10 Things I Find Sexy in a Man (that Aren’t All About Sex). ~ Melanie Curtin

Via on Jan 28, 2013

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Image Source: inspire.maxtonmen.com via Kevin on Pinterest

I love men. I love how they move, how they sit, how they kiss.

I love how they play air guitar, quote Wedding Crashers, man the grill and roughhouse together.

I love to hear them bitch about their sports team losing, observe them trying (and failing) to be subtle when checking me out, or watch them wrestle their dog. I love how they beat the steering wheel when they get really into a song, how they posture when a really hot girl walks by, and how most of them genuinely want to be good lovers. I love how different they are from me and how similar they are underneath.

And don’t get me wrong—I love a man with a six-pack, with that to-die-for body. But when it really comes down to it, the things that make a man sexy have very little to do with the packaging.

Here are the top 10 “non-packaging related” things I find sexy in a man.

10. Lift Me Up

The guy that picks me up and spins me around, or holds me tightly with my arms and legs wrapped right around him, will always win my heart. Depending on the context, it is one of the sexiest, most comforting or most erotic of experiences. Even if we’re not dating, I always feel happy and free and feminine.

Perhaps it is the reminder of your strength, or my petite-ness, or both at the same time. Perhaps it’s the sensual, spontaneous experience of the way we fit together, the way our bodies are connected in that moment. Perhaps it’s just the fact that you’re bigger than me.

Whatever it is, it’s sexy.

9. Open Doors & Give Up Seats

I find it annoying when people say chivalry is dead. It’s not. It’s alive and kicking—yes, even in the younger generation.

I know this because, amongst other things, I ride the NYC subway. There, I’ve experienced many men—good men, great men—give up their seats for the elderly (both women and men), open doors for others and help me lift my (many) suitcases up the (many) stairs. To them I say, I salute you. I thank you.

Some women hate it when men open doors for them. They may interpret it as a statement that they can’t take care of themselves, or that they’re somehow less independent because a man is doing something for them.

I am not one of those women. I love it when a man carries my groceries for me, lets me go ahead of him in line, opens a door for me or schleps my luggage.

I know I could do these things by myself, for myself. I’ve done them plenty of times. But when someone else does it, it really does make my life a little bit easier. I feel taken care of. Especially in cities, where we spend a lot of our time with headphones on, consciously ignoring everyone around us, it feels really good to be noticed. The way these men are says, I see you and I care about you, simply because you’re alive.

I also look at that guy who just gave up his seat in a new light. He comes across as strong, aware, trustworthy, significant. He comes across like a man.

 She is my drug8. Initiate Middle-of-the-Night Sex

If you know how to do this right (slooowly, softly, gently), it is one of the sexiest things in the world. I love the feeling of being touched between states of consciousness, of arousal before awareness. I adore the dissolving quality of dark, sleepy caresses, the extension of the dreamlike state of not knowing where you stop and I begin.

And I love the slow build, the way a man who knows what he’s doing carefully rearranges my body for me, gently positioning me so that I don’t have to do anything. The fact that he’s guiding the situation, softly but firmly in control, means that I can just lay there languidly and enjoy the ride.

Yes, please. Over and over and three times on Sunday.

7. Deal With Sh*t

I have many talents. I can speak five languages. I’m a good writer. I’m exquisitely empathetic. I kick ass at Trivial Pursuit. I can even dance the tango at a near-professional level.

However, I suck at practical, common sense stuff. I can barely change a light bulb, let alone fix sh*t around the house.

But my dude roommate can. And I gotta tell you, it’s sexy. I came home the other day and a set of lights that had been out for months (literally months!) were fixed. Just like that. Ditto the thermostat. When I asked him how he did it, all I heard was, “Wah wah wah,” like Charlie Brown’s mother. I didn’t follow it because I just don’t care. I do, however, care that I can now actually see objects in the living room.

I get that this is a cliché—trust me, I do. It’s also true I find it somehow deeply satisfying that men are distinct. I love that I’m good at things that they’re not, and that they effortlessly do things I don’t understand at all. I compliment you for complementing me. I get to relax because you just take care of sh*t. It’s freeing.

It’s also sexy.

6. Be Super Solid While I’m Freaking Out

When I am absolutely losing it about something (legitimate or not), I don’t need to be fixed. I don’t need to be told what to do, I don’t need advice, and I certainly don’t need someone to tell me to calm down.

I just need to be witnessed.

That’s right, when I’m on my crazy train, I don’t want a man to try to stop it (he won’t be able to, anyway). I just want him to be with me while I’m on it. I want to know I’m not alone.

