IMO the mistake of the OP is to assume that "masculinity" is a social conditioning, that men try to emulate, rather than a way that most (not all) men naturally are. This may be true of the Rudyard Kipling school of Victorian values. However, this would seem to be a strawman, as Rudyard Kipling's "If" is not the only model of masculinity know to man.
David Deida says that every human is somewhere on a masculintiy/femininity scale, and you have to be true to your own nature in order to be happy and to successful.
I consider that I am quite masculine, and the challenge for me therefore is to realize this in a positive way, rather than to repress it. When a masculine man tries to repress his nature and to be more "nice", it will express itself as blandness, repression, passive aggression and fakeness. a HUGE turnoff for any woman, and for other people generally - except for other male losers like themselves.
In the same way that a person suffering from a phobia can learn techniques to overcome their psychosis (is that the right word?) - so can a person who is not in touch with their true desires, learn techniques to express their best self.
Currently, I have found for me, these techniques have helped me to become a much happier and more effective person in reaching my goals: whether romantic, social or business.
So my two cents are that for me, masculinity can have great results, when expressed in a natural, pure form, as opposed to emulating an external ideal.
"Inhabit your body" (see Eckhart Tolle)
Get "out of your head" and Root yourself in your feet, legs and pelvis (as opposed to storing anxiety in your head, shoulders and chest, channel it into your "root" - see many eastern meditation technqiues in Hinduism and Buddhism).
Maintain posture (the two above technqiues will allow your shoulder + chest to be "strecthed + widened" effortlessly)
Maintain strong, flat voice tone, talk slowly and loudly, do not let your voice hesitate or go up like a "question", ALLOW SILENCES TO LINGER do NOT "overtalk" to fill them, rather you "own them".
Maintain strong eye contact, ESPECIALLY THROUGH SILENCES.
Seek positive examples and you will see them. cleanse negative influences (people, media) from your life as much as possible
Create your own experience of reality by only consuming and meeting positive and constructive examples - "each person is the average of the five people they hang around with" - this also goes for media etc.
NEVER seek approval or try to impress others. Never try to be the center of attention or to entertain. The masculine role in a conversation is to start the conversation, and then simply to provide a basis for the feminine to shine. Just listen, observe, scrutinize, and give honest feedback. Be the King, not the Jester.
NEVER try to change others, ALWAYS ask what YOU could do better - not by their criteria but according to your own. Leading onto...
Consider yourself a beginner, and seek to view every day as a tourist, where you learn, and evolve constantly. Your bullshit will never be resolve, don't wish it to be: just accept that all challenges and objection exist to MAKE YOU BETTER.
With these simple techniques, I find doors opening all around me, with women, business contacts, and friends, which I never thought possible.
Of course I would never claim to have "mastered" anything. But these techniques I have found, are helping me to express myself as I feel, and to achieve previously unbelievable (to me) results very quickly.
I would say the above meets my understanding of "masculinity", and that I find it is very well recieved by others, much more so than fake, passive aggressive, "nice guy" behaviour (as opposed to being a genuinely good person, which is diametrically opposed to being a "nice guy").
And that it has nothing to do with sitting around talking crap about what you saw on Friends or what you read in Cosmopolitan.
You can only feel it and experience it.
Aaaaaameeen brother. (See I even have a sense of humor!)