the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Can Men and Women (Bloggers) Just Be Friends?

I recently wrote a recent post titled, “How to Get Hot Chicks to Read Your Blog.”   It was a response to an email from a male blogger who was in awe of all my female readers.

But there’s a negative side to having a blog that women like to read.   I’m not a woman.  And they are.  And flirting can only go so far.  The big question is, “Can I actually be friends with any of these women?” 

Believe it or not, it can be lonely hanging around blogs that are so heavily geared for women.  Sometimes I wonder if I belong.  I’m even beginning to question my decision to go to BlogHer.  In what way does BlogHer represent anything about me? 

I think the only solution for me is to finally get my cojones — and interact with more men.  What am I afraid of?  I know I’ve mentioned this before in the past, but each time I took the journey into male blogging, I promptly ran back to the soft and ample bosoms of the female bloggers.  Believe me, I’m dragging myself kicking and screaming.  Most men are pretty dull.  I certainly don’t look at THEIR photos on Flickr, in amazement that such gorgeous individuals could actually care about me!  But it is time to expand my horizons. 

I get jealous of the comaraderie of female bloggers.  You act like sisters.   You write blogs for each other.  Mommybloggers, in particular, seem to consider themselves to be born in the image of Good Housekeeping magazine, and even address their readers as “fellow mothers.”  More power to you.  This is about me…. and my identity.  For better or worse, I’m not a parent, so it makes sense that I’m not on the same page as the mommybloggers, or even the daddybloggers, of the world, who clearly have specific interests that are important to them, like celebrity strollers.

I know several female bloggers here in California. It would be cool to be their “friends.”  These female bloggers fall into two groups — those in a steady relationship or married and those who are not.  Both types have built-in obstacles for any real friendship.

Let’s take the married mommyblogger, for example.  How the hell am I ever going to be friends with her?   Let’s use the imaginary BloggerMama, for example.

Imagine I email BloggerMama right now and say, “Hey, BloggerMama, leave the husband and child at home, and let’s go check out the new Keanu Reeves flick together?” 

It’s just not going to work. 

First of all, she would probably want to bring the baby, and I just don’t deal well with babies at the movie theater.  And despite me being the perfect gentleman, sooner or later, if I email her every week, asking her to go to the movies, Mr. BloggerMama is gonna hate my guts.  The only way we could make this work is if we went out as married couples.  And that means, we have two non-bloggers in the group  — Mr. BloggerMama and Ms. Neilochka, which means we have to talk about real life, and BloggerMama and I only know and care about blogging crap.

The situation is even more dangerous with the unattached female blogger.  Right from the beginning, she is going to wonder about my intentions:

“Hmmm… I know things are rocky with Sophia.   Is he really asking me to see that Keanu Reeves film or does he… Hmmm… he’s always writing about his penis.  I wonder if he is a sex-crazed nutcase who just wants to…  Hmmm… I actually like sex-crazed nutcases, but what if we do something, and he blogs about it?  He’s the type of jerk who blogs about anything on his stupid blog.  Hmmm…  he does write about his mother a lot.  He must be a real mama’s boy.  Hmmm… I wonder if he just wants to sleep with a shiksa and then say he can only marry someone Jewish.  Hmmm… I bet you he is!  What an asshole!  What type of slut does he think I am.  F**k him!  I think it is safer that we never meet…”

Ok, make believe we DO go to see this Keanu Reeves movie together.  Just as friends.  We split the bill.  We each buy our own popcorn.   We have a great time.   But trouble is looming.  We’ve all seen “When Harry Meets Sally.”  How long is it going to be before one of us is checking out the other’s ass? 

Let me rephrase that.  How long before I’m checking out her ass? 

Let me rephrase AND answer that.  At what point during our first meeting will I be thinking about her naked?  Answer:  Probably during the first ten minutes.

What can I do?  I’m a man.  I’m sorry.  It’s horrible, I know. 

