Did you just say I look hot?

cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by smenzel

Yesterday, as I applied the finishing touches to my makeup, the Significant Other walked in the room and the following conversation ensued:

Significant Other: Wow! You look cute.
Me: Are you talking to Roxy or me?
Significant Other: This time, to you.
Me: Cute is not what I was going for.
Significant Other: Okay. Ah…you look hot?
Me: Are you asking me or telling me?
Significant Other: Which do you want it to be? But hey, you realize we’re only going to my parents’ house, right?
Me: Yep. But considering we only visit twice a year, I want to look nice.
Significant Other: Nice? In this get up, we’ll be lucky if you don’t give my dad a heart attack.
Me: Hey, anything to help the old man get some life back in his body.
Significant Other: Okay, but I’m calling my mom to make sure she has those paddle things. You know, like on tv?
Me: Oh, stop it. It’s not like he’s going to flatline.
Significant Other: He will if he has a heart attack.
Me: Oh, come on!
Significant Other: No, really. You’re wearing a short skirt, black tights, and boots. The last time my mom wore something remotely similar was 1950. The old man’s ticker may not be able to handle it.
Me: Then maybe your mom should dress like this now.
Significant Other: Uh, no. Lets go before the thought of that gives me a heart attack.

This conversation served to put a smile on my face.


Cause even those of us who resent being objectified by men, now and then find it feels good to hear a man tell us we look hot.

However, the Significant Other’s question mark at the end of “You look hot?” kind of ruined it.

His compliment was halfway between daring and safe.

It was his way of wondering, “Does she want to hear me say she looks hot, or will I have to hear a half hour discourse on why it’s wrong for men to focus on physicality, objectify women, and show shallow behavior?”

Knowing he has to tread carefully before issuing a compliment makes me realize he’s editing what he says.

And that more than likely, he’s doing it because he doesn’t want to bring my “Gloria Steinem” persona out of the box.

His reaction also confirms he’s not a Latin man.

Living in the Caribbean for many years, forced me to accept that most Hispanic men express their sentiments about a woman’s looks publicly, loudly, and without apology.

I learned to expect a “Mami, que rica estas!” (Baby, you’re hot!) whenever I left the house.

It wasn’t an isolated event, it was a way of life.

However, I no longer live in the Caribbean and now find myself living with a European who’s trepadatious about saying I look hot.

I guess a part of me should be happy; happy that he realizes it’s wrong to focus solely on a woman’s looks.

Happy that he’s cautious as to not offend me; that he tests the waters before jumping in.

Yet part of me is sad.

Sad that I don’t hear, “Hey, sexy mamma, you wanna go out with me?” or “Estas bien buena!” (another Spanish way of saying, “You’re hot!”)

Ironic, isn’t it?
(It’s no wonder men don’t understand us)

Nevertheless, I’ve rationalized my reaction by concluding that the Latina in me must be feeling nostalgia over days gone by; over days when hearing, “You’re hot” was music to my ears.

Remember those days, ladies?

Perhaps this is why some of us find Latin men so irresistible

Perhaps this is why I’m cuckoo for Javier Bardem.

I’m certain that no matter what, a Latin man like him would not have added a question mark to the phrase, “You look hot.”

I think of the possibility, and suddenly, I hear music again.

What say you, ladies?

Is it flattering or not to hear a man tell you you’re hot?


50 thoughts on “Did you just say I look hot?

    1. Les, hello and welcome! It’s refreshing to have a man’s perspective! I think your wife will indeed welcome an occassional “hot”! Try it and report back to us, please! :)

  1. Being a Latina myself, I can so relate to this post. Latin men wear their feeling on the street, but then so do us Chicas. I am not afraid to admit finding pleasure when I catch a man’s eyes traveling my curveous self. I know my net worth and don’t mind being noticed. Nope, not one bit. Great dialogue. So, what about the family gathering? Did the SO’s Dad survive Mistress Bella?

    1. Brenda, I knew you’d understand! :) I can see you getting a lot of comments from those Latin men, lady! And yes, the father in law survived Mistress Bella! hee hee!

  2. My hubby is great about giving compliments. The trouble? I often don’t believe it when he tells me I look good. Not sure why I can’t just say, “Thanks! So do you!”

  3. Great dialogue. And yes, it’s so nice get a “you look hot” every once in a while.In fact, my husband just said to me, “You look pretty.” Ahhh…

  4. What interesting observations, and so true! Like Shary above, my fiance is great at complimenting, but I usually rebuff them before I finally just say THANK YOU! And while I think it can be offensive or objectifying when strangers hoot and holler at a woman, when your significant other does it, I think it’s sweet. I figure they also appreciate all the other things about us if they are in a relationship with us, so hearing “you’re hot!” is an added bonus. But I understand why the question mark at the end puts a little damper on it.

