Get a bunch of guys together, give them a little booze and ask them what they really want from women. Chances are what you'll hear is ... well, you can probably figure that out for yourself. On the other hand, get a bunch of women together, give them a little vino and ask them what they really want from men. What do you think you'll hear? Romantic dates? Holding hands? Sure, there's that ... but how about when to make the move, who should pay for dates, and where is the right spot to rub?
To make the question a little more interesting (OK, a lot more interesting), we asked supermodel/actress Tyra Banks, 24, to do the moderating. Tyra convened a group of her friends from a waitress to fellow supermodel Rebecca Romijn and the wine started flowing, the tape recorder started rolling, and the unfiltered truth started emerging.
To keep things moving, we dispatched P.O.V. sex columnist Shed de Borchgrave to co moderate. Joining Tyra and Sheri: Cassandra Butcher, 29, marketing consultant; Gayle Villani, 26, teacher/waitress; Kara Forte, 26, teacher; Robyrt Roth, 22, singer; Cen Johnson, 26, aspiring broadcaster; Liba Daniels, 28, art director; Remi Watson, 26, publicist; Rebecca Romijn, 24, supermodel.
Tyra: OK, girls. Let's hear it straight. What is the best place for a man to meet you?
Cen: Health food store.
Remi: Coffee shop, supermarkets."
Tyra: How about clubs?
Chorus: No. Never clubs.
Robyn: It's the frame of mind guys are in at clubs. They're out for one thing. Sex is really on their mind.
Sheri: How about the gym?
Liba: I don't like the gym.
Tyra: Oh, I do. Being sweaty and working out is very sexual...
Sheri: Should a guy approach you? With what line?
Chorus: No lines.
Rebecca: I don't even like being approached. I feel like guys should not just come up and say something to you. I don't like men who approach. I like mutual meetings. You know, just referrals, basically.
Robyn: Somebody who is really good, you start to wonder how many times they've done it. I like the more loose guy who just looks like he's there.
Kara: I like a nervous guy. I put myself in the position to talk to a nervous guy to make him feel a little less nervous. This happened a couple of months ago with a guy I'm dating now. We had eye contact. Later he told me, "Do you know why I went into that bar? I saw you from the outside and I told my friend that we have to go in there, I have to meet that woman."
Rebecca: I love a man with a mission.
Sheri: How do you like a man to approach you?
Robyn: Oh. Just really, really honest. You can tell when a guy is being honest. If they are putting you on or not. As you get older you become a really good judge of character.
Tyra: What type of guys do you like?
Liba: I really like funny. Funny is important for me. I like to laugh.
Sheri: I think most guys would really like to know if you take funny over handsome? And would you take smart over handsome?
Chorus: Smart. Definitely smart. And, yes, funny.
Sheri: Powerful and sexual over handsome and sexual?
Cen: I like men who are fun but can be serious about life. Goal oriented, but spiritually well rounded.
Cassandra: And very decisive. Decisiveness is one of the most important things to me, you know, because of the fact that we are working all the time. Someone who can plan. Someone who has somewhat of a plan, who can come up with creative and different ideas of what to do as opposed to just the movies or just eating. And a guy being funny totally affects the way they look to me...
Kara: ... And that makes them attractive - their just being peaceful, having some kind of inner peace about them.
Robyn: Yeah, I've never gone out with a really gorgeous guy; I've had some ugly boyfriends. Ugly at first and then they turn into something else.
Tyra: They say that women fall in love or become attracted to men who love them, and men fall in love with the women who are attracted to them.
Cassandra: I think that with women it is much more mental. I have definitely seen men whom I think are attractive, yet mentally they are not there in any way and they are the ugliest people in the world.
Tyra: I like men who give me a mental orgasm more than anything else.
Sheri: Would you date a guy who was really nice, sweet, funny and great, but just weren't sexually attracted to?
Chorus: That's hard.
Robyn: I think that comes after. Yes, after a while you could be sexually attracted to him. I don't think that needs to come first.
Tyra: I like happy guys with a sense of humor. I am not just sexually attracted to him first.
Sher: But if there is really no spark, would you go ahead with the relationship.
