra powers and lives an extra special life. And when, in fact, to be a hero is to become fully embedded in one's personal narrative and to choose it. However, it looks anyway, that's something I'm thinking about a lot
[00:44:56] Paul Abramowitz: No, I love that. I love what you're saying. And there [00:45:00] is such a danger in going skin deep in terms of what is a hero's journey and applying it. I love, I love how you've dissected more deeply into the moment by moment choice of, of what it can be of a hero's journey is, having a, even to say to have a victory over the moment, to integrate the moment might, might be in disagreement to this, to this fellow, but I think it's a, I think it's a wonderful way to embrace everything that comes at us in life.
[00:45:32] Nathan Maingard: For sure. Well, let's, so just one more question around the book. It's obviously you've dedicated a huge amount of time, care, love, energy, research, study to, to creating this book Sexed. And if there were, and this might be It might be impossible to do this, but if there were a takeaway, like if you could just choose one takeaway that someone would get from reading this book, and then I still suggest everyone should go read the book to actually like take in whatever that might be, but is there some [00:46:00] discernible takeaway that you would really prioritize?
[00:46:03] Paul Abramowitz: Well, if I'm allowed, maybe I'll say. One or two or three.
[00:46:07] Nathan Maingard: Yes,
[00:46:08] Paul Abramowitz: neuroscientist Anil Seth said, and I'm paraphrasing here, he said we're much more a part of nature than a part from nature. And I think the tendency of us as human beings to get away from nature and No, that's another whole discussion in terms of, in terms of being masters of our own universe has, has led us down some, some serious rabbit holes.
[00:46:34] And the masculine has moved also in, in the direction of not seeking ways to understand how we are part of nature. For women, it's pretty obvious. there's the nurturing and there's the, the sexual being, there's the obvious menstruation and the egg, but for us as men, it's, it's, it's not that obvious.
[00:46:55] So it appears as though there's a profound redemptive piece when men [00:47:00] read the book because of the fact that our reproductive biological intelligence has us buy in so strongly to the call to sex. You know, many men and for me. as well for a long time. I didn't know if I was thinking about sex or it felt like sex was thinking me.
[00:47:20] I didn't know, I didn't know the difference between the two. And I think, I think to, to step into a sexual self agency for a man can be a very profound journey of reclaiming the self and expressing our sexuality as men from a place of conscious awareness. And the deepening of the deepening of intimacy with life itself is one of the, one of the profound things I think that, that somebody might gain from, from reading the book.
[00:47:53] And for women too, by the way, I found that the, the curiosity of women to understand [00:48:00] us as heterosexual men is a deep, deep desire. And, and so to, to create a place of seeking to understand each other, which can evolve through reading this book and books like this, brings a place of deep understanding for couples around what each couple is, is dealing with or going through.
[00:48:24] And and that's, that's no small thing. That's a beautiful thing and, and changes the dynamic of, for couples as well.
[00:48:31] Nathan Maingard: And if people are wanting to, to follow up and get a hold of your book, et cetera, I will of course put links in the show notes, but just right now, what is the kind of best places you'd like to send people to?
[00:48:43] Paul Abramowitz: Well, Amazon is a good place. They're all print on demand and then there are a couple of, there are a couple of local Take a lot as well in South Africa has got it, but Amazon in all of the different countries provides the book. It's available on Kindle as well
[00:49:06] Paul Abramowitz: Yeah. So very much, very much in in line with the thread of the conversation that you've invited Nathan. It speaks to the invitation for us to remember that we began somewhere and that the world happened to us and we happened to the world and we allowed certain things in and we disallowed certain things from coming, from coming in.
[00:49:28] It speaks to the reclaiming of the essential aspect of ourselves and the invitation that it is in fact a birthright. to claim this freedom, whatever it looks like, and it looks different for, for every single one of us. It has to look different for every single one of us. I think the motto of your podcast or the headline of your podcast is a wonderful reminder for human beings, the human species to take up the [00:50:00] invitation to, to find out what that means.
[00:50:02] And that's a journey. It's a journey and it's a beautiful journey. So. Yeah.
[00:50:10] Nathan Maingard: Well, thanks again, Paul. It's been a real pleasure to have you on and yeah, I mean. Yeah, just grateful to you for following your curiosity and for going deep into such a, an, what I consider a deeply critical, important topic, and then offering us you know, a way to access this through the book. So yeah, thank you again.
[00:50:31] It's been a real pleasure to have you on.
[00:50:33] Paul Abramowitz: Thank you, Nathan. Thank you for the work that you do and thank you for the privilege of sitting with you for a little while.
[00:50:39] Nathan Maingard: Thank you, Paul Abramowitz, for sharing your wisdom and insights on male sexuality and the journey to embracing authentic masculinity. Your thought provoking conversation has shed light on the importance of understanding and integrating our sexuality for personal growth and meaningful connections. To you, dear listener, if you resonated [00:51:00] with the topics discussed today, I invite you to visit the show notes on your app or at alreadyfree.
[00:51:04] me, where you'll find links to Paul's groundbreaking book, Sexed, and more. I want to express my gratitude to Paul. Thank you for joining me on this enlightening episode, I appreciate everything that you bring to the table, your extensive research, your compassionate approach, and just knowing you as a man, as a mentor, I really appreciate you.
[00:51:24] Thank you for all the value you bring and inspires the heck out of me. Oh, one more thing, dear listener. If you're struggling with flaccid mornings and limp dawns, which lead to deflated, drained days, then I have great news for you. Head to alreadyfree. me slash yes or visit the show notes on your app to access my free five day morning practice challenge.
[00:51:46] In just a few minutes each day, you'll craft a custom morning practice that works for you and puts the juice back in your fruit, the sap back in your trunk, and the bounce back in your step. Even if you've [00:52:00] tried and failed to start or maintain a morning practice in the past, this is designed to be easy, simple, and achievable.
[00:52:06] As past challenge taker, Emma, said, After struggling with motivation, lethargy, and an overly active mind, this challenge came along at the perfect time. It only took a few minutes each day to complete the easygoing, value packed lessons. I feel more motivated and back on track. Give it a go. So, dear listener, if you're ready to rise to the occasion and meet each day with a grin and a bounce on your step, then give it a go.
[00:52:32] Visit alreadyfree. me slash yes or visit the link in the show notes now. And finally, thank you as always for tuning in. Your presence, your engagement, your loveliness make this whole thing possible. These conversations, these guests. So please, dear listener, stay curious, keep exploring. And until next time, as always, remember that we are already free. [00:53:00]