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What Makes a Man Attractive: How to Attract a Woman


What Makes a Man Attractive

Start digging through the scientific research on what makes a man attractive, and you'll find one study after another confirming that nothing beats James Franco-like facial symmetry. But delve a little further and something interesting comes up: a man's hotness depends on 1) how well a girl knows him and 2) whether or not he helps old ladies cross the street.

In other words, niceness gets you everywhere. A study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships found that men who exhibit positive qualities like helpfulness and politeness were perceived by women as better-looking, and a 2004 study in Evolution and Human Behavior found that students rated each other as more attractive at the end of a semester, after they'd gotten to know each other, than they did on the first day of class.

The takeaway: You may not think you're the most drop-dead gorgeous guy in her life, but if you lend a hand, you're more likely to end up being the one she drools over. Perhaps if you stick around long enough, she'll recognize your charms.

Be Her Bad Boy

Researchers at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces and Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois found that bad boys (men who are self-obsessed, thrill-seeking, callous, deceitful, and exploitative) consistently report having more partners than nice guys.

Yes, it's true some women like troublemakers, but that doesn't mean you should brag about your abs, refuse to wear a condom, or lie about your salary in the hopes of getting lucky.

The reason so many women run off with Colin Farrell types on hot Saturday nights is that they're craving raw, unadulterated excitement. And you don't have to be a creep to provide that. Just make a suggestion she's never heard before, like taking her to an underground club, heading up to the roof of your skyscraper office building, or breaking into a public pool.

Imagination, unpredictability, and fun: that's what really turns a woman on.


Stop Being the "Safe" Guy

Why do nice guys finish last?

Most single women aren't waiting for a nice guy–they're waiting for sparks to fly. While "nice" is a quality they appreciate, it's not one that makes their palms sweat or their hearts beat faster. "Nice" doesn't leave them wanting more after the goodnight kiss.

After all, on the first date a nice guy won't tell a woman she looks incredibly sexy even if he's thinking it. He won't make fun of the froufrou way she holds her cocktail glass and he definitely won't put his hands on that sweet spot just above her waist when he kisses her goodnight.

Next time you feel you're coming across as merely benign, confess an unpopular opinion, tease her a little, or give in to an urge to do something unexpected. And when you kiss, do it like you don't give a damn whether she thinks you're nice.

Wear a Scent She'll Find Irresistible

Smell is very important to women. One study by the Olfactory Research Fund showed that women who smelled male cologne while fantasizing about sex felt more aroused than those who sniffed a neutral scent.

Even plain old Ivory soap or a hint of sweaty armpit is more of a turn-on that nothing at all. In fact, researchers at the University of Bern in Switzerland found that a little eau de male underarm can actually arouse women. But without a smell, a man is practically invisible to the opposite sex.

Take a look in your shower, medicine cabinet, and laundry room: if you're using mostly unscented deodorant, soap, and detergent, and you avoid cologne, you too may be an invisible man. Once you start using scented products (for the record, smells that address the olfactory receptor and boost arousal include jasmine, lavender, myrrh, sandalwood, and ylang ylang), your female coworkers won't be the only women to notice.

What to Wear?

Any guy who's confident and cool will look good no matter what he has on. But it is better if you wear something classic. A black, long-sleeve, button-down shirt with sleeves rolled up, tucked into fitted, faded Levi's might just be the sexiest look of all time.

Say the Words She Wants to Hear

Call your wife something like "bunny" and she'll feel her insides go all warm and gooey. Words like "bitzy," "dolly," "bunnsy," "dolly-doll," and a dozen other pet names are pretty good, too.

This is because terms of endearment create intimacy and closeness. Studies show that couples who have silly names for each other and share a secret language (i.e. the two of you call your landlord Captain Crapface, refer to your couch as the Big Kahuna, and pull an earlobe to signal that the other person has a booger hanging out of their nose) have richer, more loving relationships.

