15 Things I NEVER Hear Men Say Are Sexy In A Girlfriend (But Wish They Would)

Stephen Hussey

(Photo: Hamed Masoumi)

Dating advice is starting to irritate me more and more.

I’m so bored of reading about that ‘Irresistible First-Date Kiss That Will Keep Him Hooked Forever’.

I’m fed up of click-bait magazine articles telling women how to create a steamy night of passion by lighting a scented candle and whispering something into his ear about not wearing underwear, or wearing matching underwear, or whatever the party line on undergarment etiquette happens to be that week.

I’ve read enough about ‘Body Language That Tells You It’s True Love’ and ‘Sexy Positions He Secretly Wants His Girlfriend To Do In Bed’ to last a lifetime.

So I’ve decided to list of some of the sexiest traits I find in a woman that go beyond the usual magazine fodder.

Some are universal to all guys. Others are my own personal preferences. 

It’s not an exhaustive list, but these are the things I feel REALLY MATTER, the things that click in my head and set off my “she’s amazing, keep her!” alarm after a few months into dating.

15 Unconventionally Sexy Traits In The Woman I’d Love To Date

I’ve separated the specific traits into four general areas.

Put these traits all together and a girlfriend (at least to me) becomes so sexy – so incredibly attractive – she’s basically irreplaceable:

1. An Intelligent/Beautiful Mind

[*] A girlfriend with a rich intellectual life, who is engaged in lifelong learning and reads good books for pleasure (think One Hundred Years of Solitude rather than Fifty Shades Of Grey).

[*] A girlfriend who is genuinely open-minded about new experiences and is capable of changing her opinions, rather than the woman who thinks ‘open-minded’ means ‘believing in everything’, from the power of healing crystals to Dowsing.

[*]  A girlfriend who is a critical thinker and questions everything, embraces doubt, and isn’t dogmatic about her views.

2. Intimacy and Thoughtfulness

[*]  A girlfriend who learns my likes and dislikes and shows that she factors them into her decisions.

[*] A girlfriend who will hug me when I’ve been beaten up (emotionally) by everyone else instead of making me feel like less of a man for being vulnerable.

[*] A girlfriend who will let me hold her when she’s suffering without accusing me of being patronising. 

[*] A girlfriend who is a problem-solver and works out difficulties together. She doesn’t shut down or hide in moments of conflict.

[*] A girlfriend who tells me the truth without making me feel judged, and corrects me without making me feel like an inept, hopeless child.

3. Integrity and Rounded Character

[*] A girlfriend who decides for herself what is important for her mind to focus on, instead of parroting whatever her celebrity-filled twitter feed tells her is big news this week.

[*] A girlfriend who loves socialising for fun and enjoyment, not because she wants validation and attention.

[*] A girlfriend who can debate without turning it into an argument.

[*]  A girlfriend who adapts to situations. She can drink beer and play pool, go running together in the park, be elegant and charming at a dinner party, work on our laptops in the evening, and wear sweats and eat pizza when we relax on the weekend.

4. Long-Term Thinker

[*]  A girlfriend who invests in her long-term skills and potential instead of desperately trying to hold onto superficial things through her twenties/thirties/forties.

[*] A girlfriend who takes pride in being able to take care of her own life, and doesn’t secretly dream someone will come and fix it for her.

[*]  A girlfriend who builds a future she loves, instead of trying to recreate a past that is already behind her.

Dating advice tends to focus a hell of a lot of What To Do, and not much on Who You Are.

Tips and techniques are great – but relationships are really defined by what happens when the initial charm and best intentions of the first dates wear off, when people really start to see what lies behind the self you present to the rest of the world.

Want to keep a guy?

Forget lighting candles and wearing matching underwear. That’s just the neat, glossy cover that surrounds the book.

And nice covers are great. They are the icing on the cake. They look impressive when you show them off on your coffee table. It’s much more pleasing to have a book with a beautiful cover than an ugly one.

But it’s the rich content inside that makes you never want to put it down.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

What’s ONE thing you find sexy that you never hear people talk about? Leave a comment below!

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163 Responses to 15 Things I NEVER Hear Men Say Are Sexy In A Girlfriend (But Wish They Would)

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  1. Martin says:

    Hi Stephen, these tips and questions are very good to approach my crush. Thanks for sharing these tips and questions. Keep Updating.

  2. christiangreypua says:


  3. Rain Lewis says:

    There is nothing I want
    But there are things I appreciate
    I do not want a relationship
    Sharing life’s moments though in a non co dependant, healthy, emotionally intelligent interaction is as beautiful as a shooting star without the wish

  4. Rain Lewis says:

    Infinite authenticity integrity and conscious evolution on the internal journey of oneself at whatever pace
    To dance life’s dance and know there are no backward or forward steps in life, just a beautiful dance that goes on eternally whilst becoming the dance
    And sometimes to share moments of the soul without the noise of language
    To share my epiphanies and also share my silence, both are deep

  5. Sophia says:

    I’m a woman who also embraces the traits you mentioned above to be ones I hope I’ve developed in myself ! And I look for them in a guy !!

    One trait I find sexy is, after sizing up a potential guy on a dating site and he gives me his number to call him. Then we text a few exchanges and he would like to call me. He does. And this guy who appears handsome, family oriented, educated, industrious, admittedly looking for love suddenly says, ” I like you, I like talking with you, you make me feel free.”
    That, right there. That’s the good stuff !

  6. KJ says:

    That’s what I want from a man! (I’m female.)

  7. Rose says:

    I’m a girl and those are the qualities I’m looking for in a man. Never found them so far.

  8. Mahsa says:

    For someone like me who was never thought how to love myself, how to have friends and how to have hobbies instead of just studying my whole life your words (although make sense) are hard to implement in real life. I want to rebuild myself before I look for the guy. I know if one has a good life they naturally know to do the right thing. Please right on how to be these traits you wrote above.

  9. Laurel says:

    Hi Stephen. I really enjoyed this read. It offered me a lot to think about and reflect upon myself & I am in agreement with you that these qualities are far more superior than exterior beauty & flashy style. It spoke of vulnerability to me which is a true act of courage & trust. I am no expert, but in my experience, your search within your criteria is not as rare as the one who would embrace such a person whole heartedly with respect and appreciation. This, I believe, is why valid trust & vulnerability in a woman is difficult to find sometimes. However, I have faith you will find what you seek. You are a rare gem.
    Best Wishes & Thank you

  10. Nils says:

    Someone who is true to themselves and knows their self worth is attractive to me, someone who is relaxed around me, overall a confident and positive person to be around. And doesn’t spend ages grooming himself and checking himself out in the mirror too much. And someone who doesn’t love themselves out vainess. Does this type of person even exist Stephen?

  11. Nils says:

    More men need to seriously think about stuff like this. Most men I come across recently it seems like it’s all about initial attraction for them not about getting to know a woman inside and out. It’s a sad world we live for men to be this way. If there’s one guy I want to be with particularly but I can’t because I’m just not good enough for them in their eyes.

  12. Louise says:

    Ha, this is great. Thank you for cutting through the nonsense! Of course there are some women who have read 100 years of solitude and fifty shades

  13. Chloe says:

    Women that want to offer that, even though they could adjust to stupidity if they only wanted to, are not this rare; it is just that they have figured out in this era of quick fixes and devaluing of anything deep, profound, lasting and real they should withdraw these assets from the market; unless they can spot, and be spotted, by an equally real Man. Than not too many words need to be wasted anyway.

    Thank you for shedding the light, dear Stephen. It is about time. Love, C.

  14. Mary says:

    The things I find sexy that I never hear people talk about: intelligence, integrity/character, compassion, sense of humor, confidence/being assertive, and passion for something. Thank you for writing this article! My mother always said that there were two kinds of beautiful. The first is superficial. Upon first glance, the person is extremely physically attractive but over time, you lose interest in this person because they become unappealing. The second type of beauty is deeper. The person may appear physically unattractive or average. However, as you get to know the person/their personality, this person becomes more beautiful/more appealing every day until you are deeply in love with them.

  15. Meshendia says:

    Great post- refreshing and honest. Thanks Stephen.

  16. Diana says:

    I was pleased to hear that such men still exist. Thank you! Striving to be that woman every day!

  17. Tracy Lynn says:

    Vulnerability…when a man is capable of letting down his guard in an attempt to allow a woman to get to know him. We all do our best to hide our wounds. And it’s such a sad thing because we all have them. I would much prefer for someone to share the hardships in life than constantly hide behind them. It shows emotional maturity and an intention to grow both in the relationship with me and himself.

  18. Kelly says:

    I’m 49 years old and I think I love you, Stephen Hussey. XO. ;)

    This is beautiful. Thank you for what you do.

