The blog of photographer Kim Ayres


One of the things I discovered about myself many years ago, was that if I was placed in a situation where there were many different kinds of people to meet – school, university, certain work situations etc – over a period of time I would accumulate more female than male friends, possibly by as much as a ratio of 3 to 1.

For all of that, however, I was never a womaniser and would only ever be in one relationship at a time. Mind you, when I was younger and single, one of the most frustrating things in the universe was that so many women saw me purely in terms of friendship and wouldn’t countenance the idea of going out with me – it would have been “like dating a brother” I was once told. Fortunately that isn’t an issue any more as I’ve been in a deep and powerful relationship with Maggie for 16½ years now and cannot imagine being with anyone else.

For the past decade or so, since I became self-employed, I’d not been in a situation where I was meeting or socialising with an even mix of the sexes. It has to be said that the world of business is still male dominated and several of the businesswomen I had regular dealings with had adopted many perceived masculine traits in order to compete in this environment.

But here in the World of Blog, where there are virtually an infinite amount of people to choose from, it’s recently occurred to me that with no other restrictions in place, I seem to attract far more female bloggers than male – or at the very least, far more female commenters than male, as I have no idea how many “lurkers” there are on this blog.

So with nothing better to do, while I was printing out some high-resolution images of Maggie’s artwork to sell as prints this afternoon, I decided to go back over the comments in my posts for the last 2 months and see what the gender bias was. Below is what I discovered:

Male: 20
Female: 46
Unknown: 3

However, if I decide to eliminate those who have only commented once – random visitors who never return – then it looks like this:

Male: 12
Female: 37
Unknown: 1 (are robots gender assigned, Gyrobo?)

And if I only include those who have commented 10 times or more in the past 21 posts then we find:

Male: 1
Female: 8

If anyone has any ideas why I seem to attract more female than male readers, I’d be interested to know your thoughts, as I haven’t a clue.

Anyway, one of the other things I discovered in this exercise is that if I was offering out awards, then first place would have to go to Pat (Past Imperfect) who has commented more than any other, while commendations would have to go to Quinn, Eryl, Mary, Sam, Pendullum, Carole, Restaurant Gal and Dr Maroon, who have all reached double figures.

I love you all


Pat said...

Yay I'm the winner! I would like to thank ...
Now tell me Kim, Maroon has it that you are not Scottish which disconcerts me somewhat. Not that I have anything against the English. some of my best friends... but do ye no wear a kilt?

Kanani said...

If anyone has any ideas why I seem to attract more female than male readers, I’d be interested to know your thoughts, as I haven’t a clue.

It's the pirate look.

Kim Ayres said...

Ah, Pat, 'tis true. Born in Cornwall to a father from Sussex and a mother from Reading.

However, I've lived in Scotland for nearly 20 years; my wife is Scottish; my kids are Scottish; and this corner of Scotland feels more like home than any other place I have ever lived in.

Although I will forever carry around the English accent I inherited from my parents, I have no engrained heritage from one place.

My parents always moved around the country and I don't have a home town, or place where most of my relatives live, so I've been an "incomer" all my life, and always will be.

I love living here and feel more affinity for Scotland than anywhere else. The only things that stop me being Scottish are a) the accent, and b) whether other people would accept me as such.

Kim Ayres said...

Kanani - missed you in the ether there. If it were only the pirate look then it wouldn't account for this trend from before a couple of weeks ago.

But as you only started commenting here a couple of weeks ago, I'll grant you an exception for that explanation.

Does this mean that when I get my tooth back you'll stop visiting?

Anonymous said...

HI kim...Thanks for the mention. I love reading your blog.
I found this post very interesting but I do not know the answer. I think my blog has more female commenters than male. Although until today I had never really thought about it.
For me, I read because I see in you a loving,caring husband and father. You are very smart and articulate. And your blog always helps me to see things through different eyes and helps me to help myself and learn more about myself and others.
p.s. the sexy accent ( when I get to hear it ) doesn't hurt

eg(scotland) said...

Very good analysis. Has the profile changed further since you introduced the pirate look? You know many women go for the Johnny Depp thing. Lest I be the sexless one (or robot) that is noted for having commented can I just confirm that I am in fact ...... female.

I've started a blog too. Hope you and your mates will drop on in.


Amy said...