What should you call your lady? "Princess," "Baby," and "Angel" topped the list of best pet names for her in More Magazine's survey of 2,400 young British women, but that's only because they were choosing from a list. Most woman would prefer something totally unique, something like "Hotsy" or "Cupcake" or "Smooch," a term that reminds her of a happy moment in your shared history.


Unsexiest Things to Say to a Woman

"Don't get me wrong. I love women."

"I love women, but...."

Don't Say This. Ever. Women roll their eyes or squint menacingly when a man utters these words because it sounds a lot like, "I love cars" or "I love dogs." Plus, that phrase is always either preceded or followed by something unappreciative. If you're at a point in your marriage where you happen to feel that way, that's fine, but think twice before you share your feelings or you may start losing attractiveness in her eyes. Do not say it out loud unless you want to end up standing at a bar alone with a wet wine stain spreading across the crotch of your khakis.

Also, just because your girlfriend or wife rails on her relatives doesn't mean you can, too. Listen attentively, nod your head, and tell her it's all going to be okay. You can even take her side. But if you want to skip the brawl, keep your insults to yourself.

The Sweetest Thing to Say

There are countless romantic things you can say to a girl, but here's something non-cliched that will really warm her cockles: tell her you love to hear her snore in the middle of the night, burp after chugging beer, blow her nose like a freakin' foghorn, or make any other noise she wouldn't dream of letting loose in public, and she'll love you because it proves that you're closer to her than anyone else.

The downside of this comment is that it will probably cause your little lady to fart around you more often. But the upside is that she'll be convinced, once again, that she's married/will be married to the single most wonderful, thoughtful, loving man on the planet.

Sexy Gifts

Of course, it's always best when you get her something that shows you've been paying attention–that necklace she pointed out at the mall, a painting or framed B&W photograph of the place you went on your first vacation, something she's been salivating over in a catalog. But if you don't have any ideas brewing, I think that one of these options will definitely make her happy:

For the girl you've been dating six months: a big, soft faux fur throw blanket that you can curl up on together.

For the girl you've been dating a year: a silver bracelet from Tiffany's, because every girl loves getting one of those little blue boxes.

For your wife who's always cold: a luxurious cashmere robe that she'll wear every night all winter.

For your wife who's incredibly hot: a sexy but totally wearable lingerie set. Take a peek into her lingerie drawer to find out her bra and panty size.

For both of you, because you haven't gone away in a long time: a trip, even if it's just for the weekend and just an hour's drive away.


Being in Shape is Attractive

When a woman opens her eyes and sees a man's ripped abs in action, it's definitely hot. Seeing a large, doughy mass jiggling in all directions is decidedly not.

Excess flab will definitely detract from a woman's eagerness to rip off a man's clothes, whether she's a stranger in a bar or his wife of 10 years. And during sex, flab is like a spritz of water on her sexual fire: it cools it a bit, which is a bummer, but by no means puts it out.

And as for what makes a "great butt"? It's simple: compact, muscular, and round.

Wrap Your Package Properly

Ever wondered if women are eyeballing your package while sitting across from you at the airport, during meetings, or on dates? If you're doing things right, the answer should be no.

The #1 reason women find themselves ogling a guy's unit is because something seems wrong. Either the bulge is too high or low, his cojones are jammed to one side (the male version of camel toe), or his pants are so tight and threadbare you can see the outline of his johnson. Noticeable? Yes. Attractive? No.

Don't Be Glued to the Screen

Stare obsessively at a naked chick on TV and you might have to suffer the wrath of an angry girlfriend or wife. Do yourself a favor and just peel your eyes away for one second (you can always TiVo the show and come back to it later) and smile at your woman. Put your hand on her thigh and she'll be satisfied that in spite of the boobs jiggling on-screen, you still think she's pretty damn cute.

What works best for you?



