the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Stuff Dudes Don’t Want to Know About Women


For the second day in a row, women complained to me via email about how I objectified Sophia in her photo when she is sick with the flu. The truth is that no man wants to see a girl looking bad, even when she has a 101 temperature.

Women, take note: If you want to attract men and keep them, you need to learn the dos and don’ts of acceptable gender behavior. One of the main reasons we are with you is because you are hot-looking. Why should we have to suffer looking at you without lipstick just because YOU feel shitty?

Hey, hey, hey, hold on there! Before you call me a misogynist ass, let me tell you that I didn’t learn about these “rules” in the male locker room. No, I learned about them today while standing in line at the supermarket leafing through the November issue of a women’s magazine — Cosmopolitan. On Page 58 of the “Cosmo Men” insert, there is a compelling article titled “Things Guys Just Don’t Want to Know About You.”

“There are certain topics that weird out dudes or bore them silly or simply annoy them…. Here’s a list of what to avoid bringing up if you want to keep your dude around…”

First of all, I don’t like being called “dude,” but that just might be my own personal rule.

Here’s the Cosmo list:

Your Weaknesses

“Spilling your guts to a guy you barely know is a surefire way to turn him off or, worse, make him think you’re a head case. Bottom line? Keep your eBay addiction, midnight binges, and obsession with bad reality TV on the down low.”

However, your addiction to oral sex is acceptable to discuss on a first date.

How Tired You Are

“In this fast-paced, snooze-you-lose world we live in, complaining about how beat you are just makes you sound whiny.”

Just like we don’t want to see you sick, we don’t want to see you tired. Erica Kane can be trapped in a mine shaft for a month on “All My Children” and still walk out looking fabulous. If you want to keep a man you must always be bubbly, vivacious, and eager for sex — even if you worked a sixteen hour day at your job. Leave your work problems at the office so you can focus on us listening to us talk about our jobs!

That Your Hair Is Different

“If the guy you’re with doesn’t notice your new do on his own, forget it! When you have to point out that you switched up your look, here’s what goes off in his brain: “Alert! She’s fishing for compliments.””

Hear! Hear! We don’t care about your hair, your nails, or your new shoes. Just look slutty. That’s all we ask.

Your Choice of Feminine Hygiene Product

“I’ll keep this one short and sweet: Most guys use the words tampon and pad interchangeably — and trust me, we’re completely happy not knowing the difference between them. If it stops the flow (or has anything to do with below-the-belt issues), we don’t want to know!”

Unfortunately, marriage has ruined me. I do know the difference between a tampon and pad. I just wish I was able to turn back the clock to those days when I was innocent and pure.

That You Read the Latest Mind-Blowing Sex Tips in This Magazine

“We don’t want to hear about them — we want you to do them.”

And if you do read this magazine, read it in the supermarket. I can use that $4.95 to buy Stuff Magazine.

The Fact That You Think Another Guy Is Good-Looking

“It’s not an insecurity thing. It’s a we-don’t-care thing. For example, calling another man handsome is a conversation stopper.”

Except George Clooney. He is sort of handsome.

Your Diet Strategy

“The goal of every diet is to get to a certain body weight. And just like vacations, nobody cares how you got there. We just care that you’re there.”

Do you know there is now negative zero sizes coming out by Nicole Miller? Don’t talk about it. Do it!

How Smart You Are

“Guys are looking to avoid that overeager girl who goes out of her way to show everyone exactly how intelligent she is. If you find yourself using the names Hemingway, Dostoevsky, or Nietzsche more than once per conversation, you may be guilty of academic name-dropping, which reeks of insecurity.”

This is probably the most important rule to follow. There’s a reason the librarian always TAKES OFF the glasses. We like the woman to be stupider than us. Of course, a woman should read, but preferably material like Cosmopolitan, chick-lit, or maybe a few mommyblogger blogs. Nothing too heady. Men are known to be better in math and science, so please don’t try to show off any of your math skills. It is a real turn-off. The only mathematical term you should be using in conversation with a man you are dating is “big,” as in “My Gawd, you are so big!”

Now, are these simple steps THAT complicated to follow? Believe me, we’re worth it.

A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month: Stars of David (or my Mother will Find this Funny)


  1. ChickyBabe

    ““We don’t want to hear about them — we want you to do them.”

    No… we want you to do them!

  2. ChickyBabe

    Woohoo! I was first!

  3. Lux Lisbon

    I think if Sophia thought you were objectifying her she would beat your ass! (just a hunch, I could be wrong and most often times am).

