Sense of humor and intelligence are assets in romance


April 11, 1993|By SUSAN DEITZ | SUSAN DEITZ,Los Angeles Times Syndicate

Q: Any aadvice on rekindling an exciting desire for intimacy between two people who have hit a dull spot after three years? What can a woman do to please a man? Men seem to back away if you get too pushy, but there must be some mid-point. Have you surveyed any men to find what they perceive to be exciting in a woman?

A: In every survey I have taken focusing on sexuality, a sense of humor (in and out of bed) rated high as an appealing trait. (Intelligence is linked to that, the brain being the largest sex organ we have.) Not to laugh at one's lover, but to be playful and make the intimacy a gleeful adventure. And a sense of mystery is intriguing, an aura some women have that a man can possess physically and still never reach; that allure comes from the inside and cannot be purchased or feigned.

Most men secretly fantasize about being made love to rather than being the active partner -- some of them will admit it, some won't, but asserting more is worth a try. Still, each man is %J different in his tastes, so trial and error is the best way to regain sexual excitement. And if possible, talk things over as you try new things, new locales, new positions. Find your sex style as a couple by experimentation.

Q: I am sick to death of men whining about "male-bashing." Men have been bashing women since the dawn of time: for example, women are gossips, women are always late, women are lousy drivers, women are overly emotional and hard to handle at that time of month, women can't balance a checkbook, women are gold diggers, ad nauseam. If men can't take it, then stop dishing it out and quit your whining!

I grant you -- there are lots of shallow, superficial women. But how many superficial, shallow men ask out the overweight and plain women, no matter how nice, intelligent and fun-loving they are? The good-looking women who can pick and choose are the ones guys will take garbage from, because they'd rather be with someone who looks good. Just look at the personal ads and notice how often the words "slim," "attractive," "good-looking" appear.

I guarantee that if men dated women (and vice versa) based on their personalities and not their looks, everyone would be happier. As long as guys (or women) have to make looks all-important, you can bet there will be a lot of gold-digging, pursued females, because they know they can get anyone and treat them any way they want -- and guys will take it, just for the privilege of their company.

So try to be real, men, and stop being so shallow, and look at women who can offer more than looks.

A: Let's stop the bashing and the anti-bashing and get down to the core issue: values. Looks are not the first priority on men's lists, no matter what women believe; sense of humor and intelligence rank higher. If they find a particular woman appealing, feminine, kissable, that's enough for most men. They don't have to be with the best looker in the room. Women, on the other hand, seem to be even more realistic about a man's appearance and look at the inner person. Moving beyond the face and form seems to be a function of age and experience. For both sexes.

Q: The problem with the "low-pressure" daylight dates you recommend is that such low-rent encounters can come off as cheap and lacking class.

A: If the women in your life judge men by the dollars they spend on a date, you better change lanes and drive through different scenery. The savvy woman knows that being asked for a lunch date can be more intimate -- and more flattering -- than an invitation to a weekend movie. And if reality is your bag, daytime is the best time to court. (Oh, I know. Saturday night is the biggie, but don't let that fiction tyrannize you into believing another time is second-rate.) And the check for lunch-for-two can cost far more than two movie tickets! No, I insist, among people who think straight, daytime trysts can be more promising. Because they're more real.

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