The Type of Men Women Find Most Attractive
Follow these research-backed ways to be the most alluring guy in the room
Science is an amazing thing. It’s given us robot doctors, bionic eyes, and other Medical Breakthroughs That Sound Like Science Fiction.
They’re even making Lab-Grown Penises now. (You know, in case you misplaced your first one.)
But what about good looks? What can we learn from science about seducing a woman?
You don’t have to be Jon Hamm (or get plastic surgery to look like Jon Hamm) to get the job done. Instead, use these 18 scientific strategies to be more charming—and make her want you right now.
1. Travel with an EntourageRecruit a couple buddies to be your wingmen. People were rated as better looking when they were in group photos than in solo shots, a study from the University of California at San Diego found.
Credit it to something called the “cheerleader effect,” the researchers say. People appear more attractive in groups because viewing faces together makes them look more like the group average—which can help “even out” any one person’s unattractive idiosyncrasies.
2. Befriend a BabyActually, your best wingman might still be in diapers. According to research from France, men who played nice with babies were more than three times as likely to score a woman’s phone number than guys who ignored the newborns.
In fact, 40 percent of ladies gave up their digits after they saw men smiling, cooing, and talking with the tykes.
The women also rated the child-friendly fellas as more attractive. The logic: Good behavior with babies signals a willingness to invest in future kids, researchers say.
3. Give Your Razor a BreakWomen found guys with heavy stubble—about 10 days’ worth—to be more handsome than those with a lighter shadow, a full beard, or a completely clean-shaven face, Australian research found.
The scientists believe that heavy stubble shows a good balance of masculinity. Past research has shown that partners who are highly masculine—as could be perceived by full beards—may be less likely to invest in long-term relationships
4. Borrow a Hot Set of Wheels
See if you can take your friend’s luxury car for a spin: In a U.K. study, women dug men who sat inside a Bentley Continental way more than when the same guys were chilling inside a Ford Fiesta—even though their posture and facial expressions remained the same.
Chalk it up to status, the researchers believe. Expensive rides show that a man has lots of resources—and may be willing to “invest” in a woman’s well-being, too.
Need a recommendation? How about the 2015 Mercedes-Benz S550, The Luxury Car That Senses Trouble Before You Do?
5. Walk Your DogMan’s Best Friend indeed: According to a French study, women were three times as likely to give out their phone numbers to a guy on the street if he approached them with a dog than if he inquired alone.
Canines can help grease social interaction, the researchers say.
Related: How Nice Guys Can Impress Women
Pooches boost perceptions of kindness, thoughtfulness, and sensitivity—all qualities women find appealing in guys.
6. Lend a Helping Hand
Giving your time can get her hot. A study from Cornell University found that women reported greater desire to date—and engage in long-term relationships with—men whose dating profiles showed selfless traits, like volunteering at a local food bank.
Altruism signals a concern for others, the researchers say. And this might also show a more solid investment in the relationship.
7. Crack Her UpYour witty one-liners might help you in the sack. Guys who have greater senses of humor—as shown by their ability to come up with chuckle-worthy cartoon captions—have more short-term, uncommitted sex than boring men, shows research from the University of New Mexico.
Related: Want to Make Her Orgasm? Tell Her This Joke
That’s because humor might be rooted in sexual selection, the researchers believe. It’s a hard-to-fake signal of intelligence and creativity, which makes women believe that funny guys might be better mates.
If you aren’t a natural comedian, don’t despair. We've got a few tips on Flexing Your Funny Bone.
8. Act Like a CavemanIn a study at University of Alaska Anchorage, women found men more attractive if they took part in “hunter-gatherer” risks—those similar to challenges faced by our ancestors, like handling fire, climbing rocks in remote areas, and swimming across rivers.
This penchant for ancestral peril is likely rooted in natural selection, researchers say. When men take on these risks, they may be advertising their genetic prowess to women.
9. Use These BuzzwordsPeople who used positive words like “creative,” “ambitious,” or “laugh” in their online dating profiles received 33 percent more messages, according to a survey from dating site Zoosk.
Mentioning hobby-related words like “book” or “read”—or including info about running, jogging, or lifting weights—provided a significant message boost, too.
Related: The 30 Hottest Things to Say To a Naked Woman
Just be careful you’re not coming on too strong. Men whose first communication with women contained words like “dinner” or “drinks” saw their response rate plummet by 35 percent.
10. Flash a Grin
Men who let their smiles spread slowly across their faces were judged as more attractive than those who put on a quick grin, research in the Journal of Nonverbal Behavior found. The slow-smiling guys were also rated as more trustworthy, showing that their expressions might be perceived as more genuine.
If your smile isn't what it used to be, check out these 9 Surprising Ways to Whiter Teeth..
11. Stay Strong and LeanA study from UCLA found that women rated “built” men as more sexually desirable than thin, non-muscled “slender” guys and heavier, more-muscled “brawny” dudes.
