Okay, So Here's What You Need To Know About the '6-6-6' Man
Whew. Okay, so anyone who grew up “churched” and has never heard of what I’m about to share is probably already a little shook when it comes to the title of this piece. Because oh, believe you me, I went to Christian schools along with church every Sabbath back in the day and I think that it was at least once every few months that 666 and the mark of the beast (which comes out of Revelation 13:18 of the Bible) would come up in some sort of conversation.
This time, though, it has nothing to do with Scripture or end times theories nor is it a slight on a man (like him being evil or something). It’s actually speaking of, what seems to be a constant, relentless, and ever-growing-in-popularity desire that many women have when it comes to the kind of guy that they want to have a long-term relationship with — and it just happens to be that the three top traits all have the number “6” in it.
And actually, because I know many of the things that six symbolizes, the 6-6-6 man is fascinating because the number represents things like physically appealing, high standards, domestic happiness, and stability (hmm…).
So, whether you already know about this kind of man and want him, or you’ve never heard of him before and you want to learn more, let’s do some unpacking, shall we? Because, like most things in life, a 6-6-6 man is more than just a catchphrase or notion, chile.
6 Feet Tall
Two things that I’m pretty big on are stats and studies. A part of the reason is that, while a lot of people think that their feelings are facts, stats and studies are rooted in more than emotions that can change on a dime — there’s research, surveys, and hardcore intel involved. So, when it comes to physicality, it’s interesting that while a lot of women are consumed with height, a lot of men are consumed with “width” and neither wants to compromise much. Meanwhile, the stats reveal that only roughly 15 percent of men are over 6 ft and the average dress size in America right now is somewhere between 16-18. So, while you can want what you want all day long, you’ve also got to take into account what is actually available.
And how do I know that 6 ft. stands (pun intended) out for women? Because any time I’m out in the YouTube streets watching videos about what women find to be desirable, I can almost say it along with them that he must be at least 6’ tall. Some say it’s because a tall man makes them feel safe and secure. Others say that they don’t find short men attractive. Still, others don’t really know why they actually need a guy who is six inches taller towering over them, if they’re say only 5’4” in height themselves.
Me? I’m 5’6” and most of the men I’ve dated (or sex-ed) have been basketball player-tall. I did some soul searching and I think a part of it is because I was molested by a family member when I was younger (and much shorter) and so I was subconsciously programmed to think that as I got taller, the men in my life should be too. Once I factored that into what I thought was merely my preference, the desire ceased to be quite as rigid. Not to mention the fact that I’ve spent many years with super tall men who were shorter on character.
I mean, if ONLY 15 PERCENT of men are that tall, am I really going to automatically cancel someone who is 5’9” or 5’10”? How ridiculous would that be? Hmph. According to two Black women, VERY.
One of them is a Black influencer who has a YouTube channel called Only One Jess. She got married last year to what appears to be a very remarkable young man. She’s 5’1” and he’s 5’3” and she regularly brings up that, if she had stayed hung up on his height, she definitely would’ve missed out — BIG TIME. The other woman is someone, who, I wish I had kept the video because she PREACHED PREACHED when she said this about her around 5’7” man: “I had a father to look up to while growing up, so I don’t need my husband to overcompensate.”
BOOM! 10 TIMES! I hope y’all caught all-a-dat too!
6 Inches Long
Over the years, I’ve written quite a few pieces for this platform on the topic of penises including “Apparently, A Certain Penis Size Can Make Us Orgasm The Most (Chile)” (it’s eight inches, by the way) and “Sex Hacks For Different Kinds Of Penises (You Heard Me Right).” However, the one that probably deserves the most attention when it comes to this particular topic is “BDE: Please Let The ‘It Needs To Be Huge’ Myth Go.” If you haven’t checked it out (yet), it’s about a wife I know who has a husband with a lot to offer in the genitalia department, who actually has a pretty dysfunctional sex life with him (still) and a huge (no pun intended) reason is because his ego is far bigger than his package and his performance is less than stellar as a direct result.
As a marriage life coach for well over 15 years at this point, I’ve heard literally countless stories from women who’ve said that a big penis isn’t all it’s cracked up to be — that oftentimes we just say that we want that because we’ve been conditioned to; that a smaller size is just fine when your partner is attentive, selfless and confident.
