Not Afraid To Get His Hands Dirty, He Also Washes Them Occasionally

It didn’t take us long to get from the dawn of the metrosexual age to the dusk of the metrosexual age. In a survey gauging male and female views of the ideal man, respondents plainly believe the metrosexual man isn’t it. At the same time, though, another survey indicates that men (or, at least, youngish upscale men) aren’t quite the unwashed brutes they used to be.

In polling commissioned by the manly Dodge Trucks and fielded by Harris Interactive, men were given a batch of adjectives and asked to pick those that describe a “best male friend.” Women were asked to pick the words that describe their “ideal mate.” Among the women, “dependable” won the most votes (cited by 92 percent), with “sense of humor” close behind (88 percent). Among the men, “dependable” (62 percent) ran a strong second to “sense of humor” (66 percent). “Fashionable” didn’t make the cut as a male ideal for either sex (16 percent of women, 5 percent of men). Men think the ideal guy is more likely to spend his free time on sports (41 percent) or home improvements (31 percent) than on going to museums/cultural events (4 percent) or shopping for clothes (3 percent). In one telling query, women preferred a man with “rough, hard-working hands” to one with “well-manicured hands” by 61 percent to 39 percent.

A somewhat different picture emerged from a survey conducted for Esquire (also by Harris) among men age 18-49 with annual household income of at least $75,000. This cohort was more indulgent toward the notion of men as fashion mavens and less averse to shopping as a pastime. Sixty-five percent said it’s “no longer taboo” for men to pay attention to how they look; one in five said they’d consider plastic surgery. But when given a list of adjectives and asked to say which they’d apply to themselves, the champ (in an echo of the Dodge findings) was “responsible,” picked by 73 percent. That put it somewhat ahead of “informed” (61 percent), “practical” (59 percent) and “confident” (56 percent) and far ahead of “modern” (34 percent), “cultured” (28 percent), “sophisticated” (21 percent), “stylish” (19 percent) and “sexy” (17 percent).

Also of interest in the Esquire poll, the men were asked to say which of various illicit things they’d do if they were confident of not being caught. The number who said they’d “have a one-night stand” (36 percent) was lower than the number who would “take advantage of an insider-trading tip” (41 percent). This dovetails, after a fashion, with another finding: Given a choice between being impotent or being bankrupt, 55 percent would opt for impotency.