A Man’s Guide to Pinterest

A Man's Guide to PinterestMy first encounter with Pinterest was a few years ago when my sister started sharing her “pins” on Facebook. Intrigued by the fact that my not-so-tech-savvy sister was an early adopter of a web service that I had never heard of, I had to check it out.

After a few seconds of browsing, I realized that I had stumbled upon the mom and housewife neighborhood of the internet. There was nothing but endless rows of pictures of women’s clothes, cute crafts, and intricately decorated cupcakes. Sure, some of the food recipes looked good, but I knew right away that I wasn’t Pinterest’s primary demographic. So I surfed away, sure I’d never return.

Fast-forward a year later. Pinterest had exploded and the web was abuzz about it. As a person who makes their living online, I couldn’t ignore it, so I revisited the site. While pins of crafts and updo hairstyles still dominated, I did see a sprinkling of some manly stuff pinned by men.

Heartened by these brave lads, I began using Pinterest a bit more and I quickly discovered the appeal. Since using Pinterest regularly, I’ve cooked a few hearty, delicious man-food recipes for myself and my family, and I’ve found a few ideas for weekend DIY projects that I can build for my son, Gus.

Despite the inroads made by some men, Pinterest is still primarily used by women. According to recent estimates over 80% of users are female. So finding stuff that appeals to the guys can be tricky if you don’t know where to look.

Below I offer a Pinterest roadmap to help men navigate this primarily female domain. Enjoy.

Man Pinners and Boards

Jeremy Pruitt

Jeremy Pruitt is a Denver-based artist and designer with an eye for manly aesthetics. I’ve actually gotten some great decorating ideas from his boards. A few of my favorites are:

Dan Polley

Dan is a Wisconsin-based food blogger, so naturally his Pinterest boards are dedicated to food. But because Dan is 1) a man and 2) a mid-westerner, his food pins are hearty and belly-filling. Here are my favorite Dan Polley food-themed Pinterest Boards:

  • Burgery Goodness  Your mouth will water just browsing through these burger recipes.
  • Soups and Stews I love me a good, stick-to-your ribs stew. I’ve gotten a few recipe ideas to make for my family this winter from here.
  • A Taste of the Southwest As a son of the American Southwest, this board conjures up a lot of memories. Lots of Tex-Mex recipes, many of which call for copious amounts of green chili. My favorite? New Mexico Green Chili Hot Dogs.

Oliver Blanchard

Mr. Blanchard is the author of the book Social Media ROI. When he’s not consulting clients on how to get the most from Facebook and Twitter, he’s helping man-up Pinterest with his diverse collection of boards. A few of them are NSFW, so tread carefully. Here are my favorite Oliver Blanchard Pinterest boards:

  • The Satorialism Style inspiration for men. Prepare to dapper up.
  • Cars, Bikes, and Whisky Name says it all. The urge to buy a vintage Indian motorcycle always seems to increase when I look at this board.
  • Zombie Survival Hands down, my favorite board put together by Mr. Blanchard. Me and a few of my friends often talk — in a playful, but slightly serious tone — about what gear we would want during the zombie apocalypse. Oliver’s Zombie Survival Pinterest Board is basically a visual representation of those late-night conversations. While the board is done primarily in jest (at least I think it is) I have found a few items that I’ve added or will be adding to my Bug Out Bag. You never know when you’ll need a Solar Window Portable Charger.

Board of Man
Board of Man is a group Pinterest Board whose mission is to “add a few extra Y chromosomes to Pinterest. Etsy promos and recipes be darned.” With over 230,000 followers, Board of Man has become the go-to manly hangout in this predominantly feminine part of the internet. You’ll find a wide variety of man-centric pins here including diagrams on how to tie a tie, a video of Ron Swanson explaining how to grow a mustache, and plenty of pictures of manly men from history, including Pop-Eye. They keep things light and fun at Board of Man, so swing over whenever you’re in need of a manly dose of humor.

Art of Manliness “Manly Stuff” Board

Shameless plug. The Art of Manliness has a Pinterest account and I think we pin some pretty manly stuff. I don’t have the patience to categorize all my pins into separate boards, so I just throw it all on a single board that I call “Manly Stuff.” You’ll find everything from style ideas to manly grub to cook yourself. I also pin gear that an AoM man might appreciate like pocket knives, axes, and pipes.