So the man who quietly listens, who takes it all in without taking it too seriously, is unbelievably sexy. He is sexy in his solidity, he’s sexy in his presence, he’s sexy in his naturally grounded nature. He’s extra super really sexy when I can tell that not only is he not intimidated by my freakout, he’s actually (respectfully) entertained by it—he welcomes it.

Those exceptional men I’ve been with who enjoy the ride, who witness my storms or those of other women with a knowing look, a wisdom that goes beyond my high-strung-ness or defensiveness or just general freakout, are rare.

They’re also sexy.

 Father and son surf lesson in Morro Bay, CA 12 of 125. Play With Kids

Straight up, it is hot when a man is genuinely good at playing with kids. This does not include faking it to get attention from women—obviously that’s a huge turnoff (and dude, we’re biologically made to know when you’re faking it). No, it’s only—and very—hot when he actually likes them. It’s probably something primordial, basic, an animalistic understanding that he’d be good at playing with our kids. But who cares?

Because it’s not just a sweet moment, like, “Awww, look how good he is with that kid.” It’s an actual, visceral turn-on—I literally feel a tingling in my nether regions. It doesn’t make me want to have babies with you, but it sure makes me want to make them with you.

(Just kidding. Sort of.)

 4. Accept Emotions

I recently called a guy friend to let him know that I was on my way to meeting up, but I wasn’t feeling all that great. Being a little sad and irritable, I said, “Sorry in advance for not being very fun. I’m going to try to get into a better mood.”

Do you know what he said?

“If you are, great. If not, great. Whatever you got, bring it.”

I felt so accepted I started to tear up. I knew it would be okay even if I wasn’t okay—that I wouldn’t be blamed or shamed for not being cheerful or upbeat. I could bring my truth—my real truth—and he would still be there.

I wasn’t a problem.

When a man resists emotions—mine or his own, I feel repressed and uncomfortable. A roiling sensation in my stomach builds, that I just can’t kick. And in my experience, many men (many people, but men in particular) are threatened by emotions like sadness, anger, or fear. They want to fix it right away to soothe their own anxiety. They can’t tolerate the idea that a woman is unhappy. They can’t tolerate the idea that they might be blamed for it.

Then there is the man who accepts me in all of my facets, not just the ‘pretty’ ones. He has learned to be with emotion—just be with it. He doesn’t feel the need to make it go away or turn it into something else. He just accepts, and genuinely wants to know.

With him, I feel deeply safe. I know I can bring all of me, and he’s going to be able to handle it. I don’t have to manage his experience of me. I can just be.

And the fact that he wants to know me makes me want to know him.

Bibilically.

 3. Care About His Friends

I fell in love with my last boyfriend in stages. The first was one night when we sat in his truck outside his place while he called his best friend, who had just lost his grandfather. He listened, made manly sounds of sympathy (like grunts), asked about his friend’s family members, told his friend he loved him in his own way, and promptly got off the phone.

It was brief, but real and heartfelt. And when I saw him care about his friend—really care about him, but in a totally different way than I care about my female friends—I fell pretty hard.

I think he was surprised by how much I wanted him after that phone call. I may or may not have given him a minute, then attacked him right there in the truck.

 S is for Superman2. Show His Backbone

If you’re my man, I want you to be vulnerable with me. I love watching you agonize over which stuffed animal your three-year-old niece would like better: the panda or the whale? I enjoy when you tell me about something that’s hard for you to admit about your past, or how you didn’t have it all together for that presentation at work today, or when you own up to just how much you want me to like the necklace you just gave me (and how stressed you are that maybe I don’t).

I cherish those moments.

But it also turns me on when you have to be a hardass and you’re willing to go there. Pointless aggression is a turn-off, but watching a man enforce strong boundaries is a huge turn-on. It’s hot when a man stands up for himself by telling his boss to find someone else to work this weekend, or puts his foot down with the slacker on his team, or quietly but firmly tells his brother that he can’t borrow the car (given that he drove it drunk the last time he did). Even when it’s directed at me, I love seeing that fire within you, that point of resistance that says no.

In fact, your “no “has me saying yes.

Yes, yes, yessss.

 1. Listen

The sexiest thing a man can do is listen to me—all of me. With all of him.

Some men don’t listen at all. They just don’t. They talk about themselves ad nauseum and then wonder what happened when I wander away. These men are generally referred to as “douchebags.”

Other men listen in such a manner that they practically collapse into me. They fall all over themselves to “do” listening right, keeping their focus and attention so on me that they lose themselves. In a way, they actually stop listening in their attempt to prove how well they do listen. These men are generally known as “nice guys.”

Either way, not sexy.

Then there is the man who maintains his own core while also holding space for me.

