Alright! I confess it! I’m Manly, dammit, and admitting to such in print is a mighty death blow to the Mask of Machismo my Male counterparts and I wear every day. In some strange flight of honesty and forthrightness (must be a testosterone imbalance), I’m prepared to offer unto you, some secrets of being a Manly. If you’re a woman, take notes. If you’re a man, please leave. This is a private conversation. We’ll wait a moment to give you a chance to hit your browser’s Back button once.


(NOTE: If you’re a married or divorced woman, you’ve likely discovered these niggly truths about Manliness in spades and have no need to continue further unless you delight in rediscovering the obvious.)

Okay, then.

Let’s begin!

No Joke
Oh, and even though it’s April Fool’s Day, I promise you the revelations herein are no joke. Laugh if you must, however, if it covers the uncomfortable recognition of familiarity that is certain to follow.

The Horribleness of Manliness
Men are generally a horrible lot (except of course, for me and the other men who write for Go Inside Magazine) because we’re so simple and predictable. All we really want is something to eat and something to keep our eyes entertained and we’re happy.

For many men, however, the only thing that matters is finding something wet and dark to plunge themselves into and nothing beyond that matters. It’s those men that give the rest of us a bad name — but all men must share that brand because the drive to reproduce is the binding, elemental power of Manliness. That drive is never tamed. It can be disguised, however, and that’s where women get fooled into thinking that men are like them: Thoughtful, warm, loving and careful.

Disguising the Drive
Men are not listeners. Do not mistake a nodding head for agreement, for men are doers and not thinkers. Mention a problem, we solve it, not ponder it.

Getting my wife of 10 years to accept the fact that her Iowa friendliness was being misinterpreted by men as something beyond common courtesy was a daunting and detailed task that took over eight years to truly complete.

Most men aren’t interested in her opinion, thoughts, or feelings — all they want to do is stab her in the sack! My wife refused to accept this fact, until, time after time, she realized these men had no real interest in her as a human being. There were seeking only a release to satisfy their drive and she was the most available space in need of filling.

The Loss of Hometown Charm
I frankly mourn the loss of her Midwestern friendliness, but it was getting her into trouble. (I used to have the same trouble with Gay Men! They thought I was coming on to them when I was simply being “Nebraska Friendly” — I learned how to turn off that warmth rather quickly upon settling down in New York City.)

Men & Women Can Never Be Friends
The hardest reality for my wife to understand is that, despite what every man on a Drive will tell you, men and women can never really be friends. Why is this? Because a man, no matter what, is on the hunt. We may be married or engaged in a relationship, but our unvanquished primordial instinct to hunt and conquer and reproduce never leaves us.

Don’t believe it when a man agrees to be your friend! It is impossible! Being an “associate” is fine, but “friendship” to a man is just another word for “fulfillment” of our manly drive and any man who tells you otherwise is seeking to fulfill that Drive at your expense! Never say to a man “let’s be friends” because you’re inviting us to become a bigger part of your life in a way you did not mean or intend. “Friendship” and “Sex” are synonyms in The Land of Manliness. Accept it, know it and don’t try to change it.

(NOTE: As crass as this sounds, men can, in theory, be friends with women they find “ugly.” The reason this can happen is that there is no sex drive controlling the man in the friendship because no man wants to produce ugly children. That said, I don’t know any Men who would make the time to be friends with an ugly woman, so this point is really only for Sociologists reading this article and taking notes on exceptions.)

Modern Womanhood: Your Own Worst Enemy
Men know what they mean by “friendship” and it isn’t what you mean. Don’t try to be a “modern woman” and think that men and women can be friends — because then you’re playing directly into a Man’s best weapon against you — trust and agreement.

Once we wield these deadly virtues against you, there’s no going back to protecting yourself again! So don’t push for a friendship with a man. Keep us at arm’s length. Marry us, date us, but don’t be friends with us because it’ll ruin you in the end. It won’t bother us in the least being your “friend” because we know agreeing to be “friends” is part of the game. Our game. And we always want to keep you playing that game no matter what because the Drive must be quenched eternally. Like the Quest for Fire, Feigning Friendship with you is a vital part of our nature.

First Look
The first thing a man looks for on a woman is not your face, bust, butt, eyes or hair. A man seeks to see if your ring finger is circled in metal. A ring helps set the foul lines for us but it doesn’t mean we won’t try to knock a homerun if we spies one: Many men love the challenge “going for the ring” presents. A ring helps us distinguish our approach. A ring determines the lies we’ll tell to conquer. Even if you tell us “no” it doesn’t mean things are finished! “No” to a man simply means, “try again later” and many men get into deep trouble when they can’t accept the fact that a woman, any woman, isn’t interested in quenching any sort of Caveman drive.

However, don’t let that stop you from saying “no” to anything. Just be certain you say it in several different ways — waving your wedding ring, shaking your head and running away are all good clues that will, eventually, pile up in the man’s mind and he’ll move on to another conquest — for the moment only! You aren’t written off, just filed away for later retrieval, so don’t let your guard down.

