Most men probably have a good idea of the stereotypical things that women supposedly find sexy. Images of men sliding out from underneath cars with their pecs glistening with grease tend to spring to mind, for instance. But when women’s site The Hairpin recently published a list of 32 things men do that women find sexual, there were a lot of unexpected inclusions.
Plenty of movies and men’s magazines trade on the idea that the hyper-masculine “manly man” is what makes women swoon, but when you ask actual women what they find attractive, you’ll find a lot of unlikely, cute or straight-up weird answers that veer away from what’s traditionally considered sexy in a man.
What women like in men is as varied and individual as each of us is, of course, but certain themes tend to emerge when women are given the mic to discuss what we’re really into. So without further ado, here are 13 things you didn’t realize that women find super hot in men:
When You Pay Attention To How You’re Dressed
There’s a stale trope that (straight) men can throw on any old thing that’s vaguely clean and be good to go; that it’s an affront to a man’s masculinity to care too much about how he looks. However, it’s clear that tons of women are turned on by the very opposite: Men who know their exact suit measurements, meticulously launder their white T-shirts, and wear clothes, like shorts that come above the knee and very tight jeans, that “manly men” might shy away from. Women are firm on this one: Men who pay careful attention to their presentation are devastatingly sexy.
When You Brush Or Play With Her Hair
This one shouldn’t come as a surprise to you if you happen to have long hair, or even if you’re just a human being with nerve endings in your scalp. Having your hair touched feels SO good! Having it brushed or played with is like an intimate, at-home version of a head massage, and plenty of women find that irresistible.
When You Say “You’re Right” Without A Qualifier
Everyone appreciates having a discussion with someone who can concede a point without getting babyish and defensive about it, and women are no exception. There’s no turnoff like a man who insists on wringing the last word out of every conversation, and the opposite is also true: Men who are graceful conversationalists are in high demand amongst women.
When You’re Good In The Kitchen
People who don’t appreciate being cooked a nice meal are few and far between, but the frequency with which women report cookingas a turn on has certainly been underreported. Some women like a man who can whip up a fancy signature dish, and others are happy with smaller gestures, like a simple breakfast or great cup of coffee. One thing’s for sure, though: An apron is a good look on you.
When You Can Acknowledge Other Good-Looking Guys
This one comes up surprisingly often when you ask women what qualities they find attractive in men: Men who can talk about other men being attractive without squirming like a sunburnt worm about it. There’s something firmly appealing about a man who is secure enough in who he is that he can recognize when another man has it going on (not to mention tolerant enough to realize that “Ughhh, that’s gay!” isn’t an insult or clever retort).
When You Love Animals (And Talk To Them In A Funny Voice)
Speaking to an animal in a funny voice (“Nyawww, you’re a widdle puppy!”) may strike you as a bizarre thing for women to find sexy, but we’re just reporting the facts here, and men who are goofy and gentle with pets immediately increase their attractiveness levels.
When You Grab A Condom (Without Being Asked)
THE WOMEN HAVE SPOKEN: Men who take sexual health seriously without whining, pressuring or dragging their heels are overwhelmingly sexy. It means you’re not trying to put the responsibility for the sexual health of everyone in the relationship on her.
When You Dance (Even If It’s Kinda Goofy)
A lot of men are scared to dance because they know they’re no Usher or JT, but men who can be playful and light-hearted without taking themselves too seriously consistently find favor with women. Don’t be a stranger to the dance floor even if you don’t rate your own moves, or if that’s still a little scary, see point 5 above and let loose in the comfort of your own kitchen.
When You Read. (Seriously. Read.)
What’s not to love about a man with a healthy intellectual curiosity and interest in the inner lives of other people? Nothing.
When You Smell Nice
This is an easy one to check off and it’s being passed up by too many men. Guys: It’s not good enough to merely smell not-bad, and there are plenty of masculine scents for you to play with. Find a cologne that works on you and make it your signature scent — and watch as women start sidling closer.
When You Really Listen
It’s not surprising that women want their opinions and views to be heard, and the idea that men don’t listen seems to bear out in real life frustratingly often. After asking women what they find attractive, a clear turn-on emerges that outstrips almost all others: being genuinely listened to. It’s a shame that something so basically decent is fawned over by women, but generations of rude men have made it easy for you to stand out here. Letting us finish our sentences? Making a sincerely thoughtful face when we explain our point of view? We’re positively craving it. Bonus points if you listen so intently you do the chin-hands.
When You Respect People Who Are Serving You
The appeal of this one hopefully goes without saying: It bodes well for you as a person if you treat those who serve you kindly, and that’s attractive.
When You Make The Bed
Competence in the domestic sphere is an almost unanimously attractive quality in men, and women report finding lots of different things sexy in this domain, such as the ability to fold laundry well, keep a bathroom spotless and perfectly scoop an avocado from its shell. But one household activity is so widely favored amongst women it’s surprising it’s not yet its own sub-genre of women’s erotica, and that’s watching a man make a bed. Seriously: women can’t get enough of it — so start perfecting those hospital corners.