1. Slicked-back hair.
Although we have very much established by now that Don Draper is by all accounts a horrifying (fictional) human being who is as emotionally sickly as his backstory scenes are poorly-acted and boring, we can all agree that his hair is something to be admired. There is something just so lovely about that slicked-back, side-parted look that says “I know my way around a comb and a can of pomade, but that doesn’t mean I’ll take up all of your precious mirror time. I have gotten this down to a science, and only need a few good swooshes to make it look perfect.” Or, if you’re more into the other paragon of horrifying masculinity, Patrick Bateman, the 80s businessman all-slicked-back sociopath look is just as dashing. Basically hook yourself up with a little shiny-follicle ‘do is the secret from going from Average Alan to Scarily-Sexy-Yet-Serious Stan.
2. Real shaves.
While I admit that I have a hard time telling the difference between my boyfriend’s baby-esque facial skin (he is all about those old-fashioned shaves), and a good couple of swipes of a two-blade Bic in practice, I don’t understand how any man couldn’t want the ecstasy of a good, real shave. Whether it’s going to a barber who can do it up right with a straight razor and a glass of whiskey, or getting an old-fashioned razor yourself and one of those solid creams which lather up with a little warm water and a wooden-handled brush, it just seems so amazing. It’s something you have to do anyway, unless you’re going for the non-talented version of Bon Iver look, so why not make the most out of it? It is one of those things, much like making a home-cooked meal instead of eating out every day at TGI Appleruckers, that we left by the wayside of history in the name of efficiency and cost. But shaves need to come back.
3. Actually wearing suits.
There are few things more depressing than seeing an entire generation of men who have perhaps one suit at best, and break it out only for weddings, funerals, and any other Extra Special Event that calls for an ill-fitting black travesty out of the recesses of some nightmarish Men’s Warehouse Polyester Emporium. I mean, suits are incredible. They are the outfit that immediately turns you from “Meh” to “Wow look at that classy asshole, I can’t wait to meet him and get entranced by his sexual wizardry” with almost no actual effort or thought. Why would you not invest in a good suit!?
4. Knowing how to dance.
People love dancing. It’s fun, and awesome, and there’s nothing lame or girly about it. And while it’s not necessarily for everyone, there is no reason for an entire gender to write it off wholesale just because they are under some completely ass-backwards delusion about how “Real men dont dance, they only rub their penis indiscriminately all over some strange woman’s back in a club to the sound of the Black Eyed Peas after precisely 3.4 shots of Patron.” Look at pictures of World War II-era dudes dancing some incredibly complex move as all their friends cheer them on and raise their drink. Tell me those are not the coolest dudes you’ve ever seen.
5. Not regarding style as “gay.”
Things that do not make you gay: Having well-manicured hands and feet, paying attention to the way your hair looks, wearing pocket squares, coordinating your outfits, knowing how to dance, shining your shoes even for casual days, being interested in style or fashion, and being generally conscious about your appearance.
Things that make you gay: Being a man who is exclusively sexually and romantically attracted to other men.
Let’s all learn the difference and start making sure our toes look nice for the summer, shall we?