Can you see how it actually sucks to have so many female readers and so few male readers?  It’s like some bizarre Twilight Zone episode where I am surrounded by hundreds of desirable and intelligent women, but when I reach out to them, they fade into nothingness, and the only place to go for companionship is into the smoky room in the back with the men, along with their smelly cigars, Beer Nuts, and poker chips.



  1. Mr Lady

    You know, I can totally relate. Most of my readers are guys, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Even when they’re checking out my ass.

  2. HRH

    OK, so you have painted yourself into a corner. Now you have me worried about the few male readers you have attracted and if they are checking out your Flickr photos. I’m also a little worried that you have chosen a Keanu Reeves film.

  3. Krissi of Krississippi

    “I get jealous of the comaraderie of female bloggers. You act like sisters. You write blogs for each other.”

    I just started reading your blog so I can start to AVOID the clique-ish female blogging issue. I’m sick of reading about the same old things over and over, re-written by someone with a catchy name and a following of other female bloggers. It feels like a high school popularity contest… hence, my post Are YOU in a Blog Clique?

    So, if you don’t mind, I’ll continue reading here, as long as you promise NOT to ask me out on a date…


  4. Annika

    Wait–is there really a new Keanu Reeves movie?

  5. kristen

    Remember, the nice thing about checking out someone’s ass is they can’t see you doing it. The way I see it, you have no real problem here.

  6. DaveX

    “I’m sick of reading about the same old things over and over, re-written by someone with a catchy name and a following of other female bloggers.”

    Gee, for a minute, I thought you meant THIS blog.

  7. punchlinewalking

    I’m not sure what to tell you…but I saw the new Keanu Reeves movie, and it was AWFUL, so there’s that.

  8. Artful Kisser

    I kinda agree with Krissi. I find the cliquey mummy/mommy blogging community constricting to the point that it actually pains me to be labelled a “mummy blogger”. And are you seriously saying if I was in your town we couldn’t meet up to see Keanu Reeves’ new flick together either by ourselves or with other bloggers? Maybe I’m naive, but I don’t see how being in a relationship is a “built-in obstacle” to friendship. And the baby would be staying home – with dad -who couldn’t care less – except that he was wanting to see that Keanu flick himself…

  9. Neil

    DaveX — ha ha. You are the type of man I am talking about.

    Artful Kisser — we have a date. You buy the popcorn though.

  10. the slackmistress

    Honestly, I think you idealize things a bit. There is a sense of community, but it’s not a instant-friendship-just-add-water. The female blogging community can be petty and insular and small as well – you just don’t hear those stories. (I was labeled a “whore” by a popular female blogger because I went on a date with a guy she liked, even though she wasn’t dating him and I didn’t even know her.) That’s just an example, but I’m sure more exist.

    Also, part of fostering those friendships is participating on other peoples’ blogs. I don’t know about other people, but I read and comment on your blog regularly. You’ve commented on mine…once, I think? Am I offended? No, but again, to be a part of a community you have to participate in it.

    I know a ton of hysterical guy bloggers. There’s famous guys, like Wil Wheaton and Warren Ellis and Neil Gaiman, but there are also people like my husband BetheBoy (who has both a music blog, a regular blog, and writes for MetroBlogging), Make Mine Mike, Mr. Shain, etc. etc. Sidebars and blogrolls are filled with them, but the thing is you have to go to them and comment on them.

    Again, that’s if you WANT that. There’s nothing wrong with having a space that’s solely yours where you feel comfortable and loved. But don’t complain about nobody coming to your party if you don’t send out an invite.

  11. dan-E

    dude, i totally saw the new keanu flick and bro, it full-on rocked, dude.

    actually, it was highly entertaining as long as you knew going in that it was a dumb, brainless action movie. if you haven’t seen it, give it a chance.

  12. Angella

    WAIT! You are coming to BlogHer?

    That is awesome news.

    You will be welcomed wholeheartedly, of this I am sure.

  13. -RM

    I didn’t even know there was a Keanu Reeves movie. You should do what you want to do, and be friends with anyone you’d like.

