Bulging biceps. Chiseled pecs. Taut tushes.

The gym is part of their daily regimen.

They look great in — or out of — their clothes.

I describe these guys as”hunkalicious.”

Sometimes the only muscles they’ve developed are below the neck. Holding an extended conversation about anything of intellectual value is a challenge.

But sometimes they have the whole package. Buff and brainy. Fit and funny. Athletic and articulate.

This was the description of #103 who I met a few days ago. He is a refreshing mix of uncommon characteristics. I was initially drawn to him because of his online pictures, and his profile revealed a well-spoken man. I was pleased that the man in person was thoughtful, respectful and easy going.

I, too, have stereotyped buff men. I’ve thought they wouldn’t be interested in me because I’m not buff and wouldn’t want to spend a lot of time in the gym, although I do exercise.

I’m actually glad to find out I’m wrong in those assumptions.

What assumptions have you made about men’s values, priorities and intellectual capacity based on their rippling muscles?


Explore what you’d like in your next mate in the book In Search of King Charming: Who Do I Want to Share My Throne?


9 responses to “Hunkalicious”

  1. Susan Avatar

    I like muscles if they are naturally resulting from some activity like basketball or tennis. The ripped/buff gym rat bespeaks of excessive vanity. I don’t find vanity in a man attractive at all.

    I had a ripped, muscular guy contact me recently and his line was “I work for UPS and I have a great UPS-man butt!” I almost spewed coffee on my monitor I laughed so hard. Sadly, he was only 27, but that was truly clever!

  2. Mark Avatar

    Yeah, I think vanity in a man is odd too. I dislike the whole metrosexual look. I think if guys wear clean clothes that don’t clash, they’ve done enough.

    That said, I don’t think every guy who lifts weights and bulks up is doing it out of vanity. There’s a feeling we guys get when we have a good workout, especially when we do resistance training. It makes us feel kinda macho. We feel strong and powerful. It also can give us a testosterone boost.

    I’m not really a gym rat, but if I make myself go and do the weight machines for a couple of weeks, I really do feel more masculine. Of course I’m not ripped after a couple of weeks, but I can see the psychological appeal to men.

    (And after the age of 40 we all lose muscle mass each year that isn’t naturally replaced. The only way to replace it is through resistance training, so we all should be lifting. Cardio isn’t enough for middle-aged people. Resistance training helps with posture and makes us look younger.)

  3. Cathy J Avatar

    I am a bit of a sucker for this look – although over the years it has probably averaged half of the men I have dated have been on the buff side.

    What I have found is that even when they are so sporty or even an elite athlete, they all are happy for their woman to hang out with them and give things a go. Eg even just yesterday I went out with my buff beauty and while I was happy to hang on the monkey bars/jungle gym stretching, he was agile as a monkey climbing looking more like a member of Cirque Du Soleil. Then when jogging around the oval he was impressed with my 100m jogs interspersed with walking.

    Lucky for me – my body is not made for running!!!

    Most men seem to love women who are positive, look after their appearance and who have quite healthy habits. Could this be something to do with the future ability to produce and raise children? Hmmmm…. I wonder

  4. Mark Avatar

    “Most men seem to love women who are positive, look after their appearance and who have quite healthy habits. Could this be something to do with the future ability to produce and raise children? Hmmmm…. I wonder”

    That’s the prevalent theory — men at a subconscious level are attracted to women who look fertile. I’m not sure how this plays into middle-aged dating when most of us aren’t looking to produce children, but I suppose the instincts still have a voice.

    Personally, I’m not really attracted to women out of my age range. Sure, I can admire that 20 year old, but I have no desire to date her or even bed her — if that was even an option. I enjoy women closer to my own age. They are much more interesting.

    To me one of the odd things about the rich, successful guys who go for the trophy wife 20 years younger than them is what do they have in common? It’s not that a woman that much younger can’t be highly intelligent and interesting, but their life experiences must be so different.

    My girlfiend and I both remember the days before cable TV when something like the Wizard of Oz showing once a year was an event. We smile when we talk about these things, about what it was like before videogames and whatnot. A woman 20 years younger than me doesn’t have any idea what it was like to not be able to pop a movie into the VCR and watch it, or know what it was like before ATMs were around, etc.

    Back to what Cathy said, yes, men like women who take care of themselves, but that’s true in the reverse also — women like a guy who is reasonably fit too. And I think “reasonably fit” is what most of us middle-agers hope for. It’s hard to be buff as you approach 50. Life seems to accumulate around our midsections.

  5. Mike Lowrey Avatar

    I think most people have a certain amount of vanity in them and I think it’s pretty healthy. No one wants to date a slob of a guy or a woman who can only run a comb through her hair once a week.
    The better you look, the more attracted people are to you, the more choices you might have to date.

  6.  Avatar

    I like your new adjective “hunkalicious”…sounds catchy. Today people are spending more time in their fitness which is good. You dont have to look a Hunk but a fit body surely helps in life, especially after a certain age and if you are more on a office chair work.

  7. Anna Avatar

    I agree with all of the above. As we approach 50, staying reasonably fit is so important for our health as well as our appearance and its an energy booster. Most of us know we will never reach the bodies we might have had in our younger days but I know for me its important to at least try and I am attracted to men who keep themselves reasonably fit. And although my guy has a small gut, he is trying hard to reduce that by running, exercising and eating healthy during the week. Weekends are for enjoying ourselves and indulging a little. And no matter how much I run, walk or lift weights, having had two children made sure certain areas just defy gravity………..thats why spanx and wonder bras are so great 🙂

  8. christina Avatar

    Having a well build body is not a problem for me, but he must not be a giant, I have seen some men where you can see their swelling nerve, that makes me feel disgusting…

  9. Dan 2 Avatar
    Dan 2

    I am a gym rat. I attend 2 Bootcamp Fitness Classes a week. I run 4-5 miles 5 times a week, and do lots of bodysculpting with theratubes, freeweights, kettlebells and isometrics. Physically, I blow away 85% of males in their 20’s, only the actual bodybuilders training for a show look better, and I am planning on competing within 4 years. This is what I find fascinating.

    Females past 40, the majority of them, let themselves go. They have time for beer with the girls, and football parties, and concerts and the like, but none for the gym. It shows in their physiques. The thighs widen, the gut hangs over the beltline. The upper arms hang loose and “wiggle”…the Glutes get too big. The breasts sag. Guess what? I LOVE it. I for some reason find it sexxy. I have no problems with that at all. I love a woman for who she is an ESPECIALLY for their interest in me. I have little patience for the little gym bunnies with tight abs who have more interest in the mirror than me. I have even less for an out of shape 40 year old woman with man issues, but a 40 year old woman who hates the gym and loves Dunkin donuts and the way I look naked? I’ll kneel before this woman and kiss her feet.