There's no question that what will turn on a woman you're interested in can sometimes be a complicated riddle. At other times, what women want can be downright strange. However, recent research has shed some light on what drives attraction. Read on to find out more.
A Clean-Shaven Face
It's official: You may be a big fan of your beard (and ladies of yore used to be), but a clean-shaven face is what women want these days. In a recent study, women found bearded men less attractive and older-looking than their clean-shaven counterparts, researchers in New Zealand found. What's more, bearded men with an aggressive facial expression tended to look even more aggressive than those without a beard.
A Furled Brow
This turn-on might come as a surprise to guys, but not to female fans of romance novels with brooding heroes going all the way back to Heathcliff in the 19th century classic Wuthering Heights. Women even find images of men looking happy significantly less attractive than men with a prideful or shameful face, a recent study published in the journal Emotion concluded. "Many women may take a frown as a challenge to overcome, interpreting it as a primal sign of a man's disapproval and how she needs to improve her behavior," says Charles J. Orlando, a relationship expert and author of the best-selling relationship book series The Problem With Women … Is Men.
The Colour Red
Want to really give women the green light? You might need to add some colour to your wardrobe, specifically the colour red. In a series of seven experiments conducted at the University of Rochester and published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, women were more sexually attracted to men who were wearing red or were pictured against a red background. "It's an attention-getter," Orlando says. "Wearing red is the modern man's version of 'peacocking' to generate primally motivated interest from a potential mate."
The (Deep) Voice
A deep, husky voice is another turn-on for women. The most recent evidence of this comes from a study in the journal Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology that confirmed earlier research that a low voice is perceived as more dominant and strongly tied to success in finding a mate. "A deep voice is very sexy, particularly when it's early in the morning," says Gabriela Cora, MD, a psychiatrist and leadership consultant in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
A Healthy Immune System
Good men's health is another turn-on for women — though the effect might be subconscious. A study published in the journal Nature Communications found that women subconsciously pick up on the hormones in men that signal a healthy immune system, which makes them more sexually attractive. "There's no substitute for pheromones," Orlando says. "A woman will often know instinctively if a man is strong or weak."
A Show Of Hands
According to the rules of attraction, women find strong, skillful hands to be a real turn-on. "For many women, the way a man's hands move directly translates to his sexual prowess," Orlando says. "Is he smooth or clumsy? Strong or flimsy?" For this reason, Orlando suggests taking care of those hands so that they reflect men's health — you might even consider having a manicure every once in awhile.