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When we were talking about chengyu 知难而上, one my Chinese friend said,

你没看出来这里面的玄机

Then he explained 知难而上 can be understood as 知男而上.

By the dictionary, 玄机 means mystery. However, I think it being traslated to

You don't see the mystery.

is inappropriate.

What is the exact meaning?

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Try understand it this way:

"You don't see the mechanics behind it." (You don't know how it works.)

BTW, 知难而上 means you know something's hard but you still go for it regardless, it certainly can NOT be understood as 知男而上, he was just trolling.

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May I guess he is talking about 哲♂學. It's a subculture (亞文化) in China. 哲♂學 originates from several porn films Billy Harrington starring in. There are many (梗/哏)in this subculture. For example: 迎男而上/男上加男/滿頭大漢/左右為男 etc. When typing them, one usually adds ♂ in between.

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