    1. Caryn, thanks for seeing it from my point of view! I agree wholeheartedly with everything you say! In fact, I believe you’ve enhanced this post! Thank you! Indeed, when a significant other hoots and hollers, it is like the icing on the cake! :)

  5. I think it depends on the source. My lover (or potential lover), I like it. Even from a (non-threatening) stranger, awesome.

    From my boss, in-laws, or the homeless guy outside the building in the morning – however sincerely meant, I’ll take a pass on hearing “You’re hot!”

    1. bwhahahaha! Beverly, I can always, and I mean, always, count on you to add spice to the mix! And for the record, I’m with you on the no-no list of those who I would not welcome a “You’re hot” from! :)

  6. I have carefully trained JP to never say I look “nice” ever again. I now get, “You look pretty/beautiful.” But I’d love, “Hey Hot BabyCakes!” as long as he mentally adds, “who’s 10 times smarter than I could ever hope to be with a heart the size of Texas.” Perfect.

    1. Lori, seriously, methinks the lady is too demanding! hee hee! Poor JP. He’s got his work cut off from him. Although, need I remind you this guy makes German chocolate cake on date night with you? How many women can say that, huh? Seriously, I know what you mean. The “You’re hot” is always nicer when it’s complimented with a little somethin’ somethin’. In my case the Significant Other would have to mentally add, “and who’s brainy, creative, compassionate and kind!” How’s that for demanding? :)

  7. So Bella, where is the picture of your hot self to go with this post? :)

    My husband always calls me “cute” but every once in a while (on the rare occasion that I wear something clingy and silhouette-revealing) he’ll call me hot. Which I appreciate. and like. only from him though. :)

    1. Laura, where’s the fun in depriving my readers from conjuring up an image versus posting one? :) You’ve got it made in the shade considering you already know what prompts your hubby to call you hot. The day you want to hear it, all you have to do is throw on something revealing and clingy and, voila! Smart girl! :)

  8. About Latin Men….. recently Russian TV interviewed Antonio Banderos and they told him that 90% of Russian women willing to leave their husbands/boyfriends to have sex with him. Anthonio Banderos responded – NO, NO, NO Sex for me with 90% or Russian women…. I thought it was hilarious. Every once in a while I get” “you look hot, baby!” from my sexy Russian. It’s always nice!!!

    1. Ariana, I’m not Russian, but I still fall in the 90 percent of women who are willing to leave their husband/boyfriends to have sex with Antonio Banderas! OMG, that man is hot! The Significant Other gets pissed when I talk about him and tells me, “I don’t see what you find attractive in that sixty year old man!” hee hee! Doesn’t he wish! :) Your husband sounds like a lovely man! Thanks for making me chuckle, lady!

  9. —Oh, Bella, I just loooooooooove you.

    Yes. I want Mr. Liverpool to say : “YOU ARE HOT, KIM!” I may be a feminist- to an extent, but I definitely want to look HOT & Sexy for my Man & I most certainly want him to tell me I’m the hottest thing on the earth!!!

    Xx Btw, You hubs sounds cool. Xx

    1. Kim, you are forever a darling! I can imagine Mr. Liverpool with his sexy British accent saying, “Kim, my sweet, you are hot!” hee hee! Totally “swoonworthy,” eh? The Significant Other does have his moments, I’ll give you that! :)

  10. Bella, I love it when Jay tells me I look hot! And the great thing is, I kinda never know when it’s coming! Different things ring his bell on different days. Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely clothes I know I can wear or certain things I can do with my make-up that guarantee a reaction, but what I really appreciate are the compliments when I’m in sweats and a tee, or the work clothes he’s seen a million times.

    And I understand your concern regarding your husband editing what he says, but the fact of the matter is, your hot little self still prompted him to say SOMETHING. :)

    1. bwhahaha! Heidi, you rock! Thank you. lady, for the vote of confidence! I love Jay’s element of surprise in making your day! I think it’s lovely when a man appreciates that a woman goes to some trouble to look extra nice. It just makes a woman feel appreciated, doesn’t it? And hey, any man who can compliment you while wearing sweats, is indeed a good man! :)

  11. Hey, what’s this about the non-Latin men? :) My Significant Other is Europian, not Latin, and he has no problem showing he thinks I’m hot.

    Then again, he doesn’t have to fear I would take it the wrong way; he knows I wouldn’t.