This man has a way of drawing out my deepest truth simply by being fully present. He isn’t thinking about what to say next, whether I still like him, how to get me to stop crying, or what to do now. He’s just noticing me, tracking me, attuning himself to me. He’s letting the moment unfold without trying to control it. And him taking the lead in this way has me stop trying to control it as well. Which feels good.

This man listens to what I’m saying and what I’m not saying; he listens with his body as well as his heart. He listens with his mind, with his emotions, with his curiosity, with his soul. He asks questions when the time is right, because he really wants to understand, not because he wants to coach me to get somewhere else. He listens to all of me, with all of him.

When I am in his presence, my entire being relaxes. I become more gracious, more present, more in flow. I am expressive without being self-conscious.

I am emotional without being reactive. I am beautiful without being perfect. I feel safe, I feel seen, I feel radiant.

In other words, I feel like a woman. With a man.

And that is sexy.

 

Like elephant journal gets sexy on Facebook.

 

Assistant Ed: Lori Lothian
Ed: Kate Bartolotta

About Melanie Curtin

Melanie Curtin is the founder of Vixen on the Loose, the sassy brand seeking to redefine what it means to be a modern, empowered woman (and man, for that matter). She is convinced her generation can do the whole sex, dating, and relating thing better than those who came before, and her goal is to spark the conversations necessary for this to be the case. Both lightning rod and spitfire, she invites you unleash your inner vixen by unabashedly expressing her own. Tweet her at @VixenOTL, email her at vixenontheloose [at] gmail [dot] com, and subscribe to her YouTube channel for more sexy, spiritual smackdown!

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121 Responses to “10 Things I Find Sexy in a Man (that Aren’t All About Sex). ~ Melanie Curtin”

  1. Kate Bee says:

    Love No 8!!! well said that woman.. I started to read some of the comments…then stopped…hey, celebrate people!! Nicely written..love No 8 x x

  2. Thanks for that book recommendation, Daring Greatly by Brene Brown, a must read!

  3. Michelle says:

    http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2011/05/27/woman_cant_consent_to_sex_while_unconscious_supreme_court_rules.html?app=noRedirect

    It is illegal and considered sexual assault in Canada to be sexual with someone who is unconscious. On top of how shocked I am that the author states to work against sexual abuse and states #8 is a good thing, my parter was sexual assaulted by her ex boyfriend doing just that and it was sexual assault, not sexy, not consentual, and physically and emotionally hurt. And on top of that, of course the guy got away with it becuase she didn’t want to consider it sexual assault or report her ex boyfriend.

    #FeministFail

    Though I really enjoyed the @GoodMenProject response to this, which I read first, and really enjoyed, even as a lesbian. So I really tried to like this piece and related to some, but #8 killed it for me.

  4. Salila says:

    These are really powerful observations to notice, to be able to notice generally whether you are a woman noticing it or a man.. Things like this : ''They want to fix it right away to soothe their own anxiety.'' .. Reading all this seems to recapitulate what creative communication or relationship is about, on whatever level.. The power of Being grants the other person his or her lost Beingness.. and in that space that forms, things can get really fun and deep..

  5. Salila says:

    I do, however agree, with a comment here about do-it-yourself.. I think that knowing how to change a broken socket or burnt fuse is not only sexy but self-empowering (useful?) .. be it man or woman.. I like to be in a position to naturally discover things myself, like how to fix a cable or reinstall my PC OS etc (then I can maybe feel sexy about me?)

  6. [...] there is a never-ending stream of articles about how women think men should behave or what we enjoy about masculinity, any man that tries to celebrate or discuss what he enjoys about women is nearly drawn and [...]

  7. paulj24 says:

    "I have many talents. I can speak five languages. I’m a good writer….." Modesty is clearly not one of your many amazing qualities. "I’m exquisitely empathetic…." Ah, not such a good writer, after all. And using words like 'amongst' in an otherwise informal blog? Sorry, but if you openly state your opinion that you are a good writer then you come across as arrogant and that opens you up for criticism…

  8. [...] loved Melanie Curtin’s “10 Things I Find Sexy in a Man” and Damien Bohler’s “10 Things I Find Sexy in a [...]

  9. Lukas A. Wolfram says:

    Okay, I don't know where you live or what bubble you live in, but sweetie? Pull your head out of your ass.
    Along with all you other kooks commenting the likes of "Spot on", "Yes, yes", "100%", "I'll give a few of these 13 out of 10", blah, blah, blah.
    The only person whom made any sort of sense on here was Starre Vartan.

