Ok, maybe the ten steps to becoming a sexy man aren't exactly easy. But I thought I'd share what women find really attractive in a man. The qualities that make him sexy AND respected. #marriagegoals #sexappeal #sexyman #relationships #selfcaresunday #selfcare

Ok, maybe the ten steps to becoming a sexy man aren’t exactly easy. But I thought I’d share what women find really attractive in a man. The qualities that make him sexy AND respected.

This month we’ll focus on goal-setting for marital relationships. Movies and romance books make it seem like all a couple has to do is get on the same horse and ride off into the sunset. They gloss over all the hard work involved in maintaining a marriage. And what we fail to face with intentionality, we fail to do. Part of healthy self-care involves taking care of our most important relationships.

Ok, maybe the ten steps to becoming a sexy man aren't exactly easy. But I thought I'd share what women find really attractive in a man. The qualities that make him sexy AND respected. #marriagegoals #sexappeal #sexyman #relationships #selfcaresunday #selfcare

What We Find Sexy at 18 isn’t What We Find Sexy at 48

“What did you think of the book?” I asked my student, pointing to a copy Captivating, by John and Stasi Eldredge.

“It’s pretty good,” she answered. “But one section was kind of weird.”

“What do you mean?”

“Look at this.” She opened the book and pointed to a passage that asked, ‘Wouldn’t you want to ride through the Scottish Highlands with a man like Mel Gibson?’

I laughed. “What? You don’t think Mel Gibson is sexy?”

She frowned. “Gross. I think he’s old!” She laughed. “And I can’t believe you just said the word, ‘sexy,’ Mrs. Ojeda! I’m traumatized.”

We both laughed. “I guess a woman’s ideal of a sexy man changes with time, doesn’t it? Who would you rather ride across the Scottish Highlands with?”

“Ryan Gosling, for sure,” she said (this conversation took place a decade ago).

“Really?” I scratched my head, “What draws you to him?”

“He’s just so, so, so, sexy!” she blurted. “And I like his smile.”

“Yeah, but does he do the dishes?” I asked.

She looked at me quizzically, trying to figure out the relationship between sex-appeal and dishwashing. The bell rang and our conversation ended.

But I wondered when I had gone from judging a man’s sex appeal on his looks to his ability to pull his weight in the house.

Marriage and motherhood had probably done it to me.

The Full Monty…When You’re Over Fifty

God created us to find the opposite sex attractive. In humans, culture, media, and advertisers shape each generation’s ideal of attractiveness, or ‘sex appeal.’ But maybe we listen and watch too much. Maybe we need to pay attention to something more than the packaging. After all, a man wrapped up in himself makes a pretty small package.

In the bird world, some of the most beautiful male birds on earth have to prove their housekeeping skills in order to win a mate. Maybe God had something like that in mind for humans, too, but Adam and Eve messed it up in the Garden of Eden. In a fallen world, we often let sin interfere with how we view the opposite sex.

In Robert W. Kelleman’s book Gospel-Centered Marriage Counseling, I discovered a new way of thinking about original sin. Kelleman says,

Adam in his fallen state will “rule over” her (Gen. 3:16). Context is king. ‘Rule over’ is not a statement about loving, sacrificial, Christlike headship. It is a statement about the consequences of marital sin. Like sin in Genesis 4:7, Adam is crouching at the door like a roaring lion seeking to devour his wife—rule over and overpower.”

Robert W. Kelleman

(As a side note, I believe many Christians view the whole ‘headship’ issue from the sinful point of view Kelleman speaks about here. I strongly suggest reading Kelleman’s book for yourself—in it he explains women’s sinful nature as well and what both men and women can do).

While sex appeal may provide the spark that starts the fire, we all need to work on keeping the blaze burning. A wise woman makes sure the man she finds attractive has more to him than just fatwood, though. 

Sex appeal provides the spark that starts the fire, but we have to work at keeping the blaze burning. A wise woman makes sure the man she finds attractive has more to him than just fatwood. #relationships #marriage Click To Tweet

How to Tell if Your Man is REALLY Sexy

Back in college, I remember the campus chaplain telling a joke about marriage to a group of students. “Women make the first mistake on their wedding day,” he claimed.

Those of us listening shook our heads in disbelief. “What do you mean?” a young man asked.

Ok, maybe the ten steps to becoming a sexy man aren't exactly easy. But I thought I'd share what women find really attractive in a man. The qualities that make him sexy AND respected. #marriagegoals #sexappeal #sexyman #relationships #selfcaresunday #selfcare

“Well,” the chaplain said, “it goes like this. The bride stands with her father a the back of the church and looks down the long aisle. In the middle of the front of the church she sees the alter. She looks to her right and sees him, the man of her dreams.” He sat back in his chair, a satisfied smirk on his face.

“What? I don’t get it,” the young man persisted.

“What three things does the woman see?” the chaplain asked.

“Aisle, and alter, and him.”

“Exactly!” the chaplain chortled. “That’s the answer and the problem.”

“I still don’t get it.”

“Say it out loud, but leave out the ‘ands,'” he instructed.

“Aisle alter him.” The young man palm-slapped himself. “I get it. A women starts her marriage thinking she can alter the man she plans on marrying.”

“My advice?” the chaplain offered. “Don’t marry someone you think you’ll need to alter.”

I’ve never forgotten that conversation. I’d like to offer ten ways to tell if the man you dream of is really sexy–the kind of man you can respect and won’t need to alter after the wedding vows.

1. A Sexy Man Knows How to Talk Dirty

The sexiest men talk dirty. Not only that but they talk the talk and walk the walk. They say, “It’s my turn to change the baby’s dirty diaper.” They do the dirty dishes, wash the dirty laundry, clean the dirty floors, and change the dirty sheets. Sexy men don’t need a woman to remind them work around the house needs doing. As capable adults, they just tackle the dirty stuff.

