This post is an attempt to explain a fundamental and long unanswered question: What it is that women find attractive in men? It is a clarification and expansion on a previous attempt to explain male-to-female attraction, known as The Five Vectors of Attraction. It will contain some sections lifted straight from that first attempt, although much of the content will be new or modified from what came earlier. I intend for this post to serve as a basic introduction to male attractiveness to those who are new to the Red Pill, as well as a consistent link source for those who wish to blog about female attraction to men. I will strive to update it over time as needed.
To begin with, it is important to understand that the attributes and features by which men determine if a woman is attractive are not the same as those which a woman uses to determine if a man is attractive.
The principle feature which men look for in women to determine attractiveness is easy enough to figure out: Beauty. Age factors into Beauty, as Beauty will diminish over time as age increase. Now, ideal Beauty can vary depending on culture, but there are still certain physical features in women that carry across most cultures: a feminine face with strong facial symmetry, large breasts, a low waist-to-hip ratio, smooth and unblemished skin, etc. Beauty is essentially a purely visual attribute, indeed well over 95% of that which men use to determine the attractiveness of a woman falls under visual Beauty. Therefore it is usually quite easy for a man to quickly gauge a woman’s attractiveness on the standard 1-10 scale. The remaining features which determine attractiveness include how the woman smells, what her voice sounds like, and what her body feels like to the touch.
Male attractiveness is much more complicated. While visual features do play a part, and other physical features have their role as well, there are other things which can make a man attractive to women. It is well established throughout history that money is something which women find attractive in men, along with that undefinable characteristic known as charisma, and women have long been known to be drawn to men of high station. When all of this is analyzed in the context of female behavior like hypergamy, it is possible to discern the triggers for male attractiveness to women, and categorize them based on their nature. There are three principal categories under which male attractiveness is analyzed: Appearance, Personality, and Externalities, or APE for short. Under these three categories are five more specific subcategories which contain the sets of attributes which determine male attractiveness: Looks, Athleticism, Money, Power, and Status, or LAMPS for short.
They are organized in this fashion:
Appearance | Personality | Externalities
Looks | Power | Money
Athleticism | | Status
This category includes those features of a man which are of his outward appearance. It does not include any behaviors or mannerisms, just what the physical senses could determine of the man in a snapshot. Outside of the two main sub-categories, Looks and Athleticism, the other senses would factor in here. This includes the man’s voice, his smells, as well as the feel of his body.
Looks- This includes physical attractiveness, such as facial symmetry and strong masculine features in a man’s face. It can also include healthy skin, healthy and good looking hair, and other external features. Youthfulness is featured here as well, but it is valued far less by women than men, probably because age doesn’t impact male fertility as much as it affects female fertility. Height is included in this sub-category, and is perhaps the single most important aspect of a man’s Looks. As a general rule those aspects of a man’s Appearance which cannot be modified without resorting to surgical procedure fall under Looks; cosmetics allow for temporary attempts to modify Looks.
Athleticism– Here we have the overall physical attributes of a man. His strength, muscle tone, endurance, dexterity and general athletic ability. Weight falls under this sub-category, because it is largely something a man can have a measure of control over. As a general rule, if a man can control an aspect of his Appearance through training, dieting and physical (or mental) effort, it falls under Athleticism.
This category includes all of a man’s behaviors and attitudes, his quirks and unique mannerism. It is an entirely internal category, as it manifests itself only by the actions of the man in question.
Power– This subcategory is a short-hand for Masculine Power, or Masculinity. Although in some respects masculinity is power when it comes to attraction and relationships. As an attribute, Power includes a lot of traits, behaviors and mannerism which are commonly labeled “Alpha” or “Alpha traits” on Game sites. Aspects of a man’s personality such as confidence, assertiveness, self-mastery, dominance, a commanding presence, poise and posture would fall under the Power sub-category. It it important to understand that the power one has from any position of authority doesn’t fall under Power; rather that falls under Status. Power is entirely personal to the man; it is based on his own unique characteristics and charisma. As a general rule, Power cannot be measured except by observing the man in action.
This category includes those features of a man which are not connected to him directly. In essence Externalities includes anything which is outside of the man’s body which might serve to make him attractive to women.
Money– This sub-category includes a measurement of both the amount of resources that a man can call upon in the present, as well as what he might be able to make or create in the future. This doesn’t necessarily mean just money; real property and other assets can be included as well. Essentially, it includes all resources which belong to the men.
Status– This sub-category includes the social position of the man and is principally based on where he is on the social ladder. It includes how well respected he is by those around him, whether they are above him or below him in station. Any authority that a man can exercise in the community based on his position would fall under Status. Think Big Fish or Small Fish; the bigger the fish, the more attractive a man is. To sum Status up, it is based not on anything inherent to the man, but rather his general position in society relative to all other men (and women).
There is no universal female measure of what makes a man attractive. Some women are more attracted to one attribute over the other, just as men are attracted to different women in varying degrees. Each woman has her own set of preferences, so there is no single standard. As a mental exercise, one can view these as a point system, where a man has a certain value from 1 through 10 in each LAMPS subcategory. Then they are added together some sort of weighted average is applied. Theoretically, as long as you have enough in certain areas, it can make up for deficiencies in others. However, based on personal observations, anecdotes and the vast amount of empirical research provided by the PUA community, it is clear that certain attributes/subcategories tend to be more important than others for most women. In general the (not universal) order of importance:
1) Power- Clearly the most important set of attributes, well above the others. Charisma is king.
2) Status- Also extremely important, plays a significant role in interacting with female hypergamy.
3) Athleticism- Of middling importance, perhaps because resources are plentiful, but still something which women like in men.
4) Looks- With the exception of height, this set of attributes provides little bang for your buck; it might get you initial attention but won’t keep it for you.
5) Money- Great wealth is required for this attribute to be meaningful, likely a product of a resource-rich culture where women can easily provide for themselves.
Unfortunately, there is no easy way to measure values for the LAMPS attributes. Whereas it is relatively easy to discern a woman’s Sexual Market Value, the same cannot be said for men, in large part because most of these attributes are extremely subjective.
As far as how to use these terms, APE can serve as a quick way of referencing the different categories of attributes which women use to judge male attractiveness. LAMPS, however, serves as a better reference point because it breaks those attributes into more manageable categories which also allows for them to be more easily arranged in order of importance. Any blogger who wishes to use this system however they like is free to do so, although I do ask for a link back to this post.