The gentle guy internet
Welcome. It's mildly masculine here.
Kate came up with the concept of the "gentle guy internet" and wrote today's post, but I just want to say, by way of introduction and in my capacity as a dude with zero interest in Barstool or 4Chan, that the gentle guy internet is very real, and that, in fact, approximately 20 percent of my time spent on the phone with my millennial brother is devoted to him describing some YouTube series about restoring an old car. —Nick
I do not understand what guys talk about when they’re alone in a room together. If I don't have direct eyes on them, I assume they’re in cold storage like the Westworld robots. Even more mysterious? Where they spend their time on the internet.
The loudest voices online may have you thinking it’s exclusively places like Barstool Sports and 4Chan. It took the shuttering of Mel magazine for me to realize that there are actually very few spaces made for men who don’t throw their phone at their ottoman when their sports team loses and then turn to me and go, “Great, now my phone’s broken.” And it took moving in with my boyfriend to discover where those secret spaces are.
They comprise a genre of websites I’ve started calling the “gentle guy internet,” surmised from what it is my boyfriend, and my friends’ boyfriends, look at on their laptops while wearing big headphones in bed—and before you joke that it’s porn, I already make that joke every time ... and it kills.
Gentle guy internet is not just for people who identify as men. Other genders can and do enjoy them, but these sites emit a benign, sweet, and sometimes boring masculine energy that seems niche until you realize that they have hundreds of thousands of followers who are simply too quiet to compete with a single tweet from Dave Portnoy.
Here's a non-exhaustive list of things from the gentle guy internet.
Sourdough baker Bryan Ford
This man named Steve, who eats and reviews military rations preserved from the various world wars
This different man named Steve, who camps in weird places
"I use eBay a lot. my most recent purchases include a snapshot of two Asian kids circa 1963, a collection of 90s ‘alternative rock’ press kits, 50 issues of The Face magazine, and some oddball husband-wife synth record." —Hua Hsu in My Internet
Bring a Trailer, the vintage car auction site
Blackbird Spyplane, the "gorp"-centric men's style newsletter
Stereogum, the venerable indie music website
UPNORTHTRIPS, the hip-hop archive
John Mayer's TikTok [link]
Radiohead's official live performances on YouTube [H/T: S/FJ]
This video my brother Dan sent me