From Crying Zones to Cuddle Groups

The Latest Rage in Countering ‘Toxic Masculinity’

Guest: Stefan Aarnio, author of “Hard Times Create Strong Men”


Ah, college campuses, ever on the cutting-edge of culture, currently are showcasing their latest ‘cure’ for ‘Toxic Masculinity’: Cuddle Groups.

But wait, you may ask, “I was still waiting for my turn in the ‘Crying Zone’ on my campus; now I have to be wait-listed to join a Cuddle Group?

While this may sound amusing, these cowardly retreat zones away from reality represent a toxic trend diametrically opposing natural manhood. Put bluntly, universities should return to traditional time-tested curricula and shun the latest fads in pampering co-eds. Instead of retreating into college sensitivity zones, men in colleges today need to heed some traditional street-smart advice: “Man up.”

Interview with Stefan Aarnio:

Question: What do you think of cuddle groups as a Toxic Masculinity antidote?

Stefan Aarnio: What a disaster. There is no such thing as toxic masculinity, just masculinity. It is the absence of men that is toxic; that’s why homes without fathers don’t do as well as homes with fathers. In education it used to be the 3 R’s. Today on college campuses it’s the 3 C’s: Cuddling, Crying and Capitulation to radical liberal ideology aimed at transforming men into mice—and gender-fluid mice at that!

Question: For those show still shun traditional masculinity, where might they find a cuddle group on a college campus today?

Stefan Aarnio: Look no further than Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania where men can cuddle until their heart’s content—as long as they have sufficient time on their hands and don’t have to work their way through school.

Question: In your book, “Hard Times Create Strong Men,” you describe what being a strong man looks like. Is it all muscle and machismo or is there more to it?

Stefan Aarnio: There’s far more to being a truly strong man than meets the eye. For starters a strong man is a moral man. To be strong, when you make a promise you need to keep it, and that especially goes for marriage vows—including avoiding porn. Throughout history, Masculinity has always been about power, while femininity has been about morality. When power and morality come together, that is the whole package. A man in his base state is primal like a wild beast, but when you add morality you get a really well-rounded man, something more than a wild beast.

Question: In your coaching sessions you teach the significance of the pleasure vs. virtue principle. Elaborate:

Stefan Aarnio: A classic example is the case of Jeff Bezos, who had a choice, to either seek virtue or vice. He chose pleasure and chose to forget his marriage vows. Notice how I said he ‘chose.’ Clearly it was a choice. No one had a gun to his head forcing him to have an affair. The rest is history. Instead of being a strong man embracing the high road of virtue, he chose the lower, baser path.

Question: You like to quote Will Durant as saying: “A nation is born a stoic and dies an epicurean.  How might this apply to Jeff Bezos?

Stefan Aarnio: Clearly, Jeff was a stoic in trailblazing online retailing to the point of reinventing shopping but over time got sloppy and lazy. While it may appear to the world that the richest man in the world is on top of his game, I can assure you that with both men and nations there are cycles and his is a downward one. Such is so often the fate of man. The same principle applies to great countries that were born out of war and hard times. Those hard times gave way to stoic values like deferring pleasure and reason over emotions. But we now live in a time where pleasure and happiness are the highest virtues but epicurean values make men weak which leads from democracy to tyranny and later to a monarchy, as we have learned from history. Look at the fall of Rome.

Question: And where can a person go to learn more about what it takes to be a strong man, contributing positively to society, family, and culture?

Stefan Aarnio: They may visit or

Question: Where may a person get a copy of your book, “Hard Times Creates Strong Men”?

Stefan Aarnio: They may visit

Question: Stefan, can you give one final nugget of parting wisdom?

Stefan Aarnio: Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. Weak men create hard times.



 Stefan Aarnio is an award-winning real estate investor, award-winning serial entrepreneur, motivational coach, educator and author of multiple books including his latest, “Hard Times Create Strong Men.”

Having built his fortune through purchasing real estate at 40-60 cents on the dollar, Stefan became an avid student of negotiation at a young age testing and learning the principles in this book first-hand in the real world. On a day-to-day basis, Stefan is the CEO of two multi-million-dollar companies and travels the world educating business people and entrepreneurs to bring forward the next generation of success.

Currently, Stefan is on Talk Show encouraging men to be men and debunking so-called ‘toxic masculinity.’ His clarion call is for men to make a mass exodus from the crying zones on college campuses into inject themselves into the real world to showcase and celebrate their masculinity.


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