Why Men Are So Dastardly Fetching. ~ Anne Clendening

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The irresistible, untamed animal attraction of The Alpha Male. Guys, we dig it.

The cedar-scented masculinity, the rugged voice, the Steve McQueen of it all… It’s all so utterly compelling. It’s the uninvited grey in the three-day beard, the biceps, the bed head, and all those deliciously alluring things about men that chicks like me just live and breathe for.

Every girl has in her mind (or on a much cared for piece of paper) a list of definable qualities she’s looking for in a man. I know the perfect guy can’t be custom ordered from your favorite Etsy store; I’m just here to tell you what I find to be the most delicious, ultimately fascinating characteristics a man can have.

He has a great relationship with his mother, and his ex-girlfriends. (Now I know what you’re thinking, and don’t be an insecure little she-wolf.) Doesn’t it say a lot that his past relationships didn’t end in slashed up tires and restraining orders? It’s rare, but a man without malice is what I’m talking about. Would you like to hear a classy move? Joe Dimaggio sent fresh flowers twice a week for over 20 years to ex-wife Marilyn Monroe’s grave.

Boys, believe me, even a flower or two for no reason is all it takes to make a girl feel like a goddess.

There’s a twinkle in his eye when he smiles, and he’s quick to laugh. He’ll watch I Love Lucy with you. He doesn’t order Fuzzy Navels, drink Diet Coke or eat veggie pizza with soy cheese and a gluten-free crust.

Uniforms. My dad was in the Air Force, and let me tell you about how handsome a man in a uniform looks. Fireman, baseball player, sailor. Don’t kid yourself, it’s all hot.

He has a job, and doesn’t complain about the price of a $22 hamburger when you’re in a fancy restaurant (even if it is ridiculous). He always lets the lady order first, opens doors and walks on the outside of the street with his hand on the small of her back.

He would never water down his single-malt whiskey with Coke, or, worse, Red Bull. (Whoever made up that combo should be ashamed.) He can shoot stick (and so can you), and he’s good. He’s no angel, but he’ll never fuck you over.

Cutting to the chase, here’s some words of advice for you, Daddy-O:

Learn an instrument. Players may only love us when they’re playing, but we don’t care, because a man strumming a guitar that’s strapped around his back is like live pornography for chicks.

Be confident. Not necessarily James Bond confident; take it down a notch or two, maybe more like Jimmy Bond.

Keep it old school. Drink Manhattans, listen to jazz, play poker with the guys, wear three-piece suits and pocket squares, and never underestimate the scent and spicy pungency of an expensive cigar.

My first crush in life was Scott Baio.

I was obsessed. Every Tuesday after 9th grade I would go see “Happy Days” being taped, and my infatuation was fed. I knew I had to get creative if I wanted anything in life, so one night, when the time came, my friends and I somehow finagled our way backstage. I came face to face with Chachi Arcola. I have a vague memory of throwing myself at my idol, trying to hug him, all the while crying like a hysterical teenage girl in the throes of Beatlemania.

And, on that Hollywood sound stage, at the age of 13, thanks to Scott Baio, I unknowingly sparked a life-long appetite for east coast Italian men.

I always secretly wanted to be a mob wife. (Am I the only one who watches too many Robert DeNiro movies?) They just seem to be able to handle things and take charge. They never take no for an answer. I really dislike guns, but there’s something about an Italian with a piece. Grazie, Don Corleone, for showing men the way.

I got fired from a job once. My guido boyfriend at the time drove over to my boss’s office, stormed in and told him to let me finish out the week. It was unbelievable; I was horrified, and found myself wanting him more than ever. That guy was from The Bronx, wore linen suits and never seemed to go to work. Oh, and yeah, I got to finish out the week.

Men who take charge. Isn’t this what we crave/love/won’t say out loud? Get over yourself and admit it—you wish you were Pretty Woman, and a handsome business man would rescue you from all that boring self-sufficiency and take you on a shopping spree on Rodeo Drive.

Feminists, I can actually hear the hair bristling on the back of your neck. Cool it.

Question: When did some men become women? I’m hearing about guys who are taking virginity pledges, going to Pilates and LOL-ing. I really don’t need any new girlfriends. I like the manly man who wears a tool belt, races cars named Bullitt, watches Quentin Tarantino movies… Okey dokey, doggie daddy?

