What Men Really Want, But Won’t Ask For

Want to know what your guy craves for Father’s Day?

Hint: it’s not a wireless grill thermometer. I’ve asked men all over the North Shore what they want and their answers might surprise you.

Oh, I got my share of flip responses. “Cubs tickets,” jokes David of Wilmette.

“Not to get bitched at,” moans his buddy Paul.

Guys don’t feel comfortable voicing what they’re missing because neediness is seen as weak and unmanly. David Klow, a licensed marriage and family therapist at Northwestern’s Family Institute, sees this in his men’s groups.

“Men are rarely asked what they want and have a hard time expressing it,” he says. “They’re taught to subvert their needs.”

Yet, I’ve managed to pry some tidbits of truth from these closed-mouthed clams. Here are three gifts that are sure to make your man happy at any time of year.

Men want to be acknowledged for what they contribute, including what they do at work. The office isn’t a place for self-actualization for many men; it’s a means to support their family. And given that life on the North Shore is expensive and the economy is tough, “The professional pressure is unfathomable,” says Ted from Lake Forest.

Klow often sees men with high-powered careers command respect and admiration at the office but come home to feel marginalized and even ridiculed. He calls it “King of the Boardroom, Jester of the Bedroom” syndrome.

Men long for recognition from their spouses. So take a look at all the things your man does, whether it’s making toaster pastries for the kids or hopping an early flight to Omaha—and tell him how much you value him.

Let Him Be the Man
Look, he’s a dude. He may not be as sensitive as your best friend or as nurturing as your mother, but he digs the macho part of himself and—admit it—you do, too. Living with someone just like you would be boring. And certainly not hot.

Klow likens a strong relationship to a car’s battery; you need a balance between positive and negative poles to maintain an electric charge. So when your man starts exerting his caveman side, don’t be too quick to quash it. It’s the differences between you that keep things interesting.

More Sex, Different Sex, Sex Initiated by YOU
You knew this one was coming, right? Yep, men hanker after more sex—the consensus is they’d like to have it every other day. But what they really desire is for you to want more sex.

Your man thinks you’re delectable. He doesn’t care about your jiggly thighs or crow’s feet; what turns him on most is your attitude.

Jeff, a pilot, says, “We want a hot lover—someone who enjoys receiving as much as giving pleasure. Being attractive is nice, but being fun and confident is much more exciting!”

Your husband would be thrilled if you’d take the initiative sexually or introduce something new. A little creativity could be something you’d both enjoy. After all, as Klow says, “familiarity can be the enemy of eroticism.”