My Blog Readers are Female, but My YouTube Watchers are Male

Dear Jack: Webisode 20 of Jack-Man- “The Ole Switcheroo”

I am very aware of the importance of knowing my audience, so that I can better create content for what people want to be entertained by while they’re trying to kill time on smart phones.

Thanks to the analytics screen for my Facebook page for Family Friendly Daddy Blog, and thanks to the analytics screen for my YouTube channel, I have recently learned a paradox about my audience:

They don’t have a lot in common… They are segregated by gender demographics.

Most of the people reading Family Friendly Daddy Blog are women…

Women
72%
Men
27%

While most of the people watching my videos on YouTube are men:

MALE
83%
FEMALE
17%

For my Jack-Man series, I spend a minimum of 6 hours per video (writing, filming, producing music, editing, publishing) and there are currently 22 Jack-Man videos. When you do the math, that’s a minimum of 132 hours (or 5.5 straight days) of work for that series; and I only started the series 5 months ago.

However, I’m lucky to get 100 views on any of my Jack-Man videos. All that creativity mainly goes unwatched.

Meanwhile, I’ve carelessly thrown together a few unedited and unscripted videos on receding hairlines on my YouTube channel.

Those are the videos that easily get more than 100 views every day.

That’s because it’s mainly men are watching my YouTube channel, not as many women.

And mainly women are reading my blog, not as many men.

So now, behind the scenes, I am sketching out the best ways to blend my blog posts with my videos.

Ultimately, I guess it means that I’ll be publishing more blog posts about receding hairlines to feature my receding hairline videos, and making more videos about parenting to feature my usual daddy blog material.

I am attempting to use my blog to promote my videos and my videos to promote my blog.

So when you see me doing blog posts on seemingly irrelevant material, just know it’s for the other half of my demographics: men.

How to Know If Your Hairline is Receding

I remember when I was 19, asking the lady who cuts my hair if my hairline was starting to recede or not. She looked closely at my scalp, and confirmed:

“Yes, it is. See how this hair right here up front is shorter than the rest? That’s how you know.”

Like someone having just heard their own death sentence, I asked, “How much time do you think I have before it starts becoming obvious that I’m gradually losing my hair?”

(Because to a 19 year-old boy, the issue seems to hold that much weight.)

I took it like a man when she told me: “I’d say about 35. You’re probably safe until you are 35 years old.”

Vegans Don’t Get Enough Protein and the World is Still Flat

Being just 19 at the time, I remember what a scary thought it was to imagine that if she was wrong, since my receding hairline had definitely begun, that I could be a victim of early male pattern baldness before I was even in my mid-20s.

Fifteen years have passed since that day.

I’ve made it to age 34, just 7 months away from that fateful birthday when I turn 35. My genes have been good to me.

While I won’t make it to my 50s and still have a full head of hair and a “straight across hairline” like Brad Pitt or John Stamos, or Tony Danza in his 60s, I reached my goal of making it until at least the time I got married.

With all that being said, I now realize how it didn’t even matter anyway, as this video I made explains:

Life experience has taught me that hair loss is one of those things that guys allow themselves to worry about and even become preoccupied by.

Like worrying about your height. Or your size; I’m being discreet about that, in case you’re reading between the lines.

There are companies across the world who are eager to make money off you by selling you the false hope of giving you the “cure”.

They play on your emotions related to you losing your hair, or not being tall enough, or big enough (again, I’m being discreet); they will try to scare you with “the ladies agree size really does matter.”

That’s all garbage.

Are you a man who is sincere, hard-working, creative, caring, passionate, funny, and emotionally intelligent?

Those are the things that make you attractive and respectable and cool as a man.

It’s not about that other stuff.

Just imagine how liberated your mind can become once you accept this as truth, instead of the lies you allow yourself to believe.

I wish someone would have explained this to me when I was 19.

When This Dad Is, By Default, The Alpha Male

January 18, 2012 at 11:25 pm , by 

14 months.

Put me in a room with a dozen guys my age and most likely I will surface as either the cultural equivalent of Paul Rudd, Ron Paul, or Jack Johnson.

If I were a main character on Lost, at best I would be the reluctant leader Jack Shephard, but I definitely would not be Sawyer or Sayid.

If I were part of the cast of Scrubs, I would be J.D. Dorian, not Dr. Cox.

In other words, by default, I am not the alpha male. I am the off-beat guy in the corner that people like being around, but don’t look to for protection, acceptance, or approval.

I am not the pack leader. Instead, I am the pack… guy next door.

And that’s fine by me; I know my role and my place in society.

Except when it’s not fine. Except when I must by default become the necessary pack leader. Most importantly, in my home.

In a household consisting of my wife and our 14 month-old son, I am obviously the alpha male. If I wasn’t, it would be a disaster; like the kind of thing you would watch on the TV show Supernanny.

