Amy Dresner asks you to think again, guys.
My man recently went back to New York for a few weeks.
The night before he left I said, “We gotta bone down tonight!” to which he replied, “Honestly I just wanted to connect with you and hold you.”
“Oh you’re such a girl,” I shot back, teasing.
But the truth is I was very moved by his response and found it incredibly sweet.
My own knee jerk reaction about him picking cuddling over coitus, got me thinking: What are things that men (or even women) consider typically emasculating which are anything but?
Here’s what I’ve come up with:
1) Buying tampons for us.
My guy recently went to pick up a prescription for me at the pharmacy. I didn’t dare ask him, “Hey, would you grab me some tampons?” but suddenly I heard it come barreling out my mouth so I followed it with a cross between a cringe and a smile. “Yeah of course. I don’t give a shit.” My heart swelled and I blurted out, “You’re the best!” as I showered him with kisses. An hour later, I got a series of photos of different types of tampons and a question mark. It was so sweet. It was not just a mature and loving acceptance of my less than hot monthly bloodbath, but care-taking at its apex.
Cuddling is not girly or babyish. Falling asleep on my guy’s chest while he strokes my hair or “power-spooning” as he calls it, is the most masculine mate-guarding type of behavior I can think of. It makes me feel protected, safe and loved. It takes a real man to snuggle. Seriously. Any douche can fuck your brains out. A real man is secure enough in his masculinity to be tender.
Okay, I actually can’t cook aside from cheesy eggs so anybody who’s with me has to cook. But that point aside, when my guy cooks for me (and it can be as simple as cooking up some Trader Joe’s frozen rice medley and throwing some weird stuff into it), I feel like my loin-clothed warrior just came back to our little cave with a deer he took down over his shoulder. Feeding somebody is the ultimate nurturing behavior. You cook, we swoon. (Why do you think chefs get so much pussy?)
Seeing a guy holding a baby, pushing a carriage or my favorite, when they have a little guy strapped to their chest like a backwards backpack….Oh. My. God. If he’s muscular or tattooed, even hotter. It’s that contrast between perceived typical machismo and soft maternal instinct. It telegraphs to us this guy can show up. He knows what commitment is. He’s not afraid of responsibility or tantrums or bodily fluids.
I can only speak for myself but when my boyfriend cried in front of me for the first time, I loved and respected him even more. It takes real strength to be vulnerable. It showed me he was deep, open and empathetic. A guy who can choke out some drunk asshole that sucker punched his friend AND cry when he talks about his dad? Uhh, count me in.
My hilarious friend once said, “If I had a dollar for every time my ex apologized, I’d have 13 cents.” And that’s saying something as she was married for 17 years. Apologizing can diffuse my hurt or rage in two seconds flat. But I’m not talking about the pseudo “sorry you feel that way” apology. I’m talking about the old school “I’m sorry I hurt your feelings” apology. Saying sorry tells me you’re confident enough to admit that you can be wrong and that my feelings matter more than “being right”.
So cry while you cuddle, cook up a stir fry, clutching a box of tampons with a baby strapped to you. You don’t need to buy some weird unpronounceable Chinese herb from the ovary of a rare leopard to get your girl going.
What are some other examples, dearest readers? I know there are many, many more…
Photo credit: Flickr/68tBrd