Dear Men…a letter from Christina Hendricks

Posted on June 28th, 2010

I read this on Gala Darling today, an open letter to men by Christina Hendricks from Mad Men. I hope Gala doesn’t mind my replicating it here. I found it such a compassionate bunch of intimate insights that I really do think men would enjoy hearing. We should share these things. I’ve added my comments in pink!


Dear Men,

We love your body. If we’re in love with you, we love your body. Your potbelly, everything. Even if you’re insecure about something, we love your body. You feel like you’re not this or that? We love your body. We embrace everything. Because it’s you.

Speaking of your body, you don’t understand the power of your own smell. Any woman who is currently with a man is with him partly because she loves the way he smells. And if we haven’t smelled you for a day or two and then we suddenly are within inches of you, we swoon. We get light-headed. It’s intoxicating. It’s heady.

Ohhhh, yes. I can’t really love a man until his smell has totally washed over me. Until I know it. That bit on the inside of a men’s neck, and either side of the nose is the best place for accessing that light-headed, pheremonal rhapsody. I find.

Never complain about our friends — even if we do. No matter how many times we say a friend of ours is driving us crazy, you are not to pile on. Not because it offends us. But because it adds to the weight that we carry around about her.

Remember what we like. When I first started dating my husband, I had this weird fascination with the circus and clowns and old carnival things and sideshow freaks and all that. About a month after we started dating, he bought me this amazing black-and-white photo book on the circus in the 1930s, and I started sobbing. Which freaked him out. I thought, Oh, my God, I mentioned this three or four weeks ago and talked about it briefly, but he was really listening to me. And he actually went out and researched and found this thing for me. It was amazing.

We want you to order Scotch. It’s the most impressive drink order. It’s classic. It’s sexy. Such a rich color. The glass, the smell. It’s not watered down with fruit juice. It’s Scotch. And you ordered it.


Stand up, open a door, offer a jacket. We talk about it with our friends after you do it. We say, “Can you believe he stood up when I approached the table?” It makes us feel important. And it makes you important because we talk about it.

Old-school, but true. In our 30s we come back around to accepting this after railing against it in our 20s.

No shorts that go below the knee. The ones almost like capri pants, the ones that hover somewhere between the kneecap and the calf? Enough with those shorts. They are the most embarrassing pants in the world. They should never be worn. No woman likes those.

No man should be on Facebook. It’s an invasion of everyone’s privacy. I really cannot stand it.

I add to this: men should not write emails longer than three sentences. When I get treatises from men that I have to scroll eight screen lengths to read, I groan. Please, no. Men-folk, you are much better at quick wit. And moving on from laboured points. We like that you do this. Don’t abandon it. A hand-written letter, at a critical juncture, is a different matter, however.

You don’t know this, but when we come back from a date, we feel awkward about that transition from our cute outfit into sexy lingerie. We don’t know how to do this gracefully. It’s embarrassing. We have to find a way to slip into another room, put on the outfit as if it all happened very easily, and then come out and it’s: Look at me! Look at the sexy thing I’ve done! For you, it’s the blink of an eye. It’s all very embarrassing. Just so you know.

Panties is a wonderful word. When did you stop saying “panties”? It’s sexy. It’s girlie. It’s naughty. Say it more.

About ogling: The men who look, they really look. It doesn’t insult us. It doesn’t faze us, really. It’s just — well, it’s a little infantile. Which is ironic, isn’t it? The men who constantly stare at our breasts are never the men we’re attracted to.

There are better words than beautiful. Radiant, for instance. It’s an underused word. It’s a very special word. “You are radiant.” Also, enchanting, smoldering, intoxicating, charming, fetching.

I like, “a marvel”.

Out of interest, what do you like being called by a man? What do you call your partner to make her/him feel like they’ve been seen by you?

Related Posts with Thumbnails
  • Pingback: Tweets that mention Dear Men…a letter from Christina Hendricks | Sarah Wilson --

  • Rahni

    There are better words than beautiful:
    A man once told me I looked ‘electric.’ Totally hot. I wasn’t even into him – and it made me hot!

    This is a great piece! I’m send it to a couple of guy friends right now.


  • Nikki Parkinson

    Oh, I love Christina (well I love how she is as Joan on Mad Men) and this just confirms it. Think it will add fuel to my husband’s campaign to have a decanter of scotch at home ready on the sideboard whenever he’s got the need to look “manly”.
    Thanks for sharing, Sarah.


  • Teresa

    I believe she originally wrote this for Esquire.

    As much as I love you, Sarah, and as much as I love Christina Hendricks, I love this about as much as I love similar pieces addressed to women. Which is to say, not much at all.

    It presents this very shallow, one-dimensional view of “men”, as if they’re all the same and we all fall for the same macho, manly types.

    I’d much rather my man ordered whatever the hell he liked (including frou frou pink umbrella-d drinks), wore what he picks out himself, and complimented me using words of his own choosing (hell, my favourite is when he gets all bashful and just says, “you’re so pretty”) and did it all with confidence, without thinking about whether this will impress me or whatever.

    I guess I can’t fault her too much though. We all have our own weird little rules about what is good and what is not. I just feel like this was written for a very small subset of the straight female population, when really for me it stops at “I love you, even with all your little flaws”.