Cassandra: I would be friends at least because my boyfriend or whoever I'm dealing with has to be my best friend first of all. I've dated a lot of enemies. Because you end up feeling that the man you are dealing with is resentful of you. Jealous of you. Then the sex is nothing anyway after a while.
Sheri: Are the best relationships the ones that started as friendships?
Cen: I have a rule that if we were friends and then lovers, when it ends we should be able to be friends afterwards. I can't respect you if you cannot be my friend once it's over.
Tyra: There is another thing they say - that your boyfriend should be the man that if you were to take away all the sex, he would still be your friend.
Gayle: It's true ... Friendship is so important because sex is only gonna be so frequent when you are first dating. You know the gumball theory? If you put a gumball in
every time you have sex when you are dating and then after you get married you were to take one out every time you had sex, you'd have gumballs forever.
Sheri: What about guys when it comes to the whole money thing?
Cassandra: For a very long time I wanted to date date someone who I thought was up and coming, with no money. The starving artist. Because I am a career-oriented person, I think it was all about putting me in a powerful position.
Sheri: Does anyone like younger guys?
Chorus: We love them.
Tyra: I met an 18-year-old at this dinner yesterday. He is adorable. I was just like, "Only 18, but is he legal?"
Kara: I think that what women want is not the money, it's not the prestige they want somebody who is ambitious in whatever they're doing.
Robyn: But then you have to distinguish between falling in love with their potential or falling in love with their ambition.
Remi: I think you could be supportive, but not the support.
Tyra: Society is just set up for men to have more and for women to have less, and for the woman to look for the man with money and all that. So, I think it is weird for a man to date somebody who is more affluent than he is. It's a constant struggle.
Cassandra: I dated this one guy who didn't have a car, a house, a job. He didn't have a phone ... he didn't have anything, and it was horrible.
Rebecca: I think what you are saying is a little outdated. I don't think that there are a lot of men who have a problem with that anymore. I have had men live off me and they had no problems.
Liba: Those are called freeloaders.
Rebecca: I like to date men who are successful as well. They're secure and you can learn from them.
Remi: Have you found that you have met guys who have total pipe dreams? That's a real turnoff
Tyra: There is another side of it, too. I've dated very successful, very wealthy men who still can't handle the fact that I've made even one eighth of what they make. You know, they want me to be a housewife. I can't tell you names, but ... [everyone laughs] You know what I mean? They still can't deal with it. So it is weird that men still want us to be there only for them.
Cassandra: Men fall in love with the idea of you being independent and working, and doing all these things, but that's not what they really want.
Sheri: Before we leave the money question, we have to find out: Who pays the first date, and who continues to pay?
Tyra: I think the man should pay for the first three dates and after that it should be dutch or back and forth.
Rebecca: Modern women don't play games. Whatever happens, happens.
Sheri: Even the first date?
Kara: The first date he should definitely pay. I appreciate it when a man pays, but then I'll offer to buy drinks later on.
Robyn: I think that it should be just like you're going out with your girlfriend. Sometimes your friend says, "Oh, it's my treat tonight"...or it should be dutch.
Tyra: Whoever comes up with the plan should pay.
Kara: I'd prefer their making an emotional investment.
Robyn: Can we go back to that orgasm thing we were talking about? It's mental for the appealing guys women and it's physical for the men. It's innate for a woman to be romantic and want romance, and the guys really have to think about it.
Tyra: If there were guys sitting here having this same discussion, they'd... see how our body language is, they'd be... [leans back in posed disinterest; laughter]
Rebecca: I heard a theory that a man is able to, like, get over a one-night stand without a second thought, but forget about a woman. The very next day: "Where is he?" A woman will, like, hang on to him, fret over it, for a long time. On the other side of the coin, if a woman can fall out of love after a year or so in the relationship overnight, almost a man can't let get go.
Gayle: Guys are big kids.
Sheri: The moment you sleep with somebody, do you think that's the start of a relationship?
Sheri: At what point do we expect commitment?
Cassandra: If we're spending every day or every other day together, then that's fine... a label doesn't have to be put on it.