  4. Felicity

    Dude! I always call you dude. I call every male, “dude.” I’m sorry. I’ll have to break that habit.
    Now, uhm, I’m a girl, and I read your blog, so clearly I’m not so smart.
    Sophia is very cute. I think I have a crush on her.

  5. schmutzie

    You’re just fishing for the crazy-person, no-sense-of-humour e-mails, aren’t you?

  6. s@bd

    my hatred for that rag of a magazine knows no bounds.

    as in WHITE HOT.

    with the intensity of a THOUSAND BURNING SUNS.

  7. Michele

    Neil, I’m so relieved that you cleared this up for me. I’m showing your list to my boyfriend who will probably agree on all counts. “Shut up, Bitch — don’t forget the magazine!” can now enter our dinner time conversations about my desire to offer him butter and bacon laden cuisine whilst I dine on radicchio and spinach salad garnished with lemon juice and pepper.

    I feel so liberated all of a sudden!

  8. Mist 1

    I am laminating this and plan on using it as a reference guide. That way, if I ever want to see a man again (rare), I’ll know what to do to make him stick around.

  9. paintergirl

    Wait, wait- namedropping is right out. I’ve known that for years. Quoting is always a much sneakier way, and then you pretend you read it on a cereal box.

    And how did you know I try to have that slutty librarian look?

  10. rdl

    can’t wait to read the hate mail.

  11. peefer

    You walk a fine line, Neil, with tasteless adolescent stereotyping on one side, and a beautiful combination of satire and parody on the other. I love how you always manage to lean toward the latter. Well done.

    By the way, there’s something orally disturbing about that picture. Not that there’s anything wrong with orally disturbing.


    no wonder I can’t keep a man, thanks Neil. I’ll stop telling men about how tired I am because I wrap my head in maxi-pad every night to keep the voices at bay.

  13. peefer

    Christ, I sound like a review. Sorry.

  14. peefer

    And sorry for using Christ irreverently. He was a good Jew.

  15. Neil

    Lux — You got her number.

    Schmutzie — everyone is way too pleasant and kind online. Where are all the crackpots I’ve heard about?

    S@BD — I could have a week of posts from this one issue: “10 Shocking Things About Guys and Sex,” “Men Buck Naked: Their Secret Fears When They Peel Off Their Pants,” “Hottie Spotting: Where Your Next Boyfriend is Hiding.”

    Michele — I would not suggest using “Shut Up, Bitch” until much later in the relationship.

    Peefer — Thanks, man, for covering my back with that “satire” stuff. See ya at Hooters on Saturday night. Let’s hope Annie is working her shift. Talk about a nice pair of ****!

    Margaret — Have you tried the new Always?

  16. Becky

    Neil, thank you so much for explaining these rules! I have been at such a loss, what with returning to dating after so long and all. But now, I find out from you, my friend, that nothing has changed in 25 years. What a relief!

    Also, thanks for saving me the embarassment of having to touch that magazine in the grocery store.

  17. Edgy Mama

    Nice strategy, Neil. Whine a bit about peeps attacking you and then give them more ammo!

    I wrote something similar a few months ago, from the female perspective, thinking it was funny, but I got all kinds of warped, unironic responses.

    Irony, folks. Look it up. Use it. Respect it. And repeat after me: We love Neilochka!

  18. fringes

    I don’t know what to say. I see my personal failures written all over this. Maybe I should just keep my mouth shut, except in one very certain circumstance. Only then will I find relationship success. Thanks, Cosmo & Neilochka!

  19. Bre

    These are the little nuggets of truth that all women are yearning for! You should write for Cosmo/Glamour/Allure/Vouge!

  20. Cover Your Mouth

    I stopped reading Cosmo when I was 21 and stumbled across an article on How to Give Him the BJ That Will Get Him to PROPOSE TO YOU! . . . but this one ranks right up there on the “You’ve Got to Be F–king Kidding Me” Meter.

  21. Dagny

    Thanks for reminding me why I stopped reading Cosmo.

  22. NSC

    Look at Neil – getting all cave-manly.

    Stick with it Neil, that’s what they really love no matter what they say.

    Or not – what the hell do I know? I haven’t had a date in 23 years.

  23. Neil

    Other cool facts I learned from this month’s Cosmo (the best thing I’ve read in a long time):

    From Men & Sex: 10 Secret Shockers (page 44):

    #1 — You’re Not the Only One Who Has Faked It!

