Posts Tagged ‘workout’

Romancing a Man

June 29, 2012

Webster’s defines “romance” as trying to influence someone with personal attention, gifts, or flattery.  I’m guessing a woman wrote that because any man I know would have said “stuff that feels good but isn’t sex.”  Sure both sexes enjoy thoughtfulness (my favorite remains the ex who found one of those Carvel ice cream cake with crunchies in the middle for my birthday, knowing these were the staples of every party I had growing up) but the romantic commonalities end there.  And since your guy might not be as forthcoming about his softer side I’m here to fill you in on how to romance a man…

Get him far, far away

For a man, traveling has the same effect as putting on a tuxedo— we get to act like someone else… or at least a more refined version of ourselves.  Changing up the scenery allows an escape from the routine and, in turn, time for things that get cheated by that grind– like romance.  My “good” relationship went to “great” after a week in Ireland.  Once away, we seemed more in tuned and attentive to each other… plus there’s just something about staying in a hotel that makes everything (and everyone) a little more fun.  Even better, we brought some of that energy home as a souvenir.

Don’t ask, just do

My brother had been cooped up in his apartment all weekend working to meet a deadline when he received a text from his girlfriend: “look outside ur door”.  He did, and found a basket filled with all sorts of snacks and energy drinks.  She was long gone and when he called to tell her to come back, she refused, saying, “Get your work done so we can play later.” People always use the ‘if you need anything let me know”’ line, but she (literally) delivered. He says it’s the most romantic thing a women’s ever done for him.

Make us feel like a stud

One thing that makes us feel like a real man is the belief that we’re keeping you content in the bedroom– so anything that affirms this is romantic, at least by the guy definition. References to how well we kiss, looks of satisfaction when the subject of sex is broached… they all prop up our ego.  And if things aren’t going so great in that department (perhaps you’ve been together a while and sex is getting routine), feeding him a little reinforcement may be just the jolt he needs.

Support his foibles…

My old classmate, Brian, lives a little in the past.  He still talks about the time he scored three touchdowns in a high school football game and his girlfriend’s heard all about it, too.  But at a recent party when she mentioned what a great athlete her man was, Brian couldn’t stop beaming.  It mattered to him and she knew that, so she took pride in it as well.

… and his indulgences

My friend, Dom, lives for the soccer. He even adjusts his work schedule and wears an Italia jersey to watch soccer games.  His fiancée could care less about any of it so when she called him to find out how his team did, he thought she was being sarcastic. Turns out Dom’s beau had genuinely reached out– but declined an invite to a rowdy sports bar for the semi-final.  Hey, she’s not Mother Theresa.

Wake him up naked

Nothing beats seeing you naked so imagine the impact when it’s the first thing we see… but this is supposed to be a blog about romance, you say?  Believe me, you, naked in the morning light will make him swoon.  And then he’ll want to have sex.  Ok, maybe you’re right.

Note:  I’ll be on vacation next week, back with a new blog July 12th.  Happy July 4th!

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A Man’s Body

June 21, 2012

Last week I got out of the shower and was going through my 30 second get-out-the-door routine (deodorant, any hair product within reach and a swig of Listerine straight from the bottle), when I caught a glimpse of myself in mirror.  I stopped for a moment and kind of stared– it had been a while since I really looked at myself naked.  “So this is what women see?” I thought.  God bless them, I wouldn’t want that body coming at me but thankfully some women have been open to the idea.

In fairness, I tend to be a hard on myself when it comes to physical appearance– partly because I’m human but also because working in entertainment I am constantly surrounded by attractive people.  Even the most confident person would get a little down.

Thankfully, past girlfriends have generally liked my body.  Among the traits they appreciate is my 6’1” height.  I like being tall– I was only a foot and half when I was born and, having been all the heights in between, I like 6’1” the best.  I can always see at parades and getting things off the top self is never a problem.  Moreover, there’s a perception of authority that comes with height–  I’ve never felt particularly authoritative but I don’t let on.