  19. Veronika says:

    This article made me so happy. I was smiling the whole time I was reading it because it is like you wrote it about me :D :D exept of books (and movies too. I like to read also easy stuff from time to time. Even 50 shades of Grey :D and I dont think it makes me a stupid person :)

  20. Maria says:

    Oh, that’s me whom you would love to date, Stephen :D
    But to be serious, I am really glad that these things are valuable for someone and that makes me happy reading this. But thinking of my life experience, I understand that the most men of my age (23) are not thinking ahead, living only the emotions and desires they’re having here and now. That makes the art of woman you described here too complicated for them, and they prefer the ones who are just easy to get. And the older men don’t take the women like me serious because of the age, or what is worse, they expect you to be stupid and unexperienced to use it. When they find out you’re not like that, they lose their interest.

    What I would say I find important about man, what is not discussed often. As long as I’m living abroad and seeing the difference in people – in culture, life experience, ideas etc – I see that you can’t always understand someone for 100%. We are all different when we look at the things through the prism of our attitude. But what is important for me, is that the man would always understand my feelings.

  21. jacina says:

    For me personally it is kindness & intelligence; I couldn’t bear to be with a man who was say unkind to animals or rude to waiters. I also love it when a guy is smart and can understand and read people and situations and be generous in spirit to smooth things over and be compassionate for other people.

  22. Laura says:

    I find it attractive when men pay attention to what is going on in the world and cares about what happens to other people.

  23. Tamala says:

    I find it really sexy when a super hot guy has no idea hes hot and hes comfortable in his own skin and can be himself without being snooty stuck up or superficial about it…theres nothing worse than a georgeous guy that has a black ugly bottomless pit for a soul.

  24. Lindsey says:

    So, I’ve started periscoping about art, culture, and literature. Your list sort of reminded me of it. It’s something I’m super passionate about but I can brush off reading poetry and looking/reading my books about art, but periscope holds me accountable and gets me excited about it. It’s scary too, so I love that I’m pushing myself to be uncomfortable. Working on not saying “um” :) Love your list because I do like to look pretty but there is so much materialism. It’s nice to talk about depth. Xx Much love, Stephen. So happy for you with all your successes.

  25. Sydney says:

    I like it when guys are high maintenance about something and get oddly particular about having to do something a certain way like work or attachment to possessions such as cars, video games, books, anything. Lego collection. I don’t know. It’s cute to see guys obsessing over anything

  26. Brandi says:

    Excellent article Stephen. I also agree the typical advice is full of short-term attraction tactics. For me, what’s really sexy in a man, and essential in an ltr, is humility and compassion. A man who lives each day with the knowing that life is a mystery, we’re all forever learning and growing, so he embodies awareness, faithfulness in life and others, strong yet gentle disposition, and sees the beauty and value in each moment (even confusing or stressful ones). This is definitely my dream guy.

  27. Maria says:

    truth tellers that combine it with kindness.

  28. Jade says:

    nothing wrong with healing crystals or Dowsing…. ;)

  29. Julie MacKenzie says:

    This article is awesome! ;)

  30. Eva says:

    For me the most sexy thing is to see someone passionate about something-and it can be anything! Cooking, sport, books, instruments etc.. Not just liking what people do but getting the real passion is the most atractive thing ever!!! It is not really comon unfortunately in these days.

  31. Katalina says:

    A forgiving heart is very sexy. When someone is truly sorry for a transgression a person who forgives readily and thourghly is sexy. We are all human and make mistakes. A person who can easily transcend a transgression, as long as it isn’t habitual, has a kind and loving heart. My philosophy is that God will only choose to forgive me as much as I chose to forgive others.

  32. Audrey says:

    I think those qualities are really worthwhile for men and women. Can anyone really be all those things though? Thanks for the article. They are always interesting and valuable.

  33. Rebecca says:

    Like this a lot Steve! I think 2015 is quite a difficult time for men in the sense that women can do it for themselves but would still LIKE to be cared for. So it’s finding the midpoint between being patronising (which actually I find men rarely are) and not being a gentleman at all. Different women want different approaches but how is a guy supposed to gage that?! BUT… some men just know how the modern man is to be charming as hell and make that balance work and they do it somehow and they stand out for it.

  34. Liljana says:

    Great!Why the hell men never say this things are sexy??(except you of course)

  35. Lisa says:

    Steve this is awesome!! I loved it, especially how you broke it down to four specific parts (the long term Thinker one was what surprised and impressed me the most, thank you for sharing that. It was the perfect Cherry to top of an already deliciously satisfying Sundae :0) You are truly a Man of Class to have such rich and highly honorable Standards.

    I LOVE Men who read and don’t have disgustingly Trashy Habits (gossiping, picking on Strangers and ordering you to things in a ‘playful I’m just kidding around’ way) but to say something that wasn’t mentioned by you I would just say someone who is just an all around Medieval Respectful (fights off Bullies for the weak, holding himself to extremely high standards of Courage and Honor especially for his Princess or Queen)

    I’m an American and just found Matt on Youtube and I’m HOOKED on how addictively helpful he is. So are you, keep up the good work as a Team!!


    Senorita Lisa from the States :0)

  36. Anna says:

    I find anonymous helpful deeds so sexy. Sending a family with small children a hundred note in the mail when you know they won’t be having a Christmas dinner or gifts for the kids that year without it…sexy as! And they’ll never know who sent it.

  37. Egle says:

    Thank you for sharing these somewhat intimate yearnings. I hope you find what you’re looking for. :)

  38. Freshy says:

    you two brothers are amazing, I am addicted to your stuff. Love to meet you both one day.

    Please come to Australia Melbourne.. one day soon.

    Freshy xx

  39. Kiraz says:

    Steve, this is how Bob Marley put it- similar to what you wrote. I think this is what we all want.

    “Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around. You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more.

    You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you.

    When something wonderful happens, you can’t wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement.

    They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself.

    Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather they build you up and show you the things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful.

    There is never any pressure, jealousy or competition but only a quiet calmness when they are around. You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are.

    The things that seem insignificant to most people such as a note, song or walk become invaluable treasures kept safe in your heart to cherish forever.

    Memories of your childhood come back and are so clear and vivid it’s like being young again. Colours seem brighter and more brilliant. Laughter seems part of daily life where before it was infrequent or didn’t exist at all.

    A phone call or two during the day helps to get you through a long day’s work and always brings a smile to your face.

    In their presence, there’s no need for continuous conversation, but you find you’re quite content in just having them nearby.

    Things that never interested you before become fascinating because you know they are important to this person who is so special to you.

    You think of this person on every occasion and in everything you do. Simple things bring them to mind like a pale blue sky, gentle wind or even a storm cloud on the horizon.

    You open your heart knowing that there’s a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible.

    You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that’s so real it scares you. You find strength in knowing you have a true friend and possibly a soul mate who will remain loyal to the end.

    Life seems completely different, exciting and worthwhile. Your only hope and security is in knowing that they are a part of your life.”
    ― Bob Marley

  40. Chantal says:

    Wow, that was great. Bookmarked.
    One thing that I realized is super sexy once I grew up and got past the physical aspect of men, is genuine compassion. Believe it or not it’s not common in men. I’ve heard so many guys say that women seem to prefer assholes and I’m sure some do but many of us don’t. Assholes are rampant though and sweet, compassionate, thoughtful guys are endangered for lack of better wording. Another very important thing is ambition. Women have become very independent out of want but necessity too! I’ve been observing how pathetic “men” have become with no work ethic, playing video games all day, not taking care of their children, etc. I would like to procreate at some point and it doesn’t look promising haha. I understand struggle and hard times, setbacks but please have some drive. Strive to be successful. I can only speak for myself but I’d probably make some damn good, passionate love to a man with a huge heart and lots of ambition!

    • Lisa says:

      Love it Chantal!! I totally agree with both of your points, they are hugely Underrated nowadays. Especially a Man with both, but that’s how you know when you find him that he’s a Limited Edition Gem to treasure forever :0)

  41. Andromeda says:

    Well for me a guy will never respect you as being able to hold your own unless you can stand on your two feet financially.
    Its like if a woman gives up their independence and becomes financially dependent on a man, she’ll have far fewer choices in life. She’ll end up at someone else’s back and call. She’ll be at someone else’s mercy. This is why a woman should maintain her independence. Her “pink slip” and a fill of ownership of herself.
    As long as you have the resources to choose your terms, you keep your pink slip and you keep your power. If you choose to leave, you can always grab a suitcase and go.
    This very independence makes him not want you to leave. The ability to choose the way you want to be treated = Dignity.

  42. Kiraz says:

    Hi Steve,

    “But it’s the rich content inside that makes you never want to put it down.” What a great sentence.