And at my day job, with my sales position, being aggressive and taking charge is vital. I’m definitely by no means the alpha male there, but applying the things I learn from being one in my home helps me perform better at work.

Being the alpha male in my home means making important decisions on the spot and being good at making those decisions. Being this pack leader of my home means establishing order and trusting that my direction allows for my “society” to carry out that established order.

Yes, I am using the phrases “alpha male” and “pack leader” but when it really comes down to it, I’m talking about being the head of the household.

I’m going to edit this next sentence for sexual content, so use your imagination:

I’ve learned that as a man, it’s better to be perceived as a [jerk] than a [pansy]. 

My wife would rather be married to someone she respects because he is willing to take control of the situation, as needed, as compared to a man who is so easy-going that he leaves her up to take care of the decision-making and planning of both small and large household events.

Granted, we make our decisions together. But there are plenty of times where it needs to be my call and my initiative.

When it comes down to it, I don’t like being in charge and making decicisions. But to be a man, to be a husband, to be a dad; it’s just something I’m having to get used to.

Image: Goldfish swim in an aquarium, via Shutterstock.

Why Tap Dancing is Officially Masculine (And Most Other Kinds of Dancing are Feminine)

Le tap dance; la clog.

Unlike the French and Spanish languages, English doesn’t have masculine and feminine nouns.  Yet still, there are subtle gender clues and accents if we look closely enough for them.  Like the way that Coldplay is masculine, while The Fray is feminine (because they got famous by having their songs featured on Grey’s Anatomy). And the way a Dodge Dakota is masculine; while a Nissan X-Terra is feminine (this was referenced in an episode of The Office).

During dinner a few weeks ago I happened to catch 20 minutes of So You Think You Can Dance.  It was a results episode so they were mainly filling the air time with professional tap dancers, all of which were male.  Mainly dancing solo, but there were a few duos.  Interestingly, after each of them danced, they were briefly interviewed.  I couldn’t help but notice that none of these male tap dancers were the least bit effeminate or sexually questionable in any way- they were ordinary, straight dudes.

I’m okay with being politically incorrect in stating this fact that we already know and recognize: It’s common for professional male dancers (especially on reality TV shows) to not be straight.  Which is ironic because as we watch these couples dance, the male is being represented by a man who in reality may not be sexually attracted to women.  Typically, straight men are not the ones representing the guy in the relationship in these dances.

Why are straight men typically inclined not to be good dancers?  Because group dancing and dancing in pairs, as a whole, are more of feminine acts.  Dancing as we know it today is free-spirited and emotionally expressive.  It often shows the ups and downs of relationships and/or life in general.  That doesn’t work for most men, because a man’s mind is wired to be formulaic and often emotionally repressive.  Most men have to “learn to dance”.  Tell me what to do so I can get this right. It’s more about straight memorization for a straight guy to learn to dance.  He’s learning to dance to make his girlfriend or wife happy- not to express himself in a new exciting way.

When I think of famous tap dancers throughout American history, I think of classy Italian, Jewish, and African-American men wearing black suits like Fred Astaire, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr., Gregory Hines, and of course, the legendary Tony Danza.  Although, this isn’t to say that all or even most tap-dancing men are straight.  But what I do recognize is 1) that because tap dancing is simply based on rhythm and formula (which are masculine elements- famous female drummers are a rare thing), and 2) that tap dancing only really evokes one basic emotional feel, which is always positive and upbeat.  I never remember seeing a tap dancing routine which went from happy, to sad, to angry, back to happy, to a feeling of loss, to happy, to acceptance of grief, to contentment, the way a typical 2 minute dance song on Dancing with the Stars or So You Think You Can Dance typically does.

Clogging, on the other hand, though similar to tap-dancing, is not masculine.  It often involves groups, costumes, and festive music- therefore making it a feminine art form, since there is room for “artistic expression”.  But square dancing is masculine because, like in tap-dancing, the mood is always the same (upbeat) and there is no guesswork on how to do it, since the instructions are typically spoken to music.

So how could a man and a woman dance to music and it realistically represent them and their relationship?  I’m picturing a guy tap dancing in his own little world while the woman ballet dances around him, and the guy is seemingly oblivious to what is going on.

Being a Handsome Man Vs. Being a Hot Guy

And why it ultimately doesn’t matter anyway thanks to a little something called “charm”.

Recently I asked my facebook friends via my status update, this question:

Females, I need your input for something I’m writing: What is the difference between a guy who is “handsome” and a guy who is “hot, sexy, etc.”?

