By Patricia Reaney
NEW YORK (Reuters) - About half of men in the United States enjoy shopping for clothes, many don't like going to strip clubs and it is typical for males under the age of 44 to have sexted someone, according to a poll released on Tuesday.
Esquire magazine surveyed more than 1,000 men in an online survey that looked at male behavior. It showed it is normal for men to say "I love you" frequently and to have cried sometime during the past month.
And while there is nothing unusual about men using cologne, it is more uncommon for males to get a spray tan or color their hair.
"A lot of men have sneaking suspicions that what they say or do is not normal by traditional definitions of manhood, from how much they care about sports and cars to their taste in music and movies," Richard Dorment, senior editor at Esquire, said in an interview.
The concept of masculinity has become more expansive and elastic, he added, while the need to conform and fit in seems to lessen with age.
For the survey, Esquire asked 1,032 men on topics ranging from cooking dinner for family and friends, strip clubs and going to concerts to sexting - sending sexually explicit messages by text - and how often they have sex.
It found that the men believed it is normal to say "I love you" frequently and that they have cried in the past month.
"There are some things about manhood as it existed in previous generations that are still more or less the same, particularly the interest and emphasis on sports and the excitement that men get from watching and playing sports," said Dorment.
But other behaviors have been become mainstream in a way that Dorment believes expands on the long-held definition of normal.
Shedding tears is normal, as is using moisturizer, hair products and sexting, depending on a man's age.
"If you are under 45, it is not really weird to have sexted someone at some point in your life," said Dorment, "If you are over 45, it is atypical."
Having sex more than twice a week over the age of 45 is not normal, the poll showed, as is not having sex at all for males under that age.
Twenty-six percent of African American men said they had a manicure in the last six months or longer, compared to 7 percent of Caucasians and 10 percent of the general male population.
Men over 60 also were twice as likely to think of themselves as normal as men under 30.
The results of the survey can be found at http://www.esquire.com/normal-quiz.
"The thing that deeply surprised us, that we have the statistical data for, is how the definition of conventional, masculine behavior has expanded to include all the things that up until a few years ago were considered totally alien," said Dorment.
The online poll has a margin of error of +/- three percentage points.
(Editing by Eric Kelsey and Amanda Kwan)