Besides, I will continue to say until ALL of the cows come home that the average size penis 5.5” erect, our vaginas expand to 4.75” when aroused and our most intense nerve endings are 2” inside of it. Moral of the story? You can get stimulated just fine with a smaller size. Science says so.
In fact, the reason why many women struggle with experiencing a vaginal (penetration) orgasm isn’t because a man’s penis isn’t large enough, it’s either because their clitoris is too far away from their vagina for both to be stimulated by penetration (which no woman has any control over) or they’re not in a sex position where their clitoris can be stimulated during intercourse (the spoon position immediately comes to mind).
When it comes to my past sexual dealings, I surpassed the TMI mark a long time ago (check out “14 Lessons I've Learned From 14 Sex Partners” for instance). So, I’ll be the first to say that I’ve had some really large, umm, men in my lifetime and sometimes all I got out of the deal was a lot of bladder and yeast infections. In fact, the guy who gave me the most vaginal orgasms actually had one of the most average penises out of everyone. So, please don’t be out here resolved that only 9” (or hell, even the popular 8”) can please you. It’s one of the greatest lies ever told.
6 Figures in the Bank Account
Okay, so from what I’ve read and researched, somewhere around 33 percent of Americans currently make six figures (only nine percent earn a million on an annual basis). In Black households, 18 percent earn six figures. So, as far as availability and options go, that’s pretty much up with the height thing that I was talking about earlier.
Now to add some real perspective to this (beyond some women just parroting what they hear other women say), if the goal is to live a comfortable life, where you live plays a huge role in that (so does if you have and/or desire to have children). But let’s say that you’re only factoring in yourself and your future husband for the next 2-3 years or so. If you lived in Alabama, you’d currently need around $60,000 a year to be better-than-good (in the $60K range is the average for a lot of southern states), around $92,000 to live in Maryland, and — surprise, surprise — close to six figures to live in California and New York.
However, if you’re working too and you plan on contributing to the household expenses (and if you’re not…why not? It’s a fair question), then a man could still make, say, 60 or even 70 percent of what we see here and still hold things down, in all of these states, pretty damn well.
My point? When it comes to “requiring” a man — especially a Black man when only 18 percent of Black people even qualify for this particular “6” — ask yourself why that’s such a big deal to you. How much of it has to do with what you’ve heard on the internet or some ridiculous reality show? How much of it is rooted in some semi-unrealistic expectations? And most importantly, how much of it is such a big deal that you’d pass up a great man who makes $55,000 just so you can have your “6”…a “6” who just might not ever come? #justsaying
What a 6-6-6 Man Has to Say About Being in a Relationship with One:
“I’ve been a six-figure earner since I was in my late 20s. I’m well aware of the 6-6-6 phenomenon and I personally think it’s comedy because a lot of women who say they want that kind of man have no clue what his standards are — or if they do, they say that we’re full of ourselves. I’m not gonna lie — we have a lot of events where we want to show our woman off and so, there’s just a certain beauty standard that’s required."
"There are a lot of women who want us and so our patience level is pretty short because we’re not going to argue with one woman when we can find another who is far more accommodating. But the main thing that women miss about us is in order to make a lot of money, we have to do a lot of work. We just don’t have the kind of time to be doing the type of bulls — t that they see on television — three dates a week, traveling all of the time, constantly going on shopping sprees, and talking on the phone. In fact, a lot of us would be considered ‘cheap’ because we’re putting more money into investments than trying to woo a woman."
"That’s why a lot of women who’ve dated us see us as assh—es. It took a lot of work and focus on self to get where we are, especially when we’re Black. We’re very calculated on who gets to reap the benefits of that — and when.” - Dean, 45, in a long-term relationship
What a Woman with a 6-6-6 Man Has to Say About Being in a Relationship with One:
“My husband is 6’3,” I won’t share his penis size because it’s none of your business; just know that I qualify to answer this question. And as far as how much he earns, it’s around $170,000. When we first got married, that wasn’t the case. He was still in school. And although I won’t lie and say that I don’t enjoy not having to worry about how the lights are going to stay on or if we can take a vacation every summer, it all comes at a price.”