    Apparently, many men, when they aren’t really in the mood “fake” their orgasms. Ha Ha, so take that ladies. Now YOU can be as insecure as us. Did he or didn’t he? You’ll NEVER know for sure!

    From 14 Sex Moves You’ve Never Heard Of (page 98):

    #1 — New Move: Temperature Tease

    “Forget about just stroking your man with a simple pair of satin panties! For a real treat, pop those silky numbers in the freezer a day before you’re ready for action! Then loosely wrap the icy fabric around his package and gently glide it up and down.”

    Apparently men like to get their “package” as frozen as a Swanson dinner before sex. Men, if you’re home alone and too impatient to freeze your underwear, may I suggest just sticking your package into a pint of Breyer’s Rocky Road ice cream!

    From California Dream Girl: Interview with Rachel Bilson from the OC (page 41).

    Her worst habit: “watching reality TV!”

  24. Megan

    And they called you a misogynist ass.

    Oops! I was thinking there. Sorry.

  25. sarah

    Finally, proof that I’ve been right all of these years. The problem I guess is that I wasn’t taking off the glasses!

  26. lizardek

    But none of you dudes understand how the ones with WINGS work. So we still have that.

  27. EEK

    I think this is all comparable to that classic job interview question: What would you say is your biggest weakness?

    Instead of being truthful and responding that you’re biggest flaw is debilitating laziness, you’re supposed to respond with something along the lines of ‘I’m too much of a perfectionist’.

    Dating and job interviewing are two arenas where you have to sell a slightly embellished version of yourself. At least initially.

  28. ms. sizzle

    i’ve recently been at the receiving end of the “i’m so tired” excuse. gag. it DOES sound whiny. enough already!

  29. Mo

    It’s funny, now that Sophia is back home, your humor is based on pissing off the women folk rather than reeling us in. The therapist would have fun with that one!

  30. Trixie

    How stuck in your cheek is that tongue of yours?

  31. psychomom

    So, it has been my fault all along? I thought it was you dudes. My son kept telling me “Mom, were not all idiots”. I just didn’t listen.

  32. Jordan

    I knew you were a masochist! This post proves it.

  33. Neil

    Aw, Mo, women love it when a man takes his rightful place on the pedestal while the woman kisses his feet. Just ask Sophia.

  34. steppingoverthejunk

    you know what, if people want to complain about how you treat women or their photos or whatever, they can go read someone else’s blog, no? I dont watch certain newscasters because they bug me. But I dont complain about them….oh no, I must be in a bad mood today.

  35. deezee

    Neil, you obviously didn’t mentally photocopy all that Cosmo text while standing in line…how did it feel to purchase that mag???

    And simply put, I cannot believe ANY women read that thing (though obviously they do…come on, out yourselves here and now!)

  36. Neil

    Yes, Deezee, I am guilty of spending $4.29 in Ralph’s on this magazine with the buxom women on the cover. But since I bought it for blogging purposes, I can take it off on my taxes!

    And I’m so used to buying tampons, etc., this was a breeze to buy.

  37. Churlita

    So, where’s the magazine that says what women don’t want to have to deal with on a date? I would volunteer to help write that article.

  38. femme d'espoir

    “Do you know there is now negative zero sizes coming out by Nicole Miller? Don’t talk about it. Do it!”

    You ASS! Not feelin’ the love anymore… hmph.

  39. mrsmogul

    I don’t want my man to see me looking gross. I agree with everything! I know someone that would spill all her guts on he first date, (I guess it was the bad food), and I would tell her, BACK OFF WOMAN! But she wouldn’t so she’s now 37 and NEVER HAD A BOYFRIEND!!

  40. 3rdtimesacharm( 3T )

    “From Men & Sex: 10 Secret Shockers (page 44):

    #1 — You’re Not the Only One Who Has Faked It!

    Apparently, many men, when they aren’t really in the mood “fake” their orgasms. Ha Ha, so take that ladies. Now YOU can be as insecure as us. Did he or didn’t he? You’ll NEVER know for sure!”

    ROFLMAO!!! I don’t care if HE fakes it, as long as I get mine. 😉


  41. mari

    Yeah, women don’t objectify men at all do they? How could we ever consider ourselves the oppressors and objectifiers of women either? Not in our agenda! Well, you just pointed out that we both objectify men and ourselves- when we read those stupid magazines- or worse, write for them.

  42. Two Roads

    Unless you are using a condom, we do know when you guys fake it. Think about it.

  43. laurie

    As someone who has recently started dating again — in Los Angeles — I can say with all honesty that this article is actually, sadly, shamefully true for about 99.999% of the men I have dated thus far in our fine city.

