The Surprising Things That Make You Sexier, According to Science
What makes you more attractive to the opposite sex? Is it your hair, your eyes, or your legs? Our physical attributes are usually the first thing we think of, but they’re definitely not the only features that attract one person to another. Humor, weirdness, and courage also rate high on the sexy meter, and we have the science to prove it.
Studies on heterosexual couples show that successful people or those with an altruistic personality trait have more sex and that women enjoy it more around the age of 45 and up (which is also good for their health), but what sparks that initial attraction? If you're intrigued to know what your potential partner is looking for, scroll down to see some of the surprisingly sexy qualities, according to science.
If you were to rate your most attractive features, the physical attributes probably spring to mind first, right? But what if you were told being funny is more desirable to the opposite sex? It might not feel like you’re being “sexy” at the time, but humor is incredibly endearing, and there are the scientific studies to back it up too. One field study proved women find funny men attractive because it’s a sign of intelligence, according to research. There’s good news for all the non-funny men out there too, which brings us to our next tip…
Are you someone who prefers to fit in, or do you like to be different and proud of your eccentricity? Well, according to an Australian study led by psychologist Matthew Hornsey from the University of Queensland, both men and women prefer “non-conformist romantic partners.” This research contradicts the “common belief that men prefer women who are submissive, modest, subdued, and agreeable.” So go ahead and march to the beat of your own drum, cause it’s damn sexy when you do.
So we know women find funny men more attractive, but according to a University of British Columbia study, they find “happy guys significantly less sexually attractive than swaggering or brooding men.” Apparently female participants rated images of smiling, happy men the least attractive and preferred those who looked “proud and powerful, or moody and ashamed.” Well, this certainly helps explains the universal allure of the “bad boy” and why women are drawn to the swooning James Deans and Edward Cullens of the world. But before you go and update your Tinder profile, it’s important to remember that this study is based on “first-impressions of sexual attraction to images of the opposite sex,” says Alec Beall, a UBC psychology graduate student and study co-author. “We were not asking participants if they thought these targets would make a good boyfriend or wife—we wanted their gut reactions on carnal, sexual attraction.”
Being courageous is having “the ability to do something that frightens” you and the willingness to confront uncertainty. This isn’t always easy, but this powerful emotion could make you sexier, too. Branding expert and USC professor Jeetendr Sehdev questioned 10,000 men and women from Asia to Australia on what makes someone sexy. The results, published in Glamour, found a whopping 75% of respondents think “courage matters more than confidence” because it “shows someone’s flaws in a positive light and makes them relatable.”
We already know heels ramp up your fashion appeal, but science says they make you sexier, too. According to a study in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior and published in Time, high heels increase a woman’s attractiveness. In three separate experiments, Nicolas Guéguen from the department of social behavior at the University of Bretagne dressed French women in the same black suits with a straight skirt and white shirt. The only difference was their shoes. The study found men were more receptive to women and willing to help them when said women were in high heels as opposed to flats. When one woman dropped her glove in the experiment, “95% of men chased after the women when they wore high heels to return the glove, compared to 62% of those who did when she wore flat shoes.”
Have you ever thought about telling your crush how you feel? It’s probably one of the hardest things to do, but if the person don’t know you’re interested, how will you ever get together? Well, it might be time to summon up the courage. As told to Nicholas Boothman and written in his How to Make Someone Fall in Love With You in 90 Minutes or Less, “The subjects’ expectation that the other person was going to like them had a huge effect. If you ask people about their experience of falling in love, over 90% will say that a major factor was discovering that the other person liked them.” So playing hard to get isn’t the way to play at all.
First dates are nerve-racking and, for the most part, fairly awkward for both parties. However, there is a way to make it a smoother experience and spark engaging conversation. According to Sam Gosling, author of Snoop, “Emotional, personal information exchange during first date conversation promotes powerful feelings of connection.” So share some of your secrets next time: You might just find yourself bonding beyond the dinner table.
Want to know more? Read our top reads on love and dating below.
What do you find attractive in a potential partner? Do you agree with any of these scientific findings?