She sat by herself at the bar of the restaurant. Her only company was a book. I sidled up near her, two stools apart, maybe three, as casual as I could muster. I would quote what I said, but my attempt at a joke sputtered out of me so poorly that I’m not even sure it made sense. She looked up at me and there was a moment of silence between us so awkward, you could have stabbed me in the groin and I wouldn’t have noticed.
Her face quickly went from confusion to disgust. My mind raced for some sort of recovery. Some sort of new, more clever joke to make up for my failed attempt at my original, semi-clever joke. Nothing came.
In the past, I sulked away in this situation having embarrassed myself again. But this time something in me snapped — or not snapped, but rather, something resigned itself. I sighed and said, “I’m sorry, I was trying to be clever. I just wanted to say hi.”
The air eased between us a bit. Her disgust faded and she gave me kind of a friendly grin, “It’s OK. It was a nice try… I guess.”
I laughed, “No it wasn’t.”
She laughed and I sat down next to her.
There’s a lot of advice on attracting women out there. And what most of it misses is that attraction, seduction, intimacy, sex, whatever you want to call it — is an emotional process, not a physical or social one. You can say the “wrong” things and still attract a woman. You can say all of the “right” things and repel her. What matters is the intention, the motivation, the authenticity. To improve your dating life, you must improve your emotional life — how you feel about yourself and others, how you express yourself to others, etc.
It’s not about learning lines or routines or dressing up a certain way. It’s about unmasking the unique and attractive man within yourself and joyfully expressing it to the women of the world.
That may sound vague, but it has very real repercussions on your interactions with women.
People choose who they’re going to be with based on how they feel around that person. For us men, it’s often quite simple. A beautiful woman makes us feel aroused, so we pursue sex with her. If we feel cared for, respected and admired by her, we pursue a relationship with her.
But women experience sexuality differently than we do, so it can be a bit more complicated and hard for us to decipher what makes them feel attracted to us. But the principle remains the same. Women go with men who make them feel a certain way. There are a number of ways to elicit emotion in a woman, and the way in which you go about eliciting that emotion will determine the quality and quantity (or lack thereof) of the relationships you have with women.
What’s I’m saying is this: you’ll find a lot of varying advice out there on how to attract women — some will say to tease them, some will say to be selfish and rude around them, some will say to buy them gifts, others will say to be cold and calculating — whichever of these avenues you choose to pursue with women, that is the corresponding relationship you’ll create.
If you choose to be cold, calculating and manipulative with women, you will naturally screen for women who will create a cold, calculating and manipulative relationship with you. If you pursue women with a neediness and an idealization of them, then you will attract equally naive and insecure women who will create a relationship of neediness and false idolization. If you pursue women in a rude and harsh manner, you will attract women who respond to harsh emotions and elicit harsh emotions themselves.
I encourage men to pursue women with honesty and authenticity because this screens for women who are honest, authentic and conscientious themselves, making for far better relationships.
The other reason I encourage men to pursue women with authenticity is that communicating your sexuality with women openly forces you to become a confident and integrated man. In the short-term, this can be more painful and difficult. But in the long run, this reduces emotional neediness and molds you into a bold and confident man who draws women to him like a magnet.
A Man of Status
It is important to mention that there is not yet any consensus on what attracts women to men. Science has found dozens of factors, some major, some minor, but there is no overarching model that is agreed upon by everyone. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying to you.
Many of these traits which determine attraction are completely out of our control: genetic make-up, physical features, testosterone levels, social perceptions, where a woman is on her ovulation cycle, etc. We can’t control these so there’s little reason to worry about them.
And then there are the traits which ARE within our control: our lifestyle choices, our occupation, how we dress and groom ourselves, our health and fitness, our confidence, our lack of neediness, and our behavior.
This is a lot to juggle around. So it helps to find some underlying principles to attraction, a common denominator of all attractive behaviors and qualities (or at least most of them).
And research shows that the largest common denominator when studying what attracts women to men is that men who are perceived to be of higher status around women tend to attract them more often.
It’s no surprise then that status gets mentioned the most often in dating advice and pick up material. It’s ubiquitous, and yet there are a number of interpretations of what actually constitutes status. There’s outward status (money, resources, nice clothes) and behavioral displays of status (confidence, dominance, leadership). There are arguments on both sides of which drives which: does having money and prestige lead to confidence and leadership? Or does being a confident leader create wealth and prestige?