Muscularity is related to dominance, the researchers say. So it’s like the Goldilocks effect: Women like a little dominance, but not an excessive amount. Heavy muscles might signal too much, while no muscles at all indicate too little. The happy medium? Just the right amount of jacked.
12. Flaunt Your Battle ScarsWomen rated men with mild scarring on their faces as more attractive for short-term flings than unblemished guys, a U.K. study discovered.
Females might see scars as a sign of heightened masculinity, the researchers believe. That’s especially true if the marks were a result of some kind of trauma, since that can advertise good genes or a strong immune system.
13. Touch Her HereResearch from France found that women were more likely to accept a man’s request for a dance or her phone number if he touched her lightly on her arm while asking.
The researchers believe that touch signals dominance and high status in a man, both of which women find sexually attractive.
But heed this warning: The study was done in France, where casual touch is more common than in the U.S. So it’s possible American women might not find it as charming.
14. Steer Clear of SelfiesGuys who posted selfies on their online dating profiles received 8 percent fewer messages, found a Zoosk.com survey.
So have a friend snap a photo of you, and head outside while you’re at it. Men with an outdoors shot collected 19 percent more messages.
If you’re one of those guys who's gonna do it anyway, and you like taking selfies sans shirt, you might as well get it right. Here’s How to Take a Shirtless Selfie That'll Get You 10,000 Followers.
15. Carry a GuitarAccording to a study published in the journal Psychology of Music, women were more than three times as likely to give a guy her phone number when he asked for it while holding a guitar case than when he carried a sports bag.
Axe-men are generally considered “cool” and “fun,” the researchers say.
Plus, musical ability might also signal higher intelligence and good genes—two qualities important to women when choosing a partner.
6. Ditch the Corny Pickup LineAccording to a study from SUNY-New Paltz, women are more likely to favor a man for a long-term relationship if he uses direct opening lines (“I saw you across the room and had to meet you. What’s your name?”) or safe ones (“Do you have the time?”) rather than cocky come-ons (“Shall we talk or continue flirting from a distance?”).
Flippant phrases also make men seem less intelligent and less trustworthy, the study found.
If you can’t help yourself and still feel compelled to use groan-inducing bon mots, you might want to consult our guide to the 7 Cheesy Pickup Lines That Actually Work.
17. Sit Like ThisWomen rated men who sat with an open body posture—legs spread, arms stretched out—and used hand gestures as hotter than guys who sat with their legs together and arms folded, researchers from the U.K. discovered.
Open body language is considered to be a signal of dominance, the researchers say.
18. Buy a BouquetSimply being in a room with a few vases of flowers can influence the way a woman sees you, research in the journal Social Influence suggests.
When flowers were nearby, ladies judged men in videos as sexier and more attractive than they did when the room was empty. Flowers can signal romance and enhance her mood, the researchers say, which may help her view you more favorably.
This One Thing Can Make You 24% Sexier To Women
She’ll think you’re more trustworthy and intelligent, too
It might be time to reconsider your wingman: Holding a puppy makes you more attractive to women, according to a new survey from Petsies, a South Florida-based toy company.
Their team showed 1,000 Americans photos of people with and without dogs and cats, then they were asked to rank them based on the type of animal they were holding.
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Women perceived men as 13.4 percent more attractive and 23.8 percent sexier when holding a puppy. No worries, the effects persist when your pup grows up: Holding small, medium, and large dogs still gives you an extra boost of sex appeal, the survey found.
What’s more, women perceived men holding a puppy as more trustworthy and intelligent.
It’s worthy to note that a company that makes stuffed pet toys conducted this survey—but past studies support their claim—and who’s really going to argue with another excuse to get a dog?
For example, Israeli researchers found that women preferred men with dogs for long-term relationships. Why? Owning a dog shows that you’re caring and responsible, the study authors note.
And according to one French study, as we’ve noted here, your dog can increase social interaction and marks your kindness, thoughtfulness, and sensitivity—which all earn you extra points when trying to score her number.
Not sure you’re ready to commit to a pup? Here are 17 more science-backed ways you can catch her eye.
If You Can Quit This Terrible Habit, Your Relationships Will Dramatically Improve
This woman tried it—and it worked.
When it comes to dating, some play “the game.”
You know the one: You act unavailable, don’t text back right away, and dodge date invites—essentially, you're playing hard to get.
Some men have actually grown to expect games from women. I’ve been told that the chase creates mystery and excitement. One guy says it “establishes value” because you’ve gotta work for a spot in their schedule. There’s a rush of nervous energy because you don’t even know if the person in question is going to text you back or blow you off. Sounds sooooo fun, right?
As a recovering game-player though, my best advice is to cut it out.