Sack Adjustment
Many women are put off when men “re-arrange” their private areas in public. Baseball players are the worst offenders. Let me explain to you why this happens. Men adjust themselves because they are in pain. Their bag (okay, scrotum if you want precision) is either stuck to their leg or pinched between their leg and their brief’s leg elastic. Both situations bring pain, since the scrotum isn’t freely able to move to handle the swinging nuts (testes).

The testes want (and need) to remain at a perfect 98.6 degrees and the scrotum’s job is to expand when it’s too hot to help cool the testes. The scrotum’s job is also to shrivel up in the cold to help heat ’em up. Have you ever seen a man adjust himself when it’s freezing outside? Nope! No need to because our scrotii are all retracted and holding our testes tightly against our body for ultimate warming — there’s nothing left hanging to stick to anything.

A quick, groin adjustment brings instant relief. Please celebrate this move and never disparage a man for making his life, and yours, a little better. No man has ever found this “adjustment period” gross, while every woman I know is made sick to her stomach by the groinal pinch. Didn’t Freud write an essay about “Adjustment Envy?”

The Waft that Keeps On Giving
Men love to fart. It helps mark their territory and there’s nothing funnier than a good fart joke or letting go a good, long, juicy one. Farts also bring instant internal relief, so think of this as a “groin adjustment” for the backside. Celebrate us when we let one loose and join us in this release if you can, for that is one way to help ensure it won’t happen in your presence again. You’ll have effectively taken the unique fun out of it by squelching the gross out factor with The Scent of a Woman.

The Smell’s the Thing
A real man showers every third day and wears no deodorant. Armpit smell is vital form of territory marking and getting that scent as rich and as thick as possible is extremely important even in Corporate America. Natural smelliness is frowned upon in the real world, however, so we’re forced to make ourselves unique with the mark of cologne. A Man who doesn’t use cologne and showers every day isn’t Manly at all: He’s simply one of the Lost Nation of Men who’ve given up their clan in favor of a vanilla gender flavor.

These generic men cannot be trusted, either, for they are aliens with no morality beyond preserving themselves. A Manly Man’s morality is what I’ve been revealing to you all along here, which is why it’s difficult to separate these traits and bring them into line with a woman’s perfect spirit: Men believe they’re on a moral mission when it comes to you and to compromise or change that mission is to lose Faith in the Gospel of Manliness; and a Man without Manliness is a Woman.

Understanding Manspeak
I deal with a lot of women in my workday as Publisher of Go Inside Magazine. There is one particular Public Relations Agency that is, basically, operated by women. These women are fabulous, caring, thoughtful, smart, talented, loving and funny. In short, they’re all the things I am not and it’s wonderful to bask in their womanliness as I fight my greater instinct as a baseline Man to behave and act honorably instead of morally (on the Manliness Meter).

Anyway, I made the mistake of calling one of these fabulous babes (that’s a compliment, not a put down) my “Big Pal” one day and I got a seething email back asking why I was calling her fat!

Oh, boy!

Here we go again.

I get in trouble for this all the time with women because, try as I might, I keep forgetting that Men and Women are different species and the Male/Female forms of bonding are extremely different.

I was lucky that the woman then wrote back quickly and said she was a little over-sensitive about gaining three pounds after Thanksgiving and was trying, in vain, to take off those troublesome trebles.

Strata of Male Bonding
It’s important that you memorize the levels of friendship in the Male Domain so you can know precisely where who fits where as I reveal the secret codes. Remember that men can be friends with men but not with women. Accepting that nugget of truth as it is and undiluted is difficult, but necessary, if we’re ever to get past the surface games of the human condition.

Here’s the Manliness Meter of Friendship:

1. Friend (anyone you meet that you can stand).

2. Pal (telephone calls, arm punching, Pizza Hut).

3. Pally (Quake II DeathMatches, frequent email, small gifts).

4. Big Pal (Sharing hardware, telling secrets, revealing emotion and thought).

5. Big Ass (Creating Secrets, Changing the History of the World, Taco Bell).

And that’s it!

So you see, I was giving my female Public Relations contact a HUGE compliment when I called her a Big Pal (which, remember, has nothing to do with friendship. Since she was a woman, it was a kindly term of endearment for her as my “associate”, not as my friend).

I know this can be confusing, for when I call my wife a “Big Ass-Pally-Pal” I get punched in the stomach! Which I love (which isn’t her intent in punching me) because punching is the main method of male bonding.

I hope I’ve made a small dent in helping you understand where Men are coming from and how to deal with the Rule of their Manliness. There’s no why to the Myth of Manliness, so don’t try to solve that equation. Just memorize these insights and use them as a defense to the horrible, and inhuman rule that Men live by: No Woman is Off Limits Unless She’s Ugly.

And may you come away from that understanding whole with your love, spirit and compassion intact. For without you, we are nothing more than unfulfilled promises of becoming better than we are alone.