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Wise Guys – What Are Men Insecure About Appearance-Wise?

Tue, Aug 17, 2010

Advice, Wise Guys

photo by Ecnerwal

Advice from three of our guy friends. This week a straight woman asks, “What part of their physical appearance are guys most likely to be insecure about?

anonymous_suitStraight Single Guy (Max): Obviously, you would expect most men to be worried about their penis, because let’s face it, it’s an ugly thing. We worry about length, girth, shape and the state of our foreskin. (I will never pretend to understand most women’s acceptance and love for the male body, but I feel blessed for every bit of affection my “temple” is shown.) But I think we should learn to play the hand we’ve been dealt with grace. (Unless of course, you choose to believe in the “magic beans” that so many emails promise you. Sorry guys, but four inches in a month has got to come with a price). Me? I’m concerned about nose hair. I’m not an old man and until I get there, I don’t want a mustache coming out of my nose. For this reason, I say that the best gift a lady can give her man is a trimmer for this very application. Put our insecurity at rest before it grows into something that frightens you as well.

wiseguy_benStraight Married Guy (Ben): It’s funny, if you’d asked me this question ten years ago I would have definitely said dick size – how it shows (or doesn’t) in pants, in undies, swimsuits and/or unclothed. But maybe it’s solidly hitting middle age, maybe it’s the douchebagification of our entire pop culture, maybe it’s having kids and actually starting to turn into my father. Now, I’d definitely have to say my tummy / chest / arms / torso situation (note: NOT “Situation”). On the plus side, this is actually something I can do something about – unlike, say, my dick size. On the minus, though, I’m not really actually going to do anything about it. Not any time soon anyway.

Gay Single Guy (Bradford Shellhammer): If they have a small penis, then the answer is their penis. If they have a big penis they’re probably not insecure.

Our “wise guys” are a rotating group of contributors, some of whom wish to remain anonymous and some of whom like the attention. This week’s Straight Married Guy is Ben, a writer and artist living in Los Angeles who runs AdultParlorGames.com; our Gay Guy is fellow SUN blogger Bradford Shellhammer, the creative director of fabulis and a New York Times featured decorator; and our Single Straight Guy, Max, is a recent college grad in New England. To ask the guys your own question, click here.

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9 Responses to “Wise Guys – What Are Men Insecure About Appearance-Wise?”

  1. jenojeno Says:

    I’m sure Straight Single Guy was trying to be funny about his not being able to understand the male love for the female body, but c’mon. Good-looking male bodies are every bit as attractive to straight women as good-looking female bodies are to straight men. That comment seems almost like a ‘no homo’ thing — you’re so straight that you can’t even UNDERSTAND what women would see in a male body!

  2. AlanK Says:

    No; you don’t understand. You really don’t understand. REally. That’s the way we think. Most straight men think their bodies are sexually unattractive because most of us just don’t find men sexually attractive. (Please, don’t give me that “we’re all a little gay; I saw the movie. And sure, we can recognize that this man is better looking than that one…but we can recognize that this dog is better looking that that one. It’s still a dog.) Thus we are amazed, entranced and delighted that women don’t see it that way.

    We–OK,me, but I’m the boring average guy, not the groovy guy who’s so comfortable on web sites like this one (sorry E&L–no offense meant)–understand lesbianism perfectly; women are pretty, people are attracted to pretty, everyone is attracted to women.

    The mystery to us is not that some men are attracted to some men; to straight men the mystery is why ANYTHING is attracted to men.

    OK; I’m being a little ironic here. But there’s a reason that the cover of magazines aimed at straight men AND at straight women show pictures of pretty women. Never men. It’s not homophobia;it’s just who we are.

  3. Lovereaction Says:

    I am a woman and I adore the tall and hard body of a man. It is just flamboyant.

    Do not be insecure, just come over and take me.

  4. SS Says:

    Well, AlanK, you can be sure that where you’re grossed out, we’re checking you out. I feel the same way about lesbians that you do about guys…2 chicks? Whatever, I’ve got all that “stuff,” nothing to see there…but guys, your shoulders, narrow hips, hands, honestly, women *see* you all the time, and enjoy it!

  5. Madamoiselle L Says:

    AlanK I usually agree with you, but not on this thread.

    You said: “The mystery to us is not that some men are attracted to some men; to straight men the mystery is why ANYTHING is attracted to men.” END QUOTE

    Really? I can understand why men are attracted to woman, and appreciate a female body. Maybe women are less homo-paranoid. I don’t get this aspect of SOME, but not all men’s thinking.

    Then AlanK said: “OK; I’m being a little ironic here. But there’s a reason that the cover of magazines aimed at straight men AND at straight women show pictures of pretty women. Never men. It’s not homophobia;it’s just who we are.”

    Please, Alan. This is because ADVERTISERS are mainly men, and they think everyone they are selling to are men (unless they are selling cleaning products or sanitary napkins) and THEY control a good part of the Media.

    Pick up a fashion magazine, or a Cosmo, you’ll see good looking women, but also a good amount of good looking, scantily clad men in the advertisements and the articles.

    I think if men ALLOWED themselves to, they could and would appreciate the beauty of the Male Body. I really do think the reason they aren’t doing so at the moment is homo-paranoia.

  6. Spes Says:

    AlanK wrote :”…women are pretty, people are attracted to pretty, everyone is attracted to women.”
    Um, well no. Your logic is sound, your premise isn’t.
    Strangely enough, my husband and I were just having a somewhat similar conversation when he informed me that EVERYONE likes breasts, even gay men and straight women. Except I don’t, and I think the female genitalia is way uglier than a male’s. It’s all wet and pink and squishy, and I just can’t understand why anyone would want to touch that. No worries, my husband promptly informed me that I’m weird because everyone likes breasts and vaginae can be “pretty”. Just keep in mind, anomalies do exist.

  7. jenojeno Says:

    AlanK wrote: “No; you don’t understand. You really don’t understand. REally. That’s the way we think. Most straight men think their bodies are sexually unattractive because most of us just don’t find men sexually attractive.”

    There’s a whiff of, if you’ll excuse the term, privilege about proclaiming that you can’t understand why the other gender finds your body sexually attractive. Men aren’t shown in the media, generally, as being objects of desire, and they don’t learn to see themselves this way the way women do. (I don’t think this is because “everyone likes pretty and women are pretty” — I agree with Mademoiselle L that this reflects the advertising world’s priorities. I would much rather see many more photos of gorgeous half-naked men in ads.) Women are constantly aware of their sexual attractiveness; we can’t escape it. It’s really sad to genuinely not understand what’s appealing about your body, but on the other hand, it reflects the fact that men are not the “sex class” and women are.

    I’m not trying to be hard on you, AlanK — I just find this topic pretty fascinating and I don’t think that attitude among men is as simple as “we don’t think other men are sexually attractive.”

  8. jenojeno Says:

    Here’s a spot-on article about this very subject, by a very thoughtful blogger:

    hugoschwyzer.net/2010/08/19/of-never-feeling-hot-the-missing-narrative-of-desire-in-the-lives-of-straight-men-reprinted/

  9. charlie Says:

    im a grown woman.i love male body.i worship male body.i personally find male physique intriguing.in fact,i fantasize about them all the time.did i mention that my boyfriend is very skinny?that does not change anything i feel about the beauty of the his manly body.


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