That's interesting. You and bstrong are the only male bloggers that I read.


Unknown said...

I found your blog because my granddaughter was born with DS and heart problems and you wrote some encouraging words on my son's blog. Then as I read some of your posts, I realized that I mostly am for what you are against (politically, religion, etc) and your intelligence and kindness seemed to permeate your strong views. Plus you used words I had to look up. I am really in the process of trying to decide if I believe what I believe because I have been told to or because I really believe it (most people did this in college, I think) and so your posts are invigorating. My husband is completely sure in his beliefs and ideas and really doesn't want to spend time thinking about that sort of thing. He wants to mow the grass. Maybe a lot of men are settled in their beliefs and therefore find their own blogs more interesting than others. So they read, maybe comment once or twice and then go about their business. To be honest your blog caught me off guard, because I didn't expect to feel like you were becoming a friend, instead of a complete stranger in a faraway country. So now you are stuck with me. I have found a couple of blogs from yours that I really like and do my best not to check any others out, because I need to do stuff occasionally. So to sum it all up, I think women are more relationally oriented so once they start reading your blog, they feel like you are part of their family or a really good friend and they want to know about you and yours. Possibly men are more work oriented and don't feel compelled to comment on someone else's stuff because it isn't work related.

Zazzy said...

"– random visitors who never return –"

Okay. This makes twice. I read far, far more than I comment.

I suspect overall that there are more female personal bloggers than male. On a wholly stereotypic slant, females tend to be more comfortable talking about feelings.

And maybe it's the pirate look.

Kim Ayres said...

Quinn - p.s. indeed! I knew it was the accent!

EG Scotland - I can't remember where I picked it up from, but it never occured to me that you were anything other than female.

The unknowns are Gyrobo ( although I strongly suspect a male positronic brain structure there), Bigger Hugs and an anonymous commenter.

I've just been over to see your new blog - I hope you have fun developing it :)

Amy - And as BStrong has gone quiet for a while I guess that makes me... honoured :)

Carole - actually I don't think many people ever reflect whether their beliefs are really their own or not. The fact that you do makes your thoughts a feelings a real joy to share.

Zazzy - welcome back :) You could be right about the discussing feelings thing. When I think about the male friends I have, the majority of them discuss their feelings much easier than most men, and its the feelings and thoughts of people that I'm most interested in.

Attila the Mom said...

Does this mean you're a girly man? Inquiring minds and all...


Kim Ayres said...

Ha ha! I can't imagine Maggie ever settling for a girly man :)

Back in my teens though, going through an experimental patch, I did in fact go out with a guy for about a week. We never went further than kissing, but it ended up completely confirming me in my heterosexuality.

After that I always knew it was only women I was attracted to, and I never felt threatened by the idea of gay men again.

Mary Witzl said...

I think you might find that most blog commenters are women, perhaps for the reasons that Carole has mentioned. My husband thinks the whole blog idea is odd and I cannot imagine him reading or commenting on another's blog at all; he'd rather be doing just about anything else -- even mowing the grass (though in fact, I am the one who does that).

I've been posting work on a writing site for the past six months under the name 'witzl.' For the first few months, I was alarmed to discover, the other users thought that I was a man because of my 'economical prose.' I still can't get over it.

Justin said...

So it's all about the comments is it?
Well mark me up for another one.

Eryl Shields said...

I haven't been blogging, or reading blogs, for very long but so far it seems a very female sphere. I also think women are much more interested in other people's lives so they want the next installment. And you have a way of engaging readers about your everyday life.

Personally, I always leave a comment because it seems impolite not to do so and I like the interaction. I know my husband and son both read my blog and those I have links to but they never leave comments even though they enjoy them. Perhaps men are just more shy of writing. Who knows.

In life I tend to have more male friends, though my close ones are female (or gay men), but in blogland almost all my commenters are female.

Archivalist said...

Until I got married many moons ago most of my friends and acquaintances were female as well. There's much less (ok, none) of the macho BS posturing that goes on with men. And I too shared the frustrating dating aspect of this...

Kanani said...

I will keep posting even when you evolve to your next look. I (like the others) eagerly wait to see what it will be.

As for the female commenters. I think the blogosphere has more women. Maybe it's because we chit chat more --it's like a trip to a market where everyone has something interesting to say.

