Unorthodox. Unfiltered. Unabashedly Male.

Wavy sand closeup representing the ripples the Seven-part Journey will cause to traditional masculine notions.

Get naked.


Men are trained to reject any behavior that seems weak in order to become competitive, aggressive warriors as adults. To counteract and balance this training, men also need to learn the power of being open, vulnerable, and transparent. The Naked Man Collective proposes that every man who is ready to make a shift “get naked”—strip down mentally—as a rite of passage indicating that he is open to the change that he seeks. With this new mindset, men will also begin to develop a much healthier relationship with their own bodies and stop buying into the shame that we are taught. We learn to see grace and beauty in every male form, at every age.




Get in touch with your "feminine" side.


Because the Man Box rejects the “feminine” as “other,” men need to reclaim the feminine wisdom within them in order to become whole. We need to learn the value of being networked and emotionally connected. We know that teamwork and collaboration produce better results, and that diversity, emotional intelligence, and social cognition are the doors to success.




Acknowledge the full range of your own male sexuality.


The Man Box asserts that “real men” are hyper-sexual, heterosexual, while the latest research on male sexuality indicates that men experience a broader spectrum of sexual and romantic impulses than we are willing to admit. We therefore need to reframe what it means to be a “Real Man.” Men need to get in touch with their own multi-faceted sexual identities and the range of how they can express them.




Learn how to engage and express the heart.


From a very early age, boys are touched less, and they are conditioned to detach from their emotions in order to become tough, successful adults. We men are therefore complicated creatures emotionally, and because we are not taught how to handle our feelings or how to communicate, we tend to explode in anger or lust. We need a system upgrade that enables us to open our hearts, one that provides us with a broad range of tools—verbal and nonverbal—to respond in more appropriate ways to people and events around us.




Develop a daily contemplative practice.


Since the early eighteenth century, the ideal male has been perceived to be rational and detached, an individual who is in control of his thoughts and impulses so that he can seize every advantage yet retain his “killer” instinct. We need to develop the skills that empty and still the mind, so that the authentic man within, not some social construct heavily shaped by the expectations of the Man Box, can emerge. We need to create an inner space where fundamental change can occur, as grace only appears when we pause in life, surrender, take off our armor, still the body, open the heart, quiet the mind, so that Spirit can expand our being.




Make time to withdraw completely from the world for a period of rest and retreat.


A core proposition of the Man Box is that the primary role of men as providers in a winner-take-all world. Western society’s extreme emphasis on “doing” or “accomplishing” things is a heavy burden for men, who are taught from an early age that they must aggressively compete for money, power, recognition, and status in order to be successful and happy. We men need to give ourselves permission to take a break from the 24/7 pace so that we might regroup and redesign our lives.




Reframe definitions of happiness and success.


New definitions of happiness and success are essential in order to weaken The Man Box‘s grip on our souls—both the drive to be successful and the fear of failure if we do not abide by the Box’s expectations. A framework for Designing Your Life developed at Stanford offers a good starting place.





The Seven-part Journey

Naked Man Collective maps out seven areas for personal exploration. Each territory for investigation enables you to disable a key tenet of the Man Box, so that you can create your own new, more authentic way of being male. Take your first step to get started, in any order that you prefer.

The Beginning of Naked Man Collective

It all begins and constantly circles back here…This essay is about a nude photoshoot that I did for a female photographer in order to understand the impact of the male gaze also catapulted my spiritual quest forward. 

Why I Decided to Pose Nude for Bek Andersen.

ESSAY 1   |   STEP 01

The Tao of Getting Naked (for Men)

Men need to power down, get naked (take off their armor), and become more open and vulnerable in order to create a space where we can engage in authentic dialogue. In entering this space, men will discover an inner strength that has real power.

What exists underneath the surface crap you’ve wrapped around your soul?

ESSAY 2   |   STEP 01

On Being an Independent Man (or Woman)

In a world that dislikes non-conformity (especially among men), we need to be independent thinkers, and chart new ground, irrespective of what other men more resistant to change might think. This requires enormous courage.

Why do we not have the courage of our convictions?

ESSAY 3   |   STEP 07

Brick pathway representing the concrete work needed to change the culture of masculinity.

The Work We Need to Do

Naked Man Collective offers a set of resources and conversations that will help you become the man you want to be in the 21st century.

 

It lays out a seven-part journey of self-exploration that will break down Man Box culture, so that you can rebuild and express your individual, authentic male identity. 

How to Make Space for Men in a Movement for a Better World

An audience discussion after Christine Lahti’s one-woman show “Gloria” made it clear that men are uncomfortable taking an active role in engineering the shift we all want. Men need to make more of an effort to support the women’s movement, but women also need to invite men to participate.

Where are the Men in the Women’s Movement?

ESSAY 4   |   STEP 02

We Need an American David

It’s not the male body that is the problem, it’s bad actors. Men need to shed our shame about the male body and the penis. Society needs to develop a deeper appreciation of the male form, so that men can utilize their natural gifts for the greatest common good.

