10 Activities a Man Simply Cannot Perform While Retaining Any Semblance of Masculinity

A man eats a chocolate ice lolly while walking past the wall.
“Yep. That just about covers ’em all.” — Image Credit: Garry Knight (https://www.flickr.com/photos/garryknight/) — Subject to CC 2.0 License.

Masculinity is a tricky subject. We all have different ideas about what makes for a “real” man, but in our fervent scramble to attain perfect, inoffensive political correctness, we can’t even be sure masculinity is a desirable trait at all anymore. What I can tell you — as a man who has lived in two different countries — is that being seen performing any single one of the following ten activities will not only destroy your sense of manhood, but will make you look like King Titties of Pussy Mountain:

#10: Drinking Through a Straw

Image Credit: Bradley Gordon (https://www.flickr.com/photos/icanchangethisright/) -- Subject to CC 2.0 License.
“Hell YES I want to go drive some motorcycles! Let me just finish this drink first…” Image Credit: Bradley Gordon (https://www.flickr.com/photos/icanchangethisright/) — Subject to CC 2.0 License.

A man can drink from a coffee mug or a beer stein — really anything with a big, fat handle — but the moment he puckers his lips together and starts sucking on that straw, his testosterone levels drop down to zero. Imagine a huge biker thug at a dive bar. He’s drunk and hassling someone. “Hey pussy, change the channel back to Duck Dynasty. No one wants to watch that queer golf shit.” And then he wraps his mustachioed lips around a pink bendy straw and takes a dainty pull of strawberry daiquiri. Masculinity destroyed. (But that would actually be kind of awesome, so let’s table this one for now.)

#9: Wearing a Backpack (While NOT Camping, Mountain Climbing or Parachuting)

Image Credit: FaceMePLS (https://www.flickr.com/photos/faceme/) -- Subject to CC 2.0.
“So awesome, this bitch makes me TWICE as wide.” — Image Credit: FaceMePLS (https://www.flickr.com/photos/faceme/) — Subject to CC 2.0.

Camping, mountain climbing and parachuting are all manly things to do. So manly, in fact, you don’t even have to be male to look badass doing them. But wearing a backpack for almost any other purpose makes a normal man look like his body is comprised of 100% doofus. Whenever I see a dude sporting a backpack in Germany, I am forced to conclude he is one of the following: a student, someone backpacking around Europe, a homeless person, or a fashionless nerd on his way to a well-deserved ass kicking. Personally, I wear a flaming red backpack every day on my way to the gym because I’m married and I don’t give a sweet holy shit about looking cool anymore. (That, and I like to pretend my backpack is a turtle shell, and I’m going to sharpen my sweet ninja skills with Master Splinter.)

#8: Licking an Ice Cream Cone

Image Credit: Rachel Kramer (https://www.flickr.com/photos/rkramer62/) -- Subject to CC 2.0.
“Bro, don’t think I can’t start shit just because I’m holding a cone.” — Image Credit: Rachel Kramer (https://www.flickr.com/photos/rkramer62/) — Subject to CC 2.0.

Little kids, old people and hot chicks are about the only people who can get away with this one. But a dude in his physical prime — testosterone seeping from his every pore — simply cannot retain any sense of manhood while tonguing a double scoop of Rainbow Sherbet Hokey Pokey. I’m not saying a man can’t enjoy his ice cream — far from it — I’m just saying while he does it, he looks like a prancing nincompoop.

#7: Riding a Bicycle (Unless You’re Racing)

Image Credit: Alper Çuğun (https://www.flickr.com/photos/alper/) -- Subject to CC 2.0.
“So manly it’s crushing my balls.” — Image Credit: Alper Çuğun (https://www.flickr.com/photos/alper/) — Subject to CC 2.0.

We all know mountain bikers, stunt bikers and those Tour de France guys are all badass — even if they are doped to the gills. When a man is riding a souped-up racing bike, cutting through the headwind with his head down and every corded muscle jutting out like steel, he looks powerful. That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about guys like me, who ride city bikes around town with a basket on the front to hold their groceries. Just cruising around with a big, dome-shaped helmet on, ringing the bell on their handlebars and waving to their neighbors. “Hi-diddly-ho! I’m off to the store to buy some more flour! My wife and I are baking Christmas cookies this year, and then we might even have sex! Missionary position sex!

#6: Drinking Wine

Image Credit: David, Bergin, Emmett and Elliott (https://www.flickr.com/photos/beglen/) -- Subject to CC 2.0.
“Lookout, John Belushi.” — Image Credit: David, Bergin, Emmett and Elliott (https://www.flickr.com/photos/beglen/) — Subject to CC 2.0.