    Here is one thing I find attractive that I never hear people talk about: A guy who doesn’t compromise his freedom for anybody. Women like to keep their guys away from any potential hook ups. But there is actually much deeper connection and attraction when you set people free. I find a guy, who is wanted by other women but recognizes only one woman among all, attractive. Because you know that even though he could choose to go with other girls, he comes back to you every time. What could feel more special than that? It doesn’t mean you are an option, it mean to him you are top notch. Now that is so hot! Same goes for both sides of course. When I show him that I choose him over other guys, it should make him feel special. And neither side should take it for granted. I wouldn’t compromise my freedom for anyone even in marriage, neither should my partner.

    I completely agree with you about the “click-bait magazine articles”. Bunch of Sex and the City style superficial crap. I am not sure “romance” and “being dirty” even go together. In romantic movies, they show couples who are so in love with each and they never give up on each other after so many years. Can you imagine those couples talking dirty in the bedroom? I can’t. I am talking about the real dirty talk, not just cliche “oh yeah baby do it” stuff. There might be some people who can write a love poem one day and turn into a sexual beast next day, but very very rare. If someone can manage both skillfully without mixing them, he is a hero.

    All the best

    • Lisa says:

      i LOVED what you pointed out about how True Romance is about those Couples who are seperated for Years and still don’t give up on each Other. I used to be extremely moved by reading stories like that too in History Testimonial Books, I am glad there is someone else out there who values and respects that same Standard :0)

    • Lisa says:

      i LOVED what you pointed out about how True Romance is about those Couples who are seperated for Years and still don’t give up on each Other. I used to be extremely moved by reading stories like that too in History Testimonial Books, I am glad there is someone else out there who values and respects that :0)

  43. fatima says:

    I have found it difficult to find men who think like you do Stephen. Though that could also say something about me.

    I have met very few but when i do find them even when they are not my relationship type i do treasure them.

    I have been single for about 10yrs. And its not from lack of interest from men but because i am trying to live my life and want the right person to complement it.

    My first long term BF was a great guy and left to him we would probably still be together but i found it difficult because hes an extrovert and im an introvert with extrovert tendancies (when i choose). Its taken me sometime to learn these things about myself, also why i didnt want to have another personality in my life until i knew more about me.

    I have recently started dating a really great guy and its been immensely helpful having spent time on my own.

    One thing i enjoy immensely about him is that i get stuck in my head often, im not fearful of things, im more over stimulated by my environment, and my guy, he just takes my hand and lets me know that hes right here for me. He’s a calming influence on my busy mind and adventerous and fun which are all things i really enjoy.

    Thank you for your article, it really does help share more views on the value women can have in a mans world.

  44. Flori says:

    Great article :). So glad you mentioned Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ book. I also recomend Love in Time of Cholera. It’s a work of art :).
    It’s great to get a different perspective, thank you. :)

  45. Jay says:

    Super sexy when a guy has a balance of ambition and thoughtfulness

  46. Lola says:

    there are certainly some things I need to work on according to that list, but I find it very hard to find someone who actually appreciates those qualities in a woman. Maybe it’s just that I have met the wrong people but this is really a very different view in a “perfect” girlfriend than the one I had thought men wish for. Great article!

    • Lisa says:

      Yeah you made a strong point maybe of more Men were vocal about these Reasonably High Expectations then Women would strive to build themselves towards this direction you know? (i.e. spend more time reading, researching, and being tenderly supportive instead of shopping for Sex Toys and Weed to call it a night)

      I agree that this was an AWESOME Grand Slam quality piece. Although I will still probably check out 50 Shades of Gray in the Theatres though hahah. I am curious about that Christian dude’s Flashbacks

  47. kikolja says:

    Weirdly, guys with this extreme – he may appear cocky first or at times, but shows a side which is caring and loving and “wanting to give back” to family and loved one’s. Amongst his confidence, letting his vulnerable side out, did it for me. Now don’t get me wrong, I dislike EXTREMES in everything, when something is TOO much I don’t feel attracted, but a keeper knows how to walk the perfect line.

  48. Carla says:

    A man who can stand on the red carpet and demurely step aside, when you are lucky enough to be in the spotlight. At the same time, someone who does not treat you like a little girl when you are down in the dumps and the spotlight seems far away. A man who accepts your complexity and values your magic.

    ps. Great article. I certainly do not live up to all the standards listed, but that is good, since you have given me fodder for more improvement. The sistine chapel of the self. *

    • Lisa says:

      Love it, especially that “He accepts your Complexities and values your Magic” line. Wow that was truly beautiful

      Your humility is endearing as well. It takes a very strong Woman to admit what you did, so props to you

  49. Amber says:

    An intellectual mind for sure. When a man can carry on an (interesting) intellectual conversation; without coming across as arrogant or snooty–that’s better than foreplay for me!

    • Stephen Hussey says:

      Totally agree Amber! Is there anything more sexy than someone who knows how to be fascinating with their mind?

      • Amber says:

        Thank you for your response Stephen! Why yes, perhaps the only thing sexier is a man with an accent (and) a fascinating mind :)

    • Kiraz says:

      I completely agree, Amber and Steve.

      What could two people do together if they can’t have a proper conversation? The typical couple life in the USA is go to work, come back, have dinner, watch tv. and make some kids. Like robots. Personally I am having really hard time finding people to talk to properly. People don’t seem to care about anything other than their own lives.

    • Lisa says:

      “That’s better than foreplay for me!!”

      Hahahah that line was golden. Yes I agree it is so exciting and fun and thrilling when a Guy can stimulate you in that way without coming off as arrogant or snooty. Usually they come in a package you know?

      • Lisa says:

        Matt would be an ExCELLENT example of this rare type of Breed by the way

        • Amber says:

          Agreed! He seems to have the whole “unique pairing” thing down to an art! I’m grateful to have stumbled upon his work. In the last few months, he’s shifted my perspective when it comes to dating and relationships so much. I don’t agree with everything he believes in or says, but I feel that for the most part he’s right on point.

      • Amber says:

        Haha, why thank you miss Lisa for your comment!
        Meeting men in general doesn’t seem to be an issue in my neck of the woods. Even meeting attractive men, no problem. BUT when it comes to meeting physically attractive men who are able to stimulate a woman mentally and emotionally…well…let’s just say there’s a reason I’m still single!
        Unfortunately, the area I live in is more or less a place where people come to settle. Or if they’re born here, they have no desire to leave. Even if they do want more, they don’t necessarily act upon it.
        Give me a man who is ambitious, speaks with passion and has the determination to follow his dreams…that man automatically becomes ten times more attractive than the good-looking, juice-head at the gym.
        Words can be seductive when used properly in terms of attracting someone. It’s possible to create more desire with suggestive language (both verbal and physical body language) than one does with physical intimacy. The guys around here try to move so fast into being physical or just jumping into a relationship! What happened to slowing things down, building tension and getting to know someone first?
        I feel like the best relationships are those that begin with friendship. Unless you can effectively communicate with someone, there’s really no point in taking it further.
        It’s like Matt says, you have to use the “sex and pizza” test! If after being physically intimate with someone, you find yourself wanting to keep them around to talk to and eat pizza with (and they feel the same way)…that guy right there is a keeper!

        • Lisa says:

          Hey Amber!!

          Wow I really loved your Response, you communicate very clearly an Intelligent and Refreshing way just like Stephen. Your situation sounds very frustrating, where do you live by the way?

          I TOTALLY get where you’re coming from with that quality of Courageous Adventurousness you want in your Mate. Simply TALKING about your Dreams is one thing, but having the Balls, Sensibility, and Bravery to carry it out makes that Man 1000 times more Attractive. It’s like a Sign of Competency and True Masculinity that I really admire and respect, and it’s likely to reflect how much genuine Effort he’ll put into satisfying YOU in your Relationship too. So I hope you stand firm with these Highly Reasonable Standards, I can’t imagine you settling for anything less.

          Wow, it’s funny how you mentioned that Gym Obsessed Narcissist just now, I was rewatching Real World Paris last night and Christina said something SOO cool in a similar way about how she would take a Bruce Lee over an Arnold Schwarzeneggar anyday for the same reason.

          Her – “To have somebody who can really feel you and give you that Intellectual Stimulation I love so much, I’ll take that extra cut off the Superficial Muscles over someone who just comes Home everyday going, “look at how much I benched today baby, how awesome does my body look right now?”

          Like Her, I feel it speaks a great Deal about the Quality of your Character by how passionately you speak for what you want, I hope the Universe hears it and sets you up with your Best Fit who marches to the same Rhythm :0)

          • Amber says:

            Hello again Lisa! (by the way, totally enjoying our conversation here and connecting with you!)

            Thank you so much for the compliment and for your response as well! Loved what you said about a person having the “balls, sensibility and bravery” to carry out their dreams. Straight to the point without sugar-coating it, much like Matthew!

            Right now I’m located about an hour so away from Boston, where good-looking men with sexy accents aren’t difficult to find. I don’t know if it’s the fast pace of New England (or maybe the guys I’m attracting?) but “hook-up culture” seems rampant. There are some “rare birds” though, good guys with the best of intentions…and of course I’m not nearly as attracted to them as you might think I would be (how very masochistic of me, lol) How is the dating scene where you live?

