Being a Sober Guys Guy?

  1. So my husband is the manliest guy in the world. He loves all things guns, hunting and fishing and college football. He has hunted all his life. At deer leases all they do is drink. He has been sober for 11 years. He brings his favorites like Small batch root beer or cream soda. He makes sun tea and every one hungover wants some. Everyone respects him and is always brining him odd sodas to gross him out or impress him. You got this. Use your personality to impress everybody that this is normal and no big deal.

  2. It's small-batch Jamaican ginger ale(in a glass bottle of course) for my boyfriend. We have fun finding and trying out new ones.

  3. My suggestion is don't compare yourself to these men. Hemingway had a lousy marriage to Hadley - due, in part, to his heavy drinking.

  4. Seriously, and Don Draper was a serial cheater and often found himself in compromising situations because of his alcoholism. He even admitted he needed help. He may have been a great businessman (and really sexy, but I mean, cmon he’s Jon Hamm) but he certainly wasn’t a character to aspire to. I laugh when men think they want to be like that asshole.

  5. As a woman attracted to traditionally masculine guys, the most masculine thing a guy can do is show he is comfortable in his masculinity by breaking stereotypes. Seriously, HOT.

  6. I also think that caring about your health is super masculine and sexy. My fiancé doesn’t eat any junk food and can turn away even the most tempting delicacies because he likes feeling healthy and looking good, and I find that so much more appealing than guys who think it’s cool to slam down tons of Buffalo wings. I could easily think the same about a guy who doesn’t drink because he cares about his well being.

  7. I understand in my own way. I'm a mom, but, like, a Cool Mom. Which means OMG girls, WINE, amiright?!? It's hard to picture myself never getting buzzed with the girls at brunch again, or turning down that glass of wine at dinner while the kids play together and me and Other Mom give each other knowing looks or whatever. I've got the skinny jeans and the casually waved collar bone length bob and the slightly quirky bag I bought in Estes, so of course I need a glass of wine to complete the look. Except I'm not Cool Wine Mom, I'm Drunk Mom (or at least I was) and Drunk Mom isn't that cool after all. So, Imma roll up to brunch in my gigantic white SUV (I've got that third row, baybeeee) and get an iced tea. If I can be a sober suburban mom, you can be a sober outdoor guy. We got this.

  8. JFC wine mom culture… that BS is way more toxic than our male alcoholic machismo, I do not know how you women stay sober. Every time you go on Instagram theres some fucking meme giving you permission to ruin your day and start drinking during a school-day. Yeah, that does put it in perspective, moms today have got it rough with that pervasive wine mom culture nonsense.

  9. Loved this!!! It's so true! I was feeling guilty the other day because I was only offering the other moms LaCroix at my FOUR YEAR OLDS bday party because it's normal now to offer white claws and/Mimosas. But like you, I'm not Cool Wine Mom anymore (never was, Drunk Mom is definitely more accurate) and we all had a sober blast! Plus I was actually able to be a great mom instead of stumbling mumbling Mommy for my son. Sober suburban mom's for the win!

  10. Hey I'm a cool mom too 36 with a 4 and 6 year old. I find alcohol culture in the mom circle is troubling on a good day. If we need wine to make it through the day there are problems. I'm on day 6. I would feel so overwhelmed from the week of running around, working , making lunches and barely keeping my shit together that by Friday, which is today, im ready to completely unravel and black out. For the entire weekend. The only QT I'd actually have with my kids is gone and I'm left sad, depressed, anxious and further behind on Monday because I got jack shit done all weekend. IWNDWYT.

  11. There are quite a few non-alcoholic wines on the market, check out a specialty beverage store near you, and you may be able to order them online. You might find something that you really enjoy that you can bring to gatherings. People will know that you're not drinking, but you can still be part of the ritual.

  12. Trust me, you don’t need booze to be masculine. In fact, being consciously sober and living with intention says a lot about a person. If you are confident in your decisions and don’t worry about what others think, you will be surprised at how much people will admire you. And you will also feel very good about yourself.

  13. Agree with this for sure. Living a sober, intentional life is far more courageous and noble than being a drunk lumberjack and others will notice, whether consciously or not.

