A Blog about Sensory Processing Sensitivity from the Worldview of a High-Sensing Male
Are you a Sensitive New Age Guy? This was a term that was bandied about a lot when I was a young adult. But, it was a brief flirtation with men's liberation promptly crushed by the Reagan revolution of the 80s. That return to conservative and traditional masculinity still has a hold on us today. The idea that men could be both sensitive and spiritual in an alternative way was just too much for some folks to handle- too soft, too weak, too feminine. But what exactly was the term about?
The term "sensitive new age guy" (SNAG) is a colloquial expression often used to describe a man who has progressive views, is emotionally intelligent and empathetic, and is interested in spirituality and personal growth. This stereotype is associated with the New Age movement. It encompasses a range of beliefs and values that challenge traditional gender roles and emphasize emotional intelligence, non-violent communication, and spiritual development.
While some people view the "sensitive new age guy" as being too emotionally fragile or insincere, others see sensitivity as a strength and value it in their relationships and communities. This shift in attitudes toward sensitivity and emotional intelligence is part of a broader cultural trend toward rejecting traditional masculinity and embracing a more nuanced and inclusive definition of masculinity.
Overall, the "sensitive new age guy" is significant as a representation of changing cultural attitudes towards masculinity and gender roles and reflects the growing interest in spirituality, self-improvement, and emotional intelligence. Whether viewed positively or negatively, the "sensitive new age guy" is an important cultural phenomenon that provides insights into the evolving definition of what it means to be a man in the 21st century.
The Origins of the Term
The term "sensitive new age guy" can be traced back to the emergence of the New Age movement in the 1970s and 1980s. The New Age movement was a cultural and spiritual movement that embraced various alternative beliefs and practices, including spiritualism, alternative medicine, and environmentalism. As this movement grew, so did the stereotype of the "sensitive new age guy."
The term "sensitive new age guy" was popularized to describe men who embraced New Age beliefs and values and were seen as being in touch with their emotions and espousing progressive views. In addition, this stereotype was often associated with men who were interested in spirituality, personal growth, and self-improvement and rejected traditional notions of machismo and aggression.
In the decades since the phrase was first popularized, the "sensitive new age guy" has become a cultural phenomenon reflecting changing attitudes towards masculinity and gender roles. The stereotype has been celebrated and criticized, with some people viewing sensitivity as a strength and others seeing it as a sign of emotional fragility or insincerity. However, with the discovery of the temperament trait of sensory processing sensitivity in the mid-90s, sensitivity has gained traction as a normal and positive personality trait regardless of gender. Nevertheless, the "sensitive new age guy" continues to be an important cultural stereotype that provides insights into evolving attitudes towards masculinity and gender roles.
Characteristics of a Sensitive New Age Guy
The term "sensitive new age guy" (SNAG) is often used to describe a man who has the following characteristics:
The Sensitive New Age Guy (SNAG) stereotype has faced criticism for the following reasons:
Personal Reflections and Conclusions
So, are you a SNAG? With the advent of what can only be described as a reborn, fledgling movement promoting men's ability to be sensitive, feeling, empathetic, and nurturing creatures again, can we revive the ideals of the SNAG movement of the 70s and early 80s?
As highly sensitive men, can we be the champions of a revival and liberation of sorts to bring humanity back to masculinity? For those who have followed my blog over the years, you must realize that I believe this is our ideal purpose. We, as HSP men, can lead directionally and, by example, a rediscovery and recrafting of masculinity that matches the needs of our times.
We are the blueprint and can serve as the model for men to rediscover their authentic selves and partner with females to create a liberation movement that will free both men and women to be in the fullness of the range of the human palette of behaviors, emotions, and capacities.
We can lose the old nomenclature but retain the essence of change. The day is arising to create a new masculinity that is not abusive, violent, aggressive, or territorial—instead, replacing these long archaic traits with kindness, empathy, nurturing, and intuition. Characteristics long associated exclusively with the feminine can now be embraced to enhance and edify the masculine. The New Age moniker seems quaint now, but the day of sensitivity and self-awareness is here.
Bill Allen currently lives in Lutz, Florida. He previously lived in Bend, Oregon. He is a certified hypnotist and brain training coach at BrainPilots.com. He believes that male sensitivity is not so rare, but it can be confounding for most males living in a culture of masculine insensitivity which teaches boys and men to disconnect from their feelings and emotions. His intent is to use this blog to chronicle his personal journey and share with others.