From airport hugs to saying ‘I miss you,’ Mark Pagán thinks ‘Other Men Need Help,’ and maybe he needs some, too
Mark Pagán wants men to get help. Not, like, in a rude way. But in the way that women are able get help from their friends and family, the way that women are able to ask for support when they need it most. Mainly, Mark Pagán just wants someone to just give him a hug. So, he started his podcast “Other Men Need Help” to lift the curtain to reveal the secrets behind his own performance of masculinity. He wants to know why he and so many others try to run as far away as possible from feeling emasculated. Join Pagán in his search for answers as to why men are the way they are.
Pagán has been looking at all the things that make women swoon and make men, well, men since he was a young boy. In his introductory episode, he mentions that being a man felt exotic to him since he was into things that women were into. And he feared this would keep him out of the masculinity club. So he decided to use this as a change to learn how to be “the perfect man.”
He was obsessed with knowing who was tacked up on girls bedroom walls: Ricky Martin, Jeff Goldblum, perhaps Tom Cruise or Sean Penn. But no perfect man stuck out more to him than Richard Gere in An Officer and a Gentleman. He would watch as the women in his family swooned over the final scene of the film, and that was the moment that he decided he wanted to study all of the things that make men attractive to women.
And he couldn’t wait to see what kind of stud he would turn out to be. At the start of “Other Men Need Help,” he was an unmarried 38-year-old who’d had plenty of serious relationships with women, strong friendships, and an overall fulfilling life. But he is concerned with what is behind his curtain of masculinity. So, we are back at the beginning.
“Other Men Need Help” is now four seasons deep, having covered a wide range of topics pertaining to men. He talks about dealing with his partner’s ex/his new male rival, to pick-up routines. He asks men about who they wanted to look like when they were younger and who they actually look like now, to the impact Patrick Swayze had on masculine performance.
In the sixth episode, Pagán finds his own link between chiseled male bodies, becoming a bachelor chef, and “The Bluey.” A “bluey,” for anyone wondering, is what Pagán describes as a letter from an ex that comes completely out of the blue. And it is something that men are all too comfortable doing. Pagán himself has even written one! Just a letter, not necessarily asking to get back together or hook up, reminding you that your ex still exists. And Pagán found that his desire to send a “bluey” came from seeing a man who could’ve been carved by Michelangelo himself in the gym locker room. This sent him spiraling down a rabbit hole of imagining his ex in bed with men like that, drafting a “bluey,” learning to cook like all sexy movie men seem to know how to, and publicly weeping to a grocery store employee.
Each episode is a cleverly interwoven tale of the plaguing loneliness caused by the cool aloofness that masculinity calls for. In the clergy episode, you will find topics like ADD, civil rights, coffee, and taking a chance on friendship. Every episode examines a different facet of Pagán’s and friends’ own habits, tendencies, and avoidances in the name of masculinity. From airport hugs to saying “I miss you,” to long-lost friends and the economic insecurity of dating a woman who makes more money.
“Other Men Need Help” is Pagán’s analysis of himself what he thought he knew about being a man. Follow his exploration in this award-winning podcast that is not just for men. Because we all need all the help we can get.