    Dating is the weirdest and funniest thing I have done maybe ever. I have discovered through trial and error that if I really REALLY want a man to leave me alone, all I have to do is A) mention the word “period” or B) mention any kind of “issue” such as work or family stuff that he sees as “drama” and too “relationship-ish” and he’s gone like the wind.

    It’s fascinating.

  44. sbukophile

    If the Cosmo article is to be believed, it’s a major miracle that I ever had any boyfriends and then met and married the man of my dreams–and it’s still going strong! It can be depressing enough to be single for some people, that this is only making it worse. It just goes against every piece of advice I ever give my single friends, primarily–BE YOURSELF! I know you wrote this post as satirical, so I guess I don’t need to say how wrong the Cosmo article is on so many levels! But it’s so, so wrong.

    P.S. Neil, remember, I’m a woman, not a man!

  45. Neil

    SB — I should explain to others that I was reading your blog for a month thinking you were a guy because of that photo of you in a fedora.

  46. Serena

    Ah, Neil. What I love best about this is that I have a feeling that this is the anti-you. : )

  47. brooke

    I have no problem leaving all these things out of discussions with you, so no need to worry. By the way, I have got such cramps – you wouldn’t believe it!! Oh, and remind me to tell you about my ex-boyfriend’s enormous penis sometime.

    See? I can follow your rules.

  48. better safe than sorry

    my oldest daughter has a subscription to cosmo, i told her it was exactly the same stuff every month, but she doesn’t care. must be an age thing.
    someone called me dude recently. wtf?
    and i don’t think george clooney is handsome, or hot or whatever, he strikes me as being nothing but an …
    i’ll leave it at that.

  49. Miss Syl

    Well, yep, I have no argument with the article. Those ARE the rules for dating a “dude.”

    The thing I don’t understand is why Cosmo thinks anyone would want to date this particular type of male, when the world is teeming with smoking hot geeks, emo boys, bikers, average joes, artists, musicians, nice guys, bloggers, athletes, intellectuals, blue collar heroes…ALL of which those rules wouldn’t apply to.

    Fuck dudes. Or rather, NEVER fuck ’em. The world is too full of better types to be with. Dudes really aren’t worth the effort–for one, I can tell you straight out that in a one-to-one comparison test, the geek outranks the dude in the bedroom technique EVERY time.

  50. Roberta

    I always feel Clooney is a safe bet.

  51. Wendy

    Oh come on! you know that true love equals buying tampons for your girl – and to quote Seinfeld “Let me ask you this. Is there any tampax in your house? Well, I’ll tell you what you’ve got here. You’ve got yourself a girlfriend!”

  52. Violet

    My mum’s number one husband-finding tip was this: make sure he’s dumber than you, but under illusion that you’re dumber than him. That way you can get him to do what you want, without hurting his ego.

    Unfortunately for her, I’ve ended up with someone much smarter than me and knows it 🙁

  53. Crankster

    I love the quotes from Cosmo! The advice doesn’t say much about men, but tells everything about the women who read the magazine. In a nutshell, it the Cliff Notes for entrapping a man into a permanent committment, after which he’ll be legally obliged to hang around.


  54. SFGary

    Neil, Neil, Neil, I am new to your blog but please don’t read Cosmo again, will you? and I can’t possibly agree with all yr. responses to the Cosmo list:

    What the hell is a negative zero size? super skinny women are a complete turnoff, sorry we all don’t want to see bone and smart women are hot!

    Its a good thing you stopped where you did with the feminine hygiene explanation. Too much information already.

    Agree with you on the addiction to oral sex and the hair thing. What’s with women and their hair, clothes and shoes? I don’t get it and why do they need to keep buying all these shoes?

    BTW, I’m still jealous about yr. readership, only one other guy as far as I can figure out. You somehow cracked the code of the “male gay friend” all women seem to have except you are straight. If only you can figure out a way to bottle and sell it.

  55. treespotter

    SFGary: he hasn’t. not yet. the holy grail is when we know what they want.

  56. Deborah

    You’re reading Cosmo?? Maybe Sophia isn’t the only one who is sick!

  57. rashenbo

    LOL! Man, funny posts you’ve got here. I found you off the nablo list…. wanted to say hi!

  58. Lou P.

    Brilliant post. It’s amusing to me that there has been much backlash against facts (all of which are true, at least for me) quoted directly from Cosmo. I’ll direct any woman who asks me “What are guys thinking?” to this post.

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