Author Topic: "Does this make me less of a man...?"  (Read 4415 times)

Offline bigdude1

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I've been regarded my whole life as the "big dude," "a man's man," "the tough guy." My wife jokes I'm sometimes "too macho for my own good," whatever that means. This is the image I've associated myself with my whole life, and I do it with great satisfaction. In spite of this, I'm not an arrogant person, by any means. I think I am a pretty decent guy.

This brief description is done to illustrate the fact that it is hard for someone like to me to even acknowledge I may have an embarrassing physical problem to deal with. It's even harder to secretly do reasearch on it, when my wife's not around, for fear she would find out about it (she sleeps next to me, as if she wouldn't already know). And finally, it's definitely against my very nature to come to a website like this, register, and post a message. I must be feeling really distressed...

I have read some of the posts and I realize most of you share my pain. Kudos to you, you're all very brave people. Let me share with you why I'm posting and, if you can relate, feel free to share with me as well.

Obviously, I have gynecomastia, that's why I'm here. For that matter, I have had it since my pre-teens. Fortunately for me, it was never a bad case, and I was never teased (perhaps the fact that I was always the big, strong guy in the group had something to do with it) about it. For that matter, I don't think anyone ever really noticed, never had anyone mentioning it to me. I have a picture of me in a swimming pool right around that time, and you can definitely see a couple of very small lumps in my chest area. It looks bad and it did make me self-conscious back then, however, they were small enough that I could wear t-shirts without them protruding, and the fact that puberty brought on a lot of muscle, which allowed my "problem" to very naturally "blend in" with my pecs, made me forget about the issue altogether until very recently.

I'm getting older, gaining weight, and although still muscular, my body is definitely not what it used to be. Long story short, my gynecomastia got worse. Obviously, this didn't happen overnight, but unlike some of you who've been consciously aware of it your whole lives, it hit me like a ton of bricks one day a few weeks ago, on a windy afternoon. I was crossing the street and the wind was pushing my shirt against my body. I could see my reflection on the glass in the building in front of me, and as I was crossing the street, I could clearly see my pecs looking extremely... odd.

I came home, took my shirt off, and sure enough, my "problem" wasn't what it had been for the past two decades. It was noticeable now. It still "blends in" with my pectoral muscles, it's still a mild case, but if I wear a t-shirt now, you can tell.

Now, I'm not so much distressed about the gynecomastia itself. Screw the "aesthetics" of it. Sure it looks bad but, to me, what put me in a spiral of despair was wondering what the hell causes it. I know all the possible causes now, I've done enough research, and I also know the majority of cases are idiopathic. In my case, gaining weight sure was a contributing factor. None of that seemed to matter to my brain though. It just felt like a full frontal assault on my perception of my own masculinity. "A guy like me, with these boob-like things attached to my pecs? Women have boobs, not men, not me..." I was in denial for a couple of days, as if ignoring it would make it go away, but then all my pre-teen insecurities came back flooding inside my head. Then came anger, "what the hell is wrong with my body?" Then despair, "does this make me... less of a man...?"

I have always cherished my masculinity, my heterosexuality. Nothing against gay people, to each his own. To me though, being manly has always been an integral part of my self-identity. Sure there might be an element of insecurity to it all, but more than anything, I love being big, I love being strong, I love the fact that my wife would feel secure and protected next to me even if surrounded by grizzly bears. I love benching more than anyone at my gym. I love beer and sports. I love women. I love my wife. I'm faithful to her no matter what because, to me, a real man sticks by his lady. And I love the fact that she loves me even more for that. I am a man. That's who I am.

And for the first time in my life, that notion has been shaken and tested. All because I have visible, breast-like tissue under my pecs. Because men don't get breasts. Women do. You have to be me (or you, reading this, if you can relate) to understand how much awarenes of your gynecomastia can wreak havoc in your self-image. Sure, I know this condition bears no reflection on me as a man. I know it doesn't determine sexual orientation in any way. But right now, this big, tough, strong guy is feeling much like an insecure teenager. I've had people pointing loaded guns to my head in my youth, and I didn't feel much. Now, something as simple as reading an article possibly linking some forms of gynecomastia to transgender behavior makes me break into a cold sweat, makes my hands tremble, and in a panic, I wonder, "could that possibly... apply to... me?" "Does that mean I'm not a real man?" Ridiculous, I know. If you knew what I look like, you'd truly appreciate how ridiculous these fears may sound coming from someone like me. Nonetheless, I know some, most of you, can relate to a degree.

