List some specific, widely held, possibly irrational turn-ons.
March 2, 2006 4:04 PM   Subscribe

Catnip to the ladies: Four female friends of mine recently had a conversation about what makes an attractive man. Opinions varied, but in the end, three traits were deemed "universally very hot": riding a motorcycle, building things out of wood, and having been in more than a few fistfights growing up. This baffled me to no end. Help me compile a longer list.

To clarify, I'm not looking for answers like "someone who is confident and knows how to be himself". I'm looking for specific, widely held, possibly irrational turn-ons.
posted by the jam to Human Relations (120 answers total) 65 users marked this as a favorite
 
Vast wealth.
posted by delmoi at 4:09 PM on March 2, 2006 [5 favorites]


Is a musician. A musician of a cool sort, that is.
posted by divka at 4:10 PM on March 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


Being able to read, and doing so. Seriously.
posted by meerkatty at 4:12 PM on March 2, 2006 [2 favorites]


two day old facial hair, but not necessarily 5 day or longer facial hair
posted by CCK at 4:13 PM on March 2, 2006 [2 favorites]


I must be really attractive. Two days ago, just after the last time I shaved, I got in a fist fight with a guy in my super cool rock and roll band because he didn't like my home-made wooden motorcyle.
posted by JekPorkins at 4:16 PM on March 2, 2006 [25 favorites]


Smells nice. I am such a sucker for axe, which is so lame, but every time I'm around a guy who actually smells so good I have to comment, that's what it is.
But then, I'm a female under 30, so I guess it's been engineered to appeal to me.
posted by Kellydamnit at 4:17 PM on March 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


I hate thin lips. So I would say full lips, as well (not too full, but something to kiss that does not feel like two thin lines).
posted by orangeshoe at 4:18 PM on March 2, 2006


"Being able to read, and doing so. Seriously."

I would agree, and go further to add, just a general inquisitive nature -- a desire to learn and converse thoughtfully.
posted by orangeshoe at 4:19 PM on March 2, 2006 [2 favorites]


Motorcycle? Sometimes slightly hot, but not always. Vintage Italian scooter? Smokin' hot.

Can build things out of wood? Yes, indeed. Being mechanically inclined in general is hot -- my boyfriend restores obscure antique cameras, which I find unaccountably sexy, particularly when he's wearing his cute little magnifying specs whilst hunched over his work table. Also, I have been known to throw him against a wall after he's done changing the oil in one of our cars, preferably while wearing a white t-shirt and very faded jeans.

Fistfights growing up? Eh, not so much.

Musicians? Sure, back in my 20s.

Writers? Welcome to my 30s.
posted by scody at 4:19 PM on March 2, 2006


Speaking voice has been make-or-break for me. Got to want to listen to it.
posted by zadcat at 4:20 PM on March 2, 2006 [6 favorites]


It's very lame, but I'll second the musician bit. Piano, guitar, even drums... all hot. Really it's more about the fact that he's A) creative and B) dedicated enough to practice something. (To a lesser extent, actors and writers also fall in this category if they're not pretentious.)

I will also second the two-day stubble. Phwoar!

And this one might be just me, but I am a sucker for guys who are nice to their Moms. He doesn't have a have her name tattooed on his arm or anything, but being respectful and nice to his mother (without being a mama's boy) is sooooo cute.
posted by web-goddess at 4:22 PM on March 2, 2006


Ooh, and I'll also agree with the mechanical ability. Somehow the other day my husband mentioned that he actually took a welding class in college, and I was like, "DUDE, you never told me that!" I always did love Handy Smurf the best.
posted by web-goddess at 4:24 PM on March 2, 2006 [2 favorites]


I am a sucker for a good uniform, I admit it.

He doesn't have to be an artist, but any kind of artistic ability is attractive, as is a general curiosity about life.
posted by Alison at 4:25 PM on March 2, 2006


The first person to say "sense of humor" gets clocked in the jaw.

Curly from the Three Stooges was a very funny man. Didn't see him with the ladies.
posted by frogan at 4:26 PM on March 2, 2006 [3 favorites]


Motorcycles, no. Fist fights, unfortunately yes.

Hairy forearms.
Deep voice.
Dry wit.
Hugs male friends/family.
Two-day stubble, especially if those whiskers are dark

And don't ask me why, but a hot man is even hotter if I find out he was a geek in high school.
posted by lilybeane at 4:29 PM on March 2, 2006


Good shoes.
posted by jrossi4r at 4:31 PM on March 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


None of the qualities you mention do much for me. Writing well, however, will cover a multitude of sins in my book. Having a gentle heart helps, too. More specific and possibly superficial: tall, with a lanky runner physique. Smoking in itself doesn't turn me on, but a man who can smoke well is so goddamn appealing that I turn to goo. I second facial stubble. I like loners, too, but less the James Dean type and more World of Warcraft. I prefer blunt honesty as opposed to appeasement, but all with good intentions (see: gentle hearts). Seeing a man with his pet is adorable. (Babies, not so much). Guys in hoodies, with long, rockstar hair. Guys that look good in eyeliner, but don't necessarily feel compelled to wear it. I like people that can add numbers in their add and do math well. Something's awfully sexy about good math skills. Same with map-reading. Men that drink tea.

And, uh, a lot of other things.
posted by Zosia Blue at 4:31 PM on March 2, 2006


Universally, I don't know, but very few American women can resist a British or Australian accent.
posted by GaelFC at 4:32 PM on March 2, 2006


It's very lame, but I'll second the musician bit. Piano, guitar, even drums... all hot.

(That should read 'musicians and even drummers are hot'.)
posted by justgary at 4:32 PM on March 2, 2006


Oh, gotta strongly second zadcat's love for a nice speaking voice. Oh yes. And arms. Strong, sexy arms. And shoulders. Oh my yes.