Tyra: I haven't had a boyfriend since I was 16. And that was the last time I really wanted somebody to be my boyfriend.
Sheri: What about the age thing?
Cassandra: I'm 29 years old. I've dated as young as 22, and had a great time, and my boyfriend right now is 23 and is going to be 24 in a month. For some reason, I like younger men. I like the energy.
Liba: My past boyfriend of four years - we're the same age, which is 28. He's the youngest person I've ever dated; everyone else had always been five to six years older than me. Now, we broke up four months ago, and of all the dates that I've gone on, the most appealing guy who I went out with was 24. The energy is just there.
Tyra: I'm 24 years old and one of the most appealing guys I've dated was 22.
Rebecca/>: I don't want to date someone younger than me. My boyfriend is 10 years older than me.
Sheri: Doesn't that feel like an age gap?
Rebecca: I don't feel an age gap at all. I feel just as mature and ready for life situations as he is. Like I was saying earlier, women feel maternal at a younger age. Women are ready to have babies at a younger age than men are. They think about the wedding day, just that one day. That's why women make the mistake of jumping in marriages early.
Tyra: Let's go around and find out whether we want marriage or not.
Remi: I love the idea of love, and I'm not against long term relationships, but I don't necessarily have wonderful feelings about marriage. I don't think it is an awful thing, but I don't think that marriage is or should be the end point. Frankly, I think marriage is overrated. People think that once they walk down the aisle, they have a dress on, the confetti is thrown and presents are everywhere, all of a sudden it's all roses. Really, it is just an extension of a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship, glamorized and romanticized.
Sheri: Do we really like bad guys?
Rebecca: It's the whole fantasy the bad boy edge. It's a real turn on. It's tricky though. Like in Gone With the Wind, he whisks her off her feet and sweeps her away. It's a fantasy. In fact, he's going to rape her.
Robyn: I hate to admit it, but when it comes to a bad guy really sweeping us off our feet, we really want that.
Sheri: What's the best lie a man ever told you to get you into be.
Robyn: That women have to please a man, 'cause once they start, we are responsible for that thing, that erection. We must rescue him from pain.
Cassandra: I have to say, I've been in enough relationships with lazy lovers and I would rather just not have sex than to deal with a lazy lover.
Kara: I think men also need to understand women's bodies more and think about what they are doing.
Sheri: Has anyone ever used a guy just for sex?
Kara: I was really interested in this guy. He was so sexy, so dynamic, so much fun. He was moving to be with his girlfriend in Chicago. While he was in LA, we were together and having a great time. We hadn't had sex yet because he was leaving soon. We were together for his last night at this bar with all my friends, partying and having a good time. He's jumping up and down, going, "Please have sex with me; please sleep with me." He was kidding around, but I knew he was serious. I'm just thinking, "Why would I have sex with you tonight and you're leaving tomorrow? Like, I'm going to give you a good bye present?" Well that's what I did!
Sheri: Besides a one night stand, any of you date a guy just for sex?
Chorus: It's great.
Cen: I think that's fine...
Robyn: ... If that's what you want at that point in time.
Liba: Has to be mutual.
Kara: If the person is very cool and they're cute, too.
Cassandra: As long as we both know that we both go into it in the same frame of mind.
Robyn: I could never do that, because I always romanticize it. Even if I don't like the guy that much, I want the guy to like me.
Rebecca: Yeah. I hate to admit it, but I agree with you.
Robyn: You want all these guys to admire you and want you, but you don't want them. You just want them to like you, so you get them to like you. Then, when they really, really like you, you say, "Later." You blow them off.
Sheri: How much should you tell a guy about your sexual history? This is about diseases, prescreening for everything possible...
Cen: You never tell him everything.
Gayle: I agree with that.
Cassandra: That's your history. He has no right to know everything.
Liba: All they need to know is for safety. Because ultimately you could get AIDS. So you better know who you are with!
Robyn: Let's say you go and have HIV testing together and you're negative.Why does it matter, your sexual past?
Remi: Well, you're not going to get an AIDS test before a one night stand.