  14. One of the most manly/mature things you can do is not care what other people think. Someone is judging me? I don't care. I'll wear a pink t-shirt and if someone makes assumptions about me and my pink t-shirt, that person hasn't grown up yet. I'm choosing not to drink at an event? Perfectly fine. Someone is judging me and questioning my decision to not drink? That's their problem, not mine.

  15. Honestly one of the manliest things I can think of is a grizzled ol cowboy type who has a five o’clock shadow at 8:00 am talking about how he’s “off the sauce ten years now” while he squints thoughtfully off into the distance, rifle resting on his shoulder, jaw set in determination.

  16. Honestly, my friend, something that really helped me was to meet sober people who met that description. The guy who mows my neighbor's lawn has been sober for decades, is a welder, can do all kinds of electrical work, and can tell you pretty much anything about cars that you want to know. He will talk your ear off about being the quarterback of his high school football team and his days in the Army. Instead of a beer or a whiskey, he just walks around with a big fat stogie in his mouth. He looks manly as shit, and also has one of the biggest hearts of anyone I have ever met. Sobriety allowed him to be a better man than he ever could have been while drunk.

  17. Duke was a drinker, but he also said " A mans gotta do, what a mans gotta do? Along with, " Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway "

  18. Personally, I think there’s something very masculine in being sober and having your sh!t together while the others have fun. The alpha dog keeping an eye out for the rest. (Yes women can absolutely be sober alpha dogs as well. )

  19. I always thought the sober “mom” types who watched out for all the drunk girls like me in college and beyond were admirable. Even if at the time I thought they were boring.

  20. Alright I’m no guy but I think I get it. So this is what works for me. I picture those whole idealized scenes, the ski chalet, or tropical resort, with whiskey, fruity drinks or that IPA. Right there nearby should I want it (because it always will be nearby, let’s face it…) and this is a decision that’s revisitable and reversible by me at any point, but for right now, my body, mind, self-esteem and every part of me is screaming that I take a break, and then enjoying it immensely when I look back and see the large and small differences.

  21. Sober male celebrities: Danny Trejo was my first sober hero (over 50 years), Samurai L. Jackson, Robert Downey Jr., Alex Baldwin, Anthony Hopkins, Anthony kiedis, Steve-O, Eminem, Andre 3000, David Bowie, Trent Reznor,

  22. For what is worth, I feel more alive, sharp, clear headed and connected than I ever have before, though I still have a ways to go. I think being healthy, confident, and comfortable in your own skin is more fun and sexy than where I certainly was.

  23. I think it's great you came here to discuss identity and are honest about your mental blocks. If we dig deep, we all have to reframe our identities without alcohol and at first, it feels so far away and foreign. We have to become people we used to make fun of, even. Or people who were threatening or lame or weird to us before Good for you for doing the real work and asking the real questions. Thank you.

  24. Some of the hardest men I knew didn’t drink. I saw that as more of a sign of strength rather than picking up the bottle. Being in control of yourself is the ultimate manly man thing you can do.

  25. A lot of breweries offer cold brew and they’ll often serve it in a pint glass. I do drink more coffee when I’m out with friends or my gf. I also enjoy NA beers occasionally. I don’t mind drinking them I just hate the empty calories. I drink coffee when I can.

  26. Total Wine has come in clutch with some NA's. Partake Brewing offers 10 calorie / can brews which I really like. I think the Pale and Blonde are really great.

  27. People who are drinking (and especially people who are drinking enough to qualify as having a problematic relationship with alcohol) lie more often, they are obnoxious, they don't really pay attention during a conversation because part of them will always be focused on their drink (and their next one), they get out of control, they are unreliable and they lash out in hurtful and confusing ways because of alcohol. People who drink get hungover and are too tired and upset to capitalize on all the wonderful opportunities around them, hold themselves back physically, professionally and emotionally. People who drink make worse partners and friends than they think.

  28. Man, I feel you. Being a double IPA/bourbon/etc guy is such a part of my identify. It’s so dumb but I agree, it’s a big mental barrier to get over. IWNDWYT

  29. Just gonna chime in. I’m a lady but my husband doesn’t drink. He just… doesn’t like drinking (??) 🤯. He loves UFC, working out (on the city running team), wrestling, and weight lifting. Now that our kid is old enough, he’s her soccer coach. When he’s not doing that he scrolls YouTube and works in our cars.

