10 Things Real Men Do. ~ Janne Robinson

Via Janne Robinson
on Mar 11, 2014
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Smiling Man

1. Feel

There seems to be some wild misconception that men shouldn’t talk about their feelings, but the real men I know feel. Rather than repressing their emotions, they talk about their feelings. They have the balls to sit down with an open heart and speak from a place that isn’t guarded or shut down. They don’t hear the words “we need to talk” and run away with their vulnerability tail in between their legs.

2. Get Our Souls Naked

Real men know the juiciest and sweetest parts of us don’t lie beneath our panty lines. They know the jackpot in love is undressing a woman’s soul, layer-by-layer, piece-by-piece. Real euphoria goes deeper than sex.

3. Scrape Windshields in the Dead of Winter

One night after a long night of slinging drinks at a bar in Edmonton, one of the bouncers walked me to my car and insisted on cleaning my car off. I gave up resisting and got inside my car as he brushed the six inches of snow off and scraped the ice off my windows in the silly -30 degrees Celcius weather. It was one of the nicest things a man has done for me to this day. Not all women want to be picked up for a date, have her door opened, her jacket hung for her, the bill paid for, and to be walked to her steps without the expectation of coming in. Most of us have a hard time receiving regardless of our sex, and women have battled fiercely for equality on our planet. So sometimes we may insist on going Dutch and maintaining our independence, but at the end of the day chivalry is nice and so are acts of service. Beneath chivalry lies the intent that you want to take care of us, and we like that.

4. Reach For Us Before the Cell Phone in the Morning

When we pick up our phone we immediately disconnect from the moment unraveling in front of us. Prioritizing a snuggle, followed by some morning breath kisses and maybe some hanky-panky gets a man far in this girl’s books. Emails, Instagram, stocks, voicemails and texts will still be kicking around inside our phones twenty minutes from the moment we open our eyes, I promise.

5. Show Up On Time

Whether it’s a dinner reservation at a five-star restaurant or a Skype date in sweatpants, when someone shows up on time it communicates that they not only value us, but also their word.

6. Don’t Squirm When They Hear the Word “Period”

Lady time is part of life, gentlemen. A real man isn’t put off by talk of cramps, cravings or the occasional roller coaster of emotions that happen during shark week. Real men can buy tampons.

7. Have an Open Mind

Real men aren’t racist, sexist or homophobic. They don’t feel superior because of their gender, skin color or sexual preference. Real men don’t sit at the bar and discuss shop culture that “isn’t for their wives,” real men care less what color skin you have, or what country your genetics came from. They don’t believe they are stronger, more intelligent or superior because they are born with a penis.

8. Show Up

Nothing is sexier than accountability. Real men are accountable for their own well-being—and ours. They know the importance of showing up.

9. Listen

I once had a boyfriend who—for my birthday—took me to a play, made me a homemade card, played my favorite Sinead O’Connor song on the drive, and bought me a MEC gift card. I had mentioned a month earlier that I’d never seen a play and spoke of my desire to do so. I told him that my mother had sung “Nothing Compares to you” while I was in her belly and while learning to take my first steps. He wasn’t artsy or that creative but he knew I liked that kind of stuff. I was about to embark on a trip to Australia and had mentioned needing everything from toilet paper to-go to Clif Bars. Listening goes far.

10. Drink Bellinis

Real men can drink bellinis, wear fuchsia and rent chick flicks free of shame. They know their testosterone isn’t threatened by their taste buds. They don’t feel the need to drive big trucks, bench press small countries or drink whisky to validate their sexuality. They are comfortable with their masculinity and don’t need to prove anything. They just do as they please.


Relephant reads:

10 Girly Things Burly Men should do.

Why I’m not a ‘Real Man’ and Don’t Want to Be.

Introvert, Extrovert, Empath? Or all?


Author: Janne Robinson

Editorial Assistant: Hannah Harris/Editor: Bryonie Wise

Photo: Pixoto


About Janne Robinson

Janne Robinson is a poet, writer, bushwalker, idealist and animal activist currently residing in Vancouver Island. She cuts kindling with her teeth, eats Bukowski for breakfast and makes the habit of saying the word feminist as much as possible. She surfs naked, pees in the woods, and loves whiskeys that swing their hips when they walk and know what they are doing. Janne's life-work is to be transparent. She makes a living off hanging her dirty and clean laundry out for the world to see. Her mission is to give others permission to also walk and exist with the same transparency. You can connect with her on TwitterInstagram and Facebook. Please also visit and connect with her Facebook writer's page. Check out Janne's website.


