I guess I can start around 17 years ago when I got divorced.
At that time, I decided a few things about my next real relationship. I decided that I would really examine my own self and try to improve. I also decided that the only person that I would clean up after would be a human being whom I gave birth to.
Most importantly I decided that I never, ever….never, ever, ever needed to see my partner on the toilet. I never, ever needed to hear them or smell them. Oh yah. This is a big boundary for me, and my man knows it.
With three children in university and college, and all the stresses of merging two lives and two families, let’s just say our communication has been a series of to-do and to-buy lists along with griping about the others living habits. Our intimate communication has been less than five star. In fact, it’s been f-ing horrible.
The long and the short of it is that we committed to re-connecting, and after our hour-of-power-a-la-boudoir, we began to settle in to what I like to refer to as a ‘time of tenderness’. You know what I mean ladies, when you feel all cuddly and want to talk, and reconnect to the awesome partner you fell in love with. With the bother of passion out of the way, it was clearly time to rekindle our friendship. This is also usually the time that your man falls asleep and you begin hating him again.
So last night, music playing in the background, stretched out feeling blissful, reliving our recent forray into, well, let’s call it the-glorious-climb-to-the-snow-capped-peak…. I awaited my man’s return from our en suite bathroom.
Do not leave the bathroom door open unless you’re sick.
In the candlelit quiet, my heart eased a bit, and I actually felt like a woman, not a domestic workhorse. From the bathroom;
“Hey – do you like The Killers?”
In my head; Sweet Jesus, does the man have a romantic drop of blood in his body?
Out loud; “Yes.”
He then passes gas, tinkles and says, “So do I.”
In my head; Brilliant. He’s perched on the toilet with the door open. The romance is, officially dead.
…and back we go to the reality of life. Poop. Money. Who’s cooking dinner.
It really takes work to keep a spark alive. Trust me, keep the pilot light lit, it makes it a lot easier.
Remember that you’re friends, and always, always, always, close the bathroom door.
It’s true, that oh-so-wonderful day is approaching! Yes, yes, it’s true, I’ve almost made it through another year.
Most ladies-of-a-certain-age like to keep their BIRTHDAY on the down-low, you know, keep it quiet so they can go home and weep tears of pity into a bathtub full of half-popped bubbles.
But not me. No sirree.
You see, I’ve earned every single wrinkle, dimple, roll and jiggle that defines this body and soul of mine, and every year, I like to celebrate.
This is the year before the “BIG” birthday, you know, a number that ends with a ‘0’. I figure I need to celebrate this year to practice for the big one next year. That makes sense right?
My birthday is NOT a birthday without cake. I like my cake like I like my men, deep, dark, and a just slightly more than I can handle.
Although I have earned my seniority in this career of life, I still feel like there’s so much more to learn and to be.
If you’ve been following along this year, you’ll know I had some pretty grand New Year’s Resolutions. I’ve accomplished two of four, and those were no small victories, let me tell you that!
There are two more goals I would like to reach; one I have control over, and the other, well, let’s just say that Venus, Cupid and Aphrodite had better get on the stick!
As far as birthday wishes….hmm, well, I have been crowned a “Hallmark Whore” by some of my less gentile pals. I do like the sentiment of a handwritten note, a well-chosen card, flowers, and phone calls….but don’t we all?
I was asked by the kiddo what I wanted this year, and I gave what I hope is a simple, inexpensive list.Most of all, I wish the total indulgence of spending time with the people I love; my kiddo, my mumster, my friends. Time…a commodity that has a mysterious limited quantity for each of us.
I do have one wish. One wish I have always thought was a very selfish wish. Maybe I’ll take a chance this year and tack it onto the standard wish I wish for every year. You know, the wish you always make because you’d feel guilty if I wished for anything else.
As I’ve aged (and aged extremely well don’t you know), I’ve come to a sure and certain knowledge deep down in my sparkly little heart – it’s not a selfish wish after all. It’s something we all wish for.