    As for “Is it flattering or not to hear a man tell you you’re hot?”, if the man is my Significant Other, yes, it’s flattering, and I enjoy it. If it’s anyone else, I don’t care whether he thinks I’m hot or not, I prefer them to treat me like one of the guys, which is what they usually do. :)

    1. Ivana, it’s not that non-Latin men are not complimentary, it’s that I’m with a European who from time to time tends to edit his compliments. Of course it’s not the case for everyone. I think the Significant Other exhibits the tendency to be cautious cause he knows I’m totally unpredictable. He tells me that at times, it’s like walking on a minefield! :)

  12. “Perhaps this is why I’m cuckoo for Javier Bardem.” Oh, God… me, too. Whew! :-)

    I wouldn’t object to being told I looked hot if:
    1) The man isn’t gay (otherwise, it doesn’t count; I have many gay male friends, btw),
    2) The man isn’t drunk and/or high and/or “simply” being lascivious,
    3) The man isn’t married to another woman.

    There. That keeps it nice and uncomplicated, right? ;-)

    1. Hot Coco, I think those specifications keep it totally nice and uncomplicated! Easy peasy! :) Although I have to say that I would count the gay man’s compliment. They have wonderfully good taste and I think it’s an honor for them to say we’re hot! hee hee! :)

  13. Bella, I love how you’ve captured the confusion of “modern” men vis a vis what women want, and the fact that we often send men such mixed messages. I love the attention that men pay to women in Sicily–a Latin culture par excellence–but there are distinct downsides to living in a macho, paternalistic culture. Great post!

    1. Jann, I am tickled pink you like the post! You are right, of course, modern man does find the modern woman to be a very confusing being. That’s why half the time, I don’t get upset for the lack of reaction or overreaction on behalf of the Significant Other. I’ve learned it’s easier to just speak in plain English. That usually keeps confusion at bay. :)

    1. Eden, I love, love that you’ve written a post inspired by this one! I can imagine the exchanges that go on between you and Froy! And given your hubby is Latin, I can imagine the fun that goes on in your home! :) We, your readers, are anxious to get more episodes to the life & times of Eden & Froy! Come on, relationships provide excellent blog fodder, all you have to do is write the posts! :) Thank you for commenting, Eden! I love that you’ve not only added to the mix, you’ve gone ahead and written about your own experience!

    1. Totsy, I hear you. We want certain things, but expect others. Poor guys. It’s no wonder they always seem to be in a state of confusion when it comes to the fair sex! :)

    1. Girl, I know exactly what you mean. If it’s a stranger, for example, it can be both awkward and uncomfortable. In my case, I became used to it only after living on an island where this was the norm and not the exception. I believe that’s what made it easier.

  14. love to read your dialogues with your Significant Other!, so witty words!
    And I like to hear my man saying me I’m fabulously pretty and hot enough to melt down the north pole! (and he’s able to say me such mad things!), yes, I like this kind of things and I don’t feel he’s objectifing me (such a difficult word!), he’s just being a spanish husband!
    Of course, any unrequired compliment from a stranger, or stupid comments from a coworker, would be suitably replayed!, and usually they don’t try it twice!
    besos & piropos

    1. Ah, Señora Allnut, but your husband comes from la tierra España, home to my beloved Javier Bardem, so it’s easy to see why he would be so inclined to romance your ear with “piropos”! I love Spanish men! Always so complimentary! I’m happy that once again I have managed to amuse you. My work here is finished. hee hee! :)

  15. I am old enough to have been a part of Gloria Steinen’s world. I also remember how betrayed so many women felt when she married a… (horrors) man. Isn’t that stupid? Anyway, I refuse to be labled because I grew up in that mess. I am not a feminist. I am not a labeled anything. I remember the cry was “Don’t let men tell you what to do!” Yet what I was seeing was a trade-off – that women felt it was OK to tell me what to do and who to be. Bah. I will be myself. And while I don’t want strangers saying, “You’re hot baby” Alpha Hubby can objectify me all he wants to mainly because I know he truly respects me 100 percent (which is why he gets away with so much, ho)! The more we’re married, the more I like him telling me stuff like that!

    1. Hmmm – that was a “rant” wasn’t it? I think my point was that I never mind Alpha Hubby oogling me! I think it’s a great compliment that after 17+ years he can still say, “Oh you look hot in that!”

    2. I get you, Nan. I totally get you. :) And damn straight it’s good to hear you look hot, after you’ve been married for 17 plus years!

    3. Nan, I think the longer a couple has been together, the nicer it is for a woman to hear from her man that he still admires her. I agree with you–the important thing is being true to yourself without having to be influenced by this or that. I think most women will agree that as long as it’s their husband, they can objectified all they want! :)

    1. Hi Veronica! Actually, the fire picture is not mine. If you click on the link just below it, you’ll be taken to the orignal source. I thought it complemented this blog post nicely. :)

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