All interviews were conducted in organic environments. This is a fancy way of saying that sometimes the sound is great–sometimes it ain’t. Interviewing usually took place at kitchen tables or bedroom desks, so sometimes a breeze blows through the window and muffles the sound, sometimes an ambulance goes by or a woman walks her dog outside talking on a cell phone. Though I’ve interviewed a lot of people professionally, I’ve never done so for audio content, so sometimes I laugh or make little noises that I probably shouldn’t. I also sometimes treat the interviews more like conversations and ask a lot of questions or offer my take (this is especially the case when I’ve just had caffeine).
Other times, I try to take myself completely out of the equation and let the interviewee’s voice stand just as it is. I’ve broken the interviews up by question, so feel free to bounce around based on whatever topics interest you the most.
Special and heartfelt thanks to the men who volunteered their time, stories, and honesty to this project. Some of them I knew personally, but most I’d never met before. Because vulnerability is largely degraded in our culture–particularly for heterosexual men–I’ve changed the names of all participants to protect their identities.
At any point in your life, have you ever fantasized about falling in love/being married/having a family?
Have you experienced scenarios with women where you felt the need to look stoic on the outside when that’s not how you felt?
Do you feel like being the breadwinner is a natural inclination men have, or is it social a burden place on men?
1. Did your parents talk to you about sex and/or relationships?
2. How would you describe your relationship with your mom?
3. How would you describe your relationship with your dad?
4. How would you describe your relationship with your sisters?
5. At any point in your life, have you ever fantasized about falling in love/being married/having a family?
6. What are the things you look for in a partner?
7. Are you typically attracted to women who play hard to get?
8. How important is a woman’s sexual history to you?
9. Do you lose interest if a woman sleeps with you right away?
10. What are red flags to stay away from a woman?
11. How do you define vulnerability?
12. What are some instances when you saw your mother being vulnerable?
13. What are some instances when you saw your father being vulnerable?
14. Do you believe men/women are meant to be in committed relationships for life?
15. In what ways could love make you be perceived as weak?
16. How do you respond when you feel emotionally exposed in a romantic scenario?
17. How have women made you feel worthy or unworthy over the years?
18. Talk about a time you felt embarrassed with a woman.
19. When are you willing to take emotional risks with women?
20. Have you experienced scenarios with women where you felt the need to look stoic on the outside when that’s not how you felt?
21. What does loneliness look like for you, and how often do you experience it?
22. What scares you about women and/or relationships?
23. How do you think pornography has affected your perception of women?
24. Does your libido decrease after a year or more into a relationship?
25. Do you feel like being the breadwinner is a natural inclination men have, or is it social a burden place on men?
26. I’ve often heard women say: Men are terrible when it comes to talking about their feelings, or: All men cheat. What are things you feel are generally problematic about women?
27. What are the assets you think women can bring to the table in ways that men can’t or don’t?
28. How do you see the relationship between masculinity and violence?
29. In your opinion, what is the impetus behind rape?
31. In your opinion, what’s necessary for making relationships successful?
32. Do you think there’s an emotionally problematic issue driving male promiscuity?
33. What do you think is the root of misogyny?
34. How do you know when you’re in love?
35. What advice do you have for heterosexual women looking to date/fall in love?
36. What advice do you have for heterosexual men looking to date/fall in love?
37. How has race affected your experiences dating?