Categories and Searches
If you’re looking to expand beyond the above pinners and boards, I recommend browsing through the following male-centric searches and categories on Pinterest.

Men’s Fashion
This is one of the main categories on Pinterest where they collect all the men’s style pins into one place. Most of the items are a bit too metrosexual for my tastes, but there are some gems.

Cars & Motorcycles
Another main Pinterest category. I’ll probably never own most of the cars and bikes pinned here, but they’re fun to look at it.

Category filled with lots of camping and outdoor tips.

Women can be hard to shop for. At least that’s been my experience. It’s hard for us guys to find something “cute” or “unique” so we usually just default to body lotions that we picked up at the last minute from Bath and Body Works.

Pinterest solves this age-old male problem. Just search for “wishlist” and you’ll instantly have access to thousands of gift ideas for the women in your life. Christmas shopping for my wife just got a whole lot easier.

Wife Should Cook
Wife Should Cook

I got a hoot out of this. When you search “wife should cook” you’ll get about a dozen boards created by men who are curating all the stuff they want the Mrs. to cook for them. I’ve actually gotten some good ideas from these boards. But I cooked them myself! Cooking duties are equally traded in the McKay household.

Husband Should Wear 
While the men of Pinterest want their wives to bake double-stuffed cookies for them, the women of Pinterest want their husbands to quit dressing like slobs. Turnabout is fair play, I guess. If you’re a man, you’ll actually find some good ideas for upgrading your wardrobe from these boards.

By the way, in the past few months several Pinterest-type sites geared towards men have popped up. My favorite is Gentlemint. Definitely recommend signing up and browsing the items gents are “minting” there.

Brett McKay / The Art of Manliness
Brett McKay
Founded in January 2008, The Art of Manliness is a blog focused on reviving the lost art of manliness. With over 7 million monthly page views, The Art of Manliness represents a new kind of magazine for men, one that focuses on helping men become better citizens, fathers, husbands, friends, and simply all around better men. Husband and wife team, Brett and Kate McKay head up the blog. They live in Tulsa, OK.
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  • Sid

    As a long time reader of Art of Manliness and as a male Pinterest user, it’s good to see an article like this. I’ve known male friends who refuse to admit that they’ve looked up hairstyles or shoes on Pinterest, but I have no problem admitting I have an account. The site is just like any photoblog, and if more men would jump on, we could get some interesting things. In addition, there are male-centered pinboards such as gentlemint out there.

  • Josh

    It’s funny that there’s no “Pin It” button on this article

  • Tyler

    Anyone ever tried Gentlemint? On this site, which is highly geared towards the male user, you “Mint” items which are shared on the main page with everyone. I have never used or been on Pinterest, but I assume they are similar concepts.

    If you want to give it a try, let me know… I currently have two invites to provide.

  • Steve

    Pinterest is a powerful tool. But I fear being so dominated by women it loses it’s most powerful feature–that being the social aspect. One can’t quite follow other women because they will stink up your feed with girly stuff. And the lighter-in-the-loafers “style” and “decorating” male feeds aren’t much better.

    But I’m game to try it–maybe as a bookmarking thing as much as anything. I’m @ZymurgySteve if anybody’s interested..

  • Pavel

    So what you think about tumblr, there? There are some pretty nice man blogs.

  • ronancray

    My wife says, “It’s strange that men don’t use Pinterest more, because they’re more visual. Oh… because you can’t pin porn.”

  • Steve

    My wife got me into Pinterest over the summer and it is quite addictive. My page is definitely not of the uber-manly caliber of the ones mentioned in is article, but I have out a great deal of ArtOfManliness things on there. Feel free to check it out and thanks to everyone else out there I repinned from. (Pinterest: sjwhiddon)

  • Brandon R

    My wife is a “I have to see it” kinda person so if I want to do something to the house I have to show her first. I used to have to keep a bunch of useless bookmarks or print stacks of pictures out. Now I can just send her a link and get back to demo.

  • greg urbano

    what a great find here, pinterest for manly men!
    now i can pin more than recipes!

  • http://dysfunctionaldose.com/ Nikki

    I love this because I’ve been trying to get my husband to join pinterest. Emailing it to him now!

    Dysfunctional Dose

  • onebro

    Check out this new pin website just for men its called BroPin . com and its super fresh