It's obvious I'll go have to go through surgery someday, soon. Hey, I found out even the Rock went through gynecomastia surgery, and that dude ain't no sissy! But even after that, I worry whether it'll come back, and above all, I worry about that dreaded scar under the nipple. In my bachelor days, I dated a few women with breast implants, and I always thought the nipple scars were such a turnoff... and now I have to face living the rest of my life with them.

And this is where I'm at right now. If you have anyhting to add, say, or comment, feel free to do so. If not, I wish you all the best of luck.



Linkback: https://www.gynecomastia.org/forum/index.php?topic=10366.0

Offline Bolognianips

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Hey man, I feel your pain.  I was an all area all conference athlete in high school, served as an sgt in Iraq winning all sorts of crappy medals and accolades, and am now 11 months away from graduating college with honors, but I always feel that if someone notices my "condition" they will loose all respect for me.

I don't think I feel like less of a man, but I think that everyone would or does see me as less of a man, so in some situations I begin to act the part (eg. with new ladies etc.)

Personally, for some reason the hardest part of it for me, has been meeting girlfriends dads or brothers..  Maybe its just a  weird thing I have.. but when you feel emasculated in such a stressful situation its terrible.

The rest I deal with, I know I'm about as much of a mans man as you can be, but I suppose everyone has their achillies heel.  Just recently its bothered me more and more so I will certainly have an operation within the year.

Offline embarassment

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I appreciate your braveness, and I could say that I am having a relating difficulty, just that i am 16.
I am the big dude at school being 1,94 m and 97 kilograms
so they are really scared of me but the thing is that I am loosing my faith on my self and my power.
Just the fact that there is something odd in your body kills you

Offline boobs-no-more

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its a touching story, thanks for sharing.

I honeslty think that surgeory is the way forward. No amounts of hiding it, bluffing it or talking to a quack will ever get rid of your anxiety, because when you look down, what do you still see time and time again?

get surgeory, all your problems will be solved :)

Offline ssboy

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Once you realize you got it, you get gyne radar, looking at every man's chest to see what they got.

You get to thinking everybody has this same highly-tuned gyne radar & can see man boobs right thru your shirt -- even though they really don't -- & you get to trying to hide it, even walking around hunched over.

i got the gyne radar :(....im usualy so sure ppl can see...even tho i wear like 3 shirts on all black...its aanoying

Offline turningacorner

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Once you realize you got it, you get gyne radar, looking at every man's chest to see what they got.

You get to thinking everybody has this same highly-tuned gyne radar & can see man boobs right thru your shirt -- even though they really don't -- & you get to trying to hide it, even walking around hunched over.

i got the gyne radar :(....im usualy so sure ppl can see...even tho i wear like 3 shirts on all black...its aanoying


lol gyne radar is so true, I was at a foam party the other night, and all the guys had their shirts off (I did'nt of course..)
was a bit gay tbh.. few girls ffs.. neways I spent most the night scanning for gyne, was surprising how many guys ahd it, even the slim well built chaps

Offline Toffer

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it's all that shite they put in burgers and mixed meats :(

Offline turningacorner

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it's all that shite they put in burgers and mixed meats :(
I dunno man, I turned vegan and no change.. not even smaller gyne, but I guess once it comes it stays for f*ckin ever lol. I know loadsa guys who eat allsorts of crap, i.e macdonalds etc.. drink like u would'nt believe and experiment with illegal shiz... and some of them are the slimmest, most toned, bastards I've ever met..
:(

surgery surgery surgery.

Offline Toffer

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Yeah you're probably right, but I think the increase in the last ten years of gyne must either be down to people opening up about it or the increase in bad foods/medicines and lack of research into such causes!  :-\


 

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