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15 Things I NEVER Hear Men Say Are Sexy In A Girlfriend (But Wish They Would)

Stephen Hussey

(Photo: Hamed Masoumi)

Dating advice is starting to irritate me more and more.

I’m so bored of reading about that ‘Irresistible First-Date Kiss That Will Keep Him Hooked Forever’.

I’m fed up of click-bait magazine articles telling women how to create a steamy night of passion by lighting a scented candle and whispering something into his ear about not wearing underwear, or wearing matching underwear, or whatever the party line on undergarment etiquette happens to be that week.

I’ve read enough about ‘Body Language That Tells You It’s True Love’ and ‘Sexy Positions He Secretly Wants His Girlfriend To Do In Bed’ to last a lifetime.

So I’ve decided to list of some of the sexiest traits I find in a woman that go beyond the usual magazine fodder.

Some are universal to all guys. Others are my own personal preferences. 

It’s not an exhaustive list, but these are the things I feel REALLY MATTER, the things that click in my head and set off my “she’s amazing, keep her!” alarm after a few months into dating.

15 Unconventionally Sexy Traits In The Woman I’d Love To Date

I’ve separated the specific traits into four general areas.

Put these traits all together and a girlfriend (at least to me) becomes so sexy – so incredibly attractive – she’s basically irreplaceable:

1. An Intelligent/Beautiful Mind

[*] A girlfriend with a rich intellectual life, who is engaged in lifelong learning and reads good books for pleasure (think One Hundred Years of Solitude rather than Fifty Shades Of Grey).

[*] A girlfriend who is genuinely open-minded about new experiences and is capable of changing her opinions, rather than the woman who thinks ‘open-minded’ means ‘believing in everything’, from the power of healing crystals to Dowsing.

[*]  A girlfriend who is a critical thinker and questions everything, embraces doubt, and isn’t dogmatic about her views.

2. Intimacy and Thoughtfulness

[*]  A girlfriend who learns my likes and dislikes and shows that she factors them into her decisions.

[*] A girlfriend who will hug me when I’ve been beaten up (emotionally) by everyone else instead of making me feel like less of a man for being vulnerable.

[*] A girlfriend who will let me hold her when she’s suffering without accusing me of being patronising. 

[*] A girlfriend who is a problem-solver and works out difficulties together. She doesn’t shut down or hide in moments of conflict.

[*] A girlfriend who tells me the truth without making me feel judged, and corrects me without making me feel like an inept, hopeless child.

3. Integrity and Rounded Character

[*] A girlfriend who decides for herself what is important for her mind to focus on, instead of parroting whatever her celebrity-filled twitter feed tells her is big news this week.

[*] A girlfriend who loves socialising for fun and enjoyment, not because she wants validation and attention.

[*] A girlfriend who can debate without turning it into an argument.

[*]  A girlfriend who adapts to situations. She can drink beer and play pool, go running together in the park, be elegant and charming at a dinner party, work on our laptops in the evening, and wear sweats and eat pizza when we relax on the weekend.

4. Long-Term Thinker

[*]  A girlfriend who invests in her long-term skills and potential instead of desperately trying to hold onto superficial things through her twenties/thirties/forties.

[*] A girlfriend who takes pride in being able to take care of her own life, and doesn’t secretly dream someone will come and fix it for her.

[*]  A girlfriend who builds a future she loves, instead of trying to recreate a past that is already behind her.

Dating advice tends to focus a hell of a lot of What To Do, and not much on Who You Are.

Tips and techniques are great – but relationships are really defined by what happens when the initial charm and best intentions of the first dates wear off, when people really start to see what lies behind the self you present to the rest of the world.

Want to keep a guy?

Forget lighting candles and wearing matching underwear. That’s just the neat, glossy cover that surrounds the book.

And nice covers are great. They are the icing on the cake. They look impressive when you show them off on your coffee table. It’s much more pleasing to have a book with a beautiful cover than an ugly one.

But it’s the rich content inside that makes you never want to put it down.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

What’s ONE thing you find sexy that you never hear people talk about? Leave a comment below!

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164 Replies to “15 Things I NEVER Hear Men Say Are Sexy In A Girlfriend (But Wish They Would)”

  • This is such a good article. I appreciate how some individuals such as yourself focus on what’s really more important when it comes to dating or just life in general and share your information with the world. Keep up the positive work!

  • I wonder if this is Stephen’s way of surreptitiously advertising for a girlfriend…Any ladies up for the challenge?

