From Artists to Yogis: Are Sensitive ‘New Age’ Guys Sexy?


Humans—we’re sensitive creatures whether we show it regularly or not. What if we show it too much? Is that a thing? Particularly, what about those sensitive men…you know, sensitive ‘new age’ guys? Are they sexy?

Sexuality and gender delineations are changing, fast. Just a few decades ago the “norm” for men was to be some sort of iteration of the tough-talking bread winner not afraid to take a punch if need be. (There’s a John Wayne reference here somewhere.) As much as men were expected to behave that way, we women also anticipated it. Even those of us born in the seventies and eighties–after the bra-burning women and long-haired men started families–are more familiar with the me-Tarzan-you-Jane approach than having a man tell us he needs a good cry.

Sure, some things are in our DNA. Women are more nurturing because they give birth. We’re softer. Men protect us, so they’re stronger, taller. But the dividing line is blurring; we’re no longer limited to the roles of decades past. Of course, the more likely scenario is that we’ll not lose the clenched man afraid of his feelings any time soon. We’ll just continue to see new possibilities introduced. Take the sensitive new age guy. He’s become glorified as today’s version of macho. Just look at the Ryan Gosling “Hey Girl” memes. I’d be a liar if I said they didn’t make me a little weak in the knees…but would a relationship with a guy like that really ever last? Do we women (and the men who love men) want men to knit?

That’s not to say repressing feelings is in any way a good thing, but are men taking it too far? Are they manipulating sensitivity to get women into bed? Or, is this really a turning point in male expression? And if so, are we really ready to handle this? Here are just a few types of sensitive guys that beg the question: So, are they sexy?

The healer: He used to have a real job, maybe even a college degree, but he’s traded it all in for acupuncture/massage/reiki or (gasp) urban shamanism. He can see when your chakras are out of alignment. He’s always got a good reason to put his hands on you, even if it’s just your first date. He may go by his real name or incorporate other nouns like “eagle”, “sage”, “mountain” or “fire” in there somewhere. Is he a capable healer? Is it even relevant if he’s already decided what’s wrong with you that only he can fix?

The artist/musician: This is the sensitive man we’re most familiar with—the soft voice and guitar strumming of a songwriter or the fine lines of a painter. Maybe he’s a filmmaker or photographer… But not all artists are created equal. Did he write a song you just “have to hear”? Or perhaps he wants you to “model” for him for a painting/photo shoot…you know, just as friends.

The yogi: Ah yes, the yogi. Maybe he’s your teacher or a fellow student. Like the healer (and he may be that too), he’ll take any opportunity to put his hands on you. Like the artist (probably that as well), he’ll often take the friend approach to pursue some quality time. But be on the lookout for the chronic complaints of physical issues—often the reason why they took up yoga in the first place. And if the physical is any indicator of the mental/emotional issues underneath, you may want to stay in that headstand a bit longer so reality can rush back in.

The paranoid: 9/11 was an inside job. No one ever landed on the moon (you’d burn up in the Van Allen belt, duh!). The government is hiding aliens. Ok so some (or all) of that may be true…but if Alex Jones comes up a lot, conspire yourself a story about a sick relative or a stove left on and walk slowly towards the exit (but do not turn your back on this one ’til you’re out the door).

The burner: Oh, Burning Man…you are such a wonderful and magical playground. Truly, you are. But what is up with guys who think that just because it’s 100 degrees out in a desert that 1) we want to hear their life story 2) after hearing said story we’re automatically a ‘thing’ for the rest of the week, whether we came with another guy or not and 3) spinning fire is some sort of aphrodisiac. It’s quite dangerous. Actually…keep spinning…are there any firemen close by?

Keep in touch with Jill on Twitter @jillettinger

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Jill Ettinger

Jill Ettinger is a Los Angeles-based journalist and editor focused on the global food system and how it intersects with our cultural traditions, diet preferences, health, and politics. She is the senior editor for sister websites and, and works as a research associate and editor with the Cornucopia Institute, the organic industry watchdog group. Jill has been featured in The Huffington Post, MTV, Reality Sandwich, and Eat Drink Better.