Esquire (USA)


With my rock-hard abs and “main-character energy,” I thought I’d be showered in women’s attention. Fifteen years later, I’m burying Don Juan for good.


BACK IN MY SALAD DAYS, I CARRIED MYSELF WITH SWAGGER. The dashing raconteur—that’s the role I liked to play. But today, I never turn on the charm the way I used to years ago. These days, I make a conscious effort to mellow my manner in mixed company.

I’m talking about man issues, which for decades I had confused with girl problems. That confusion sent me on a quest leading to some of the most desired and objectifie­d women in the world. If I’d read different books, watched different movies, and looked up to different role models as a kid, I might’ve figured things out earlier. Instead, here I am with my hair turning gray and I’m still revising my understand­ing of the man I want to be.

My self-diagnosed girl problems began around puberty: I was that late bloomer with zits all over my face and a body like a heap of knees and elbows. Plus I rarely asked questions, and when I did, I had a habit of interrupti­ng the answers.

I addressed my girl problems by cultivatin­g, as the kids are saying, some of that main-character energy. I emulated popular kids who made clever remarks and told impressive stories. I read articles about my abdominal muscles and chugged a steady regimen of blended protein cocktails. I did all this with the vague goals of gazing into someone’s eyes, riding horses with them, and maybe fighting a duel for their honor— though I would’ve settled for just touching. My clumsy efforts did not lead me to meaningful relationsh­ips, which require skills I couldn’t even name back then. But they did help me get scouted to become a model.

Modeling seemed like a dream job. The pay was sometimes good, and I flew coach all over the world. Bouncers treated me like a celeb

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