Women: Prefer macho men or men who are hip to women's issues?

re: false premises and unfounded/flawed generalizations – the most important flirting/courting behaviors to watch are those of young teenagers. Not adults in their thirties with several relationships under our belts or middle-aged people describing their ongoing relationships and what makes them work.

The ugly template still has a powerful social effect if everyone gets pressed (and impressed) by it to an extent while they navigate the path from child to sexually active adult.

I’d love to hear that the double-standard and an insistence on polarized behavioral sex roles is no longer a relevant part of teenagers’ sexual coming-of-age. But I’m inclined to think I should not as of yet start holding my breath for the announcement.

In my case (I’m a guy) when I start worrying about this kind of thing it’s for one reason. I’m focusing on the negative.

Sure, I’ve got female friends who like (nay, ADORE) me, and I’ve had a relationship/fling with some of the region’s most desirable women. But it’s that one woman in a hundred who says something critical that I remember. My perspective is irrationally skewed.

Stop focusing on what little has gone wrong, and start paying attention to the good times. Then there’s no need for dichotomous generalizations about all women.

Hip to women’s issues? Like what? they know about Tampons?
I want someone hip to human issues.

I’m more attracted to brutes. To manly men.
A hard shell with a gooey inside.

I’m turned off by men who wax their entire bodies and are fashion slaves. But on the otherhand… I don’t find women who are appearance obsessed attractive either.

“I like football and porno and books about war. I got an average house, with a nice hardwood floor. My wife. My job. My kids and my car. My feet on my table, and a Cuban cigar.”
I likes me some beer and steak. I gots me a dog and a Chevy. I watch football, The Shield, and war films.

I can barely use computers and my favorite tool for any job is a hammer.

Is that manly enough for you?
I also like the Wizard of Oz, the Muppets, RPGs, classical music, comic books and drawing. I know nothing of cars.

I complimented a young woman at the local gas station recently because she got her hair done and I thought it looked damn cool.

Is that manly enough for you?

I’m not here trying to be critical of anyone or pass judgements. I’m just showing some things give a man two totally different sides.

Had someone called be gay for telling that young lady she had nice hair I would have been offended - not because of the gay whateverness, but because she obviously couldn’t take a bloody compliment.

If everyone begins to feels there is something wrong with another because they payed you a compliment, I think we’d see this world grow a little too cold for my tastes.


I am not attracted to macho men, but then you never know if a personality is going to fit until you try it on, no matter the wrapping!

As for looking for a man who can fix things and help in that area, I understand why this is a plus. Though I agree that we shouldn’t be looking for a ‘mechanic’ in a boyfriend, aren’t we looking for someone who fits us? Much like two puzzle pieces that slide perfectly into place? Is it so bad to want someone who can balance you? I myself can’t fix my computer to save my life, but had always hoped that the man I married would be able to help me out in that confusing world. There are also many, many things that I do that I know make my significant other’s world a little better.
But…as for the question: ‘macho men vs. sensitive types’?

I go for the shy, tall, gangly nerds. Rowr.

When I’ve been looking, I’ve been looking for a man who doesn’t care if his personality or interests are masculine or feminine, and preferably doesn’t even really know. Be honestly passionate about what you really are interested in, and I’ll try to share that passion somehow.

I have nothing against a men who like football and porno and books about war, unless they assume all real men share those interests, and certainly don’t like figure skating, sewing, or care if their clothes match.

I’m not interested even in a friendship with men who pale at the idea of trying something “unmanly”. I’m irritated by men who can’t face the reality that there are many women in the world who can beat them at many “manly” things (heck, if you win the men’s 100m, how many women in the world would still be able to beat you in the middle-distance races? ) I am quite annoyed at an aquaintance who implied my husband must be less of a man because he can decorate cakes. It was a joke, but I just don’t find it funny.

I guess that’s just a long way of saying I don’t mind men with macho interests, but I don’t really like macho men.

if there was a world with you and one other girl im sure the girl would look not for machoness but personality.
But we dont live there, in the real world people go out with others that look good because we hold looks in such high esteem

If my wife and I split, I’m looking up the Lady of the Lake. There aren’t many taller, ganglier nerds. And, well, I used to be shy, until I figured out you meet fewer women that way.

I want to know why so many here seem to assume that guys who like sports are “knuckle draggers”.

I like sports. I like football, I can run a sub 3:00 hour marathon, even when I screw up, and most consider me athletic. I’ve been pulled out of rugby contests, because of injuries I didn’t know I had. I can fix toilets and haul furniture. I don’t like poetry.

I have a Ph. D. in physics, and many woman friends. I’ll read anything with words on it. I know the difference between baroque and classical music, and I used to play the trombone. I always wanted to write prose, but have trouble finding the time, in part because fatherhood is job one. I take my car to a mechanic to have the oil change, and generally believe them when they say something is wrong.

I’ve been called gay, if gay men hitting on you, or ogling, counts. I’ve also been called a neanderthal. Some women like me, some don’t. I think there all just as different as us guys. Am I a knuckle dragger, or a wimp?

A guy who’s a little bit of a macho man is ok, but I really like the ones that understand me better. I like it when they notice that I’ve done something different with my hair. Clothes comments such as “you look really hot in that” definately don’t bother me. I don’t find farting, burping, or any of that in any way attractive…my guy can do that, but just not around me. I also like for him to be somewhat interested in the arts, and intelligent enough for good, witty conversation.

I like macho. I was raised in a macho culture and I like macho men. Not brutes, not criminals, not morons but macho men. The man who carries the sleepy toddler in from the car. The man who dances with his daughter at weddings. The man who sees you to your door. A macho man may like sports or not, may drink a beer or not, but does so or doesn’t because of his own tastes, not anyone elses.

