What Do Men Really Want?

You may have already read our post “What do women really want?” where women gave us the top things they desired in a relationship. We decided to take a poll of some of our male friends, to hear what they had to say:


  1. Someone who listens.
  2. Does not try to fix me.


  1. I always wanted a woman who was understanding of the deep seated connection I have with my work. I wanted much more than lip service because my work is demanding AND I allow it to be so.
  2. I have always wanted to be assured that her selection of me was never “well, he was the best around or the best I could do,”  in other words I was exactly what she wanted in life.
  3. A woman that was my mental equal or better. It is the only way I can totally communicate outside the bedroom with someone personally. No pushovers please!


  1. Partner – someone who is willing to align with you in life and have family goals. Willing to negotiate on goals/activities.
  2. Someone who won’t play emotional games and is committed. In short, someone who has your back. And of course someone whose back you equally feel comfortable looking after…


  1. Silliness. Stop pretending it’s a mans world and taking everything so seriously. It’s not. It’s a womans world, so relax and have fun! The power is in your hands. Nothing is more seducing than a girl who is willing to be at the receiving end of a joke and laugh it off – even more so when she is at the top of her game.
  2. Independent. She has her own thing. Her thing can’t be her partner. She has to have a passion, a drive, a thing she does (which can be her work). Guys don’t curtail any of their true passions. Think about it. Football, fishing, lego, video games… Guys are not going to quit that and never do… Girls need to stop curtailing to guys’ stuff. Be confident and independent enough to do your thing and get the guys to come along for a change.
  3. Reliable and trustworthy. A woman also needs to be reliable – do what you say. Say what you do. Don’t flake. Thats a universal. Trust is another universal. Even in business, my motto is: trust first, talent second.
  4. Respecting your body both through knowledge, fitness,and  eating healthily is important. I find it sad when people get too comfortable in relationships and just babushka-bomb. You’d never do that if you were single.
  5. Culture. Again a universal… but critical. There is no excuse, get a passport, go live around the world. As vast and ahead as USA is, I’m shocked at these insular microscopic bubbles that exist within it. Find knowledge from other parts of the world. Get cultured! Movies and TV knowledge is not culture. Knowing the local wine-list is not culture. Your American-Football is a Coors Light commercial. It’s not a culture. (Well, it’s a kind of culture actually, but it’s a very feeble one). From living in San Francisco for some years it’s shocking the bubble people live in. 30-somethings that want only to know, what University you attended, and what your title is. When I reply I went to University in England, their faces drop. It’s simply too far outside their zone of influence… or rather… thier reality distortion field. They assumed that I wasn’t aware of how prestigious their education was and therefore unable to be impressed upon. Not using their wit or knowledge or personality or language to impress but with a label (or in this case the label of an institution). These are just a few of the many things I have noted that I believe come from the American culture of consumerism (gladiator style games to sell beer) and education for profit (lets boast our education for we got completely screwed in fees) and many other things in the realm of conversational interests and not least of all being a label rather than being an individual. Alas, I love my country America and it holds some of the most brilliant minds. But I guess what I’m trying to say is, it can’t hurt for American women to take a few pages out of a European woman’s book.


  1. Feed me.
  2. Fuck me.
  3. Love me.


  1. A woman I can trust, who trusts in me.
  2. Communication; the ability to have a straightforward discussion without fear of reprisal or judgment.
  3. Mutual growth; the capability to offer development to a woman, and for her to be a source of intellectual growth and inspiration.


I guess what makes this one tough to answer is whether or not what I “want” or “desire” is coming from a place of health, or if it is being colored by the desires of my underlying addiction. Let me answer this in two different voices. One from my addicted perspective, and one from my healthy, recovery self.
  1. Intensity: I chose this because intensity makes me feel fulfilled in the moment. It mutes out every other discomfort, and creates a biochemical high. I enjoy it, and crave it. I seek it out by default when I am faced with uncomfortable emotions, bored, or stressed. Also, I have been conditioned by my culture to believe that passion (aka sustained intensity) is the zenith of coupleship and relationships.
  2. Novelty: Our good friend Coolidge was right. This comes back to intensity, and nothing hot-wires intensity like novelty. Give me that sweet dopamine.
Recovery Self:
  1. Connection: I want sex to be a part of my life, an addition, one piece, but not the centerpiece. I want sex to increase my feelings of connectedness, and to be a relational process. I chose this because I make up that “healthy” sex is about expression and connection, not about the fix. Sure, the fix can definitely be a part of it, but if getting off is my main goal, I’m cheating myself and my partner out of the best parts!
  2. Expression: This one is hard to describe. I guess, in my experience, sex can be a continuation of a stream of communication, another exchange in the dialogue of a relationship. It is a way that I can let my partner know that I am here, I am present, and I am wanting to nurture them. I also want to allow myself to be nurtured. Furthermore, sex is complicated, and can be a snapshot of each person’s emotional state. I think it provokes challenging conversations, and can be an invitation to honest communication. I’m not saying that those conversations are easy or always fun, but they are often necessary to the growth and health of any relationship.


  1. Compatibility. To be with someone in a long term relationship requires being on the same page and sharing at least some interests. I could never be with someone long term if we didn’t enjoy spending time together doing the same things. Another way to put it is friendship.
  2. Tolerance. In a long term relationship there are going to be plenty of times when I’m going to be grumpy or stressed. My partner can’t take those moods personally and has to be understanding and patient enough to tolerate them.


  1. Attractive, sensual, fun.
  2. Honesty and integrity, soulful.


  1. I want a peaceful relationship.
  2. Someone I can trust.

We can see some similarities and some real basic differences in what men report as the most important needs for them in relationships. “What men really want” is somewhat complex and unique to each person, just as it is for women.

Something interesting to note here is we asked the men what the first 2 things were that came to their minds when they thought about the first 2 most important things in a relationship. As you can see, several of them had much more to say!

We end with asking you what it is that YOU really want – we would love to add in your top 2 (or more) most important needs.

– BetterSexEd Team

Thumbnail image via WeHearIt