RomanceI am admittedly pretty unconventional when it comes to what I find attractive. I fell in love with Mos Def because he used the phrase “upper echelons of academia.” I crushed on a guy in college because he stuttered and went bananas over another because he answered a question right in class.

I adored Nas with his chipped tooth (it is worth noting, however, that I’d love Nas with pink eye and a bad case of the gout). And I’ve been known to like scars, wounds, and other signs of boyish rough-and-tumbleness.

So naturally, my interpretation of romance isn’t your standard flowers and candy lineup. It’s not that I don’t like that run-of-the-mill schmaltz from time to time. But it’s the random, weird things that are inadvertently swoon-worthy and unintentionally hot

Crack my toes. While watching TV, my boyfriend will absentmindedly pick up my feet, which are usually slung across his lap, massage them, and finish off with a grand finale — giving my toes a nice, hard crack. I’ve never even asked him to do it. Maybe it’s one of those unverbalized signals that he wants the same thing. Alas, I’d probably break a fist trying to crack a set of man toes. Let’s just keep things the way they are.

Get injured in sports. Now how would I ever have a chance to nurse my little wannabe NBA baller back to health if he didn’t twist his ankle, pull a muscle, or dehydrate himself from time to time? Plus that oozing testosterone is just so ... manly.

Take an interest in my work. I’m a firm believer that whether you’re a bricklayer or a basketball player, your dude should be your number one fan. If I was a championship pole dancer, I’d expect him to be front-and-center at my competitions with a thick wad of singles in hand. Fortunately, all he has to do is keep up with some blogs and magazines — and when homeboy quotes something I’ve written, it makes him downright irresistible.  

Smoosh a bug. A damsel in distress I am not. But if a gargantuan beetle is making a break for it across the floor or a spider the size of my palm is scuttling down the wall, he makes me fall a little bit more in love when he puts the smackdown on an intruder from nature. PETA folks may not appreciate it, but I sure do.

Help a stranger. Muscles and swag are sexy, yes. You’ll get no argument outta me there. But when The Man tells me how he stopped to help somebody who was having car trouble, my heart flutters. One time, I watched him wrangle a stranded guy in a wheelchair up onto the sidewalk and then blush (as much as a chocolate-complexioned black dude can blush) when the fella showered him with praise. Mmmm. I love me a good Samaritan.

Pop a pimple. Don’t make that face. I know it’s gross. But there’s an element of sweetness about a guy not wanting you to walk around with a meteor-sized crater jutting out of your face or, worse, on your back or shoulders where you can’t reach. So when he helps out, it’s an awww-inspiring moment. So long as there’s only one.

Tell the truth. I hate when folks pussyfoot around. Doggone it, if I look fat in the skirt, just let me know. Save me from sashaying around like I’m the ish when in actuality, I just look like it. I don’t even have to ask The Man to be honest. Having the cojones to be forthcoming with his opinion is hot, whether it’s to check me when I’m wrong or to keep me from humiliating myself (like walking out the house looking like a sausage in a kilt).  

Hold my purse. Inasmuch as I wouldn’t date a guy who carried a pocketbook — and he would have negative zero interest in dating me — there’s a certain adorability about seeing my big ol’ boyfriend standing with my handbag stretched four feet in front of him because Lord forbid somebody mistake it for being his. I tell him he doesn’t need to worry because 9 times out of 10, it doesn’t match his shoes or accessories. Yeah, he doesn’t laugh.

Do the math. Even though I blog in the language of Ebonics, I know all about modifiers and participles (shout out to the girl who corrected my grammar). But my particular brand of editorial geekiness means I have zippo interest in numbers, so whenever loverboy — who is an accountant — wields his math skills, I’m impressed. Heck with a dozen roses: dude does my taxes. That’s sexy.

So, what does your significant other do that’s obscurely or unintentionally hot?


Image via skeddy in NYC/Flickr