Again, there’s nothing inherently wrong with this activity — drinking wine is fun — it’s just not possible for a man to do it while looking manly. I think it’s the shape of the wine glass which really destroys the masculine aura, especially if you stick your pinky finger out like I do. But it’s not like you have a lot of options here; you can’t just grip the stem of the glass in one meaty fist and slam it back like a viking. You’d need a drinking horn for that move. So assuming there are no alternatives, just go ahead and sip that wine, but remember: in that moment, you have all the masculinity of a training bra.

#5: Eating (Unless It’s with Your Hands)

Image Credit: sean_hickin (https://www.flickr.com/photos/sean_hickin/) -- Subject to CC 2.0 License.
“No no, Bob, you start with the little fork on the OUTSIDE.” — Image Credit: sean_hickin (https://www.flickr.com/photos/sean_hickin/) — Subject to CC 2.0 License.

I want you to picture a big, hairy-knuckled man, ripping into a half-pound burger with his teeth and slamming it back down so he can grab a fistful of fries as a chaser. Gross, but respectable, right? Now picture that very same man eating with silverware. Thick fingers wielding a knife and fork with the dexterity of a gentle surgeon. He lays a piece of food in his mouth with his fork — tongs up, like a gentleman — then sets it back down so he can dab at the corner of his mouth with a fine linen napkin. The immediacy of his hunger — his borderline desperation — was wiped out the instant he picked up the silverware. There is one way to use silverware and look sort of manly, however: you order a steak, stab it with a fork in one clenched fist and then violently saw it in half with your knife in the other. Yes, you’ll look like a caveman or pretty much anyone with a reality show on TLC, but at least you won’t look like a pussy, right?

#4: Picking Blackberries (or Pretty Much Any Berry)

Image Credit: David, Bergin, Emmett and Elliott (https://www.flickr.com/photos/beglen/) -- Subject to CC 2.0 License.
“I’m gonna bake this pie so hard…” — Image Credit: David, Bergin, Emmett and Elliott (https://www.flickr.com/photos/beglen/) — Subject to CC 2.0 License.

Farmers of any gender are cool. Tough, hardworking folk, and I respect them. What I find a little harder to respect is a full-grown man picking berries while on a walk through the local park on his way back to his apartment in the city. There’s a world of difference between someone picking berries for a living, and someone doing it for shits and giggles. There’s something about the delicacy of the act; it’s just so… dainty. Moving your hands slowly to avoid the thorns, trying not to get berry juice all over your nice polo shirt. Christ, my wife looks like more of a man than I do when we pick berries. No, this is task better left to professionals and small children. That said, you’ll score massive dad points if you pick berries with your kids, so just remember to bring along your favorite child if you want to come home a handful of mangled blackberries.

#3: Walking a Small Dog

Image Credit: FaceMePLS (https://www.flickr.com/photos/faceme/) -- Subject to CC 2.0 License.
“What? She’s 1/16th pitbull.” — Image Credit: FaceMePLS (https://www.flickr.com/photos/faceme/) — Subject to CC 2.0 License.

Tiny, yapping lapdogs are for two kinds of people: old women and gay men. There, I said it. Hell, when I see a yoked out gay dude carrying a Chihuahua, I almost respect him more because he clearly does not give a fuck. The annoying dog still sucks, but the man retains his masculinity. Old women can get away with it because, well, they can get away with anything; they could walk down the street shouting racial slurs while smearing butter in their hair, and people will just feel bad for them. Young women with tiny dogs look like entitled princesses, but no one will think less of them for it (assuming they’re hot). But straight men — even old, decrepit ones — all look like shameful tools when seen walking small dogs. I think it’s because the assumption is they’re walking their wife’s dog, which is somehow more emasculating than if they just proudly sauntered about town with their own shitty little Lhasa Apso in the crook of one arm.

#2: Wearing Crocs

Image Credit: Peter Dutton (https://www.flickr.com/photos/joeshlabotnik/) -- Subject to CC 2.0.
“Maybe it’s just the deathly white legs…” — Image Credit: Peter Dutton (https://www.flickr.com/photos/joeshlabotnik/) — Subject to CC 2.0.

People have been making fun of Crocs for over a decade now. They’re an easy target, especially when worn by men. Personally, I think the problem is the exposed ankle coupled with covered toes; you just don’t expect to see a manly man — from his thick, round head down to his powerful, sculpted calves — adorning his feet with foam clogs. It’s the opposite of masculine, and it just doesn’t work. It’s like when your buddy is all excited to tell you his favorite joke, but in the end it just totally sucks and no one knows what to say: “A giraffe walks into a bar and orders a high ball, and the bartender says, ‘from the looks of it, you already have two!’ ” And just like a man wearing Crocs, friends like these should be mocked openly and without mercy.

#1: Playing the Flute

"No." -- Image Credit: Darinka Maja (https://www.flickr.com/photos/darinka/) -- Subject to CC 2.0 License.
“THIS guy.” — Image Credit: Darinka Maja (https://www.flickr.com/photos/darinka/) — Subject to CC 2.0 License.