Kathleen D. on March 09, 2016:

These are all great ideas for ways to generate romance. I have a special way to tell if a guy is really into me. I won't date a guy for long unless he will wear special things for me. I live in the relatively conservative Davenport, Ia. area and I have never failed to get a guy to do special things. I like to get him to wear girly things under his guy clothes. If he will wear a bra for me then I know he is really into me. You would be amazed what a guy will do for you if you ask seductively. I have gotten several different guys to take me on trips where they paid for everything and they wore panties the entire trip. It was our little romantic secret.

prince bethel from Africa on November 18, 2014:

Hmm. Lots of information here for grabs! Great hub!

PMARTIN on August 14, 2014:

Homourus..epecially about the "flab". Now about the "nice" needing to step it up and change a bit. I read advice to men columns and they tell women if a man doesnt like you the way you are, get rid of him--be you for you etc. A man however should make adjustments? If your nice, be glad and stay that way. I think if have to come up with a new "thing" this week, then it will get old and next month you'll have to come up with something else. In other words will she ever be pleased?? As for the weight issue--nice physic is definetly better but I have never ever heard advice to chunky women to lose weight if they want to attract. Again its the usual "youre beautiful just the way you are and if he doesnt appreciate it...blah blah". Good stuff on the sweet things to say and gifts. I guess be like a Cary Grant.

Yves on July 17, 2014:

Wow! This is great. Much more practical, not to mention, witty, than the one I wrote about this subject--truth be told. Somewhere in there, you even brought up patience...in so mnay words. And that's so key. If a man takes the time to know a woman, and isn't trying to rush her to the bedroom, she will appreciate that; this nurturing will make her feel valued and much more willing to give of herself. Fantastic job. The part about walking little old ladies across the street cracked me up, but it's so true.

Up, and everything else!

Dan Lema from Tanzania on July 02, 2014:

Very useful article, it has tons of useful tips and all the advice a man could need concerning dating and women....i totally agree in most parts of this article, however there are cultural differences in one country to another which influence women's behaviors also....for example, here in Africa most women prefer a man with nice guy elements over the bad boy for security reasons, before and after marriage......

mathira from chennai on April 23, 2014:

Very interesting hub. Hope most men read it.It can make him irresistible to the woman he loves.

delia on April 01, 2014:

How ridiculous---if a guy is a gentleman and truly cares about me his lack of cologne will not deter me from loving him with all my heart

tedwest on January 22, 2014:

i wasted so many years being a 'nice guy'...fvckin a girl 'rom0ntikly', which is how i thought she wanted to be fvcked..."do it like you don't give a damn whether she thinks you're nice." this is sooo true, now i fvck girls how I wanna fvck them, who gives a shix what she's thinking? whatever she's thinking, she's probably wrong anyway lolz... w0mminz lolz

iguidenetwork from Austin, TX on November 06, 2013:

Well, it depends on a woman -- every woman was born different. I may not have that "bad boy" image or have a six-pack abs. But I think my partner adores me for my humor and my caring for her. I'm not perfect but I'm generally nice... so nice guys don't always finish last to many women's hearts. ;)

Avinesh Prahladi from Chandigarh on October 10, 2013:

I must say it's a nice and interesting hub. Nice tips which one can easily follow.

Keep it up.

Jessica on July 17, 2013:

I can tell you right now that this might work for a one night stand but it won't work for getting a future wife. I can tell you from being a women, I do not want the rehearsed lines, the boy who has been around the block, or a model. I want the good boy who only wanted me and who is safe because he knows there could be kids along the way. I know this might sound wiped to some men but this sound page sounds women want boys but I want a man.

FFA on March 02, 2013:

"When a woman opens her eyes and sees a man's ripped abs in action, it's definitely hot. Seeing a large, doughy mass jiggling in all directions is decidedly not."

Just a note, this isn't true for everyone. My boyfriend is over 300 pounds and nothing turns me on more than his big belly. Defined abs are a definite turn-off. I'm not the only one that feels this way, either. Fat guys have hope!

