Here’s Leering at You, Boys

I love looking at men. In fact, often I imagine them naked.

I’m old, let me leer.

Okay, I’m not old. I’m in my 30s. So, I’m older and sometimes I check out men simply because I can. I’m no Mrs. Robinson but I’m in what amounts to pre-cougar stage. Five hundred years ago I would’ve been nearing the end of my life, right?


I didn’t always leer, though I don’t know why not. How this started was, simply, one day, on the subway, my eyes suddenly turned predatory and tried to eat someone up. There I was, minding my own business, looking around, when I saw him, minding his own business, and something happened. It happened between my eyes, went straight to my brain and then, immediately, plummeted South where it pulsed a heartbeat or two.

I thought: Whoa: you’re a babe. You can argue that “babe” only applies to females but don’t disagree with me, you’ll get wrinkles from frowning.

He was sitting with his friends, a group of guys and girls. They were loud, joking, hitting each other playfully; he was the only quiet one. Or maybe he wasn’t quiet. Maybe he just looked quiet because of his impossibly gorgeous face with the full mouth stretched exactly between the invisible lines leading down from his cheekbones, and his eyes, bored-looking, and a perfect nose, perfectly flared. So, he was a babe, as in whoa-babe and as in younger. Not a baby, of course, but at least few years my junior. He looked back and I held his gaze. I wanted to show him that I thought he was hot. That I was actually thinking of him without his clothes on. He smiled, perhaps a bit unsure, and I smiled, surprised at myself, at my sudden boldness. Surprised that I enjoyed it. I enjoyed it.

I am usually the one being looked at, you see. Because I’m a girl. I see you looking. I’m used to being appraised: eyes, lips, rack, ass, legs, back again.

The subway halted, and the whole group got up and got off. I thought, damn, I should be a model scout, this guy would be perfect for a sweater ad.

That’s what this was about, right? I was just admiring something beautiful. It was an aesthetic experience. I appreciated the guy. I wasn’t suddenly turning into a cougar and I had no intentions of pouncing on this stranger. I was married and, frankly, married to a babe.

Except that wasn’t what this was about. I was thinking of more than just looking at this guy. The idea of actually checking a man out, wanting to taste him — this was something new, something that was definitely predatory and sexual and, dare I say, something that made me understand what men go through all the time.

I’m not a model scout, and I had no intentions of helping this guy land a contract for a sweater ad. He was a subway babe — he was my subway babe, and I wanted to sleep with him.

Speaking of women looking at men, there’s a hilarious blog that addresses this fantastic pursuit/ hobby. At Babe City Babes (BCB), two women post photographs and (mostly) funny write-ups about guys that they think are hot. In their words, “A hot babe is a beautiful man with style, charisma, and a sort of irresistible magnetism.” The photos are candid, taken on the streets (predominantly NYC). Readers are encouraged to submit their own candid babe photos. Crudely put, it’s a female equivalent of AskMen.

The men on BCB are often tattooed, greasy-haired with floppy wool hats that look like their childhood blankies stitched together. They wear a lot of plaid. But then there are a few, too, who wash their hair and wear suits, generally nonchalantly styled to appear uninterested in fashion.

My husband is confused (of course he is) at some of the men on the site that women find attractive, but he admits to being excited about this clear display of straight, unapologetic female voyeurism. He wants to know why one bearded bartender is more attractive than another and I patiently explain why, and recall having similar conversations about, for example, Sarah Jessica Parker, who to me looks like an Orlov Trotter (well, in a dress) but to my partner is a goddess.

In any case, visiting Babe City Babes makes me feel good about this recently awakened leerer within. The blog is about more than women checking out men — it’s about hunting. When I was in my 20s, playing visual ping-pong with the opposite sex was basically an affirmation of value. Now, in my 30s, I care a little less about what you think about me staring, not to mention whether you think I’m worthy of staring at you. I don’t care. I’m staring because you’re a babe and because I’m hungry.

Image courtesy of zubrow.


16 thoughts on “Here’s Leering at You, Boys”

  1. gosh, only because you are smith’s wife, it doesn’t mean that you have the right to express yourself publically — IN WRITING!

  2. Smith and Jo are just going through their “I’m losing my good looks and am desperate for attention,” phase of their miserable lives. They leer because they are unhappy in their “marriage” and are looking for possible people to sleep with on the side. It’s perfectly normal, in a crumbling marriage.

  3. Tell it like it is, Sarah. Frankly, I find older women like Jowita to be pathetic. I mean, who in their right mind likes to be gawked at by a fug married woman (with a young son) when there are so many other more attractive, single women out there.

  4. Currently, this is less a general comment thread than a personal pile-on. The topic at hand is “Women leering”; surely you can make some interesting observations. Please respect the site, all of its contributors, and your fellow users by dialoguing, not slandering.

  5. People in comment threads sure can be bitchy.

    I think women doing some.. appraising.. is a much better antidote to previous sexual inequality compared to some kind of prudish anti-sex ‘feminism’

  6. Who are these people and why do they care? Within four hours they’ve already made disparaging comments about the writer. They must be waiting on the opportunity to pounce and write their defamatory remarks. Go do some leering!

    Personally, I find it refreshing to read that women like to look.

  7. So checking someone out and briefly fantasizing about them means your marriage is on the rocks? Hahaha, whatever. Sarah’s comment sounds like a lame personal attack. And as for Branden, I bet young women feel the same when they catch you looking.

  8. Thanks this was a fun read!
    Reminds me of a recent smile exchange I had with a nice looking guy in the subway walking his dog. It happened so quickly, I can’t even recall what he looks like now…makes me want to upgrade to a new phone with a camera feature. 😉

  9. I don’t get the personal attacks. She wrote an essay, so comment on that. I’m in favour of female leering. Equal opportunity. Enough goofy, unsubtle guys do it every day, for god’s sake. And it was a nicely written essay, honest in its amusingly raunchy way.

  10. I’m friends with this chick who whouldn’t touch this woman’s husband with a tenfootpole. my friend tabtha is a renown journalist and is way sexy and fuuny than this bulshiit and she onoly whiish shie had

  11. i for one feel that the culture of north america would be greatly improved if we became more comfortable in appreciating the beauty in the world and the sexuality of humanity. There is a terrible puritanical streak on this continent, and it’s great to see someone railing against it.

    And yes, all you people posting cruel comments are holding back the progress of humanity, you fucks.

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