Just as a preface, I understand this is a quite subjective question, but the subjective parts of language are the parts that it is most difficult for a non native speaker to understand...
As a speaker of a language without gender (English), I find it difficult understand how the gender of a word "feels" in a gendered language. For example, I wonder how using a noun as a pet name for someone comes across when the noun's gender doesn't match the gender of the person.
I see pet names that can change like querido/querida, querido/querida etc. , but what if it's based on something that doesn't inflect for gender? Obviously couples often have unique pet names for each other, but it inherently unflattering to, for example, use a masculine noun for a female?
For example would it be strange to be called something like... meu solzinho , meu brócolisinho etc. (regardless whether you think little sunshine or little brocolli are appropriate nouns to call someone haha). Does a masculine noun "feel" at all masculine outside of the grammatical sense?
Do people ever incorrectly inflect a noun deliberately to emphasize gender. Could you call someone something like... minha açúcarzinha? Is gender ever deliberately bastardised for effect, or does it always follow the strict grammatical rule?