Wow, is it hot in here?
posted by scody at 4:32 PM on March 2, 2006


Biker? Check
Fistfights? Check
Musician? Check
Mechanically inclined? Check
Literate? Check
Writer? Check
Fabulously wealthy? Nah
Nice to Mom? Check
Smells good? Eh, I bathe daily

Add: cooks well, does dishes/cleaning/laundry (sometimes), is nice to your gay friends, and listens to you without distraction of any sort.

Damn I might be hawt after all! Wee Hoo!
posted by snsranch at 4:33 PM on March 2, 2006


er, add numbers in their HEAD.
posted by Zosia Blue at 4:33 PM on March 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


Also, someone who'll get down on the floor to play with a dog or a kid.
posted by jrossi4r at 4:33 PM on March 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


The speaking voice! So true! I've dated people based on their speaking voice alone. (Not for very long, but still.)
posted by Zosia Blue at 4:35 PM on March 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


Being british. I know it's cliched, but many of us American girls are just crazy about that accent. That scene in Love Actually where the guy gets all the girls because he's english? Exagerrated but mostly true.
posted by katyggls at 4:36 PM on March 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


Guys who love to shop for food, and then really enjoy the whole act of preparing it and cooking it.
posted by iconomy at 4:38 PM on March 2, 2006


Motorcycles, no. Fist fights, unfortunately yes.

Just to clarify, absolutely no fist fights after age 23 or so, please. Then he's just a loose cannon who needs to grow up.

I melt when he points out a cute baby or puppy and actually says, "That's so cute."

Speaks a second language.

Speaks with an accent (yes, katyggls, you are so right about that scene in Love Actually).

And am I the only one who finds long hair on a man to be totally gross? I can dig a little bit of length, but as soon as it starts looking like a haircut I might consider on my own head, ew. Forget it.

I must stop now. Curse you, the jam, for such a provocative question! :)
posted by lilybeane at 4:40 PM on March 2, 2006


I'm not into super long hair, but I do like the shaggy look.
posted by Zosia Blue at 4:44 PM on March 2, 2006


Two metacomments:

1) Use of the phrase "So who would like to blow me?" seems like a strong candidate for a universal negative.

2) Your choice of venue is self-selecting for women who like men who like to read.
posted by Caviar at 4:44 PM on March 2, 2006


oh, and not necessarily a tan, but not pasty white, look like you are actually outside once in a while, even a little red can be good. Also, being tan with dark stubble with blue eyes. Also being passionate about anything is good.
posted by CCK at 4:48 PM on March 2, 2006


Goatees.
Veiny, strong looking hands.
Very slightly bowlegged.
Owns nice pajamas.
Uses quality sheets that match.
posted by tristeza at 4:48 PM on March 2, 2006


btw, I'm a straight guy (I swear!!!!)
posted by CCK at 4:49 PM on March 2, 2006


I don't particularly care about the traits your friends mentioned, so I'll be as shallow as possible to come up with a few of my own (minus intelligence, sense of humor, ability/desire to read, blah blah blah).

Broad shoulders. That inverted-triangle shape rerouts signals meant for my brain.
Hands. I can't really be coherent about that.
A nice speaking voice. If he sings, it's about ten times better. If he's a tenor? About a thousand.
Accent -- as long as I can understand him, pretty much anything but Southern is a nice plus.
Playing an instrument (non-pretentiously), although optional, is also a plus; it always makes you me wonder about dexterity.

Side note: Can any guy get away with long hair past the age of 25? I haven't seen it. Even below that age, having long hair is not an automatic plus; you can't just throw it in a low ponytail, you have to do stuff to it. Like wash it and brush it.
posted by booksandlibretti at 4:49 PM on March 2, 2006


reading.
writing well.
mechanical aptitude.
musician (sound work counts here).
sheer joy in blowing stuff up. (big turn-on. and I mean literally blowing stuff up, but in a reasonably safe manner)
interested in "weird stuff". (and can talk about it in an intelligent manner)

motorcycle? not so much (lost a couple of classmates to bike accidents, not their fault)
fights? not.
stubble? not. (beard, on the other hand....)

voice isn't really a turn-on, but a bad voice can be hard to get around.
posted by jlkr at 4:51 PM on March 2, 2006


Side note: Can any guy get away with long hair past the age of 25?

No. no, no, no, no, no and.....no.

posted by tristeza at 4:52 PM on March 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


I don't know - I have a friend in his 40s who has waist-length hair that he wears in a low ponytail, but he's a philosophy professor and can somehow pull it off with the whole neo-twill professor thing. Otherwise, I haven't seen hair of that length work too well on any age-group. My SO has longish hair (shaggy, about chin-length) and he's right at the 25 mark. I'll see if he starts to expire next year.
posted by Zosia Blue at 4:52 PM on March 2, 2006


I hope you don't mind a guy's perspective on this.

I had made a minor study of the elements of attraction in my younger days.

I found a personal formula of "attractors" that seemed to jibe with my person integrity and attracted the maximum number of chicks without becoming disgusting. Or fake.

But first: How old are these chicks? I ask because...Fistfights? I dunno. Maybe when chicks were 17 or something. Or as pure fantasy. Certainly that IS irrational.

I know. This was one of my experiments.

I used to get in fist fights all the time. And when I won any girl that was watching rushed over to the OTHER guy... "Oh! Are you ok!"

Besides every chick I hooked up with that thought it was cool I beat some guy up was total trouble.

I think my wife likes it that I CAN fight (I box) - but if I come home with a black eye or broken nose from boxing she thinks I'm idiot. She almost never goes to the fights anymore.