How I Stared PlayingMy indoctrination to dating games was accidental. In my early twenties, I was a sorta-bookworm finishing a double major at a rigorous college and working full-time hours as a freelance journalist. I was also enjoying some newfound attention from the guys in a slightly older social circle (my best friend at the time was several years my senior).
So there I was: Coming into my own and growing real confidence for the first time ever. While I was still focused on work and college first, I was starting to entertain dating more often than I’d done in the past.
At first, I wasn’t an intentional game-player. I am reserved by nature, so men would often call me “mysterious.” (Huh.) I was also genuinely busy and had a jam-packed schedule. So when a guy would get my number, I couldn’t always meet up right away. Small talk wasn’t easy for me, but guys who engaged in wordplay were my kryptonite. They broke me out of my shell, and I seemed to vibe with the wittiest charmers of the dating pool. (Spice up your sex life with this organic lube from the Women's Health Boutique)
The guys with whom I sparked most frequently were socially-savvy, career-oriented, and very assertive. They were also competitive and liked to pursue women who seemed inaccessible.
At first, I didn’t actively think about how playing hard to get was impacting my dating life—but then I’d go on a few dates with a charming guy and think, “Oh, wow. I think I do like him,” at which point I’d develop feelings. That’s when the seesaw would tilt in his direction—and he’d start to play games with me. Sometimes he’d be unresponsive, refuse to text back for a few days, or suggest a maybe-date only to make me wait around and see if he’d come through. In retaliation, I became forever “busy” (even if I wasn’t), I would not text him back for days at a time, and I'd cancel drinks at the last moment.
Why I Never Won If I trace it all back, I now realize this vicious cycle began because I wasn’t dating for a relationship. I wasn’t actively investing in anyone. The resulting relationships were haphazard and often unhealthy. But at the time, the games were bad habits, and I was hooked. I’d always resort back to games when I felt defensive or wanted the upper hand, which is the exact opposite of how to build a great relationship.
According to Marisa T. Cohen, Ph.D., an associate professor of psychology at St. Francis College and co-founder of the Self-Awareness and Bonding Lab (SABL), most of the games we play are the result of societal influences. There was even a best-selling dating book in the 1990s called The Rules: Time-tested Secrets for Capturing the Heart of Mr. Right . Some of those dating guidelines included: Don’t accept a Saturday date after Wednesday.
But those tactics perpetuate inauthenticity in relationships. “If both people are playing games, they aren’t being true to their own wants and needs,” Cohen says. “If we aren’t honest with our partner, we aren’t actually building a healthy relationship.” Since dating sets the stage for any relationship, those games run deeper than the surface-level intrigue.
You may not actually like the person anymore. (And why would you? These behaviors are often infuriating.) But the psychological component of wanting affection, and being unsure if you’ll get it, keeps you coming back for more, says Cohen. It’s no longer fun and games. It’s basically an addiction.
Even if you do wind up in a relationship, your dynamics are already out of whack—and you may end up walking on eggshells around your S.O., so he won't withdraw affection again. In a way, an abusive relationship is operating similarly, Cohen says. “People are often so immersed in the relationship that they fail to see toxic signs; the abusers can appear to be very loving and attentive at times, giving the abused person the reinforcement he or she needs to stay in the relationship.”
Quitting For GoodI eventually realized this merry-go-round of drama never produced healthy relationships. I just generally felt like crap the majority of the time.
It seems so obvious, right? Any solid relationship prospect would want to feel special. If a person is only into you for the games and the adrenaline rush you provide, their interest will be fleeting. So, if you actually want to build a healthy, happy relationship, your best strategy is showing selective interest. Don’t play hard to get. Just be hard to get for everyone but those special, healthy, compatible matches.
This is a strategy I employ now more than ever. I try to dial back a bit on all the fun, flirty banter and get to know a person intentionally first. That way, it’s easier to notice which guys seem interesting, kind, and worthy of special attention.
Try it. When you finally like what you see in a prospect, make moves! It’s 2017 for crying out loud. If a person is turned off by your genuine interest, that’s not your person. Authenticity is a great filter for those who just want to mess with your head.
Jenna Birch is a dating coach and author of THE LOVE GAP (Grand Central Life & Style, January 2018), a social science-based dating guide for modern women trying to build lasting relationships in today’s tricky romantic landscape.
The 50 best party songs ever made
House party, wedding party or just a bedroom disco, we have all the best party songs you need to get the place moving.
You’re having a party, you say? Not sure what to cue up on your iPhone? Rest assured, we have you covered. In fact, we’re a little worried that our playlist of the 50 best party songs ever recorded may actually cause your dance floor to spontaneously combust in a firework explosion of pure joy and body-moving ecstasy. That’s how good we think it is: These dance songs are so potent, they’ll have you acting like your supermarket freezer section is a karaoke bar or air-punching on the treadmill when they come on your workout songs mix at the gym.
In short: all killer, no filler. Let the revelry commence!
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