  30. Man those of use who figure this shit out are such badasses. To be in control of your internal world...that's fucking manly. I'm into your stuff too. I'm a Canadian bush person lol. But those are interests. No relation to being a man. I ask myself whatsb A man can be of use to those around them. A true man can bring an air of calm to every situation. A man Is loyal. A man stands up for what he believes in. A man is kind. Blah blah blah, etc etc

  31. Drinking liquor has nothing to do with manliness. Being drunk makes you weaker. There is no shame in having a club soda with a lime. I was sober for three years. My wife owned a bar, and I tended bar night after night, turning down shots. No one thought less of me.

  32. Unpopular opinion for many: exactly this withhold me from getting sober for years. I have masculine friends, masculine hobby’s and we go on masculine trips. I just couldn’t picture myself in my own future life with a coke zero. Non alcohol beer has been a life saver for me so far. It is widely accepted now in my neck of the woods and there are dozens of good choices available nowadays. And brewers are constantly introducing new and better refined ones. Including excellent IPA’s for these moments on the river bank. The market asks for it, people (especially young) become more and more aware of how harmful booze actually is. I know that NA beer is not for everyone, and for some it is dangerous territory. But for me it’s been a gift from heaven.

  33. What an awesome post that probably resonates for a ton of folks - and wow have you gotten some great advice that has helped me too.

  34. What’s more manly than being patient, reliable, and honest? Or taking the path less traveled? Or taking on each day to better yourself?

  35. As an avid fly fisherman, smoked meat lover, college football fan, and common gym goer… I feel your pain brotha. I fly fish twice / week. Most of friends are dirt bag guides and drink / smoke all day everyday. It makes it tough but I don’t feel like I’m any less of a man than them. I do however miss a glass of bourbon while watching game day, or a few PBR’s on the River. Just dropped in to say I get it and let you know that you’re not alone. I feel alone sometimes as well.

  36. I’ve realized I did myself a disservice creating these associations between alcohol and my favorite things. I remember how much more compact and accurate my sight casting was 30lbs lighter, I could stick a trout like a laser but now I feel sloppier and less athletic in the river, time to fix that.

  37. No, this makes you the manliest manly man! Not to discount how you’re feeling, at all. I’m just saying, to me, and to a lot of other people, sobriety is demonstrating strength.

  38. I had the same thoughts and experience. I never found an answer, but after a while, those thoughts and feelings about alcohol use being tied to experiences I enjoyed and masculinity…. They faded away. After not feeding the thoughts, they just kind of died.

  39. Felt the same way in the beginning for me. Now I’m just wishing I would’ve gone sober earlier. Life is on easy mode, the wife is happier and I feel healthier and more alive than ever. My friend asked me the other day when I would stay drinking again. I said once I feel like alcohol can make my life better.

  40. The biggest part about being a real man is doing whatever the fuck you want or need to do, regardless of what others think or what your own biases lend you to believe. I built a lot of my personality around alcohol. I, too, had alcohol as a prop in my mind when thinking about the person I was, even if the picture in my mind was completely flawed due to alcohol. I've noticed that I'm more stoic and can handle difficult situations a lot better now. I'm somebody other people can always depend on now. Those things are all great, but I've come to realize that being true to what and who I've committed to be, regardless of what others or even myself may think, is manly as fuck. IWNDWYT

  41. If you really want a non-alcoholic version of a “manly” drink you could try black coffee. The whole idea of a “masculine” drink, as you said, is a bit silly and a result of marketing, but as a guy myself I do see what you mean completely. Black coffee is the only other beverage I can think of that has a somewhat similar association of “tough” or “manly”.

  42. If you are in Europe, I understand that non-alcoholic brews are a very big thing. Here in the United States, there are some fantastic non alcoholic IPAs. Now mind you, the standard for non-alcoholic is .05% ABV, Which is less than orange juice as far as alcohol by volume. I am a huge fan of these non-alcoholic IPAs and a few non-alcoholic lagers as well. I highly recommend Sam Adams "Just The Haze" and Lagunitas IPNA. You can enjoy a delicious cold one and still drive and operate machinery and prep food with no worries that your consciousness will be altered.