It’s possible we’ve gone too far. I think they invented “the metrosexual” back in the 90s so guys didn’t feel stupid ordering strawberry-nutella crepes and sugar-free caramel lattes. Hey guys, you can moisturize, it’s OK—just hang onto your balls.

And the androgynous, black eyeliner wearing bullshit. Is this an L.A. phenomenon? David Bowie is laughing at you. The one exception: Tim Curry was all man when he wore a dress, pearls and a pound of makeup in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Even when he’s prancing around,  dancing and singing about transvestites, there ain’t nothing girly about it.

(I don’t know who’s more of a psychoanalyst’s dream, Tim Curry or me.)

Speaking of which, according to Freud, we all have tendencies to gravitate toward certain people depending on what our relationship was like with our father. A girl with a negative (or nonexistent) experience will basically be afraid of men her whole life; if her father figure was a stand-up kind of guy, that’s what she’ll want for herself, but may never find it. Shocker.

This, of course, is a fancy way of describing good old-fashioned daddy issues. (Whatever you do, please do not scroll back up to my comment about uniforms.) Ever heard of the Electra Complex? It’s the flip side of the Oedipus Complex, where little Johnny wants to murder his typically overbearing father and whisk mommy to bed. As far as the female persuasion is concerned, the Swiss psychologist Carl Jung explained someone with an Electra predicament is a girl who has, shall we say, deep-rooted feelings for her father, and searches for the same type of man her whole life.

Look at the diminutive maniac Charles Manson. He actually studied this type of phenomenon when he was institutionalized as a teenager, and figured out how to manipulate impressionable young women to his advantage. The dirty little troll got every daddy-issue having hippie chick he met to worship him like a God (with the help of a little LSD). And he played guitar. You see my point. I’m not making this stuff up.

Jung also developed four male archetypes, or predictable patterns of behavior, that can be found in every “mature masculine” on the planet. Men exhibit all four, in different stages of their life, in this order:

Boundary-less, passionate, and compassionate. Dionysus (also known as Bacchus), the personification of The Lover, was the Greek god of wine, art, ecstasy, sex and all the über-fun parts of life. He was a free spirit, a party animal and kind of a man-slut. The yearly festival held each spring in Athens is inspired by the Lover archetype. There’s a ton of booze, dancing, theater, and lots of sex… Damn, I wish I could find my passport.

This aspect of men is all about youth and develops early, and is ruled by the passion, excitement and all the intensity you can imagine in a hot-blooded 17-year-old boy.

The knowledge keeper, and knower of secrets and wisdom. He’s like a sage, connected to his spiritual life, and can fix things around the house after his morning meditation. He is a master of technology and an awesome chess player. He creatively uses words and sounds smart. He’s probably looking up at the stars right now, contemplating the vastness of universe.

The protector and enforcer. He’s courageous, and emotionally detached. The Warrior is the archetype of destruction. He’s the defender of truth and beauty, and will fight to the death to save your honor. He “needs room to swing his sword,” because his main thing is action, as opposed to thinking. Physical and psychological pain are his best friends; these things are challenges to be conquered.

The authority figure. He keeps order. The King is the most important of the four mature masculine archetypes. He is a harmonious blend of the other three, and his entire life experience culminates in the strong personality of this powerful man. He isn’t a tyrant or a weakling. He rules over his land, his people and his kingdom. The King is typically the last of the other three to develop in a man’s life.

My father was a lawyer who married my mother in 1959, and they stayed married. She was a housewife, and they were very happy. When he came home from work every night at 5:30, she would have a cocktail and the evening paper ready while dinner was cooking. And that’s how you treat a good man.

I have an old-fashioned side. I think loyalty and trust are important. I live with a man who has loved me, taught me, fought for me and ruled our domain like the fierce protector he is. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve bled for love in the past… some of the guys out there have some pretty sharp teeth. Sometimes in life you have to endure a few puncture wounds.

And you know what? I’d do it all over, all for the chance for us to find each other again, and go full-moon crazy and prowl together and howl together like two feral creatures basking in the dusky glow of night.

My grandparents are buried in a little cemetery tucked away in an L.A. suburb. When I was young we would visit sometimes on Sundays, and I usually found myself wandering off to look at the movie star’s grave marker on the wall. And my mother would ask me, “Did Marilyn Monroe have fresh flowers today?” And the answer, well, you already know… yes, the fresh flowers were there, sent by the man who loved her.