      1. You’ve actually hit upon something there, in that as women we are never told this in such detail. We are expected to be mind readers, in that ‘if you really loved me, you’d just instinctively know’! No I’m not mystic meg. If we as women have an idea of what we find sexy, but not in a superficial manner, we would be less likely to dismiss a man out of hand because of his looks or status as we would be looking at the content and not just the cover. Women are not good at this and I think this is why a lot of women also like married men or can’t consciously uncouple from their ex. It’s like these men have been tried and tested, rated and a single, new man is unknown and like a house that been on the market for ages there is clearly something wrong with it. Not that actually, like Stephen has illustrated here, they have values, standards, actually thought about what as an individual would make them happy and fulfilled. It’s just that not all men can write so elegantly and eloquently. There is not a scarcity of good, single men out there and please let us women be kinder to each other and don’t inflict pain by taking someone else’s man. Let’s be more open minded in our approach and think about our list of what we find sexy in a non-stereotypical way. X

  • i think its sexy when a guy is off guard just being comfortable not acting too cool. oh and showing his soft side with his family and is church (core values) and of course when he wears a suit for work and means business (boss mode).

  • Oops I forgot to mention what I find sexy in a guy

    1) mentally stimulating– I don’t need a brainiac or a patronizing and pedantic intellectual–just someone who is easy and interesting to talk to and motivates me to see different points of view or learn something new.

    2) good manners/chivalry/being a gentleman–this very important in today’s world because very few guys do this. It is really important that he treats women and elders respectfully, children and old people gently and is polite to everybody. I also expect a guy to treat me well personally, otherwise I don’t find him sexy no matter how gorgeous he is. It all boils down to sensitivity and consideration for others.

    3) having a backbone/courage/guts and tons of self-respect—I cannot respect a guy who cannot respect himself and he needs to have the guts to stand up for himself and his beliefs. Nothing turns me on more than courage in everyday life. No spectacular stunts are needed.

    4) relaxed confidence and being comfortable with who he is-
    -I love it when a guy accepts who is and is not afraid to be himself. I like it when he doesn’t try to “become” someone or act like someone or try to appear a certain way. Honesty and authenticity is very sexy. I hate it when guys try to brag and impress-they come across as insecure. The relaxed, completely-at-ease air is very very sexy.

    5) masculinity–both in physical appearance and behavior.
    I think this is appealing because it is something that complements my own femininity. I like guys to behave like guys and look like guys. No effeminate men for me! I also love deep manly voices.

    6) fun/adventurous attitude/liveliness-
    -I love it when a guy has a certain positive, upbeat enthusiastic, energy about him, mischieviousness, a teasing personality without being silly, cartoonish and childish. A good sense of humor (not a mean sarcastic streak) that is not slapstick and silly with a touch of warmth is a must and very sexy.

    7) passion and direction in life-
    He has to be passionate about something–whatever that may be and while I don’t like overambitious Type A people, I love it when a guy has a direction in life towards which he works hard and has his own dreams and ambitions.

    8) independence and originality–in every way.
    That is, he knows how to be a responsible mature adult and doesn’t depend on others for his needs. Guys who do not seek validation from others and have their own independent mind and are original are very sexy. They are not interested in conforming or living their lives to please their parents or authority figures etc. That doesn’t mean I like outlaws and rebels but someone who does his own thing without hurting others.

    9) solid integrity. strong character.depth.
    A guy could be shy and quiet or outgoing but inside he has to be strong. This kind of person commands genuine respect effortlessly.

    Unsexy traits–wishy-washy, passive aggressive, indecisive, weak, boring, timid, falsely modest, arrogant, characterless, approval hungry, people-pleasing, mean, uncouth, hurtful, insensitive, fake, superficial, cowardly, effeminate, useless, ineffectual, negative, directionless, vague guys are very unsexy.

  • Some things are mass produced and mass sold. Other things are unique and personalized. I used to work for a telecom equipment company. All sales people wanted to sell optical fiber, because it had a small number of features and was easy to offer to a customer. No one wanted to sell router solutions, because those required careful design and customization.

    Dating advice is like that, too. It’s easy to sell a look defined by makeup, clothes, and cosmetic surgery. And so fashion magazines take an easy route while getting subsidized by the providers of makeup, etc.

    In contrast, Steve and Matt take a high route. They discuss what they like and don’t like, what works and what doesn’t. They offer stories that magnify their general points and provide us with sometimes conflicting aspects of the complex reality.

    I enjoyed reading Steve’s list, because I satisfy all his 15 points. But it’s important to remember that these unconventionally sexy traits are not a replacement for the initial attraction, which is still based on the looks, tension, and other things that Matt talks about.

    Thank you, Steve, for another great article!


  • A. Chekhov, a Russian writer, wrote “Everything about a person should be beautiful: the face, the clothes, the soul and the thoughts”. I wish people worked more on the last two and I wish there were more people (men especially) appreciating the the last two. And those men/women who actually do that, who can see beyond looks/status and genuinely admire people for their personalities and value that these people give to the world, I send them my respect.

  • Hi Matt and Stephen.Great,Great article!One of your best so far Stephen.
    For me ,Sexy is when a guy is HUMBLE!
    That’s the most important quality for me.
    Thanks..Always Inspiring.