“Back when my husband was making less money, he had more time. He could also be more spontaneous. I don’t know what makes people think that [being] financially secure means more leisure time — unless you’re wealthy, rarely is that the case. I can also tell you for a fact that holding him down while he was on the ‘broker side’ of things is why he’s so willing to give to me now. Men who make a lot of money have a difficult time trusting which is why it can be hard to get them to marry you once they’ve already ‘made it.'”
“I just think that women need to be very mature, very secure, and extremely willing to make some sacrifices as far as time and expectations. You might have more money to play around with but sometimes that comes at the expense of not having him as much as you did before his tax bracket switched up on you.” - Wendell, 39, married 14 years
Trends Are Not (Automatically or Necessarily) Standards
Uh-huh. I already know. Some of y’all just read all of this and were like, “If I can’t have a 6-6-6, I’ll just stay single then.” I mean, if that’s what you want to put out into the universe, it’s your world, and the best of luck to you. I just wanted to make sure that you realized the reality of the combo and what comes along with it.
Besides, don’t let social media — hell, media in general — have you out here believing that just because they push a particular “good man narrative” down our throats that it’s actually a standard. Plenty of famous people tank their relationships on a daily basis…and many of them had a 6-6-6 man (again…just saying).
Bottom line, having preferences is fine. Just try not to be so rigid about what you think a good man is that you miss up on the right one. One who might be a bit shorter than 6 ft, whose penis might be shy of 6 inches and who may make five figures (or may have some but not all three) — but is a blue ribbon winner in standards that aren’t current trends.
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After being a regular contributor for about four years and being (eh hem) MIA in 2022, Shellie is back penning for the platform (did you miss her? LOL).
In some ways, nothing has changed and in others, everything has. For now, she'll just say that she's working on the 20th anniversary edition of her first book, she's in school to take life coaching to another level and she's putting together a platform that supports and encourages Black men because she loves them from head to toe.
Other than that, she still works with couples, she's still a doula, she's still not on social media and her email contact (email@example.com) still hasn't changed (neither has her request to contact her ONLY for personal reasons; pitch to the platform if you have story ideas).
Life is a funny thing but if you stay calm, moments can come full circle and this is one of them. No doubt about it.
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Here's Why Very Few Relationships Can Actually Be 'Platonic'
Recently, while in an interview, someone asked me if I think that men and women can be just friends. I didn’t even hesitate to answer; my response was immediate, “Absolutely.” What I followed that up with is what intrigued them — “Life has taught me that not a lot of male/female dynamics are ‘platonic,’ though.” When they asked me to expound, the interview ended up taking a whole ‘nother turn.
As a writer who really pays attention to word meanings, something that can be a bit frustrating about our culture is the fact that based on whatever is popular at the time, folks will just up and change the original definitions of words to suit a particular agenda or whim — and the word “platonic” 1000 percent fits into this category. And perhaps that’s why we seem to continue to go in circles about whether or not people of the opposite sex can (and should) be friends and what that even can (and should) look like.
Let’s talk about it for a bit. Because as a word-literal type of individual, while again, I absolutely believe that men and women can be friends, at the same time, I think it’s about as rare as a red diamond to truly find yourself in a friendship that is…platonic.
It’s Time (More) Folks Knew What ‘Platonic’ LITERALLY MeansGiphy
So, let's do first things first — let's define what it literally means for something to be platonic. If you go to your favorite search engine and put something along the lines of "What does platonic mean?", the first thing that you're (probably) going to see is a ton of dictionary definitions that say something along the lines of "of, relating to, or being a relationship marked by the absence of romance or sex" (Merriam-Webster), "designating or of a relationship, or love, between a man and a woman that is purely spiritual or intellectual and without sexual activity" (Your Dictionary) and, my personal favorite, "purely spiritual; free from sensual desire, especially in a relationship between two persons of different sexes" (Dictionary). Yeah, bookmark that last one; I'll be circling back.
Keeping this in mind (and please do), where does the word "platonic" actually come from? From what I've researched, the philosopher Plato once penned something entitled "Symposium." In it, he addressed the topic of two people sharing the kind of love that is free of any type of sensual desire, one that is based on divine love alone. An author from the 1800s broke it down this way: "Platonic love meant ideal sympathy; it now means the love of a sentimental young gentleman for a woman he cannot or will not marry." A write-up on Merriam-Webster's site stated that "The term platonic was initially used to mock non-sexual relationships, as it was considered ridiculous to separate love and sex, but eventually this connotation faded away leaving us with today's notion of close friendships." Yeah, we used to live in a culture where love and sex were not separated. Hmph, that's another article for another time, though (check out "We Should Really Rethink The Term' Casual Sex'").
