Insider Tips for Women
Many stereotypes about men abound: They don't like to cuddle after sex; they're only interested in women with model-thin bodies; they hate to show their feelings and vulnerabilities. Not true, say guys. So we gave them the floor to set the record straight. Here, the top things men want women to know, straight from the mouths of real men.
1. Kissing and romance mean as much to us as sex. "There has to be an emotional foundation for sex," says Ed Fertik, a Brooklyn, New York, bachelor. It's not that men don't love unforgettable sex; they do. But in a serious relationship, they want it preceded and followed by romance, kisses, hugs, and a loving touch. Contrary to the notion that men just want to roll over and play dead after intercourse, many guys say they do want to cuddle afterward. Some will even admit they'd like you to read to them or rub lotion on their bodies (and they'll do the same for you, if you ask!).
2. We like you just the way you are; no models required! Hollywood and fashion magazines may make women feel they must have taut tummies and look model-perfect, but guys say they appreciate real women with foibles and imperfections. And personality counts! "Warmth is a much bigger turn-on than cleavage," says Clifford Berkley, a divorcee in Staten Island, New York.
3. We love when you cook us a meal, knit us a scarf, or buy us something we need without our asking. Guys aren't saying that they want women stuck in conventional household roles, just that they enjoy the surprise of a special meal on the table, a homemade gift, or a thoughtful gesture. "I love it when my wife buys me something she knows I need for work," says Douglas Hanau, a New York City newlywed. "Or when she prepares a meal for me that she's never made before."
4. We want to be constantly admired. Guys know they're not perfect, but they want you to tell them they are, or at least highlight frequently the things they do best. If he's great with stuff around the house, ask him to fix something by telling him what a great job he did on the last fix-it task. If he's a gifted writer, ask him to write you love notes, and tell him how much you love his way with words. He wants you to look for his strengths and applaud them -- often! There's also no bigger turn-on, guys say, than a woman who notices the small things he does to be considerate.
5. We appreciate when you contribute financially, especially if you can afford to. Men like to treat women to special things, but they also like to be treated, in return. Share the financial burden of a relationship and know your guy's financial situation; be sensitive to what he can afford. Don't expect a $200 night on the town if that's the sum total of his monthly savings. And don't forget to break out your wallet. "If she earns a good living and is otherwise liberated, I appreciate her helping out," says Fertik. You don't have to split the bill on every night out; just take out your wallet some of the time, men suggest.
6. Being kind to our mothers, siblings, and annoying relatives scores big points with us. Guys so appreciate when women go out of their way to be kind to their families. If there's a relative who's particularly annoying, remember, your man often feels as much frustration or antipathy toward the person as you do. But blood is thicker than water, and a little patience and effort go a long way. Bring along a special treat for a big family meal; send a warm thank-you note after you've visited; or participate in the weekly phone call your guy makes to his mom. Ask him how he prefers you to show your interest.