  43. If anything being sober makes you a better outdoors man. Being drunk by a river or on a mountain is just a bad idea, why do we promote that...

  44. The manliest thing you can do is make choices that improve your life and stick with them. Worrying about others perceptions is not manly, owning your own self and choices is! :)

  45. Bruh... think how fucking manly it is to have a gut-bulge made of 100% scarred liver. Those nostalgic feelings toward alcohol use and your hobbies/passions are likely a result of booze training your brain. It goes away eventually, and likely a bit of your Ego will as well.

  46. 40 year old sales guy here. I come from a manly, drink your face off with clients, close million dollars deals and fight your own boss when they don’t pay you. It’s a culture drenched in alcohol. My therapist had serious doubts I could cut out drinking and entertaining. But I am doing fine. I struggle in other areas, but not work. I am finding that to be a man, you need to perform. Not like an actor, but a high performance engine that delivers results. A young man might be able to drink and still get shit done. Sure. But if you want to provide, hone your craft and be at the top of your game - that’s a man. The bigger achievements take endurance, not just a fun night out. I’ll admit it’s clunky at first when it comes time to celebrate a win in a manly way, but if it’s a real achievement it doesn’t need a 20 minute buzz added to it. Being a man is about operating and revving your engine high, it’s now about how cool you look when you’re parked and doing nothing. My advice: let a few drinking rituals go by and watch them sober, and also celebrate a few personal victories sober too. You might find that you’re not missing out at all, and the sober achievements are what’s worth savoring.

  47. What I admire the most about humans generally agreed to be "manly" is the self discipline and self control they tend to exhibit. Hemingway was a brave human, as proved by many things he did in his life, but I do not believe he was a healthy human with mastery over his own impulses and desires. He also clearly had a well developed work ethic; successful writers do, but I would reject an assertion that he was "disciplined". I do not wish to argue whether or not work ethic and discipline are the same thing. I think they are related, synergistic concepts, but for now I'm going to move on.

  48. I highly recommend reading This Naked Mind because what I am seeing is that it isn't you, it is the brainwashing from the media. A sober, sexy, kind, masculine dude who isn't a drunk asshole is very attractive. IWnDWyT

  49. "booze served these three poorly". Booze served everyone poorly, it is literally poison. Be a real manly man and meet life sober and clear headed and ready to win! :)

  50. I can't think of many things more badass than grabbing your addiction by the short hairs and beating it into lifeless submission.

  51. I so love that you’re aware of this! I think that the inability to reconcile the strong cultural pull of alcohol=manly is likely the reason for many a relapse. However, the ability to make and commit to a healthy decision to stay sober is actually quite “manly.”

  52. I think getting sober is one of the most badass things a person can do and have always viewed people who do so with added caliber of respect. My father in law for example is one of the more manly dudes I’ve met— always fixing stuff, cars, very outdoorsy, and he got sober a few years back. Just perspective I guess.

  53. I’ve been growing my hair out for months to be shaggy for Halloween. My youngest is going to be scooby. I will have a full on triple laser mullet in November. I will probably be single for the rest of my life but while doing joe dirt burnouts.

  54. I hear ya dude. Got sober 6 months before I bought my first house with my wife outside of the city. All the garage beers that I had my heart set on had to go out of the window. But I wouldn't trade it back after 2.5 years off the sauce. The biggest change is likely going to be the people that you spend the majority of your time with. Now that I have a solid group of sober brothers, the thoughts don't cross my mind. And when you experience some newly sober events (kayaking, camping, working on cars, fishing, etc.) you might find that people getting sloppy drunk does not provide a very cool image.

  55. I had this problem sort of. I'm very much into watching sports, playing them, doing yardwork, working on cars, etc. The problem is I tended to do those things drunk, so when I went to do them I'd automatically associate them with booze. I also couldn't envision me Doing any of these things sober, but that was because I tended not to do them sober. Doing those things sober was a new feeling for me. Eventually, I tried them without alcohol and lo and behold I enjoyed them sober as much as I did drunk. It sounds like maybe it isn't masculinity you are wondering about but how are you going to do your hobbies without booze since boozing and being outdoors is what you did. Trust me when I say, it'll be odd at first only because it will be new, but you will enjoy them again.

