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What Makes a Man Attractive: How to Attract a Woman

Rider_tiger is a university professor who hopes to leave a legacy of significant, useful information.

This article will offer guidance on how to attract—and hold down—a woman.

This article will offer guidance on how to attract—and hold down—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. Similarly, 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.

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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.

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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.

"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."

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.

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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.
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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.

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