To summarize the similarities of the responses, with a man who is “hot” there is an attraction (mostly physical), whereas  with a man who is “handsome” is someone who simply is a good-looking guy, though there is not necessarily any kind of attraction there.  Of course the ironic thing about this can best be summed up by what my friend Holly Arnesen said:

“if i refer to a guy as handsome, it usually means that physically speaking he’s nicely put together, but doesn’t necessarily mean i’m attracted. hot and sexy usually has to do with more than what a guy looks like. like some women think intelligence is sexy so, they’ll go for a smart guy over one that they think is nicer to look at.  i once heard someone say, ‘men fall in love with women they are attracted to, and women are attracted to the men they fall in love with.’ i’m not a guy, but i’m pretty sure this tends to be way things go.”

On the right, Bronson Pinchot, who played "Balki" on Perfect Strangers.

What enticed me to walk up to my future wife on October 5, 2006 and talk to her the very first time I saw her from across a large crowded room was her appearance.  Though it wasn’t until four months later to the day, on our first date (I knew it was a date but she didn’t until it was over), that she actually thought of me in any kind of romantic way.  My physical looks were irrelevant to the equation up until the point I made it clear I was interested in her, given that I’d shared with her my personality and character prior to day that we crossed the line from being friends to dating.

Until we started dating, I was just another average-looking dude.  A forgettable face.  Perhaps the most memorable physical trait would have been my dark hair.  Based on the celebrities that people have told me I look like in the last couple of years (“Cory Matthews” from Boy Meets World, “Balki” from Perfect Strangers, “Ross” from Friends, as well as David Arquette and Paul Rudd), I evidently have the looks of a Jewish-American comedian, which all of those Nick Shell look-alikes are.  Men that are remembered not for their looks, but for their personalities and talent.  Are those men handsome?  Sure, why not.  It’s irrelevant either way.

Ben Savage, who played "Corey Matthews" on Boy Meets World.

Speaking of David Schwimmer, I don’t believe anyone could have played the part of Ross better.  But to be part of one of the most popular romantic American TV couples ever, he was a very ordinary looking guy.  Fans of Friends always think of Ross and Rachel fondly, though never once have I ever heard anyone comment good or bad on David Schwimmer’s looks.  But regarding Jennifer Aniston, it’s not that way at all. Her looks were so relevant she actually started a hairstyle craze in 1995 called “The Rachel”.

When my wife and I reminisce on when we first started dating, she always says, “You always had interesting stuff to say so I knew we’d never run out of things to talk about.”  It’s possible that’s what won her over.  My quirkiness.  Some people would call it my ability to “think some crazy crap up”.  Others more reverently refer to it as “thinking deeply”.   My lifelong habit of daydreaming during math and science class definitely paid off.  I charmed her.

So if a guy is simply average-looking, how can he improve his situation?  The “Makeover Week” on the TV show The Biggest Loser would tell us he would need to slim down, get his hair cut shorter, shave off his beard, and wear nicer clothes.  But I know my wife always prefers me to wear jeans, t-shirt, and a ball cap, and she never notices or cares whether I have a beard or not.  There’s really no official way for a schlub or average Joe to gain “handsomeness” or “sexiness” since that’s up to the girl they’re trying to attract.

The more colorful and eye-catching cockatiel bird is on the right. The female is on the left.

And I think that’s why it’s a guy thing to not care as much about our appearance as females do.  Because unlike male birds (which are always more attractive and attention-grabbing than the females they attract), male humans know they can attract a woman who is out of their league looks-wise as long as they are funny enough, smart enough, rich enough, strong enough, sensitive enough, or whatever else it takes to charm their love interest.  From Doug Heffernan to Barney Rubble, charm certainly has its advantages.

The Male Sex (Over)Drive: Pornography is Pathetic

Pornography has always been a strange concept to me.  Beyond all its connections to immorality, there is one basic truth that while quite obvious, is evidently overlooked and somehow ignored by so many men across the world: It’s not real.

Those women are not actually happy to be exposing their bodies to countless men who, for a handful of reasons, choose to indulge in pornography- from buying magazines, to frequenting strip clubs, to visiting their favorite waitress at the nearest Hooter’s because they serve “really good wings there”.

And I get it.  Pornographic partakers are looking for some form of an “easy” woman.  They are selfish and lazy, unwilling to involve themselves in the natural and necessary steps to nurturing an actual human romantic relationship.  These men will settle for a nude woman faking a smile while pretending to want sex from him.

While I usually do my best to refrain from coming across as judgmental, I’m willing to call it like it is on this one: Pornography of any kind is simply pathetic.

I can’t help but focus on the thought that “that’s somebody’s daughter you’re looking at”.  It seems unnecessary to point out the familiar (and often true) stereotype that many strippers are single moms desperate to make a living.  And that many women who pose for pornographic magazines were sexually abused when they were young.  Not always, but often.

And despite the subconscious banner in bold Verdana font reading “SHE DOESN’T ACTUALLY WANT YOU- SHE’S JUST DOING IT FOR THE MONEY”, men continue to support the economy of prostitution in all levels- because ultimately any type of pornography is related to prostitution.

