We asked a ton of guys — readers, friends, twitter followers, etc., — to divulge what they’re insecure about, and their answers were surprisingly forthcoming! Below are fifteen insightful responses which shed light on what men worry about when it comes to dating, from their physical appearance, to whether they measure up to society’s ever changing standard of masculinity.

1. “My arms. Pale, too thin. Arms are something you can work on, and the fact that I haven’t after 28 years is like….sad.”

2. “Previous boyfriends. If it’s getting more serious, I worry about how I stack up compared to the ex in a lot of ways.”

3. “I have a friend who’s extremely insecure even when he’s dating casually, he likes a girl to have, like, almost no sexual history. Which I think is really weird and misogynistic. He likes to be the only one.”

4. “Skills in bed, and having sex with someone new for the first time. It’s easy to be apprehensive about chemistry, and finding what your partner likes. Because early on, communication about that is usually little to none.”

Knowing when to talk about your fears and anxieties and when to ‘suck it up and be a man’ is confusing.

5. “In no particular order, I’d say hair loss, sense of skill in bed.”

6. “I think it’s important for a lot of guys to feel in control of their lives – which might be tied to the provider thing. But maybe that’s just people in general.”

7. “Dancing. [My girlfriend] loves to dance and I’m terrible so when we dance together she looks amazing by comparison and I look spastic.”

8. “That a great date might lead to a commitment I’m not ready for.”

9. “My hand gestures. Especially the ones that might appear gay, (since I’m not).”

10. “The number of women I’ve slept with.”

11. “The white hairs taking over my beard. The white hairs taking over elsewhere…”

12. “Having to plan the date, will she like it, will it fit her personality, too relaxed/too fancy/too not what she might have imagined.”

13. “Will I call or text too soon or too late.”

14. “I guess I’m insecure about how many dweeby losers spit the heaviest game, and I don’t even want to be in the a room filled with their beta-male airborne hormones, because I think it will negatively effect my own masculinity.”

15. “Being ‘the man.’ There are too many conflicting messages. On the one hand, we’re told to be sensitive, caring, kind, polite. But the unspoken thing is that even though these are traits that women value, it also looks like weakness. Knowing when to talk about your fears and anxieties and when to ‘suck it up and be a man’ is confusing. The balancing act between being sensitive and being an alpha male is very tricky.”

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