"But compare a cartoon - portrayed as "playful," "vivacious" or "sultry" (i.e., "alive" and seething with "energy") with a real woman who doesn't even pretend to be "lively" - who neither lives out nor play-acts her sensuality/sexuality with confidence or abandon - many men would prefer the "idealized cartoon." So, speaking of Betty... "
I wish I could believe that men only look at porn because they long for a confident woman... sorry...
Yep, any woman with any success in the dating field knows that confidence can overcome some of the most obvious physical detractors on her person. Men are drawn to confident women, and when men are chasing you it is easy to feel confident. A gal learns early on that needy girls get dumped for more confident models.
So where does the confidence go after marriage??
My own father had the final say on my mom's wardrobe, and he always kept her rather covered up. She would have been willing to dress more playfully/sultry and as a result she would have felt more attactive in that way, but he wouldn't allow it. When I was young, she kept a stash of lingerie, silky lacy teddy stuff, as a kid the shiny fabric had raccoon appeal, but as years passed by I look back and realize that at some point she ceased to have those too. I think that the porn and the lack of affectionate gestures killed her drive to try and her inner belief in her own special appeal.
Our neighbor had a sexy wife, some of the outfits she wore out and about made me cringe... his closet was full of porn movies. He was a selfprofessed woman "watcher/appreciator". His wife was what most woman recognize as a "hottie", but it still wasn't enough for him. He had no problem talking about other women's attributes in front of her, my heart broke for her, it was embarrassing as a woman to watch him strip her value in front of neighbors, and she just sat there taking it all. Sad. The marriage went downhill from there as they fell further from the Lord. It was no surprise to me when I heard she had an affair. So sad.
I know you are going to read this and see that I'm talking about clothes and you are talking about actions- I do recognize that. What I also know is that an outfit or make-up can act as a magnifying glass for whatever feeling a woman is trying to get across. It takes a really
secure wife to feel ultra sexy in flannels... lol... it can happen but only with a woman who has no doubt that her hubby thinks she is hot in anything from coveralls to webgear...
(But he can't expect her to blossom if he is sending mixed signals by looking at other women. It doesn't make her want to try harder, it makes her withdraw to nurse her wounds.)
A husband's reaction to an outfit or look makes or breaks the mood, no reaction at all makes her wonder why she bothered, if she has to ask how it looks or she gets a lame "that's nice" it is sometimes worse than no reaction, a "Wow!" with a grin or some other tasteful variant can actually go a long way to bringing that sultry behavior to light especially if hubby makes a few more compliments over the course of the day... you know you are thinking it but if you put words to it or appreciative facial expressions most women will bloom under the attention.
She isn't likely going to go from Sandra D. to Debbie does Dallas... but if you overlook her smaller efforts she certainly won't want to experiment beyond that point because she's not about to expose herself for a lukewarm reception...
In many ways a woman is a painting, and her husband the artist. With each splash of paint the picture changes, each hug, kiss, compliment... each pat, smile, and shared dream, is a splash of color which enhances how she sees herself.
Yes the painting of your wife was started before you got there, but it is in your hands now and you pick the colors and strokes that go on it from marriage onward. A wife who is loved will style their hair for you, pick makeup from your favorites, buy clothes and undies with you in mind, they will wear your favorite perfumes, favorite boots, favorite nail polish, fix your favorite foods, do your favorite bedroom things... maybe not everyday, but your influence is stamped all over them... and that can be a good thing or a bad thing...
(this may unfortunately be much less obvious in wives who have already decided the marriage is unfixable, it takes much more at that point and she has to want to try to fix it anyway...)