A good appetite is attractive

The MSN homepage had a link to this article in Glamour magazine (I assure you, I would never go straight to Glamour.com on my own) titled “Five times you’re sexy to men”. It purports to inform women of the occasions or the actions that make men attracted to them&#8212perhaps things that women aren’t even aware are sexy, the article’s tagline advertises. To save you some time, the items are: when they make eye contact with the man and smile, when they use flirtatious body language, when they don’t look like a stick-figure supermodel, when they are ovulating, and when their man is in love with them.

Now, this list is totally lame because it’s irrelevant and uninteresting. I clicked on that link expecting to find some things that were actually worth publishing an article about and that are actually unexpected to women. Yes, I know men find women sexy at those times, but it’s been written a hundred times before and therefore no one, especially women, (should) find it surprising or need to read an article about it.

But the advice to not look like a bag of antlers is pertinent. Women should listen to this advice and its corollary: a love of good food and a tendency to enjoy your meal when out on a date is usually a turn-on, or at least not a turn-off.

When I lived in Maryland, I was out for dinner with a group of scientist friends and their friends, and one of the guys, whom I had never met before and probably never saw after that dinner, gave his perspective on taking a girl out to dinner for a date. Especially a first or second date. He said, “It’s a huge turn-off when a girl doesn’t eat much and kind of picks at her food and acts really self-conscious about calorie consumption or something. Enjoying your meal, enjoying food, is a sign of enjoying life&#8212it’s a sign that you are into your date, into your meal, into your life, and are actually living it and enjoying it, regardless of whether you fell in love at first sight with the guy or the restaurant wasn’t your first choice for a dinner date. Not being interested in your food indicates you aren’t interested in the date or in having a good time in general.” I had never thought of it that way before, but now I realize I mostly agree with him. Yes, I know counting calories helps you look sexy, and there’s nothing wrong with it, but, as with most things in life, there is a happy medium between depriving yourself of immediate enjoyment in order to benefit in the long run and enjoying your life while you’re still young. When in doubt, enjoy your meal!

One Sarah Wexler validates this position in her article Eating to score a second date. Money quote:

Men don’t like picky eaters. Dining out, like sex, should be a sensual, indulgent experience. Get too fussy at the table (dressing on the side) and they think you’re high-maintenance in the bedroom. It’s no wonder, then, that when men get a glimpse of my extensive food rule book&#8212nothing spicy, no condiments, no red meat or seafood, no mixing of sauces&#8212they flee.

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