  • Hi Stephen.
    I would find you really sexy if you casually winked at me ( spell checked ) for example in the Starbucks coffee queue……
    Just a small, perfectly formed gesture is able to arouse my mind and body simultaneously….. I love winking ;-) x

  • Hi Stephen.
    I would also find it really sexy if you spontaneously invited me to stay at your place and then offered to lend me me your best undergarments for pyjamas.
    NB: This however would not be sexy the other way round.

  • I love your list and I am this kind of person. It is disheartening though that so many guys go for looks first, become dissapointed by the absence of the qualities you cite and then disappear. If they valued the qualities on your list more highly it would make life so much more fun! Luckily, if one has these qualities the wait for a guy who “gets it” is more easily bearable. Still, can you publish this article in Ask Men + FHM + Sports Illustrated please? You need to get the word out!

  • Hi Stephen, I really appreciate your post and I would love men that share your traits list for a sexy girl ;) – thanks for sharing with us your thoughts.
    I have a question for you.
    Yesterday I visited an apartment to rent together with a commercial agent. The apartment was horrible, while the tenant was a fantastic guy!
    I don’t know the name of the tenant and I cannot ask the agent for this…
    QUESTION: I would like to leave a note on the apartment door next week, with the excuse to ask for more info on the house, leaving my phone.
    How would you react if you were in the place of the tenant?
    (I also thought about knocking but I do not want to be too much obtrusive. Besides, Having not yet moved to the new city I’m afraid I do not find the right time when he is at home.) Please, let me know. Happy M.

    1. Enter Jessica (lol)
      I think that in this situation you might be better off knocking. Maybe you could say something like, “hey, not sure if you’re busy today but I came by to see the place recently and I just can’t decide if it’s the apartment itself that piqued my intrigue or the interesting people that seem to live around here [smile :)]. Since I’m from out of town, maybe you could tell me a little about the area.”

      That way, you’re not acting falsely interested in the place, but more so interested in what he has to say about the culture. And you’re kind of hitting on him without being too forward. It’ll take some guts to knock but what do you have to lose? If it somehow turns south hey- he’s moving anyway! ;)

  • Men only care for the attraction part and if it does not come to this, they let the women manipulate them and finally they end up with the person that does not fit them the best. But with a person who manipulates them the most.

    – They marry the wrong girl and that is the reason why so many relationship does not work. When it comes to feelings and sexual attraction and the power-game, men are not be able to think straight. Most of guys get into a relationship with ambitious manipulative girls , and complain later on, their bad experience with women in general.

    – This list is how they feel, but who ever listen to what they feel when it comes to love, most of the men don’t know what they feel. They make different decisions then what they really think or feel but what they HOPE and expect. Alot of the time, it turns out to be different, but then a separation occurs or it it too late to get out of the relationship.

  • Hi Matthew,

    Thanks for the article! Love it (as ussual)
    What I really love in a guy, is when he can argue, without raising his volume. Instead of that he uses words to express himself and if he can’t make himself clear usus easier words to acomplish bhis goal.. To listen, to be open and talk.
    I’m a very small woman and I can easily get scared when you put your chest up, raise your volume and hands go up and down..

    One thing that can really be sexy is a shy smile. He can have a great laugh and lots of fun. But it is very sexy when a man from time to time has a sexy shy smile. It shows he is vulnerable, I guess.
    I really like that in a man, when he is not just a bunch of testosterone. Showing off what he has.. Instead of wanting to show what he is missing..

    Keep up the good work! Love to read all your articles!

    Love, Tammy

    1. Hi Tammy,

      This article was written by Stephen Hussey, Matthew’s brother and co-author of their book. You would want to direct your thanks to him for this article.

      With that being said, THANK YOU so much, Stephen, for posting this lovely article and numerous others. This really brings things into perspective and helps us to avoid fixating on the superficial elements of a true relationship. I look forward to seeing more of your work.

    2. I know EXACTLY what you mean by that Shy Smile!! A Man is Sexy when he knows how to catch a Compliment effectively

  • This is great! I try to tell my brother to look for these types of things in girls but he never listens, says he doesn’t want to date someone like his sister Lol

    1. I like it Darla! Altruism is a hugely important quality for long-term compatibility. I recently read in this article (http://goo.gl/1iW6bX) that kindness and generosity are two of the most important traits for a successful relationship so you’re on the right track!

      1. Stephen- Thank you for the link to this article it’s so helpful. So much awesome wisdom to be taken from the research. One of the best compliments I’ve ever received was from a guy. He said I was “responsive”. At first, I didn’t get what he was saying because it doesn’t sound very sexy. This article helps me get it on a whole higher level. Take care-

    1. lol I don’t know it all Agnieszka, I just write what works for me and hope it resonates with you guys! Thanks for the encouragement! x

  • Absolutely 100% agree . My boyfriend has recently told me that one of the reasins he wants0 me for a long term relationship, is the drive I have in my life and my refusalto give up when I hear “no” .

    1. Yep – the reasons people notice us in the first place and the reasons people fall deeply in love with us aren’t always the same things. We end up falling for a personality and small traits people have which make all the difference.

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