Anyway, as with many things (especially in our culture), the word "platonic" is kind of used in "broad strokes" these days (bromances, female friendships, etc.). However, because there continues to be this forever discussion — and oftentimes debate — about whether or not men and women can be "just friends," I'm going to tackle this topic strictly from that angle — from the place where platonic actually originated.
Yes, Men and Women Can Be Just Friends. But…Giphy
At this stage in my life, I'm pretty sure that I have more male friends than female ones. There are layers of reasons why, yet I think a huge one is because I like the balance that masculinity brings to my femininity (especially as I'm learning to embrace different aspects of my femininity, intentionally even more). And while every single one of my male friends is respectful and is a super safe space in my world on every single level that I can imagine (and have been for years now), there are probably only a couple who I would say 100 percent qualify as being…trulyplatonic.
Why would I say that? Well, I'll illustrate this point with something that one of my male friends once said to me. He's super cute. He can sing his ass off (and definitely has one of my favorite speaking voices). People see us out together often, and some have told us that they assume that we've had something going on at some point. Anyway, after hearing someone share their theory about us, I told it to him.
Me: "I told him, 'He's my brother. We would never mess around.'"
My Friend: "Correction, you are like a sister. You are not my sister, though. Under the right conditions, you could still get it."
When I shared that exchange with another male friend of mine, he basically cosigned on the sentiment: "Shellie, I have never approached you like that because I really respect you. I want to be good for you for the rest of our lives." (That reminds me: check out "Question: Is The Man In Your Life Good 'TO' You? Good 'FOR' You? Or...Both?" when you get a chance.)
Then I went to one more guy homie and ran both statements by him: "Girl, yeah. If I didn't want to keep you in my life long-term, I would've tried to holla a long time ago!" And he and I have been friends for almost 20 years at this point. When did he get around to telling me this? Eh, maybe two years ago. LOL.
So, my takeaway from all of these "for real?!" exchanges is even though men and women can be just friends, there is a certain level of intention, self-control, and ability to see into the future (on some level) that must go into account — because, just because something more-than-friends-like may not have gone down, that doesn't mean there isn't a "dormant seed" lying around somewhere…whether it's one-sided or on both sides of the friendship dynamic.
As you can see, I just provided you with three instances where the male friends in my life; we've had nothing sexual or even physically intimate beyond a hug when we greet each other in nature — although things aren't exactly platonic if there is some sort of attraction or sexual/romantic curiosity that simply never got explored. Because again, according to Plato, a platonic relationship is free from all of that kind of…tension — or possibilities. Zero. Nada. Zilch.
And now you probably get why I entitled this article in the way that I did…right? I mean, just think about it — out of your male friendships, where is there NO sensual desire or dormant romantic interest…on your side and/or on his? If you're not sure about "his"…have you ever asked him? Or them? Because again, once I really let the definition of platonic sink in, I think maybe two guys in my life totally fit the bill.
This brings me to my next point.
Are You Platonic? Or Are You Friend-Zoning?Giphy
Now that you know that probably 70 percent of the people you know (both online and off) have been using the true meaning of platonic all the way wrong, let’s go about deeper: when it comes to your friendships with men, are they genuinely platonic or…is it more like you’re friend-zoning them?
A few years ago, I penned an article on the topic entitled, “Before You 'Friend Zone' Someone, Read This.” If you’re skimming this on your lunch break, I’ll summarize friend-zoning as knowing that a guy has so-much-more-than-platonic feelings for you, yet because you basically want to keep the benefits of the friendship or even his emotions around, you will string him along on some level.
Personally, I can’t stand friend-zoning. I think it’s selfish, with some sprinkles of manipulation and wasting someone’s time. Don’t agree? How would you feel if a guy was friend-zoning you? (Yeah…exactly.)
This all needs to go on record because, knowing that a guy wants to “take it there” with you (whether sexually or romantically), you not full-on addressing it and/or giving him just enough hope to take you out, listen to all of your stories about other men and give you the attention that you need knowing that he doesn’t have a shot in hell — that is NOT a platonic friendship and honestly, you’re not being a good friend at all. Friends protect each other’s hearts, not abuse them.
