I Am Not Manly

In case you didn’t know, men have this desire to be manly. You see, with manliness comes sex, and with sex comes…I guess that’s sort of the end goal really. So yeah, that’s the two-step process. Manliness → Sex.

I know what you’re saying: “Don’t worry, Russ. I’m sure you’re as manly as any chainsaw-toting, cigar-smoking lumberjack.” And while I certainly do have enough chest hair to weave a very small blanket or perhaps a fashionable handkerchief, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that my manliness is about two hand-slain deer carcasses shy of ideal.

It all goes back to one fateful day in the dorms. There I was, minding my own business with some of my friends (if that’s even possible). We were sitting around watching The Simpsons, having just finished a rousing session of Rock Band, when in walks Chris, god among men, man among dogs, and regular dog among poodles.

He’s got these wavy blonde locks, arms the size of porpoises, and a smile that could cure cancer. His body is so sculpted Michelangelo himself might reshape David in his likeness. Not to mention that he’s unreasonably friendly and intelligent. He just got back from a trip to Iceland where he filmed a documentary on the whaling industry and learned to throw javelins. Anyway, he walks in, and in that unreasonably friendly way, asks us what we’re up to. We explain (Simpsons and Rock Band), and he’s genuinely supportive.

“Oh that’s cool,” he says. “I don’t really spend my time watching TV or playing video games, but it looks like fun.”

Just then, his painfully hot girlfriend enters the scene. “Oh, hey babe,” he says. “You ready to go to the beach for our hike and sunset picnic followed by pleasurable and numerous sex things?”

“Of course I am, you irresistible hunk of man,” she says, swooning.


I don’t know if that’s exactly how it went. Whenever I’m around her my brain turns to mush and all my words run together. One time she gets back from a run decked out in tight little shorts and a sports bra and I ask her how it’s going. That’s a good conversation starter, right? She says “so hot,” and all I can think of is “yeaaaauuuh you are!” which of course I say because I have no filter.

She gives me this, “I can’t believe you just said that” look and walks away.


Anyway, Chris turns back to us and wishes us good luck on the videogames and stuff with infuriating geniality. I know that deep down he was letting us know he’d be too busy boning under the crepuscular sundown to waste his time with such frivolous frivolity. Or maybe he didn’t even care. He probably thinks of us with only a vague, detached pity. I bet the car will break down on the way and he’ll change the tire and lift some heavy objects or something.

Damn, that guy is manly. Even if he’d been born a Viking or a barbarian in the age of extreme manliness, he would still be king. He probably lives a full, rewarding life, filled with physical accomplishment and a sense of satisfaction. But I bet he doesn’t have a complete set of Pokemon stuffed animals to keep him company, so there!


Filed under Stories

87 responses to “I Am Not Manly

  1. I hate guys like that! (Of course, by “hate” I obviously mean “envy with every fiber of my un-masculine being!”)

  2. Ha! You should get a filter.

  3. In love your descriptors: “…arms the size of porpoises, and a smile that could cure cancer”…still giggling. 🙂

  4. Manliness doesn’t matter when you can think of forty different ways to say “Robocop’s boner.”

  5. hahaha ah, your post made my day lol. I did not think guys thought like that, I thought it was just a girl thing! Well, at least I know we aren’t that different from one another. Plus I think manliness is overrated…who wants to have arms like porpoises anyways?! 😉

  6. Good stuff. Loved the pokemon reference, makes me think of my chidhood. Your drawings are great!

  7. Kana Tyler

    Alternate possibility: Laughter —> Sex
    (worked for my Hubby anyway… He made me laugh, so I made him go to bed with me. Of course, I also made him marry me, don’t know if THAT’s what you had in mind…)
    In any case, you’re cornering the market with the laughter thing, so here’s hoping it leads to handprints elsewhere than on your face. 🙂

  8. This was great! Made my morning!

  9. Cigar: Ew! Deer carcasses: Ew! Chest hair: Ew! Porpoise arms: Ew!
    I hope you don’t really want those things. Loved your post. Great way to start the day!

  10. You see, having these ideals of pure masculinity and femininity is rather stressful to adhere to. Hell, when I’m in a group of “normal” women, I feel like the odd one out because of all the not so “feminine” things that I take interest in such as having a set of stuffed Pokemon or playing violent video games. You’re anecdotal humour is amusing! Great post by the bye.