            Oh I agree with you 100%! It’s a sure sign of competency. It takes a certain level of confidence to chase after your dreams and competence builds confidence. The two go hand in hand with dream chasing and most anything else in life. The combination of competence/confidence/ambition is sexy and masculine (when it falls into the right kind of man’s hands of course…in the wrong hands, it may be used for evil, haha, “Let the force NOT be strong with this one!”) And def agree it reflects the level of effort and follow through a man is willing to put forth in friendship/dating/relationship. That’s why I only date men with beards now, that shit takes patience to grow!

            And thank you for encouraging me to stick to my standards! I think it’s fantastic when we as women can life each other up like that! I hope you stick to your standards too, most certainly never settling for anything less.

            Oh my god, I LOVE that Real Word reference! I don’t watch the show myself, but what you’re talking about is completely relevant and relatable! And hey, Bruce Lee was a hottie! (his son Brandon was quite the looker too) I couldn’t stop laughing when I read what you wrote about the guy coming home and saying “hey baby, how does my body look now?” I actually know guys like that!

            The last part of your reply was written so eloquently woman! You have an intelligent and passionate way about writing as well. Thank you for being genuinely sincere about me meeting a man who truly is the best fit. He’s out there somewhere! I’m thankful though, for getting to weed through the contrast of what I don’t want (and won’t settle for) in the meantime. Such a learning process!

        • Lisa says:


          What a Treat finding your Response in my Email today, it’s raining hard over here in SoCal so it was like coming Home to warm cup of Surprise Hot Chocolate :-) I live in Walnut, it’s a Subarb in LA with lots of Upper Middle Class Asians. Your ¨That’s why I only date Men with Beards from now on, cause that shit takes Patience to grow!!¨ Comment made me laugh so hard hahah. I just watched 50 Shades of Gray and LOVE how Jamie Dornan works his Irish Face Fuzz, if that’s the look you’re going after I totally support ya :0)

          Man Boston Accents are Hot!!I can see lots of Girls going Crazy over that mixed with the Sexy New England Muscles. You need more than just the Libido Rush though, just like that ¨I Can’t Get No Satisfaction¨ Song by Britney and the ¨Genie in a BOttle¨ on by Christina Aguilera hahah. I love that pointed out how you value the Slow Tension BUilding Process, I agree that that’s the most exciting Rush of all!! My Friend Greg said it best that the Buildup Fun is like Climbing a Tree for our Inner Child, there’s something really Magical and Exciting about the discovery and Exploring Process. It’s sad that most people in the Dating Scene nowadays want to zoom through that and skip straight to the Sex or Marriage Parts, I think there’s a Beauty in holding off on that stuff until your Trust and Attraction is fully cooked from All Angles.

          Yeah I say if Ambition and Brains is what you’re having the Hardest time finding, narrow your Manhunting Lasers to New York or crash the Company Picnics of those Fortune 500 Companies hahah. Let the Companies do the filtering for you :0)

          We could probably make a Movie Script out of that!! Film it over the Course of however long it takes like that Boyhood Project hahah. That way it can help you stay in Tune with Happily Enjoying the Journey too :0)

          Are you British by the way, or American?

  50. Cyd Vega says:

    Hard working naturally talented men are the most sexy of all in which ever industry they work in. There is nothing more endearing than a knowledgeable man who is open to new ideas and converation too.

  51. fatemeh says:

    Absolutely 100% agree . My boyfriend has recently told me that one of the reasins he wants0 me for a long term relationship, is the drive I have in my life and my refusalto give up when I hear “no” .

    • Stephen Hussey says:

      Yep – the reasons people notice us in the first place and the reasons people fall deeply in love with us aren’t always the same things. We end up falling for a personality and small traits people have which make all the difference.

  52. Agnieszka says:

    I love you! How do you know it all?

  53. Darla says:

    Sexy is a guy who is passionate and comfortable -does not shy away from helping others!

    • Stephen Hussey says:

      I like it Darla! Altruism is a hugely important quality for long-term compatibility. I recently read in this article (http://goo.gl/1iW6bX) that kindness and generosity are two of the most important traits for a successful relationship so you’re on the right track!

      • Darla says:

        Stephen- Thank you for the link to this article it’s so helpful. So much awesome wisdom to be taken from the research. One of the best compliments I’ve ever received was from a guy. He said I was “responsive”. At first, I didn’t get what he was saying because it doesn’t sound very sexy. This article helps me get it on a whole higher level. Take care-

  54. Mara says:

    This is great! I try to tell my brother to look for these types of things in girls but he never listens, says he doesn’t want to date someone like his sister Lol

  55. Tammy says:

    Hi Matthew,

    Thanks for the article! Love it (as ussual)
    What I really love in a guy, is when he can argue, without raising his volume. Instead of that he uses words to express himself and if he can’t make himself clear usus easier words to acomplish bhis goal.. To listen, to be open and talk.
    I’m a very small woman and I can easily get scared when you put your chest up, raise your volume and hands go up and down..

    One thing that can really be sexy is a shy smile. He can have a great laugh and lots of fun. But it is very sexy when a man from time to time has a sexy shy smile. It shows he is vulnerable, I guess.
    I really like that in a man, when he is not just a bunch of testosterone. Showing off what he has.. Instead of wanting to show what he is missing..

    Keep up the good work! Love to read all your articles!

    Love, Tammy

    • Ivy says:

      Hi Tammy,

      This article was written by Stephen Hussey, Matthew’s brother and co-author of their book. You would want to direct your thanks to him for this article.

      With that being said, THANK YOU so much, Stephen, for posting this lovely article and numerous others. This really brings things into perspective and helps us to avoid fixating on the superficial elements of a true relationship. I look forward to seeing more of your work.

    • Lisa says:

      I know EXACTLY what you mean by that Shy Smile!! A Man is Sexy when he knows how to catch a Compliment effectively

  56. Jill says:

    LOVE this…that’s all I’m gonna say.

  57. Jenel says:

    Wow, just wow. I needed to read this. Thanks for the accountability Stephen. ;)

  58. Mitze says:

    Men only care for the attraction part and if it does not come to this, they let the women manipulate them and finally they end up with the person that does not fit them the best. But with a person who manipulates them the most.

    – They marry the wrong girl and that is the reason why so many relationship does not work. When it comes to feelings and sexual attraction and the power-game, men are not be able to think straight. Most of guys get into a relationship with ambitious manipulative girls , and complain later on, their bad experience with women in general.

    – This list is how they feel, but who ever listen to what they feel when it comes to love, most of the men don’t know what they feel. They make different decisions then what they really think or feel but what they HOPE and expect. Alot of the time, it turns out to be different, but then a separation occurs or it it too late to get out of the relationship.

  59. Happy M. says:

    Hi Stephen, I really appreciate your post and I would love men that share your traits list for a sexy girl ;) – thanks for sharing with us your thoughts.
    I have a question for you.
    Yesterday I visited an apartment to rent together with a commercial agent. The apartment was horrible, while the tenant was a fantastic guy!
    I don’t know the name of the tenant and I cannot ask the agent for this…
    QUESTION: I would like to leave a note on the apartment door next week, with the excuse to ask for more info on the house, leaving my phone.
    How would you react if you were in the place of the tenant?
    (I also thought about knocking but I do not want to be too much obtrusive. Besides, Having not yet moved to the new city I’m afraid I do not find the right time when he is at home.) Please, let me know. Happy M.

    • Jessica says:

      Enter Jessica (lol)
      I think that in this situation you might be better off knocking. Maybe you could say something like, “hey, not sure if you’re busy today but I came by to see the place recently and I just can’t decide if it’s the apartment itself that piqued my intrigue or the interesting people that seem to live around here [smile :)]. Since I’m from out of town, maybe you could tell me a little about the area.”

      That way, you’re not acting falsely interested in the place, but more so interested in what he has to say about the culture. And you’re kind of hitting on him without being too forward. It’ll take some guts to knock but what do you have to lose? If it somehow turns south hey- he’s moving anyway! ;)

  60. The Dr. says:

    I love your list and I am this kind of person. It is disheartening though that so many guys go for looks first, become dissapointed by the absence of the qualities you cite and then disappear. If they valued the qualities on your list more highly it would make life so much more fun! Luckily, if one has these qualities the wait for a guy who “gets it” is more easily bearable. Still, can you publish this article in Ask Men + FHM + Sports Illustrated please? You need to get the word out!

  61. Kate says:

    Hi Stephen.
    I would also find it really sexy if you spontaneously invited me to stay at your place and then offered to lend me me your best undergarments for pyjamas.
    NB: This however would not be sexy the other way round.

