Not Portraying Traditional Roles And Finding Your Partner Sexy
-- Spoiler alert: It has very little to do with bulging biceps, a fancy car, or being rich:
Times are changing, women are now often one of the main breadwinners in their families. In 38 percent of heterosexual American marriages, the woman outearns her husband. (Bureau of Labor Statistics) However, new studies are finding that gender stereotypes are as strong today as they were 30 years ago, and that people are even more likely now to believe that men avoid "traditional" female roles. (Psychology of Women Quarterly)
SO clearly there seems to be a disconnect between how society wants gender roles to be versus, what they actually are. After reading countless studies on these issues the disconnect in partnerships between feelings verse behavior had largely to do with human sexuality. Women who were the breadwinners often had a hard time finding their male spouse attractive when he was the stay at home parent. Men who stay at home often seem to be preoccupied with how their wives see them as well. Both parties often experience a lower labido and drive to be intimate with one another.
All this being said there are a lot of women out there, myself included that have experienced gender role reversals and been completely fine with it. I'm not sure what makes these outlier relationships different but perhaps it's because my partner and I were both raised in families where our mother's were the main breadwinner for our family. It wasn't unusual to see mom leave for work and have dad cook dinner. In both of these situations as well, it was a conscious decision by both families based on what made the most sense.
While countless marriages end in divorce, our parents marriages were strong, even in the face of reverse gender roles. Both our parents are also still very much on love with their partner.
All in all, I think the results of these studies that are coming out don't necessarily reflect the newer family models out there. So ladies, I think it is still totally possible to be a breadwinner, come home and find your man sexy. To prove it, here is a list of what moms truly find sexy about dad -- Spoiler alert: It has very little to do with bulging biceps, a fancy car, or being rich:
Moms think good dads are sexy.
If you're a mom and you're in a happy relationship, chances are you're nodding your head in agreement. And given that I wrote a book for moms about fatherhood that releases in early September, it makes sense that I know a little bit about what moms want from their men. Since I started my blog, I can't tell you how many messages I've received from women sharing pictures of their men caring for their kids and how "sexy" that is to them. The Daddies Doin' Work (that's my way of saying, "great dads") reading this are nodding their heads in agreement too, because they know their spouses will love and cherish them until the end of time due to the amount of work they put in for their families.
Here are some examples of what I'm talking about.
1. Baby wearing. Women love to see men wear babies. To see a big, strong man take part in a gentle act like strapping an infant to his chest is a beautiful thing, and most women find it to be extremely attractive. Not to mention, a man's willingness to do that shows how confident he is. He doesn't care if Neanderthals laugh at him for using a baby carrier. He does it because he loves being close to his babies and that love trumps any hater's opinion. A woman sent me an email a few weeks ago that read, "Can you please have a talk with my husband about how baby wearing is sexy? He says only soft men would do that sort of thing." Really? Men who wear their babies are a lot of things, but soft is not one of them.
2. Affection. You know that emotionally-unavailable dad? Sure you do. He's the guy who thinks he's an awesome father just because he brings home a paycheck. He never plays with his kids, he never tells them he loves them, and the only time he touches them is during a spanking when they "get out of line." I'm not an expert on women, but I'll go out on a limb by saying that no mom reading this finds that dad to be sexy.
You know what they find sexy?
Dads who come home from work and give their kids big bear hugs as soon as they walk through the door.
Dads who sit their kids on their laps while they complete puzzles or sing songs.
Dads who constantly offer positive reinforcement to their kids.
Dads who are manly enough to kiss their kids in public.
Dads who tell their kids how much they love them.
It's a new world now, and that emotionally-unavailable nonsense is as played out as the Macarena and the Harlem Shake. Affection is the new toughness.
3. Being silly. The kids want to start a dance-off? He's the first one to bust a move. Your daughter wants a date for her tea party? He's the first one to put on makeup and sit at the table with her. These guys aren't "too cool" to do anything for their kids, because they understand that making their kids happy IS the coolest thing ever. As mentioned earlier, the level of confidence it takes to look silly and not care about anyone's opinion (other than that of one's family) is extremely attractive to many women. Not to mention, the silliest times always lead to the best memories.
4. Being a partner without being asked. The baby's crying in the middle of the night and he quickly gets up to tend to her so you can sleep. You're exhausted and he puts on the apron to whip up a nice dinner for you and your family — or, if he can't cook, he brings home your favorite take-out instead. He's heading out of town for the week on business, and he leaves thoughtful notes in his son's lunch box to say how much he loves him. He notices that you're stressed out and he surprises you with a mani-pedi day to help you regain your sanity while he watches the kids. Nobody asked him to do these things. He just does them on his own, because he's a good man.
Again, if you're a mom and you're in a happy relationship, I'm sure this happens quite often for you. Even if that's the case, I bet you still find it extremely sexy when it does happen, right? Of course you do.
5. Appreciating his partner. It doesn't matter if a woman is a stay-at-home mom or a mom who works outside of the home — they are all Mommies Doin' Work. Between toddler tantrums, diaper changes, and kids doing the complete opposite of what's asked of them, it can be a stressful and extremely thankless gig at times. When their men pull them aside to say, "You know what, honey? I appreciate everything you do for our family," all of the stress seemingly disappears. It takes so little effort to say thank you, but it has a ridiculously profound impact. Not to mention, moms find it extremely sexy when their men appreciate them.
In closing, here's a memo to young men who will eventually get married and have children of their own: Believe me when I say that moms love men who demonstrate the traits I outlined above. Sadly, there are men who've been married for decades and still have no clue about what it takes to be a good dad or husband. Don't be like them. Most importantly, if you complete these tasks just because you want to have sex, it will never work. Why? Because as soon as women become moms, their B.S. radar gets intensified. Don't ask me why, it just does. Fellas, everything you do must be genuine and from the heart, or else your lady will call you out on it faster than you can say, "Let's cuddle."
If you and your spouse believe in love, trust, commitment, honor, respect, compromise, teamwork, and sacrifice, you'll not only have an awesome relationship, but you'll probably raise some pretty awesome kids as well.
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