How to Pick a Lover

Posts tagged ‘men as sex objects’

What Gives a Man Sex Appeal?

Wine comes in at the mouth
And love comes in at the eye;
That’s all we shall know for truth
Before we grow old and die.

—William Butler Yeats, “A Drinking Song”

If you pick up any anthology of sayings or jokes and look up the topic of sex appeal, you will find lots of references to physical traits: perky breasts, long shapely legs, full lips, and round buttocks. There are laudatory comments about long blond hair, or long hair of any color, and effusive praise for peaches-and-cream complexions and big blue eyes with long
black eyelashes.

What you will not find, interestingly, are many direct references to what makes a man physically attractive. What gives a man sex appeal? If women have had opinions about a man’s sex appeal, they seem to have made it secondary to their opinions about his material standing. More often than not, a man’s appeal seems to be based on his pocketbook.
Traditionally, as many women have recognized, and rightly so, her fortune is often dependent on his. If his bank balance is large enough, he is attractive; if he is poor, he is not. As the saying goes, “There ain’t no such thing as an ugly millionaire.”

I laughed so hard I was crying during the whol...

Photo credit: Wikipedia

Maybe not. But what happens when women begin to focus on the attributes that constitute masculine appeal rather than on an assessment of wealth or achievements? The idea that women should do so at all is somewhat revolutionary for many people. The standards for what is or is not sexy or appealing in a man vary widely from one woman to the next, just as they do when men are judging women. There’s an inexplicable alchemy that is enhanced by a combination of basic physical equipment, clothes and sense of style, and a certain kind of personality and manner.

Let us begin by considering masculine magnetism in terms of its most obvious component—that of physical appeal—because, in truth, love really does “come in at the eye.”

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