So what is it really that makes a man attractive to a woman? Muscles? Clothes? Personality?
When blogger Erica Jagger was asked on instagram “what is the first thing you notice about a man?”, she pondered the question. Erica wrote, “I thought about it for a moment. Did I notice eyes? Hair? Smile? Shoulders? None of these answers seemed to fit. When I was younger, I tended to like men who were tall, thin, and dark-haired. But now, at 52, I don’t really have a “type.” At least, not a physical type. I gravitate towards men with a palpable sexiness. But just what, I asked myself, makes a man so sexy you can feel it emanating from him when he walks in the room?”
Erica went on to make a list of the 11 things that she says instantly make a man hot. As a man, I have to admit, this is a really handy list:
1. Strength — It’s not how much a man can bench press, although a nice set of pecs doesn’t hurt. It’s about internal-fortitude strength. Firmly-planted, I-know-who-I-am strength. There is nothing sexier than a man who’s grounded, who’s in command of the impulses and anger that may have derailed him when he was younger, whose quiet confidence telegraphs, without a hint of arrogance, that he has nothing to prove.
2. Vulnerability — A man isn’t strong unless he is also vulnerable. This means he can tell you what he wants, when he’s afraid, how you make him feel, what he did that he’s made amends for, what he’s overcome, what brings him to his knees. Without transparency, there can be no genuine intimacy, that ingredient that makes sex remain sexy when the initial high of infatuation dissipates.
3. Integrity — This ingredient separates the boys from the men. While they may dazzle in the beginning, womanizers, scoundrels, and narcissists use lies, cheap tricks, and smoke and mirrors for personal gain. There is nothing sexy about a man who pretends to be something he’s not, who lacks any depth of feeling, and who doesn’t care how much blood he leaves on the tracks. If you gave me a choice between bedding Don Draper and Atticus Finch, I’d choose that soft-spoken lawyer any day.
4. Intellect — A beautiful mind is sexy. IQ points are great, but that’s just a piece of smart. Critical thinking, an unquenchable thirst for learning, and a gift for distinctive self-expression create, for me, a kind of male siren’s song. I don’t care how gorgeous a man is; if he can’t entice me with his mind, the sexual chemistry won’t be there.
5. Sense of humor — A man who lacks a sense of humor is like a cold shower on legs. It’s impossible for me to connect with someone who’s ultra-literal, hyper-serious, and rarely laughs. For me, intellect and humor are inseparable bedfellows. Smart people read nuances and see the humor in situations. And the brand of humor is critical. Even if a guy is hot, if his version of funny doesn’t sync with mine, the sexy won’t stay sexy for long.
6. Warmth — It’s exhausting trying to connect with someone behind walls. Compassion, empathy, a ready smile, an easy laugh — these traits and actions are disarming in the best sense of the word. Kind is sexy. It just is.
7. Generosity — Stinginess is a turn-off. Not only stingy with money, but also stingy with feelings. While squandering one’s money and emotions indicate a lack of control or self-worth, counting pennies and withholding genuine contact suggest a preference for things over people. I’ve also found that stingy men aren’t as good lovers as their more generous counterparts. It’s not sexy to sleep with someone who holds back physically or emotionally in bed.