What do Women Find Attractive in Men?

[This is a duplicate of a post found here]

PROLOGUE

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.

INTRODUCTION

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 him 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

APPEARANCE

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.

PERSONALITY

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.

EXTERNALITIES

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).

RELEVANCE

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.

CONCLUSION

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.

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27 responses to “What do Women Find Attractive in Men?

  1. Gabriella

    I thought this was a Christian site??? This is all wrong!!! That is what the world encourages men and women to find attractive, but it’s not true, except for with shallow robot people, sorry for the bluntness

  2. Gabriella, this is indeed a Christian site. And if it is wrong, please do demonstrate. Everything I have mentioned here is based on empirical observation, not on what I think the world should be like.

    Attraction is biological, pure and simple. It is part of our base nature as human beings. That means it is universal, the same for all men and all women. Whether we are Christian, or not. Just because someone professes Christ doesn’t mean that their brain suddenly changes and they start finding different things attractive. Sorry, but that doesn’t happen.

    The difference between Christians and non-Christians isn’t our instincts and impulses, but how we react to them. A Christian reins in his or her impulses, and subjects them to Christian teaching, whereas a non-Christian does whatever they want.

  3. feeriker

    That is what the world encourages men and women to find attractive, but it’s not true, except for with shallow robot people,

    To add to Donal’s response:

    Unfortunately, as many of us can attest through direct personal experience, the human contents of churches tend to be not greatly at variance with the secular world as we would like to believe (the fact that “only” 38 percent of self-described Christians divorce in comparison to their secular counterparts [the Christian divorce rate should be ZERO percent or close to it] is a major symptom of the problem). For this reason an understanding of natural attraction triggers between the sexes is all the more essential for 1) “demystifying,” (or at the very least “de-obfuscating”) something not often examined, especially not in a Christian context, and 2) to understand how Scripture can be applied to both making the best of what nature has given us in helping us find a mate, as well as calling on God’s help in not letting biology/emotion overcome God’s guidance.

    Simply stated, the fact that nature plays a dominant role in intersexual attraction doesn’t make it inherently ungodly. If it was, would God have made it a part our being in the first place?

  4. Gabriella

    “Attraction is biological, pure and simple. It is part of our base nature as human beings. That means it is universal, the same for all men and all women. Whether we are Christian, or not. Just because someone professes Christ doesn’t mean that their brain suddenly changes and they start finding different things attractive. Sorry, but that doesn’t happen.”

    Base nature… Oh, the sin nature… And actually when you become saved you become a new creation and yes, your brain changes! We are suppose to continually have our mind renewed and be conformed into the image of Christ. In my experience, after becoming a full out Christian (I was brought up in a Christian home) by brain did suddenly change and I certainly found different things attractive so there goes your “it doesn’t happen” it happens all the time! I grew taste for things like humility, godliness and love for God, the depth of love he exhibits and truthfulness, basically, how much is this guy like Jesus was the question? Power, status, money, athleticism, all inconsequential, although I’d prefer someone healthy, active and lively. The more on fire for God a man was the more attractive and desirable he was or if he had excellent godly character and loved the Lord. I think most women, except for those brainwashed by the ways of this world, are naturally attracted to character. Before being completely committed to God I found very attractive similar qualities, but not so concentrated as I didn’t fully know myself yet. I found intelligence very attractive along with being cool, calm and collected and having good morals along with being tall and having deep detailed eyes. So yeah… you’re list totally didn’t work for me neither before nor after my encounter with Christ, none of those things were on my list, although I did have to find the guy reasonably good looking but that was after he passed the other criteria. Mind you, my first boyfriend is now my fiance because I was considered picky. However I know a lot of Christians and non-Christians who would also disagree with your list. And you made men especially seem shallow, how is it then that so many men fall in love with not so attractive women and completely overlook some of the purely physical things you mentioned? You’re too “educated”. I bet you believe in Darwinian theory.

