Men Who No Longer Cause Suffering for Love: Transforming Masculinities, by Coral Herrera

"Do men enjoy sex and love?" is the big question that has been on my mind since I published my book "Women Who No Longer Suffer for Love." We women have been working on the patriarchies that inhabit us, and the relationships with ourselves, among us, and with men for decades. But what are they doing while we grow, evolve, and free ourselves from the patriarchy? How do they feel about all the social, political, economic, cultural, sexual, and emotional changes that the feminist movement is achieving worldwide? What do they contribute to this transformation? How do they react to the loss of their privileges?


This new book is full of questions surrounding the construction of patriarchal masculinity and dissident masculinities, how men relate to themselves, to other men, and to women, their way of managing emotions and feelings, and their relationship with romantic love. These questions can help men who are working on themselves and those who are eager to do so but don't know how. The questions serve us to analyze the culture we live in and to know ourselves better: they are very useful tools for engaging in self-critique of love and for working on everything we want to work on to become better individuals and to enjoy our relationships and lives more.

Men are currently at a historical crossroads: they have the opportunity to join the fight for a more peaceful, loving, equal, diverse, and ecological world, or they can continue as they are, entrenched in their positions, resisting one of the biggest revolutions taking place in this moment of present History.

Feminism is changing the lives of millions of people, but can men enjoy these changes? Why do many of them still resist the fight for equality and women's rights? Do they have the tools and capacity for self-critique to analyze their place in the world and their role in a patriarchal society? Are they prepared for the changes that are to come?

How do men relate to feminism? Shortly after the feminist revolution of the 60s and 70s, some men started coming together to discuss all these issues and to work on the patriarchies that inhabit them on a personal and collective level.

Since their emergence in the 1980s, studies on masculinities have been gaining increasing importance. In the 1990s, it also became a social and political movement that is still very much a minority today, but is already widespread in many countries. There are more and more groups of men working on patriarchies, more and more are choosing to join the advancements of the feminist struggle, and more and more are contributing to this process of collective transformation.

These groups of men are talking about how patriarchy affects them, how they follow gender mandates, how they learn to be men, how they learn to suppress and emotionally mutilate themselves, how they take care of themselves and others.

They write in magazines, create their blogs, organize congresses and events, hold and offer workshops, gather in men's circles, organize rallies against male violence in city squares, issue statements, participate in feminist spaces, engage in online activism. They are the feminist men, or allies of feminism, or egalitarian men, but they are a minority.

The vast majority of men are somewhat confused by this women's revolution in which they cannot be the protagonists. They don't know whether to be for or against it. It's more appealing to be in favor, but it seems that revisiting their privileges and patriarchies terrifies them. Many believe that feminism might feminize them and strip them of their masculine power.

This confusion leads many to react defensively to female empowerment, because as women gain rights, they lose privileges. Many think they are living in a battle of the sexes, when in reality what we are experiencing is a genuine war against women. We women go into battle defenseless, and we are attacked with blows, axes, shots, stabbings, hammer blows, and impalements.

According to the latest report on male violence from the UN, the most dangerous place for women is the home. We are attacked at home by our boyfriends, suitors, husbands, and ex-husbands. They kill us every day, in every country in the world: 1 woman every 5 minutes, 6 women every hour, 137 per day, 87,000 per year worldwide.

Feminism hasn't killed anyone; sexism kills every day. And yet, the men who feel threatened by the feminist revolution haven't stopped to consider how patriarchy also chains them, limits them, oppresses them, and makes them suffer. They also haven't thought about how their patriarchy affects others, especially the women around them, because doing so would require them to change and transform their lives.

In general, people are unable to comprehend the patriarchal structure we live in because it's not talked about, and there are those who believe it's an invention of feminists trying to dominate men. The education system teaches us about capitalism but not about patriarchy, leaving a significant gap in our understanding of how our economic system functions and how our relationships are shaped.

Patriarchy is the social, political, economic, cultural, sexual, and emotional structure in which we live and relate to others. It's a hierarchy in which men occupy the top of the pyramid, and women the bottom. The patriarchal world is based on power struggles, the exploitation of women, and violence.

