30 Years Ago, When I Was Young

Happy mothers day to every mom, single women and young ladies out there! By taking care of us– your children, you make great people, and by tending our society you make greater nations. We support and appreciate your efforts.

To continue the celebration of womanhood, I had the opportunity of chatting with a successful 52 year old woman. Though she declined my request to include her name in this article, our discussion ranged from issues of mutual interest: from faith to business, politics and finally, masculine attraction.

She was taking aback when I asked a pointed question, “What is the first thing you notice in a man?” While she thought about her response, I imagined her mind running through options like his Eyes, Physique, Smile, Shoulders etc. I decided to quit thinking and just wait for her response.

When she resumed speaking, she mentioned some of the same things I thought about but quickly added that, none of those seemed to fit. She said back in the days, 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.

Just what did she mean by ‘palpable sexiness’ I wondered. But before I could ask, she added, sometimes I remember how a t-shirt clung to one man’s shoulders, or how another held my gaze unabashedly over a glass of wine. But mostly I reflected on the intangibles — qualities, values, character traits — a man must possess so that I want to break down all my invisible walls and escape, without fear or care, into his arms.

Before sharing her top 11 qualities, its important to note that many of these 11 things didn’t appear on her checklist when she was in her 20s. In her words “Back then I was drawn to slick businessmen with shiny cars who travelled in packs. There’s nothing wrong with someone who fits that description — but even that wears thin quickly without substance to back it up. One benefit to being 52 is that I’ve finally learned what to look for in a man.”

1. Strength — Not how much a man can bench press, although a nice set of pecs, she admits, doesn’t hurt. But strength as in internal-fortitude. Firmly-planted, I-know-who-I-am strength. Few things are more appealing than a man who’s grounded, who’s in command of the impulses and anger that may have derailed him when in youth, whose quiet confidence speaks without a hint of arrogance, that he has nothing to prove.

2. Vulnerability — A man isn’t strong unless he is also vulnerable, she says. This means he can tell what he wants, when he’s afraid, how a lady makes 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 a man appealing after lust and the initial high of infatuation dissipates.

3. Integrity — This ingredient separates boys from men. While they may dazzle in the beginning, womanizers, scoundrels, and narcissists use lies and cheap tricks for personal gain. There is no appeal in 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.

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 creates, for her, a kind of male siren’s song. It doesn’t matter how gorgeous a man is; if he can’t entice a lady with his mind, the chemistry won’t be there.

5. Sense of humor — A man who lacks a sense of humor is like cold water on legs. It’s impractical 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, we’ve got an issue.

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.

8. Affectionate — Affection is warmth in action. A soft kiss on the back of my neck as he walks by. 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.

9. Mindfulness — 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.

10. Partnership – 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.

11. Sexual confidence — I’d hold back her comments on this while you define it as you wish. 

So there you have it folks. Happy Mothers Day!

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