A Beginner’s Guide to The Art of Manliness: A Guided Tour

by Brett & Kate McKay on November 9, 2009 · 17 comments

in Manly Knowledge, Travel & Leisure


While many of you have been following The Art of Manliness since we started back in 2008, some of you are fairly new readers. To help you new arrivals get the most out of AoM and navigate around our extensive archives and community section, we’ve compiled this beginner’s guide.

First a note: There’s a TON of stuff here. We don’t recommend that you go through it all in one sitting. It will probably take you days to go through everything on AoM. Bookmark this page and come back to it from time to time to do some more exploring.

Why The Art of Manliness?

We’re often asked why we started a site called The Art of Manliness. We answer that question on our About page and also go into a little bit about the philosophy of the site. This post adds some details on the story behind how and why AoM started as well.

And make sure to check out our FAQ. It might answer some of the questions you have about the site.

The Archives

We’ve written almost 1500 articles here at AoM about a wide variety of topics. I highly recommend surfing through our archives to see what we have to offer. There are lots of gems. You’ll find a search bar on the right side of our home page if you’d like to search for a specific topic.

If you’re not sure where to jump in, a good place to start is our annual end of the year round ups of the year’s best posts:

Movie and Book Lists

Over the past five years we’ve compiled lists of books and movies that we think men would enjoy. Check them out!

Popular Series on AoM

Every now and then we’ll run a series of articles that focus on a particular theme. Here are some of our most popular series:

  • Benjamin Franklin Virtue Series- In this series we analyzed one of Benjamin Franklin’s 13 virtues each week and offered suggestions on how men can live those virtues on a daily basis.
  • 30 Days to a Better Man- In June 2009, we ran a series called “30 Days to a Better Man.” Each day we created a task for Art of Manliness readers to complete that would help them improve in different facets of their lives such as relationships, fitness and health, career, and personal finances. Check out the series online or download our popular 30 Days to a Better Man eBook.
  • Building Your Resiliency. Do you have trouble bouncing back from challenges and discouragement? In this comprehensive, seven-part series, we explore the nature of resiliency and offer practical tips on how you can approach life with more confidence. Also available as an eBook.
  • The Switches of Manliness. Many men today feel lost, adrift, and unmanly. They suffer from the modern male malaise. The cure for this malaise are the five switches of manliness. The five switches of manliness are the power switches that are connected to our primal man and are deeply ingrained and embedded in the male psyche. This series draws on evolutionary psychology and biology to find ways in which men can move from feeling restless, angry, and apathetic, to invigorated, motivated, and manly.

Comment Policy

One of the great things about blogs is that the format allows readers to comment on articles. It’s our goal to create a community of readers who are actively engaged with the site. We pride ourselves on the level of maturity and civility that the comments on AoM have. To ensure that the discussion stays civil and on point, we have established a comment policy. Please read it.

The Community

The blog isn’t the only part of the Art of Manliness site. If you’d like to connect with other men who are interested in rediscovering the lost art of manliness, make sure to join the Community. We have almost 25,000 registered members from all over the world. In the Community, you can

The Art of Manliness Books

Two books based on the site have been published and are available in both eBook and analog format.

The Art of Manliness: Classic Skills and Manners for the Modern Man

Published in October 2009, The Art of Manliness: Classic Skills and Manners for the Modern Man includes some of the best of our early articles from the site, along with material exclusive to the book as well. The book focuses mainly on the skill-sets of manliness, the “how-to’s” of romance, friendship, and fatherhood, spending time outdoors, being a hero, and living a virtuous life.

The Art of Manliness Manvotionals: Classic Wisdom and Advice on Living the 7 Manly Virtues

Published in November 2011, The Art of Manliness Manvotionals: Timeless Wisdom and Advice on Living the 7 Manly Virtues covers the mindset of manliness. The book is a collection of the best advice ever written down for men. From the philosophy of Aristotle to the success books of the late 19th and early 20th centuries to the speeches and essays of leaders like Theodore Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, Manvotionals contains the manly wisdom of the ages–a myriad of poems, quotes, and essays designed to inspire men to live life to the fullest and realize their complete potential as men.


We’ve written a few eBooks that are available for download. Some are free and some cost money. Give them a look through.

YouTube Videos

We’ve also created a few how-to videos on manly skills. Give them a watch. They’re short, but you’ll definitely walk away learning something new.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel so you don’t miss out on our video updates. We plan on doing more videos in the future.

Never Miss an Art of Manliness Post by Subscribing

Did you know that you can get Art of Manliness articles delivered directly to your email inbox? Make the AoM experience easier for you by signing up for our email updates. Over 53,000 people get AoM articles emailed to them. Simply sign-up here. You can choose to have our articles delivered individually each day, or delivered once a week in a digest. And just to let you know, we hate spam just as much as you do. We’ll never give out your email address to third-parties. You can also easily unsubscribe yourself any time you’d like.

If email updates aren’t your thing, we also provide RSS subscription. Click here to add Art of Manliness to your feed reader.

Connect with Art of Manliness on Facebook and Twitter

If you use Facebook, join the Art of Manliness Page. You’ll know when there’s a new article up on the site right away.

The same goes with Twitter. Follow us on Twitter to get the latest AoM updates and links to interesting stuff around the web. We’ve also included a Twitter list of people and sites that we recommend you follow. Follow the AoM Recommends list to get the best in men’s interest material.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jonathan Frei | ordinary time November 10, 2009 at 12:13 pm

I started here about a month ago. This is a great reference. I think there’s a lot of great material already here so I don’t have to wait on new stuff to come through my rss reader.

