Sexy is in the Eyes of the Beholder

September 18, 2015

in Uncategorized

My brilliant wife knows I find her sexy. It took years for her to believe this – years of me telling her repeatedly, and years of her fighting the garbage our culture had piled on her.

I’m sure it’s nice for her to know I find her sexy, and I know it blesses me for her to accept and live in this reality.

Man showing two thumgs up © olly |

There are two issues here:

Sexy Isn’t Universal

There’s no single ideal of the perfect female body. When I was growing up giant boobs were all the rage. Porn was full of them, and all the guys as school talked about them. I never understood this because I didn’t massive nearly as appealing as smaller breasts. I realise now I was not alone; I was just shouted down by the presumed majority. Bigger was better, and any guy who said anything else was going to have his sexuality questioned. Peer pressure caused us to all say bigger was better, even though some of us didn’t agree. 

History is full of varying cultural standards of what’s sexy. There were times when tiny breasts were all the rage. Voluptuous was the in thing for a long time, and skinny would have been a total turn off. The Greeks thought a small penis was better looking than a larger one. The “sexiest” body size, shape, and parts have changed repeatedly throughout the years.

Beyond the cultural standard, there are always men who find something else sexy. I suspect keeping quiet about not agreeing with the social norm has always been common. Aside from risking being seen as less of a man, what we see as sexy is rather personal.

What You Love is Sexy

My wonderful wife came equipped rather close to my ideal. However, this is secondary to the fact I like her. I want to be with her, and only her. I don’t want to share my life, or my bed, with any other woman. This makes her the sexiest woman in the world to me. What she sees as imperfections I see as unique parts of her wonderful body. Her body is sexy because it’s her body. I enjoy it because I love her.

I’m not alone in this; I hear the same from other men. I’ve talked to men who say their taste in female anatomy has changed to match how their wife looks. A man who was all about big breasts marries a small-breasted woman and comes to enjoy what she has. A man who was not into butts marries a woman with a nice butt and gradually it becomes a big deal to him. I suspect our brains are actually rewired over time, making the body of our wife the ultimate sexual standard.

Bottom Line

If your hubby says he finds you sexy, please believe him. I didn’t say humour him or accept his compliments, I said believe him! Learn to enjoy the fact your body arouses him, and does so more than any other woman’s body could. Then work on using that power for mutual enjoyment and pleasure.

~ Paul – I’m XY, and living in an RV gives me some great chances to see my wife’s sexy body!

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

anonymous September 18, 2015 at 3:45 am

I used to believe my husband found me sexy, but events have taken place that have revealed I am far from his ideal and his ideal is far different from me. I know he loves me, and am coming to accept he married me formy inner beauty and it was worth compromising on the physical to him.


Paul Byerly September 18, 2015 at 10:24 am

@anonymous – Love can make such a choice almost not a choice – it just happens.
Paul Byerly recently posted…Friday Flashback: When Her Body is an Extension of YoursMy Profile


Me September 19, 2015 at 8:35 pm

But sometimes, right or wrong, a woman longs to be desired by her husband. She longs to be his ideal of beauty. She longs for him to love her appearance as well as her heart. So when he says he loves your body and thinks you’re beautiful, you know he’s not telling the truth because you know what he finds beautiful and you are not it. When you are tall, blonde with thin legs and bigger breasts (natural) – {which you even admitted in your post that big boobs being attractive are a thing of the past} – and your husband is attracted to petite brunettes with small breasts and ample rear ends, it is painfully obvious that you are nowhere near his idea of sexy. It hurts.


T September 24, 2015 at 6:03 am

Please don’t underestimate a man’s ability to be attracted to a wide variety of types of women. He could find attractive BOTH petite brunettes and blonde bombshells like yourself. (p.s. big boobs are definitely not a thing of the past. And I know you know it.)

I think the whole point of Paul’s article is that we as women tend to think our husbands can only find us sexy if we look a certain way, and that’s just contrary to the way so many of them are made. Listen to what men talk about – finding a lot of different women very sexy is one of their biggest struggles.


Paul Byerly September 24, 2015 at 8:38 am

@T – Exactly, thanks for clarifying. Preferences in men’s “type” of woman are not as solid and exclusive as women may think.
And as I will say in my Friday post, her body is a very minor part of what matters to him. It’s all about attitude.
Paul Byerly recently posted…You’re too Busy!My Profile


Jerry Stumpf September 18, 2015 at 6:34 am

So much you say here Paul is what we share in our seminars to couples. Your husband likes to see your body!

Wives, you can use this to your “advantage” in a God honoring way. And yes, please “believe” that he gets a thrill seeing your body.
Jerry Stumpf recently posted…Tell me how your marriage seminar can help our marriage?My Profile


anonymous September 25, 2015 at 3:10 am

And if it’s obvious he doesn’t? Then one lives with internal sadness and shame, and tries to come to terms with him marrying for other reasons, and tolerating your body type.


