Fixed on men who ''fix'' themselves

Hi Alice,

This is a very informative site. Maybe your male colleagues can help with this one. I once heard a guy say that "a man has to position himself." I have noticed guys adjusting and have always wondered why. I have also found that I am turned on by this. Have other women reported feeling this way?

Feeling Puzzled and Weird

Dear Feeling Puzzled and Weird,

Glad to hear that you're enjoying the site! So, watching men scratch their itch gives you an urge to scratch an itch of your own? While seeing a man adjust his package isn’t a well-documented turn-on, per se, it’s not unusual to feel aroused by any potentially sexually suggestive body language. Because the genital regions tend to be associated with sex (go figure!), it makes sense that sneaking a peak of someone jostling their stuff might get your motor runnin'. As for the why behind these “adjustments,” they may range from plain old’ habit or even an effort to look macho. But, before you dash off to flirt with the next man you see adjusting himself, consider that there may be a less-than-sexy reason he has his hand down there.

Unlike women, men have quite a bit of their genitalia hanging around on the outside of their bodies. When such a sensitive and delicate part of the body is exposed and out in the open, even the slightest discomfort might be enough to send a man’s hand below the belt to set things right. Such situations might include:

  • Uncomfortable underwear that is in need of rearrangement
  • Loose Underwear that causes parts to move around a bit
  • Chafing or jock itch, which might happen to a man who exercises frequently or is overweight
  • An impending erection that he may be trying to discretely hide
  • A recent injury to the area that makes the area sensitive
  • An infection that might be causing an itch that he’s just gotta scratch
  • A temperature change, during which a man’s testicles might retreat up or drop down, causing things to shift around

Whatever the case for a particular man’s manual meanderings, it's good to pay attention to how it makes you (the viewer) feel. You say that you find it to be a turn-on, and perhaps that's a worthwhile tip to share with a lover in the future. However, some people might actually feel turned off or even uncomfortable when they see a man touching himself, no matter the reason. Attraction to certain behaviors varies widely and can be determined by many variables, including culture, previous experiences, and personal preference. The same may be said for behaviors that are turn-offs or make folks uncomfortable as well.

Hope this fixes some of the unknowns around men who “fix” themselves!

Last updated Jan 29, 2016
Originally published Dec 24, 1999

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