  56. Yeah, the hobbies and lifestyle are the thing. I’m a very confident dude and have no concerns about my masculinity, it’s just identity is a weird ephemeral thing, it’s not so much about how others perceive you but how you see yourself existing the future. So when imagining my ideal future, many of my favorite memories and cultural reference points that shape that ideal, are associated with alcohol in some way. Sure, on balance the booze has been very negative, but your mind tends to recall the beers at the Alaskan fishing lodge with your brothers or the bottle of red wine at dinner in Paris with that exgirlfriend, but rarely the blackouts or 30 lbs you gained etc.

  57. Something that has really helped me is realizing how competent I am sober. Like I'm sure you're perfectly competent at flyfishing and off roading and whatever you're into, but it gets so much easier sober. I spent the last weekend in a cabin the woods with seven other dudes waking up at 7 AM to go skeet shooting.

  58. William Porter talks alot about this in Alcohol Explained, all the "laddish" heroes James Bond etc etc. Classic marketing the "products product."

  59. It is astounding how many attributes we’ve managed to associate with this one stupid chemical and how it spans genders, cultures, socioeconomic strata etc.

  60. Totally agree. I built some unfortunate associations between my passions and alcohol, now I need to consciously break those associations, it'll take some reps. I've crushed a few big hikes, not drinking a couple "lunch" beers at the summit was a new experience and I loved how much more athletic I was on the way down.

  61. I think the biggest takeaway from your story for myself, is that it's still early on in your sobriety. You still have this romanticised image of what being a drinker/alcoholic was like. You can get through this, and after some time, your perspective will change and you'll continue to strive and enjoy your passions!

  62. Yeah, it's early for me, hence why I'm navigating silly identity obstacles like this. The crux of it is that there are things I love to do and want to keep doing for the rest of my life, these passions are part of my personal identity, but most have become associated with alcohol in some way, so I am trying to hard to envision my future self enjoying these passions as a sober guy.

  63. I always considered myself as you describe. I grew up in the midwest in a farming community, where you have to be manly!

  64. There's nothing manly about end stage liver disease. Seen many alcoholics end up with bloated stomachs, unable to think or be cognizant of the world around them, and shit themselves from the medication used to treat it. Nothing manly about that.

  65. I hear you. It's possible to do all those things sober, though. In 16 years of sobriety, I've enjoyed fly fishing, base jumping, hunting, extreme sports, publishing in the horror genre, hockey, frat parties, video game marathons, and college football parties. I wouldn't say I've enjoyed it per se, but I've spent a lot of time in warzones, as well. Hemingway and Steinbeck were heroes of mine growing up.

  66. Wanted to say thanks for putting this out there. I have my own vanity concerns with sobriety and it’s cool to know I’m not alone.

  67. Well, part of being masculine is being able to please your partner sexually right? Being sober will definitely keep you in your best form in that dept!

  68. I eventually just accepted that I’m also more attracted to people who don’t drink, so I would prefer someone sees me in that light as well. The way people view you is their misconception to make, and misconceiving people goes way beyond their beverage of choice. Not worrying about what other people think of you is a huge step in sobriety and believe me I can relate 100%. But also, I’m better looking when I’m not bloated and red in the face.

  69. This post and the responses have been so insightful and helpful. Envisioning my future without alcohol is probably my biggest struggle. I’m trying to stick to one day at a time, but it’s hard not to think of the “future.” Everything here is helpful.

  70. I’ve been sober for about 3 and a half years. I still hunt, fish and do all the “manly” stuff I did before, just without alcohol. It was weird at first. But the fact that you were tough enough to realize you had a problem and do something about it says a lot about you. The best I can really say is, it’s just something you get used to. My life hasn’t really changed since I quit drinking. I still hang out with the people I used to drink with and they all respect that I’m sober now. And once you get used to it, the only thing that will seem different is waking up without a hang over on opening morning

  71. i think this does make a lot of sense, but i also think you’re thinking of it too personally. i think almost everybody feels this way, but with their own lifestyle. alcohol advertising and such has really made us equate everything with a drink… i say this as a 23 year old girl. hard to imagine not having wine when i sit on the porch at night or a white claw when i’m laying by the pool or even just not drinking champagne at my wedding

  72. What you are describing is toxic masculinity. The idea that heavy drinking is a man's sport is also why so many women end up as alcoholics. We think we have to keep up to fit in, and in most male circles, you have to outdrink the men before they have any respect for you.