Sexy men don’t equate mowing the lawn once a week all summer to doing the dishes every single meal. The sexy man splits housework 50-50, especially if his wife works outside of the home. There’s nothing sexy about a woman coming home to a second career as housekeeper while a man sits on the couch and watches football.

A sexy man takes care of his own children and doesn’t call it babysitting. He knows the kids are 50% his, and he has just as much buy-in in their upbringing as his wife does.,

2. Sexy Men Use their Muscles (to Pick Up After Themselves)

A sexy man knows the value of picking up after himself when living with another human. He don’t expect or assume that the other people in the house will pick up after him.

3. Sexy Men Can Speak Foreign Languages

A sexy man has the self-confidence to figure out his love language and the love languages of those he loves. He understands that learning to express his love in a foreign language doesn’t make him less of a man, it makes him more of a man.

4. Sexy Men Know Their Value

A sexy man knows his value as a human being loved by God. He will do everything in his power to take care of his health—mental, academic, physical, and spiritual. If that means he sees a counselor, he does it because he values becoming a better person.

5. A Really Sexy Man Doesn’t Look at a Woman as a Sex Object

Nor does he see his partner as just the mother (or potential mother) of his children.  He doesn’t diminish her in any way. A sexy man will get to know the whole woman not just her body parts that appeal to him. He will take time to get to know her mind as intimately as he knows her body.

He understands that dating doesn’t stop with ‘I do.’

Sexy men don’t believe in quid pro quo. They serve others instead of expecting others to serve them. They don’t participate in locker room talk nor brag about their sexual exploits.

6. A Sexy Man is Self-Aware

A sexy man knows his shortcomings and his weaknesses and works to improve them. He also knows his strengths and uses them for the good of others. He realizes that eye-candy melts fast. He may have a luxurious head of hair now, but where will that surface appeal be in 20 years when his mother’s father’s balding gene kicks in?

7. Sexy Men Believe in Commitment

Commitment to their partners, commitment to their children, commitment to their church, their jobs, and to their personal growth.

Sexy men believe in neuroplasticity. They understand growth-mindset and the importance of launching beliefs. A sexy man knows his words are powerful tools to change other’s lives.

8. Sexy Men Can Apologize

Sexy men can say, “I’m wrong,” and ask for forgiveness. They can examine both their hidden and overt biases and can commit to making changes in their lives and their rhetoric.

9. A Sexy Man Won’t Patronize

They avoid mansplaining, and they see everyone else as an equally intelligent human being regardless of a person’s gender, race, socioeconomic status, or personal capabilities,

10. Sexy Men Never Confuse Themselves with God

A sexy man never confuses himself with God. He understands that God is the only head and authority. The sexiest men don’t try to use the Bible out of its cultural context to ‘keep women in their place.’ They remember that Paul said God sees everyone as equal (Galatians 3:28).

A sexy man understands Paul was a work in progress, just like the rest of us. They don’t cherry-pick verses to get in the way of a woman’s relationship with God. Sexy men realize the only headship involved in a relationship is between the individual and God. Not a man and his wife or a man and other women.

A sexy man understands biblical humility (Romans 11:18 and Philippians 2:3).

No One Ever Said Being Sexy Was Easy

Maybe I should have used the term ‘respected man’ instead of ‘sexy man’ throughout this post. After all, most mature adults know that sex appeal has a short shelf life. Men DO want respect. If you’re a sexy man, you’ll know how to give it and receive it.

Holley Gerth, in her new book The Powerful Purpose of Introverts, says this:

“Having a soft heart and an open mind in a hard, closed-off world is courage, not weakness.”

Holley Gerth

And just like the we shouldn’t expect a Proverbs 31 woman to develop overnight, we shouldn’t expect men to attain all of these attributes in one fell-swoop. They take a lifetime to develop. But a sexy man understands that as he matures, changes, and grows, his sex-appeal will only increase.

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  1. This is packed with humor, wit and wisdom, Anita! I agree 100% with your assessment of a sexy man! If only I had this list when I was in my teen years. Would have saved me a lot of heartache! Thankfully, God’s been good to guide me to the right “sexy man”–my husband! Thanks for this inspiring and engaging look at what a man should stand for and be!
    Beth Steffaniak recently posted…By: Mary Rooney ArmandMy Profile

  2. Coming from a broken home and a walk-away father – I cannot express how exactly you hit the nail on the head – and the importance of seeing how behavior early in a relationship/marriage needs to translate to 20,30,40 years down the road! Such good insight for every couple!

  3. Sexy’s in beholder’s eye,
    sexy is as sexy does,
    but I’m a diff’rent kinda guy
    and sexy’s what I never was.
    I only have a thuggish grace
    and ain’t articulate;
    mirrors, when they see my face
    meet a shattered fate.
    But I will open doors for women,
    which kind of makes them jump,
    for they think I might be schemin’
    to pat ’em on the rump.
    But that is where they’re wrong, you see;
    I’m a hooligan with dignity.
    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser recently posted…A World Suddenly Less BrightMy Profile

  4. What a great post, Anita. And I’m saying yes and amen to each point. I loved how you brought depth to each of these points and how you played on the common expectations and turned them into something meaningful. Well done! 🙂

  5. Anita,
    “Yeah, but does he do the dishes?” – lol loved this and the whole post. My husband did glance over at my laptop screen at one point and asked me, “What are you reading?” I told him I was reading about how sexy he is 🙂 Great insights and truth!
    Bev xx

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Anita Ojeda

Anita Ojeda juggles writing with teaching high school English and history. When she's not lurking in odd places looking for rare birds, you can find her camping with her kids, adventuring with her husband or mountain biking with her students.

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