  5. @ gabriella

    I don’t have time for an in depth reply right now, but you might find this an interesting read. It explains the biblical basis for what I’m talking about:

    http://deepstrength.wordpress.com/2014/06/15/a-christian-understanding-of-attraction/

  6. Gabriella

    It’s okay donalgraeme, sorry if I seem to be attacking you, it just doesn’t sit well with me. People can only speak from their own experience usually so I understand that’s how you think. Sorry about my last two comments they weren’t very graceful. We’re just from two very different streams. I noticed though you’re Catholic, right? People normally consider Catholics and Christians the same, by technical grouping and educational opinion yes, but usually we’re quite different, although there’s a good number of Catholics closer to what I’d be considered. Even all the different groupings of Christians are quite different. I’d probably be labeled as a “born-again believer” or “Spirit-filled Christian”, there are Catholics like that too though.

  7. Gabriella, apology accepted. We all have our off days, so no harm done.

    You are correct that there are a goodly number of differences between Catholicism and Born-Again Christianity. Having had friends who were born-again (although I would argue not any longer, but that is another story), I am familiar with a number of them. However, I don’t think that this is an area where Catholics and born-again types are greatly different.

    it just doesn’t sit well with me.

    Good. And I don’t mean that to insult you by that, or wish you ill. Far from it. Rather, it is good that I have made you uneasy with this. You see, I once thought much as you did. I believed that Christians and non-Christians really were different- in much the same ways you described. Then I was forced to confront what was really going on. I looked around me and saw that some pretty disreputable types were making accurate (and disturbing) observations and assertions about men and women. And they applied to pretty much all men and women, whether or not they were Christian. Devotion didn’t make a difference either.

    So what I did is look at everyone I knew, Christian and non-Christian, and tried to break down what it was that drove attraction. Keep in mind that when I use the word attraction, I am talking about sexual attraction. Not what might be called “character attraction.” What I found is that sexual attraction components are universal- being Christian or not doesn’t change that. Which makes perfect sense, as it is tied to core biology.

    I think that I will stop now because I want to write a new post to reply in depth to your earlier comments. That link I mentioned earlier explains some of why God set things up as he did. But I think a further explanation is necessary, to really make it clear what is going on. Hopefully I should have it up next week.

  8. This is a thorough piece of work that has even sub-divided areas I have never stretched to. I wouldn’t disagree too much with the order of female priorities too, although in general terms – for long term selection – I would have placed money above looks.

    The below post will take on an intricate different angle that is relevant to this post:

    http://www.vinaywcmd.com/2014/02/female-and-male-partner-selection.html

  9. Vi Nay,

    Thanks. I disagree about money being higher for two reasons: 1) Women are generally not so great at long term planning, and so tend to not think ahead like that. 2) the general affluence and comfort of modern western civ means that they don’t need to worry about their material needs nearly so much as they had to in the past, and so it has receded in importance.

    Thanks for the link to your post btw, I liked it.

  10. Gabriella

    but I am a woman and this doesn’t apply to me… So should you believe the studies of a man or a real live Christian woman who happens to be engaged and didn’t follow through with this theology??

  11. Well, Gabriella is probably gone. But I’m going to make this post anyway.

    Donal, what I would have discussed is the difference between attraction and desire. Women typically get these confused because they don’t know what they find attractive, and thus they associate what they find desirable with what they find attractive. Yes, we’ve gone over this many times before.

    For example, if being a Christian was considered attractive then all women — Christian and non-Christian — would be attracted to all Christian men. This is obviously empiracally false.

    What Gabriella describes is such traits that she finds desirable:

    In my experience, after becoming a full out Christian (I was brought up in a Christian home) by brain did suddenly change and I certainly found different things attractive so there goes your “it doesn’t happen” it happens all the time! I grew taste for things like humility, godliness and love for God, the depth of love he exhibits and truthfulness, basically, how much is this guy like Jesus was the question?

    Let’s be clear. Many Christian men have these traits. Except not all of these Christian men are attractive.

    I’m not going to say that these traits cannot be attractive. In some instances they are attractive. For example, a man willing to stand up to a woman in order to oppose her if she is off track in terms of a theological point or sinning is going to be attractive to a man because he will display to her that he is dominant and can be respect. Not because he is telling the truth. Discussing the truth is merely a byproduct of a man who has set God before women.

    On the other hand, a Christian man who tells a Christian pretty woman she is pretty is telling the truth. But that does not make a Christian man attractive to that Christian woman. Indeed, it may repulse her if the man says it in such a way that he is setting her up on a pedestal or thinks she is too good for him.

