Before you give up on love because of your rented “studio” cupboard, there’s a lot she’s prepared to overlook in your man cave if she’s into you… And then there are deal breakers that will catapult your chance of seeing the colour of her knickers to zero. But with a few well-positioned deal-makers, you’ll score major points on the specifics.
By MH Staff - Posted on 20th September 2012
Here’s how she’s sizing you up when you invite her back to yours…
The humble towl
Matching, clean, fresh and soft: towels are not to be underestimated. Especially the bath sheet: this is not just a towel, it’s a luxurious blanket that I want to wrap myself in (Studio.W Luxury Cotton Bath Sheet R225 woolworths.co.za).
A clean shower.
The more inviting, the more time I'll want to spend in it. No mouldy plastic shower curtain with plastic rings, please.
A few grooming products.
Not a grooming larder, just enough on display to show you know how to take care of yourself (and so indirectly me).
Magazines (specially soft porn) strewn in the bathroom.
I do not want to picture your sitting on the throne for hours.
Fungal creams on display.
No matter the harmless location, it’s hard to get me interested in exploring your body.
Did you mother help you decorate in the Nineties?
A music system
It doesn't have to be fancy surround sound (bonus if it is), but music sets the mood, is a good talking point and fills in any gaps in conversation. Create a mellow playlist that can take care of itself.
Book shelves with actual books
The books you own offer great insight into what you're interested in and show that you might potentially be interesting to her. Bonus, if your shelves also include well-placed trinkets from your travels
A wall with interesting art
This could be a favourite framed photo, paintwork, wallpaper, or just some exposed bricks – atleast it shows you have some taste. Art of some sort is a compelling expression of your personality, which can make you more compelling. See how this works? Yes, even the cavemen daubed paintings on their walls to make them homely.
If your tiny flat can’t fit a furry friend a plant is your next best bet. It shows that you can care for something aside from yourself – a good sign for any budding relationship.
Porn on display
You would be surprised how often guys either leave their stash out by mistake, or worse, on purpose in some sort of alpha-male man-cave display. Watching porn does not necessarily make you a better lover. She knows this. In fact, seeing it kind of makes her feel sorry for you and your single-handed show. And if you won't do it for her, spare your mother.
Game consoles, cords, paraphernalia strewn all over the floor
It's great to have a hobby. But in the beginning let her live with the hope that it's reading to orphans and writing her poetry. Gaming, whether correctly or not, implies losing you for hours in front of the telly while she trips over your gaming cables. (FYI anything strewn over the floor also implies you can't pick up after yourself.)
A funky couch
What a wasted opportunity! You want her to sit, stay, relax, cuddle up to you during a movie, make out with you – not such a pleasant prospect with crumbs in the creases, miscellaneous stains and an unpleasant odour. Er on the side of caution when it comes to overly-masculine leather couches though – even thought they're easier to clean. But sometimes form trumps function: they can either be very cold or sticky, or worse still, you end up sliding off.
An uncluttered fridge.
This applies both inside and out: postcards from places you've travelled, upcoming concert tickets and gym timetables show you're active and interesting. Some kind of order, like leftovers that were made this year in actual tupperware, is a must.
Good knives, recipe books (that have actually been used) and potted herbs
These are impressive signs that you may actually know your way around the kitchen.
A box for recycling.
Hey, no complaining: you don't have to be signed up for Green Peace. This tells her you're conscious about the world around you and besides that, women love signs that you're prepared to make an effort.
A wine rack and good bottle opener.
Poncy sommeliers are not an excuse for avoiding buying wine. Like most things the only rule is confidence in your personal opinion. If you're unsure, stock up on a few red blends. A chilled bottle of bubbly and a fruity Chenin Blanc are good staples for your fridge door. Extra points if you can whip her up a cocktail, check out the “Thinking Man’s Guide to Drinking” on pXX for instructions.
The cluttered fridge
Loads of takeaway menus, sticky, curling receipts, photos of you drunk/in the arms of an ex/having a lap dance stuck to the fridge with magnets of naked women/chauvenisitic sayings will not win her over.
Overflowing rubbish bin, sticky floor, crusty fridge.
Really? You made an effort because I was coming over? I shudder to think what you're prepared to live in if you're not expecting guests.
Counterspace, top of fridge and microwave crammed with protein shakes, supplements, vitamins.
It's a little extreme, and I'll be listening out for any other examples of obsessiveness. This may come as a shock, but there's really nothing more boring than discussing the merits of vanilla over chocolate. Plus, being too body obsessed will only make us feel more conscious of our wobbly bits – and therefore less likely to want to get naked.
Nothing to drink except sour milk or tepid tap water.
Get a water filter jug or have a bottle of water on standby. In general, women like tea and the scent of jasmine tea may help decrease heart rate and improve relaxation, according to Japanese researchers. Make sure your crockery is appropriate. God help you if you give her tea in your cracked mug, “World’s Best Golfer” mug.
Sidetable with lamp or reading light, plus books/iPad and not much else.
Even if the books are just for show, it's a nice touch.
A well-positioned bed.
This should be the focal point of the room (obviously) and having your bed pushed up against one wall makes it feel squashed and that she doesn't have a "side". A headboard or artwork above the bed will also anchor it in the room.
A well-dressed bed.
You dressed up for the date didn't you? The bed doesn't have to be fussy – absolutely no throw pillows – but plump up the pillows, have matching linen on and drape a throw or blanket over the bed so it looks welcoming.
A simple wing-chair, a tall chest, a jacket stand – the pieces in your "inner sanctum" should be classic and well-chosen, so that excludes an enormous flat-screen in prime position opposite your bed.
Mirrors on the ceiling, velvet, satin, black linen.
Says kitsch porn set.
It makes me wonder, if you're wallowing in old books, newspapers and magazines, do you have space for something new?
There's a place for family portraits, and as a grown man, your bedroom is not it. Your mother smiling down on me from the bedside table is not a turn on, it's just creepy.
Letting your dog sleep in bed.
Even if she's into dogs, this doesn't bode well for intimacy. Besides, there's something sexy about a guy who has a well-trained dog.