A few weeks ago we were walking in town and Boaz asked me a question that kinda shocked me. ‘As a woman, do you ever look at other men and lust after them?’ Umm, though Nino and I are close like that and we talk about anything, that question took me by surprise.
‘Why would you ask such a question?’ I asked him.
‘Because I think that’s a guilty pleasure for a lot of women, they may be with a man they love but they won’t be any chemistry or physical attraction. Women can grow to love any man despite looks but it doesn’t mean they are attracted to them. For us men, when we see a woman who is attractive, we just go for her, but women don’t approach men, they can only choose from what comes to them’. Yep, Boaz is deep like that.
Well, so it got me thinking.
When I met my ex-husband at 17, he was my first boyfriend and became my husband simply because he was the first guy that showed me any interest. I actually thought I was such a wretched girl and no one would ever want me or look at me, so when my ex showed me interest I was like thank you, Lord. Yes I was young, never been kissed, innocent, naive and a little stupid if I must say.
However, even in my immaturity, there was something I tried so hard to fight during all the years I was married. I was never physically attracted to my ex-husband. When we got together, physical attraction never once came into play. I was just grateful that a man had been kind enough to love me. But as the years went on, I find myself battling with something so deep yet unspoken. I would look at him and think good Lord, I do not find this man attractive at all.
I felt bad and guilty that I was actually turned off by my own husband. Sometimes I used to say a little prayer to ask God to forgive my wretched heart and cleanse my sinful spirit regarding this secret matter that plagued my heart. I would be so sincere, but the prayers never changed anything. I would do everything as a wife ought to, but deep inside, the chemistry was just not there and it made me feel so unlucky yet lucky if that makes any sense.
When I walked in town the sad thing is I would look at women who were walking with these good looking men and I would envy them. I would be like hey, that girl is lucky to have such a good-looking man as her husband. Then I would comfort myself with ‘at least my husband loves me, that’s better than looks I suppose.’ He was not ugly, but I just didn’t find him attractive.
I remember at one time I confided in one of my older friends from church who was more like a mother to me, ‘I’m not attracted to my husband and it makes me feel like I’m not in love with him’. I told her. ‘Please Jean, you are a Christian woman, that kind of talk is for the world, not a woman who knows the Lord, there is no such thing as I am not attracted to my husband!’ She sharply rebuked me with that look of anger, disappointment, and shock on her face. I took that rebuke humbly, and I repositioned my thinking into believing that my ex-husband was indeed very handsome to me. I also tried hard to convince myself that I didn’t look at man’s appearances, but rather the heart, which is more important.
So when Nino asked me if I looked at other men with lust, it then dawned on me that somehow without realizing it, I was so content with Nino that I had never found myself secretly gazing at another man with eyes of lust and desire. I can look at a man and admire his beauty, but never with lust, desire or passion. Nino’s beauty has become my only desire.
So I answered him truthfully, ‘I used to look at other men and lust after them when I was with my ex-husband, but since I’ve been with you, for some reason I just don’t look at other men like that anymore.’
If anything I love to look at Nino when he’s sleeping and just admire that gorgeous dark skin, the full juicy lips, the muscular arms and all the majestic glory of his beauty.
As much as we say physical attraction is not that important in a relationship, I think a lot of women out there suffer in silence because society down plays the physical attraction importance, especially that of men.
Growing up in Zimbabwe, I never saw men taking pride in their appearance as much. The passion for their beauty was not there, or maybe I just never saw it. In my past marriage, the lack of personal grooming contributed a lot to the lack of physical attraction. I think when you are a man, no matter how your physical appearance is, putting an effort in your dressing, hygiene and body will make a whole lot of difference for your partner. I think it’s a very selfish thing when men don’t bother to work on their appearance. The pressure is always on women to look perfect for men, but often we are not rewarded with the same favor.
There is no denying our black African men are gorgeous in general but I believe they are levels of beauty. When it comes to sex appeal, I personally find that West African men, especially Ghanaians and Nigerians are more polished in their appearance than Southern African men. I just love how West African men embrace fashion and add color to their wardrobe. They have beautiful dark skin and gorgeous bodies too. I think they do stand out and do carry the torch for Africa when it comes to the definition of tall, dark and handsome. Maybe that’s why a lot of Zimbabwean, South African and even Kenyan women have fallen head over heals in love with Nigerian and Ghanaian men. In this interesting opinion article, it describes how Kenyen women get weak in the knees for West African men.
That said, it’s not always about looks, God looks at the heart of man, we can’t be too superficial and vain, but physical appearance has always been important even during biblical times.
Moses’s physical beauty saved his life as a baby. Joseph’s beauty found him favor. Racheal’s beauty found her more favor with her husband. Bathsheba’s beauty made her the King’s favorite wife and first Queen mother. Esther’s beauty made her Queen and saved the Jews. I could go on and on about the importance of personal grooming and physical beauty.
So I am thankful to God, that he gave me a man I am not only in love with but one that I am dangerously attracted to as well. I also hope that more Southern African husbands and boyfriends out there will put more effort in appearance for the sake of their women. They are really cute men but the majority are not that bothered and lack confidence and sex appeal. As long as this is the case, Southern African women will keep being swept off their feet by drop dead melanin rich West African Kings, who not only know how to dress, but also have that charm and sweet tongue that most women find so hard to resist.
It happened to me, and a lot of my sisters around me so I know what I am talking about. One minute I was in a lifeless marriage with not only an abusive husband, but one that I was not even attracted to, and the next minute I was in the arms of a charming, funny, talented dark skinned African King. Physical attraction is not everything, but it matters a lot to us women. That is why a lot of Southern African sisters can not just resist the beauty and charm of their West African brothers.