    Attraction and desire are two separate things. However, attraction and desire can overlap in certain circumstances. However, the majority of the time women talk about what is attractive to them they are telling you what they find desirable. Occasionally, you will get a woman who is knowledgable of what she finds attractive: confidence, knows-what-he-wants, looks, his talents, etc. I find this to be rare though.

    To men: the list in Donal’s OP is true. Don’t listen to women about what they find attractive. They’re mostly wrong.

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  13. John Nesteutes

    A bigger question is if men should care.

    Women find a man killing on her behalf attractive, but I won’t commit murder.

  14. A bigger question is if men should care.

    John, are you new to this part of the web? If so, you should understand that men, at least unmarried Christian men who want to marry, should most definitely care.

  15. Gabriella

    Okayyy, I was gone DS, but this went to my email and I saw my name in the preview and your post just HAD to be commented on. In case you weren’t aware deepstrength, Christians and non-Christians alike, don’t find arrogance and obstinance attractive in a man unless they have abuse issues, which you often find, and only after time goes by do they realize what is truly being displayed. However, the more worldly or carnal a person is, the more susceptible and inclined they are to be drawn to sinful or ungodly attitudes, mindsets and behaviors.
    In all honesty DS, you don’t seem to know what true confidence is. People can foolishly be attracted to or confuse worldly “confidence” with true confidence. I always hated pride that was aired as “confidence” because I could see it for what it was. I think a lot of people don’t understand sometimes the true nature of a quality they think they’re observing or qualities that they seem to be drawn to. But as for confidence, true confidence can only be rooted in truth. It can only be found in Christ and is very different from what most people think confidence is, most people barely ever witness true confidence. What most people think is confidence and what is usually displayed, is extreme pride caused by deep rooted insecurity due to lack of identity. And honestly, no offense, the majority of the male population has serious problems here (not that females don’t too). Ego/pride is completely repulsive and unbearable, the most unattractive trait ever.
    True confidence is knowing who you are in Christ, as our identities are hid in Him. A person only comes to true knowledge of themselves and thus security rather than insecurity by first knowing God . Every person has a deep longing to know, “Who am I” and someone who seems to know “the way” or the answers, makes for a good partner. The two major signals of confidence is a lack of fear and insecurity. Fearlessness and self assuredy are attractive for many reasons but fundamentally it is because it makes the person seem to possess the ability to love, as love is the absence of fear, an insecure person is self focused and unstable. Insecurity is driven by fear by not knowing God’s true character and who you are in Him, it’s a lack of identity. So you want someone who is secure and has a sense of self, this person has something to offer or bring to a relationship. They can give of themselves by being themselves. That’s the key. Someone who is insecure is unable to exhibit love and affection to others as they’re always worrying about themselves and are self-focused even when they seem to be doing acts of kindness, as their true underlying motive is self serving. They subconsciously “serve” or do nice things for others so they will like them and not feel rejected and possibly get something in return ect. So a guy who tells a girl she’s pretty can be either repulsive or attractive based on his intent. Usually if it’s a pedestal thing the guy is deathly insecure and thinks very little of himself so that is why pedestals don’t work. But if he just felt like sincerely, without selfish motive kindly and respectfully acknowledged “wow, you’re pretty” the girl would be flattered. You can feel the difference between a creep, an insecure people-pleaser and a truly nice guy.
    An insecure person also doesn’t make a good life partner because they’re uncapable of facing the challenges of life well. Confidence/faith again is the absence of fear, perfect love casts out fear, so someone who has a revelation of God’s love for them and knows God intimately will walk with this kind of confidence because they trust God and are not afraid. Therefore, they’re not trying too hard to control their life (or the people in them) and that is attractive because people were designed to be loved and therefore, find the qualities of God’s love attractive. Sometimes people who haven’t undergone transformation are attracted to the counterfeit or unsanctified qualities of a good partner. For instance a man who “knows-what-he-wants” can be found attractive because we were created to be creatures of purpose with destinies. Such a person knows who they are clearly which gives them and their partner a sense of direction and purpose and brings a greater sense of security. Someone with vision is hence attractive because everyone is longing for purpose ect.
    Also, truth be told, not many Christian men have those traits I listed. You said many non-attractive Christian men have those traits and that’s where you’re wrong. It seems you lack discernment and judgement. Exhibiting a characteristic or trying to practice it every so often doesn’t mean it’s really part of you. So I’d have to say, barely any men truly have such character. And being “Christian”, does not make you godly or Christ-like. It’s truly rare to find a Christian man who walks in a substantial depths of humility, purity and love ect. It’s clear to me that you operate primarily out of a carnal mind and have failed to renew your mind casting down thought patterns and reasonings that are of this world as your logic is based world views. It’s no wonder you’re single DS… I mean I was in utter unbelief when I read “Don’t listen to women about what they find attractive. They’re mostly wrong.” How prideful and foolish and deceived are you???? Please objectively reflect on your words. Like I can believe you could say something like that and not say ‘Hey, this is a ridiculous statement, let me rethink this’. You can never truly love someone that you don’t consider an equal or “as yourself”. One of the main issues of relationships… and one problem you obviously have. You think women want to be dominated and corrected from some pretentious jerk? No, a wise man who can humbly bring my errors to my attention can catch my eye because he is not afraid to be honest and can help me grow in life where a man pleaser isn’t showing me true love but hurting me in the long run. I dont need a butt kiss I need someone who will sharpen me. That’s a true partner. But a man who thinks I can’t be taken seriously and that he know more about me and my sex than I do because I’m an inferior silly woman is completely abhorrent. =you sadly.. Good luck finding a wife…