Despite the spot-on lyrics of songs like Hall and Oates’ “Maneater” and “Family Man” in 1983, as well as Phil Collins’ “Easy Lover” a year later, men continue to repeat history everyday by continuing to give in to maneaters and easy lovers.  Not just at a minimal pornographic level, but all the way up to cheating on their spouse.

Because it all gets muddled up, somewhere between magazines underneath a teenage boy’s bed to a young single man going to a strip club during a bachelor party to a married man who feels trapped and unappreciated in his marriage and gives in to the first temptress to come along.

It’s all related.  Just different degrees of it.  There will always be maneaters and easy lovers, whether they’re in person or on paper.

If only these men had enough common sense to remind themselves: “There is a legitimate reason this strange woman is eager to jump my bones.  Perhaps it’s not truly sex she wants, but is instead using sex to get something else I’m not yet aware of.”

But I guess there are a good number of men out there who don’t mind knowing that their sexual activity is forced, phony, empty, and most likely taking advantage of a woman in some way.

Manspeak, Volume 6: Law

This is my company’s first week in our new office.  In the old office, the men’s restroom consisted of only a “one seater”.  Complete privacy, no worries about anyone using a urinal next to me only three feet away on the other side of an inch thick stall.  Those days are gone.  The men’s restroom of the new office is much nicer than the other one, but contains one stall plus two urinals.


Today I half-jokingly told my co-worker Mark that I am planning to make a sign to put up on the outside of the stall door whenever I am in there that would say, “Nick Shell is in here, in case you wanted to know.”  That way I could enjoy my peace without having to hear heckling comments or even just having to deal with the annoying question, “Who’s in there?”  Mark replied, “But if you make that sign then you will be interfering with Man Law.  Pestering the person in the bathroom stall is a requirement if it’s someone you know in there.”


It’s hard to imagine I could make it through 5 volumes of Manspeak without mentioning Man Law.  (Here’s a refresher course I found…)

http://manlawguide.wordpress.com/


Man Law of course was officially outted and recognized by those Miller Lite beer commercials in 2006.  Laws like “a man shall not walk a dog that is smaller than a football” and “there shall be a minimum waiting period of at least 6 months before a man is permitted to start dating his best friend’s ex”.  These laws are taken from the Book of Man Law, a book that no man has actually ever read or even seen before.  A man is just sort of born knowing it.


While a man is hard-wired with his own built-in instruction manual which helps him know his own kind; he is not programmed to understand a woman.  That’s where trial and error comes in.  But at least for himself and his own kind, he does have some direction.


At the heart of Man Law is an effort to ultimately prevent any reason for a man to ever have a Misunderstanding with another man.  Which prevents the unspeakable Hurt Feelings and the play-it-cool Apology.  A man doesn’t go around thinking about and talking about his relationships with his other guy friends.  Man Law takes care of that.  It’s set up to keep things simple in male friendships.


Man Law not only keeps his fellow male relationships healthy but also helps keep a man from unnecessarily embarrassing himself more than he already does on a weekly basis.  One of the many reasons I can’t stop obsessing over the movie I Love You, Man is because of how right-on it addresses the quirky rules of what it takes to be a socially acceptable man among his male peers. It does this by having a cast full of men who constantly break Man Law.  In fact, it is ironically Andy Samberg’s openly gay character, Robby Klaven, who helps his brother Peter to know what a confident straight man is supposed to act like.


One of the best examples of a serial offender of Man Law is Peter’s annoying self-obsessed co-worker Tevin Downey who has highlights in his hair and a fake tan, sends annoying e-mail forwards, and sneaks up behind Peter and tickles him whenever he gets the chance.  He’s the epitome of what used to be called a jerk, but in this decade has evolved into what is now called a Tool or a Douchebag. This kind of guy is not physically threatening, nor is he effeminate.  He is simply completely oblivious to the importance of Man Law.


Understandably, Man Law is sometimes misinterpreted as a chauvinistic list of what it takes to be macho.  Not the case.  What’s much worse than being less than manly is being compared to Dane Cook or Spencer Pratt, two “men” I constantly make references to, usually mentioning how men around the world long to punch them in the face.


To outsiders, Man Law may seem like a finicky, strenuous system in which a person can become overwhelmed by trying to keep up with all the rules.  It can be, for those born with out the instincts.  Because after all, it is an issue of social survival.  For the men who were unfortunately born with Man Law Deficiency, there is hope:  Watch The Office on Thursday nights.  Pay special attention to Andy Bernard and Michael Scott.  Do the exact opposite of whatever they do.


All pictures with the “JHP” logo were taken by Joe Hendricks Photography:

Blog- www.photojoeblog.com

Website- www.joehendricks.com


Film Review I Love You Man