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Did Your Best Lover Have a Beard?

What physical trait do you remember about the best lover you ever had?

“Men with beards are officially best in the sack,” screamed the headline of my email. I usually like bearded men and have some fond memories of beards myself so I read on. The news blast was from . In this case, they surveyed 4,550 women around the world who were asked to list the physical features of their best sexual partners. Almost three-quarters of the women listed a man with a beard. Perhaps they believed that old jargon that kissing a man without a beard, or moustache, is like eating an egg without salt.

The second most frequently mentioned quality was brown eyes. OK. I’d guess the majority of men in the world have brown eyes, so it’s no surprise that 71% of women had good dark-eyed lovers.

But then we get to #3 on the list of almost 5,000 women’s fondest memory of their best sex partner: piercings. Seventy percent of the women queried remember their partner’s piercings—nose, nipple, and eyebrow. So here’s where they lost me and not even halfway down the top 10. The ages of the women queried weren’t mentioned but I’m willing to bet my reputation that very few, if any, of these women were sleeping with men over 40. Piercings!

Having broad shoulders was the forth most common feature on men said to be best in bed. OK, I agree there too. It’s one of the top three attractants of my own. This was followed by men with tattoos in fifth place. There’s that age gap again. I am a woman of many years with a lovely long history of memories of men who were good in bed. Not a one had a tattoo anywhere that I could see; not one.

The rest of the top 10 features of men remembered as best in bed are:

  • Brown hair (59%) again, a predominant hair color worldwide.
  • "Snail trail" (58%). I am so out of touch with the younger generation that I’m not even sure what this is!
  • Small feet (53%). I can’t possibly figure the whys of this one out.
  • Glasses (51%). Were they on during sex?
  • High cheekbones (49%). I think these are universally attractive on both women and men.

So, you who are heterosexual women, what do you make of this? Is any of it true for you in any percentage? Hetero men, are you happily included in the top ten or unhappily left out? How much do you suppose these qualities reflect one particularly adept sexual partner or what is considered, or was, what is sexually attractive—which in itself might account for remembering someone as particularly good in bed?

Actually, I don’t know how to tease out anything universally true here except that a great deal of this is generational and possibly national in its particulars. Interesting, though, isn’t it?