Think about the big hot chick-flick movie stars - they ain't The Rock or Stallone or even Bruce Willis - those are GUY movies.

Chicks dig Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Viggo Mortgensen, and George Clooney. And rightfully so.

So the appeal isn't simply the macho guy it's the approachable, if slightly feminine or slightly adolescent, sensitive bad-boy.

This type of guy is a fairly artificial Hollywood construct and I would not reccomend anybody try to create a personna around it or your going to look like a dick-head to every guy you meet.

Back to your question. I would say as far as the "accessories" of what women find attractive?

Nice classic clothes. But not an over-intentional, trendy or slick costume.

My wife goes ga-ga when I simply wear a white cotton t-shirt, worn but not sloppy Levis, my big red neck belt buckle and Fluvog boots. And the woman is MINE if I wear a my worn vintage black leather coat (and for god's-sake no elastic waistbands guys!).

Chin length long hair also. Maybe a day or two unwashed. Slightly unkept. And don't use frigg'n product. And NO faux-hawks!

A tight round ass and some defined but not huge muscle on your arms helps.

PS. A quick office poll of the ladies has produced confirmation of this.

Damn I've even made myself kind of hot.
posted by tkchrist at 4:53 PM on March 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


Motorcycles and fistfights are turn-offs, in my book. They both scream "trashy and reckless," which is not sexy.

A Brit/Aussie accent, however, is an automatic +2 hotness. Being a nerd is at least +1.
posted by amber_dale at 4:55 PM on March 2, 2006


PS/PS - oh. I forgot:

a goofy sense of humor
having a few good adventures to talk about
knowing a foreign language
and being well traveled

really, really helps.
posted by tkchrist at 5:00 PM on March 2, 2006


I'm a musician, and I've never yet been properly attracted to a guy that wasn't. It's not a deliberate thing, but I don't think I could really be with a guy that didn't understand about something that's a very big part of my life.

Fistfights = lame

Being passionate about something, even if it's not something that I care about.

Too much muscle = gross. A little bit, especially on arms = good
posted by Lotto at 5:03 PM on March 2, 2006


A good friend of mine who was loved by all of the women said his secret was that he listened to them and showed it.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 5:10 PM on March 2, 2006 [3 favorites]


That facial hair thing is bogus. Chicks dig it until you're actually dating, then they're all "your stubble hurts my face; shave, Mr. Neandertal."
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:11 PM on March 2, 2006


Guys in hoodies, with long, rockstar hair. Guys that look good in eyeliner, but don't necessarily feel compelled to wear it. I like people that can add numbers in their head and do math well. Something's awfully sexy about good math skills.

Since I'm already married, Zosia Blue, can I direct you to The Luxuriant Flowing Hair Club for Scientists&trade?
posted by Aknaton at 5:17 PM on March 2, 2006


As someone who disagrees with the first three things on your list, I don't think I can help you out much.

Being able to read, and doing so. Seriously
That's more my style.
posted by nuclear_soup at 5:22 PM on March 2, 2006


Does he have short hair? Short enough that it's fun to pet it backwards?

Is he barefoot and wearing faded, ratty jeans?

Does he smell like Bee and Flower sandalwood soap?

Can he cook?

When you kiss his neck, does he say "I'll give you about a half an hour to cut that out"?

Is he an NPR geek? Who might wake me up to tell me about something cool he read in The Economist?

Does he cut the lawn in his swim trunks so he can jump straight into the pool when he's done?

Deep voice?

Strip him, wash him, and bring him to my tent.
posted by ersatzkat at 5:22 PM on March 2, 2006 [4 favorites]


Motorbikes - absolutely (something powerful between the legs)
Handy with wood (someone who can put up shelves - how masculine!)
Honest (fresh) sweat smell and/or rough hands (he works hard)
Quiet (more talk time for me)
Honestly likes women (obvious)
Denim (I always had a thing for the blue collar guy - seemed more manly than a professional but that's probably a cultural construction)
Baldness (now, in my 30s that's attractive - not so grand in teens - implies heaps of testosterone and/or brains)

Excuse me please - uh - I got to go wash my hair.
posted by b33j at 5:27 PM on March 2, 2006


a second on Civil_Disobedient. I get told off for having more than about 12 hours of stubble on.
posted by polyglot at 5:32 PM on March 2, 2006


To me the biggest attractor is "likes women", I mean really likes them. Old women and little girls too (in socially appropriate ways !) That was the overwhelming characteristic of the most magnetic man I've ever met - if it helps support my point in any way :) -- the man was Raul Julia.
posted by AuntLisa at 5:47 PM on March 2, 2006 [2 favorites]


Actors.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:50 PM on March 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


Passion about something. Preferably, something that she can at least understand having a passion for.
Motorcycles though? Bleh. Everyone I know that rides a bike is a total dork. Fistfights? Lame. Musicians? Meh. Sometimes hot (see: passionate about something), sometimes dumb.

I really do think you can find women that like or dislike almost everything. Being passionate about *something* is the closest thing I've seen to a universal turn-on.
posted by ch1x0r at 5:50 PM on March 2, 2006


Well done and well placed tattoos will make any man infinitely more attractive in my eyes.

Got to give the thumbs down to any sort of cologne-ish smells, in particular the Axe spray mentioned up top. Nothing is more of a turn off for me than a perfumed man... especially the cheapo "I bought it at Target cuz it's supposed to make the chicks like me" variety. Ick.
posted by RoseovSharon at 5:57 PM on March 2, 2006


I'm not into motorcycle or fist-fight guys, but I can say that seeing a guy use his hands...and arms..is totally sexy. It doesn't matter is he's building a house, playing a guitar, kneading bread dough, or I dunno, putting lots of heavy books on a shelf...hmm, a really high shelf...HOT. Bonus points if the guy is wearing a slim t-shirt and jeans. Mmmm.
posted by jetskiaccidents at 6:08 PM on March 2, 2006


Motorcycles and fistfights? Um. No. Being handy around the house, or just handy in general, yes.

