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: What Attracts Women
"The great question that has never been answered, and which I have not yet been able to answer, despite my thirty years research into the feminine soul, is ‘What do women
want?’"- Sigmund Freud, Psychologist
There’s still no clear-cut definition or model of what drives female attraction yet.
That’s the truth.
All I can do here is give you my best theory based on the current research, as well as my wealth of experience and explain what has consistently worked for me. Anyone who claims that they have the definitive answer to what drives and motivates female attraction and sexual arousal is lying to you. The jury is still out. Psychologists, sexologists and biologists have been studying it for over a century, and there’s still not a clear answer.
This much is clear: female attraction does not operate like male attraction. Male attraction is pretty straight-forward: visual-based, focused on physical features and more or less universal. A beautiful girl in California is almost always beautiful in New York, Tokyo, New Delhi, Beirut and Oslo. The variability between how attractive most men perceive her to be is not going to be much. A physically attractive woman is a physically attractive women, and biologically, almost all straight men will respond in a very predictable manner.
This is not true for women, not even close. In fact, women and what attracts and arouses them can be maddeningly unpredictable, contradictory and whimsical.
A vivid experience drove this point home for me a few years ago. I was in a club in Boston approaching a number of women. At the beginning of the night I approached a group of girls who were not very impressed by me. So I stepped up my jokes to try to elicit more of an emotional response out of them. It worked. One of them looked me dead in the eye and said, "You are the creepiest guy in here. Give it up.”
Not an hour later I was talking to another group of girls in another part of the club. They were enrapt by some story I was telling, laughing at my jokes, beaming smiles. One of the girls took me by the arm and said, "You are the hottest guy in here, you know you could have any girl, right?"
Same club. Same night. Same guy. Same sense of humor. Same stories. And chances are, similar girls. Completely opposite responses.
The first difficulty in understanding female attraction is that women can become attracted and aroused both physically and/or psychologically. This split between physical and psychological arousal is unique to women as men are almost solely aroused and stimulated physically. This split in sources of arousal makes it hard to perform controlled experiments and therefore test different factors that may influence how a woman feels.
For instance, you may be able to show 200 women pictures of big burly men and ask them how attracted they are to them. But you aren’t able to control their predisposed belief about physically powerful men, the extent of their desire to be dominated, the sexual mores in which they were raised, their sexual histories with similar men, their emotional states at that very moment, their ovulation cycles, when the last time they had sex was, etc. And even if you were able to control such things, they’re so fluid and subjective, it’s hard to measure them.
Men on the other hand, according research, with a few exceptions, always like a certain hip-to-waist ratio, always like youthful features, always like clear skin and shiny hair. This is regardless of age, ethnicity, culture, or psychological disposition. The variance in male preferences is miniscule.
The second difficulty in understanding female attraction and arousal is that research indicates that most women themselves are unaware of when they’re aroused or not.
In one experiment, a researcher measured bioreadings of blood flow in women’s vaginas as they watched various film clips. During the film clips, the women were asked to indicate how sexually aroused they were by the clip. Not only did the bio-readings return no discernible patterns of arousal across the film clips (everything from male-on-male homosexual sex, to innocuous nature clips to films of chimpanzees mating), but the women themselves were absolutely oblivious to their own arousal levels. Straight women often underestimated their arousal by homosexual sex, and homosexual women underestimated their arousal by straight sex. The primary researcher (a woman) entered the experiment hoping to find conclusions about what women prefer sexually. Not only did she come to no conclusions, but she lamented that the experiment only presented more questions about female sexuality than she began with.
In a nutshell, women don’t even know what they want (I could have told her that).
But despite these setbacks, the scientific study of female sexuality has actually been taking off in the past couple decades and they are making some headway. I don’t aim to make this into an academic book, so I’m going to briefly summarize what I find to be the most important points for our intents and purposes. If you’re really into the academic side of things, then check out the Further Reading section at the end of the book.
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