Jen, guys do this because they fear failure, and get addicted to the low risk option. I started seeing this with some reading back in 2002-2003, when I saw an odd CSI Miami on a flight from Frankfurt to Newark.
The phrase "porn creep".
So the experiment is now been in effect with masculinity and men for 20 solid years, with easy access and free porn.
I am not anti-porn, and I have fought the demons myself. I have real trauma and work I have done (abuse as a child and rape (m2m) and just finished unwinding it after 5 years of work on it.
One of the last things I did to work on my "sacred and mindful masculinity" was to break off from it and only use it ever in a partnered situation and I even (which sucks) worked on not masturbating [hard AF], to reconnect my sexual energy to partnered sex and myself (I am in a relationship).
14 days, 7 days, and on day 27 of 31.
I am doing the hard work to add the layers, working on therapy, working on some alternative work with a fantastic life coach/therapist for relaxing and processing my emotions and feelings.
All the crap that women do from early on in life and under the threat of death. As a man, I don't have a support infrastructure or groups of men or whatever, but on the flip side, when I am done I will be a fully formed man and healed. What sucks is losing two decades of life instead of dealing.
But better late then never, and you are right about the face palm, but the food for thought is where men are assumed to have groups and communication and all that around gender, men don't. They are isolated, alone, and dipped in highly toxic environments every day. All Generations X/Y/Z are bathed with notions as defined in pre-Suffarage.
The ah-ha moment for me? Becoming a feminist. Me being a software architect who does performance work .... I know about measurements, observations, and slow and steady work with a good design :)
Thank you for your comment and your article is excellent (BTW), I haven't finished it yet but will and may comment if I feel inspired. IF you are interested in poetry, I write a lot about love, gender, romance, and sex etc (check my profile for fun). One of my latest if you like romance and gender drift ….