Going APE- What Attributes do Women Find Attractive in Men? Looks, Athleticism, Money, Power and Status (LAMPS)


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.


Filed under Alpha, Beta, LAMPS, Red Pill, Women

42 responses to “Going APE- What Attributes do Women Find Attractive in Men? Looks, Athleticism, Money, Power and Status (LAMPS)

  1. I’m a woman…and this just confuses me. Trying to break down how women find certain men attractive is just too complicated…haha

  2. Your confusion is not unique. One of the arguments I made a while back is that the various things women look for in men are so complicated and diverse that women can’t really explain it. “I just know it” is a common response.

    For us guys its pretty simple. And to be honest, this guide is mostly aimed at guys, so they can understand what they need to work on to become more attractive to women.

  3. “I just know it” is a common response.

    >>I was just saying out loud how true this was!

    For us guys its pretty simple. And to be honest, this guide is mostly aimed at guys, so they can understand what they need to work on to become more attractive to women.

    >>Oops! Sorry for intruding!

  4. You weren’t intruding. If I wanted to keep this a male only post I would have a picture saying “No girls allowed!”

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  6. proverbs31

    I’m a woman & I understand this completely. I’ve never really talked to a guy who was concerned about what kind of job I had, or if I had my own place. I agree that besides a woman having a love for Jesus, single Christian men are attracted to a beautiful looking woman. The part about a man’s physique being attractive is very true. I went for a coffee date with a man 2 days ago & although his Godliness was attractive, I was a little distracted by his manly physical features. I noticed the defined tone of his muscles with every stretch & move that he made. His jaw muscle even flexed a little while he was nervously speaking with me. I also had to say a prayer for pure thoughts because he was over 6 ft tall (I’m 5’10”) & had beautiful blue eyes.

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  16. I just realized that three of the LAMPS are directly tied to testosterone levels.

    Looks: men with high T levels tend to have an overall hard, masculine look. Conversely, men with low T levels tend to have a more soft, effeminate look.

    Athleticism: duh. There’s a reason athletes take steroids to increase their T level. Greater T levels result in greater athletic prowess.

    Power: Aggression, physical power, and even confidence are tied to T levels.

    Amy Cuddy’s research has show that people in positions of leadership as well as people with higher levels of self confidence have higher T levels. Whether the chicken or egg came first on this one is unclear.

    I’m not advocating steroids, but it would be interesting to see if a mans LAMPS appeal could be increased by something as simple as increasing his T level.

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  18. This is an interesting overview. I’m always curious to know where people feel that money falls, as I think that it is actually higher on the list than it’s given credit for. It’s not just cash and assets on hand, but rather, a man’s overall ability to provide a comfortable existence. (What a woman considers comfortable will likely depend on her own class background.) I’d have to think about it more, but I find that when it comes to thinking about whether a man would be a good marriage prospect, that his financial stability and resourcefulness (which may include education and career status) are fundamental to most women. The significance of power and status combined might serve as a proxy for this.

    I might even go so far as to say that what a woman’s looks are to a man, a man’s financial stability/resourcefulness are to a woman.

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  22. Carl

    In my experience, looks should be #1 on the list. As a general rule, good-looking people pair up with good-looking people. I almost never see a physically unattractive man with an attractive woman, no matter how much charisma or status he might possess (there are exceptions and extreme cases, such as billionaires, but even really ugly billionaires rarely have the most attractive women). Also – and I know this is all only anecdotal – I have found that height is a much, much less important factor than facial aesthetics or even physique when it comes to physical attraction. The only time a man’s height becomes seriously detrimental to him is when he is shorter than 5’7″ or over 6’6″. The best looking women that I have seen are almost always with men who are between 5’8″ and 6’1″, which, not coincidentally, is considered the healthiest height range for men. Men over 6’2″ tend to develop cardiovascular problems, and men under 5’7″ have similar issues for different reasons. A study conducted during the 1970’s found that, while women swore up and down that they preferred taller than average men, when they were put to the test they actually rated the average height men as most attractive. This makes the most sense from an evolutionary perspective. Average is average for a reason. A good looking guy at 5’10” is going to get ogled by women. A plain looking guy at 6’4″ isn’t. He just isn’t. Also, in my experience, personal chemistry with another person is the most powerful attractant. I personally have been far more attracted to a mildly pretty girl with whom I shared amazing chemistry than to a beautiful one with whom I shared little. I’m not at all saying the other things you listed are not a factor, they surely are, and women look for those things in men, but I think your order of importance is a little off. I’ve found that most proponents of The Game tend to be less than stellar looking guys who feel that some magic formula with get them with the most beautiful women. This may work in some cases, but with respect to normal, psychological healthy people, if a dude is pleasant to be around, but still decidedly masculine in his appearance and behavior, he should have no trouble acquiring a woman on the same physical attractiveness level as himself. A man doesn’t have to be a stereotypical alpha to be attractive to women, but he does have to be unquestionably masculine. Human social interaction is so much more complex than alpha or beta labeling – heck, I can be alpha one day and beta the next, or alpha in one social context and beta in another. My advice to most guys (and gals) is to be confident in your approach to life and other people, and to obey the Lord as best you can. Everything else tends to fall into place, just as it has for most of human history.

  23. @ Carl,

    I removed your earlier comment and am leaving this one up instead. This post is a better place for it.

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  35. This is generally a good take on how women evaluate a man’s attractiveness. One of the better overviews on the topic written by a man. There is only one aspect I would disagree on, and that is the order of importance of each trait. I find that for most women (whether they admit it or not), the order would actually be like this: 1) Power, 2) Status, 3) Money, 4) Looks, 5) Athleticism. The average woman cares the least about the athleticism of a man – that is why it is not really conducive to improving your “game” or attractiveness only by going to the gym. (As I have written about here: https://msmodernalpha.wordpress.com/2016/04/21/the-10-point-attractiveness-scale/ ) What works for a woman in the attractiveness game, does not work the same for a man. At last, I would like you to have a look at the 10-point scale of Attractiveness for Men I have recently come up with. (https://msmodernalpha.wordpress.com/2016/04/30/the-10-point-attractiveness-scale-male-examples/ )Maybe you could get something out of it. 🙂

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  42. “discern a woman’s Sexual Market Value”

    No, it is not. Looks alone is not as important as intelligence, temper and other traits. Proverbs even teaches this. The Bible teaches it is best not to marry anyway, a direct quote from Vox Day.

    I’d rather recommend F. Roger Devlin or Andy Nowicki for a more realistic take on this. Both men and women don’t often know what they want, both are shallow in their tastes and what attracts them is often disgusting.

    Further, and this is a point often attacked, sex is only part of a fallen world, for in heaven there will be no marriage. This is a topic F. Roger Devlin most likely will never get, but for this, Nowicki gets it all the more. And his writing on anti-sex is, so far, nowhere else to be found among contemporary writers — especially Christians (he is Catholic).

    I myself expressed similar views some time ago, for I share his anti-sex views just as strongly. See “No Sex in Garden Eden”:


    One reason I am not yet baptized is the fact that all Churches, including “Alt-Right” ones, carry way too much theological baggage. I guess the Christian has to go alone today, there is little I have in common with Thomists, for example.

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