2 Jonny | thelifething.com November 10, 2009 at 10:09 pm

You have created an excellent community and resource site here. I have followed since the early days and commend your achievements.

Well done sirs.

3 Nik November 15, 2009 at 12:06 am

There are so many fabulous articles on this site, it’s nice to have a bit of a starter’s guide to them. I already have several hundred bookmarked for future reading, but this is still nice. :)

It does remind me of what I feel is missing, though, which is an article that more comprehensively captures this site’s conception of masculinity. I realize that you have likely made a deliberate decision not to write such an article for fear of being too proscriptive about manliness–which is clearly something that means very different things to many people. However, you are very successful in writing articles about the value of many masculine principles, characteristics, etc. So, I think you would certainly be capable of delineating those aspects of masculinity that you find most foundational. I would just be interested to see a bit more solid, unequivocal opinion of what, at the least, a man is. I think it would be a great article to introduce people to your site, and it could certainly contain a section for the absolutes and another section for the optionals/variables. I just feel like it would be beneficial for us to all have a more comprehensive understanding of what you are envisioning when you write about “manliness.”

I’ve been considering trying to start group formulation of a true credo of manliness somewhere in the community site (hell, I’m sure it’s already happened), but I would also like to see it from the horse’s mouth. I think full disclosure of where you’re both coming from is of much value to your loyal readers.

Just something I’ve been thinking about. Thanks for all the great articles.

4 Brett McKay November 15, 2009 at 12:23 am


We have not made a deliberate decision not to clearly delineate what true manliness is. I think our recent post entitled “Manliness: The Baby and the Bathwater” sets out very clearly exactly what I believe true manliness/masculinity involves, especially the section on the 9 manly virtues:

* Loyalty
* Industry
* Resiliency
* Resolution
* Personal Responsibility
* Self-Reliance
* Courage
* Integrity
* Sacrifice


I’m actually a bit confused by your comment because I know you read and commented on that article just today. What specifically are you looking for beyond the very specific, foundational aspects we laid out about manliness in that post?

5 Nik November 15, 2009 at 12:13 pm

You know, you’re probably right. That article is definitely the clearest description that I have read so far on the site of what you believe manliness is and isn’t. I probably just didn’t recognize it as a complete exposition because 1) the end of the post with the 9 virtues seemed a little rushed; it might be nice to see an article that ties those 9 together with summaries of each and how they interrelate, rather than pointing to longer expositions of each of them that do not tie directly to each other and 2) maybe the title threw me. I probably went into the post not expecting it to be as thorough as it actually was, and then left the post still wishing for a little more instead of reflecting thoroughly on what I’d gotten. :)

6 adam December 17, 2009 at 8:36 am

I was directed to this site by a friend and I am enjoying your views. Our group is based in fly fishing and the talk about “being a man” has referenced your site and I think it will help promote good choices to some very lost souls and reinforce others who are men in a group who think they are “men”


Anyway, just a note to say thank you very much, already the very first article I will use to help improve my own life and the choices I make that affect my family and more importantly, my three boys who I only want them to grow up to be gentlemen.

All the best to you.

7 Michael Carangi December 23, 2009 at 2:04 pm

Hello, I love your blog. I am a certified personal trainer and nutritionist. I would really love to contribute. I am sure you receive a million of these emails a week and rightfully so. If you do decide in the postive and add me to your weekly line up, i will not let you down.

Best in Health


8 Erika Awakening January 22, 2010 at 2:35 pm

Very cool blog.

How is it I never knew about this before?

Hope you and Zan are doing awesome :)


9 Zac January 25, 2010 at 9:54 pm

Sick website, I find it very helpful in all aspects of becoming a better person and more importantly a better man.

10 Emma Howard July 19, 2010 at 9:40 pm

I am a woman. With passion I design textile prints mainly for men so I read your absolutely WONDERFULLY PERFECT site to stay in touch with the kind of man whom I see in my mind’s eye when I sit down at my art table.

I trust that my presence is not intrusive. :^D

11 Diane Marcus July 16, 2013 at 11:13 am

I joined your site because I train men and women in business etiquette. I found some useful articles that I wanted to retweet. I hope you will continue to write articles about business etiquette and proper dress for men in the business world. Keep up the good work.

12 Mark August 29, 2013 at 8:35 am

The 9 Virtues seem to be quite similar to the 7 Army Values that I was taught in the US Army.

Selfless Service
Personal Courage

I think those 7 are at the core of manliness too. In fact, it looks like the 9 contain those 7. This is good stuff!

13 Craig January 29, 2014 at 9:22 am

I only discovered this site about nine months ago and have thoroughly enjoyed it. Great stuff no fluff just great shareable content. I’ve bought at least a couple dozen copies of manvotionals to give to friends. What I would love to see you in the future is some of the best post turned into audio for the podcast. I know that’s asking a lot for already hard-working Brett and his lovely wife. But I’m sure if that project ever got started you have many who would willingly volunteer to be readers.

14 Dylan January 29, 2014 at 3:15 pm

I came across this website about a year or so ago and must say that it is one of the only two websites I go to every day. There is just so many interesting things to explore and learn on it. Keep up the great articles!

15 Fran Sanchez March 26, 2014 at 2:00 am

Whoa! So much good stuff here this is gold.

I see that this was written in 2009 and probably updated on 2011.
Any chance of seeing the best of Art of Manliness 2012 and 2013? It would be awesome to have everything bookmarked from one place.

Keep the Man-power going.


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