What’s the female equivalent of “I’ll never get an erection again”?
I experienced that abysmal sensation when I learned that actor Alan Rickman was directing a play about deceased Jew-hater “activist” Rachel Corrie (or, as I like to call her, “St. Pancake”).
You see, women’s sexual fantasies are notoriously… odd, as anyone who’s read Nancy Friday’s 1970s sensation My Secret Garden can attest. (I’ll give you Mr. Spock, ladies. But Terry-Thomas?! Seriously?)
And up until the day he broke my, er, heart, my idea of a big thrill would’ve been sitting on Alan Rickman’s lap while he read aloud from the Manhattan telephone directory.
His face has been politely and aptly described as “anachronistic,” and he’s not as young as he used to be. And now we learn he’s a leftist.
But that voice!
(What are you laughing at?)
Yes, gentlemen, you can fake a British accent and maybe get lucky (unless you happen to be in Britain at the time, where your American one will do the trick). But a permanently sexy voice is a gift.
Rather than focus on the things you can’t change, why not consider those you can?
The first thing I noticed about my future husband was his brand new Rockport dress shoes. (He confessed to me later that they were so painful he’d discreetly slipped them off under the restaurant table and prayed his feet didn’t stink.)
Perhaps you’ve been miraculously spared all the buzz about Fifty Shades of Grey (the title comes from the alpha male hero’s pricey neckties). Then simply Google “women notice men’s’ shoes” and prepare to be amazed. This is most definitely a “thing.”
A friend of mine went on one of those annual cruises hosted by a famous conservative magazine. She said you always knew when Mark Steyn was coming down the passageway because you’d first hear the sound of giggling females of all ages, glued to him like pilot fish.
Steyn is a brilliant writer as well as an impeccably polite, courtly, and cultured yet well-rounded gentleman who apparently divides his time away from his desk between hobnobbing with minor European royalty and mushing sled dogs around his New Hampshire farm. (See also “sexy voice,” above.)
No one is ever surprised to learn that Steyn is a big James Bond fan.
I’ve had the pleasure of spending a few hours in his company. And after all these years, I’ve come to the conclusion that Mark Steyn is required by law to wear a bespoke suit at all times, possibly even whilst mushing.
So while few male readers will ever be able to acquire Steyn’s inimitable prose style (and the success that’s come with it) or his Rolodex, they can certainly jot “get a tailor” on their self-improvement lists.
Which brings us to…
2. BODY TYPE
Ever since Dr. Sheldon — and, some would argue, Plato — male body types have fallen into three categories: ectomorph, endomorph, and mesomorph.
So on Gilligan’s Island, Gilligan is the ectomorph, the Skipper is the endomorph, and the Professor (beneath that unconvincing veneer of nerdiness) is the mesomorph.
(Mr. Howell’s body type is “old and rich.”)
Yes, I’ve scolded some of you recently for being fat. But body type is not about weight (which you can change) but about your skeletal structure (which you can’t).
A smart man works with his inherent physique, partly through appropriate fitness regimes and partly through wise clothing selection. (See “style,” above.)
I’ve had four male friends in the last month complain to me that they are “fat.” Three of them are not (and this is me talking).
They are just what the old Sears catalogs used to call “husky” — that is, non-obese endomorphs.
I’m not sure which movie stars they are comparing themselves to, but I worry that there’s a “manorexia” trend brewing. The last time I saw photos of Seth Rogen and Drew Carey, I honestly thought they had cancer.
Same goes for John Goodman.
Goodman was a (literally) huge crush object because his character’s weight was overshadowed by his humor, his seemingly effortless physical grace in spite of his size, and his unabashed passion for his family.
Every morning, Dan Conner went off to a job he didn’t particularly love, because it was his duty. Yet he managed to make even “duty” kinda hot.
Which leads us to…
Captain Picard can violate my Prime Directive any time. Why? Because if you can get past that embarrassing figure-skater outfit and the fact you can’t tell he’s really kinda short, Picard is poised, confident, and competent. He’s not going to steer the Enterprise into a black hole or get the Vulcan ambassador’s name wrong.
This, and not the baldness, is the same reason women love the guy from the Transporter movies: Dude has a skill set.
Men get lots of much-deserved grief for retreating into the semi-masturbatory world of video gaming, but in their defense, gaming is one of the few remaining male-only realms in the modern, sanitized-for-your-protection, egalitarian West in which average men can strive to achieve mastery.
Granted, it’s a shallow, ultimately useless sort of mastery, but it feels close enough to the real thing to serve as an idolatrous substitute which briefly satisfies the vague yet persistent yearnings men naturally experience to learn, fight, and win.
So why not master something non-virtual? And I don’t mean hacky sack or (God help us) magic tricks, but something with practical, possibly even lifesaving application: grilling, shooting, fixing stuff.
This bit from the criminally underrated 2007 indie The Hammer on the other hand? Strangely…arousing:
I told you already: I’m weird.
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