Well-read, an inquisitive nature, and the ability to engage thoughtfully are way up there on my list. A British/Irish accent and being able to cook are a nice bonus.

Smell is also key. In my younger, foolish high school days, I dated a guy because he smelled of Eternity for Men. But I also lately fell for a guy who smelled of nothing but soap and fabric softener--go figure. Guess it's the pheromones, among other things.

Superficially, I'd have to agree that Fabio-like tresses are rather eww and strong shoulders, arms, and hands?....very sexy.
posted by phoenixc at 6:12 PM on March 2, 2006


Good oral hygeine is an absolute must. Poor oral hygiene is my #1 turnoff...

Being a writer is very sexy. I think a man who is comfortable with his feminine side and can express it while still being a man - very sexy.

Good circulation and warm, somewhat tanned skin - sexy.

I have to whole-heartedly disagree with your three mentioned items though. Motorcyle-riding is actually an extreme turnoff to me.. I prefer men who are somewhat refined. I am TOTALLY not into the motorcycles or fist fighting. Fist fighting to me is a turn-off; I see it as dumb. Martial arts however, is a turn-on.

And working with wood.. ehhh, who cares? It's neutral for me I guess. It's CONVENIENT to have a man around who's handy, but it sure doesn't get my libido going...

Also I just am not into musicians.. in fact I'd rather not date a musician because music isn't that important to me really. I'm probably in the minority though.

Also I agree with ch1x0r's comment.
posted by mojabunni at 6:26 PM on March 2, 2006


Capable of self-deprecating humor.

Polite.

Articulate snarky discourse.

Laughs at my jokes.

Teaches me interesting things I didn't know, in a way that doesn't make me feel like a dumbass for not knowing already.

Those are the things that make for someone I want to stick with long-term. But when it comes to lizard-brain attraction - I gotta go with nice arms (big shoulders), and the British / Aussie / Kiwi accent thing.
posted by beth at 6:30 PM on March 2, 2006


I get the feeling your female friends and my female friends are very different. For me and my gaggle of girls, it would be intellect. I fawned over our receptionist when I found out he had a Masters Degree--in music, no less! I very briefly dated a guy, and his lack of an advanced education (I don't even think he had a GED) made me attribute all his negative qualities to his ignorance. Pseudo-intellectual, nerdy girls are won over by book smarts, at least that's been my experience.

Also, wide shoulders.
posted by lychee at 6:38 PM on March 2, 2006


I just wan to say this is a great thread. See, I don't think most guys, including myself, are ever entirely sure what girls are looking for. Even though we get told about this or that by girls that do find us attractive, it never seems to be very ... specific, or really seem that generalizable.

But these answers all make sense for the most part. It's mostly things I've heard before, in bits and pieces, but seeing it in writing makes it seem a little more believable.

I'm even beginning to believe I'm potentially hot.
posted by blacklite at 6:49 PM on March 2, 2006


I think tkchrist has done some excellent research. A clean, white t-shirt paired with faded jeans will melt me on the spot. Add a well-worn leather jacket and I will crawl across the floor on my hands and knees to do dirty things all night long.

Not mentioned yet: fluently speaking a foreign language, especially a Romance language. Preferably in that off-hand, "my mom is French" kinda way that only Michael Vartan can really pull off.
posted by junkbox at 6:58 PM on March 2, 2006


I just met a woman who rides a motorcycle. She's six feet tall AND a musician!

I may propose on our first date Saturday!
posted by black8 at 6:59 PM on March 2, 2006


I hereby declare this one of those threads that's useless without pictures. This means you.

I'd start you off, but I'm at the computer lab so I can't look for links. If you're prepared for NSFW zomgawesome, try Googling "Dieux du Stade."
posted by booksandlibretti at 7:02 PM on March 2, 2006


JekPorkins writes "I must be really attractive. Two days ago, just after the last time I shaved, I got in a fist fight with a guy in my super cool rock and roll band because he didn't like my home-made wooden motorcyle."

If you could win AskMe threads, this would have done it. Well played. ;)
posted by purephase at 7:11 PM on March 2, 2006


Someone who doesn't find my sense of humor absurd, and who can even laugh with me. A bit of a light beard (and no, my boyfriend hasn't been forced to shave his off yet). Someone who speaks a foreign language. Someone who isn't afraid to ask me for advice (or take it once given).
posted by anjamu at 7:11 PM on March 2, 2006


My SO has longish hair (shaggy, about chin-length) and he's right at the 25 mark. I'll see if he starts to expire next year.

I find this insight fascinating, because I've had very long hair since high school--and I ended up getting the vast majority cut off about a month before my 26th birthday. (It's still chin-length, but come on, that isn't really that long.)

Also, I usually wear a full beard, and my haircut person recommended the two-day-old stubble look. I like it, but ironically, my (female) SO prefers the beard.
posted by trevyn at 7:30 PM on March 2, 2006


I just wanted to say that I couldn't have hoped for this thread to turn out better than it has. Thanks everybody! I promise to use my newfound knowledge only for good.
posted by the jam at 7:31 PM on March 2, 2006


Gotta chime in...

A Passion (with a capital P) for something is an absolute must. I've always thought that and it's surprising/neat/interesting to see that others think that as well.

Motorcycles? Only if the guy's already hot. A motorcycle is not going to make a non-hot guy hot.

Working with wood? Being handy, yes. Hmm... thinking about it, yeah working with wood IS hot.

Fistfights? No, not *real* fistfights. Knowing that if necessary he *could* beat the crap outta someone? Yes, hot.