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  17. “You can never truly love someone that you don’t consider an equal or “as yourself”. One of the main issues of relationships… and one problem you obviously have. You think women want to be dominated and corrected from some pretentious jerk? No, a wise man who can humbly bring my errors to my attention can catch my eye because he is not afraid to be honest and can help me grow in life where a man pleaser isn’t showing me true love but hurting me in the long run. I dont need a butt kiss I need someone who will sharpen me. That’s a true partner.”

    “Consider an equal”

    “help me grow in life”

    “True partner”

    I think that’s your main problem right there. You aren’t seeking a husband in the biblical sense, one to whom you submit as your husband submits to Christ. You are seeking an “equal”, a “partner”.

    A Christian man doesn’t want a “partner”. His friends and business associates are “partners”. He wants a wife. “Partner” and “equal” suggests a business relationship, a financial arrangement, a “division of labor” mentality. You’re not forming a business, you’re forming a marriage. You’re not trying to find a good technician; you’re seeking a man who loves you. You don’t want a buddy or friend; you want a HUSBAND.

    Or do you?

  18. Donal, The man I am in love with has most of these traits. Money.. not so much but I guess that is cancelled out because he is a Lawyer and could be rich if he hadn’t wasted money in the past.
    My observation and one I HOPE you can address is really on my mind.
    NOT until this man walked up to me and into my life did I ever realize these characteristics were so attractive to me.
    But, as soon as he did I was mesmerized.

    I am wondering why, before, in my 59 years I have never seen this as attractive until it was put in my face.
    I am wondering if it is because he showed interest in me first and this made him attractive.
    This is all so very interesting! Thank you so much.

  19. @ Maggie

    It may be that you have become more perceptive or self-reflective lately. Sometimes experience or the worldly cynicism that comes with age can lift the curtain of fairytale romance that is often cast over us when we are young.

    I am wondering if it is because he showed interest in me first and this made him attractive.

    Possibly. It may be that he was so overt in his display of masculinity that you were really able to appreciate it for the first time.

    This model of mine works on a general level well, but there are always case specific differences that can be hard to nail down. And I’m glad you enjoyed it.

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  22. Andrew

    Donal,

    I’ve noticed the two-axis High Alpha/High Beta ideal recently, which has gotten me thinking, why am I not seeing two axes or a continuum for female attraction and retention?

    Andrew

  23. Andrew, let me see if I understand you right:

    You are asking why I haven’t made a chart where one axis represents how attractive a woman is to men, and another axis represents her suitability to investment (i.e., worth retaining)?

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  27. @ Tom

    Go take offense elsewhere.

    It is clear from the context of that quote I was talking to a Christian, and thus wasn’t making any kind of statement about, or attack on, non-Christians.

    [Edit: This was in response to a Troll’s comment which I have since deleted. They make it easy for you when they contradict themselves within two comments.]

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