Broken Daughters

Picking up the shattered glass of fundamentalism

Men are visual, women are not – A Confession


Dear men who think that they are ‘more visual’ than women, dear women who believe that,

I am a mid-twenties woman. I am a physically healthy and normally developed adult. Apart from the occasional quirk, I am also mentally healthy. Though I grew up somewhat exotic, I have adapted to ‘normal’ life in most ways. I dress the way you do, I watch the same stuff on TV, I eat the same things, I go the same places, and so on. There is no reason to believe that I am in any way abnormal. So, let me assure you that the confession you are about to read is not the result of a mental issue or any other developmental problem.

The belief that men are more visual than women is annoying to me. This belief is often attributed to purity culture, but really, it’s no different in the secular culture – it is the ultimate excuse why men watch (supposedly) more porn than women do.

My problem with this is: It’s not true. The actual problem is this: Women can’t admit that they are visual because that makes them sluts. So let me rename this “confession of a slut”.

When I see a man, dressed and all, I do not look at his impressive jaw or deep grey eyes or strong hands.

I look at your muscles, and your hips, and your nose (guess why). And if I can’t see them cause you’re wearing some fancy t-shirt, let me assure you: I can perfectly well imagine you naked. And even worse: I do it. all. the. time.

When I look at a man, I don’t stare at his eyes because they reflect some promise of love and tenderness. I look at your chest and imagine what it would look like in dim light. I wonder if you have a “V” and then I wonder if it would look good on you (it doesn’t on everyone).

When I look at your hands, I don’t see protection and strength. I wonder what they would look like with my hair between your fingers, and what they would feel like on my legs.

And when I look at your lower section… well, let’s say that I’m not dreaming of being the woman who will do your laundry some day. Believe me, I don’t.

I have all the imagination I need to picture you naked, even when you’re fully dressed. You cannot escape it, no matter how you behave or what you wear or say or do. I do not care about your positive character qualities. Not one – tiny – little – bit.

And it’s also irrelevant if I like you, or if I want something more. If you’re attractive, I’m going to be imagining you. Even if you didn’t even say hi. Even if I’ll never see you again. And yes, also if I do like you and want to see you again more than anything else.

If you want to know why I do that, I have to admit: Because it’s fun. Because I like thinking ‘dirty’ things. Because I enjoy the fantasy. Because it’s part of human nature to desire something new, exciting, beautiful.

And when you people say that men are more visual and women simply don’t act that way, I’m insulted. I am hurt. I hate hearing it because it robs me of my very own normal, natural and healthy sexuality. You take this away from me because I’m a woman and I’m not ‘wired that way’. You make me a freak and an abnormal beast that must have gotten too much testosterone at some point.

And then there are those who will say I act this way to attract men, because I subconsciously know that all men will consider me a ‘kinky freak‘ and a nympho. Believe me, I don’t. And it also doesn’t mean that my ‘No’ means less of a ‘No’.

I am perfectly able to say No and Yes and mean it. I am perfectly able to deal with my sexuality. I don’t have to put on a show because it makes me sexy, and I’m also not crazy or gross or a freak.

I am a normal, healthy mid-twenties woman and when I see a man, I imagine what he would look like naked. Because if nothing else, that is how I am ‘wired’.



15 thoughts on “Men are visual, women are not – A Confession

  1. Amen. Also, the supposition that men have higher sex drives than women. It can be the other way around sometimes too.

  2. You hit the nail on the head. Last night, I caught the end of the Stanley Cup game while flipping through channels and thought to myself, “I might start watching hockey; these guys are hot!” lol

    • I was watching football (world cup) the other day and found myself rooting for the team in the tight shirts. I don’t even remember what team that was… 90 minutes of goodlooking men in that type of clothing can do that to your memory.

  3. Man, you got that right! I like sex, damn it. And not that I’m offering, either.

  4. I find this post oddly reassuring.

  5. Thank you for this. Made me feel more normal, and less like begging forgiveness of the people I was dancing with last night.

  6. I agree 100%! I am an EXTREMELY visual woman – even more so than most men, I’d be willing to bet. No matter how kind or sweet a guy is, he will NEVER leave my “Friend Zone” if I’m not physically attracted to him. I have a very high standard of what I find physically attractive in a man. He must be built like an alpha male, wide shoulders, V-shape body, lean/buff, with chiseled facial features (bone structure). If a man doesn’t fit that aesthetic mold, sorry, but I just won’t be interested in him in a sexual or romantic way. Funny thing is, when women, like myself, admit to feeling this way, men come out of the woodwork in droves to call us every name in the book and to try to make us feel guilty for being (quote) “shallow.” Yet, when men admit to judging women by an impossibly high standard of physical beauty, they act entitled as if it’s their RIGHT as men to physically judge potential mates with a critical eye. Men are so insecure, they’re terrified of women holding them to the same high standard of beauty that they hold women to. Most men think that just because they have a penis dangling between their legs, it’s their RIGHT to be with a beautiful woman, whereas women should just be grateful to get whatever they can take – and if they’re not, they’re “shallow.” LOL. Hypocritical much?

    • Oh I totally agree. Admitting to having dirty thoughts when you see a hot guy immediatly gets you the ‘slut’ label. You SHOULD be looking at the character… and how smart he is… and how brave… and what a good job he has… not care for what he looks like in order to be a ‘good girl’. It’s so annoying, and I really get upset when someone calls me “randy” or stuff like that JUST because I point out that I find a man attractive.

  7. Pingback: Some thoughts on the myth that ‘men are visual’ | Brambonius' blog in english

  8. If anything, the more correct thing to say is that men likely have more consistently visual-only attraction cues than women—in fact, (asumming everyone is okay with their sexuality), grab the book “A Billion Wicked Thoughts” if you want to read some great research about attraction cues. Good stuff.

    Someone mentioned the slut factor. It’s true—women evolved a strong need to send mixed signals regarding sexuality and attraction. “Sperm Wars” is another great book, along with “Sex at Dawn.” Just broadcasting her attraction cues and availability is not the optimal strategy since most guys will bed most women.

    In fact, few men realize that a girl will semi-happily commit to him, but not want to have sex with him. The inverse is painful for women to realize, too—most guys will semi-happily have sex with you, but not commit to you.

  9. Fuck I hate being called a slut too! Haha jk I’m a dude! But hey I I really appreciate this article because I’m getting tired of hearing about the traditional gender roles bullshit, it’s annoying. I really like girls that are honest about their thoughts and desires. Passive traditional girls are lame and lose my interest fast. Be independent and be yourself, it’s wayyyy sexier.

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