This article addresses the complexities of being a female ethnographer studying an all-male group, as well as the advantages and the effects this had on the researcher. It draws on research undertaken for a doctoral research project, employing ethnography and semi-structured interviews to explore ‘hidden’ food insecurity in the town of Middlesbrough, with predominantly male participants. The existing literature surrounding research and gender addresses the problems associated with gender differences in the field such as fitting in, sexualisation and sexist treatment and confinement to traditional gender roles. This research highlighted many problems associated with being a female ethnographer but that ultimately gender was beneficial in gaining and maintaining access to the field. It concludes by arguing for academia to develop the notion of ‘hidden ethnography’, alongside a recognition that researchers should be supported emotionally in problems they face in the field.