There’s a lot more mystery about the opposite sex than there are secrets to the cosmos. But while the tools to understand the secrets of space are all about high-tech accuracy — the Hubble Telescope and Hadron Collider — what tools do we have for understanding the opposite sex? Your mother’s 1950s advice about sock hops, Maxim/Cosmo, and Men are From Mars and Women are From Venus. Maybe it’s time some brave man (me) crosses the aisle and lets women know a few of the things men really wish women knew about them.
1. MEN THINK WOMEN ARE BEAUTIFUL WITH OR WITHOUT MAKEUP
Men are not attracted to your makeup. They are attracted to your mind, your sense of humor, the adorable snorts when you laugh, the way you sneeze like a baby mouse, your confidence and your beautiful smile. Makeup can be used, like fashion, to express yourself, and you probably wear it more for yourself, and men do appreciate when you want to look “better.” But you shouldn’t feel like you’re not beautiful without it. Because you are mind-blowingly beautiful either with or without it.
2. INTELLIGENCE IS THE NEW BOOB JOB
Women aren’t as helpless as your old Pop Pop thinks. Women are CEOs, they are biologists, and they are Secretaries of State, and brains matter more to men than you would believe. A man doesn’t want to dance around real conversation; he wants to learn from you more than he wants to “teach” you. He wants to take you out for a drink and be enthralled by what you believe and what you think. Your intelligence is not only attractive, it’s straight up sexy!
3. CONFIDENCE IS A BIG DEAL
Some men seek out insecure women because they know they can manipulate them, control them and be a complete asshat to them. A confident woman will save herself not only from asshats but also a gazillion dollars on beauty products she doesn’t even need, because confidence gives you a glow better than any BB cream or bronzer (or whatever). A confident air will make a man second-take faster than any Pantene Pro V bouncy hair shimmering in the sunlight.
4. MEN HAVE FEELINGS TOO
Men may not like to talk about feelings very often, but they also know how important talking about them is. Sometimes being a stoic, quiet, moody caveman is how you handle a horrible boss or an overbearing relative. But feeling like you’re failing, and stressing about bills, is nothing a man wants to carry around like a third testicle. All he needs is a glass of whiskey and a kiss at an empty table. Whiskey and kisses are a thousand times better than “What’s Wrong?” … anything is better than “What’s wrong?” It’s that little weasel word “wrong.” No one wants to talk about anything “wrong,” so after whiskey and a kiss, ask what’s going on, and we may feel more like talking than having to explain what’s “wrong.”
5. MAKE HIM LAUGH AND HE WILL SWOON
A sense of humor, a sharp-edged wit, even being a smart-ass, is a kind of sexy that a man just can’t resist. Being funny is a mastery of human relation; that’s how someone as lame as Seinfeld got famous. Finding someone who tickles your funny bone is a true and honest connection. It’s a welcoming shock when you find someone genuinely funny, it’s connecting on a whole other level. Men don’t always expect a woman to make him laugh, so the impact it has on him is immeasurable.
6. MEN AREN’T THAT DUMB
Men are more complex than Homer Simpson, Al Bundy and every single guy in a TV commercial could suggest. They know that your friends can sometimes be catty, that you need to be complimented when you look good, and even more when you don’t think you do (but we think you do). We get nuance, needs, and the complexity of relationships, we do. And sometimes, we get it right, without even trying very hard.
7. CUDDLING IS HEAVEN ON EARTH
Intimacy isn’t taboo anymore. Men love the feel of a woman’s skin, the feel of their breath. There was a time not too long ago when a man was considered a total wuss if he liked to cuddle. They’d huff and puff and act like they were doing you a favor holding you. Some men still think this is true, but most don’t. If say they don’t want to cuddle, they’re faking it like David Lee Roth’s singing. That no-cuddles man will huff and puff, protest, then fall asleep in your arms like a baby.