52 Responses to “10 Things Real Men Do. ~ Janne Robinson”

  1. Walker says:

    Some of use drink whisky because it tastes good! Thank you! Good stuff.

    • Janne Robinson says:


      My favorite is the Ardbeg Ugideal, followed closely by Coal ila 25 year. Nothing wrong with whisky or bellini's 😉

      Thanks for your feedback 🙂


  2. LivingArtisan says:

    Please retire the phrase 'real men' … it serves no purpose : http://www.elephantjournal.com/2014/02/there-are-

    • Janne Robinson says:

      Hi there,

      Real has been used and abused -I agree. I guess a better name for the article could of been, "10 things I admire in Men". The name came from reading a plethora of articles already on the web about things "manly" and "real" men did- that I found controversial to what I believed and admired. It was kind of a jab back at the ones already out there. I see your point and I greatly appreciate your feedback.


  3. Bryan Reeves says:

    As a man, I'm fine with the term "Real Men" … but only because I know exactly what you mean by it. It neither offends nor inflates me. It simply means a man connected to his mature masculine nature. Beautiful article. I agree with everything but the last … although it could just be that I still have no damn idea what color is fuschia.

    • Janne Robinson says:

      Bryan this made me smile and laugh really loudly. The kind of laugh where if I had something in my mouth it would of projectiled across the room. Thank you for sharing your eloquent extension of what you believe "real" means.


  4. Bryan Reeves says:

    "Patriarchy is based on fear – the boy's fear, the immature masculine's fear – of women, to be sure, but also fear of men. Boys fear women. They also feared real men." (from the book, King Warrior Magician Lover)

    • Janne Robinson says:

      YES! So great Bryan. Thank you for sharing.

      I'll add that to my list.

      I wrote this to challenge the traditional idea of what it takes to be a "real man" – "beer drinking, meat eating, man who don't take nuttin' from nobody and ain't feeling bad about it kind of guy." I wanted to reassure the men who like to drink sweet cocktails with umbrellas that it doesn't make them any less straight than the guy drinking a Guinness next to them. And if that they were perhaps gay (and utterly perfect in being so) that their gender preference in love doesn't take away from their "manliness" anyways. Men who wear Fuchsia and love men are MANLY too.

      And at the end of the day, we are all innately real- aern't we? We are all composed, gender aside of the same damn thing- energy.

      Thanks for all your feedback Bryan, you rock.

      Janne Robinson

  5. M Kennys says:

    This is a nice read Janne. I totally agree that women have battled fiercely for equality on our planet.and a real man gives women the respect they deserve.

    • Janne Robinson says:

      Hi M Kenny,

      Thank you for the feedback 🙂 Chivlarious deeds to me are an act of service and one of the primary five love languages we express affection. I see it as an individual expressing to another individual "I care about you". Who doesn't want to be cared about? If we received chivalry that way it may be easier to swallow, and that comes from a very independent gal.


  6. Jon says:

    My girlfriend sent me the link to this site and I was pleased to find out that not only do I agree with everything I have read here, but I also mirror most of the qualities found within. I’m far from perfect but still on the right track. Thanks for everything.

    • Janne Robinson says:

      Hi Jon,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to reply. I am glad to hear you mirror some of the things mentioned above. I truly believe that "perfect" is a flawed intention to have for ourselves. Throw perfect out the window and be you. Today I perfected my hair with a straightening iron for an hour, I went outside shortly after and got drenched in the rain. My hair feel back into its rebellious curls, and it looked as perfect as it did when I woke up that morning. Curls and frizz and fiest. Being ourselves more often is "perfect".

      warm regards,

      Janne Robinson

  7. Steve says:

    Women raise the boys that become men. This is a matriarchy society.

  8. ilfauno44 says:

    Applies to women, too. Or are men supposed to be the only responsible ones here?

    In 53 years on the planet, married with children, and a well-liked social person with a job that relies on my ability to connect and communicate with large swaths of the human race, I haven't found a whole lot of women very eager to fulfill #s 4,5,7,8,9. Don't these kinds of lists belong more to the Cosmopolitan Magazine trope?