Cassandra: In the '90s we've become more mature. When I had an AIDS test a couple of years ago and I was OK, I decided that I would never have sex without a condom; never, ever. If I start a new relationship, we will take an AIDS test together but afterwards still use condoms. Remember, there's that six month time period when the disease can be incubating. Also, I'm here with you guys right now. He could be somewhere doing something else.
Kara:You can't assume that every time you have sex with someone it's going to be a serious involvement or relationship that is long term. Not everybody has relationships that are long term. Then you can certainly say, "Since we've been together for five months, lets go get an HIV test." But how can we insist on a test at the start? It's like saying you want to get serious. It's really tricky.
Cassandra: I don't think you should tell about the past history, because, ultimately, people will always lie. So why tell anything? It doesn't help you to calculate how safe each of you is. Men just are curious to hear about your lovers.
Sheri: Let's say the guy asks what you've been up to? And he asks in a sexual tone?
Rebecca: I was in this two year relationship, and I brought up so many stories from the past that I would just mention somebody's name and he'd just think, "Did she sleep with him?" He wanted to know. Didn't mean he was jealous. He was just curious.
Cen: I think they want to know, but they really don`t want to know.
Robyn: Then they tell you a story about someone, and you ask if they slept with them, and they say, "Yes." Then you realize this is someone you haven't heard about before, so you have to top it by telling your story. Well, one time I went out with this guy and the same thing happened. You know the type ... we'll just be friends. You have to compare histories and then you are tricked.
Tyra: I think it's a tough question. Because when you ask it, you have to be prepared to tell it. So they are going to ask how many people you've slept with and you better be ready to 'fess up ... Someone says, "Oh, three," and you're, like, "Ooops." [The women ask each other their numbers four to six lovers seems to be the average.]
Sheri: Is a guy who's had a lot of partners a turn-off?
Kara: People go through active times, promiscuous times. I understand that.
Robyn: You have to hear the whole story.
Tyra: Do you talk to your girlfriends about how a guy is in bed?
Chorus: Yeah. All the time.
Cen: I used to. I don't anymore.
Kara: I think guys do it to boast and girls do it to talk about the experience, make everything detailed. Compare. Analyze. [laughter]
Sheri: Do you talk about it in real detail?
Tyra: To my best friends, yeah. I mean, only to my best friends.
Robyn: The more serious the relationship, the less you'll talk about it.
Rebecca: I won't tell it to just anyone. Only to close friends. To Tyra, yes.
Sheri: Do you go as far as talking about penis size?
Robyn: Penis size is very important.
Cen: Penis size is not important. It's a matter of what they do with it.
Kara: My friends and I have a new theory: We really think it has to do with a man's confidence. We can immediately tell if he is big or not.
Gayle: We've talked about this, me and my roommate and Kara. We've decided that, you can look at a guy, his demeanor, and tell. We look at the way he walks; the way he talks. And you just know if he's carrying the big guns. We've been right.
Cen: I think Tyra and I have both known some very confident men who were lousy lovers. I mean lousy, lazy lovers. I think sometimes size is less important than energy.
Robyn: I knew a guy who was the most confident, friendly, great personality, funny everything, and he had the smallest penis I've ever seen in my life. I was like. "Wow." I was surprised. I didn't have sex with him.
Rebecca: Challenging that generalization, I think that some men try to make up for their size with confidence and in becoming real lovers who really please you.
Cassandra: The man who talks the most about how good he is is usually the lousiest lover. He is more concerned about his satisfaction.
Kara: I don't think size really matters...
Robyn: Because too big is not good all the time. It's an aberration.
Cen: I don't like it too big. You don't want it painful.
Sheri: Of course a guy is always so intimidated by this issue. They don't know, actually, how they measure up.
Gayle: They need an insecurity like this. Look at the things they have on us women and we have only this one thing on them.
Cassandra: You know guys always think their penis is smaller than it is.
Cen: They look at porno movies and think that that is the size they should be. What guys are really like that?
Cassandra: I just talked to my boyfriend about this last night, and I was, like, "How do we know how big they are?" Guys don't look [at each other], you know. They see each other, but really don't look.
Robyn: They look when they are flaccid. So they really don't know.
