Once upon a time recently, I went to dinner with 3 men. (go me!) Two random things learned:
1. "Women can under-express the physical qualities we appreciate in men."
2. "It sounds funny when women pretend they're into a man's ass, because guy's butts are really just ugly."
I just quote.
I told them about a woman's comment posted under the That's What She Said teaser when it was posted by the wicked awesome Edith Zimmerman over at The Hairpin. These guys were pretty fascinated, and I thought I should post it here in case you missed it! Her handle is @ilikemints, and she's responding to this interview with Cindy Gallop.
I watched these with my boyfriend in the room, and when I got to Cindy's, where she tells the story of her friend getting turned on by the dude's forearm, he got really confused. He had never heard of the male forearm as a sexy body part before, or what made a forearm sexy. I had to do an image search to show him, explain why that was a big part of why dudes in bands tend to get ladies even if they're ugly (he has been in bands for almost 15 years!), because playing guitars and drums get dudes' forearms ripped. He knew that women like guys' bodies, but had never really thought deeply about individual male physical attributes that had merit or were valued in any specific way, other than general "that dude's really muscular, most girls want that", and that on the whole men's bodies were goofy and relatively inconsequential, and I get the sense that a lot of guys feel that way, too.
On the whole this idea makes me very sad because not only does it do a great disservice to the intricacies of male-directed desire, but also to the way many men view their own bodies as being sexually neutral except for their dicks. I know I'm not completely happy with my body, but there are parts that I love that make me feel sensual and sexy, like the smallness of my waist, the fullness of my hips and ass, the delicate lines of my collarbone. Having these areas shown off and touched by someone I want to do the sex with help make me more confident in myself and make me a better partner. I think if a lot of dudes who feel down on or apathetic towards their bodies knew about the female gaze and how certain parts of them made women feel would be more confident in those qualities and be better at sex than having it all wrapped up in dick size, which, personally, I'm not that worried about.
Worth noting is that my three friends proceeded to roll up their sleeves and show a little more flesh last night. Let's just say I got to gawk at their sexy winterized forearms the rest of the night. Not bad.