  62. Kate says:

    Hi Stephen.
    I would find you really sexy if you casually winked at me ( spell checked ) for example in the Starbucks coffee queue……
    Just a small, perfectly formed gesture is able to arouse my mind and body simultaneously….. I love winking ;-) x

  63. Alexia says:

    Hi Matt and Stephen.Great,Great article!One of your best so far Stephen.
    For me ,Sexy is when a guy is HUMBLE!
    That’s the most important quality for me.
    Thanks..Always Inspiring.

  64. Agostinha Jacinto says:

    LOVE IT! :)

  65. Ilona says:

    A. Chekhov, a Russian writer, wrote “Everything about a person should be beautiful: the face, the clothes, the soul and the thoughts”. I wish people worked more on the last two and I wish there were more people (men especially) appreciating the the last two. And those men/women who actually do that, who can see beyond looks/status and genuinely admire people for their personalities and value that these people give to the world, I send them my respect.

  66. Victoria says:

    Some things are mass produced and mass sold. Other things are unique and personalized. I used to work for a telecom equipment company. All sales people wanted to sell optical fiber, because it had a small number of features and was easy to offer to a customer. No one wanted to sell router solutions, because those required careful design and customization.

    Dating advice is like that, too. It’s easy to sell a look defined by makeup, clothes, and cosmetic surgery. And so fashion magazines take an easy route while getting subsidized by the providers of makeup, etc.

    In contrast, Steve and Matt take a high route. They discuss what they like and don’t like, what works and what doesn’t. They offer stories that magnify their general points and provide us with sometimes conflicting aspects of the complex reality.

    I enjoyed reading Steve’s list, because I satisfy all his 15 points. But it’s important to remember that these unconventionally sexy traits are not a replacement for the initial attraction, which is still based on the looks, tension, and other things that Matt talks about.

    Thank you, Steve, for another great article!


  67. kish says:

    Oops I forgot to mention what I find sexy in a guy

    1) mentally stimulating– I don’t need a brainiac or a patronizing and pedantic intellectual–just someone who is easy and interesting to talk to and motivates me to see different points of view or learn something new.

    2) good manners/chivalry/being a gentleman–this very important in today’s world because very few guys do this. It is really important that he treats women and elders respectfully, children and old people gently and is polite to everybody. I also expect a guy to treat me well personally, otherwise I don’t find him sexy no matter how gorgeous he is. It all boils down to sensitivity and consideration for others.

    3) having a backbone/courage/guts and tons of self-respect—I cannot respect a guy who cannot respect himself and he needs to have the guts to stand up for himself and his beliefs. Nothing turns me on more than courage in everyday life. No spectacular stunts are needed.

    4) relaxed confidence and being comfortable with who he is-
    -I love it when a guy accepts who is and is not afraid to be himself. I like it when he doesn’t try to “become” someone or act like someone or try to appear a certain way. Honesty and authenticity is very sexy. I hate it when guys try to brag and impress-they come across as insecure. The relaxed, completely-at-ease air is very very sexy.

    5) masculinity–both in physical appearance and behavior.
    I think this is appealing because it is something that complements my own femininity. I like guys to behave like guys and look like guys. No effeminate men for me! I also love deep manly voices.

    6) fun/adventurous attitude/liveliness-
    -I love it when a guy has a certain positive, upbeat enthusiastic, energy about him, mischieviousness, a teasing personality without being silly, cartoonish and childish. A good sense of humor (not a mean sarcastic streak) that is not slapstick and silly with a touch of warmth is a must and very sexy.

    7) passion and direction in life-
    He has to be passionate about something–whatever that may be and while I don’t like overambitious Type A people, I love it when a guy has a direction in life towards which he works hard and has his own dreams and ambitions.

    8) independence and originality–in every way.
    That is, he knows how to be a responsible mature adult and doesn’t depend on others for his needs. Guys who do not seek validation from others and have their own independent mind and are original are very sexy. They are not interested in conforming or living their lives to please their parents or authority figures etc. That doesn’t mean I like outlaws and rebels but someone who does his own thing without hurting others.

    9) solid integrity. strong character.depth.
    A guy could be shy and quiet or outgoing but inside he has to be strong. This kind of person commands genuine respect effortlessly.

    Unsexy traits–wishy-washy, passive aggressive, indecisive, weak, boring, timid, falsely modest, arrogant, characterless, approval hungry, people-pleasing, mean, uncouth, hurtful, insensitive, fake, superficial, cowardly, effeminate, useless, ineffectual, negative, directionless, vague guys are very unsexy.


    i think its sexy when a guy is off guard just being comfortable not acting too cool. oh and showing his soft side with his family and is church (core values) and of course when he wears a suit for work and means business (boss mode).

  69. AspieCatholic Girl says:

    I wonder if this is Stephen’s way of surreptitiously advertising for a girlfriend…Any ladies up for the challenge?

    • Kathryn says:

      Up for the challenge! I should think the’re already queuing round the block.

      • Kathryn says:

        You’ve actually hit upon something there, in that as women we are never told this in such detail. We are expected to be mind readers, in that ‘if you really loved me, you’d just instinctively know’! No I’m not mystic meg. If we as women have an idea of what we find sexy, but not in a superficial manner, we would be less likely to dismiss a man out of hand because of his looks or status as we would be looking at the content and not just the cover. Women are not good at this and I think this is why a lot of women also like married men or can’t consciously uncouple from their ex. It’s like these men have been tried and tested, rated and a single, new man is unknown and like a house that been on the market for ages there is clearly something wrong with it. Not that actually, like Stephen has illustrated here, they have values, standards, actually thought about what as an individual would make them happy and fulfilled. It’s just that not all men can write so elegantly and eloquently. There is not a scarcity of good, single men out there and please let us women be kinder to each other and don’t inflict pain by taking someone else’s man. Let’s be more open minded in our approach and think about our list of what we find sexy in a non-stereotypical way. X

  70. Renata says:

    This is such a good article. I appreciate how some individuals such as yourself focus on what’s really more important when it comes to dating or just life in general and share your information with the world. Keep up the positive work!

  71. Selamawit says:

    It is absolutely sexy when someone consistently challenges my thoughts and stimulates my mind. It doesn’t have to be contrived but if more often than not an article found on the internet leads us to a discussion on its applications and relevancy in our lives it would keep me very happy. It is also pretty hot when a partner occasionally does something he/she dislikes or isn’t very excited about just because it brings me pleasure. I love museums and theater and my last partner didn’t but he made the time to be out there with me and would make an active effort to analyze it with me once we left. I would go enjoy myself at the occasional sports game and host a party to watch games together even though i don’t care a lick about sports.

    • Selamawit says:

      p.s. I liked how the traits are categorized into groups it allows me to digest them better. Great job Stephen! You give me hope.

  72. Lorie says:

    ONE thing I find sexy (there are many, but you asked for one :-) ) is having someone I trust….someone that I know without a doubt will always ‘have my back’. There is just something about knowing that he is there for me no matter what or when or how, that I find incredibly sexy.

    Loved the post, and definitely agree with all your points!

    • Stephen Hussey says:

      Yea that feeling of having complete support is one of the most incredible parts of relationships. Thanks Lorie x

  73. D says:

    Stephen, I really liked your last point “A girlfriend who builds a future she loves, instead of trying to recreate a past that is already behind her”.

    It’s probably not the easiest thing, to move on from the past & create a new life/future for ourselves. It would be easier to just drift along, if you know what I mean! I find this point very inspiring. The whole article is really good!

    • Stephen Hussey says:

      Thank you! I think that was one of the most important points which is why I ended the list with it. It’s one of the most unattractive traits when someone holds onto past successes and failures, instead of taking control and building a compelling future.


      Stephen x

  74. Emilie says:

    When a guy has the guts to challenge what I am saying, without either person getting offended or upset. I don’t need someone to agree with me all the time.

    • Stephen Hussey says:

      Great one Emilie. It’s tragic how rare it is to find someone with whom you can disagree without them taking offence.

      Thanks! Stephen x

      • A says:

        Same here..!

      • Vikki says:

        Haha, this reminds me of a moment G&I had a few weeks ago. We were in a pub having a pre-dinner drink and debating the meaning of such words as “compromise” and “sacrifice” and how neither of them is in my lexicon for relationships. Others kept looking over at us (small pub) but we were enjoying our debate so much it only crossed our minds later that others may have interpreted the intensity as an argument ;-) G said how much he likes our debates and that we have the quality of relationship to have them. I agree :-)

  75. Heather says:

    I loved this post.

    I would add that, I think if men *really* thought about it – if they had the dialogue to present it, with your elegant way of thinking, many would recognise much of themselves – their desires, in this list Because what you’re describing is one hell of a life partner. This women you describe is someone who already has everything within her, to live a productive life and partnering with such an emotionally intelligent, life loving soul will only serve to further expand yours.

    I recognise much of what you’ve mentioned, both in who I already am and also, who I wish to be. Such an empowering piece of writing. Thank you Stephen.

