Here’s a question I received through our Have A Question page a while back (I have a bit of a backlog).
Are some men just not as visual as others? My husband doesn’t seem that affected by my physical appearance, and I am a petite size 0. He seems to mainly be aroused by touch. I have sent boudoir photos to him before, and got little to no response… And times we have been in the shower together, out of convenience and not for a sexual encounter, he does not get physically aroused. He has never asked to see me nude or to wear lingerie… And we have often had sex half dressed. Is this normal?
When I read this, I remembered a comment a wife made on my blog somewhere. I’m not sure if it was on a post, or in a survey, or what. I think I said something about how men are generally more visual. She responded “Hey, I’m visually turned on too” or something to that effect.
My point is, we have to frame almost every statement as “generally” when talking about gender differences. Men generally are more visual. Not all. Your husband, while not “average” in this, is perfectly normal. There are many different things individuals find attractive. Let’s look at a few.
Things that people are attracted to visually can be all sorts of things. We’ve seen throughout history that some things are static. Symmetry, for example, is generally considered attractive). Some are cultural based. In some cultures, overweight people were considered more attractive because it meant they had enough food to eat. In our culture, the opposite seems to be true for many people. Yet, there are still variations within our culture as well.
And it’s not just fitness. It could be hair or eye colour or being well dressed, whatever that means to you. I often see the advice that women shouldn’t wear jogging or yoga pants in front of their spouse because it’s unattractive. Not to me! I love my wife in yoga pants.
For some, sounds are more attractive. It could be the pitch of the voice or the tempo of their speech. It could be the size of their vocabulary, or perhaps you prefer more common speech.
And then, of course, are those noises we make in the bedroom during sex. If you’re struggling with those, check out this resource:
If you remember your grade school science, taste and smell are actually the same sense. They’re just chemical receptors applied in different ways. MaBeck mentioned in the comments:
I tell you what, I’m more attracted to smells and sounds personally than just the physical appearance! If my husband puts on cologne, it’s a huge turn on for me! A fresh shower, cologne, and I’m in!
And, as the reader who asked the question said, some people are turned on more by touch. It doesn’t even necessarily need to be sexual touch. I’ve heard from many women that all sorts of touch turn them on:
- Having their hair touched, played with or combed (I explain this a bit in this post)
- Feet or calves rubbed
- Back massage
- Or even obviously sexual touches
Your husband is an individual, just as you are. We all are. While we tend to fall into some basic guidelines, you’ll rarely find someone who fits every stereotype. And that’s okay.
As for having sex half dressed, yeah, I think that’s pretty normal. I think often the reasons are different, though. I think a lot of people keep clothes on because of body image issues. But, let’s ask everyone. So, what about you, do you have sex naked, semi-clothed in lingerie, or what?
13 thoughts on “Are some men just not as visual as others?”
Like many things, I suspect it is a continuum for most people. My husband is *extremely* visual, to the point where he refuses to go to the beach or swimming pool because he feels it is just too exhausting for him when he can’t find a single “safe” place to look, which is deeply discouraging to me because I have the fondest memories of swimming with my dad and I am so sad that my girls are going to grow up without this. I appreciate his desire to honor me in this way, I guess, but I’m also angry that it has to be this way because he is SO visual.
As far as sex, hubby just likes variety. Fully naked is great, so is lingerie, and so is being half dressed. It’s all fun, and so is having the lights off to deprive himself of that visual sense. But even here, he doesn’t seem as visually oriented around me after 10 years of marriage except for context. If I am not trying to be sexy, my body doesn’t really impact him that much (except sometimes my cleavage, but I don’t show cleavage anywhere but home, so that too is kind of deliberate). So perhaps for this hubby, context matters, and touch is one of the most obvious ways to communicate a sexual context, so it makes sense that that is a turn on to him. I guess it doesn’t matter how other guys work or what is normal for them; it just matters what is normal for THIS husband. Find what works and use it!
“So, what about you, do you have sex naked, semi-clothed in lingerie, or what?”
All of the above. Most often lately, we’re naked. But there have been plenty of times my husband just wanted to flip up my skirt and leave clothing on or that I wear lingerie. Other times, we don’t bother to remove a bra or cami. He usually strips down to nothing, but on occasion doesn’t take the time. It’s fairly common to start somewhat clothed and eventually take it all off. Variety makes things more interesting.
Fully naked!!! SKIN on skin!!
Personally I don’t understand hubby, but I’m not there so could be missing info….
You mentioned a comment in another post a while back that you weren’t sure you had that visual Rolodex described by Shaunti Feldman in her books. This concept was unsettling for a lot of women. Care to expand on that topic?
I like sex fully clothed, nude, semi-nude, whatever. I just like sex!
Most of the time for us we are totally naked…. That’s the best…. But have done it other ways too…. I like the skin on skin
Clothing I find is generally less liberating during sex. I find that it can bind or inhibit movement. Besides that, we spend like 99% of our lives in clothing. So I see little need in clothing articles when it’s time for sex. It’s fine if you’re in a position where you can’t get fully naked for some reason like a partially public location. But if we’re home it’s full on nudity. Sex is so much better when bare skin is pressing, gliding, or sliding against your partners bare skin.
I am nude, my wife is (unfortunately) clothed. I love to see her body and bits, but she is shy. However, she has lots of touch for me between the sheets, I close my eyes and it does not matter what she is wearing or not wearing. I am in another world!!!
All you all want to talk about in comments is the clothes….who cares. The real problem is that the husband is not turned on by his wife for some reason…. I would highly recommend finding out why this problem exists then worry about clothes on or off. Was you husband visually attracted to you when you first hot married? Did the sight of you naked makes him “stand up”?
As a husband and as a recovering porn addict I will say this….if a guy says visual “does nothing for him”, he’s full of crap. Those symptoms sound to me like someone is getting their visual stimulation somewhere else….
On the other she says she’s a size 0. Maybe he would like for her to eat a sandwich or 10 so there is something for hime to look at.
Not sayin just sayin
Size 0 doesn’t mean skin and bones. She said she is petite. I am a size 2 to size 4 depending on the brand and I have awesome curves and feminine fluff in all the right places.
Also, just because he doesn’t turn into a salivating wolf every time she removes an article of clothing doesn’t mean he isn’t attracted to her. He may be less visual, more internal, more stoic, more romantic, or finds the clothed-yet-disheveled look during sex with all the peek a boo going on to be sexier than outright nudity.
I used to feel the same as the original poster. I expected my hubby to be all about spread eagle full frontal outright nudity like media claims all men like. He has little to no interest in that kind of sexual portrayal. But slide a 1940s pin up by Elvgren under his nose where there is no nudity, but a lot of suggestion and shazam!
When we make love he prefers me covered by something soft and feminine, watching the fabric slide and shift over my feminine form. We also have sex fully nude, shower together, undress in front of each other, watch movies together nude in bed, but I think if he had the choice to coming home to me fully nude, spread eagle in bed, or draped in a satin robe sitting demurely in his favorite chair, he would choose the latter.
Part of his different visual nature is hard for me to swallow because I would love for him to fall to pieces and practically worship my lady bits, but on the positive side, he isn’t troublingly affected by the onslaught of sexuality in the world. Much of it, geared toward the general male population, isn’t what he likes, anyway. We can go to a pool or beach and he doesn’t have to stare at the sand to stay pure.
Good point John. I would defiantly agree with that. I will admit that personally I prefer a lady with some meat on her bones like my DW, but we all have our personal preferences too.