In the past, I never understood the accent attraction. Then I dated a Brazilian. Who was, uhm, talented. NOW I love just about any South American accent. Actually, just start talking to me about Brazil or in Portuguese and I'll melt.

And this is probably just me, but when I was in grad school and would hear the Physics and Comp. Sci PhD students talking about stuff that seemed like a foreign language to me... whew, Hot!

What else? (Lots that I agree with that others have said) Strong hands. Full lips. Dark hair. Not a completely hair-free chest, but not a *hairy* one either. Good dancer. Reads for entertainment and/or self-education. Self-confidence, even to the point of being a bit arrogant. Tall enough and strong enough to comfortably carry me. (I'm rather small - and it's like the fighting, I don't actually *want* to be carried; I just like the idea that he *can*.)

Wow, yeah, good thread...
posted by INTPLibrarian at 7:52 PM on March 2, 2006


I have to agree with most of the people here, except for the motorcycle thing. Spent too much time at Superbike races as a kid and now I associate riding a bike = instant death.

Knowing how to fight (although not getting into fights)? Yep
Knowing how to make stuff/ cook/ fix things? Yep
Passion for something? yep
Strong forearms? Be still my beating heart.
I also find it very attractive when a man obviously commands the respect and affection of others- his friends, co-workers, family etc.
posted by fshgrl at 7:58 PM on March 2, 2006


Man, where the heck can I find ladies with similar tastes as most of the Meta ladies who posted here?
posted by PurplePorpoise at 8:09 PM on March 2, 2006


I'd just like to point out that nearly all of the (non-physical) characteristics in this thread are attractive in girls as well.
posted by danb at 8:10 PM on March 2, 2006


I hope those fistfights didn't make the teeth nasty, because a hideous mouth renders all other qualities moot. Same for the ladies, bad teeth is no good.
posted by maxpower at 8:11 PM on March 2, 2006


Universally, I don't know, but very few American women can resist a British or Australian accent.
posted by GaelFC at 4:32 PM PST on March 2 [!]


This is so true. I remember once when I was about 14 I absolutely fell in love with a man who was standing behind me in line for something and had the loveliest British accent. Of course, then I turned around and he was about 40, paunchy, and bald, so obviously they need something else besides the accent going for them. Unless they're looking for a career in television voiceover work... or, I guess, phone sex.

One of my favorite things is definitely a man who's good with his hands. I'm a crafty gal myself and I need someone who can meet or exceed my level of handiness. I also love tousled, floppy hair, and bike-rider's calves. And thick black glasses frames don't hurt either.
posted by MsMolly at 8:35 PM on March 2, 2006


No fistfights or motorcycles for me, thank you. But a strong TALL man who looks like he could beat someone up, though he never would, sounds nice. If he's kinda Mediterranean-swarthy and wiry-haired and has a fabulous rich bass voice and a nice laugh, which he employs often because he's a fan of great humor, then so much the better. If he can calmly eat dinner with my nutty relatives without reaching over the table and stabbing them in the eye with the butter knife, if he can put together a large and impressive DVD case from a box of pieces that came in the mail from Amazon all in one afternoon, if he actually likes ironing his own shirts, then that's excellent. If he's also smart and kind and has a few little quirks that let him not just tolerate but actually complement my few little neuroses just perfectly, well then, that's domestic bliss.

Strangely enough, such an awesome man does exist, and Reader, I married him. :-)
posted by Asparagirl at 8:36 PM on March 2, 2006


Oh, and part of the Mediterranean-swarthiness thing means that he has permanent inescapable 5-o'clock shadow, even right after shaving. So count me in with the many other female commenters here who like a bit of scruffy-face.
posted by Asparagirl at 8:40 PM on March 2, 2006


I wanted to expound on my previous comment: "Also I just am not into musicians.. in fact I'd rather not date a musician because music isn't that important to me really. I'm probably in the minority though."

When I was in 7th grade I'd develop little crushes on some guy because he could play the piano or violin and crush solely for that reason. But now I'm really not into the whole "Yeah dude, I'm in a band man, I like sing and shit, the chicks dig that shit yo, I am soooo gonna get laid" type of attitude - blech!! just thinking about it makes me cringe. If anything, a solo pianist is still a mild turn-on though.. again following the whole 'refined' theme...
posted by mojabunni at 8:44 PM on March 2, 2006


if he actually likes ironing his own shirts

....what might have been, Asparagirl, what might have been....
posted by bunglin jones at 9:07 PM on March 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


intelligence
Quick Wit / really funny
Sense of Adventure
Seeker of Social Justice
Charisma

This combo gets me every time.
posted by TheGoldenOne at 9:07 PM on March 2, 2006


Oh, and I also have an inexplicable thing for men who resemble Jesus.
posted by TheGoldenOne at 9:09 PM on March 2, 2006 [2 favorites]


Have to say some motorcyclists - nothing is more of a turn off in my eyes than a guy who is acting out the song, B-b-b-ad B-b-b-ad B-b-bad to the bone. But a slightly unkempt guy wearing jeans and a well worn leather jacket on a Brit bike? ooo la la

I also like: short guys with a slim build, biting wit, someone who can make me laugh and an accent (a nice southern drawl will cause me to become a useless pile 'o' jello)

*fans self*

ps: this thread cracked me up
posted by squeak at 9:31 PM on March 2, 2006


My girlfriend says the first thing she noticed about me was my elbows. I still don't know why.
And my pores(?) (they're not invisible)
My feet(?) and teeth.
Is anyone else like that or is she nuts?

