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What Men Really Want -- And Don't: 6 Myths Debunked

Posted: 10/04/2012 2:07 pm

Countless books, magazines, and advice columns have been written on the mystery of the male brain -- yet somehow we aren't any closer to figuring out how men think. Instead, we rely on the same myths and generalizations that have been passed down from the beginning of time.

As market researchers, we thought there had to be a better way. So we went straight to the source: We asked 250,000 men their thoughts on communication, sex, dating, romance, and marriage.

The results, which we've collected in the book "WTF Are Men Thinking," finally provide some definitive answers about men -- and dispel some of those myths once and for all.

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  • 1. They don’t listen.

    How many times have you started a serious discussion with the man in your life, only to have to repeat yourself the next day … and then the next? You may think they never listen, but the survey overwhelming says otherwise: 90 percent of guys said they really do make an effort to listen to their significant other when they’re in a committed relationship. So why don’t the words sink in? The problem comes when you try to beat around the bush; you might think it’s better to build up to big message, but the men said that too much lead-in makes them tune out. Get to the point right away, and he’ll finally hear you.

  • 2. They want to be in control.

    If you still feel sheepish about making the first move, it’s time to face the facts: Guys overwhelmingly think it’s hot when a woman takes control. 82 percent of the guys said that they like it when women ask them out, and over 60% said they want the woman to be the aggressor in the bedroom. Are they lazy? Maybe. But they’re definitely willing to relinquish control, so don’t be shy about taking the reins.

  • 3. They always want sex.

    Everyone’s heard the rumor that guys think about doing it every 7 seconds, so they’ve gotten an unfair rap as raging sexaholics. But there really are times—particularly when they’re stressed—that their attention is diverted to other things. Nearly 40 percent of guys said that, when they’re busy at work or concerned about family matters, they’re just not in the mood. “It is rare, but there are times when we just don’t feel like it,” one guy said. “We get tired, stressed, irritated, and so on, just like you do.”

  • 4. They can’t be monogamous.

    While the idea of the unfaithful wife is a rarity (think the scandalous Madame Bovary), the cheating husband is everywhere, and is generally accepted as a fact of life. But can men appeal to their better natures and stay monogamous? Turns out, they can. 81 percent of men said they would never cheat on their partner –- even if they could get away with it.

  • 5. They’re not into foreplay.

    Tearing off your clothes and jumping into bed can be really hot, but guys always want to get right down to sex instead of working their way up to the main event. Right? Wrong. 84 percent of the men polled said that foreplay is just as important as the actual act. Many said that that foreplay makes the sex more pleasurable and intense for them, but even the ones that didn’t believed that getting their significant other in the mood was just as hot. If you think that’s surprising, get this: Over 90 percent said they also like to cuddle afterward.

  • 6. They need to be the breadwinner.

    We’ve all moved past the idea that women need to be docile housewives, and that smart women can’t be sexy. But things still get uncomfortable when it comes to money. Many counselors and columnists still say that men feel emasculated if women earn more than they do. But 88 percent of the guys polled said they’re fine with having their significant other be the breadwinner. In the words of one guy, “What backwards idiot would say no to this question?”