    • jannerobinson says:

      Hi there,

      Yes it does apply for women too, we could scratch gender. I wrote this article to counteract the gender stereotypes and shoes I think men sometimes feel the need to fill. If wanted on google for "real men" to have some different results than what I found.

      I find that we are very much mirrors for the world. If you are not attracting women who encompass the above, perhaps there is a reason?

      Elephant Journal would only publish words that fit their voice, these words belong here.

      Thank you for your voice,

      Janne Robinson

  9. Karen says:

    "The true man wants two things: danger and play. For that reason he wants woman, as the most dangerous plaything." Nietzchke 🙂

  10. Alex says:

    I think this list is missing one critical thing. I think as a man you have to be able to read a woman’s mood and body language so you know when to be animalistic and/or compassionate with her in bed. And no I’m not saying it’s all about sex. Having high emotional and spiritual intelligence to know how, where, and when your woman wants to be romanced is what I’m stating.

  11. Clint says:


    I appreciate the article, as the points made are valid qualities in men who strive to be better brothers, fathers, sons, lovers, etc., but I cringe at phrases like “real men”, and more so, “have the balls”. I don’t think they’re helpful in discussions such as these where the traditional ideas of masculinity and what makes a man are being challenged.



    • jannerobinson says:

      Hi Clint,

      Thank you so much for your words. I hear and see where your valid frustrations lie. We need to retire the world "real". It's being over used by media and I wish I would of titled this differently, now. Noted and grateful!


  12. Jim says:

    I'm good with everything except #10 – but that's because I have no idea what a "Bellini" is.

    • jannerobinson says:

      Oh Jim,

      Its a pink, rummy, yummy slushy, con umbrella type drink served in a martini glass that is delightful! Try one this summer.



  13. John says:

    My lover just sent me this. Said fuck you for hitting 10 of 10. Followed by I want to fuck you now! See how that works guys? Lol. Thank you for the article. Thank you for the appreciation. We don’t get it all that often in big sense.

  14. AngelaS says:

    Love most of it, with one exception. I, and only I, am responsible for my own well-being. Putting our well-being in the hands of others is a recipe for failure. He can love me, dote on me, treat me well, all that. But at the end of the day, I must care for my self-image.

  15. Amy E says:

    You get 10 out of 10. I don't know what Bellinis are, either. This is a great description of what real men should be, obviously, in my opinion. Good article!

  16. ellenaburns says:

    One thing that bothers me about this article is you say you were getting in your car to drive home after 'a long night slinging drinks' in the bar. Really?

    • jannerobinson says:

      Hi Ellena,

      Yes, really. I worked for many years bartending to support my travels, my writing, my survival.

      How does this offend you?



  17. Rosso says:

    One thing I'd like to ask: are you also prepared to be these qualities yourself, or are you expecting men to be something you are not prepared to live up to also?
    And would you also be open to hearing a man's list of "10 Things Real Women Do"?
    In Australia, many aware men look for women who can meet them as equals and share mutual respect and appreciation. Many also have their own definition of what it means to be "real", which often includes authenticity, following their own integrity and not others' expectations of who they should be. Many also have enough awareness to make a list of the qualities they would desire or find attractive in a partner, but probably wouldn't dictate that that defines "real women". Many often look for women who have this same awareness also. The internet has hundreds of lists from people stating what a "real man" is – probably every woman has her own idea. But it is rare to see lists of what a "real woman" might be. Down here that would likely be considered sexist and inappropriate. I do hope you find your real man and find happiness. Blessings 🙂

    • James says:

      The idea is to not be concerned with who or how someone else lives up to some expectation. The impression and the act of living up to the expectations of respect for yourself and other's. It doesn't require someone else…it requires being your compassionate self.

    • jannerobinson says:

      Hi Rosso,

      We are mirrors of each other. I think the only way to attract people who encompass the qualities I admire is to exist and live them myself. I do drink Bellinis and don't squirm when I hear the word period 😉 This article was meant to make a gentle gab at the gender stereotypes often laid on men. I welcome your resistence to the world "real" and also all of your feedback.

