Nope, nothing to do with homosexuality, despite the term. A "man's man" is someone you want to hang out with in a blokey way, someone who doesn't shirk from getting the first round in at the pub, or can talk about cars or sport, for example. My question is, do we all (us men, anyway) try to be a man's man, or are many people happy being the complete opposite? I, myself, do, and often without thinking about it, because that's what my dad taught me in my younger days (he passed away years ago). Take for example, a social gathering - it could be down the pub, a reception/party at a friend's house or a BBQ where a lot of people have been invited. You walk into the room, you spot the gathering of blokes (the blokes and women are never totally integrated at these events, are they? The women don't want to listen to the cars/football chat and the blokes don't want to listen to fashion/cost-of-childcare chat), you walk over to the group of guys, you work out which one's the "alpha male" (the one holding everyone's attention with some dramatic/funny story), you shake hands with him or slap his shoulder, as if to say "you might be the alpha male, but so am I so I'm not going to lurk at the fringes of the group in silence until someone notices me". The alpha male might be the guy whose house the gathering is at, and if so, his dad might be there as well, so out of respect for elders you make sure you greet him as well. With every greeting, you make sure you make good eye contact, have a firm handshake, and don't ignore anyone else's greeting by being too busy typing on your smartphone. You join in the banter, make a few witty remarks, and if anyone comes up with a slightly barbed "joke" (like "why would you choose to drive a Vauxhall instead of a BMW??) you come up with a slightly sharp reply (e.g. "Your X5 was made in a pi$$-poor part of the southern US, my car was made in Germany, that's why I drive it). If there's "man's work" to be done, such as moving furniture around to make room for more tables and seats, you join in, you grab the heavy end of whatever you're lifting, you might take your jacket off so the women can secretly admire your physique as you do the work. If your partner is there, she'll be pleased that other women are admiring your machismo.
The reason I make these observations - and they are just that, not laws or rules - is that I met someone totally different to that last week and wondered to myself how he got to 30-ish and didn't learn any of this. A friend is getting married soon and she wanted to borrow a wedding gazebo I can get hold of, so she sent her cousin to collect it from me. He lives some distance away so I offered to meet halfway, at a motorway service station, which would save him two hours driving (that's a man's man thing to do, BTW). My friend/his cousin told me what time he left home to meet up with me, so I left at the appropriate time and got to the meeting point 5 minutes early. No sign of him, so I phoned him and he said he was still an hour and a half away because there was traffic. There was no traffic visible on the net before I left home, and I phoned a mate and asked him to look up the traffic cams for the motorway and he confirmed there was still no traffic. Matey boy turned up two and a half hours late. So much for trying to make someone's life easier by sharing the travelling. He'd obviously gone somewhere else whilst pretending to be helping his cousin with her wedding stuff, leaving me getting more and more bored at the services. That's not a man's-man sort of thing to do.
Anyway, he takes the gazebo, delivers it to his cousin's house (having taken all day to do a 3 hour task), the gazebo gets put up and the next day my partner and I attend the pre-wedding party. Lots of people there, in the house and the garden/gazebo, lots of introductions, hand shakes, kissing girls' cheeks, etc etc. The lazy guy, the bride's cousin, is missing though, even though I know he's at this house. When he does finally turn up, he enters the room not by surveying whose there and which group to go over to first and make intro's. No, he "slithers" into the room, like a snake slides along the ground, almost like he's trying to go unnoticed. Someone spots him and shakes hands with him, and matey-boy does so without making any eye contact, instead looking from side to side, like a con-man looking for his next "mark" or hustle. When he finally makes it over to our group and gets invited in to the conversation, he mumbles without looking anyone in the eye, so you can't hear what he's saying or work out which person he's saying it to. It's a free bar, but he never gets the drinks in, instead I kept seeing him with two drinks in his hand and couldn't work out who the second one was for. He might just be shy, or unassertive, you might say. But he's not - I've heard the shenanigans he gets up to in his spare time, some legal, some not, so he's got plenty of brass ones when it suits him. It's simpler than that - no one ever taught him the importance of being a man's man, or the alpha male, or even just the guy you can rely on to get the job done.