My personal belief is the latter. And not only is there some research supporting that women are attracted to potential status as much as they are attracted to status itself, but I feel like I have a fair amount of experience in this area. For a period of time toward the end of college and the first two years afterward, I was dead broke, living on my friend’s couch for a period of time, unemployed (usually) and still going out and partying quite a bit. This didn’t slow me down. In fact, I attracted a significant number of older women who took me under their wing and wanted to support me during this period until I got on my feet.
I believe that status in a male is determined by his behavior. Outward displays of status can create opportunities (cars, money, nice clothes), but don’t create lasting attraction themselves. They are the effects of high status behavior, not the causes.
Sexual attraction from women is determined by status, status is determined by behavior, and what determines whether a man has attractive behavior or not is his perception of himself relative to those around him, particularly women. I refer to this concept as neediness and believe the degree of a man’s neediness around women will determine how attractive or unattractive his behavior around them will be.
For instance, a needy man may come up with really clever jokes and have a great job, but he will use them to impress her and get validation from her — needy behaviors — and will therefore be perceived to be unattractive. Whereas a non-needy man may talk about silly conversation topics, openly admit that he’s between jobs, but get very excited and passionate about his rock climbing hobby. Believe it or not, this man will be seen as attractive because his behaviors will be genuine, authentic, and non-needy. The reason is he’s basing his behavior around her on his perception of himself and not her perception of him.
The needy man, despite having a nice job and clever things to say, is a follower. He’s a pawn of those around him. He will only go so far. The non-needy man, even though he may be a bit aimless and in a downturn in his life, he will end up living an enriching and unique life that suits him and makes him happier.
If a man values the perceptions of others more than his perception of himself, then he will naturally behave in an unattractive way around them. If he trusts his perception of himself more than the perceptions of those around him, then he will be perceived as a non-needy man, and therefore behave attractively. All of the outward appearances of status and resources — the fitness, the nice clothes, the cool lifestyle — these things are a result of a man who is inwardly driven, a man who invests in himself and takes care of himself.
When all is said and done, all attractive traits in a man can be traced back to his lack of neediness.
Please note, I am NOT saying that a man should disregard the perceptions of others, or that he should trash or disrespect the perceptions of others — only that he should believe in his perception of himself more than the perceptions of those around him.
Neediness plays itself out in many forms. I imagine you’ll recognize at least a few of these examples (sorry in advance for some of the painful memories):
- Calling a woman many times in succession because she didn’t call you back and never getting an answer. NEEDINESS
- Straining to come up with a funny line or clever joke in order to impress a woman or to get her to like you. NEEDINESS
- Memorizing lines or routines to meet women and avoid rejection. NEEDINESS
- Accepting that if a woman doesn’t call you back that she probably wasn’t the right woman for you anyway. NON-NEEDINESS
- Lying to a woman to make yourself appear more interesting or attractive. NEEDINESS
- Expressing your sexual interests and desires openly and honestly. NON-NEEDINESS
- Hiding your flaws, accepting no criticism of yourself. NEEDINESS
- Being unafraid of exposing your flaws. Being comfortable with not being perfect. NON-NEEDINESS
- Feeling the need to be “dominant” or in control of an interaction at all times. NEEDINESS
- Resenting the women you date, or assuming they’re inferior or dumber than you. Treating them like children. NEEDINESS
- Treating women as equals, and having standards about only dating women who you enjoy and who make you happy. NON-NEEDINESS
- Investing in improving yourself for yourself, not to impress women or make people like you. NON-NEEDINESS
- Improving yourself only to impress those around you. Doing what you think will make people like you instead of doing what you like. NEEDINESS
You’ll notice that a number of the behaviors labeled “needy” above are behaviors taught in other dating advice as legitimate ways to attract women.
Needy behavior will only attract other needy women. Neediness finds its own level. So if you’re an angry, misogynist who lies to women to get them to sleep with you, the only women who will tolerate your behavior long enough to sleep with you will be angry, distrusting women who lie to get things from men. If you are open and honest about your intentions and genuinely care about the women you meet and interact with, then you will attract genuine and caring women who will be honest with you.