Also, according to the "experts", girls like guys with symmetrical faces. They can actually "smell" the symmetry.
posted by joshuak at 10:07 PM on March 2, 2006


Hairy forearms.
Deep voice.
Dry wit.
Hugs male friends/family.
Two-day stubble, especially if those whiskers are dark

And don't ask me why, but a hot man is even hotter if I find out he was a geek in high school.



Except for the hugging, Lilybeane and I have the same taste;-)

Also, stockiness and/or chubbiness is very cute.
posted by invisible ink at 10:11 PM on March 2, 2006


A large head (minds out of the gutter, people!) is a huge turn-on, but I think it's usually a subconscious one. I discovered this years ago when I went on a date with a man with a tiny little cranium. When he hugged me goodnight and I held the back of his little peanut head in my hand, I was appalled at the relative smallness of it.

So I took a stroll down ex-boyfriend memory lane, and realized that all of the men that I had been wildly attracted to happened to have had unusually large heads. I started to point out my head circumference/sexiness theory to some girlfriends, and (after first thinking I was all sorts of crazy) they eventually agreed. I have some ideas about why this is attractive, but more importantly, I'm curious -- do any other female MeFites notice head size?

The stubble/goatee thing also tops my list. Funny enough, I just told my boyfriend that it was okay to shave his off because I'm going away for a while and it will slightly lower his general sexiness quotient, keeping other women at bay. He didn't believe that other women would also find him sexier with the stubble. Can't wait to show him this thread!
posted by wetpaint at 11:18 PM on March 2, 2006 [2 favorites]


After I spent literally years trying to figure out how to get a closer shave, one of my exes told me I looked much sexier with stubble. Why didn't she tell me earlier??? I guess we're influenced by the advertising—no one is trying to sell us products that will get us a two-day-old shade.

Anyone have any suggestions for keeping this look? Cause, uh, every couple of days I have to shave it off, and then I am stubbleless.

very few American women can resist a British or Australian accent.

Until they've lived in the UK for a few months... I asked one of my American friends over here about this phenomenon. She said, "that's because many American girls think that guys with an English accent are going to be like Colin Firth or Hugh Grant. Well, have you seen any guys like Colin Firth around here recently? WELL, HAVE YOU??????"

I hadn't. She moved back to the States not long after. I hear she has a hot new boyfriend.
posted by grouse at 1:52 AM on March 3, 2006 [1 favorite]


Some sort of creative activity/ability: bonus if it's writing or musical. Double bonus if it's either singing or drumming.

Geekery.

Sexually ambiguous: may be somewhat femmy or androgynous, and no one knows for certain if he's gay or straight or bi or what have you.

Funny.

Huggable.

Usually tall and lanky (though I have a crush on a guy right now that's not tall at ALL).

Knows what they're talking about.
posted by divabat at 1:58 AM on March 3, 2006


Looks like you got yourself your long list, the jam!

For the heck of it, I'm going to join in the fun and say, I have a soft spot for guys who look good in cool-looking glasses. Seems I'm a minority here...

divabat: I totally know what you mean by going for tall and lanky. I thought I liked guys who were taller than me, but I ended up marrying the only guy I'd ever dated who was visibly shorter than me. Go figure.
posted by misozaki at 2:30 AM on March 3, 2006 [1 favorite]


* Does altruistic stuff - volunteers, helps old ladies across roads etc.
* Speaks a second language. If he talks it at me (even though I haven't a clue what he is saying), I will keel over and die with desire.
* Can maintain witty back-and-forth banter with me.
* Well defined back and shoulders.
posted by pollystark at 3:22 AM on March 3, 2006


Not being pro-life (hey, I live in ConservaHellTown, I set my standards low).
posted by speranza at 3:39 AM on March 3, 2006 [1 favorite]


I'm British. I have a posh accent. Doesn't seem to work on Americans any more... must be the isolation thing. Or me turning mid-30s.
posted by badlydubbedboy at 5:20 AM on March 3, 2006


badlydubbedboy: Like I said, I don't think it works on American women who live in Britain. It would still work if you went to the states.
posted by grouse at 5:49 AM on March 3, 2006


very few American women can resist a British or Australian accent.

Until they've lived in the UK for a few months... I asked one of my American friends over here about this phenomenon. She said, "that's because many American girls think that guys with an English accent are going to be like Colin Firth or Hugh Grant. Well, have you seen any guys like Colin Firth around here recently? WELL, HAVE YOU??????"


Exactly. Whenever people talk about what accents they find sexy, it always seems bogus to me. Accents are sexy on sexy people. I could say "Yeah, I like a girl with an English accent" because in my head I'm thinking of Liz Hurley or Rachel Weisz or something. But in England, everyone has an English accent, and some of them are really sexy, and some of them aren't. I really don't think that the accent is much of determining factor, but it's interesting how often people will hone in on it as a sexy quality.

(q: I'm an American living in London)
posted by ludwig_van at 6:02 AM on March 3, 2006


Used to play cricket for India.

Too specific? Well, it implies all sorts of things, including an accent and childhood fist fights.

Cleans up after me.
posted by lampoil at 7:01 AM on March 3, 2006 [1 favorite]


Motorcycle? Sometimes slightly hot, but not always. Vintage Italian scooter? Smokin' hot.

scody, as the "frequently guffawed at by more macho types" rider of a 1964 Vespa Allstate, you just made my day - thanks!
posted by kaseijin at 7:39 AM on March 3, 2006 [1 favorite]


Knows what they're talking about.

But who doesn't always feel compelled to explain everything to everyone! That's a super huge turnoff to me---guys whose idea of conversation is a continual "I-can-top-that" game of superior knowledge.

(Particularly common amongst guys who ride motorcycles when talking to girls who ride motorcycles.)
posted by scratch at 8:02 AM on March 3, 2006


im no expert but a penis on a guy is pretty much a turnon imho
posted by naxosaxur at 8:10 AM on March 3, 2006


Yeah I'm gonna go with great sex being the sexiest thing. Well-mannered, sweet-tempered, kind, smart, funny and respectful also good. Good at cards, a plus. Bad at cards, even better.