      Thank you for your words,


  18. James says:

    I enjoyed this article when I first read some weeks back and it is a great reminder to males everywhere. Now the tricky part is developing a mutual respect in the women I meet to recognize that this example maturity and sensuality still exists.

    I enjoy much of what you write and the freedom in which you present your creativity. Thank you for such a great example of what we should aspire to be for ourselves and everyone around us.

    • jannerobinson says:

      Thank you kindly for your words. We attract those we live and love like us. In your existence you will essentially find a mirror and be dating yourself. My advice is to rock you and you will inevitably attract a more bad ass version of yourself.



  19. A great reminder for men everywhere! Thank you!

  20. Your article is interesting and well written, but, in my opinion, its singular classification of "real men" is shallow, undefined, and misrepresentational. The TRUTH is you are describing levels of connection that ALL people need and crave, even if they can not yet outwardly recognize it due to their life's journey. There is a broad continuum of masculine and feminine energies within each of us and many of us exist nearer to one end or the other, yet we all deserve the same chance to be known and be loved, and I do not see how classifications will serve to help us all connect with ourselves, connect with others, and connect with our universe.

  21. Natacus says:

    1)Real women are slim.
    2) Real women cook.
    3) Real women are great house keepers.
    4) Real women talk about their feelings rather than simply saying “Nothing”.
    5) Real women are always honest about everything.
    6) Real women have healthy libidos.
    7) Real women don’t wear pants!

    See what I just did. I imposed some standards for women to judge themselves by. If they don’t measure up, that means they’re not real women. How helpful is that?

  22. Desdinova Superstar says:

    This is stuff that your girlfriends should be doing. That guy who scraped off your windshield didn't get your number or a date, did he? That ex-boyfriend who did all that stuff for you, why is he an ex? You haven't given any proof that this stuff has made you uncontrollably attracted to men who do these things. Instead, you accept their friendship, their favours, and give NOTHING in return but the title "real man". The guy who you're bedding is likely the OPPOSITE of everything you've listed here. Absolutely atrocious article.

  23. JayCee says:

    "One night after a long night of slinging drinks at a bar in Edmonton, one of the bouncers walked me to my car and insisted on cleaning my car off. I gave up resisting and got inside my car as he brushed the six inches of snow off and scraped the ice off my windows in the silly -30 degrees Celcius weather". Has anyone else not noticed the faux pas with this author admitted to DRINKING & DRIVING?

  24. Mandy says:

    When she says she is slinging drinks she means she was serving them not consuming them. It is a common term for bartending in the serving world. So don't worry she wasn't drinking and driving.

  25. Senor says:

    Why is it again that a woman gets to define what is a "real man"? Reverse this article and the male author would be called out for sexism.

  26. Sam says:

    So “real men” are straight ha. Although your article was well written and from a world we would like to live in. I can’t help but feel it is slightly sexist. If it was turned on it’s head and read “10 things real women do” the generic gender stereotyping content would be devastatingly archaic and no doubt offensive to a lot of people. For instance, women “are” emotional creatures with endeavours of love and life, so she should bear a child and stay at home. Of course this is not my opinion, i think women are amazing and awful just like men. Articles like this do nothing but foster inequality both ways. As a man I felt angry that I didn’t fit this perception of “real man” lesser “men” than i would probably be insulting of feminism because of an article as such. As a ” feminist” you probably understand this however, as a feminist i dont understand why woman still want to berate men. Although we are men and women, at the very base we are human and we should learn to live and treat others as such. X

  27. Gary says:

    Great article…

  28. Melina says:

    "wear fuchsia and rent chick flicks free of shame" <3.

  29. A Reg says:

    “Real men drink Bellinis”…?

    Now, let’s think for a second that a ‘real man’ had a taste for them. Certainly they can do as they please. But, I never drank anything that I didn’t like. I drank Miller Lite because it was the best tasting low cal beer, to me. I drank whiskey because I LOVED the taste.

    Truth be told, REAL MEN don’t spend that much time thinking about what they drink.

    Caveat: I quit drinking, so I could be a ‘real husband and father’. True story.

  30. Shane says:

    "Esse quam videri" Latin for to be rather than appear to be . Don't speak a lick of Latin ,just sounded cool. Introduced it to my daughter when she was 9 and told her this was our official family credo. Still holds true today at 16 …for both of us !

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