  14. sizzle

    This all sounds so familiar…as if we had this very conversation via chat today. 😉

  15. Neil

    Slackmistress — You are quickly becoming my fave. You are totally right. No argument. But this same dynamic also occurs in my real life, too. By interacting with more women than men, I am limiting myself, because frequently the friendship can only go so far… while with other men there are less barriers…

    I’m going to blame this on my mother, of course.

  16. Backpacking Dad



    You always pay for the popcorn. Don’t draw attention to how hard you are trying NOT to be weird and awkward.

    I have mostly women readers, and mostly women friends (the curse/blessing of being a SAHD), and you just suck it up and make the friendship work.

    And occasionally kiss them inappropriately while your hands are on their hips.

    But when that happens…you blog it!

  17. Kathy

    Believe it or not, it can be lonely hanging around blogs that are so heavily geared for women.

    It gets lonely, too, hanging around blogs heavily geared for women when you know yours isn’t. My last handful of posts have been rather “geekish,” and I’ve seen my readership — what few readers I have — plummet. (I know it’s a cliche.) It’s just as hard on the other side.

  18. Mr. Fabulous

    I, too, have far more female readers than male readers. And no, it is not possible to be friends with them.

    It IS possible to have sex with them, and I am proud to say that I have had my tally-wacker in every single one of them.

    I am now working my way through my male blogger friends, which brings me to why I am here today…

  19. better safe than sorry

    i actually found your blog when i complained on my blog how there just weren’t any good male bloggers out there (and someone referred me to yours). i had two really good male bloggers that i was reading, they were different than the female bloggers and i liked that about them. neither are blogging any more and i miss them. i’d miss you too if you stopped. i wish you lived closer to me, i’d go see that movie with you in a flash, but i’d need some notice to get to the gym and really tone up my a$$ first.

  20. Assertagirl

    I think this is a hilariously funny post, but I disagree that bloggers can’t get together and talk about things other than “blogging crap.” Of COURSE that does take place, but I think it would be possible for the four of you (Mr. & Mrs. MamaBlogger and Mr. & Ms. Neilochka) to get together and actually talk about real life stuff. At least, until you start picturing MamaBlogger naked…

  21. Kyra

    I don’t see why friendship isn’t possible. If you DID go out at married couples, the two non-bloggers can huddle together and laugh at the bloggers (and vice versa) – everyone has a friend! Perhaps what you need is more of a regular bloggers gathering, like every second Tuesday of the month – with changing venues.

    I live so freakin’ far north that I don’t have to worry about the friend question. Even if anyone did want to be friends… there isn’t anyone around!

    I’m trying to learn to make friends with squirrels.

  22. PocketCT

    Male female what’s the different? Be friends with whoever has compatible interest and lifestyle. But if you are have to pick something that has less of a danger zone maybe you could try lesbian bloggers.

  23. Finn

    If you ask me to a Keanu Reeves movie, I’m not going.

    But if it’s a Colin Farrell movie…

  24. Dagny

    LOL. There is no problem if you invite Sophia along. 😉

    Oh, and can you post a photo of your ass? Because I forgot to check it out…

  25. Rhea

    And women bloggers get together in real life, like this weekend. A blogger named Beverly Mahone is holding a women bloggers’ Spring Break in Daytona Beach, Fla., and I’m going!

  26. Dana Whitaker

    One of my daily must-reads, Danny Evans of Dad Gone Mad, was interviewed for Good Housekeeping. If you don’t read him, I think you should. He’s a great mix of “daddy blog” and “totally the antithesis of the stereotypical parenting blog” so he has appeal across the board. But I may be biased, since I seem to have a thing for Jewish boys from the west coast.

    I started blogging under this pseudonym and created Diary of a MILF in Progress because I was afraid of showing my meaner/raunchier/neglectful mom side on my regular site. I guess that’s sort of a carry-over of the mommyblog label/cliquiness that has already been touched on.

  27. Fort Knocks

    A married man doesn’t have female friends because that would inevitably lead to having an affair or two.

  28. bookfraud

    i wonder about the same thing at times; most of the six or so regular readers of my blog are women. i know what the fullproof way to get more men readers, however: pretend to be a female porn star, and blog about that. i promise you’ll get more dudes on your blog than you can shake your talking penis at.