Experiencing love as a joyful endeavor is nearly impossible within this patriarchal structure. Building egalitarian relationships based on companionship is challenging because we've been educated to relate from a framework of dominance and submission, and to exert power from either position. Consequently, it's extremely difficult to love well and enjoy both sex and love.

Patriarchal men are obligated to be strong, tough, primary providers, protectors, competitors, and achievers. They must win every battle, suppress themselves, mutilate their emotions, and constantly demonstrate their virility. Being an obedient man is exhausting, as most of their energy is directed toward power struggles, displays of strength and virility, and the need to assert dominance over others.

The more insecure a man is, the more violent he becomes: most alpha males are frightened boys with inferiority complexes and fears that haunt them for life, and that torment others. This is a result of an education based on misogyny; from a young age, they shy away from femininity because masculinity is constructed upon a triple negation: I am not a girl, I am not a baby, I am not homosexual. Elisabeth Badinter explains in her work how boys learn to associate everything negative with women: weakness, cowardice, sentimentality, stupidity, vulnerability, clumsiness, malevolence.

The male heroes that men admire are individuals without partners or families who don't know how to love or care. They only surround themselves with other men like them to save the world, fulfill a mission, have fun, rent women, conduct business. The reward they receive at the end of their battle is a good, sweet, devoted woman who waits for their arrival to heal the warrior's wounds, nourish him, meet his basic needs, obey him, love him unconditionally, make him happy, and give him children.

Boys who admire these heroes learn from a young age to defend their freedom. Throughout patriarchal culture, the message is that men must defend themselves from women, as they are the enemies. All women want to capture them through their charms and sexual power, and they must resist like Odysseus resisted the enchantment of the evil and seductive sirens.

Essentially, the idea that patriarchy conveys through culture is that there are a few good women, like the princesses in movies who dedicate themselves to waiting, while most are bad women who want to enamor men to confine them to the household, exploit them economically, isolate them from their loved ones, destroy their self-esteem, manipulate them at their whim, make them submissive, and break their hearts.

This is one of the reasons why patriarchal men aspire to enjoy a very diverse sex life, but hesitate greatly before falling in love or emotionally committing to a woman. We suffer alongside men who don't fall in love, don't open up, don't share themselves, and don't emotionally commit. We spend months and years with men who don't trust us.

They don't see us as perfect as the princesses in fairy tales. They aspire to find a honest and loyal woman who will never betray them, who will let them take the lead, who will be accommodating and self-sacrificing, who will be a slave to love. Independent women scare them.

They don't know how to relate to an autonomous woman on an equal footing: they only learn to build companionship with other men. And this greatly limits them when it comes to relating to women on a sexual and emotional level, because they always have the handbrake on, fearing to increase the intensity and speed.

Men who never delve into the depths and remain on the surface are incapable of enjoying love. And we suffer because we've been sold the story that if we wait and are patient, eventually the prince charming will fall in love with us.

These messages directly appeal to our ego: they tell us we are wonderful, and no man can resist our charms, and that if we resist and endure suffering, we will receive our reward – he will realize, end up in love and kneeling like Don Juan before Doña Inés, and offer us the throne of marriage. However, the reality is that most relationships with walls and obstacles to love do not work, and they make us all suffer in vain.

Relationships among men are also complicated because patriarchal males live in constant fear of homosexuality. They only kiss, touch each other's buttocks, and rub bodies when they score a goal playing football – the rest of the time they are constantly suppressing themselves or repressing others with the typical jokes of patriarchal homophobia. And, of course, the ones who have the hardest time are homosexual and bisexual men.

Many heterosexual men experience their sexuality in relation to other men. In other words, when they have relations with women, they are actually thinking about the admiration and envy that others will feel for their ability to hunt beautiful females, their sexual potency, and fertility.

For men raised in patriarchy, their virility depends on the number of women they can penetrate. That's why being in a monogamous and formal relationship subtracts points for them, and many try to remain single for as long as possible. However, once they marry, many of them continue to enjoy their sexual diversity and deny their partner the same possibility.

