“I wrote LEARNED while a relationship was crumbling around me. It was something I had known in my gut, but I hadn’t fully appreciated how unprepared I was to try to connect with a partner on a deeper level. I didn’t see healthy, communicative relationships growing up. I was around a lot of divorce and dysfunction. I was introduced to intimacy and sex through porn and media and imagery. The amount of complexity in one-on-one relationships– I had no idea.
It’s been a lonely place, not being able to actually let people in. And I think unfortunately, a lot of men have similar experiences. We’re taught to value sex or looks or superficial things. We’re not taught how to deeply connect and build and bond with someone. We have no idea how to take off the armor, to allow ourselves to really love and connect with someone.
It’s work I’m still doing actively, this isn’t complete, and it’s really complicated and challenging. For men, I hope we start talking about the complexities of learning and unlearning. We can start by taking down some of the armor while we’re around each other and communicating about the difficulties of breaking away from this conditioning. We need each other’s honesty in the struggle.
So LEARNED is a different side of vulnerability for me, but I’m glad it’s out there in the world. And I hope it teaches something new to others because I’m still learning from it on a daily basis.”