Ten men, ranging in age from their 20s to 50s, arranged their chairs in a circle. The only woman in the group, a sex educator who had organized the gathering, promised not to speak.
The event — called “I’m a Straight Male. Now What?”— was branded as a place for men to “unpack aggression” and share “not-so-politically correct thoughts” in the midst of the cultural moment that has become highly politicized. The men who’d shown up — among them a marketer, a journalist, a podcaster and an organizer of sex-play events — were encouraged to say to each other what they were uncomfortable saying publicly about #MeToo. It took place in a small event studio in downtown Manhattan.
“There is a sense that women want us to be talking about it: ‘Guys, go figure it out,’” said Bryan Stacy, the co-founder of a sexual health app and one of the event’s hosts. He encouraged the participants to tap into their feelings as a way to release any simmering frustration, anger, fear or confusion.