I think this thread is a skewed sample.
posted by Marnie at 8:47 AM on March 3, 2006


In real estate it's location, location, location - the rest can be worked with...

With a guy it's humor, humor, humor - the rest can be worked with...
posted by trii at 8:49 AM on March 3, 2006


FIREMEN.
posted by emd3737 at 8:52 AM on March 3, 2006


Among women I have discussed this with, we have agreed on:
Scottish accents.
Red hair.
On a pale guy, freckles in places besides the face (shoulders, arms).
Looks good in a kilt (this is beyond hot). KILTS. I'm telling you.
Winds his hand up the nape of your neck and pulls your head back by your hair - gently but firmly - when kissing you. Maybe even not so gently.
Blue-collar/working class look: jeans, boots, t-shirt, isn't trying too hard, not pretty boy, certainly doesn't spend more time on his hair and clothes than you do.
Clean, musky scent.

My husband has a classic-look faded-blue-ink tattoo on his upper arm and I find it drop dead sexy. I'm not into tattoos, but for some reason it really works. Maybe it's the bad-boy thing.
posted by Melinika at 9:25 AM on March 3, 2006


I had this French girlfriend that liked to imagine I was a defecting Nazi. I don't know if that counts for anything.
posted by jon_kill at 9:34 AM on March 3, 2006 [2 favorites]


This is depressing
posted by Justin Case at 9:35 AM on March 3, 2006 [2 favorites]


My husband. Tall and slim, with effortless muscle tone (god forbid he ever try to bulk up, it would be monstrous), a nicely shaped back and shoulders. Big strong farmer hands that write, program, draw, create, cook, caress. Mind of a genius, incredibly creative, sensitive, clear-thinking, insightful, understanding, patient, fun, funny, generous, gentle, steady like a rock. Owns a library's worth of books on a plethora of subjects, and has read them all. Is well-traveled. Shares my dreams. Is great in bed.

Rides a motorcycle.
Builds things out of various materials.
Knows kung fu, has never been in a fight in his life.

My heart's a-flutter.
posted by moira at 9:51 AM on March 3, 2006 [1 favorite]


hm. Lizard-brain response: thick silky slighly moppy dark hair, dreamy eyes, gorgeous smile, slender 'aerobic athlete' build (I have lived with bike racers for years). Think Enrico Fabris, the Italian nugget who won the speedskating medals in Torino. Something about a slightly femme-looking guy with big soft eyes triggers a hardwired lust reaction in yours truly that bypasses all higher logic functions.

real life: my current SO? he'd be dismissed as not-so-hot by the average female, I'm guessing, as he's kinda short, skinny and balding. But wait just a minute... he's handy, he fixes stuff, he skateboards, has great taste in music, he taught me how to snowboard without ONCE pissing me off, he's got amazing blue eyes, a gigawatt smile and a sexy voice, he's a wonderful photographer (and has been teaching me this as well), he's great at the desk job he currently has, yet he also knows how to drive all sorts of ginormous machines like farm equipment, Terex Titans, bulldozers, etc, he's smart, a smartass, literate and polite all rolled into one, he kisses like a movie star, loves to cuddle and smells amazing, has elegant manners in public and cusses like a trucker when we play poker, is a real 'man's man' on the surface, but is surprisingly openhearted and not afraid to be vulnerable with me, has a rockin bod that looks awesome in suits OR ratty jeans, and (last but certainly not least) is the authour of the most amazing, chandelier swinging, Tarzan yodeling, tender, sweet, dirty, unbelievable bed antics I've ever had the privelege to engage in.

and no you can't have him.
posted by lonefrontranger at 9:53 AM on March 3, 2006


Chicks really seem to dig it when I sew/mend things for them. Even little things, like buttons. The women in question don't know how to sew, and I suppose there's something about my being self-sufficient in this stereotypically feminine realm. This undermines any dormant insecurity they might have about not having this home-ec skill; suggests strongly that I would not ask them to do such a thing for me ("Iron my shirt!"); and is the tip of the iceberg for general mechanical aptitude.

Or maybe it just makes me seem pre-castrated.
posted by xueexueg at 11:26 AM on March 3, 2006


Anyone have any suggestions for keeping this look? Cause, uh, every couple of days I have to shave it off, and then I am stubbleless.

grouse, here you go.
posted by knave at 11:36 AM on March 3, 2006


tattoos, a bit of a smartass, smart and absolutely knows it to the point that you want to smack them in the face :)
posted by heartquake at 11:39 AM on March 3, 2006


This is depressing

I agree. And for the record some of us have been around the musical, ink-covered, scruffy, ear-warmer haircut, woodworking, fisticuffs-starting, motorcycle-riding, accent-having, "creative type" block and are loathe to go back again.

Just sayin.
posted by Marnie at 12:38 PM on March 3, 2006 [1 favorite]


I have a soft spot for guys who look good in cool-looking glasses.

Oh god, me too -- can't believe I forgot to mention this, as "looks good in glasses" is among my top 2 or 3 appearance factors guaranteed to make me weak in the knees.
posted by scody at 1:02 PM on March 3, 2006


Justin Case - why is this depressing?
posted by ersatzkat at 1:18 PM on March 3, 2006


Motorcycles and fistfights are turn-offs, in my book. They both scream "trashy and reckless," . . . Aussie accent accent, however, is an automatic +2 hotness

Something doesn't add up here. Trashy|reckless = bad, Australian = good?
posted by yerfatma at 1:58 PM on March 3, 2006


Oh my gosh, I missed one...yes, FIREMEN. Universally hot. Even when they're old and not cute they're somehow attractive.