Cen: I hate it when you ask a guy about another guy and you say, "Do you think he's handsome?" And he says, "I don't know if he's handsome."
Remi: They always do that.
Rebecca: You know how you look in the mirror because you compare yourself to the rest of women? We women look all the time. My guy and I appreciate women and we appreciate men. I would just like to say that one of the reasons that my man is happy sexually is that we can watch beautiful women together. And I can say, "Do you think she's sexy?" And he says, "Yes, I do."And it is totally OK for him to watch her. We even look at the Playboy channel together. I love watching with him because I get to reap the rewards. He's turned on. That's communicating. Getting that sexual energy with him is a real turn on to me. That's really fine and healthy. He may feel that as long as I'm totally OK with that he will never have to cheat because you're not restricting him. He can look, appreciate, and get turned on by a woman in front of me and that's totally OK. I love that.
Kara: Right. My ex boyfriend and I still go to the strip bars.
Cen: Oh, men that like to bare their chests have no self confidence. Especially if you have muscles and you feel you have to show them you have no confidence.
Robyn: Save the tank tops for the house only!
Tyra: What kind of underwear do you all like?
Chorus: Boxers only!
Tyra: What's really bad in sex? And really good? Start with bad.
Sheri: Let me start. Some guys just don't know what to do. My boyfriend rubs me like he's starting a fire.
Robyn: There are some guys who will touch your breasts and your clitoris and that's it.
Cen: They don't know that an arm, elbow, shoulder and back are erotic zones. Legs, the back of the knee...
Robyn: Why do guys think that your breasts can give you an orgasm?
Tyra: The more they rub, the more it gives them an orgasm.
Rebecca/>: I get turned on by my breasts being touched.
Tyra: I do, too.
Cassandra: I don't think it is just a matter of sensitivity. I think it is very important how they touch.
Liba: But is it also about who's doing the touching?
Cen: This also comes down to whether you're just getting to know each other, because then he takes the time to look for those certain spots.
Cassandra: See, breast men know how to touch your breasts. Butt men know how to rub your butt...
Remi? You have to find a specialist for what you want
Kara: Once you tell them what you want and how you want it,I1 think they are intimidated.
Robyn: My guy turned out to be a good hand guy and not a good tongue guy, and then I just told him. Now he's good at both, so telling sometimes works.
Kara: It goes for women, too.
Liba: I like to know what they want, and
we should say what we like.
Cen: Every woman does not like to be spanked. OK?
Robyn: Guys, tell your woman what you want because we don't want to be there all day. We'd rather be told and make it good, short and sweet.
Sheri: Are you guys bold in bed? Do you like to talk dirty?
Rebecca: Who likes to tell fantasies?
Chorus: We do.
Robyn: A guy who can talk dirty is such a turn on. Oh, my God!
Remi: Especially if he is not someone who talks dirty all the time.
Rebecca: Mine's a good Christian man who loves to talk dirty when we are in bed.
Tyra: Have you guys ever had phone sex?
Robyn: You can't do a long distance relationship without it.
Kara: Of course it is really strange. You are talking and touching yourself and you open your eyes and spot your teddy bear looking at you from across the room and you think, "Nah. I can't do this."
Cassandra: As long as he doesn't expect it all the time, I'll do it.
Cen: If you are traveling and on the road all the time, sometimes you have to.
Sheri: What if they call you at work and talk dirty? I really start to squirm when they do that. I don't like it at all.
Rebecca: You know what my response is? I can't get into this right now. Call me later."
Sheri: What's the biggest turn off you've
Tyra: Too much talk in bed.
Cen: Kissing when the guy just rams his tongue down my throat.
Robyn: A guy who can't kiss... a lot of saliva...
Cassandra: That is nasty.
Gayle: Kissing gets better with time.
Tyra: Exactly, it's like everything else.You learn.
Kara: I feel that a lot of times if I'm mentally connected, our personalities click and the chemistry is there from the beginning, then when we kiss it is amazing. When the chemistry is not there, the kissing is always so-so.
Rebecca: I want to get something off my chest. My boyfriend is too concerned about breath all the time. Not mine, but his. He won't kiss me in the morning at all. I don't care about that. I've never smelled any bad breath. He doesn't have any body odor. But still he's so concerned about it.