But that’s something deeply personal. One of my besties may be able to wring it out of me. ONLY if they bring cake and drink enough champagne to loosen the tight lock that’s rusted to my ego.
It’s no secret that I like to celebrate and socialize with my happy face and party pants on. But buried underneath the smile and the party pants is a woman whose wants and needs are very simple, and as necessary to life as the cake, the champagne, and the friends with whom I share it.
Regularly, I am asked by my shyly smiling male contemporaries, quite often after they’ve had a few too many swigs of their tipple of choice, what I find sexy about a man.
“A particular man?”, I ask in return, aware that the man drinking beside me has sex on the brain. “No. Just men in general.”
Hmm? Men in general. Well, let’s just say that I love all of you delicious little hors d’oeurves equally until one of you performs one of the je ne sais quois maneuvers that tip me over the edge of mere curiosity to flat-out want-you-need-you-gotta-have you.
Pour me an ultra dry martini please bartender. No ice. I have some serious business to write about.
Here’s my list of head-turning quirks that make a man irresistible;
1) Initial timidity. That looking out from under your brow a la Princess Di style can be kinda hot. But not forever, then it’s just creepy.
2) Peeing without pulling your pants down all the way. No you idiot, not the urination part, the masculine stance part that women just don’t do.
3) Watching a man tie a tie.
4) How a man’s hands look when they’re holding their beer, scotch, rum, or water-glass. Grip reveals a lot about a fella.
5) Watching a man shave when he doesn’t know you’re looking.
6) Tightie Whities. No, I’m not kidding. You all look smashing in them.
7) Hair where there should be a little bit. Perhaps this is a nod to evolutionary theory, but hair on a man’s legs, chest and knuckles (ok, just a moderate amount)is sexy. Manscaping is highly, highly over-rated. Trimming is not.
8) A freshly shaven hairline at the nape of a man’s neck. Don’t ask me why, just stay silent darling.
9) I know it’s politically incorrect, but watching a man take a drag from a cigarette drives me wild.
10) Watching a man tease the tender bits from an artichoke leaf with his teeth just about sends me over the titillating edge as well.
There you have it gentlemen. A snapshot into the mind of the fairer sex. Good luck to you all. Remember, if all else fails, you can come over here fresh from the barber shop, have a shave in your undies and begin to tie your tie…but you won’t get much further than that.
Via con Dios gentlemen. I wish you luck with your ladies.
When I was a wee little girl, all wiggles, and giggles, and toothless grinned hope, my mother gave me a piece of advice. Always buy magazines, that way you’ll always be in style.
My mother and I differed significantly in our values. For me, looking good ran a distant second to doing and feeling good. Style came second to authenticity, and if I had to choose, I preferred to be well-read, well-spoken and informed to being worried about the state of my bangs.
Yes, there it is, my guilty confession. But the guiltiest part is this; I love. LOVE. L.O.V.E. reading men’s magazines.
The similarity in subjects to women’s magazines is astounding, and the differing use of language fascinates me. The advertisements are rather telling as well. What, my precious readers, are they trying to sell the men whom we find so emotionally mysterious and impenetrable?
They are selling cool. Now, cool is subjective. Some women like metrosexual men who can flambe, have a cupboard full of men-make-up, and a closet full of colourful Paul Smith and John Lobb shoes. I’m not one of those women. I like classic style that comes off as effortless.
I am not a watch person, but a man with a nice watch can whisper sophistication and strength. Hence the plethora of watch adverts in men’s magazines. I’m more of a GPS watch gal than a pretty watch gal. I like a man who can blaze a trail, not merely flash a name brand and forced smile.
Besides the adverts in men’s mags, I love the articles. In the January 2013 edition of Esquire, as in many other men’s mags, there is a refreshing use of the f-word and frank discussion. With a rather surely image of Sean Penn gracing the cover in jeans and a T-shirt, my little rugged-sophisticated-man-crush was burning pretty darn hot.
