We women derive great emotional satisfaction from knowing we are attractive. When we feel sexy and desirable, we have more confidence in ourselves. We move with greater ease and speak with greater assurance and vivacity. We feel more comfortable. This is perfectly normal, the result of a natural desire to be attractive.

Men, though they have the same basic needs and desires, have slightly different wiring. For one thing, they are more sexual. Instead of a drive to be sexy, they have a drive to have sex. (This is not to be flippant about a woman’s sexuality, for of course we have a sex drive too. It is just operates differently.) Arousal for men is immediate and intense. They can be sexually stimulated simply by seeing a picture of a beautiful woman.

We women derive great emotional satisfaction from knowing we are attractive. When we feel sexy and desirable, we have more confidence in ourselves. We move with greater ease and speak with greater assurance and vivacity. We feel more comfortable.

This is perfectly normal, the result of a natural desire to be attractive.

Men, though they have the same basic needs and desires, have slightly different wiring. For one thing, they are more sexual. Instead of a drive to be sexy, they have a drive to have sex. (This is not to be flippant about a woman’s sexuality, for of course we have a sex drive too. It is just operates differently.) Arousal for men is immediate and intense. They can be sexually stimulated simply by seeing a picture of a beautiful woman.

They tend to have flashpoint attractions; that is, they can feel a lot of passion for one woman one moment, but when the next woman comes a long (five minutes later, in some cases), the attraction is over, and a new one begins. A mature man is able to control his flashpoint attractions, and have faithful, fulfilled relationships with one woman for his whole life. In general, however, men are more likely to be instantly and powerfully aroused. They are more likely to want to move from woman to woman.

Some cultures understand and deal with this better than ours. Throughout the ages, women have been taught to be watchful of what they wear, where they go and with whom, and how they conduct themselves socially. They were taught to be a little guarded, so as not to end up in the beds of strange men who could use and discard them.

Some might argue that such “guardedness” went too far; for example, in such cultures where women were kept under lock and key in the house, like furniture, or treated as though their bodies were something to be ashamed of. I believe there is a middle-ground between shame and between good, common sense that understands human (especially male) nature…a way of acting and dressing that wins us respect. For want of another word, I’ll call it by it’s old-fashioned term: modesty.

What do I mean by modesty? First of all, the modest girl is not dowdy. She is not hiding her body. She is strongly convinced of the beauty of her body. She is modest because she knows her own worth. Dressing modestly is a matter of common sense. In general, men are stimulated visually, and it takes very little exposure to turn them on. Dressing modestly means wearing clothes that don’t reveal the body in a way that makes it hard for a man to control his sexuality. (There are beautiful, chic clothes for every season and every taste that are modest.) Because of this, modest dressing is respectful of guys.

You may be asking: Why should I bother being modest? What’s in it for me? First, you can’t imagine the erotic power of modesty on a man. To him, there is something powerfully attractive and erotic about the girl that saves herself for him. While it may not cause that flashpoint attraction which we find so flattering, it does get under their skin. Who are you? They wonder. What’s under those clothes? ….The veiled beauty, “the garden enclosed,” is all the more alluring because it is secret.

It took me several months of marriage to learn this. At first I was determined, like most women, to always look desirable, and so I dressed in my usual, revealing way. I didn’t dress for other guys, I just wanted mine to be happy about me. And he was. But I began to realize, both by observing and from a few comments from my husband, that he actually found me more attractive when my body was revealed to him alone. For example, my cleavage, which I assumed was an asset to my wardrobe, like a nice little pair of shoes, seemed more common-place to him when I went around with low shirts in public.

As with desert or any other treat, too much, too often, is less pleasurable. When you develop that habit of dressing modestly, your moments of intimacy become more intimate, and therefore more pleasurable. To my husband, it is greatly flattering and satisfying to be the only one in the world with the privilege of my deepest intimacy!

As for me, I feel like I am part of something more secret, more potent, and more beautiful than ever before. In fact, when I look back to my days of immodesty (a few short months ago!) I realise how much of my desire to be attractive was actually misguided. It was partly vanity, and partly a more subtle, unhealthy thing: the feeling of power over men. It went to my head, and I can honestly say that it was destructive to myself, as well as the men in my life.

By contrast, modesty has built deep self-respect. Instead of operating from the desire to have power over others, I have come to know my true worth, namely, that I am a gift to those around me, especially the man I love.

Dressing modestly has also benefited my social life and my friendships with other guys. As I said, arousal for guys is immediate and intense. This is usually a blessing, but it can also be a curse. A man doesn’t always want to be aroused. Sometimes he only wants to compare test scores, cheer together for your favorite team, or chat over coffee. From his perspective, a girl who dresses modestly is “safe.” He can have friendly conversations and good times with her, without feeling sexual tension. As a result, he truly loves her company.

We always hear about the pleasures of sex, but the best times I had in high school (and still have, for that matter) were when a close-knit group of friends, both guys and girls, were just having a hilarious time together—campfires, late night card games, movies, rowdy singing, bike trips. These things were happier memories and better times than the heartaches and uncertainties of exclusive dating.

The bottom line is that modest dressing is good for the love life, good for the social life, and cultivates self-respect. Best of all, when you begin to practice modesty, you will find yourself treasured for who you are.