Cassandra: Hey, that's good that he is concerned to give you only good smells.
Rebecca: He's going to kill me for this, but ... he'll get up first thing in the morning and go wash his mouth out.
Sheri: In Europe, where I lived for awhile, it's almost like a ritual that most people just go to the bidet and wash before sex.
Rebecca: Well, while we're on hygiene... This is important to us, too. We always take a jacuzzi or a bath or shower together first.
Kara: I don't always clean first. You're in the mood and you're getting into it and you just got home from work, you took a shower that morning and you're getting into it. How can you stop and shower?
Rebecca: If we know we are going to have a big night together, then we do. Sometimes the girl likes to make love and sometimes it's nice to get nasty.
Cen: And to have your toes licked.
Sheri: Anything else unusual, not necessarily kinky, that you like? Such as strange positions or doing it outside?
Rebecca: We like watching...
Tyra: This is going into print, Rebecca.
Rebecca: ... like, watching from afar, on TV or something.
Robyn: It's a turn on to do it in a place with a lot of mirrors.
Tyra: Watch out, you gals.
Sheri: How about sexual toys?
Robyn: A vibrator? Maybe you'd get too used to it. I wouldn't want to get too used to it. Once in a while.
Cen: I like a man's anatomy. No toys. A man's anatomy and nothing else.
Cassandra: I like candles. Kara: I like doing it in places where it is really risky and you might get caught. Not where little children are going to see it or anything like that... in the department store, in the dressing room. You are helping your boyfriend pick out shirts, trying them on, and you go in the dressing room and there's a knock on the door and...
Robyn: I've always wanted to do it in an elevator. I've done it everywhere on my college campus: the library, the music practice rooms...
Tyra: I was going around with this guy in sixth grade. We went to Disneyland, and we started fooling around, and over the loud speakers they told us to stop.
Sheri: Is there such a thing as too much sex?
Remi: I don't think you should put rules on sex ... just go with the flow.
Robyn: If a guy gets demanding and he wants it all the time, there is something wrong. You're not wanting to and he does. That means you're not sexually compatible. You have to be sexually compatible.
Liba: Also, if you're doing it just to satisfy him, then that's wrong.
Robyn: My boyfriend and I don't have sex too often because of our schedules. When we see each other and we do finally have sex, it is the best sex because we're so sexed up.
Sheri: Do you think that makes for better sex?
Chorus: Oh, yeah.
Sheri: I think just the opposite for me, anyway. When you really have a lot of sex night and morning, you're very sexual. You want it more.
Rebecca: We go through phases where we just won't be that sexual and it might be once a week or maybe every two weeks. Then all of a sudden, both of us start getting really turned on by something we're talking about or something we are doing. Or it starts on a vacation and we just want to have sex three times a day. But it's not planned; it just happens. Over the last couple of weeks, we have just not been that sexual, either of us. We talk about it, too. "Are you feeling sexual?" Or, conversely, "Wow, I'm really turned on ... Let's go."
Sheri: What are your favorite songs to make love to?
Cassandra: Just straight jazz for me.
Robyn: I need to concentrate.
Cen: How about Sade?
All: That's very sexy.
Tyra: [joking] Barry Manilow.
Remi: "November Rain." That's a good song.
Robyn: Channel 4 news.
Kara: I think something a guy should know is that a lot of women probably the majority of women don't have orgasms just from intercourse. It's surprising how many guys don't know that. I talk to my guy friends and they say, "Really?" Most of them know the clitoris has some effect, but they think once they just touch it, it's stimulated and that's it.
Sheri: OK, I have a confession. I just don't like oral sex at all. I just feel like, "Don't waste my time.
Cen: I love oral sex, but I have to have regular sex afterwards.
Robyn: My boyfriend - I've never been with a man like this before can go three times in a row, just taking a little breather to clean up then go again. Sometimes, it's really sensitive, but he does it anyway because he knows I want to keep going. I have to say, "Stop, you don't have to go on doing that."
Tyra: Lucky girl. You get the last word.
Original article: P.O.V. February 1997