…and these guys…


Thank you for reading and have an awesome new year!



40 thoughts

      1. Is it still popular in Germany? I used to see it a lot more here in the Czech Republic, but then the hipster movement got started and the look switched to nutcracker jeans, man buns and overgroomed facial hair.


      2. My husband wears socks with sandals all the time. All of us make fun of him. But lo and behold, the WSJ had an entire article about how popular it is the other day, and he practically clipped that sucker and framed it for his office.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. You are wrong on so many levels .. take for example backpacks – they are ultimate masculinity – soldiers wear them – you know badass-soldiers that kick Osama BinLaden to death …
    Or wine. You do not even KNOW what a wine glass looks like – you showed a Sekt-Glas (one for sparkling wine). You might have a point talking about sparkling wine, but Champagne is VERY masculine – just look at Formula 1 drivers. And wine – a cool, dry red wine is a distinguished Gentleman’s drink of choice when having a good meal. But then, you are American – you are unlikely to know the latter …
    Bicycles – bicycles are cool. All those courier drivers fighting the good fight against the car-masses … The big city frontier!
    Picking berries – that is survival instinct squared! Trying out unknown ones and living with the diarrhoe … You really do not know anything about being male, do you? ;-)


      1. I am glad you did not take offense at my words. But your ideas of masculinity are so limiting to men that I think they belong to history. I think that infuriated me on behalf of my brother, my nephew, my male friends and colleagues. So I sounded a little more aggressive than I meant to be. I apologize.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Since my masculinity does not depend on what others think of me, I gladly partake in all mentioned activities, and don’t feel emasculated in any way!

    OK, this could be, because I’m german, and in Germany practicality rules.
    It has way more impact, than outmoded criteria of male stereotypes.

    BTW, I even know a way to make berry picking manly in the american view:
    Grab the twine near the stem, and just strip those berries off whith a closed fist. You’ll have plenty of blood to show for your manly effort.
    Then put the stripped berries into your hand, and squeeze the sap out of them to drink it directly from your fist.
    I can’t imagine a more masculine (and idiotic) way to your self plucked berries than that.


  3. Thank you OMGMWIG, your post has (again) made my day!

    Just a minor criticism:
    Your manly issues to me seem more to apply to juveniles, than to men of substance. Those won’t be influenced by how others think of them.

    All the activities you mentioned can also executed in a way to fit to the juvenile male self-image:
    10: Drinking through a straw involves making as much gurgling noises as possible. You may even blow some bubbles in the liquid.
    9: An axe head showing red drippings would be the ultimate utility to any backpack.
    8: Licking the cone from your hot girlfriend’s hand is so cool, or at least evokes the envy of all men in the area.
    7: Switch from bycicle to unicicle. This would at least raise your hipster points.
    6: Drink the wine directly from the bottle. There is nothing that says male alcoholic any clearer.
    5: Ram the fork into the meat, and then raise it to tear off your mouthfull.
    4: Grap the twine in a firm grip and simply strip off the berries. You’ll have enough blood to show to confirm your manlyness. Then put all the gathered berries into your hands, and squeeze the sap out of them to drink it directly from your fist. Your colourfull face afterwards will be perfect proof of your testosterone driven personality.
    3: You should try to walk your dog on a tightrope.
    2: Paint a devils head on your black crocs, and they are all in the mode for head bangers.
    1: Exellent musicians get all the chicks, and are thereby considered manly, regardless which instrument they play. So, strive for excellence.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think the backpack one should almost certainly be replaced with messenger back.
    No, wait, Bumbags! Yes! I almost wish we English could get away with calling them what the Americans do!


  5. I gladly wear a backpack because you never know when you go into Aldi or Lidl on a random shopping trip just for some yogurt and cold cuts….and cheese…and a new pair of jeans…and a printer…to schlepp home without a car. My German wife has trained me well, that I even carry two canvas shopping bags inside the backpack. Better to wear a traditional backpack than try to wrap yourself around the Denglish concept of a “Bodybag”. I draw the line at “Handy” and “Team”.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I have just the one (in my messenger bag), but its one of those flowery ones that fold up inside itself and buttons up. Sooooooo praktisch! :(

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Maybe that’s why courier bags are so popular in Germany (at least in Berlin) — they’re not backpacks. But, God, how can you live without something to carry stuff in if you don’t have a car? We have to make the most of evdery trip out the door, since we have to walk (of bike) to the grocery store. We make tons of small trips so we make every trip to ANYwhere count!


  7. Hilarious! I found the drinking through a straw spot on.
    I myself, drink beer & water with a straw and even I get funny looks, but I explain that it has to do with my lipstick…!

    Also, guys with canvas bags hanging on their shoulder. Umm. No! Use a leather across-the-shoulder bag lads. Very European lol!


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