    • Stephen Hussey says:

      What a lovely comment Heather – it really means a lot, thank you. Also, I’m glad so many people seem to share my idea of the perfect partner!

      All the best,

      Stephen x

  76. Lourdes Valencia says:

    I think the best advice should be “just be you :) in every situation and every way” :) and that’s it.

    I was nice to reading this article, it taught me a several topics :)


    • Stephen Hussey says:

      Thanks Lula!

      I think it’s important though to lay out specific traits like this, because “be yourself” is so hard to follow as prescriptive advice. I think it’s easier to think about the kind of traits you want to have and grow into them over time, making tiny shifts all the time towards the best version of yourself.

      Stephen x

      • Lisa says:

        Absolutely I totally agree. Excellence is in the details, especially when it comes to bringing out the best in people. It’s like this Quote I marked down recently that I really love, “Treat a Man (or Woman I guess in Stephen’s case hahah) as he is and that’s who he will be. Treat a Man as he can and should be and that is who will become.” I think that’s why so many Women were so inspired to Elevate their Trade Value after reading this Article, because it challenged them to Upgrade their Blueprint in the best way. Without the Diamond cutting details there would be no Diamond Vision to strive for

  77. Louise says:

    Thank you Stephen! You just put into words why I couldn’t relate to those advices in magazines, why they seemed useless to me :D

    And Rom, I’m not pefect but I felt quite identified, I just need to work on my self-confidence and my future! (almost missing point 1 and 3 of long-term thinker, but I’m working on it!) :D I do exist and still I have no BF XD ha ha ha

    • Stephen Hussey says:

      Thanks Louise – really happy to hear you found it useful.

      Steve x

      • Louise says:

        How nice you comment back! :) Thanks again Stephen!

        By the way, I did not point out what I find (unconventionally) sexy. Being Mexican, I find it rather common that men are the counterpart of needy, dependant, demanding woman, in terms of cooking and housechores. So a guy that can manage well on his own, and wouldn’t die of starvation whenever I’m not around, is quite sexy! :D

        • Lisa says:

          Louise I’m really impressed with how you replied!! For you to note specifically which parts you need to work on is so cool. I also found the Long Term Thinker to be the most original part of this Article, I am and am not this which is kind of confusing for me hahah. I feel like I am growing into this Stage of my Life which is why the Universe crashed me into this Article today.

          I really, REALLY get what you mean about the Codependent Mexican Counterpart Blueprint. I think it’s Super Hot too when a Guy can give a Muchacha a break and take charge of the Domestic Sector, not only one who can take care of Himself but who can care for YOU properly too when you’re too weak and tired to cook. That’s one quality that I really appreciated about my Ex even though the other 90% of his qualities killed it for me hahah

  78. Kayla says:

    It’s perfect. Change the word girlfriend to boyfriend and you have who I am looking for.

  79. gg says:

    there are only 4 or did missed them?

    • Stephen Hussey says:

      4 Areas, but 15 traits overall. I just used the four areas so that it wouldn’t be a random list of different characteristics with no order.

  80. kish says:

    Stephen, this is a great list. Not at all unrealistic. You really have focused on the inside–the more enduring and meaningful traits that make someone worthwhile.

    And you are right. I have never ever heard a man say these things are sexy.

    I do not mean to sound conceited but I have almost all of those traits except
    – I do not drink beer (but don’t mind if others drink) and
    – I am more on the introverted/reserved side so I don’t “love socializing” but I do like it and enjoy being with people especially in more intimate gatherings.

    I have other qualities that can bring value to a relationship such as
    -I love food and cooking and can cook many things
    -wide variety of interests-versatile
    -being organized
    -passion (for life, for everything, a bit feisty too)

    Well, of course, this is your list and others may have different things on their list but I must say that I am hardly thought of as sexy despite checking off a lot of these boxes. I don’t even feel sexy. Most guys don’t even make it past the point where they can find any of these qualities and actually enjoy them.

    I do have faults too just like everyone. But for me being vegetarian is also a “fault” since I have seen some guys literally back off after hearing I was a vegetarian.

    I think most guys think I am aloof, cold, arrogant, boring, serious, (mostly because of the reserved exterior), too short, ordinary looking (or too cutesy), plain, uptight/prissy, too honest, not “popular” and therefore really unsexy. I don’t seem to make much of an impression on people even though they may admire my ‘achievements’ (academic or otherwise) or think of me as a “good” person (but not likeable).

    What guys seem to actually find sexy is
    1) good body (of course!)
    2) good face, looks, fashion etc. (they want arm candy, don’t they?)
    3) outgoing personality and excellent social skills (shy ones are just boring/awkward)
    4) women who make them feel amazing through flattery or whatever means from laughing at their bad jokes to being “helpless” (guys love having their egos stroked)
    5) confidence or the appearance of confidence (this is important no matter what)
    6) some kind of status/popularity–having many friends, suitors, admirers social validation (no one wants whom no one wants)
    7) fun/adventure factor (adrenaline rush)
    8) willingness to be sexual/being sexual (no uptight prissy women!)
    9) unpredictability (keeps things exciting for men otherwise they take you for granted)
    10) being interesting/engaging in some way even if superficial (no boring women and sometimes being too deep is very boring to men)

    I believe Matthew has mentioned these qualities before.

    I think these are important too and I have very few of these qualities which explains why I am still single and SO unsexy.

    What do you think of this list? I believe most guys wouldn’t look past it to see anything else on the inside let alone appreciate the qualities you have mentioned. It takes a really great guy who is golden on the inside to even begin appreciating what you have written.

    • Heather says:

      I understand what you’re saying but I don’t agree with your breakdown of what men want. No, I think it’s really this:

      Men like women who
      1. make them feel good, strong, powerful.
      2. are able to make themselves happy – having a full life (this doesn’t always mean lots of friends, but having your interests and dreams – and the willingness to achieve them)
      3. are healthy in body and mind – this is primal stuff
      4. are nurturing, in nature
      5. ADORE them << this is key!

      It's worth remembering that men get a lot of their validation – as men, from women. That includes, sex, emotional connection and support: these could come under 'daily intimacy'.

      I really don't think that the majority of men care that much about the 'perfect body'. The perfect (female) body is one that is cared for, looked after, and there, solely for their comfort and pleasure. I sincerely believe this to be true. Most men are far more sweet and emotionally vulnerable than we give them credit for.

      • kish says:

        Yes, you are right and your list is more accurate in terms of what men love and what they are happy with long term including the part about intimacy and connection. I was writing about what men find sexy, especially initially.

        And no, I do not believe that men cannot be emotional and vulnerable.

        For your point about women who keep themselves happy-well I don’t think guys are much concerned about whether women pursue their dreams or not and what they achieve. I think they need women to be happy with them and happy in general (whichever way it comes about) so they don’t feel like failures. Men do seem to put a lot of weight on how happy they make their gfs/wives and take it rather personally. The easier a woman is to please, the more the man likes her. High maintenance women don’t work.

        Men also like women who balance a certain amount of dependence and space. They like having women lean on them but not be a burden. They like to feel superior and have women “follow” them so they can teach them etc.

        Also, for looks and body, I did not mean that a woman has to be perfect but appealing to a particular guy depending on his type. This could mean voluptuous or athletic depending on the guy’s preference. Usually a good body is the result of a healthy body. I agree with you that they want a body that is well cared for and available for them. I do realize that men are certainly not as fussy as women about bodies/looks/fashion. But they DO need a woman to be physically appealing- there is absolutely no doubt about that. On the other hand, a woman can find a fat bald man sexy if he has a great personality. The reverse is seldom true. That was my main point.

        One more thing-what men (or even women) want vs. what they settle for/what they can get /what they can be happy with are two different things sometimes.

    • Ilona says:

      I believe, there are dozens of guys, and girls too, by the way, who wouldn’t look past your list. There are millions of people out there who are superficial and ignorant and who wouldn’t bother to understand what kind of person you are on the inside. The conclusion is – we don’t need these people in our lives. Period.
      But I also believe that your list (confidence, playfulness, adventurousness, nice looks, social skills) is essential for the primary (superficial) attraction, for someone to notice you, to start a conversation, which can lead to getting to know each other on a deeper level.

      And the question is – do you like yourself? Do you love yourself in general? Would you date yourself? Do you find yourself cool to be with? If, yes, then, who cares what the majority of the guys likes or doesn’t like. Our society changes all the time, no need to get deceived by its superficial values and standards. Be who you want to be.

      • kish says:

        Yes, absolutely. Not only do many people not look past this list but people are quick to judge and misunderstand as well. I can give you my own example-where people think I am vegetarian for religious reasons or political reasons and tend to back off because they don’t share those beliefs when the truth is that I am not religious at all and see this as a personal choice not a political statement. But do I have time to explain all this to people in general? Who would bother to listen? Who would understand? It is the same with being quiet and introverted. People have ascribed all kinds of faults to me because of this from being arrogant to socially awkward–why? because I like to spend time alone!