A platonic friendship means that you both have no interest in each other, and, as Plato put it, while you may have a strong and solid bond, it’s spiritual love that connects you. And what exactly does that mean? Spiritual love also deserves its own article, yet the gist would be that you recognize there is a purpose in your friendship, yet it’s about wanting what’s best for one another and even helping each other to get there.
For instance, a platonic friend of yours may know that you desire to be married one day, so he has no problem setting you up with a good guy in his life. And if things go well, he would have no problem standing up as your own best man (without feeling like he’s dying inside) because he never saw you beyond anything but a friend. A guy in the friend zone doesn’t move like this; he likes you too much to help you move on with someone else. See the difference?
Why Relationships Should Start Off As NON-PLATONIC FriendshipsGiphy
Before I end this with some tips on how to properly care for the few platonic friendships you may actually have, since the use of the word may require a bit of mental reprogramming, I do think we should also address that if you've got a good guy in your life, who right now is a friend and either you've never thought of him in that way or the topic has never come up — he's someone that you may not want to brush off.
What I mean by that is, it's one thing for there to be absolutely no interest in someone vs. never considering it before — and the reason why you might want to give it some thought is because, ask any healthy married couple who's been together for more than five years and I'll bet you my next rent check that they will say that the best relationships are birthed out of friendship (check out "Are You Sure You're Actually FRIENDS With Your Spouse?").
Yeah, just because you've filed someone in the "I see him as a good guy" category, that doesn't automatically mean that y'all's friendship is platonic. For instance, I have a male friend who is fine and I adore on many levels, yet the reason why it would never work on my end is because there are certain relational standards that I have that he does not meet. However, don't get it twisted — I've considered him because, on so many levels, we "fit." So, the mere fact that I ever seriously thought about him on that level means that we are "good friends," yet it's not exactly platonic.
I'm not free of potential sensual desire…I just choose not to act on it. Yet because I get the value of having friendship as the foundation for my own future marriage (should life play out that way), I am wise enough to know that I would've been a fool to not at least…ponder him and the possibilities.
So yeah, if there is a male friend in your life that the thought of dating or having sex with him doesn't make you want to throw up in your mouth, there's a pretty good chance that it's not a classic platonic dynamic — and you might want to consider if it could/should go to the next level — if not immediately, eventually. Because there's a pretty good chance that if you are thinking that way, he probably is as well.
Protect Your Genuine Platonic Friendship(s) At All CostsGiphy
Let me end this with how one of my platonic friendships rolls. We both think that the other is attractive, yet neither of us is attracted. We both give each other opposite-sex insights. We both have said that the mere thought of dating each other makes our noses turn up like there’s an odor in the air. And even when I try to imagine us together, my mind goes blank. I love, love, LOVE this man — oh, but it is absolutely nothing more than platonic — and he feels the same way. It’s as close to familial love without being blood relationships. It’s a rare dynamic, and that is what makes it so special. There is definitely a spiritual type of love there; no more, no less.
If you’ve got someone in your life who you feel the same way about (again, it’s got to be mutual; he must feel that way, too), you’ve got a gem of a situation going on because there is nothing like having the kind of friendship where you and a guy can hang out, exchange perspectives and thoroughly enjoy each other’s company, knowing that’s all it is and will ever be. Things will never get weird. No one’s feelings are gonna get hurt (from the whole friend-zoning thing). You don’t have to walk on eggshells. You can just be.
And that’s why I’m all for platonic friendships. And listen, if you’re blessed enough to have even one in your lifetime, be fiercely protective of it. Don’t take it for granted. Nurture it in a way that your male friend needs (because it probably won’t be the exact same as your female friendships). Y’all, platonic friendships are so bomb because, if it’s honored and protected correctly, it’s the one male friend that you can probably keep for life because even your romantic partner will not find it to be a (true) threat — hell, they honestly could probably end up becoming (some level of) friends with your platonic homie as well.
I hope that I broke this all down enough to where, when you decide to use a word to describe your opposite-sex friendships, perhaps you will pause and ask yourself, “Wait, is this a platonic friend or a good or close friend?” Because the clearer you are on the differences, the easier it will be to know how to maintain your friendship — and feel about your friend. Feel me? Cool.
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