  29. wendy

    I learn things from the males I read….Check out my ass..I really could care less. Just give me a door into your brain.

    I will act like a woman til the day I die.. and don’t see a problem with guys acting like men.

    When I got married… I vowed to be faithful.. not neutered… I feel the same rules apply to my husband.

    I would go to a flick with you if I lived closer….

  30. lfar

    Ooh, next blog about how females can get more male readers!

  31. churlita

    I think I have a pretty good balance of male and female readers, but my blog is all over the place. I’m a mom, but I’m single and dating. I’m a woman, but I watch football and play video games. I’m in my forties, but I act like I’m 12. I have met people from my blog in the real world. Some of those friendships have been great, others haven’t really worked. You should just relax and try it. It’s all about the experience, not where it all might lead you.

  32. Nat

    Well, I definitely men and women can be friends.

    I hate the term Mommy blogger. Makes me want to scream.

    On BlogHer: I don’t understand why we need a network to promote women bloggers, when it seems to be that the majority of the blogs I read are written by women.


  33. melanie

    And I don’t care who reads my blog. Its just an account of how surreal and circus like my life is. And for what its worth? Some of my best friends are men even when I am checking out their ass. I think its entirely possible for men and women to be friends. We are adults. Life is for living. Stop thinking about it. GO!!

    I support you in whatever you choose. (hug)

  34. alissa

    I’m more nervous about your obsession with Keanu Reeves more than anything.

  35. Diane Mandy

    Long before I was dating and married my husband, I met exactly one of my male blog friends and, yes, we thought about sleeping together. As luck would have it, he met a woman right after our meeting and has since left the blog world. Funny how that works!

  36. Miss Britt

    Hm, this is interesting.

    The male blogger (and, arguable, blogger period), I’m closest to is Avitable.

    AND? He’s my boss.

    AND? He’s absolutely one of my real life best friends.

    My husband doesn’t hate him – at all. His wife? Well, she might hate me.

    And we are absolutely, positively NOT sleeping together. Ever. No matter how many times he flashes me his balls.

  37. Miss Britt

    And Avitable and I are now arguing about whether or not you are joking.

  38. Avitable

    What Britt said.

    Although I have imagined her naked from the day I saw her coming down the escalator at the airport. That’s just a male thing to do.

    Now the ugly female bloggers – those are ones I don’t think of naked. I don’t want to be their friend, either, though.

  39. will

    Most males with personal blogs have more female because there are more women with more women who write personal blogs. I’m a man who’s had a personal blog for years and the ratio of girls to boys reading has always been heavily skewed towards the girl. That’s just the way things are but I can name a dozen guys who blog that I regularly talk to in real life as well as online, the guys are out there you just need to make the effort to get to know them.

    Here are a few good guys:

  40. Neil

    Miss Britt — Come on — you haven’t even thought of having a roll in the hay at least ONCE with Avitable, just so you could blog about it? Even if you were both really really drunk? Even if you just had the worst fight ever earlier than evening with your husband where he called you “worse than a two-bit whore” and then compared you to his mother? Even if Avitable was using AXE cologne that night?

  41. Annie

    Hey, Neil I am not married and I have no boyfriend as of now, I don’t really want one at the moment, but a friend is good.
    Let’s be friends, the fact that I live many miles is a problem, but still…:-).

  42. AnnieH

    So dude, would it help if I made my voice deeper?
    Very interesting idea to have a posting on existentialism vs isolation in the age of super communication technology–and to make it all about you! Well done.In all honesty, I think a lot of people out in the world don’t feel as though they quite fit in. That’s why God made bars like “Cheers.” I’m a female AND a mom-and I don’t fit in with the “mommybloggers”-my kids are in college and high school. I don’t fit in with the poetry blogs because their work is lovely and lyrical and mine sucks. I really like, but they’re neuroscientistbrainiacs and I’m a moron.Now your blog…I at least know what you’re talking about, esp when you provide illustrations. Do what makes you happy, Neilochka.
    One thing I have learned from working with bad brains is to use yours while you’ve got it and be happy. Life’s too damn short.

