09/26/2013 07:52 am ET Updated Nov 26, 2013

What Makes A Woman Feel Sexy, And What Makes A Man Think That She Is?

I'm a 60-year-old woman who still considers herself a sexy beast. Well, maybe not a beast. A kitten. A sexy kitten. Okay, maybe not a kitten. A sexy gerbil. That's it... a sexy gerbil! The operative word here is sexy.

I was married for 27 years, and single for the last 10. Dating in your 50s isn't for sissies. One man I dated told me that I was sexy in my glasses. Another loved it when I wore high heels, and yet another was a big fan of red lipstick and cleavage. Mine, not his.

When you begin to date after you've been married for most of your adult life, you can count on being confused most of the time. Juggling your needs and desires with the needs and wants of your partner is tough. Yeah, I was definitely a picky dater. Which means I spent more nights at home with my dog and was generally pretty happy about it.

It all seemed like so much work. Games were still being played and I found myself less than tolerant of people who were less than forthcoming. Sex was still a huge part of the equation, but not something I was ever willing to give away, if not to the right person.

The question begs asking: what makes a woman feel sexy, and what makes a man think that she is?

I can answer that question by first stating that what was sexy in my 20s is no longer such a big deal. When I was in my 20s, I fell in love with my high school sweetheart who was tall (6'4"), dark, handsome, and had a gorgeous head of hair and a ridiculously confident personality. I knew our love would last forever.

It didn't. Lust always outlives love, if for no other reason but to baffle us further. He is still tall, dark and handsome. The hair is now store bought and the confident personality turned out to be just loud and obnoxious arrogance. Who knew? He was everything I was looking for and all I ever wanted.

Until I didn't. It took me years to learn that what you put up with is what you end up with.

These days, sexy is a lot less about tall, dark and handsome with a full head of hair. It has become a lot more about confidence, humor, affection, kindness, loyalty, and intellect. And sex.

I was no longer in the market for a man to have children with, build a career alongside, settle into our first home together, and have crazy, sweaty sex 7 nights a week. I was looking for a man I could grow old with, travel the world, have wonderful conversations, share our homes together and have crazy (less than sweaty) sex 2 nights a week.

According to e-Harmony, men find women sexy who are playful (flirty), beautiful, affectionate, open and mature about sex, fearless, appreciative, like and understand men (I'm not at all sure the latter is possible), flexible (in thought, not in body... I think), funny, and a good kisser. It didn't disclose what age demographic they were talking about. But I'm betting it was younger rather than older. Just a hunch.

In my 10 years of dating between the ages of 50 - 60, there was only one man, out of many, who asked me what I found sexy in a man. That is the man I've been with for the last four years. Not because he asked, but because he made sure that he was what I wanted and needed. Which only makes me want to please him more. Funny how that works.

Not too long ago I was watching my fiancé on the floor playing with our little dog and two cats. He was throwing a squeaky hamburger for Maddy, our dog, and playing laser beam with the cats. When he got up off the floor, he hugged me hard with both arms and buried his face into my neck and breathed me in for a very long moment. I'm not sure a man has ever been as sexy to me as he was that night.

So, if you want to know what a mature woman finds sexy, I'm betting big money that you will get a different answer from every woman who is asked. Because it's a lot less about you look like and a lot more about compatibility, wants, needs, and, of course, love.

For me it's about affection, appreciation, passion, tenderness, laughter and loyalty. Okay, fine, he is a fine drink of water with a full head of hair, but that's just icing on the cake.

Sexy is as sexy does.

Earlier on Huff/Post50:

7 Reasons You Aren't Having Sex