  11. Manliness is one beard and an eye patch away my friend.

  12. My problem would be a little different, fellow slobber. I am not manly, however, i’m not girly either. That leaves me in a funny “in between,” and “unhappy medium,” an uncomfortable limbo. So, yeah. I can’t find my so called “place in the world” and it upsets me sometimes, but most of the times it’s just a blass to have people try to figure me out. I guess that’s why I ‘m an English major…

  13. You must remember, there are different forms of manliness. You refer only to the good manly attributes. What about the drinking, meat-eating, gas-releasing, sports/car-talking type of manliness? Of course, that’s not necessarily going to impress the ladies.

  14. Great post! I have a question for anyone: Do most women really want that kind of hunky manliness?

  15. haha it would be nice. The more muscular, the more protected I feel. The more softer you are the more my mind things you are a big old panda bear who would most likely lose in a fight, just my thinking. I mean it honestly works both ways, would you rather want a woman with squishy feminine parts or firm feminine parts??

  16. but this is all physical…and muscles do NOT make the man. What makes a man sexy/ manly is his character. What manly to me is someone who is caring, loves his family and friends equally, is not scared to share his feelings, and loves me for all of my wobbly bits as I love his. Oh and a job is important…a man who can bring home the bacon (though i bring my share of the breakfast foods), a man who knows his responsibilities and has morals…religion doesn’t hurt either.

  17. Fantastic! Now I know what it means to be a man…………… JOKES.

  18. Igor Ristic


  19. nlsthzn

    🙂 so glad I read your first post and subscribed… +1 for this 😀

  20. not only is this funny, but also: a very good reminder for men on ‘how to use that filter correctly’. Fortunately, you got your writing skills to make up for that.

    • I took so many improv classes telling me to get rid of my filter that I think it got permanently deleted. Oh well! At least I can think of things to say quickly, even if they’re not always (or almost never) gems.

  21. Blake

    Me: “Hey, Sam… will we ever be manly?”,
    Sam “Nope.”

    Those were the days. Your posts are funny Russ, nice job! 🙂

  22. chunter

    Best second post ever.

    In case your humor is based on truth, I think patience is the only thing that pays, and it doesn’t appear to be paying actual money.

  23. dersy

    Russ, your definition of “manly” needs to evolve. Watch Californication. That could be you.

  24. Any woman who says “I wish you were manly-er/macho-er” can go prod a pikachu in the rain! Being “manly” or “macho” is such a copout to be a jerk imo. My husband is pretty feminine and I love it! (Don’t tell him I said that. >.<)

    Just be yourself! I think you're pretty friggin awesome the way you are! 🙂
    Keep up the awesome posts! s(^.-)b

  25. I am glad guys go through this too. Women are constantly comparing themselves to each other: she is skinner than me, prettier than me, more successful than me… the list goes on. Love your drawings too!

  26. writingandrecovering

    I love your writing and your drawings. I dislike manly men. It’s nice when they can’t do everything. It makes me feel inferior. And most of the time they’re just annoying. To everyone.

  27. suzymarie56

    You’re hilarious – and that is way more impressive (and difficult) than porpoise-armed, cancer curing epitomes of manliness, who are usually drab. Keep up the good work on the blog, I love it.

  28. Great (and pretty funny) writing that speaks to a lot of people, SUPERBLY topped off by the illustrations woven in. (I very much stole that Pokemon picture for my desktop). You two are truly a formidable blogging team… Okay, the next reply will be something of consequence rather than air-up-skirt-blowing.

  29. Nail the manly types!!! hahaha 😀 Nice one!

  30. so I’m guessing you have only slain 3 deer, since the ideal amount of hand-slain deer now is 5. I say that’s still a respectable amount! Put that on your resume.

  31. Bubba

    Are you implying that unmanly men only get action from stuffed Pokemon memorabilia? Where do you get those…ebay? Kmart?

  32. It’s okay though, ’cause video games/Simpsons/Pokemon are awesome.

  33. Elizabeth

    I love your blog. you are so funny… hey hey there is nothing wrong with pokemon

  34. Soulmates.

    Ps. I dated the type of manly guy you describe… eventually you realize they’re just really smarmy.

  35. You’re a very gifted storyteller. I enjoyed both your blogs and am anticipating the next. I’ve always envied friends and acquaintances who have “the gift”. Thanks for sharing.

  36. intrepidtraveller

    This is brilliant…I love me a manly man, but I’m sure you’re cool too! Loving your blog, read your first post about the extreme usefulness of an english degree and have being waiting patiently for your next installment and it didn’t disappoint! I want more!! 🙂

  37. msperfectpatty

    Lol this was funny! It’s very entertaining to read, but you just have to be you, he may be the prototype of manliness but ur a manly man in your own way. You were man enough to talk about him on here and admit that he was manly. 🙂

  38. following ur blog was the best decision i made in the last 4 months… and manliness is so overrated… just like sophia vergara’s body…

  39. Hurley

    Nice use of ‘crepuscular’, caused me to retrieve the dictionary.

