Let’s admit it. Men can be hard to figure out at times. Sure, on the surface, things are straightforward: He works hard. He loves sports. He appreciates a hot rod and a cold beer. But when it comes to romance, sex, intimacy—what he really thinks about being half of a couple and why he acts the way he does—women are usually clueless. What if we could put the male mind under a microscope? It’s not that easy to study your steady, but EBONY has the next best thing. Social scientists and pollsters around the globe are advancing the field of research we’ll call “manology.” Let’s review their recent dude discoveries. (Hey, fellas! You’ll learn something, too!)
1 He’s got lust in his heart, (but he loves her, too). You’ve heard it before: Women need a reason to have sex. Men just need a place. But University of Texas researchers found that both genders shared their top three reasons for having sex: love, commitment and physical gratification.
2 He does NOT think about sex every eight seconds. It’s more like once an hour, says an Ohio State University study. “People spout off these fake statistics that men think about sex constantly,” says lead author Terri Fisher.
3 He wants to be seduced. Slip on something lacy. Couples in which both partners initiate sex report higher levels of bedroom bliss, say experts.
4 He sometimes fakes orgasms. By one estimate, one in four men has perpetrated the Faux O to satisfy their partner or mask fatigue, disinterest or performance problems (taking too long, erection loss, premature ejaculation). Certain positions and condoms help guys hide the evidence (or lack of it). “Men care more about their ability to be good lovers for their partner than they do about their own satisfaction,” observes Abraham Morgentaler, M.D., author of Why Men Fake It: The Totally Unexpected Truth About Men and Sex.
The Dating Life
5 The “Bro Code” is biological. A new University of Missouri study found that a man’s testosterone decreases when he’s in the company of his buddy’s wife or girlfriend. “Although men have many chances to pursue a friend’s mate, propositions for adultery are relatively rare,” observes Mark Flinn, professor of anthropology.
6 He’s less savvy about social media. He didn’t mean to make public those pix of you partying. He’s just clueless about controls for privacy. Men are more than twice as likely than women to post something they regret, and fewer than half of them set accounts to private, notes the Pew Internet and American Life Project.
7 Flashy guys just want a fling. The University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management found that conspicuous consumption is the sexual signaling system of choice for men interested in short-term nookie. But the females among the 1,000 test subjects viewed them as good-time guys only. Prospects with a Porsche are desirable as dates. For long-term partnership, they’re checking out the guy with the Honda.
8 You make him a better man. The British Journal of Psychology recently revealed that men are more prone to acts of selflessness, such as donating money, when a woman is watching. The more attractive she is, the more altruistic he is. “Theoretically, a good deed is the human equivalent of the peacock’s tail,” noted one researcher.
9 Nice guys DON’T finish last. A related study found that women preferred altruistic men as potential dates and as long-term partners.
10 He wants you to treat.
45% of American men in askmen.com’s 2013 Great Male Survey feel guys and gals should take turns paying for dates. Home-cooked meals are nice, too.
11 He’s not getting tested.
54% of American men have never been screened for STDs according to askmen.com. Six percent lied and said they had been.
Attitudes and Emotions
12 He cares more about being a stand-up guy than about being a stud. “Contrary to stereotypes, men interviewed in a large international study reported that being seen as honorable, self-reliant and respected was more important to their idea of masculinity than being seen as attractive, sexually active or successful with women,” according to Indiana University.
13 But he’ll lie to keep you close. Of those polled by AskMen.com, 67 percent said they’d lie to avoid an argument. Twelve percent and eight percent, respectively, said they’d do it to avoid a breakup or a night in the doghouse. Fifty one percent have fudged the number of partners they’ve slept with; however, a majority (60 percent) said they’d never falsely say, “I love you” just to get sex.
14 He’s a pussycat behind that poker face. Scientists measure pre-conscious emotional reaction to stimuli by recording electronic impulses from facial muscles within minute time frames. Men and women were similarly moved by pictures showing anger, happiness, sadness, etc., but only while the feelings generated remained subliminal. Milliseconds later, once they became conscious of their emotions, men regulated their facial expressions and verbal responses, notes the Scandinavian Journal of Psychology.
15 He syncs with your sentiments. A new study in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships suggests that cooperation means different things to each half of a couple. He’s more likely to respond to her concern or feeling with “yes, dear” (i.e., going along to get along). She’s more likely to respond to his “Yes, but …” (valuing the back-and-forth of honest dialog).
16 You’re the woman of his dreams. The journal Dreaming reported that 20 percent of dreams involved the sleeper’s romantic partner. He also sleeps more soundly when he’s snuggling with you, says a study published in Sleep and Biological Rhythms.
17 You score the most “hotness points” with him. Got cellulite? Get over it. The Journal of Social and Personal Relationships reports that men rate the attractiveness of their partners higher than do objective observers, which researchers call “the positive partner physical attractiveness illusion.”
18 The best present is your presence. What’s romantic to him? Just your “being there,” says the askmen.com poll. Runner up: performing his favorite sex act.
19 He’s got your back.
91% of the guys polled in the askmen.com survey said they’d fight with a stranger to protect a loved one.
20 He’s not looking to cheat.
41% of the same guys said “not at all likely” to cheat if they knew they would never get caught; 33 percent said “not very likely.”
21 He believes in marriage. Ninety-six percent of American men listed it as a goal, says askmen.com
22 He treasures his wife. An investment banker pursuing his Ph.D. in Family Economics from Australian National University calculated that a single man would have to make more than $100,000 per year to approach the level of happiness enjoyed by his married counterpart.
23 … And their kids. Men were more likely to list “family” as the ultimate male status symbol, ranking it over a cushy job, pretty wife/girlfriend, big house or flashy car, says askmen.com.
24 He wants a work-life balance. Twenty-eight percent of men say they’ve got it as tough as she does when balancing work and family. An equal number say they’ve got it worse, since they’re expected to earn more.
25 Having a mistress can kill you. A husband had better watch his step at that business conference in Vegas.