This is referred to as the assortment effect in psychology and it has been demonstrated in numerous studies.
Chances are if you’ve been highly needy in the past, then you’ve engaged in dysfunctional relationships with women who were highly needy in similar or complementary ways. Or, if you’ve been with few or no women, or are unable to attract any women, then chances are you’ve been so needy in your behavior that you’ve remained alone.
If you want to be with amazing women who are open, loving, independent, supportive and nurturing, then you need to become the male equivalent. You need to become an honest, open, and strong man who believes in himself, takes care of himself, and is proud of the amazing life he’s made for himself. Attracting women is not about appearing attractive, it’s about being attractive.
And we haven’t even gotten to the desire part yet.
Bravery and Desire
“The biggest aphrodisiac in the world is someone who likes you and isn’t afraid to show it.”
Yes, I just quoted myself in my own article. I know, I know, that’s pretty self-aggrandizing and probably unnecessary. But it’s my site and it’s a pretty awesome quote, so fuck it, we’ll do it live.
(Note: For what it’s worth, this quote by me was passed around the dating advice industry more than anything else I’ve ever said or written, so I’m not completely making stuff up here. I mean I did write a whole 350-page book on this stuff, so cut me some slack.)
Anyway, where were we? Oh yeah…
If status creates sexual attraction in women, then demonstration of desire creates sexual arousal in women.
Without getting too deep into the research on female arousal (it’s messy and confusing, which shouldn’t surprise you), the leading theory on female arousal is women are turned on by bold behaviors, displays of bravery, and direct sexual desire, particularly when directed at the woman who is getting aroused.
Whether it’s Fabio the Firefighter or the sexy surfer who braves the 20 foot waves in frigid waters or the solider coming home from Nowhere-istan, displays of bravery turn women on more than anything else. If you don’t believe me, go to your local book store and look at the romance novels. Romance novels are basically porn for women, and you’ll find that they all feature warriors, soldiers, bad boys, race car drivers, football players, firefighters, jet pilots, and enter-your-super-sexy-and-dangerous-occupation-here.
And not only are these men racy and exciting, but they’re usually brash and debonair — they say what they want and go after it without apology.
But what does this mean for a couple regular guys like you and me?
It means being nervous around her is going to be a pretty big turn off. Afraid to talk to her, afraid to ask her out, afraid to kiss her, afraid to take her home — Fabio the Firefighter wouldn’t be afraid to ravish the shit of her, so why should you?
What it means is that despite every woman you’ve ever heard complain about men hitting on them, bold displays of interest actually work in your favor the majority of the time, as long as they’re demonstrated in a manner that is not too threatening or disrespectful.
Some examples (for better or worse, these are taken from experience):
- Telling a woman she’s beautiful and you’d like to get to know her better. GOOD IDEA
- Whistling at a girl on the street and calling her names. BAD IDEA
- When a woman seems interested in you, just grabbing her and trying to kiss her. GOOD IDEA
- Following a woman for three blocks telling her what you want to do to her sexually. BAD IDEA
- Telling a woman you’re kissing where and how you’d like to have sex with her. GOOD IDEA
- Touching a woman inappropriately when you don’t know her or have not received interest from her. BAD IDEA
Men typically underestimate how forward they can be with women. And they vastly underestimate how effective being forward and open about their sexual desires is with women who are attracted to them.
As one member of my Sexual Confidence Program wrote:
“I approached a girl in the mall and told her that I thought her body was beautiful. She smiled and said “Thank you.” She was ecstatic. I wasn’t nervous [saying it], but I felt like it was wrong. But then as I saw the positive reaction from her and the other girls I said this to, I started feeling empowered. I developed a unusual sense of confidence… I’m a sexual male, and know that they are sexual women. And that it’s natural to act as such.
A proper and honest sexual expression is powerful, and in our society, rare. In fact, there’s a LOT of societal pressure to hide and disassociate from our sexuality. Many of us grow up with a great deal of sexual shame. And not only does this keep us afraid of expressing our sexual desires openly, but it creates an unhealthy neediness and worship of sex.
Because honest and respectful demonstrations of sexuality are so rare, not only are women aroused by it, but it often hits them like a breath of fresh air.