  40. RE: “I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that my manliness is about two hand-slain deer carcasses shy of ideal.” Yeah but at least you’ve still got the chainsaw, red flannel, cigar and felon arms right?….right?

  41. Cartoon Daily News

    hilarious and awesome. Gotta catch ’em all, be it stuffed Pokemon or women. Good posting man!!!

  42. zatzatzat

    stuffed pokemons? haha.

  43. Mike Staf

    You should work to become the ultimate man, I’m thinking chainsaw-wielding-bearded-Pokemon-hunter.

  44. This was hilarious, do you do all your own artwork too? That last image made me literally LOL. Looking forward to you next post!

    • Thanks! Inducing laughter is one of my favorite past times, but alas, my skills of an artist are extremely lacking. Good friend Sam Julian is the master behind those beauties.

  45. Man… I think no matter where on Earth you go, some things are the same always. 😀 So much of this is so familiar!

    You should definitely read this webcomic about ‘manly men’ that I frikkin love for its take on the concept and the general image of it that we are force-fed in so many ways – its called “manly men doing manly things”

  46. I’m too busy laughing away to come up with anything intelligible to say. You, Russ, and your readers are just too funny!

  47. Man. You are seriously talented, Russ. If you keep this kind of writing up, I can guarantee that someone is going to notice. I can safely say that I have never had a piece of writing make me laugh quite as much as yours in such a short period of time. You’ve got a clear grasp on life, modernity, and further, you make it all funny. Great job man.

  48. I’m so glad I stumbled upon your blog. This is a gem. More great posts to come. Can you make it a daily habit please? :p

  49. You look reasonably manly in your photo.

  50. Very nice. Hilarious, but sorta poignant too. I think the thing about these “manly men” that is so sexy is their lack of self-awareness or something, also their sense of not needing to prove themselves. I have this feeling there’s a manly man in you struggling to break free. I can tell by your use of the word crepuscular (sp?), that word is freakin’ hot. Truly, if you just pretended to be one of those guys for like a half and hour a day or something, I’m sure your psyche would begin to adjust accordingly. It’s worth a shot : ).

  51. How in the world you leave me laughing and astounded by your superb metaphors, is beyond my comprehension. Like the others, I am so happy to have joined your world. Another reader mentioned you should make it a daily thing and I think you should stay far away from that idea. I have been reading blogs for a long time and most people can’t pull that off with decent writing.

    For me anyhow, I don’t have time to read and enjoy a post every day and then once you start falling behind, you just stop reading. Each post is perfect and I hope that doesn’t change because you decide to join the daily bloggers. I LOVE your blog and although I love the eye candy of the world’s handsome manly men- your type is far more exceptional in the long run. Your qualities don’t dwindle with age. Keep on posting 🙂

  52. So what? Who cares? Do you, you still get to have all what other guys have, so don’t give thing to what he stereotypes are.

    BTW, Amazing what you did there with your friend’s girl; FUNNY AND DUMB! No offense, but i’m going your way with you 😛

  53. Hmmm, well you could always just beat him up right?
    Wait a minute, I think there was something about “arms the size of porpoises” or some such. 😦 Look at it this way. Chris doesn’t have an awesome blog now does he? Unless he does, then that’s just depressing.

  54. I would go for a guy with a collection of Pokemon stuffed animals over a manly lumberjack any day. Granted, I like my guys to be somewhat feminine, but I find that manly guys always feel like they have something to prove. They wouldn’t be okay if I called them a Jigglypuff even though Jigglypuff is my favorite Pokemon and a badass at Smash Bros (I did call my boyfriend a Jigglypuff once).

  55. Jesus christ. Why was your blog being followed but I couldn’t get email updates? Your blog is fantastic!!

  56. munteng

    if it makes you feel better, there’s jiggly puff that looks most womanly of the bunch.
    some liquor may help to complete the look.
    you’re welcome.

  57. “You ready to go to the beach for our hike and sunset picnic followed by pleasurable and numerous sex things?”

    I could use this as a pick-up line.

  58. Pingback: My Manliest Day | Reasonably Ludicrous

  59. helen

    you, sir, are hilarious.

  60. Chest hair is manly! I think that counts for at least five “manly” things. Because not every dude can grow it. I wish more guys would be proud of their chest hair, I’m always psyched to find it! I think chest shaving and waxing is en vogue because then all men feel equalized in the follicle department. There are probably guys who see you and think, “Damn, I’ll never have a chest wig like Russ!”

  61. JG

    Russ Nickel, you are adorable!
    (BTW, I’m a guy)

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