John Doe on September 20, 2012:

I've read a lot of stuff like this and I think is mostly just comes down to raw masculinity and sexual communication/expression. The Jerk/Nice guy dichotomy is a load of crap. Women indeed want a spark, and being masculine is what triggers it. The great thing is that you can be both masculine and a gentlemen at the same time, strong but able to understand a woman's needs. What women don't like are feminine/sexually repressed, insexure guys. There's no spark, and there never will be.

yoni on August 28, 2012:

hey melencoly..maybe your girl friend is jelous when you help others, but she is your girlfriend because of those quality you have.

Jenna Ditsch from Illinois on May 25, 2012:

Well-written with some good tips and some great humor. :-)

Joe Cseko jr from New York, USA, Earth on April 27, 2012:

Hey, Mookies. In case you haven't read them, spamming YOUR hubs in another's comments section violates the Hub Pages TOS.

I personally enjoyed this work. I believe, though, I read the words the way the author intended them, not like I was weighing this piece against one of my own.

You write, Mookies? Punctuation certainly isn't your strong-suit, is it? Yeah, grammar, syntax and punctuation mean a LOT in a printed medium.

Mookies on February 04, 2012:

I think this article is going a bit overboard as in it's sounding like with this article women have their expectations set to high. They (women) again are wanting the "Brad Pitt", "Colin Farrell's". I guess if you ladies want to be constantly divorced and being unrealistic then go for it. But this article is sounding like it's written by a young early 20 year old girl that is still in la la out of touch expectation land and doesn't quit get the "real world". Yeah there are a lot of guys that have some (a few/a couple) traits of the "Brad Pitts", "Colin Farrell's" but in the "real world" it's not at all going to be this la la, jet setting, bad a** douche's, that have their own private island, go out parting every single night blah blah blah. I also agree with one of the commenter about men helping the old ladies across the street, where a lot of women SAY they like that stuff but then if he actually does it some women categorize him in the "friend zone".

Camo Girl!! on January 05, 2012:

Hey Charlie well most girls i know like guys who have spiked hair, Tousled Hair or Shaggy Hair and as how much gel to use it depends how your hair is thick or thin!!! HOPE THIS HELPS=)))

Camo Girl!!! on January 05, 2012:

Well melencholy 4 i think your girlfriend don't deserve you most guys are not that polite not to be mean to the other guys on here but if you were mine i whould be happy that you have a eight pack and you help people i think you need to talk to her about it!!! GOOD LUCK=)))

charlie on September 07, 2011:

what about hair? how do women like it styled? how much gel or product and tousled? spikes?

melencholy on August 29, 2011:

My girlfriend hates it when I help people. I have an eight pack, but she doesn't seem to notice. I am very polite also, and that however seems to push her away even further.

Anarchos from Texas on August 14, 2011:

Intriguing post. I'll say the most confusing thing is the dichotomy of women being more attracted to guys who "lend a hand" and "bad boys". It's like, if you try for lending a hand you're thrown in the "nice guys" category but if you try to be too much of a "bad boy" you become an @$$ hole.

Good stuff over all though. Keep up the good work.

Sam on July 30, 2011:

Page is pretty brilliant. I would say tho that as a guy i use enough fragrance to be smelt when i walk past and i get quite a few compliments; as long as your using nice fragrance thats been given the approval by friends, wearing a 'lot' can only be a charity to peoples senses.

Also interesting that Islam also advises using perfumes, as well as spouses calling each other nicknames to solidify the relationship.

I don't usually read this kind of stuff, but well done

I'm impressed, may Allah guide you.

Vincent Lionheart (author) from Ferenginar on May 22, 2011:

Your welcome...

I am very much pleased when info I present is useful to someone.

Lola on May 21, 2011:

This write up is awesome,it contains every necessary thing a person needs to have a smooth and steady relationship.thanks for this

OrlandoC from Glen Ridge on September 16, 2010:

Now, I know what I've been doing wrong all these years. Thanks for the advice.

Bright. on August 26, 2010:

Good write-up. keep it up.

lust maker on August 11, 2010:

nice helpful

terced ojos from terced_ojos@yahoo.com on April 17, 2010:


They also did a study of where they had women look at a picture of a man. They listed his financial income statistics underneath the picture. They found that based on the amount of money the man made they rated him as more attractive base upon his financial profile.

