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From Pinterest to Himterest: what do men want in a dude board?

From the enclave of the vestal virgins to week-long spa breaks, purely feminine space holds a fascinating air of mystery for those on the outside. Pinterest, the online cork board which acts as a byword for female visual aspiration, is no different. It could just as easily be the gathering point for witches from a Roald Dahl book, since nobody really knows what they’re up to in there.

But now all that’s changing. In a bid to entice men, Pinterest now boasts a gendered search feature that cuts out all that crap, letting dudes get to dude stuff. (Not their words.) Apparently it’s working – half of new signups outside the US are male. But what are they looking for?

Beards

Friedrich Nietzsche
Photograph: Time Life/Getty

The vogue for looking like a destitute woodsman has spread to an entire generation. To this end, pre-eminent historical figures proliferate on “beard boards”, their significance reduced to the facial hair paradigms they embody. Abe Lincoln’s chinstrap, Friedrich Nietzsche’s walrus number, Charles Darwin’s chin-thatch. Those who do not learn from history merely repeat it.

Six-packs

Sit-ups look like someone repeatedly failing to get out of a deep sofa, and men’s number one goal is a stomach that indicates they’ve wasted upwards of 10 hours a week doing so. To motivate this tedious ambition they stare at the same hunks as their female counterparts. Channing Tatum, whose abs are unexpectedly elegant, like cirrus clouds on a peach sky. Or Hugh Jackman, who looks like he’s shoplifting vacuum-packed chicken thighs.

A scene from the film Magic Mike featuring Adam Rodriguez, Kevin Nash, Channing Tatum (centre), and Matt Bomer.
Photograph: Claudette Barius/AP

Watches

Titanium double-gaskets, diamond bezels. Watches that remain waterproof to 4,000 metres, salivated over by men who complain if they sit too near the air conditioner. Why spend a month’s rent on a timepiece Leonardo DiCaprio wore for the duration of a photoshoot? Because, famously, men can’t multitask. They can’t do the next thing until they’ve finished the first thing, and there’s only so many hours in a day, so let’s stick to the schedule guys, because I’m losing it here.

Sexy bald men

The most popular male Pinterest is of course “sexy bald men”. This is a liberating byproduct of the internet’s anonymous smorgasboard, which allows them to safely explore a less restrictive spectrum of sexuality. Kidding! At some point most men start to lose their hair, and desperately cast about for receding role models to pin their eroding self-esteem to. Tyrese Gibson, Bruce Willis, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson – you don’t look like any of these people.

Tits

A female bearded tit perches among reeds in London’s Hyde Park.
Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Boys will be boys, and the fact is they love small birds with stout legs and short, triangular bills. Marsh, willow or blue tit – every man has his favourite. Of course the cheeky bearded tit neatly dovetails with another major man-hobby (see beards), thereby killing two birds with one stone. Sorry, what a horrendous metaphor.

Meat

Maybe it’s the frustration of the hunter-gatherer instinct, but it turns out that men love to simply stare at images of meat all day long. Beautifully marbled steak, a pan of bacon, a rope of jerky. It doesn’t really matter. This is also why when men meet up, it is always outside a butcher’s window.

A juicy steak.
Photograph: Alamy

Harold Pinter

Guys have a tendency to over-literalness and competitiveness. Apparently, some new converts have misconstrued the aim of Pinterest, understanding it to be a forum where people attempt to BE Pinterest, ie the most Pinter. We don’t know what this means, or what the playwright – laureate of unspoken menace and disaffection – would have made of it. He probably would have left a long pause, before saying nothing.

Wedding mood boards

Who would’ve known? Men really are sweethearts after all. Turns out they’re just as invested in the best day of their lives as their partners, and have ideas of their own as to how it should look, what people should wear, and catering. The theme is going to be Batman stabbing Chuck Norris in the gut with barbecue tongs. Have fun on your special day!

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