As all the best conversations do, this started in the pub, in a post-presentation haze of relief. (And yes, to nobody's surprise but my own, said presentation was fine.)
We started talking about the weird and obscure things we find attractive, and it proved to be a stimulating topic - here's the list, scrawled on the back of a class hand-out:
The first example would be one of my own 'things' - I cannot explain it for the life of me, but I like it when guys layer short-sleeved t-shirts over long-sleeved t-shirts. To a certain extent I think you have to have the right build for it - long lanky arms and broad shoulders, but it is inexplicably a little bit cute.
Same goes for wearers of Converse. They make you about 8 or 9 % hotter than you would be. Don't ask me why, 'cause I don't know.
RP accents - oh God yes. Bonus points if you can lean over, say something positively 18-rated in my ear and still sound like you're heir to a title and a sizeable country estate. (There's a reason Made in Chelsea is my televisual guilty pleasure, and it's not Spencer's attitude to women. Though I do also like a touch of arrogance, but more on that later.)
Cricketers. Yes, rugby players too, but I think that's more general, what with their shoulders and whatnot. But show me a guy in cricket whites with a nice bowling action and I will be quite distracted for a few minutes. (I ran this one by my housemate and he said "That's such a Surrey thing to say." Pointing out I'm from Sussex seemed beside the point, really.)
Hats. Beanies make me want to pull them off you and mess up your hair. Trilbies or better yet, fedoras, make me want to engage you in witticisms for an hour or two.
And on that note, long hair. Not too long though - just long enough to provoke the urge to rake my hands through it. While drafting this last week - and I had fun doing that, I can tell you, especially as I took a notepad to Costa and sat there "getting ideas" - I got a text saying that the Boy was off to get his hair cut. I responded with a panicked, "No, don't do it." Fortunately, I'm sarcastic enough that he can't always tell when I'm being serious and when I'm not. My first-ever crush was on a guy whose fringe constantly fell into his eyes, so he was constantly flicking it out of them with a shake of his head. So good.
Angular faces. Bone structure I could bruise myself on. This may come from having hamster-esque features myself, with no cheekbones to speak of. I know someone who likes prominent Adam's apples - which even the internet says is pretty niche. Finding out the little things people notice is fascinating and at times, really quite funny.
Scars - not personally one of mine, but I see the logic. The kind of scar with a good story: "That? Oh, that's from when I had an encounter with a particularly agitated bear." Or: "Oh, I got that when I had to step in and stop some guy from hassling my ex/best female friend/grandmother."
Fair-haired guys. I seem to be in a slight minority here - most of my female friends prefer dark-haired guys, if pushed to choose a preference. I'm also a little worried it's my own biology saying "breed, you must breed!" That would at least explain why very recently I've started to get a little bit mushy over children. Calm down, I really don't want my own for a long, long time; it's just that most of them are all cute and funny and inspire a protective urge. But that's also how I feel about puppies, so I don't know...
Accents - some of the more interesting choices were Scottish, South African, Austrian, Swiss, Australian (on girls), New Zealand, and a Southern drawl (that one's mine. Drawl something mildly chauvinistic at me in your best Texas accent and I'll probably go a little bit silly).
Nice hands and arms. OK, it's not a weird thing as such but I couldn't tell you what I mean by "nice". I just know it when I see it. If your sleeves are rolled up and you have good hands and arms, I will imagine you doing things with them. Like playing the piano, or guitar, or skilfully making dinner.
Insomnia. Wait, come back. While I realise it's a hugely inconvenient and draining condition - trust me, I know - if a guy tells me he's lucky to average 3 hours' sleep a night, I will wonder what he does while most other people are asleep and he isn't. It often seems to be the curse of the creative and interesting types. Getting a solid 8 hours between 12 and 8 shows a lack of imagination, somehow. Of course, in reality, if you're anything like me when you haven't had enough sleep - grumpy, emotional and in need of all the carbohydrates, ever - then you can keep your distance.
Glasses. I wasn't going to put this on, because it depends so much on the combination of the right glasses on the right face. But when the frames are black and rectangular, and the face is suitably angular (unintentional rhyme for you right there), then all I'm going to be doing is wondering what happens when you take them off.
Arrogance. Not to the point of being a twat, but if you're just a little bit full of yourself and I'm having to raise my game and verbally spar with you, then I'm going to be enjoying myself thoroughly. Act like you deserve to be the centre of my attention and you probably will be. Plus, there's nothing I like better than telling people they're wrong, so don't say I didn't warn you.
Army boots. Not one of mine, but again I can see the appeal. I really didn't get the uniform thing until very recently, then I saw a couple of guys in the Royal Navy uniform, and suddenly I understood. And how.
Relentless teasing. Push the boundaries of what's appropriate. If I like you, I will take the piss out of you, to the point of verbal abuse. This is why I need it done back to me - keep me on my toes.
There are so many more things on my list - they would fill a book. Albeit a short one. Maybe one day... Damn, doing the "research" for that would be lovely. So if you think of anything you find hot but have no idea why, let me know. 'Cause I'm nosy, and everyone's got something.
On that note, I'm going to leave you with this. It seems apt.