A scientist in the 70s named Ronald Ericsson came up with a way to separate the X chromosome carrying sperm from the Y carriers, making it possible to predetermine the sex of your yet-to-be-conceived-in-a-test-tube child. Sounds like we don’t need you guys anymore, doesn’t it? On the contrary. We still need you to do what you do best. We need you to make us feel safe, and cared for, and protected by you. And maybe even your Smith and Wesson.

I look at my boyfriend, my love, a man who traveled here from an island half a world away to end up with an L.A. hippie chick. He’s real, that supposedly unattainable man from all those silly lists in the world. He’s looking at Porsche’s right now on his computer. And he’s not wearing a shirt.

I find it hard to behave. I’m waiting for the moment I can move toward the other room, and he’ll look up and smile… and I’ll give him a glance back that says come on, baby, fetch me if you can.



This piece is an answer to Anne’s How to be a Fierce Little Hottie, a guide for chicks.

Editor: Lori Lothian

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Anne Clendening

Anne Clendening was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. She is a yoga teacher and author of Bent: How Yoga Saved My Ass, published January, 2018. You can read her darker thoughts on her blog Dirty Blonde Ink. She is currently living in L.A. with her husband and their boxer dog Sabina.

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anonymous Sep 4, 2012 2:36am

Yes, I've read the same thing about Joe DiMaggio, sadly. They were supposedly going to remarry… I wonder if they would have? Thanks for reading and I really appreciate your comment!

anonymous Sep 4, 2012 12:37am

Appreciated, the appreciation for the more wild or more natural male. Though there is a bit if ironic stereotyping re: tellling 'em what to do in cliched activities, & there is both too much resentment from some, but the gut who said those who complained are sick with Mommy issues & sexist-that was not fair nor rational either. That was not remotely hesitating to be negative, considered comments turned into a nasty personal attack.

It com es down to how evolved men or anyone is an occupying an archetype/. These men can be secure, unpretentious, masculine & generous strong forces, or insecure & emotionally stunted bullies. Love old baseball, but DiMaggio was much more of the latter, when the real man came out. I understand he gave Ms. Monroe a black eye after she did her famous skirt blowing up scene, he was fanatically jealous, cold & could be vicious. .

We can like the rejection of PC weenie-hood, & still find it OK or manly to eat what she describes, or hate smoking. It is how, from what point you do whatever. Many show the conduct, hobbies, habits she describes but are coming from an insecure wanna be Alpha male no depth to them paradigm, others are being themselves & not just constructing an image to feed Ego.

anonymous Sep 3, 2012 3:42pm

Thank you Ann!! I’ll check out that link. Rock on sister.

anonymous Sep 3, 2012 3:14pm

hmmm…very telling that so many of the angry commenters are men! however, while i find your writing delicious, gonna hafta disagree about the black eyeliner…just happen to find it dead sexy six days out of seven…like it on southern rockers and british goths and even the occasional emo boy (although, admittedly, they're all far too young for me)…also think men have it kind of rough these days…very interesting take on that here: http://www.ted.com/talks/zimchallenge.html

great post…i can see why you've got such devoted readers!

anonymous Sep 2, 2012 9:22am

[…] I wonder what he’s going to say. […]

anonymous Aug 31, 2012 7:15pm

Love the piece Anne!

    anonymous Aug 31, 2012 7:24pm

    Thank you, beautiful. High five & peace sign ::)

anonymous Aug 31, 2012 5:22pm

Big thanks to you, Mamaste, and all the beautiful people who left kind words. And yes, writing is so sexy! Lotsa love, thanks 🙂

anonymous Aug 31, 2012 5:05pm

Just fantastic! May I add something to "Learn an instrument." Learn to write. Nothing sexier than reading heart-felt prose, written pure and simply.
Bravo, Anne! You are on my list of favored elej writers. Keep 'em coming.