What exists underneath the surface crap you’ve wrapped around your soul?

ESSAY 5   |   STEP 01

In Search of Non-Toxic Manhood: A Road Map

Men need a road map to create the change we want, adapting prior non-toxic models of masculinity for today. This essay was written in response to an Op-Ed by Ross Douthat for the New York Times, entitled “In Search of Non-Toxic Manhood."

Here’s how we can get started in our search for ‘non-toxic manhood.

ESSAY 6   |   STEP 01 & 03

A Field Guide to Being a ‘Spiritual’ Male in the 21st Century

Men need to recognize that excessive development of our “masculine” strengths have made us incomplete humans. We need to develop the sacred feminine within in order to become the men that our partners need/want to be in a relationship with.

Why is it important for men to discover the yin within?

ESSAY 7   |   STEP 02 & 05

The Myth of Quality Time

Busy parents often make the mistake of thinking that “quality time” is a replacement for being present daily with our families. This essay explores the need to do our best to be available at every stage of life.

How can parents meet the challenge and be more present with their children?

ESSAY 8   |   STEP 07

We Need a Marshall Plan for US Education

Our younger son’s graduation triggered a set of reflections concerning our education system. When did we come to believe that financial success is the most important measure of happiness in life?

When did we come to believe that financial success is the most important measure of success in life?

ESSAY 9   |   STEP 07

The Myth of Quality Time, Part 2

This essay explores the downstream consequences of not being present in the home. If we don’t spend time developing the tools we need for healthy relationships with our children through day-to-day interactions early on, major life challenges later can be very difficult to tackle.

The cycles of love between father and son repeat themselves.

ESSAY 10   |   STEP 07

Learning to Live with Fear and Failure

A series of unexpected challenges in launching a start-up made a train wreck of my high-flying career and forced me to question my own capacities as an executive, husband, and father. The experience convinced me that we need to approach fear as our friend and guide

Fear isn’t an emotion to be avoided. It’s a gift.

ESSAY 11   |   STEP 07

Everyday Mystics

There is a deep yearning for a higher purpose within contemporary society. This essay sets the stage for my memoirs, which people are short-handing Eat, Pray, Love for Men. Cristina Cuomo published this essay in the Winter Issue of Purist.

Having wandered through a great many spiritual practices over the decades, here’s what I have learned that might be useful.

ESSAY 12   |   STEP 05

Rediscovering the Lost Language of Touch

Men’s deep-seated need for touch is at odds with emerging social conventions, yet we somehow need to acknowledge the powerful, positive role that touch plays in our lives. Men must become much more fluent in the language of consent and master the nuance of the lost language of touch. To that end, we need to change the way we raise boys.

Finding answers in the power of consent.

ESSAY 13   |   STEP 07

The Incomplete Man

A “lessons I have learned” essay after forty years of trying to define the new masculinity. Some of the material was piloted at a panel discussion at Harvard in September, 2019. 

Expanding our definitions of masculinity.

ESSAY 14 | STEP 01–05 & 07

21st Century Masculinity

This essay puts forth a paradigm for “Real Men” that addresses each dysfunctional behavior that men adopt in “The Man Box.” It was retweeted within fifteen minutes of it being posted online by Mark Greene, one of the most visible champions of the new masculinity movement.

The current explosion of “new” male behaviors did not appear out of nowhere.

ESSAY 15   |   STEP 04

Bloodroot

This essay uses the lesbian feminist restaurant and bookstore as a model for what men need to do to create a grassroots organization dedicated to change.

Does Radical Feminism Hold the Keys to Unlocking New Masculinity?

ESSAY 16   |   STEP 07

Rediscovering the Lost Language of Touch, Part 2

This essay explores the idea that when men know how to use healthy, non-sexual touch in their relationships with each other, they have the ability to rediscover or reinvent a language of consensual, non-sexual touch with women.

We need to figure this out.

ESSAY 17   |   STEP 03

Can Mistletoe Work Its Magic in Today’s World?

This essay proposes that we reinvent this holiday tradition, turning it to a festive game of expressing vulnerability and appreciation, habits of mind that lead to healthy relationships.

Mistletoe is an outdated symbol of male privilege. Let’s start a new holiday tradition.

ESSAY 18   |   STEP 03

The Lessons of Corona for Men

COVID-19 is forcing men to rethink the way we roll, our definitions of happiness and success at work and at home, and the methods by which we pursue our goals in life.

Postcards from the edge of male consciousness.

ESSAY 22   |   STEP 07

The Door Opens at Our Breaking Point

My professional meltdown triggered feelings of inadequacy and shame that shattered my self-concept. I was forced to realize that I am not in control. My experience also taught me that instead of avoiding pain, I should welcome it as a door to transformation.

Can we learn to embrace the ambiguity of our situation, instead of racing to a resolution?

ESSAY 23   |   STEP 05

The Wisdom of Wild Mercy for Men

After insisting for several essays that men must recover their sacred feminine within, I delineate the benefits of embracing our inherent feminine capacities, despite the pressure from multiple patriarchal structures to devalue their wisdom.

