Many things marketed to women or culturally accepted as something women enjoy are actually great for men, too. That's right: men. With penises.
The other night, I (a dude) watched a show where women made "pleasure baskets." A pleasure basket is like a gift basket you make for yourself, full of chocolate and romance novels and scented soaps. I was trying my hardest to think what a man would put in his pleasure basket. Would you even use a basket for the male version of this exercise? Or would you make it a "rusty pleasure bucket full of after shave" or an "old paint can full of porn."
I realized, feeling my callused hands, that men also need to moisturize and get in touch with our sexuality through reading.
Here are some things usually perceived as being for women that men should learn to love:
I understand that men only need to cut their toenails once a year, but your hands are visible most of the time, and need to be taken care of. Men show their worthiness by giving a firm handshake. You should probably make your hand as inviting as possible. You don't want to go in to shake hands with a potential employer and see him back away in fear because one hand looks like Bruce Campbell's chainsaw hand in Army of Darkness. Clean that shit up. A full-on spa treatment also offers the opportunity for you to feel like an old-timey king who gets waited on literally hand and foot. Do I even need to point out that you can't spell "manicure" without "man"? Well, I just did.
One of the greatest love stories ever put on film is also one of the most manly movies ever made. Many think of this film as a romantic, boring movie to watch on a date night with your girlfriend so that she can weep through all the classic lines Bogey delivers. Casablanca, however, is a movie for men. Let me count the reasons: World War II. Check. A woman ready to leave her nerdy, world-saving husband for a cool guy who owns a bar. Check. A guy who gets to sleep with his ex and then send her off on a plane and never deal with her again. Check. Hell, the original title was Everybody Comes to Rick's. The movie's not about a love triangle! It's about a cool bar owner pulling one over on the Nazis. That's Tarantino territory. Be a man and watch it.
3. Fancy underwear.
A lot of men think that wearing lingerie is something only women do to spice things up. But there are plenty of weird colors and revealing mesh style underwear a straight guy can put on to turn on a woman. It also will make you feel sexier even if it's not actually for someone else, which is something women who wear thongs for no reason say a lot (right? They say this?). If you're worried that wearing weird underwear is bringing you one step closer to biting the bullet and actually wearing women's underwear... who cares? It's 2015. Live your life.
4. Cosmopolitan Magazine.
This magazine touts itself as a magazine for girls but is essential reading for any adult man who wants to remind himself why he's glad he's no longer a teenager. Many men go through a sort of American Beauty phase where they idealize their younger selves (and younger women), but open this absurd magazine to any page, and you'll find you're happy talking to mature human beings who are your age and without any weird drama. Also, you can find interesting makeup to buy for your significant other.
5. Baths with scented shit and bubbles in them.
Look how much fun Julia Roberts is having. A long, warm bath doesn't have to be meditative or an experience where you "center yourself" or whatever it is women do in the bathtub. It can just be a relaxing moment to immerse yourself in some water and listen to some good tunes. You're also allowed to masturbate in a bathtub just as often as women, but be ready to feel like taking a shower after your bath.
6. Cheryl Strayed's Tiny Beautiful Things.
The title alone will make some men instinctively want to smash it with their bare fists. But Cheryl Strayed's Tiny Beautiful Things gives no-bullshit advice that offers amazing insight into the human condition and actually answers questions about things that might plague you as a man, like "what should I do if I'm attracted to someone who's not my wife?" and "how do I actually write my magnum opus?" Buy it. It's important.
7. Wearing a men's button down shirt to bed.
It's your shirt. You should wear it wherever you want.
8. Pretending you've read all of Elena Ferrante's Neopolitan novels.
Talking like you know everything is a man's business for sure! Women shouldn't be the only ones talking at length about these beautiful books without having finished any of them. A man can enjoy pretending to love novels about women growing up in the violent outskirts of Naples just as much as any woman. It feels good to fit in at parties! You don't even have to get them from the library or buy them from a bookstore. Just start talking!
I love crying. I wish I could do it wherever I want and not feel like I'm not living up to a male standard of stoic, non-emotional stubbornness. I'm not talking about single tear streaking down the face because a family member you weren't close to just died. I mean full-on blubbering "can't remember who you are or why you're even crying" crying. Between that or taking a really long nap, I can't think of something that makes me feel better. Being scared and sad is something we all feel. Let it out.