anonymous Aug 31, 2012 4:26pm

[…] you read my piece on elephantjournal.com, Why Men Are So Dastardly Fetching. I don’t know when men turned into such emotional little bitches, but I have a feeling it has […]

anonymous Aug 31, 2012 2:02pm

While I am hesitant to say anything negative on a website that promotes health & wellness, it is clear to me that most of those responding are not aware of what kind of website this is, and are still searching for their "inner zen". That said I find it amusing that most of the negative comments are from men, which is what this article clearly celebrates, and unfortunately that concept is lost on most of you. One guy refers to the writer and most of those reading it as single, evidently he either did not read the entire article, or needs someone to translate it for him, as it states that the author has a boyfriend, a man, a partner. This article is for enjoyment, not meant to stir the masses and "genderize" half of our species, but if it got people to think, then that is a good thing. The article is obviously about one woman's love of all things masculine. It does in no way categorize all of you. I will though, and I will guess that most of you men with your negative comments are the insecure, on the feminine side, and probably been called metro-sexual once in a while type. No "real man" as one called himself, would ever insult a woman on a public level, he would instead, agree to disagree. My suggestion to you is to find yourself good therapist who can help you explore why you found it necessary to make this article all about you and your clear disrespect of women, might I suggest your first session be about "Mommy".

anonymous Aug 31, 2012 12:17pm

Question: When did women want to go back to the 50s?
Answer: After they realize they don't want the responsibilities they have now acquired

Be careful what you wish for because you might just get it. I think this was a load of crap and its no different than men looking at sports illustrated models then saying this is what i want and everything else isn't real

Your stereotyping and being extremely judgemental. Look at yourself before you start pointing fingers.

No suprise here that your still single.

A Real Man

    anonymous Aug 31, 2012 2:04pm

    Dear “Real Man,” I’m not sure you read the whole article, because I’m not single, but I don’t understand where I’m stereotypical or judgemental… I’m telling you guys how much we women dig so many things you. One thing that’s NOT hot? A man crudely, disrespecfully and ignorantly commenting on a blog that is clearly meant for fun, and calling it a load of crap It’s not that serious, and grown up words would be preferred. Advice: jump on Netflix and watch a Steve Queen movie or two. And try to figure out why you’re so angry.

    anonymous Aug 31, 2012 2:08pm

    You, Sir, are NOT dastardly fetching.

anonymous Aug 31, 2012 11:29am

Hey Patrick!
I also noticed that very much. Maybe men need to wake up from the brainwashing that have been imposed on them by the medias. At least then need to unlearn part of it as Annie said. That specially true for so called spiritual men!
At least Women know what they like or not from Men,that s more obvious…

I agree about the gluten free tough .

anonymous Aug 30, 2012 2:40pm

Great article. It's funny (in the sad, revealing sense) that the comments from women are all positive, but the comments from men (or, "men") whine about sexism and patriarchy.

But let's clarify one thing: real mean eat gluten-free. There's nothing manly about nibbling a ramekin of couscous.

    anonymous Aug 30, 2012 4:03pm

    Hi Patrick, you noticed that too? You may have seen my Facebook post where one reader called it “retrograde gender enforcement.” Look for my next post: “Why I Believe Men Need to Unlearn Half of What They’ve Been Taught About Women Since 1966.” thanks for reading Patrick!

anonymous Aug 30, 2012 9:37am

this article is silly and sexist

It is also poorly constructed, in one sentence you advocate men to take charge yet in the next tell them what they should wear, do, smell like, act. If a guy wants to do Pilates is he not taking charge of his own interests?

if others fine this article awe inspiring then they lead a sheltered existence and should get out more

    anonymous Aug 30, 2012 9:41am


      anonymous Aug 30, 2012 10:11am

      Hi Jon, first, thanks for reading. My thought is before you call an article is "sexist" you should consider who might live a sheltered existence, because there's really no such thing since about 1972. And I think we can all agree men like Cary Grant look amazing in grey suits (a la North by Northwest), and they look even better when they're swinging a hammer and fixing stuff. It's animal attraction we're talking about, and it's fantastic.

    anonymous Aug 30, 2012 11:44am

    Here's a secret Jon…
    She's spot on 'cause she's writing about what SHE wants. She's not telling anybody to do anything. You do as you do, and the woman who wants what you're putting out there will want you. If you want to be the kind of guy that passive aggressively insults people who like something you don't, well then good on ya – your woman will probably do and be the same and you'll both live happily ever after. Which is awesome!