Reading about Mr. Pen’s perspective on life, I swooned over his reminiscence of a chat about parenting with Hunter S. Thompson. HUNTER. S. THOMPSON!!! On parenting…..! BLISS…..
Pen quotes Hunter S. about Hunter’s relationship with his son and grandchild, “…he told me the secret of parenting was authenticity. They might not like your authenticity, but it’s authentic to you, and they will find their own authenticity if they are raised in the presence of it.” And that’s what you’re seeking every day; “Who the fuck am I and what am I supposed to be doing here and what do I get out of it” In other words, “Do I feel alive?””
You get little of that raw honesty about parenting, or anything else in women’s magazines.
A lot of women’s magazines focus on clap trap like the Fifty Shades trilogy ( which has its place if you’re trying to get yourself ready for a hot night in the sack with a mediocre man du jour ). Or you get a list of book-club-chardonnay-drinking-white-bread-of-the-literary-world reviews, with a tame interview about an author whose idea of radical writing includes the use of the word vagina.
Not in men’s magazines. You get the dirt where brave writers grow their best ideas. Real writers write about what scares us, and the things we’re generally too chicken-shit to say out loud.
Another interview in the January issue of Esquire with Nick Toshes, quotes Mr. Toshes as saying this about any new, book ideas on the horizon, “When you walk into a Barnes and Noble, it’s all this “How to” shit…An idea I’ve played with for the last few years is to do a book like that but an honest one. Like, “Fuck moderation, fuck the job, and fuck the getting rich because they’re gonna take it off you anyway.”
You just don’t get this in chick mags. You get how to tame fly-aways, how to emotionally de-code your man (yah, right!), and how to make your body more like a stick figure. Blah. That’s no fun!
Reading men’s magazines has also made little old me a bit more sensitive about how difficult it must be to navigate the manscape of 2013. Women already know that ‘they’ expect us to be trim, pretty, intelligent, and impossibly perfect. We expect men to be all of these things (substitute ruggedly handsome for pretty), plus strong, the perfect balance of emotional and stoic, financially and professionally successful, and in the know about outdoor survival and how to fix the furnace.
I’ve always fantasized about men being naturally strong, stoic and having a simple intelligent sophistication. Exposing myself to the world of men’s mags, and especially their grooming and fashion sections has open my eyes to their plight of insecurity.
To all of the men out there struggling with how to do this, just come here. Yes, that’s right, come to Ms. M. Esq., I can kiss it all better.
Yes, I’ve read it. Yes, it’s everything that mommy porn ever pretended to offer and more.
But I’ve been there, done that, had my very own Mr. Grey.
I didn’t realize at the time how totally screwed up some women are to want that kind of thing. The 24/7 control part, not the red-hot sex part. I get that.
I mean my Mr. Grey was just another guy in a long string of unique lovers, a string long and fascinating enough to wrap around a Christmas tree and inspire girl’s night stories for generations.
Ah, to be young again. Le sigh…..
An older, wiser, and experienced single gal-pal of mine once responded to my latest single-vacation-booking with, ” Good girl. Go make your memories. It won’t be long, and that’s all you’ll have.”
At the time I heard those words as a call for pity. A signal to plan another of our night’s out downtown, dolled up, pushed up, puckered up and ready for action.
But it wasn’t that at all. It was a rare statement of meaty truth. There was nothing grey about it. She knew something that I did not. She was well on the other side of 40 while I was still in my early thirties.
Within a few years, my taste for fast times and fast men would dry up. Soon, I would long for the sizzle of slow burning romance and to wake up in the arms of a man who loved me. That was a far cry from wanting, more than anything after a night out, to wake up blissfully satisfied, and even more blissfully – alone.
I used to proudly boast, “My kind of guy has the good sense to get up and leave,” and, “I’m not the kind of girl who stays for breakfast.”
