Thursday, 25 April 2013

Are you a manly man or a Motorsexual marvel?

When I’m not working on Sorted magazine, I can often be found putting together news stories for financial firms. As I foraged for inspiration this week, I found three stories that grabbed my attention.

Although finance-focused, these snippets challenged some of the stereotypes we have of ‘manly’ men in the UK. I think they’ll grab yours too – particularly if you carry a manbag, own a bottle of fake tan or hate DIY.

Motorsexual Men risk lives behind the wheel

While attractive women, beautiful views and Facebook can prove distracting for some male drivers, recent research suggests a new danger is on the horizon for men behind the wheel.

Obsessing over a hairdo, applying fake tan and posing are the most common causes of near-crashes among ‘Motorsexual Men’.

According to the More Than research, vanity-obsessed male motorists have caused an estimated 2.2 million accidents on the roads in the last 12 months. On average, a vanity-related crash results in £653.20 damage to the Motorsexual Man's car.

Whether styling their hair (23%), inspecting their complexion (19%), pouting and posing (15%) or checking the brightness of their pearly whites (10%), the rear view mirror is a hazard zone for male drivers.

Furthermore, an estimated 1.3 million Motorsexual Men regularly apply facial moisturiser, fake tan and even male foundation when in control of a moving vehicle.

Around 2.9 million male drivers check out their reflections between five and ten times in the space of a single 30-minute car journey. With roughly 4.8 seconds taken up each time they do so, male motorists could be spending up to 48 seconds with their eyes fixed on themselves rather than the road.

Matt Pernet at More Than commented: "We've heard a number of cautionary tales of women trying to apply make-up when driving, but until now men fawning over their own appearance behind the wheel was an unexplored area.

“This research shows that Motorsexual Men are significant in their numbers and are putting their safety and the safety of others at risk by valuing the importance of their own reflection over that of the road ahead."

What do you keep in your manbag?

Almost two-thirds of men carry a ‘manbag’ at least some of the time, and because men are four times more likely than women to carry expensive iPads, tablets and laptops in their bags, the precious manbag could be putting men at risk of theft.

Around 18% of men listed a tablet or laptop as their most valuable item as opposed to just 4% of women, but the high value does not stop them from carrying these items around in the beloved manbag.

Meanwhile, the Nationwide research suggests not all of the lost or stolen possessions were of significant material value. Unusual items stolen from people's bags include: a flag from the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations, an anorak, a blood donor card, hearing aids and a wetsuit. Items highlighted as most valuable by those surveyed included a kitten, a harmonica, secateurs and the manbag or handbag itself.

Martyn Dyson, Nationwide's head of general insurance, said: "People very often are unaware of how much valuable property they carry with them, especially given the increasing popularity of expensive smartphones, tablets and laptops.”

Home improvements or household headaches?

New research suggests very few men actually enjoy doing DIY. However, while less than 25% find it a pleasurable experience, around 75% say they would rather do it themselves than pay a professional tradesperson.

Around 6% say they would try to install their own boiler or double glazing to save money.

The Checkatrade survey showed that, on average, men in the UK plan to spend just over £4,000 on DIY over the next 12 months, and the most likely DIY project to be undertaken is redecorating. Interestingly, men in Sheffield are almost six times more likely to redecorate than those in Southampton.

If money were no object, a quarter of men would opt for a new bathroom or kitchen, although almost 50% believe an extension would add more value to their home.

Checkatrade managing director, Kevin Byrne, warns: “DIY is a tempting option, especially with the country in recession and bank holidays approaching. But be careful not to take on a job that really demands a skilled professional, otherwise it could cost more in the long run.”

Are you a Motorsexual man? Or do you consider yourself the absolute definition of masculinity? Feel free to share your stories/experiences in the comments below. And if you do carry a manbag, make sure it's got a copy of Sorted in it!


  1. Can't afford a car, so the 'Motorsexual Man' is out, don't generally carry a manbag or bumbag but have considered one, and I suppose I am a bit of a bloke really. In the past I aspired to be like all sorts of men, and the latest role model might be Jason Statham because I am buying a lot of his movies, but the real manliest man is for me Jesus!

  2. Hey Tim, thanks for the comment. I agree about Jesus being the manliest man - anyone can put up with that level of pain, rejection and persecution must be pretty courageous. Not sure about the Statham films though - aren't they all the same (and quite bad)?