    Ironically I get the sense of self-absorbed person from the tone of the article. If you've found your perfect, Nicholas Sparks esque man, then great for you. Congratulations, you live in a female-repressed era where women can't even vote.

    I'm shocked by how antiquated your frame of mind is. If you lack any real world skills like common sense or the know-how to change a light bulb, what exactly, are you brining to the table in a equality based, 21st. Century relationship?
    Are you hoping to be a house wife, trophy wife or the like?

    What's all this bullshit about emotions and empathy and what-not? If there's a problem with something, that you can do something about do it. If you don't, you're just being an asshole who is addicted to grief and negative emotions. If it's something you cannot do anything about, why waste your time or energy on it?

    Over half this planets population doesn't have filtered, clean, running water or electricity. Let alone indoor plumbing.

    Meanwhile you're living in a bubble waxing poetic about some fantasy man.

    Women like yourself are what modern cosmetics, women-geared magazines and the propaganda machine preying on the insecurities of females want as their spokesperson.

    Nothing like defining yourself by how someone else makes you feel about yourself.

    You're not a domesticated dog or a child with down syndrome. You're a (assumingly) fully mentally (just maybe emotionally stifled) adult women, correct?

    Then act it, put your big-girl pants on, take some accountability and get to taking care of SHIT!

    "One must learn oneself deeply, to be fully [self] sufficient, prior to ever wishing to truly know another"
    -LaW

  10. Hector Garcia says:

    Great article! I feel sexy now… LOL

  11. Joe Mohr says:

    Thanks for the reminders, melanie.

  12. I was very happy to seek out this particular internet-site.I planned to thanks for your here we are at this specific marvelous understand!! My partner and i undoubtedly taking pleasure in each and every tiny little bit of that and I’ve anyone bookmarked to see brand new items you blog site post.

  13. Ramone says:

    Oh my word. It’s amazing how some people look at things so negatively. I also can’t understand how so many fail to realise that articles, like this one, are written by people. These brave souls are willing to share their perspective and, in so doing, expose the masses to the alternative views that would have gone unconsidered by so many, had they not come upon these aired views. Whether someone sounds conceited, clueless despite thinking they’re not, or utterly helpless when they shouldn’t be, is not relevant in any way. This is how SHE feels, it’s who she is. It can’t be helped. We are our fathers’ sons and our mothers’ daughters. All events that have come to pass, in our lives, have made us who we are. Our brains are wired that way. It can’t be re-wired no matter how many pessimistic comments are made.

    Since when did being honest become offensive? Why is it that you sift through and meticulously pick holes in someone else’s honestly written article? Anyone with half a brain should see the intent behind this article. Then again, who are we to judge anyone else? How can we deem an opinion, written well enough, delivered with diplomacy, respect and integrity, a motive for us to become so negative and unacceptable, that we air our concerns in an almost abhorrent manner. Seriously, learn to see things for what they are, and adjust your mindset appropriately. Having an opinion doesn’t mean you have to always air it. It’s very easy to criticise, which is beneficial if done at the right time in the right place, but shedding our cloaks and exposing ourselves isn’t something to be scoffed at. Saying “I don’t like talking about myself.”, is actually talking about yourself!??? Lol. Do u see it now, how idiotic that argument is.

    Great read, definitely learnt something new. I have a brain, I will choose what to take from it. Perhaps I’m just as dumb as you (according to some of these comments), but if it be the case then I’m glad. Brave and clumsy, more often than not, reaps better rewards than being pragmatic and cautious.

  14. Guest Guy says:

    Truly appreciated this. Sometimes it seems women simply don't like men for who and what they are. Something about the way women want to change them, emotionalize them, 'civilize' them. The ironic twist is that men are often no longer attractive once they've been 'improved.'

  15. aseemgiri says:

    Wow – so late to the party.

    Thank you for saying all of those things that I've had to discern from body language and gestural cues, because many women won't admit what you've just shared. It's amazing how a woman will reveal herself if you are attune to her eye movements and breathing patterns.

  16. Keri says:

    while i loved this article – i partially concur with the above critique. i love that i can change a lightbulb or fix a printer by myself. but i love that my man doesn't mind getting covered in grease to change the oil in the car – i'm sure i could do it, i would just rather not.
    But as a woman i also need to concur with you on #6. Hell yes. and three times on sunday ? – yes please. so many of my female friends loathe this, and i don't get it.
    Great Article Melanie. Don't absorb all the critique above – it is just personal opinions. men are great at being great but cudos tp you for giving positive applause to the lovely things they do. it's as you said – why we love them.

  17. Rachel says:

    OMG That's my friend Alexi in that pic! Appropriately enough, he's a wonderful guy.