For many men, love is a prison, though it's also a palace in which they feel like kings. Patriarchy offers them a reward for entering the institution of marriage and family: they can enjoy a housemaid and an assistant who takes care of them and works for them for free, available 24 hours a day.

Perhaps this is the privilege they find hardest to relinquish: women's double workdays provide men with much more leisure time than their partners, and therefore, a higher quality of life.

Today, household chores have become one of the most important battlegrounds in couples and families: women are rebelling against their roles as maids and servants, while many men deeply resist sharing responsibility for caregiving and household tasks, merely limiting themselves to "helping" around the house.

For men, love is something secondary in their lives; for women, it's at the center. We learn to love differently; our aspirations and dreams are distinct; our ways of forming bonds are different, even our sexual desires are different. That's why we suffer so much when we fall in love: men and women speak different languages and have different conceptions of love.

Many feminist women dream of a love that makes us equal to men. We've been sold that impossible myth that links feminism and romantic love, making us believe that if we find our prince charming, we can build an egalitarian relationship based on companionship, mutual respect, tenderness, pleasure, cooperation, solidarity, mutual assistance, and teamwork.

We dream of sharing life with an honest, loyal partner with whom we can fight against patriarchy. But truly finding a man like that is harder than finding a needle in a haystack.

While we dream of new men who work on dismantling their patriarchal behaviors, most still dream of the princess who waits and loves unconditionally. But they can't find her. While we search for men who don't need to make women suffer to feel powerful, many continue collecting conquests to boost their ego and feel macho.

Women who no longer suffer for love are dismantling the entire structure that leads us to voluntary submission to men through love. One of the things we're working on the most is staying away from men with masculinity issues.

We've personally experienced how these masculinity issues affect us, and we know that we weren't born to save any man or to educate him as if he were a child. We're seeking partners who can work on their own patriarchal conditioning just as we do, who can create their own tools to learn how to relate in an egalitarian, peaceful, and loving manner.

Since schools don't teach us how to love ourselves well, how to resolve conflicts without resorting to violence and harming each other, how to express our feelings, we will have to find a way to learn. Nobody helps us manage strong emotions; we don't know how to communicate assertively. They don't teach us about sexism, nor do they provide tools to work against it; they don't teach us feminist theory, and we're oblivious to the history of feminist struggles. Schools don't teach us how to negotiate through dialogue, how to relate without violence, so for now, it's a task that each of us must undertake. We need to read a lot, listen, engage in conversations about these subjects to find a way to treat ourselves better, to love ourselves better, and to dismantle sexism and patriarchy.

We're in a historic moment: patriarchal masculinity is in a deep crisis, and there are no more excuses for not freeing ourselves from the sexism within each of us. It's time to declare rebellion against gender mandates, to shed the myths, to put on the violet-tinted glasses, to engage in individual and collective self-critique, and to activate our imagination to collectively design a better world.

There's no other path but forward: we must analyze our reality through a gender lens to understand how we construct our masculine, feminine, or non-binary identities, and to comprehend why we relate and love the way we do, rather than differently. It's an analysis from the outside in: it involves seeing how we've internalized patriarchy through culture and socialization, how we reproduce and transmit it to new generations, how we organize based on that ideology, how it affects us, and how it affects our loved ones, how it limits us, how it makes us suffer, how it prevents us from enjoying love and life.

It's a thrilling process, as it's not just about deconstructing and dismantling biases, myths, stereotypes, or gender norms. It's also about getting creative to invent new forms of masculinity and new ways of organizing and relating, designing new strategies to free ourselves from patriarchy, and learning to love ourselves without fear, without power dynamics, without abuse, and without violence.

Collectively, we can find ways to live better, to love ourselves well, to build a more equal, peaceful, and loving world. A world where everyone fits and where rights are accessible to all.

In this book, you'll find many questions that can help you generate new inquiries and work on the topics of masculinities and feminisms, sexual and romantic relationships, and how men relate to themselves, each other, and women.