        Not to turn this into a personal rant but I think we should all be careful about our snap judgements and really get to know people. I am always careful about writing people off based on superficial characteristics. Pride and Prejudice was all about that!

        And you are right that we don’t need these kind of people in our lives if they are so superficial but that severely limits options. There can always be wonderful potential friendships and relationships that we might miss out on. So packaging does matter if we want to have maximum options.

        As far as I am concerned, I am really quite happy with how I have turned out and am going in a really good direction. No matter what happens I will be more than fine. Yes, I love myself and would love to date me! Too bad if no one else can see it.

    • Stephen Hussey says:

      Your list is excellent Kish – very astute and accurate, but the point of the article was just to highlight traits that are unconventionally sexy and not usually thought of as ‘hot’, but which myself (and many men) find really attractive in a woman. As for the idea that guys wouldn’t look past your list though, I definitely have to disagree – for example, a woman could have all the traits on your list, but if she is too much drama or very needy, or prone to arguments and selfish, or lacking in intellect, I would want to date her for longer than a couple of weeks at all.

      Also I don’t see vegetarianism as a fault at all. And I’m sure most guys could live with the fact that you don’t drink beer.

      As a general point, it’s very clear from your comment that you tend to focus on many negative things about your personality, and your list of bad qualities about yourself makes me a little concerned that you are looking for reasons a man would reject you instead of emphasising your strengths and best qualities. You might think you are just being honest about your weaknesses, but actually, the truth is, anyone could find 20 weaknesses in themselves if that’s all they focused on. But confident people think about reasons why they ARE a catch, and they focus on the best qualities that make them amazing to be around instead of thinking of all the ways they might be discarded. For example, I could easily say about myself that I have a tendency to be introverted, shy, annoying, overly analytical, living chaotically and being disorganised – if I did this for long enough I could find many many more reasons that someone might not want to be with me. But I don’t focus on these things. The truth is that SOMETIMES I am these things, but mostly I am caring, someone who is full of positivity and love for people, someone who loves excitement, full of energy, confident, communicative, interesting, with a strong purpose and sense of direction. It comes down to what parts of yourself you CHOOSE to focus on bringing out every day.

      Thanks for such a great and stimulating comment!

      Stephen x

      • kish says:

        Thanks for your comment. I did not meant to come across as self-deprecating or negative. I was merely talking about how I am perceived by men mostly. I do not actually believe I have all those faults though I do have some just like everybody else. Neither do I believe that being a vegetarian or non-beer drinker etc. are faults per se–just lifestyle choices. It is true some guys could live with that but most don’t want to.

        The point I was trying to make was that perception really matters-especially when it comes to sexiness. It is not enough to have inner unconventional sexiness if it is not packaged with outer/conventional sexiness. Very few guys (and women) have the perceptiveness to really see people in totality. If you are one of those men, that’s great Stephen.
        And I agree with what you said about not finding a woman sexy if she is a selfish drama queen but some men don’t even realize that until they are married to her based on her outward sexiness. I have seen too many examples of this.

    • Lisa says:

      Wow kish you are really Smart, I love how you sang out the Complicated Truth like that. I too don’t drink and am not sure whether or not I would be cool with my Guy drinking in the Future, it’s a lifestyles Principles thing (to make room for something you have to let go of something else, so clogging my Casa with Counterproductive Beverages will block us from that awesome Chinese Stuff that makes us age backwards :0) I am also Anti-Social in that the thought of being around crowds on a regular basis is a huge turnoff for me. I find that acceptable to myself YET at the same time I know I wouldn’t want that in a Partner, I prefer someone who is happily open and adaptable too. So, it’s been mindfucking me lately but thanks for sharing that so I know I’m not alone.

      I like that you followed up what you thought you were truthfully lacking with the Extra Credit you can bring to the Table to make up for it. My Mom taught me a Unique way of looking at it recently, it’s called the Hand Test.

      “You can’t expect EVERY Finger to be the same length, some will be longer and shorter than the others, bu as long as it functions perfectly as a set you’re good”

      So keep that in mind Chica. You sound SOOO cool and Unique and totally a Character I would love in a Novel or a Movie.

      The second part of your Post totally makes sense too. I don’t consider myself a Superficial Stuck Up Prick but I do love having a Stylish Confident Stud that’s the Envy of the Party. That being said though, a lot of that has to do with marching to your own Unique Special Rhythm and you TOTALLY have that. It’s just about putting together the right Book Cover to properly represent the Substance inside it like he was saying at the end of the Article. I approach it with the challenge of how I would design the Character of my own Life Movie, which pieces I would select and how to style her hair to represent her own Unique Charm the most.Some of her stages do have awkward and plainer pieces, but it’s all part of the evolving process which makes the Swan that much more appealing in the end (think of Emma in that movie One Day with Anne Hathaway)

      Some guys don’t care that much about Sex. I think being around Men/a Culture that OVERemphasizes it can make you feel like a Prude, I’ve had those moments too until I met someone who was chill and didn’t pressure me and that’s when my I felt myself opening up like I was designed too. It could be the same for you too!!

      Stay true to yourself I find you absolutely Charming with your Bold Authenticity being one of your greatest Strengths. It will take a Great Man to appreciate someone with your Trade Value so stay True to your Rhythm that’s the only way that you’ll hear it :0)

  81. Anais says:

    I enjoyed this article, Stephen. And they say women have long checklists :-) Most of the qualities especially the ones under 2, 3 and 4 sound universal. Number one’s content sounds a bit more of a personal preference since there are guys out there who don’t want a girl who is intelligent and can debate. They also often stress the fact that men don’t care about a woman’s achievements,etc. However I’m starting to feel like a lot of the men who shy away from women with intellectual traits have insecurities about their masculinity, don’t have very full lives themselves,and haven’t taken the time to grow and learn more. It really was pleasant to read a list like this rather than superficial tings that are supposed to keep a guy hooked forever.

    • kish says:

      Anais, great points. I agree with you about men not truly appreciating a woman’s intellect. It is not that they want dumb women but most cannot handle those who are smarter than they are or at least comparable such that they are likely to win a debate even some of the time. Men love to “teach” women things, guide them and feel superior in general and intellectually.

      Also, I am not sure if no. 4 is universal. Most guys don’t care about what a wonderful life a woman has built for herself. They seem like a bit of helplessness as long as it doesn’t get too demanding. I doubt that guys think/care much about how much a woman has invested in herself or her long term goals and in realizing her potential. Men seem to want women who will support them in realizing *their* potential. They want women who are easy to get along with and whose ambitions don’t clash with theirs.

      • AspieCatholic Girl says:

        I think intelligent men want a woman who’s intelligent. Men who are themselves less intelligent care less about a woman’s intelligence. The fact that this list includes intelligence says something about Stephen.

        • Stephen Hussey says:

          That could be true Aspie – but at least it’s encouraging that if you want an intelligent guy, he probably wants you to be the same.

          Thank you! x

      • Lisa says:

        I think Guys will not be able to appreciate a wonderful life a Woman has built for herself until he is secure with the quality of HIS life, hence the wanting someone who will help him realize his potential trait that you mentioned. I too have found Guys like these a turnoff in the past because they’re focused on me me me instead of backing up and taking care of YOU which is what the True Gentleman Experience is all about. I do like feeling valued and needed though and I think Guys feel the same way, which is why both sides tend to be turned off by the types who carry that “I can handle everything myself and don’t need you” vibes

    • Stephen Hussey says:

      Thanks Anais. Very interesting comments you raise here.

      I hear this comment that men don’t like intelligent women, and I’m never sure what to make of it. I can only speak as a man, one who has always liked intelligent and successful women. To me, intelligence and some degree of success tell me that a woman is autonomous and self-sufficient, which I personally find very sexy. I don’t find dependence an attractive trait – but I think there will be men out there who deliberately choose dependent or unintelligent women in order to make themselves feel better. I guess it’s a good reason to aim higher and go for guys with self-worth.

      Also, I think that some women can use their intelligence as an excuse for why men aren’t into them long-term, when really it may be just that they are abrasive or like to patronise a guy, and then when he is turned off she’ll tell herself it’s because he couldn’t handle her intellect rather than because she was rude and aggressive. So it’s important to be aware of why it really is that a guy is getting turned off.

