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dating coach for smart, strong, successful women Evan Marc Katz
How important is it for your husband to see you being desired or checked out by other men? Does this influence how attractive HE thinks you are? And if you’re the type who doesn’t attract much male attention (I am fairly attractive, and fit, especially for my age, but I don’t get checked out a lot)…is it OK or advisable to set something up so that you do get the attention? Yes, I’m talking about paying someone to pay you attention. I don’t know that I would actually ever go through with something like this — but I wonder what you think of the idea. Nothing extreme — nothing that would cause an argument or a fight…just enough for my husband to notice someone is paying attention to me.

As I get older — 40s — it seems I get less attractive while he gets MORE attractive and garner more female attention than he ever has. I want him to think/feel that other people may be interested in me too…that he isn’t the only one. Is this a crazy idea?

Gina

This is one of the craziest emails I’ve yet to receive, specifically because the woman writing it doesn’t sound crazy. However, my dear Gina, your remedy for your situation has to be one of the weirdest ideas I’ve ever heard.

“Yes, I’m talking about paying someone to pay you attention…Nothing extreme — nothing that would cause an argument or a fight…just enough for my husband to notice someone is paying attention to me.”

How about you just talk with your husband? I mean, he is the only one you’re sleeping with, ‘til death do you part, you know?

I’m not going to get into whether your assertion is true — that you get less attractive to other men while he gets more attractive to other women. Regardless, if you perceive it to be true, that’s all that matters. You haven’t provided any information about whether your marriage is strong, your sex life is satisfying, or whether your husband still seems to desire you. If the answer to any of the above is no, your marital issues run far deeper and certainly cannot be filled by slipping a twenty to a cute guy a restaurant to flirt with you.

However, presuming you have a decent relationship, the issue here is more about your insecurity, and the extreme lengths you are willing to go to in order to address it. You’re talking about paying someone to desire you because you think it’ll make you more desirable to your husband. How about you just talk with your husband? I mean, he is the only one you’re sleeping with, ‘til death do you part, you know?

If I have a problem with my wife, I don’t talk with my wife’s mother. I talk with her.

All of this begs the question about what kind of relationship you have that you think it would be easier to pay someone to flirt with you instead of talking with your husband about the fact that you don’t feel desired and suggesting how he could make you happy. Remember, if he’s your husband, he WANTS you to be happy and but probably has no idea how insecure you’re feeling at this time.

Finally, I want to address the first part of your question: whether men feel more desire when other men check out their partners. Not so much. But your belief in this stems from the fact that you’re a woman who assumes that men operate in the same fashion. In fact, women are the ones who value men who appear more desirable to others. According to the linked article from Psychology Today:

“Marta Meana, a researcher at the University of Nevada, has argued provocatively that the organizing principle of female sexuality is the desire to be desired. In her view, the delicate, tentative guy who politely thinks about you and asks if this is okay or that is okay is a guy who may meet the expectations of your gender politics (treats me as an equal; is respectful of me; communicates with me) and your parents’ preferences, but he may also put you into a sexual coma–not despite these qualities, but because of them.

Female desire, according to Meana, is activated when a woman feels overwhelmingly desired, not rationally considered. Female erotic literature, including all those shades of gray, is built on this fantasy….Despite what is commonly believed, then, Meana argues that female sexuality is more self-centered than male’s…Male fantasies focus on giving satisfaction, not on receiving it. Men see themselves in their fantasies bringing the woman to orgasm, not themselves. Women see the man, set aflame by uncontrollable lust for them, bringing them to ecstasy. Men want to excite women. Women want men to excite them.”

Anecdotally, this would seem to be true. Which is why I get ridiculous emails like this from women who truly think, in their heart of hearts, that their relationship is crumbling if their boyfriend doesn’t see them as the hottest woman on the planet. While I couldn’t care less how many guys my wife has a crush on, as long as she makes me feel desired in the bedroom.

Your thoughts, below, are appreciated.