(thanks emd3737)
posted by jetskiaccidents at 2:32 PM on March 3, 2006


I should have known the answer would be in AskMe. It always is.
posted by grouse at 2:33 PM on March 3, 2006


It's depressing because many of the qualities are superficial or downright scary, I mean fist fights? Really? But it seems some girls are still attracted to good qualities. So maybe there is still hope.

And yes if you turn the tables and ask the same question of men it would be even worse.
posted by Justin Case at 2:42 PM on March 3, 2006


Justin Case, I think most of the "girls" responded that way because that's what the question was: To clarify, I'm not looking for answers like "someone who is confident and knows how to be himself". I know that's why I was that shallow.
posted by booksandlibretti at 2:49 PM on March 3, 2006


Why don't we compile a Dungeons and Dragons type equipment list?

I'd say there are two categories, Sexyness and LTR ability

I'll start:
Two day scruff +5 sexyness
Clean +5 LTR
Rocker type +10 sexyness
Shaggy hair +15 sexyness
Nice, without being whipped +5 LTR
Arrogant +10 sexyness, -15 LTR
Blond +2
Fistfights +10 sexyness, -10 LTR

Also a guy who isn't afraid to be himself. A jock and he knows it, a total nerd and he knows it and is always asking you to go to start trek conventions with him... not exactly passion, but unabashedness.
posted by Suparnova at 2:52 PM on March 3, 2006 [1 favorite]


Justin Case, I think most of the "girls" responded that way because that's what the question was [...] I know that's why I was that shallow.

Me too. I'm in love with my guy (and fell for him -- hard -- on the first date) because of how easygoing and funny and smart and honest and honorable and interesting and generous and comfortable with himself he is. Those are the things of substance that made me fall in love with him, but that's not what this thread is about. I'd adore my guy all the same even without his drool-worthy arms/shoulders and cute reading glasses and fabulous handyman abilities... they just happen add to the dreamy sigh factor.
posted by scody at 3:18 PM on March 3, 2006


bingo scody. all that shallow stuff is frosting, and boy do we adore frosting, but lotta times after we've eaten ourselves sick on it, the sugar high has settled and we're dealing with the concurrent migraine, we realise that what we truly desire is a big 'ol plate of pasta.

For me what does it is a confident manner that isn't arrogant or overbearing, coupled with humour, a slightly devil-may-care outlook and the ability to laugh, both at his own foibles and life in general, without being mean-spirited.

case in point: on our first date my SO and I went mountain biking at night. since we were on trails familiar to me, unfamiliar to him, when we got to a narrow, tricky section, I asked: 'I hope you don't mind if I lead here, cos I'm slow...' to which he responded: 'that's okay so long as you don't mind that I'm going to sit back here and stare at your ass....'

now a comment like that from almost any other dude would generally result in a roundhouse from me... but it was the WAY that he said it... with a sort of lopsided shy grin that added the unspoken: 'yes-I-know-I'm-a-pig-and-I'm-sorry-but-I find-you-attractive-so-I-couldn't-help-myself'

anyways it made my heart flip over (in a good way), and it just keeps on getting better every day since then.
posted by lonefrontranger at 4:15 PM on March 3, 2006


Broad shoulders, nice chest, and handy is always sexy. Competent and good with his body. My S.O. is a black belt in judo, and watching him do it... He knows he's good at it, confident but not arrogant, and just...graceful. And extremely hot.
posted by stoneegg21 at 5:51 PM on March 3, 2006


I fell for my current S.O. pretty hard after I saw how amazingly calm and level-headed and patient and compassionate he is with the little kids that come into the emergency room where we work. The fact that he's tall and wicked smart and looks totally hot in scrubs are just added bonuses.
posted by makonan at 8:54 PM on March 3, 2006


I printed this thread out. to read, before a bus trip this afternoon, and thought about it on the bus ride back.

So: I just like a goofy fella - one that can banter, and is okay with fucking up the banter and realizing it's banter. I guess that would be called a capacity for engagement, but mainly it's a person who has a sense of the absurd.

Soft bodies, chrome-domes, glasses, charisma, and intelligence get me. And balls-out enthusiasm without it being boyish. Also: not tall.
posted by goofyfoot at 9:38 PM on March 3, 2006


As a gay woman, I gotta say that a lot of these traits would make me hot for a guy ;) For example:

- nice arms, slightly muscular but not scary
- jeans/classic white T-shirt/leather jacket combo always nice
- as mentioned upthread, the idea that he could hold his own in a fist fight, but not the actual having of fights
- playing with kids and animals
- two day stubble

Clearly I've thought about this way too much for a lesbian.

Oh and to show my complete geekiness, yes long hair after 25 generally not good, but Liam Neeson in The Phantom Menace? YUM.
posted by aclevername at 7:02 PM on March 7, 2006


My girlfriend loves it when I braid her hair.
Of course I also undo it right after.
posted by joshuak at 8:06 PM on March 7, 2006


Sorry, ladies. I'm gay, and married.

Fascinating read, reminds me of my own notions when I was 25-30. Very pleasant reminders of some of the nicer guys I've known. Dear Scott, who could break arms without trouble, but would be crying in his beer afterwards. He traveled with a DEC terminal, modem, and guitar. Sadly, he was also alcoholic.

My SO? Naive and honest, while dazzlingly cute. Sweet as candy. Intelligent and sane. A geeky loner, foreign and multi-lingual. Non-musical, not especially creative, but appreciates those who are. Academic over-achiever.
posted by Goofyy at 7:28 AM on March 8, 2006


« Older Itunes account without a credit card?   |   How do I keep a delinquent student loan from... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.