A good deal of conversation has been going on regarding men feeling sexy, men feeling sexually harassed and men's sexuality.
I wasn't quite sure how to respond.
I completely realize - and experience - the way that men's sexual value is minimalized, fetishized or parodied in mainstream, heterosexual media.
The idea that women could be sexually attracted to men is taboo. They can be attracted to his wealth, his power, prestige, fame or talent - but his body? Hah! C'mon now ... we're being SERIOUS.
Now of course GAY men find men attractive - that's because they're men! Men in general find all sorts of things sexually attractive - women, other men, children, animals, high-heeled shoes ... that's cause they're perverts. No more discussion needed.
So earlier this week I wore my totally out-of-place Carribean Blue dress shirt to work.
The men in my office have a uniform. It is the blue pinstripe shirt with black or dark blue slacks. Close your eyes - think of wall-street execs minus the tie and jacket. Boom - that's my office (other than the women who wear dresses like this vvv ... but that's another post.)
But it was laundry day, so I wore that blue shirt with some black slacks. I pulled in to the parking garage behind a small Corolla. She got the space closer to the office building, I had to pull in a few spaces down from her. I grabbed my coffee and lunch and got out of my car.
As I headed towards the office building, I saw a short, mocha-skinned (Filipino?) woman about my age get out of her car and open her trunk. It was the same woman who I pulled in behind.
(Edit: I understand how important a woman's appearance is, so here's the best description I can give: She was about 30 years old, 5'1" and 100 lbs. She was wearing a tight tan skirt that came up about 4 inches above her knees, and a very light blue button-up blouse. Her hair was the same as the woman in the photo below, and she was wearing heavy-but natural make-up to cover her lightly pock-marked cheeks. She has olive-shaped eyes and full lips.)
She opened her trunk, slung her shoulderbag over her shoulder, and in one swift movement, tossed her hair back, made eye contact and gave me "the smile."
That is the smile. It's mostly in the eyes - but it's absolutely different from the "friendly smile" and the "cordial smile" and the "professional smile." [I'll be happy to talk about these later, but for now, I need to stay focused.]
So she gave me a smile that I don't get very often. She got her bag, closed her trunk and headed towards the main building. At this point I was about one pace behind her. We walked out from the parking garage toward the covered walkway that led to the office building.
A couple dozen feet from the door, she looked over her right shoulder at me - first at my chest, then up to my eyes. She was smiling.
She grabbed the door, opened it and let me go through first. I nodded at her and walked through first. I hesitated after walking through - looked behind me and watched her as she followed me through the door, and started walking next to me.
I said, "I'm not used to women holding the door and letting me go through first."
She replied, "I like your shirt. It's uplifting and festive. It makes me feel alive."
As she said "alive" she looked up at my eyes as we continued walking.
I did my best to respond quickly, "Well, I'm a philanthropist of sorts. I actually hate this shirt but I wear it to cheer up women's days."
She did the giggle. (The giggle is really hard to describe. But it's usually a sign of flirting because she's laughing at something that ISN'T actually funny - the other possibility is that she's just trying to occupy dead air time.)
We walk the rest of the way to the elevators, and she presses the UP button. I suspect she was being polite with her "giggle" so I whip out my Blackberry and look at it intently.
(Of course, my Blackberry is a piece of shit, so I was actually staring at a blank screen while it struggled to activate it's main screen, but that's not important.)
"So what do you do for AMC?" She wasn't trying to be polite. The giggle was a flirt. The blood drained from my face. I can deal with women I don't know - as long as they're not flirting with me. Attractive women flirting with me is so far out of my everyday experience that it causes a meltdown of sorts in my reasoning cortex.
(I don't actually work for AMC - I work for the equivalent of A&C ... but people often confuse the ampersand for an M ...)
The elevator arrived and I let her in first. I entered and pressed the 7 button. She stepped forward and pushed the 6 button.
I spent the rest of our solitary elevator trip up to her floor (6) telling her about my job.
The sixth floor arrived - she got off, looked over her shoulder and said "It was really nice talking with you," and swished her sexy little ass around the corner.
The doors closed.
I realized, shortly after that I had been holding my lunch box in my left hand - obscuring my ring finger. Even later, I realized that there were no offices on the sixth floor of our office building (It's very new, many floors haven't been leased yet.)
Now to the confession part: My interaction with her made me feel GOOD. I felt invigorated and confident. It's been a while since I felt that way - because no matter how much encouragement your spouse gives you, an "outside opinion" is always bolstering to your self confidence.
From here on out, that blue shirt is going to be my 'sexy' shirt, and there's not anything anyone can do about it.