Beyond the mask the real encounter begins

Nov 23 / Rene Luisman
With almost six feet tall and a roaring laugh, you can't help but notice him. He amuses his audience with his entertaining stories and sharp puns. It's his talent and his way of keeping everyone at a distance.

Because if you really listen carefully, you will hear a lot of details and little substance. And if you look really closely, you see a lot of fun and entertainment. But none of the stories are really about him.

Until the fourth meeting of our men circle. That evening he shifts restlessly in his chair. When he makes himself heard, his mouth is tense and tight. His true face suddenly emerges through his polished mask.

His voice trembles as he talks about his relationship. After eight years, there is little intimacy between him and his husband. Due to shame it’s hard for both of them to talk about it. So they each look for their own pleasure in cruise bars, online apps and saunas. But he is terrified of losing his partner.

The group is silent and holds its breath. His fear evokes a sense of powerlessness in me. I ask him to look around. To keep breathing and look each of the other men in the eye. And as he does this, I see that he slowly sinks into his body and calms down again.

Masks. During life every person develops his own set of masks with which you protect yourself. For example, many gay men know a mask of beauty and perfection. A mask that makes reality just that little bit more beautiful. That you hide fears and imperfections, and thus help you to stand your ground in unsafe situations.

The mask is your quality. And at the same time, it prevents you from making real contact. Because the land of connection is for those brave enough to drop their masks.

You read an article by Gay Men Coaching

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