  43. Neil

    AnnieH — I’ll take that as a compliment. I might start using your statement as a blog logline to draw readers in:

    Citizen of the Month: At Least You’ll Know What He’s Talking About

    Annie — Why don’t you want a boyfriend? I always take those statements with a grain of salt! If he walked into your office right now — some handsome Fed Ex employee carrying a rose just for you — you would kick him out?

  44. Diane Mandy

    Neil, you had me at AXE. No doubt we could really just be friends.

  45. Neil

    Diane Mandy — What does this AXE smell like anyway? Maybe I’ll go to CVS Drugstore later and check it out and report back.

  46. Miss Britt

    OMG – I just noticed I’m the blog crush of the day!

    Damn it. And I just HAD to go with the stupid “69” post today. Man.

  47. Miss Britt

    Oh – and no. Not even once.

    Although, after reading his comment here, I feel like I need to walk around the office wrapped in a thick, thick blanket today.

    (And also, that I should shave more frequently. Just in case.)

  48. Avitable

    No, she’s never thought about it. I ask her daily. Hourly, even.

  49. hello haha narf

    if adam and britt have sex, can i watch?


  50. Pete Dunn

    You took the post right out of my mouth.

  51. Karl

    Yeah, I have a mostly female audience, too. I don’t get why, but I’ve always been more comfortable with women than men. I don’t have the typical guy things to talk about. Hate sports, don’t care about cars. That’s 90% of male conversations gone right there.

  52. SwanShadow

    Most of my best friends throughout life have been female. Some of my favorite bloggers are, too.

    But any time you get tired of hanging with the mommy-hotties and want to sling the ol’ testosterone around, I’m with you, brother.

    Assuming you don’t mind kicking it with the goyim, that is.

  53. abbersnail

    In “real life” most of my friends are guys. It’s been that way since I was a little girl, so it’s never been weird to me to go out and do stuff as friends with a guy. As I get older, I’m definitely more aware of the impression that others get (that we’re a couple), but I don’t think it has to be that way. I think having real friendships with members of the opposite sex is a very healthy, helpful thing.

    I will say this, though: I’ve found it more difficult to make new guy friends as I’ve gotten older. I don’t know that I’d have as many amazing guy friends if I hadn’t had them for years.

    It took me a long time to make “blog friends,” and I haven’t met many of them still. I know what you mean when you say you’re lonely. I think *most* people are a little bit lonely, you know?

  54. Miguelina

    Are you saying that you don’t care about what stroller Salma Hayek is pushing?

    I’m hurt!

    (For the record, I think men and women can be friends – bloggers or not.)

  55. HeyJoe

    Dude here.

    Neil, you do an excellent job of boiling the whole male/female/ blogger / friend relationship down to its essential oils. I too am slightly jealous of the female camaraderie that exists in the blogging world. Men have not achieved this same level of friendship, mostly because we’re probably too busy trying to woo the female bloggers to our blogs and talking about our dicks, not that the two are in any way connected. Another problem is that men seem less likely to “share” on their blogs and are also less likely to want to read another man’s…sharing’s.

    That being said, if you get up to the SF Bay/Area let me know and we’ll drink a beer and check out women’s asses. Ditto if I’m in LA.

    And Mr. Fabulous… call me.

  56. Hilly

    Karl and I have never once thought about sleeping together. Well *I* haven’t thought about it.

    I am close with a few men and I like it that way…I absolutely think men and women can be friends without sexual tension.

    Of course, I have let Karl see my boobs so I dunno….

  57. Neil

    Karl — We’re waiting now to hear your side of the story. You are totally f**ked. If you say no, you are insulting the vivacious Hilly, who I have met personally, and who any red-blooded man, if they were being honest, would…

    If you say yes, well… that’s just sleazy…

  58. Neil

    Communicatrix — Just in case you come by the blog today, and I know you will, uh, this doesn’t mean that when we were having lunch last week, that I was thinking… Ok, maybe for a brief second, but then you started all that talk about “branding” and I lost my train of thought…

  59. John

    I’m relatively new to blogging (about a year now) and older than the great majority blogging demographic. Though my female audience isn’t nearly as impressive as yours in terms of numbers, I’ll take as many as I can get. Your points of frustration are duely noted, and I could echo the same sentiments, as I seem to be constantly experiencing the same dilemmas (younger, married, live 19 states away). I don’t care though. Where the ladies are concerned, the more the merrier!