I liked your blog, Mary's, Eryl's and Dr. Maroon's because all of you can string words together in a way that's funny, literate and open up a window into a different world.

Brave Astronaut said...

I started reading your blog as a result of your "guest blogging" on Restaurant Gal's blog. I was quickly hooked.

My own blog was "enriched" by a shout-out by RG. (My God, check out the site meter).

We are both be happily married to wonderful women, but we must continue to love our female bloggers / readers for they make our lives that much more fun.

Of course, there is the accent for you to draw the women in. Advantage: Ayres

Kim Ayres said...

Mary - I wouldn't have said you write like a man, but then I don't think I've ever analysed writing styles

Justin - it's one of those things that in the end we only have the comments to go on to guess who's reading our blogs. But I admit I'm just as guilty at reading without commenting.

Eryl - mind you, we don't know how many cross-dressers there are in Blogworld. Most bloggers have an assumed identity, so could be anyone. Of my regular commenters, I've only met you, Mary, Dr Maroon and El Branden in person, so have no way of actually verifying anyone else's claims...

Archivalist - it's true - the macho BS posturing does my head in.

Kanani - thanks for your warm words :) At the moment I have no idea what my next photo will be.

Brave Astronaut - my accent would get me beaten to a pulp in some corners of the UK, and knifed or shot in some corners of the world. It's only North America where it has any kind of novelty value. In fact it would guarantee me a role as a bad guy in most Hollywood movies

Anonymous said...

I am very late to this love fest, having been out of town for a few days. You may love us gals, but I hopelessly adore my blogger boyfriends!

BStrong said...

Didn't I ask you the same thing about my blog? It's all about content.

Try starting a new blog and discussing how your farts can be picked up with a giger counter and your belches can be measured with the Richter scale. I think you will see a shift in your gender comments:)

Kim Ayres said...

RG - I'm sure you're loved by all your readers :)

BStrong - now you mention it, I think one of my first comments on your site was to let you know you didn't have an exclusively female readership.

The Hangar Queen said...

Hi Kim,
I've popped over from Kav's.Been meaning to say hello for ages.It's possible that I'm the unknown as I'm somewhere between the two at the moment.
My own commenters are about 50/50 but it's no refection of real life as I would say that 95% of my friends are female.
I do believe that blogs have a female sensibility that women are very comfortable with.
I used to joke about the meds I take and that one suppressed my sense of irony and the other made me want to talk about realtionships and eat salad.

Kim Ayres said...

Hangar Queen - welcome to my ramblings! Your name does seem familiar - I think we must overlap on a few bloggers. Thanks for taking the time to comment :)

stinkypaw said...

It might be the accent?! I know it does it for me! ;-)

Pendullum said...

How did I miss this post???
I knew you were going to do a post on this... And I knew it woud be terrific!
Glad I made it up there... as I am a true fan of yor writing...
I have four male commentators.. There is Moobz, Kevin, Astericks and you,dear Kim...
It is a female dominated venue I fear... so you men, are stuck with the gaggle of us...

Kim Ayres said...

Stinkypaw - Canadians seem to be the biggest fans of the accent. No idea why.

Pendullum - glad you caught it in the end. I've been thinking about it for a while, especially when I noticed that it sometimes seemed I was the only male commenting on your blog.

Anonymous said...

I think you come accross as a kind,down to earth family man,with a great sense of humour!your blog certainly adds a smile to my day.No idea though why more women than men tune into your blog

Kim Ayres said...

Thank you for your warm words.

Can I ask that next time you comment you leave a name - it doesn't have to be your real one, just one you use for comments - it will make it easier for me to separate you from other anonymous commenters that way.

Thanks :)

Hindsfeet said...

you're an alpha male, plain and simple, and a highly intelligent articulate one at that...most guys probably can't hold their own with you, or wouldn't feel comfortable trying...

...Women, on the other hand, seem to be more at ease with a dominant personality (where males are concerned)....perhaps even prefer it...they don't feel the need to compete as a man would..., there, another two cents with questionable value from yours truly,

liz ; )

Kim Ayres said...

Liz - I think I know plenty of women who don't fit your description, but I'll enjoy your compliment anyway :)

Hindsfeet said...

oh you're probably right....I'm a bit of a 'bear-of-very-little-brain' these days...

...but yes, *do* please keep the compliment, you've earned it ; )

warmest to you and yours,

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