THINGS THAT INSTANTLY MAKE A MAN HOT
I don't mean how much a man can bench press, although a nice set of pecs doesn't hurt. I'm talking 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Affection is warmth in action. A soft kiss on the back of my neck as he walks by. A palm reaching through the hole in my jeans to squeeze my knee. Laying his head on my chest because it's one of his favorite places to be. A man who loves touch for the sake of touch, whether or not it leads to sex, is sexy.
Not that long ago, I was attracted to men so ambitious that they appeared to be driven by motors. What I've learned is that that kind of "ambition" often masks insecurity, avarice, and aggression, qualities which are not remotely appealing. Mindfulness -- the ability to be aware and present in the moment, even if that moment is painful -- is the ultimate form of ambition because it requires a commitment to personal growth that is not for the faint of heart. A man who radiates quiet confidence, who is able to remain calm and centered in the face of challenges, makes me weak in the knees.
The only place I want to be dominated is in the bedroom, and that still requires my consent. In all other contexts I want a man who doesn't try to dominate me, who understands the need for compromise, reciprocity, communication, and respect. I have no time or patience for men who play games and control women in order to feel like men.