    The original piece also had this: “It’s about keeping our man by knowing what he likes.” UGH.



    Sarah Reply:

    He Teresa, yeah, i left that one out…no so keen either!


  • Sharni

    Interesting point above – think I agree. If this were written about women I’d probably find it annoying getting piegonholed about what is hot, what is not, think if you love a man he could order a watered down Bourbon and Pineapple juice and it would be hot!


  • Quixotic Life

    While I do agree with the point above that if the genders were reversed we’d find it patronising and insulting, I think this is more a reflection of where men are at. As Joan in Mad Men, she deals with men who have a very clear idea of how a man is expected to behave, both toward women and amongst themsleves. Obviously I am not against the feminist revolution, but I think it did leave men in a bit of a quandry as to what their role was now, are they still meant to stand, open doors etc. Then , there was the whole ‘S.N.A.G.’ movement, where women practically demanded men make the softer side of their nature the only side of their nature. Then we complained that there were no manly men anymore.
    Perhap this list is more a signal to men that it’s okay to be re-embrace that traditional ‘manly’ role, if that’s what they feel is their true selves, and if not, well, we love you anyway.



    Sarah Reply:

    Hey QL, totally agree…men did get confused for a long time. All along, we women just wanted men to be men. We’re to blame for shifting the boundaries.


  • Andrea

    A gentleman friend once told me I was ‘ravishing’ and it was such a delightfully cheeky comment, I remember it years later.


  • reality chick

    I’m not really picky about this one – compliments are great no matter what. My ex never complimented me, so when I met my fiance it was like Christmas being told I looked great/pretty/the most beautiful girl at the party/etc. He’s biased of course but three years on he’s still trotting out the sweet nothings so I’m hoping it’s going to remain a life-long habit 😉


  • Nadine

    I really really enjoyed this. I totally agree with the bits about loving their bodies and their smells. Sarah, I am not sure how you know about the nose thing (and really, I prefer that you don’t enlighten me) but the neck? Oh yessss.

    I do like a man with manners too. In my 20’s I ‘didn’t care’. But I do. I really really do.

    I will let you know what I say to make my partner feel seen once we have really figured that out between us!



    Sarah Reply:

    the nose thing…it’s why we kiss and Eskimos rub noses…it’s where our pheremones are released.


  • Andrew

    I really appreciated this article. I was raised to be a gentleman so it is utterly refreshing to read of woman appreciating these qualities.


  • kk

    ohh dear lord men…DONT start saying panties
    its is horrible!



    Sarah Reply:

    hah, I think it’s quite cute. At very least, it’s a brave unique man who does say panties!


  • Jane Copeland

    This is great. I purchased the first series to Mad Men yesterday and was up all night watching the first series. Love it. Great post.


  • Pingback: Tweets that mention --

  • Jo – living savvy

    I read this at gala darling and enjoyed in the sentiment it was written. There are things that my fella does and when he does them I think ahh yes! One of those is when he gets into his early 70’s model cars and drives off with his arm hanging out the window and a smile on his face. I am happy to wave him off and climb into the cars with leather seats, power windows and all the other comforts but I appreciate the spirit of the young man that I first fell in love with all those years ago as he drives off.


  • Annelise

    I so agree with kk – do not bring back the word ‘panties’! It makes me shudder. In a bad way.


  • Erin

    I’m on the fence about panties, and when it comes to emails I say the longer the better – more insight into his brain, no matter how awkward – but I can’t say enough about compliments. We truly do need compliments, and beautiful can be such a cliche.


  • Laura

    Panties . . . why not? It’s certainly a step up from “underwear!”

    As for “we’re to blame for shifting the boundaries” – yikes!

    Unfortunately I’m guessing men don’t generally read these “letters to men” type things. I like getting a long letter or email, and I’m OK with a guy ordering whatever drink tastes good. On the other hand, I like the parts about elevating the manners and consideration levels (remember what we like, offer a jacket, better words than ‘beautiful’).


  • princess freesia

    I BESOT the use of “knickers” actually, being a bit of a sucker for the Brits!!!!

    I also besot your articles and the site in general Sarah. You’re a real breath of fresh air to this Hash#tmotos sufferer, bless you :)

    Sorry to venture off on a tangent here, but I’ve recently discovered that systemic candidiasis is a likely root cause of all auto immune diseases, hashi included! Well worth researching and since having been sugar free myself – including no fruits – my symptoms have dramatically improved!

    Anyway, thanks a brillion for your gorgeousness, you’re a serious inspiro guiro for this aspiring music career woman right here! :) X


  • Pingback: Dear men | The Girl's Guide()

  • Pingback: Dear Men |

  • Clare

    I don’t like being called ‘gorgeous’. I don’t know why really, but I think it stems from being a in relationship that I wasn’t sincere about; it felt too intimate to be called that when I was laying all naked and revolting with the doona flipped off.


  • sexy halloween costumes

    Good day! Do you know if they make any plugins to safeguard against hackers?
    I’m kinda paranoid about losing everything I’ve worked hard on.
    Any recommendations?


  • Sophie

    Love this! Especially the smell part. I got called a ‘Vortex’ and ‘Fucking incredible’ recently by a new guy I’m potentially seeing. Both, of which, I’ll take, please and thank you.