They asked the women to rate his physical attractiveness; funny how the ugly guy got rave reviews for being physically "attractive" when he had lots of money.

SensuousWorld on January 24, 2010:

I have to agree confidence is attractive as long as it doesn't slip into over the top cockyness. Humor is also attractive. That aside, for me there has to be the initial lust factor. All the confidence and humor in the world can't make up for physical attraction. It's said a woman can tell within ten seconds of meeting a man if she will/would sleep with him. I think sometimes it take me a little longer than that?? But not much longer!..lol

I must also say a great body and face won't make up for a lack of personality and believe me I have met some very attractive men who had nothing more to offer, it would be nice to have my mind stimulated along with the rest of my body!!

sabrinasirianni from Scottsdale, AZ on December 28, 2009:

Great read, however I would add that I love it when a man has true motivation in life- and is excited about it! Nothing turns me on more ... a man who enjoys the journey to bettering himself- is positive in his quest, and extremely self confident. Confidence is the absolute SEXIEST quality in a man, for me, hands down. If he comes across as unsure of himself, especially when approaching you for the first time or on a first date, I don't care how symmetrical his face is, or if he is the nicest guy in the world, buh bye! Confidence is an aphrodisiac in itself, so guys with confidence--- forget the cologne! You already have it!

BIKTMIA on December 07, 2009:

Hello, great question I feel. The truth first looks for me , is the draw , what makes a man attractive. Overall appearance. Second I observe conversational content, mannerism, and whether he is cordial, polite , and respectful, after that every thing else goes out the window if the conversation does not match the persona.

Third, I begin to observe more for the inner attraction from the heart aspects in conversational content as to if I want to keep talking or giving my time. That is what I feel makes a man attractive to me.

Audrey Kirchner from Washington on October 25, 2009:

Too hilarious - "Don't get me wrong" is right up there with "Don't take this the wrong way" - great hub - and yes it depends on the woman BUT there are a few things that should be numero uno in my book!

hoodieweather from San Diego, California on October 11, 2009:

"I love the way you blow your nose."


Neil Sperling from Port Dover Ontario Canada on September 18, 2009:

What makes a man attractive? My answer would be "depends on the woman". One woman loved to see me in my carpenter work cloths after a day banging nails, and be all over me..... another hated that - she would say "go clean up and shave before you kiss me".... I would - then she would be all over me!

They both are correct.... I look good either way - LOL


Good Hub

Nickny79 from New York, New York on September 18, 2009:

There are a lot of good insights here. I particularly agree with this item: "After all, on the first date a nice guy won't tell a woman she looks incredibly sexy even if he's thinking it; he won't make fun of the froufrou way she holds her cocktail glass; and he definitely won't put his hands on that sweet spot just above her waist when he kisses her goodnight."

I say something to that effect in some of my hubs.

Tom on September 10, 2009:

hey girls, so i read the girls dont like a fat stomach but prefer a nice 6 pack, what about if i have a six pack but its not too defined because of a little fat, but not so much that it will ahng like a spare tire

sultana657 from Dhaka on August 31, 2009:

thnks...i will follow ur hubs

Vincent Lionheart (author) from Ferenginar on August 27, 2009:

Thanks :)

Dating Advice on August 27, 2009:

Wow great article! I'm forwarding this advice to my man right now!!

Vincent Lionheart (author) from Ferenginar on August 23, 2009:

Thanks for the comment Nicole, I agree with what you said and I think it is a valid comment for women as well, but perfume replaces cologne in that case :)

Nicole A. Winter from Chicago, IL on August 23, 2009:

Hey, guys... while it's true that many women, (okay, almost all women,) get turned on by the "man scent" nothing beats: A. cleanliness, and B. not pouring the cologne on yourself. Just a quick tip, if you can smell yourself in the kitchen five minutes after being in there you're wearing too much cologne.

shamelabboush on August 13, 2009:

Well, this hub is a little similar to my hub, though yours is more detailed. I enjoyed it.

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