I take you back to my days with my Mr. Grey. They were stretched out over years, trying to get to know a man who did not want to be known. Agonizing and thrilling all at once, this relationship had me hooked like the slow burn of alcohol, and the deep breaths of inhaling from a burning cigarette. Just the thought of spending a night with this man of many talents would have me glowing for days.
We were not exclusive. We both had other relationships. I couldn’t bring myself to commit to a man with so many unknowns. I didn’t care enough to play his game, but I was entertained enough to accept an invitation almost always, whenever one was offered.
And I learned. Boy oh boy did I learn. The difference between a well-educated lover and an amateur. The difference between a player and man who wore his heart on his sleeve. The limits to which I would go when it came to pleasing a man both in the bedroom and out.
I learned that there’s a reason I love men, the way their bodies move against my own, and the way that they make my own body hum. The way they look when they shave in the morning, all sweet and cuddly looking from sleep, but masculine at the same time.
I learned that they’re all lying bastards, and all someone’s precious sons. I learned their needs are not so different from my own, and perhaps that’s why I have been hesitant to really commit, and ready to commit all at the very same time.
Learning about men meant learning about myself. I learned that I was tired of being with a man who craved attention. Made himself, however successful and affluent, look like an ass while trying too hard to maintain an air of mystery.
I learned that the most manly of men are the ones who can laugh with me, argue intelligently, admit fear,let me lay them out utterly and completely in the bedroom, and then return the favour another night.
My memories are fodder for many laughs, and for sharing my hard won wisdom with other women.
Christian Grey may have a helicopter, unending sexual appetite and stamina, but he lacks authenticity, and authenticity my little pink beasts, is raw and powerful and sexy.
…in public or when there is any risk of being seen in public…
1) Rokusaku Fundoshi – basically traditional Japanese underwear for men. Most men from the 70’s would refer to it as a banana hammock or budgie smuggler. Although it is recognized as a traditional garment, it is still occasionally used as swimwear. No one, not even my beloved Johnny Depp or hot young lover could get away with this.
2) Keen, closed-toe sandals. Just ugly. I don’t care how rugged, practical or comfortable they are. They make you look either like a geriatric or an over-sized, hairy toddler.In my opinion – just, no.
3) Wife beaters – also known as muscle shirts or singlets. No matter how buff you might be, any man wearing a wife beater is perceived to look like this;
4) White sweat socks. This is a particular aversion that I have, and can tell you gents out there that white sweat socks, if worn under any other circumstance than in the gym or running are extremely emasculating.
5) Skinny Jeans. Skinny jeans do not flatter a man’s figure, no matter how tall, small or magnificent. Rock stars are the only exception. Chances are you look more like this guy than a rock star.
6) White shoes. Maybe on the golf course in Florida if you’re over 75. Perhaps running shoes worn for sport ONLY. That’s it. No other exceptions. Wearing something like this says two things; you’re trying too hard, and you could never put your gal’s needs first. Most women hold out for a guy with less Peter-Panish, Sicilian-Mafia shoes.
7) Fabric/Leather/Hemp necklaces. Just plain tacky. Unless you are Channing Tatum, and all we want you to wear ever is a small twist of leather, please don’t try to be cool. Trying to be cool is not cool.
8) Bikini underwear. Yes, ripped guys look good in ads, but no woman wants a manly man in her bed wearing these itsy, bitsy, flitsies. Just ew.
9) Overalls. Unless you are Channing Tatum and we’re picturing you naked anyway….never, never wear overalls. Even a young Ashton can’t make the overall, wife-beater look attractive. Sigh….
10) The murse. I know, I know, technically this is not an item of clothing it’s an accessory. There’s the rub. Men do not come with accessories. Real men come with raw, masculine sex appeal….not a bag full of girly kitsch.
After great research I came up with this list with the assistance of thousands (or so) of women who are experts in what makes a man attractive or not. The above ten items fall in the ‘or not’ list.