  73. Totally agree it’s toxic AF, but part of being toxic is that it’s insidious and pervasive so trying my best to acknowledge and mitigate it.

  74. well, drinking lowers your testosterone, right? can't think of anything more masculine than not drinking hormonally speaking.

  75. look into IPA's more lol... they straight up just convert to estrogen when you drink em... nothing really manly about em except the idea... which is not based on any factual evidence... just driven by a persona, an agenda... youll be alright man... i did enjoy your post tho and i cant relate to what you literally said... i can still relate to this on some weird subtl level, not sure why and im not gunna delve but its there... you got this dude... just remember, most pioneer women were tougher than most guys today lol... sad but true... not every bad a** cowboy or lumberjack drank and in fact plenty of characters in old tv shows portray the main hero as a sober and level headed stoic type

  76. I feel you. You will get better at that stuff than you were when doing it drunk. When you start to see improvements in yourself and others are still drinking and doing the same old thing, you will feel more like a man. A man who takes care of shit and doesn’t hurt others in the process. Anyone who sees others who are trying to change themselves doesn’t have the courage to face their own. IWNDWYT

  77. Be like those guys without the one vice they wished they could kick. It's great to idolise people, but don't idolise their vices too, none of these people were healthy drinkers, and I'm guessing neither were you. Be them, but a bit smarter, a bit happier, and a bit more present in the incredible outdoors. You can do this 💪

  78. Oh dang, sir, there is nothing sexier than a sober man's man! Do you know what a hot commodity that is in the single world? If you're married, your spouse can probably tell you how hawt that is. If not, please take my word for it. Beer-swilling machismos are a dime a dozen, and super gross. You'll avoid that sloppy beer gut, that thick booze neck, permanent eye bags, and whiskey dick! Don't forget whiskey dick. The women in your life, present or future, are going to love this about you, I promise. IDK if that matters to you, but I thought I'd put it out there my female perspective.

  79. Tom Hardy, Robert Downey Jr, etc. Sexy manly dudes who are sober. Sometimes I think you just gotta adjust the role models to see more clearly.

  80. Get a those no alcohol beers! Still get to open a “cold one” when it’s hot and fly fishing or whatever and you get to actually enjoy your sport for more than 3 hours after getting too drunk

  81. Hey it’s not vain at all. I’m a woman but I work with a lot of men. I feel like I have to keep up to be “one of the guys.” Sometimes I’ve made up excuses like “I’m on medication” or something but the pressure for guys is a lot higher IMHO. I think it’s badass to be sober! It’s admirable and takes a lot more self restraint.

  82. I feel this. Drinking in a pub was the first time I actually felt like a man. I was well liked, a regular, I played darts, I broke up fights, etc. That lasted about 2 years. Eventually I became the epitome of non manly. My body of current knowledge shrank. I was unable to hold good conversations. I could keep a promise. I forgot things. My work ethic was to get by with the least amount of effort possible because nothing mattered anyway (right?). It's a deeply ingrained image but it is also bullshit. The other thing with alcohol is the promised goal is always at some vague time in the future. If alcohol is go good at improving our lives, shouldn't my life be a while lot better NOW?

  83. Non-alcoholic beer is in your future, perhaps?! (I'm assuming that exists. I'm a non-alcoholic wine lover.)

  84. I think it’s a lot cooler (or more “manly” or whatever) to be comfortable with who you are and how much you stick to your values. That includes not having your ego rest on your perception of how manly everyone else thinks you are or not.

  85. What's masculine about putting a liquid into one's mouth? It takes zero effort, it takes nothing to get drunk, and then when the person is puking or hungover we treat it like they've had the time of their life. Getting alcohol is easiest shit ever, maybe if you're underage it might seem bad ass. But that shit is everywhere, we have supermarkets full of booze. We have services that will deliver it to you. What takes balls is know what is right and not doing something because some drunk jackass is having hard time processing not drinking.

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