Way back on April 19, Esquire Magazine published a Letter to Men (read now, before continuing) from Christina Hendricks, then voted the best-looking woman in America, by women (see number 18). This letter has recently received some renewed attention in my social circle, so I thought this might just be a terrific opportunity to chime in and respond directly to Christina Hendricks, on behalf of all men:
On behalf of all men everywhere, thank you! Despite claiming to be superior communicators, men around the planet have never really heard this direct of a message coming from any woman. Reading your letter was very refreshing and reaffirming. I thought that since you were kind enough to lay it on the line for us (men), that I would return the favor and lay it on the line for you (women), so here goes:
We love your body too. Why do you think we (men) practically break our necks trying catch a glimpse of you walking down the street? Ladies, please trust me when I say, there is nothing more attractive to a man than the beauty and complexity of a woman. There is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of, or embarrassed about regarding your physique. If we're with you (read, “physically intimate”) it's because we're attracted to you both mentally and physically. Yes, that means that we see you as the radiant, enchanting, smoldering, intoxicating, charming, fetching, fantastic being that you are.
If, for any reason, you think that we are not attracted to you, it's probably just your own insecurity on loud-speaker. Either that, or you just yelled at us, or have been yelling at us, or blaming us for something, or emasculating us for some other reason (e.g., domination and control), which will always backfire on you.
We know you remember forever. However, that doesn't excuse the fact that you have to give us room to say stupid shit. We both know that sometimes men say things that make no sense, or that you find insulting, etc., etc., etc., and we (men) know that you're always going to remember exactly what we said, how we said it, what we were wearing when we said it, along with every other little detail, and then use it against us in any remotely-applicable argument later, whether it be two weeks or two decades down the road. Get this: we (men) are not going to remember any of that, ever, under any circumstances, and even if we do, our recollection is going to be different than yours, and you will perceive it as wrong, which will only make you more upset.
The thing I want you, and all women, to take away from this, is that if a man makes a comment to you about how you look, he means it as a compliment, even if you don't hear it that way.
Never complain about your friends… or ours. Bottom line, if you open up about someone, it gives us license to go after them too. If you have a complaint about someone, especially about one of your friends, you really need to take it up with that specific individual because it will make a difference. Gossiping to us, and enrolling us into your complaint about your friend only destroys our listening of you and the person you're gossiping or complaining about. In other words, be responsible for your communication. And while you're at it, if you have a complaint about one of our friends, be an adult and bring the complaint to him/her directly, and leave us out of it. If you feel disrespected by one of our friends, tell us and we'll handle it man-to-man. There's a huge difference. Same for your friends and family. If your mom or sister has a compliant about us or something we did, they really need to bring it to us directly and leave you out of it. In the end we will respect and love your family more for it.
When you complain to us about our friends, we think that you don't like them, and that you won't like us if we keep hanging out with them. This is what has men be alienated from their friends when they're dating a woman. Instead, encourage us to have a guys night out, or go running, or check out the latest guy flick with one (or a group) of our bros. It will have us see you as secure in our relationship and in who you are, and will make you a lot more attractive to us.
I love Scotch. However, some guys don't. Not all guys are men of sophistication and taste. Thank you for recognizing sophistication when you see it, I just wish more women were like you. Case-in-point, I was out on a date not to long ago and was chastised for enjoying Scotch and cigars, because it dated me, terribly. Mind you, the woman I was out with is only four years my junior, and I'm going on 31 years-old.
Facebook. Don't put anything out there that you don't want anybody who doesn't know you to see or know. ‘Nuff said? I don't think so. When out on a different date, with a different woman, earlier this summer, I found out that the woman I was out with had even gone so far as to look up my LinkedIn profile. Wanna talk about creepy? She knew my resume better than I did! Game over.
Shorts and tank tops. Agreed. What about cargo shorts (at the knee) and flip-flops? You know what, let's just both save each other some time and energy and end this whole debacle by agreeing that we (men) don't know how to dress. (all men out there about to disagree, STFU! I'm getting us points!) As a matter of fact, we hate getting dressed and having to coordinate things, etc. We would much rather just run around naked. Would you women please do us (and you) a HUGE favor and just use us as your dress-up dolls? Please?
Panties. Umm, personally, I find them (and lingerie) pointless. In the words of the rapper Petey Pablo, you should “know where your clothes ‘sposed to be [off and over there!]” However, if you insist on wearing panties, they should be thongs, or ones with frilly lace on the backside, that don't show pantie lines. My friends and I mock the VPL's (visible pantie lines) and find them incredibly unattractive… like Hasselhoff in a Speedo.
About ogling. Don't put it out there if you don't want it to be noticed, or looked at… or ogled. Men are hard-wired to be visual creatures. That's a biological fact, so don't even think about arguing against it. Those of us who you don't catch ogling, are just smarter about it than the other idiots at the bar. We know that you value intelligence and eye-contact, so we only ogle when you're not looking… or when we're looking down to find our glass of Scotch.
Breast implants are no more attractive than the real thing. We just want you to feel as sexy as you are to us. If having cosmetic surgery gets you to feel that way, awesome. Just know that if we're with you, we love you, all of you, exactly how you are and exactly how you're not.
It's not a pee-pee. Sure, if you're talking about a newborn or a toddler, or even a young boy, gotcha. However, no grown man's anatomy, regardless of size, should ever be referred to as anything cute-sounding, ever. If you don't want to call it something powerful, or dominating, just call it a penis. That's what it is and we can handle it. Once you call it anything cute-sounding, you may as well just forget about having it rock your world ever again.
Marriage changes very little. THANK YOU! Marriage is not a license to get fat, for either of us! It's also no reason to allow yourself to go unkempt, so continue all treatments of Brazilian origin. Oh, and we don't want to see you use the restroom, either. Wanna know why? Because sometimes I like to eat at that taco stand and I would prefer not to have that image in my head while doing so. Capice? Oh, and while I'm at it, please do not try to talk to me if I'm in the bathroom and the door is closed. I closed the door because I want privacy. If I was open to communicating, I would have left the door open.
As for getting laid, you don't need to seduce us, or kiss us all over to get us in the mood. Actually, when you do, we tend to think that you're up to something, or trying to make up for something you did, or being otherwise deceptive, manipulative, and conniving. All you have to do to turn us on is disrobe. Leave the lingerie and other sexy outfits for role-play. If you want us, get nekked, that's all you have to do. One of the sexiest things a woman has ever done to excite me was to come out of the bathroom in her bra and panties, right after we had returned to my place from brunch. My jaw nearly hit the floor and I was instantly in the mood.
Sleep naked. Wearing anything to bed except your skin tells us you don't want to be touched… or that it's that time of the month.
Hopefully this reciprocates a little insight into the male-female dynamic and psyche. Happy 2011!