Though sharing defines close friendships, there's a noted gender divide in the way people express intimacy. It was some years ago that researchers documented what any perceptive wife had already observed during televised play-offs (pick your sport, it hardly matters): Her husband invited over his friends and there they sat, shoulder to shoulder, absorbed in the game. After the game was over, they indulged in some armchair quarterbacking, and then the friends left. In other words, men conducted their friendships by doing something, and when they talked to each other, they preferred topics like cars or sports rather than themselves. Women conducted friendships by sharing information about themselves, their emotions, and their relationships. Women related "face-to-face" and men related "side-to-side."
These differences are just as true today. My ex-husband could be the poster child for the prototypical male friend.
He's maintained good friendships with guys he met in ninth grade and can talk endlessly on the phone with them about whatever computer game is their current obsession. They can spend hours sharing information about the biggest monster defeated or their new avatar without once mentioning their personal lives, careers, health, or state of mind.