Dan September 18, 2015 at 10:01 am

”I used to believe my husband found me sexy, but events have taken place that have revealed I am far from his ideal and his ideal is far different from me.”

Just because you do not meet his ideal (if that is indeed true and not just an assumption based on circumstance or the moment), that does not mean he does not find you sexy. Sexy does not manifest itself in only outer beauty. Sexy is truly in the mind in the final outcome. I have seen a lot of physically voluptuous women whose desirability tanked when they revealed their true nature through their mouths or their actions.
Dan recently posted…Quickie: When size doesn’t matter — Feel His PainMy Profile


Gaye @CalmHealthySexy September 18, 2015 at 2:24 pm

Thanks for the reminder. A lot of women find this hard to believe.
Gaye @CalmHealthySexy recently posted…Put Your Body to Work to Help You Feel BeautifulMy Profile


C.D. September 18, 2015 at 5:32 pm

I’m a wife who has a hard time believing my husband when he tells me I’m sexy. This is because he has also told me, more than once, that my body is less than desirable to him and that my weight is a problem (I’m 25 pounds over my ideal weight, thanks to two babies in two and a half years). I’m trying to lose the weight, but it’s a hard process. In the meantime, I’m left wondering which is it? Am I sexy or not? Unfortunately I lean towards “not” because his actions indicate that to me.


Paul Byerly September 19, 2015 at 10:37 am

@C.D. – How about some of both?
Paul Byerly recently posted…It’s Okay to Enjoy SexMy Profile


C.D. September 25, 2015 at 6:08 pm

Can you clarify? I’m having trouble feeling sexy when he’s said my body is currently unattractive to him. I’m working on the weight, but obviously it’s not going to come off overnight. He says he wants me to be confident but I’m finding that impossible.


Paul Byerly September 27, 2015 at 4:39 pm

@C.D. – As I said in my post for the list Friday, sexy is way more than how a woman looks. In fact for most men over the age of 20 looks is a minor part of it. So how you look, how you look now, and if you are “his type” physically are not necessarily big factors in him finding you sexy.
Paul Byerly recently posted…Choose to be WrongedMy Profile


KJ September 23, 2015 at 8:14 am

I could write a book about this! Thanks Paul for sharing. Fortunately for you, you are writing from a place of health. Many of us are or were living with spouses who were not healthy. Porn is such a prevalent issue today and can definitely warp a man’s sense of what is sexy. Of course we want to be found sexy by our husbands, both for what is on the inside as well as outside. But when your husband looks at porn, glances at other woman and in the case of some of the responses prior, remarks negatively about the way you look, there is no way that when they come around to saying they find us attractive, that we are going to believe them. So ladies, take what Paul says and believe it. If you live with a “healthy” man believe what he says about you and cherish it and walk confidently in it. If you are living with an unhealthy man, you need to know that you are loved and attractive from God and cherish that and walk confidently in it. With time, that unhealthy man in your life is going to wonder what the change is in you. You did not put on more make up or lose weight, but you are walking confidently in who God created you to be and are not listening to the negative remarks of an unhealthy man.


IntimacySeeker October 16, 2015 at 10:47 am

“MY wonderful wife came equipped rather close to MY ideal.”
“I’ve talked to men who say THEIR taste in female anatomy …”
“I am far from HIS ideal”

I appreciate the general and intended message in this post.

I am troubled by the possessive language we so freely use and that seems to imply women’s bodies are objects and projects. Does this not trouble anyone else?


IntimacySeeker October 16, 2015 at 10:48 am

I meant products (not projects).


Paul Byerly October 16, 2015 at 8:24 pm

@IntimacySeeker – Lori has talked about me in the same way, so it’s not a sexist issue here.
If it’s only about what he wants, thinks, or feels, it’s clearly a problem.
Paul Byerly recently posted…Friday Flashback: Living SexualMy Profile


IntimacySeeker October 26, 2015 at 12:21 pm

I see where it can work both ways with men and women. But the fact that we even have a physical ideal in mind before we marry proves my point: we are far too concerned about looks in our culture. I realize that appearance is what often first attracts a man to a woman and vice versa. And it is good that over time, that physical attraction is intertwined with other attributes and our spouse’s character. Yet we would be better served to prioritize that character at the outset.

I think in this post you may be saying that sexy is in the HEARTof the beholder. That’s as it should be. Sure I may get a little thrill when my husband indicates he appreciates my beauty. But what truly draws me to him and makes me want to know him intimately is knowing he thinks I’m smart, capable, generous, gifted, etc.


IntimacySeeker October 26, 2015 at 1:04 pm

Somehow the last paragraph I meant to include in the comment above went AWOL. Here goes:

When draws me to him even more is knowing he is honorable, trustworthy, dependable, sensitive, etc. The other day he did a very kind, sweet thing for someone in mourning. I was powerfully moved. To say looks are secondary to how much we like our spouse is true, but barely scratches the surface.


Paul Byerly October 26, 2015 at 4:53 pm

@IntimacySeeker – I agree the heart is the real issue.
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