[This post is part of a series, inspired by the book Why Men Lie and Women Cry (2003) by Allan & Barbara Pease. Previous entry: Chapter Eight]
Chapter Ten: Men’s Sex Appeal Test
I don’t think you can actually learn very much about how attractive you are to others by answering a multiple choice quiz with only 17 questions in it, and only 3 options per question… but, for what it’s worth, I scored 77% on the Sex Appeal Scale (which is a lot higher than I expected, frankly).
Let the objectification (and self-flagellation) begin!
– Symmetrical / Athletic Body Shape, Broad Shoulders, Chest, Muscular Arms, Narrow Hips, Muscular Legs, Strong Nose and Chin,
“A man’s body symmetry is more important to a woman than his facial symmetry – which is why a championship boxer can still often attract beautiful women.” (p. 240) Um… yeah, that and the fact that he’s a championship boxer. Duh. Plus the fact that: “Top of the attraction list for women is a man with an athletic-looking, V-shaped body”, which signals “good health… and a man’s potential to successfully catch food and fight off enemies.” (p. 242) “The powerful, angular male legs are the longest of all primates and his narrow hips allow a man to run swiftly over long distances to chase and hunt.” (p. 248) ”The strong male nose, chin and brow evolved to give a man protection from blows to the face during fighting or hunting and have remained powerful badges of masculinity.” (p. 248)
Apparently all of that macho bullcrap still applies, even though you rarely have to fight to secure a safe supply of food these days… except at Christmas, of course. Fun fact: “The male chest also carries female feeding equipment – nipples and mammary glands. This is because the basic template for a human being is female in its structure and the nipples and mammary glands still remain even when the baby will be male.” And yet, growing up we were taught that the first human was male, and that the first woman was born of his body. Oops! Fun-but-slightly-creepy-fact: “There are thousands of recorded incidents of men being able to produce breast milk for feeding in circumstances of extreme deprivation”. (p. 243) I didn’t believe that when I first read it, but apparently it’s possible!
– Flat Belly
The book just puts this one down as evidence of good health and nutrition, which is fair enough… but weirdly it also claims that the fabled “six pack” is a scam dreamt up by “health clubs and gym equipment manufacturers”! (p. 249) The link between this fiendish conspiracy and the Lizard People has yet to be revealed…
Um… the explanation for this one is rather graphic. Basically, it has to do with how powerfully and nimbly a man can thrust his groin forward, in situations where a powerful and nimble thrust of the groin is considered desirable. I would note that the description in this section implies that the man will always be on top when thrusting occurs, which isn’t always the case…
– Large Penis
Oh dear, I can already sense that this blog is going to be getting a lot more hits soon… and consequently a lot of people are going to wind up being very disappointed when they get here! So, once again, I will try to avoid using graphic terminology by making fun substitutions instead! “The average male [umbrella] is 5.5 inches and most women’s [umbrella stand] is 3.5 inches long, with most of the sensitivity within the first 2 inches… the reality is that a man with a 3 inch [umbrella] can deliver a more accurate service… [and] hit the right spots.” (p. 250) There are also plenty other ways to stimulate a woman, without even using your “umbrella”… such as “polishing” her “coatrack”, for example… and these can often be far more effective and reliable.
– Sensual Mouth and Kind Eyes
Doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, but the general gist is that women look beyond facial features to “seek the emotion” they reveal. (p. 247) Incidentally, I saw a dating show once where they encouraged people who normally wear glasses to casually remove them at some point during a date (ostensibly to clean them or whatever), and then carry on the conversation with naked eyes a-gleaming. This helps to build more of a connection, I guess, without all that pesky plastic getting in the way. Obviously you have to put them back on before you try to find the toilets, or you’ll end up wandering off into a wacky Mr Magoo-style adventure! And, with all due respect, Mr. Magoo was not generally considered a hotty.
“Throughout history, hair has been considered a badge of raw masculine power”… although, according to the book’s statistics, only 50% of women place a high priority on a man having a full head of hair. Ironically, despite many men’s fear of going bald, it’s suggested that the very hormone which stunts the growth of their hair can also make them “more aggressive and hornier than their hairy-headed brothers, so baldness becomes a super-male signal… [which] stimulates many women”. (p. 246) So, there’s a slight kick in the teeth to me, with my shoulder-length locks. In the previous chapter about Female Sex Appeal, the authors dismissed men wearing their hair long as an occasional passing fad or fancy, which could never hope to divert mankind from the tidy short-back-and-sides that is our divinely-ordained destiny. Phooey!
– Three-day Beard
“The higher a man’s testosterone on a given day, the faster [facial hair] grows. Consequently the three-day beard serves as a strong visual badge of masculinity, used particularly to effect by men who might be seen by women as looking too boyish otherwise.” (p252) Whenever I see someone sporting that look, it always make me think of the commentary track for The Ben Stiller Show, where the much older and wiser cast were mocking their youthful fashion statements, and Janeane Garofalo joked that Stiller maintained his designer stubble with something she called “The Miami Device”. Tee hee. Personally, I have a full beard at present, because… well, I just feel my face looks weird without any hair on it, for some reason. Too generic, somehow. Back in the old-timey days, a big bushy beard was also seen as a sign of masculinity, wisdom and virility… nowadays the staff in shops just treat you like a tramp. :(
According to the book, the list of what women look for in a long term partner runs thus:
5. Good body
Which, if true, is vaguely encouraging news… until we hit the inevitable snag. You see, the authors leave “ambition” off the list, then promptly state that it’s actually one of the most important qualities after all: “Women are attracted to men who demonstrate they are moving forward and are keen to improve their position in life. Even the women who are self-sufficient and financially independent are attracted to men who stack up as a good protector and provider.” Dammit! Even worse, the chapter ends on a faux-inspirational note: “No longer are there reasons for a man not to have or do the things he wants in life – only excuses!” Double dammit! (p. 255)
Next entry: Chapter Twelve