The underlying philosophy of this work is that other forms of masculinity are possible, and other ways of loving are possible: it's a hymn to optimism and a call to action. I invite you to open your hearts to Love Revolution.

You can find it in Amazon

What is feminism for?

What its  feminism for?


  • To ensure the human rights of all women, regardless of their socioeconomic status, nationality, ethnicity, religion, profession, sexual orientation, or age.


  • To end female poverty and ensure access to water and land for all women farmers around the world.


  • To eliminate all forms of violence against women: abuse, sexual violence, kidnappings, sexual exploitation, slavery, abuse, mutilations, stoning, and feminicides.


  • To grant women freedom of movement and the ability to be in all spaces, to walk down the street without fear.


  • To enable girls to study and choose their profession with equal opportunities.


  • To provide boys and girls with sexual and emotional education, so they can enjoy sex and love without fear of pregnancies or sexually transmitted diseases.


  • To uphold the rights of working women, ensuring they receive equal pay for the same jobs as men, avoiding labor precarity, and preventing unemployment during economic crises.


  • To empower women to organize, defend their rights, and build networks of affection, cooperation, and mutual support.


  • To put an end to double standards and the tyranny of beauty, allowing women to view their bodies without shame and enjoy their sexuality and eroticism without fear.


  • To teach boys to take care of themselves and their own homes, so they don't rely on maids when they grow up.


  • To recognize domestic work politically and socially, and ensure fair compensation for those engaged in essential survival tasks (nutrition, hygiene, health, care, upbringing, and education). To guarantee all rights for domestic workers.


  • To denounce the invisibility of women's work in basic and higher education, in the media, in History, in Science, in Art, Culture, Philosophy, Politics, and Economics.
  • So that women feel free to choose their partner and to separate.
  • To prevent women from being raped or abused by their relatives when they are girls.
  • To ensure that women are not psychologically or physically abused by their partners.
  • To prevent discrimination, murder, and punishment of lesbian women and transgender individuals.
  • To put an end to the trafficking of sex slaves and the trafficking of women worldwide.
  • To enable women to be emotionally and financially independent.
  • To stop mass murders of women by their current or former partners.
  • To grant women the right to vote and be voted for.
  • To allow women to freely choose whether or not they want to be mothers, to balance motherhood with their work life, and to prevent them from being fired or penalized for their maternity.
  • To enable men to balance fatherhood with their work life, to actively participate in caregiving tasks, and to exercise their rights as fathers without social or economic penalties.
  • So that men can give and receive affection in public without fear of being insulted or demeaned by comparing them to girls or gays.
  • So that men can have beautiful relationships with free and autonomous women.


  • So that men can have beautiful relationships with other men, and women with other women, without suffering punishment or discrimination.


  • So that women and men can raise their sons and daughters with equal conditions and good treatment.


  • So that women do not have to be oppressed by gender mandates, so that no one imposes a model of womanhood on them, and so they can choose the type of femininity they desire or construct their own.


  • So that men can feel free from patriarchy. They can express their feelings without fear, learn to solve their problems without violence, and liberate themselves from the fear of not measuring up as an alpha male.


  • To build a better, more peaceful, and egalitarian world.


  • To dismantle romantic love and invent other ways of caring for each other, organizing ourselves, and relating to one another.

Coral Herrera Gómez


Original in spanish:

¿Para qué sirve el feminismo?

Men, better as lovers.

"I now have a boyfriend, yes, I have several boyfriends, but I won't be washing anyone's underwear ever again in my life," "I love falling in love, but I'm no longer anyone's servant," "I only see boyfriends and close friends on Sundays, the rest of the days I'm too busy," this is how the Ladies who have achieved liberation speak.

Most of them fell into the trap of romantic love in their youth, and after raising their children, working tirelessly throughout their lives, they become widowed or divorced, and start a new chapter in their lives. I see them so liberated and they are so clear about it: men are just for enjoyment. No sharing a home: they meet them for going to the cinema, to demonstrations, to museums, for walks in the countryside. They enjoy their sessions of sex and love, they read together, listen to music together, learn and practice ballroom dances, attend literary gatherings, do sports, or escape for a few days to explore new places, but their lives do not revolve around them.