    Love your blog, found you through Kapgar.

  60. Kerri Anne

    Ditto what lovely Angella said.

    Also: I consider you a friend, bloggy or otherwise, and I also like to play poker, though I will always lose, because I am horrible at poker.

  61. Jane

    You left out the single lesbian bloggers, Neil. This might work best for you, because our cats and dogs really don’t mind staying home alone while we go watch a flick, and you can have your naked fantasies much as you do now — you know, never seeing them come to fruition.

    I would volunteer to fill this critical role, but I live in Minnesota. I hear California lesbians are pretty hot, though.

  62. Neil

    Jane — You’re a lesbian?! Damn it. Why are all of the good ones lesbian?

  63. Annie

    Neil, I would accept the rose and then kindly show him the door :-). I don’t want a boyfriend cause I just broke up with someone, time to heal and all that, plus I am in love with someone else.It’s Complicated as you can see. I would love to be your friend though and go to the movies and if you find me attractive, that is okay :-).

  64. Jane

    Because we can be, Neil? 😉

    If I had the authority, I would make you an honorary lesbian. You’d probably get more male and female readers then!

  65. Loralee

    And then you go and find out some of them like Air Supply and it all goes to hell. 😉

    I damn near worship the male readers I have. I want something different from the same old. Men bring a totally unique flavor to the blogging world and I love it.

  66. V-Grrrl

    Your problem is you have too many readers. By the time I get to the end of the comments, my head is ready to explode.

    Now what was I going to say? Oh yeah, don’t imagine me naked, it will only give you bad dreams.

  67. Joe Crawford

    Neil, you so crazy!

    What’s a beer nut?

  68. NoRegrets

    I can burp and fart for you if you want.

  69. MammaLoves

    Mr. Mamma would love it if you would ask me to the movies once a week. Then he wouldn’t have to go.

    I see your point though.

  70. Noelle

    I almost don’t want to post this since you are at 69 comments, and that seems so appropriate. I thought I was blogging to mostly women, and the 3 guys I know who read my blog are so very cool. But then, I got hated on by a website, and I won myself hundreds of mean men all in one day, and I think I found where all of the male bloggers are, and it’s not good.

  71. Theresa B.

    Thanks for breaking the aura of 69, Noelle. I wasn’t brave enough. And thanks Neil, for calling my bosoms ample.

  72. Ginormous Boobs

    I must say, I love meeting bloggers in real life. And I haven’t even slept with half of them!

    Just fooling.

    I’m not really as whorish as my blog implies. And since you can already check out various body parts of mine on my blog, that would kind of be out of the way.

    So from one Cal blogger to another, come hang out!!! It’ll be fun, I promise. And I won’t try and make out with you or anything.

  73. Memarie Lane

    I actually was contacted by a male blogger who asked me if I could “show him around Albuquerque.” I was definitely weirded out by that. Especially when he turned out to be surprised to learn that I am both married and pregnant. With my third child.

    I am very proud of my male readership. I have at least ten male readers, only two of whom are related to me.

  74. Stacey

    You could definitely be my friend, Neil. All of my good friends are men. I was recently told that’s a little suspect. I never saw When Harry Met Sally, so I’m out of the loop.

  75. Whit

    I have about 50-50 on reader gender. I like to think that the ladies read me because I come off as sweet but slightly dangerous. I don’t care why men read me.

  76. piglet

    you make some great points, questions that have plagued men and women since the days of clubbing and dragging women to your cave.

    i wonder if there are some things that are not meant to be put into the box of explanation. could be the adult equivalent of playing “dress-up”.

    i think hard and fast rule is to not do anything that you know your partner would not approve of.

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