Many of us have probably wondered if it's true that women are from Venus and men are from Mars—and what men really think about things when they're too manly (or smart, or polite) to tell us straight-up. West Michigan Woman asked for your questions. We even asked for your men. After being lured to HopCat with promises of beer and munchies, these men told us everything.
What makes a woman sexy?
- The winning combination: "Confidence, intelligence, and a sense of humor."
- A little reverse psychology: "Showing up on time is sexy."
- And, of course, someone had to say it: "Gigantic boobs."
Why don't guys ever talk about anything important when they hang out?
Apparently, there is a huge difference here between men and women. The men emphasized that they don't want to talk about serious topics while they're hanging out together.
- "If there's more than one guy, nothing emotional is going to be talked about." ("Man up and grow some balls" is likely to be the response to anything too sensitive.)
- "It's nice to hang out with the guys without getting into anything deep."
- "I don't have to talk—I don't have to listen!"
- "Guy stuff is important!"
They also emphasized that there is nothing wrong with silence: "Guys don't need to talk when they're hanging out."
What's up with checking out other women?
- "It doesn't matter where you build up an appetite, as long as you come home to eat."
What about pornography?
- "To excess is a problem."
- "It's not real. If you're comparing it to real life, then it's a negative."
- "'Chick flicks' are like the same thing, in reverse. They both set up unrealistic expectations."
If your significant other gained a lot of weight, how would you handle it?
- "They already know—there's no tiptoeing around it. You just want to be sensitive. I'd put it on myself, 'I feel like crap ... I need to work out,' and ask if she would come with me."
- "If she's worried about it, I'd ask, 'How can I help?'"
Which of your partner's character traits do you value the most—and least?
- Willingness to Try Anything
- Amount of Energy
- Quickness to Criticize
- Lack of Confidence
- Unwillingness to Take Feedback
Many of our panel commented that the qualities they loved also drove them crazy—whether the meticulousness that resulted in a clean house and meant you couldn't set something down for five seconds without it disappearing, or the drive to succeed that meant their partners had difficulty relaxing.
What do you think of online dating and hook up sites, like Tinder*?
- "I would've loved it back in the day, but it's not for a long-term relationship."
- "'Hot or not' is not OK in the real world. It degrades relationships to the lowest common denominator, and it's symptomatic of the problems in our society today. If women want to find a good guy, find one who stays away from that crap!"
(*The Tinder app connects users based on location, Facebook friends in common, and other parameters, including if both users have determined that the other is "hot," as opposed to "not.")
How would you feel about a situation in which your wife or partner earned enough income that you could stay home with the children?
- "I would do it tomorrow."
- "I do not have the fortitude to handle that. It's a super hard job."
- "I'd still want to be doing something. I'm driven to accomplish."
- "That would not be my preference."
- "There is no way I could do what my wife does. I would love to stay home, but I don't think I could do what she does."
Is masculinity under attack?
- "Masculinity is an individual thing."
- "It's been redefined."
- "The presence of powerful women is not an attack on masculinity."
- "I see guys turning into pansies."
Who should initiate sex, and how often?
- "Yes! That's all you need to put. Yes!"
How long does it take to build a relationship?
- "It depends on the woman, and the circumstances."
- "My wife and I bought a house three months into our relationship."
- "A year is a good marker—if you're still interested and attracted to each other after a year."
What values do you hope you and your wife or partner will instill in your children?
Would you call out your buddies for trashing their significant other?
- "Most guys don't want to hang around with guys who are constantly complaining about their wives."
- "I might say, 'Dude, you're kind of being a dick.'"
Which look is most attractive?
Dressed up, full makeup, ready for a night on the town
No makeup, laughing around the campfire
Minimal makeup and yoga pants on a grocery store run
- "I appreciate how hot a woman looks when she's all done up, but I still want her to be hot when that stuff's gone."
- "Full makeup kind of says 'high maintenance.' I want her to be comfortable with who she is."
Would you rat out a buddy who was cheating on his significant other, or tell him if his significant other was cheating?
- "If I knew a close friend was cheating, I'd talk to him about it, but I wouldn't tell on him."
- "If I thought he was being cheated on, I wouldn't say anything unless I was one hundred percent sure. There's a big difference between speculation and proof."
Should you and your significant other have full access to each other's online accounts?
- "When you're dating, no. It makes everything a discussion. If you're married, that's a whole different story."
- "I want her to just trust me."
- "No—it's one more way she knows everything—I can't buy her gifts or do anything spontaneous because she'll see the confirmation emails."
- "If I was willing to do it, I would expect the same."
- "I don't expect it. People have different levels of comfort with privacy. My wife is a very private person, and I respect that."
How should your significant other approach a difficult discussion?
- "Don't give me a hint. Don't be vague. Just say it."
- "Find an appropriate time—don't bring it up when I'm on my way out the door."
- "Don't ever say, 'Nothing's wrong' when there is, or 'You should know.'"
- "Don't text me about it."
In advance of the Men Tell All gathering, we asked our participants to answer a few questions via questionnaire. The results:
Should your significant other have full access to your phone and online accounts?
Is "sexting" (sending someone sexually explicit photographs or messages via cellphone) cheating?
Do you "manscape"?
Do you ever feel jealous of the time your significant other spends with her friends?
Can men and women really have a strictly platonic friendship?
When do you think a woman is most beautiful?
"Makeup-free, laughing around a campfire." 66%
"Dressed up sexy for a night on the town." 18%
"At the grocery store in yoga pants." 18%
If you had to pick one attribute, would you rather have a spouse/significant other who is brilliant or beautiful?
Is your spouse/significant other smarter than you?
Should spanking your child be considered abuse?
"IT DEPENDS" 36%
What's more important, having a great career, or being in a great relationship?
If money didn't matter, would you choose to be a stay at home dad?
Thank you to the Men Tell All participants: Alan Adyniec, 63, Rockford; Justin Ayers, 26, Rockford; Steve Brems, 62, Grand Haven; George Carroll, 42, Rockford; Brad Chrisman, 28, Rockford; Jayson Dibble, 39; Bo Fowler, 38, Ada; Brian Kujala, 34, Grand Rapids; Ben Outwater, 35, Dorr; Tony Pearson, 38, Caledonia; and Kevin Van Hagen, 34, Caledonia.