I hear these Ladies speak, and it gives me a boost. I look at them and admire them: they enjoy their retirement and savings, they enjoy their friends, grandchildren, and granddaughters, they take classes in a thousand things, they travel, attend concerts and theater, or even perform themselves, they are engaged in women's groups and social movements, they make new friends, take great care of themselves and each other, and they're happier than ever. Finally, they have time for themselves, to pursue their passions, and men are not the center of their existence, just one affection among many in a network of multiple affections.

These are Ladies over 65 who have liberated themselves from the romantic myth: they experienced the excitement, faced disappointments, and now they have no time to waste. They want to spend the remaining years of their lives well, to live without suffering, sacrifices, or enduring, and without giving up everything they gave up during 30 or 40 years of their lives. They want to enjoy, and they know what they want and what they don't. I wish we all had such clarity.

When I wrote the book "Owner of My Love," I thought of them and how we could tell young girls about everything that comes after the romantic wedding, so they don't have to go through the same thing and can love freely. I realized that the formula of these Ladies is the best... the most realistic and practical one. They live so happily, enjoying their freedom, money, energy, and time, free from their traditional roles, autonomous and empowered.

Men are better as lovers: they in their homes, we in ours. It's all advantages: love doesn't deteriorate with cohabitation, there's no abusive or dominating relationships, you have much more free time, you think more about yourself and your pleasure, you have time to miss your guy and feel eager to see him, and when you do get together, you make the most of the present and live it intensely. Both of you feel free, both have your own spaces and times, and there's no accumulation of resentment from daily fights or domestic exploitation, because everyone takes care of their own things.

When men cease to be at the center of your life, you emerge, and wonderful people who love and care for you do too, and your networks of affection multiply. It's then that you realize that love is everywhere, and the partner is just one more of your relationships.

You in your home, me in mine: that's how it's easier to love each other well and enjoy sex and love, within a network of wonderful people, and a partner who doesn't occupy all of the space or time, the two greatest treasures of the Ladies who no longer suffer for love.

The big question women in their thirties ask me is: how can we have children with men without living with them? I tell them about the Mosuo, a tribe in Nepal where women don't live with men: they share a bed at night with their loved ones, but during the day, they share caregiving responsibilities and are organized to work and raise children. So, when a romantic relationship ends, they experience the pain of loss, but they don't crumble because their lives remain unchanged. They continue to live in a network of affection and mutual support: for them, not having a partner doesn't mean being alone.

And for the Ladies, neither does it. If what we want is to suffer less and enjoy love more, my proposal is that we turn our loved ones into our lovers, at least until we stop falling for the romantic hoax and until they learn to relate to free and independent women. We've been working on dismantling patriarchy for years, but we can't sit around waiting for them to start. For now, they don't need to.

If we can't have companionate love relationships with them, if we can't build egalitarian partnerships based on mutual care, then it's better to be practical and engage with men only for fun and enjoyment. For sharing life, we can create a different type of family, with our loved ones, with our networks of women.

And what would happen to men if we refuse to create a happy home and family with them? I believe it would also be very positive for them. They would have to learn to take care of themselves and others, becoming more independent. Initially, it would be difficult for them to give up having a free personal assistant, and it would be challenging for them to learn to relate to free women. They would feel like dethroned kings, but they could gather among themselves to discuss their feelings and seek solace.

Undoubtedly, they would feel disoriented as they no longer occupy the center of women's lives and are not needed for anything, but over time, they would start working on dismantling patriarchal norms to have partners and to enjoy being fathers to the extent they wish. Since they wouldn't have millions of women eager and needy for love at their disposal, they would finally need to make changes to adapt to the new times. Perhaps then, they could engage in self-critique, both personally and collectively, but that's not within our control.

We can only work on our liberation process to become emotionally and economically autonomous, to support and care for each other, and to build relationships with men based on freedom, not need or dependency.

Can you imagine the enormous political and economic changes that would be unleashed by this transformation of our relationships?

Coral Herrera Gómez


Original en español: Los hombres, mejor como amantes