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When Is Not-So-Sexy... Oh-So-Sexy?


WebMD Feature from "Redbook" Magazine

By Jen Matlack
Redbook Magazine Logo
Check out the surprising truths about what men think is hot when they're smitten.


When do you feel like your sexiest self? When you're all dolled up, rocking your little black dress and heels and the perfect lipstick? When you've kicked butt at work? When you slip into something silky and slinky? We know how good those all feel, but here's the truth: Getting primped and perfumed — or even showing a little leg — has nothing to do with what makes your guy really want you. Yes, at first a man may be drawn in by come-hither cues — a flash of lace, a glimpse of cleavage. But once his heart is yours for keeps, he has a totally different idea of what makes you alluring.

"When a man is in love, what he finds really attractive is the feeling that he's seeing you for who you truly are," explains REDBOOK Love Network expert Scott Haltzman, M.D., author of The Secrets of Happily Married Women. "To a guy, the makeup, the sexy outfit, it's all a mask. He wants the woman behind the mask. Openness, vulnerability, an air of contentment — those things are what really turns him on."

We asked seven women to tell us when they feel most desirable — then got the scoop from each of their guys on what makes him hot for her. Here, the sweet, sexy, and surprising answers:

Stilettos and cleavage...or natural beauty?

Angela Betancourt, 30
Rich Betancourt, 38
Married eight months

ANGELA: The irony is that whenever I feel my hottest — say, when I wear a low-cut blouse and fabulous black stilettos — Rich rarely finds me sexy! I like to wear super-shiny lip gloss, but Rich thinks it's more sticky than kissable; and if I stare longingly into his eyes he just thinks I'm being cheesy. I also feel attractive anytime I'm in candlelight — in fact, I always light candles in the bedroom. I'm sure Rich wonders why I'm so candle obsessed.

RICH: I find Angela the most irresistible when she's zoned out on the couch in front of the TV after a long day at work. She's not wearing any makeup or jewelry. Everything is stripped away, and she's just totally relaxed. I'll look over at her beautiful face and think, Wow, this is a great shot. I have to take a picture. Her natural beauty turns me on much more than when she's all dolled up.

Sharing private time...or working the room?

Charisse Lombardo-Moore, 38
Salvatore Moore, 35
Married nine years

CHARISSE: I feel sexiest when my husband and I are strongly connected. We're always close and love each other, but let's face it, after being together for 15 years, those emotions sometimes get lost in the everyday. But when we reconnect, it's powerful. For example, we went to Puerto Rico this year to celebrate my birthday. Every day we went to the beach, where we read and talked and took long walks. It was so calming and intimate. Later in the week, on the actual day of my birthday, Sal took me shopping for clothes. By this time, I felt so great about our marriage — and so incredibly desirable. To show him how I was feeling, I began modeling sexy bathing suits for him, something I've never done before. You could feel the sexual tension in the air!

SALVATORE: I find Charisse most attractive when we are out with a group of friends and she is sharing a story about a recent experience. She tells the story with such conviction and passion. Her smile is warm and generous, and everyone around us is always drawn to her and engrossed by what she's saying. I feel proud and always have an urge to get close to her. Her presence brightens any room in a way I can't fully describe. I would bet that any of the women we spend time with are envious and would give almost anything to walk just one mile in her shoes.

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