Cyn, your children sleep?

I’m with Cyn.

I like men that posess a certain quiet strength, it’s the sexiest thing in the world to me. Men that don’t have anything to prove, so getting inappropriately pawed or overtly fawned over isn’t an issue.

I like a guy I can goof around with, and I don’t want him to feel he has to walk on eggshells around me.

I enjoy the differences between the sexes. When guys start talking football it’s like a foreign language to me, and there’s something mysterious and well, sexy about that. It’s like watching a man shave. I love that.

What you describe, Cyn, is not how ‘macho’ has ever been described to me. You describe a mature, self-confident man. To some degree, what you describe is also the stereotypical ‘sensitive’ man, who is aware of the needs of those around him, and is unafraid to nurture those who depend on him, when necessary.

To me, ‘macho’ is a stereotype of activity and appearance, and an outwardly-focused superficial competitiveness. To me, macho men deny their own nurturing side, and survive by pushing others down. Examples include those men who denigrate others based on perceived ‘girliness’ or ‘girly’ activity, those who dislike anyone different than themselves, and those who consider ‘their’ women to be their property. Macho has always seemed to me to have a strong degree of jealousy, hidden insecurity, women-hating.

Cyn, you mention being brought up in a macho culture. If my description truly isn’t what macho really is, we here in the North have been severely misled.

So, Gorgon Heap, how you doin’ ???

“You describe a mature, self-confident man.”

Being comfortable in one’s own skin comes with age, I think. Like some of the guys that have posted here, I have a well developed aesthetic sense, but I can also go to a baseball game and explain why the hit-and-run is on, change the oil and spark plugs in the car, and gut a deer. Not really caring how any of those actions is perceived by others - being a mature, self-confident man - again, comes with a little age. That’s why I’m so much in love with my SO - she’s a mature, self-confident woman who has broad interests and isn’t particularly impressed by any one stereotype. She’s glad that I like to go to museums, and that I know a Matisse from a Renoir, but she also thinks its sexy when I’m dirty and oily from working on the truck or sweaty from working out at the gym.


Yes, and before one acquires a lot of age, being comfortable in one’s skin is a bit easier if one conforms to whatever the rest of the guys are doing and/or what the cultural messages say one is supposed to be doing. So in some ways young guys who strike forth on their own to define “masculinity” in their own terms are unusually self-confident, but in other ways they may appear a lot more uncertain and fragile about it.



To which I would add “a deliberately cultivated appearance of certainty and bravado”. So the guys who are conforming have the easy confidence that comes of being one of many and taking no risks, in addition to which the mannerisms and superficial behaviors being emulated create the illusion of confidence in and of themselves.

And, finally, the reciprocal to plnnr’s thesis is that being able to recognize when someone is comfortable in one’s own skin is also something that comes with age, so mature, world-wise women are better able to make this assessment than girls in junior high.

Maybe confidence or self-secureness is what gets a womans attention. I dont think women like to be around guys that are constantly checking themselves to see if they fit into their chosen stereotype. I think that women want to be around a guy who they can talk, laugh, have a relationship with.

BTW, im a guy.

“being comfortable in one’s skin is a bit easier if one conforms to whatever the rest of the guys are doing and/or what the cultural messages say one is supposed to be doing”

Hmmm…I don’t know that conforming to whatever the rest of the guys are doing and/or what the cultural message says one must be doing is “being comfortable in one’s own skin.” To me, it seems just the opposite - you’re not comfortable in your own skin; therefore, you adopt whatever skin everyone else has in an attempt to conform. The understanding of that, and deciding that you aren’t going to do it - that you’re going to be whoever it is that you are regardless, is what comes with age and experience.

Frankly, besides art, poetry (modern and post modern only!) and intellectual pursuits, I’d be turned off by someone of either gender who placed a lot of empathisis the things in your list; have been, actually. I don’t know many women who’d agree that those things are “important to them;” Most of us don’t spend a lot of time pondering our connection to the goddess, earth, and the circle of life- we see ourselves less as towers of feminitity than people trying to make the best of day to day life. BTW, I’d personally sterotype a guy (or girl) who had those interests as “boring” rather than gay, since none of the gay men I know is all that gung ho about the things listed either.

You see, there’s not a laundry list of what women think is important, any more than one of what men care deeply about. Now me, I’d sooner talk to guy who was deeply interested in The X-files and video games rather than yoga, which I have zero interest in. I like passion for passion’s sake, a pure delight in a subject that isn’t shadowed by thinking that it’s what you should like to make yourself interesting to a certain type of people.

I think some of the problem here is people’s varying definitions of “macho.” To me (I grew up amongst Italians), macho means: women and men have separate spheres in which they dwell, and never the twain shall meet. Women cook, clean, clear the table; men mow the lawn, watch the game, bring home the bacon. Men don’t like poetry and ballet and kittens; women don’t like axle grease, football, or war movies.

Those stark stereotypes still exist and some people still live by them. I find them totally irrelevant. I don’t care if a guy digs sports or not, or is tough and willing to kick ass. However, I do enjoy the things that, in my mind, makes men men: facial hair, a deep voice, big hands, tall, not too worried about his hair style. If a nice, tall, man with a bass voice and tousled hair wants to complement me on my hair, I’ll be hoping sincerely he’s not gay.

Now, me, I have a lot of what you’d call non-stereotypical interests for a woman: RPGs, The Shield, Westerns with Clint Eastwood, muscle cars, swearing like a dockhand. OTOH, I like kitties, bubblebath, poetry, and Felicity. I’d hardly be fair if I judged a guy by his interests, as long as he looked, smelled, and sounded like a man to me, and acted like a sane, decent human being. That’s rare enough.