The studies are in and this is how to win…
1. Wear Red
You don’t need to look like a clown, but wearing some red has a subtle subconscious effect on the opposite sex. A 2010 American Psychological Association paper entitled “Red, Rank, and Romance in Women Viewing Men” detailed the results of seven experiments that showed ladies perceived gents to “be more attractive and sexually desirable when seen on a red background and in red clothing”. The researches believe that in nature red is related to higher status and females have evolved to seek higher-status males as mates. The authors noted: “The influence of red appears to be specific to women’s romantic attraction to men. Red did not influence men’s perceptions of other men, nor did it influence women’s perceptions of men’s overall likability, agreeableness, or extraversion.” So don’t shy away from a red shirt when you’re going out, but don’t expect it to do all the work for you.
2. Have A Long Ring Finger
Check out your paws. Is your ring finger visibly longer than your index finger? If so: congrats—you’ve won the genetic lottery! Studies have shown there’s a link between what boffins call “digit ratio” and facial attractiveness. In fact, research has shown that having a long ring finger correlates to all sorts of success, including higher IQ, greater athletic ability, better career prospects, even a longer penis and less risk of heart attack. The reason? The longer your ring finger, the more testosterone you were exposed to in the womb. But scientists hasten to add guys with longer index fingers can be all those things too.
3. Stubble is Sexy
Despite the recent trend back towards chest hair, research shows women prefer men with less body hair, with boffins theorising females evolved to avoid hirsute chaps whose bodily tufts were more likely to conceal parasites. The major exception to this is stubble, which an Australian study demonstrated is a big hit with women, who associate it with masculinity and dominance. As for gents with clean-shaven and beardy faces? The research shows women find both attractive—but more often when they are scarcer. That means if you’re one of 10 hipsters with a Ned Kelly beard in the local cafe, chances are you’re just inducing yawns from that hot barista girl. Shave it off and watch her smile at you, you rare bird.
4. Be Taller
Scientists believe women’s preference for taller mates stretches back to our caveman days when height conferred an advantage in a fight. While taller is better, we’re not suggesting you go to one of those horrific Indian bone-stretching clinics that sound like something out of the Saw films. But you can accentuate your height by standing up straight, trying to lose a bit of weight to change the proportions of your body, wearing clothes with stripes to emphasise verticality and even choosing shoes with slightly taller heels without resorting to platform soles. Don’t despair if you’re still short because a Dutch study found what most women want is a man taller than they are.
5. Get Ripped
According to a UCLA study, men with more muscles have more sexual partners. Evolution has programmed women to find muscular men attractive because it’s an indicator of better genetics. The 2007 research found that compared with less muscular peers, young men who were more muscular than average were twice as likely to have had more than three sex partners in their lives and twice as likely to have had brief flings or one-night stands.
6. Speak Deeply & Move Slowly
Researchers from University College London found that women perceive a man with a deep voice to be larger and stronger physically. The good news is that with a bit of practice you can lower your voice by breathing more deeply and learning how to speak from your diaphragm. Same goes for consciously learning to move more slowly, which projects ease, confidence and mastery. A 2011 study suggests a “vigilant nonverbal style” – small gestures, slower movements and speech and backward-leaning posture – suggests a man who’s a little harder to get but worth pursuing. If you need a reminder of either of these, just think: Clint Eastwood.