Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this is the long anticipated and hotly debated response to Mz. Cyprah's legendary article, "The 5 Key Elements That Attract Women to Men." That was the article that inspired me to shoot my mouth off and ask the impeccably insightful Mz. Cyprah to write a gender-equitable exchange in the form of an article from the man's point of view. This is, after all, the dawning if the 21st century, and we should be able to keep a level playing field when discussing the Happiness of Pursuit.
Mz. Cyprah, being the intuitive and intelligent woman that she is, immediately agreed. She insisted I start writing it immediately. When I protested that she should be the one to write it, she enlisted the aid of a certain "dkaz" personality who is, apparently, some sort of temporal Act of God.
Between the two of them, I should have realized I didn't have a hut in a hurricane's chance of squirming out of this one. They gang-swarmed me. After a little bit of haggling over the deadline (it made the loveliest "wooshing" sound as it sailed past) I agreed to write the article.
That will teach me to shoot my mouth off on a Mz Cyprah column.
The First Key Element: Looks
Before you start screaming "shallow sexist pig" at me, let's take a breath and admit to some facts of life. All of us, men and women, like to look at pleasant things. Pleasant things make us feel good. If I sit on a beach and admire the sunset, nobody calls me sexist or shallow. It's nature and it's natural. Is a woman any less a product of nature? Is it any less natural to admire a beautiful woman?
Okay, then. If I walk into a room with ten unknown women lined up against a wall, my eyes are going to beeline to the one who is most appealing to my particular taste, and each and every one of you would do the same. Any one who thinks they would do otherwise, please raise your hand.
All right. You folks with your hands up?
All right, so what is "attractive"? Damned if I know. That's dependent on individual taste. My taste is predominately eclectic. I don't know what's going to attract me until it does. I like a calm beauty. That will make me weak in the knees. I can't describe it any other way.
I like an easy smile. I have a preference for dark hair and dark eyes, but the last passion in my life was a green-eyed blond. I love to watch a woman who moves and speaks with confidence. Not conceit, not arrogance, but just calm and self-assured.
Individual features are less important than the over-all ambiance. It's the whole package. It' s that unknown quotient of mysterious components that attracts me. Calm beauty. If I could describe it any better I'd bottle it and become an eccentric millionaire.
Looks are an attraction. Like the old saying goes, "Looking at you doesn't help me to understand you. But still, I love looking at you. "
Isn't that nice?
The Second Key Element: Communication
This is the make or break element. No matter how much fun it is to look at her, if the communication fails to materialize, my idea of "fun" is going to be severely crippled.
I have one simple rule for communication.
"Say what you mean. Mean what you say."
If she comes home from work and kills the cat with the look in her eye and says, "I had a crappy day, leave me alone," well, why shouldn't I take her at her word? I'm not suicidal.
We, us neanderthals, "guys", we can be dense when it comes to anticipating your needs. We love that you're women, and so strikingly different from us, and soft and curvy and everything that that implies, but deep down we wish you could communicate like men do. Because no matter how hard we try, it's tough.
Communication is similar to making music. The notes are important, but so are the silences in between the notes. Some of us are lucky enough to have been with someone who understands us so well that communication can be eye contact, body language, or the right touch at the right time.
Conversely, some of us have known people who can talk a hole through your brain pan and never say a dang thing.
Sometimes communication can be "I don't want to talk about it right now." But if it's important, you'd better be prepared to talk about it later.
Whatever communication method works best, do it and do it often.
The Third Key Element: Patience and Acceptance.
I know, that's two. Tough. It's my article and I can do whatever I want.
When that ultimate partner finally comes along, we want that relationship to last forever. Forever is a long time. It will seem agonizingly long if you're the type who expects instant gratification.
It's neither desirable nor fun to learn everything you want to know about somebody in the first year. Or even the first five. the process of discovery should be patient, thorough and erotic. It could last the rest of your life. Enjoy it.
Wouldn't it be awesome if, after 50 years of marriage, your wife did something that just stunned you because it was so unexpected? Let's say, for instance, she was a staunch pacifist and then one day, in the middle of a disagreement, she suddenly picked up the alarm clock and chucked it at your head.
That would make me fall in love all over again.
Provided she missed, of course.
Patience is a journey, not a goal, and that journey is fueled by acceptance. Where I live, there's a woman I don't like very much, but she once said something very profound. She said, "Don't waste your time trying to change somebody. Go find some one who doesn't need changing." I like that.
Ultimately, what I will accept and what I will be patient about are my choices. She has the same choices. During that long delirious process of learning about someone, inevitably something will come up. Now I'll have to make a decision. She's beautiful. She's hysterically funny. She's smart. The sex is mind-boggling. But can I live for the rest of my life with someone who sounds like a flock of parrots when she laughs?
I'm exaggerating, but you see my point.
The Fourth Key Element: Devotion.
What an odd word. There's something slightly corny about it. It's almost embarrassing to say it out loud. But it's a critical part of a strong relationship because it encompasses all those other powerful and essential relationship words. Truth. Trust. Honesty. Fidelity.
I like devotion in a relationship. It makes me feel omnipotent. It makes me feel on top of the world. It makes me happy. It makes you feel that way too. Don't lie. Why do you think people like puppies?
I like knowing there is one person who will back me up, share my joys and miseries, build me up in the eyes of others, tell me I'm full of crap when I'm wrong and make me feel like a god when I'm right.
I can say this without a trace of self consciousness or arrogance or ego. I'll tell you why.
Because she will receive the full and equal measure of devotion from me. Having confidence in mutual devotion will make a relationship immortal.
The Fifth Key Element: Humor
This should have been at the top of the list but, you know, save the best for last and all that.
Humor is the essence of what attracts me to a woman. Humor is subversive, subtle and erotic. I can't think of anything more intimate and connecting than humor.
Well, okay, sex. But humor runs a close second.
Humor manifests itself in a myriad of forms. A very smart man once said, "Some people will never understand why a pickle is funny and a carrot is not."
If you've ever been with a group of people when something was said or done and you and your partner were the only two laughing, that's a good omen. You share the same sense of humor. You'll probably be together forever.
Ain't love grand?
Okay, for what it's worth, that's it. The top five things that attract me to women.
I might add that if the last four become highly developed and real love blossoms, the first one becomes irrelevant.
I can see the hands going up. "Wait, wait", you're saying. '"You didn't mention making love."
Well, no. I didn't mention food, either. Sex, like food, is a given. It is assumed that there is plenty of the right kinds of both in a strong relationship. I know what turns me on. She knows what turns me on. I know what turns her on. if you think I'm going to share this most intimate part of my life with you loons, you're nuts. Grab your partner, go home, and figure it out for your selves.
Don't forget to laugh.