Another piece of the Michael package that garners positive reviews is my curly, blonde hair.  “Its so fun” has been uttered by everyone from girlfriends to random women at bars who feel entitled to just walk up and touch it.  Women love my hair.  As a result, so do I.

But the parts of my body of which I’m most proud of are never the things women pick out.  I work out in hopes of having strong, masculine arms yet women never mention them.  I remember lying in bed with my then-girlfriend and, as she ran her fingers up and down my arms, I subtly flexed my biceps to solicit a compliment.

“I like your hands.” she said.

What? Who likes hands?  Turns out, women.

One summer I decided I wanted abs.  I practically starved myself, skipped carbs and pounded out every stomach exercise under the sun.  After five intense weeks, I unveiled the results of my toil by asking my lady friend to help me apply suntan lotion (ok, sunblock) at the beach.

“I like the back of your neck.” She announced, while dousing my pale, Irish skin with SPF 50.

I lied there all afternoon, stomach pointing in her direction at all times, and not one mention.  I went out that night and ate an entire pizza.

Alas, I probably think about these kinds of things more than the average man… or do I?  I decided to ask some guy friends how they feel about their bodies (that sentence sounds as odd as the experience turned out to be).  Getting them to talk was no easy task but after promising to change their names and, in some cases, plying them with beer, they opened up more than I expected.  What I learned was fascinating…

“Women find my belly ‘cute’ and I hate it.”, says my friend Kevin, after three beers.  Kevin is a little overweight, always has been. “Sometimes they rub it and make a wish.”  Ironically, Kevin has no idea what he weighs.  “I don’t own a scale.  I just have different size pants in my closet and if I have to wear the biggest ones, I know it’s time to hit the gym.  Or break out the sweatpants”

My other buddy, Gary, required no booze to announce the fact that he likes being a little heavy.  “Extra weight actually makes you appear more powerful, both in business and bars.  Its a lot easier to push through a crowded bar at 220 than 180.”

Both, however, agreed to being a little self conscious during sex.  “Lighting becomes very important.” says Gary. “I prefer none.”

Kevin agreed, “Especially when I’m with someone new, I’m sucking in my stomach and flexing everything. It’s exhausting.    That’s half the reason I like doggy style, I don’t have to hold in my stomach ‘cause she can’t see me.”

The touchiest subject among men, however, was hair. Or, more accurately, losing it.  While I can’t relate to this one, I have a new appreciation for how lucky I’ve been to maintain my curls.

“The hard part is not being bald, it’s going bald.” says Brian.  “For a woman, imagine your breasts getting a little smaller every day until one day you wake up and their gone.”

Along with his hair went his confidence.

“I never had trouble meeting women, but when my hair started to go, so did my self esteem.  I thought, uh-oh I better develop a personality…”

It was right around that time Brian was lucky enough to meet Sarah, a super funny woman who loved Brian’s personality and could care less about his hair.  They’re now engaged. Brian admits, given the choice, he would still take hair, but the whole subject now seems much less important.

So if putting on weight and going bald are the male Achilles, what about those guys who won the gene lottery? I called my friend Matt, who is so good looking women describe him as “beautiful”– a distinction that totally gets other guys’ attention.  (We’re used to hearing the usual descriptors “handsome” or “hot”– but when a dude is so attractive that women have to use a word normally reserved for their own gender, we get rattled.)

Matt was uncomfortable with the premise of my inquiry, which was essentially, “What is it like to be physically perfect?” But I assured him it was for a good cause. And bought him beer.

The biggest surprise was when he confided to me that he actually has trouble meeting women.  “Before I even open my mouth I’m considered a player so they stay away. Meanwhile my roommate– who’s just an average dude— hooks up constantly!”

While Matt does have a heartbreaker look about him, he is truly one of the kindest people I’ve met in New York.  I was almost ready to sympathize with him when I noticed every woman at the next table staring at him. Tough luck, Mr. Beautiful.

So, while guys are probably still more accepting of their bodies than women, they proved far more aware than I ever anticipated.  For my part, I’ve decided next time I’m standing naked in front of the mirror I’m only going to say nice things.  And next time your man is subtly flexing in the hopes that you’ll swoon, throw him a bone.