      Thanks again, all the best :)

      Stephen x

      • Lisa says:

        I COMPLETELY and totally agree. Lots of times it’s because these Intelligent Men and Women are too graceless with their Gifts that makes them a huge poisonous Turnoff. You couldn’t have worded it more perfectly

  82. Kathryn Green says:

    Ooh I had a long list and then I saw you said ONE thing you find sexy. As you put it in capitals I ‘ll take it seriously and say, in essence, to be able to rub along together in a way that is sexually tense, friendly, intimate, humorous and harmonious all at the same time.
    Enjoying many varied activities together in different ways. To have interests that don’t need to be exactly the same. I have a guy friend who rows. He likes that I do ballet. We recognise the discipline, mental and physical agility, and commitment it takes. You don’t need to be peas in a pod. To be able to quietly watch a film together without the need to be constantly mauling each other, sitting in a headlock or them talking all the way through and not getting it. Nothing like being able to sit apart, enjoying great food and a drink, really engaging or enjoying the film quietly together. By asking us to go on a run, a track day, or laser quest, something maybe thought of as an exclusive boys activity. It gives us the opportunity to forgo the make up, hair done and smart, thought about clothes. We can stick our hair in a pony-tail, put on sweats and show that other side. You giving us the opportunity and not just wanting a doll-like sex object is sexy.
    Walking around in a just a towel is sexy in only a man way but I’ve definitely gone over one example now!
    Kathryn x

    • Stephen Hussey says:

      Haha I love these Kathryn. I’m glad you went into such vivid detail – I really like hearing the female perspective on what makes a guy sexy too. Also I row too, so I know the discipline and commitment it requires! And you’re right that guys should give women the opportunity to join them on their “boys activities” so that they can enjoy different things together.

      Thanks for all of these – they’re great. I didn’t know walking around in a towel did it for girls either ;)

      Take care,

      Stephen x

  83. The Modern Lady says:

    You listed beautiful qualities, but I disagree with one — secretly, all women wish to be saved, even the most strong-willed successful ones. Like all humans, women want to be loved, and while some aren’t willing to settle and will spend years being single, they’re secretly wishing for the perfect man to come along who will love them; save them from their singledom, and provide the partnership they’ve been missing for so many years.

    • Stephen Hussey says:

      I can understand that everyone (men and women) has the impulse to find love and SHARE their life with someone, but I don’t think that’s the same at all as being SAVED from your life. I think the idea of being saved suggests you couldn’t be happy and fulfilled single, which I think is a complete myth.

      Thanks for your comments :)

      Stephen x

      • Lisa says:

        Maybe it’s a Girl thing but I totally agree with Modern Lady. There’s something really Hot and Exciting about a Guy who wants to be your Knight in Shining Armor instead of a lukewarm “You can save yourself you know” Motherfucker. Not just in Guys but Chivalry is lacking in Friends too. I just miss the days where People would randomly sweep you off your Feet just for the Heroic Thrill of it.

        Keep sharing your Standards Modern Lady. I feel that it matters

  84. anna says:


  85. Miss Solomon says:

    I love this article Stephen and what’s awesome is I believe that it’s about me, whoa *flips hair* but what I’ve found in my experience is that many men can’t appreciate a woman who is so well rounded and understanding because of their own insecurities. While a man like you who has studied human behavior and understands human dynamics most men don’t “get” why a woman like this is important. What incentive does a woman have to be such high quality when the biggest complaint women have about men in relationships is lack of appreciation. In reading this article I felt like I was reading about myself and I am proud of the person I am but I also understand that it isn’t common or easy to be this way and when you are, few men truly appreciate it. I really liked this article, I wish all men would read it then offer their opinion. I would like to hear what men have to say on this topic.

    • Leona Lovequest says:

      I agree with you completely. I haven’t always been this woman, but I have developed into her and what I’ve discovered is that nobody cares. I have all those qualities and more. I even drink beer. Every guy I’m interested in is looking for something else. Maybe it’s their insecurities. Maybe I’m just too much. I still think I’m a great catch, but I’m 43 and have been single most of my life. Still I know other women without half of these qualities that have to beat off men with a stick. I’ll just never understand.

    • Stephen Hussey says:

      I think there are definitely men who can’t handle a woman like the one described above, but that’s usually because they aren’t well-rounded themselves. Like tends to attract like when it comes to these traits in relationships. i.e. people who are laid-back won’t be able to put up with drama for very long. People who are intelligent and thoughtful won’t be able to put up with someone who is shallow and superficial for very long.

      I think the appreciation thing runs both ways. Probably everyone (men or women) feel under-appreciated by their partner and the opposite sex on some level. I think that’s probably a human egoistic feeling that all people naturally have when they focus on their needs and what they are not getting from their partner.

      Thanks for your thoughts, really appreciate your kind words about the piece!


  86. Hidz says:

    My boyfriend said to me that he finds me sexy and attractive. He said , “Yes you are beautiful, but there are a lot of beautiful faces out there. However, your attitude makes me stay”.
    I always make him feel like the man, I make sure he look good, smell good and in a great health.I tell him when he’s wrong not to point out his mistake but to help him to understand my point and the situation. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t baby sit my bf…I don’t even have to drink to please him, since I am no drinking at all. But still, every now and then he will bend down to kiss my feet. He took out his jacket to cover me from the rain while he got wet himself.
    You are right Steve, personality does shine and why not trying to make it brighter. :) thanks for sharing.

  87. CelesteK says:

    Self-awareness and acceptance is hugely sexy. Someone who is friends with who they are can laugh at the silly things they might think and do and allow you to do the same because they aren’t shamed or threatened by it.

    Story: The first meal I ever shared with my late husband was at a Chinese restaurant with about 10 other people. We were talking about how yummy the fortune cookies were and he mentioned that there was a shop just around the corner that sold big bags of “used fortune cookies.”
    The second he heard that fly out of his mouth, it was followed up with, “Wait, WHAT?!” and a hearty laugh by all of us imagining what, exactly would be in daid bags. Of course he meant broken/misshapen cookies, but his brain-to-mouth misfire made him laugh at himself and showed me that he could be ok with it, even while sitting next to the girl he liked.

    I found it so endearing that it’s still seared in my brain 21 years later.

  88. Sheila says:

    I don’t drink beer. So that’s why I’m still single. I knew it.

    Great post, loved it!

  89. Rom says:

    You know there are something’s on here that okay I get but it’s almost like he’s describing the PERFECT girlfriend. The one that seem to flawless and isn’t there deep attraction and connection to those flaws? I feel it’s overly amplified that dating a woman with these qualities seem to be something beyond the date and into a teachable relationship. This sounds to me like a fantasy girl and not one built on actual realism. Of course is this what you do? Make girls perfect? Create that fantasy into reality? And even if you had a girl like this what kind of life environments that doesn’t create growth and change? Many things/peer ices happen in our lives to change the core of our reality. This just seems like asking a lot for a date and putting more pressure on a guy if this is their unsaid desires when they are sitting across a potential what life partner?

    Anyway I don’t comment much but this one had me scratching my head and thinking they say women have high expectations. Let’s forget about all the folder of not lowering standards this isn’t what I’m talking about. None the less pretty interesting and somewhat eye opening. Next time I go on a date which will be this Friday I’m going to have this at the back of my head. Interesting to see the results now there some knowledge I don’t agree with at the moment.

    • Rom says:

      PS great now I know two things. 1. Not to leave comments if I can’t edit for stupid errors (cool to have that feature) and 2. Type in word doc check it all before sending. (which probably won’t happen since commentaries are instant spontaneous answers and Gerald for me not thought out essays.)

    • Stephen Hussey says:

      Hi Rom,

      I don’t think the traits listed are excessive or describe anyone who is unimaginable. Yes, they reflect high standards, and obviously even amazing women I would love to date won’t have every single one of them. It’s not a necessary checklist – it’s more like some aspirational traits that I subconsciously look for in a person before I think of them as a serious partner.

      I certainly don’t think even a woman who had all these traits would be flawless – she would just have lots of great qualities that make her unique.

      Hope that clarifies a bit. Thanks for commenting :)

      Stephen x

  90. A. says:

    This was really insightful. Some of the things you don’t seem to like I do! I’ve always done. I even knew I did it but I didn’t know men noticed.


    You know what I am thinking now? I used to think that people could grow together. No one stays the same forever, right? Now I realize how important it is that people truly like each other just as they are. Even with the warts, the person is still liked.

    To be the woman you want is easy to be if you truly like that guy before you love him. And if he really allows you to truly know him, all of it, early on. Then your list is easy. Also easy if you know in your heart (because he shows it) that he likes you, warts and all too.

    Then your have compatibility, similar likes and view on life and it’s just simpler. As I get older we all get more set in our ways. Maybe it’s easier to start off with someone you have a natural affinity for.

    And that’s not about attraction. But you genuinely like him and have stuff in common.

    I’m surprised. I really had liked the growing-together-and-teaching-each-other-new-stuff idea. But you can’t teach an affinity that’s not naturally there. Can’t learn it, either.


    • Stephen Hussey says:

      I think you do grow together (as long as you both want to learn and improve), but it’s definitely a big mistake to hope that if your partner isn’t right now they eventually will grow into someone MORE compatible with you later on. That’s usually just wishful thinking or denial.

      Thanks A x

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