A question that keeps surfacing in my mind is whether men can be more open to developing the internal capacities—nurturing, becoming more emotionally available, connecting—that many cultures designate as feminine?

ESSAY 24   |   STEP 02

My Search for New Masculinity

The unexpected twists and turns of my forty-year search for new masculinity led to a spiritual journey of unimaginable scope and beauty.

Postcards from the edge of male consciousness.

ESSAY 19   |   STEP 07

A Most Honorable Houghton

Obituaries of my father-in-law focused on his accomplishments as the patriarch of a legendary Upper New York State family. They failed to comment on the most unusual aspect of his life—he was an early model of 21st Century Masculinity who championed the women in his life.

Celebrating the life of an early model of a 21st Century Male.

ESSAY 20   |   STEP 02 & 07

What is Corona Trying to Teach Us?

An interview with Dr. Courtney V. Cowart, who led disaster response efforts after 9/11 and Katrina for the Episcopal Church, reveals the need for fluid, heart-centered leadership that is very different from command and control models. This further argues that men need to make a shift.

Plug in and bring your gift.

ESSAY 21   |   STEP 05

The Remaking of the American Male

Most men’s retreats and new masculinity websites are still working with Jungian archetypes – King Warrior Lover Magician—and outdated models of masculinity that we need to update and expand. Richard Rohr thirty years ago identified the set of issues that men must explore in order to rebuild the modern American Male psyche.

This is a tough, essential task. There are no easy fixes.

ESSAY 25 STEPS 01-05 & 07

One of America’s Greatest Odd Couples

John Lewis and Amo Houghton were the most unlikely pair, but they were heart-centered men who listened deeply. They shared several other character traits that made them effective leaders and great friends.

As I read the obituaries of John Lewis, I find myself asking over and over again, “What would Amo say?”

ESSAY 26   |   STEP 03

How Men Can Best Respond to Racial Injustice

This essay proposes seven areas of self-examination as a concrete way for men to take action to gain control over the way Man Box culture distorts our lives, laying the foundation for white male privilege and racial injustice. It was written in response to Karin Swann’s essay, “The Racism/Patriarchy Connection and How We Work To Address Them Both” for Medium.

Protest is not enough when the root problem is the patriarchal masculinity that shapes our culture.

ESSAY 27   |   STEPS 01-07

Essays on New Masculinity and Male Spirituality

Collectively, the essays propose a framework for reframing the way we men roll. Preserving the best parts of our old male code, and reinventing the new. Start exploring now.

Guides for Exploration

Sometimes it’s easier to understand a new place that you’re exploring when you can talk to a guide who has been there before you. These videos are my take on what you may encounter as you discover the hidden, inner landscape of your male identity. Think of them as the start of a conversation between us that will continue as you move forward on your journey.

Common Sense, Revisited

Instead of creating a democratic society that lifts all boats, we’ve built a national hierarchy that exponentially rewards individuals as they rise to the top who have little sense of responsibility to others. We need to reorder our priorities.

We are without question at an inflection point, and what is at stake is our soul as a nation.

ESSAY 28 STEP 07

The Battle for the Soul of America

Several pundits framed the presidential election as a choice between two fundamentally different models of masculinity.  On all counts, it was a false choice.

To me, the election wasn’t so much a “Battle for the Soul of America” as a battle for the souls of men.

ESSAY 29 STEPS 01-05 & 07

A New Year, A New Man?

The attack on our nation’s capital has demonstrated the limitations of the power-aggression paradigm and a current culture of masculinity that supports it. Men need to embrace alternative archetypes of behavior embedded in our collective unconscious and many ancient wisdom traditions.

It’s time to reject the culture of masculinity that has been revealed in this historic moment.  We need to move forward.

ESSAY 30 STEPS 02 & 05

‘Waking Up Male’: It’s Time for a New Men’s Movement

The events of January 6 have demonstrated that there is an urgent need for men to get serious about making a shift. All men need to get off the sidelines and step up, creating a space where we can gather and roll up our sleeves to do the hard work of creating fundamental change.

I'm seeing the problem of male entitlement in a completely new light.

ESSAY 31 STEP 01, 04, & 05

Review of Contemplation and Community for The Future of Faith

Twelve young contemplatives explain what the hell is going on.

These are the fresh insights of a group of unsuspecting revolutionaries to whom the Spirit has granted a discernment that could quite possibly change our world.

OTHER WORK

What It Takes to Persuade Affluent Donors to Aid Fledgling Efforts to Save the World, The Chronicle of Philanthropy

This essay proposes seven areas of self-examination as a concrete way for men to take action to gain control over the way Man Box culture distorts our lives, laying the foundation for white male privilege and racial injustice. It was written in response to Karin Swann’s essay, “The Racism/Patriarchy Connection and How We Work To Address Them Both” for Medium.

A guide for social enterprise during the early stage of its development.

OTHER WORK