Male beauty and the green eyed monster
A few days ago, a lingerie catalog arrived in the mail. Being an admirer of feminine beauty, I flipped through it. Some of it was simply trashy, but sometimes some people like trashy sex. Some of it was rather elegant. Some of it looked downright uncomfortable, but it drew the eye to specific areas on the model’s body. There was even a section for plus-size women (what I like to refer to as “actual women”), and each of the models looked fabulous and desirable.
Then I got to the “men’s section.” It consisted almost entirely of high cut thong underwear, and often had some sort of “pouch” cut that was obviously made to accentuate the perceived size of the guy’s dick. Given how often I have heard women say that they really don’t care about the size of a guy’s dick, this made me wonder about the whole idea of “male lingerie.” So I sent out a few questions on Twitter.
The first answers I received were from guys…which was odd, since I had specifically asked for “women” to answer the question. The answers from the guys quickly moved to comedy – which is how a lot of Twitter goes. But I think it also reveals a bit of discomfort in guys talking about their own beauty. After all, most of us aren’t models, we don’t all have rock solid six-packs or arms of steel. When it comes to describing what women find sexy about us, in particular, isn’t easy. It’s tough because there just aren’t many alternate models for male beauty (a problem shared by women), and it’s pretty easy to see where we don’t measure up (also a problem shared by women).
As far as I can tell, the point of lingerie is to remind a woman’s partner that she is desirable. It accentuates the sexy parts (breasts, hips, and/or thighs are the socially acceptable target spots) and hides the (perceived) flaws. The purpose of lingerie is to make a man want to have sex with a woman. To some extent, all fashion does this, but lingerie is set aside for intimate relationships.
So what is the male equivalent? One answer I received was a pair of black linen pants and no shoes or shirt (have to remember to order that). Also offered were silk boxers, jeans, and…
Well, it seemed like it was a difficult question for even the women to answer. Several women pointed out that what “sexy” is depends a lot on context – not only where and when, but on whom and on comfort level. The upshot of this is that there isn’t, as far as I can tell, a class of clothing for men that is designed entirely to make them appealing to their partner. I guess it says something about society that lingerie for women is so widespread and accepted, but the category doesn’t exist for men. I will admit, I am somewhat jealous about this – after all, if I wanted to inspire lust in Mistress Delila, wouldn’t it be great to have a catalog of options?
I think this results in male beauty being somewhat enigmatic. We know that (some) women like muscled arms and shoulders, six-pack abs, a firm butt, and, of course, a sense of humor (this last one is why Don Knotts was such a sex symbol, right?). But I don’t think six men out of ten could explain why their partner finds them sexy, and even fewer could do it without making a joke out of the question.
So this is what I would like to ask any women who care to comment: If you came out of the bathroom and found your partner had put on the one outfit that just made you want to immediately push him to the floor and devour him; what would it be?
The question for any guy who cares to comment is this: What body parts would you accentuate to make your partner (present or past) push you down and devour you? What clothing would you use to pull that off?
If you need help thinking, try Ferns amazing slideshow of male beauty.