    Here's another secret – 99.9% of women do find a man with a guitar strapped on his back live porn, sometimes that gets us in trouble but it's worth the trip and hey, at least we're getting out more.

      anonymous Aug 30, 2012 3:55pm

      Thanks Sherri! And yes, how else would Keith Richards get chicks? It’s all about the music, baby, even if it’s a kazoo. Im so grateful for you sweet comments. Stay cool.

    anonymous Aug 31, 2012 2:26pm

    My advice to you is, restraint of pen and tongue.

anonymous Aug 30, 2012 8:06am

Amazing. Simply amazing.
I have been smiling and pondering for about 30 minutes.
Thank you for sharing. -Light-

    anonymous Aug 30, 2012 9:30am

    Ponder away and let me know what you come up with! On "elephant love & relationships" on Facebook I put up a post saying I wanted to work in any interesting comments in my next piece… http://www.facebook.com/ElephantLoveRelationships. Thank you so much for reading and commenting. And smile 🙂

anonymous Aug 30, 2012 7:24am

Thank you for writing this article! I've found to be very informative as well as inspiring. Good luck with your relationship 🙂

    anonymous Aug 30, 2012 9:27am

    Thank you Roberta! Thanks for reading 🙂

anonymous Aug 30, 2012 6:59am

Anne – I liked this so much I read your other stuff and left a tip 🙂 Now, this is the fun/sexy/thoughtful/genuine stuff I hoped I would find here. Rock on cool girl, and write on too.

    anonymous Aug 30, 2012 9:27am

    Sherri you RULE!!! Now that's classy!! YOU rock on, thanks for reading my sister.

anonymous Aug 30, 2012 5:10am

"Feminists, I can actually hear the hair bristling on the back of your neck. Cool it."


    anonymous Aug 30, 2012 9:25am

    hahaha good for you Kim! I like it!

anonymous Aug 30, 2012 12:49am

Hi Cesare, EASY. I'm talking about a gentleman, a man who decides which restaurant to go to and opens doors. No one is beating anyone, and I'm wondering how in the world you made that leap? It's about chivalry, not overbearing testosterone fueled a-holes. Did you not see the mention James Bond, three piece suits and treating mom well? Besides all that, I enjoy a little banter, but as you can see by the dog bones and charms I was just having a little fun 🙂

anonymous Aug 30, 2012 12:06am

Let's see, your guido boyfriend never seemed to work. And yes I grew up in an Italian family from back East where it was considered an insult to call someone a guido. You want your man to take charge? What are you going to do once he starts beating the shit out of you? At least in fully patriarchal societies there's not this grey area about taking charge as women are completely second class citizens. That's far more honest than what you get from American women. As for the nerdy types, they're the ones who invented gunpowder and the atomic bombs, things far more useful in a fight than large biceps. While I entirely understand giving into and admiring the male archetypes, steadfastly holding on to them limits all of humanity.

anonymous Aug 29, 2012 9:23pm

kmzam, I've making a heart sign with my hands for ya. Thank you soooo much! And yes, they sure do suck.

anonymous Aug 29, 2012 8:48pm

I love reading your posts. LOVE. Loved this one too. I'm a feminist, and there's still that part of me that wants a strong, caring, protective man who can rock my world, curl my toes, and make me remember why I'm so glad to be a woman. Except for the periods. They will always suck.

anonymous Aug 29, 2012 3:48pm

Autumnlily, you are my new favorite person!! 🙂 If you’re on elephant love and relationships on FB look for my post later today… Be well, baby. xoxo

anonymous Aug 29, 2012 2:21pm

loveeee as always! you're my favorite writer on EJ!

Dawn Cartwright Aug 29, 2012 10:42am

Good Morning Anne Darling, Love this, inspiring and mmm, HOT. Love the archetypes. Love the KINGS in my life. Love you even though we've not met. YET. xo Dawn

    anonymous Aug 29, 2012 1:07pm

    Such amazing, kind, supportive words, Dawn! Can't wait to meet over tea and chat about all things literary and such. 🙂

anonymous Aug 28, 2012 11:52pm

Be-deazzle! Good one. Yes, it should be mandatory. That, and watching Cary Grant films 🙂

Shay Dewey Aug 28, 2012 11:43pm

Great article, this advice to men should be mandatory, "Keep it old school. Drink Manhattans, listen to jazz, play poker with the guys, wear three-piece suits and pocket squares, and never underestimate the scent and spicy pungency of an expensive cigar." We don't like our men to wear neon, or be-dazzled anything, if you have more night cream than my mother at least don't leave it on the vanity.

    anonymous Aug 30, 2012 9:31am

    sexist clap trap…

      anonymous Aug 30, 2012 10:14am

      Jon, we're just having some fun! It's not that serious 🙂

anonymous Aug 28, 2012 11:27pm

Amen to this!

    anonymous Aug 28, 2012 11:42pm

    And Hallelujah!! Thanks Avril!