  18. Katrina Kunstmann Katrina Kunstmann says:

    I think number eight needs to be taken with a major grain of salt. I've been a victim of molestation on several accounts by men who thought I was sleeping, so something like this is on a serious case by case basis and any guy who tries to get up on a slumbering woman who, like myself, is not down with that can expect hell. I also personally know people who love this sort of stimulation and relish it. But for me, it's a deal breaker. A major deal breaker. Check with your partner before you go diving off into uncharted waters if this sort of thing is alright or not. If not, respect it. If it is, go for it.

  19. Glenn says:

    All 10 were spot on as a guy reading this list. I love doing these as a guy, and I LOVE hearing a woman actively appreciating men…

    Now these 10 would make an awesome, real love song rather than the ones we have today.

  20. Ida Chiavaro says:

    According to your perfect and well written list, I might just be with the sexiest man on earth, and he has never had a six pack.

  21. Kristina says:

    Amen Sista!!

  22. Marc says:

    Good Stuff well stated and a reminder for us guys ( who can get stupid, lazy or forgetful ) about what is meaningful to and needed by women. Simple and mostly painless ways to impart to a good woman that you care, respect and desire her. And the rewards are so sweet…….

  23. Brice says:

    I love the fact that you like chivalry. I want a woman to accept that I'm going to be a gentleman. Let me open that door, let me help you with your jacket. I like it, and I like a woman who is self confident enough to be a woman

  24. Kris says:

    I do all of these things, whew! I did find this a bit insulting that it was only one sided. Expectations such as these are why I've generally veered away from relationships…and these qualities, I think, are why I continually find myself in them.

    Except for #1 up there, however, I fully expect the same qualities from a woman.

  25. Sharona Zee says:

    Bingo! #8 is a favorite, of course, but they are all important!

    Well done!

  26. Stevie says:

    Miss Melanie,

    I greatly appreciate your integration of feminism, independence and masculinity. The understanding of chivalry, which I too believe is NOT dead, and the sexiness of it! To me it says a man is not willing to go with societies opinions and live according to his own beliefs or those of his family’s teachings.

    Being vulnerable in my presence is also a very sexy trait. They can let go of the wall that they’re told not to ever let down, or were told long ago! They allow the same support and security that we allow them to give us! So strong!

    Thank you for your words of wisdom and depth. It’s lovely to hear (or read) someone else verbalize it! Blessings and belly laughs shero! ;)

  27. Eric says:

    I was rolling through this…check, check, yep, I got this…..then I hit #4.

  28. Brian says:

    I'm a guy who can fix/build just about anything. . . but most of the other men I know can't even change a flat tire, let alone fix anything that's broken.

    Men are in a sad state these days.

  29. Hey there! I’ve been reading your blog for a while

    now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you

    a shout out from Huffman Tx! Just wanted to tell you keep up the excellent work!

  30. @MGaskey says:

    Completely agree!! Very well written! Thank you!

  31. Leta says:

    Exactly!

  32. Mike says:

    Mel what an outstanding and refreshing list – as a man it’s great to hear what a woman loves about men instead. Of the constant stream of criticism we recieve for simply being ourselves .

  33. angelgal3176 says:

    Hammer? Say hello to the nail's head. Yup, you got this one spot on, this is why there are some men that I find irresistible – they may not be my husband (sometimes he falls short of one or two of these), but there are some men that don't. They're just amazing. I can think of a couple off-hand :-D

  34. it wasn't me says:

    I like number 1 listen but I like it when they sit down in front of you, hold your hands and look in your eyes when you are speaking

  35. jerem says:

    im actually sad by this post. i am that guy. i am all of the tings listed above but i still managed to lose the woman of my dreams :( what do i do now?

  36. Sherri Rosen says:

    Melanie love your article. It's right on for me!!!

  37. cris says:

    #3 is kinda rapey…

  38. netalex says:

    Te question is not if this article describe a "sexy" true male, indeed it describes a simple grown up person, wich is a obvious precondition to be anything at all, but is WHY such male have to be interested in womans who like just those stupid obviouses thinks in him?? i really cannot understand how in the world a true man (or better a gwon up person of any kind) can ever think to relate to a woman with such a shameful image of herself and the male sex. You are insulting.

  39. Amanda says:

    So, I get that you made this list about guys, because you are attracted to guys, but most of these are qualities that are attractive in people, not just half the population. Except number eight. Trying to sex somebody up without their permission is not something I’m okay with. I’ve been on the receiving end of that, and even though he thought it would be a cool, sexy thing to do, and he did apologise profusely, it terrified me. He honestly thought women liked to be woken up seductively, and I guess you are proof of that, but I don’t.

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