Tag Archives: attraction

Physical attractiveness is just skin deep

I recently read a very interesting article by relationship expert Tracey Cox on why men prefer average women. It got me thinking.

It’s no secret that women often misunderstand what men look for in a women. Tracey Cox points that, in terms of long-term relationships, women think men are looking for beauty, youth, a perfect body, confidence and intelligence, when in actual fact men are looking for women with more important characteristics such as kindness, the ability to listen and being trustworthy, amongst others.

Physical attractiveness

“Study after study shows while men pay lip service to being hung up on physical attractiveness, once they interact with a woman in real life, they’re far more swayed by personality than they profess to be”, she writes.

Not that this is to say that physical attraction is not very important, because it is!  The point is really that when choosing a life partner, thankfully men don’t just judge a book by its cover; they are looking for a packaged deal.

Mr Teatart Hubbie is testimony to all of this.  He once explained to me that I am his “packaged deal”. In the past he apparently sought out women who were very athletic and not always the brightest, but he re-looked his selection criteria after several failed relationships and prioritised what was important to him.

English: Studio portrait photo of Betty Grable...

Voila! [Enter little ol’ me.] Whilst I am definitely curvier than his average ex-girlfriend and consider exercise a dirty word that immediately qualifies for a good mouth washing with soap, I have many other qualities that apparently constitute a “good catch”.  Note these are not my words (and hopefully not his attempt to simply score brownie points either).

My husband saw the whole picture, not just the outside appearance. As a person with a low self esteem and poor body image, this is truly an epiphany! With his help, I am slowly learning to love myself!  That means loving every blasted curve, those two skew teeth, the scars, the straight hair and the combination skin too!

I raise my wine glass in toast to all the men out there who look past the physical and see more.  There’s hope for all us “non-super model” women after all!

The smell of desire: fact or fiction?

Goose bumps provoked by a fresh breeze. Photo ...

“His very smell gives me goose bumps and turns my brain to mush.”

The topic of pheromones and how they affect physical attraction has interested me for a long time. For example, I once dated a guy whose hobbit-like body odour turned me on completely. For some reason I was intensely attracted to him even though it defied all logic. That’s what I’m talking about – pure primal attraction! The kind of attraction we sometimes don’t understand and often cannot rationalise.

Although some people aren’t as smell sensitive as others, “scientists have found repeatedly that the less a person smells like you (as far as natural body odours go), the more attractive – or rather, the less repulsive – you find their armpit aromas”. This is according to ‘Scientific American’ (Armpit Psychology: The science of body odour perception).

If I think of my husband, I confess that I find his scent in the morning intoxicating – I just want to drink him in. He actually admitted something along the same lines to me too. Every morning when I roll out of bed, he always moves over to my side of the bed. I initially thought it was because he prefers my pillow to his (which he does!). However, the real reason is that he apparently likes the scent I leave behind on my pillow.

In an article ‘Scent of a woman’, Rachel Herz Ph.D. says that “women rank how a man smells as the number one determinant for whether she’ll be sexually attracted to him. Moreover, what men each woman finds most sexy smelling varies widely and is tied to immune system genetics”.

She goes on to refer to research that shows how “naturally cycling women prefer the body-odour of men whose immune system genes are relatively different from their own”. It is seemingly nature’s process to help a woman select a male partner that she is compatible with in terms of fertility and reproduction. Why is this important you ask? Simply put: because it ensures the reproduction of genetically strong offspring.

Oral contraceptive

Note the research refers to “naturally cycling women” and not the over 100 million women worldwide who take the oral contraceptive pill. The pill alters a woman’s hormones and apparently this has an impact on the type of man she would be attracted to. Think about it: if a woman who is not on any hormone altering medication or treatments is drawn to a man who has a genetic composition different to hers, then wouldn’t it be correct to say that the opposite would be true of a woman who is on the contraceptive pill? Wouldn’t she then be attracted to a man who has a similar genetic profile to hers? This poses a further question: if by taking the birth control pill, are we not contributing to a genetically weak lineage?

The moral of the story for women: ditch the contraceptive pill when choosing a lifelong mate and rather revert to other methods of safe sex if you can’t abstain (wink wink).

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