The human male is a finely-tuned machine, honed to hard driving, heavy drinking and DIY dallying perfection.
Or that's what we like to think. A minor cold is a disaster - as undermining to the slickly drilled performance of the Man as a blister on the big toe to Andy Murray. But if something genuinely serious comes along, it's a different story. Especially when it comes to pain. You may be in agony but you ain't telling anyone about it. No, sir. I'd rather admit to a penchant for cross-stitch.
So a new pain relief initiative from Canada, where one in five live with chronic pain, is a real innovation. Funded through Movember, the Chronic Pain Support Group of Montreal, is running a pilot men-only pain support group.
One of the members is Richard Hovey. He was pain researcher at McGill University but admits now that he really didn't have a clue until a cycling accident left him in chronic pain himself. He says of the group: 'What I learned through my pain experience and being around these gentlemen is that your perception of yourself changes quite dramatically and that's the hardest part. The pain itself is not necessarily the worst part. It's what it does to your life. It's the suffering of loss, of identity, work, friendships, socializing.'