Do Women Really Want Muscular Men?

Do Women Really Want Muscular Men?
Science can help you get laid this weekend. Forget about flowers, candlelight dinners, and soft guitars. Appeal to her animal instincts that have been programmed in her genes through millions of years of evolution. Women instinctively want a guy who will produce strong children and stay around long enough to raise them. They have a remarkable natural ability to judge sexual vitality, testosterone levels, sperm health, and personality just by looking at you. You can be the nicest guy in the world but won’t get to first base if you don’t have the right body type, facial contours, or attitude.

Scientific studies of men and women around the world show remarkably similar results: women like hard-bodied hunks for a quick roll in the hay, but want serious but fit men as husbands. They know instinctively that the extremely muscular guy will be better and more exciting in bed, but will probably be unreliable and unfaithful. Women are willing to settle for a guy with a less-than-perfect body as long as he is a good provider and will be there for the long haul.

UCLA psychologists David Frederick and Martie Haselton found that moderately-muscular men had more sex partners (8 versus 4 for less-muscular men), more affairs with women involved in relationships (2 versus 1), and more short-term flings (7 versus 3). Modern women are very demanding, but they cut muscular men some slack. Sixty-one percent of women said their short-term partners were more muscular than their long-term partners, while 70 percent said their less muscular long-term partners were more trustworthy and romantic. Women do not expect as much from muscular men when choosing them for sex. Women perceive muscular men as genetically stronger, but less reliable. They see less muscular men as more nurturing and committed to relationships and raising children. They compromise between the two types of men when choosing a mate.

Are Your Genes Keeping You From Getting Into Her Jeans?

Men spend nine months trying to get out of a woman’s body and the rest of their lives trying to get back in. Gyms are full of men trying to up their “sexual quotient.” Why do guys lift weights? Do you think they pump iron to prevent a heart attack when they’re 60, strengthen their bones to avoid fatal falls at 80, or boost blood sugar metabolism at 30? Of course not! Building muscles make them more attractive to women.

Most guys emphasize the bench press and arm curls because big arms, chest, and shoulders make guys look sexier to women. Squats, cleans, and snatches are more functional exercises for sports and general movement, yet few men do them. Men know that women like guys with fit, athletic bodies. Building shapely muscles is a way that men compete with each other to attract women’s attention.

Scientists discovered that genes and brain chemistry are at the center of attraction, love, and lust. Women’s genes are programmed to respond to muscular men. A fit-looking body is a biological cue that the man will produce healthy children and will be reproductively successful. Hormones, nerve synapses, and brain pleasure centers dictate our choice of mate, sexual turn-ons, and social behaviors.

Sexual arousal is largely involuntary and similar to other biological drives such as hunger and thirst. These genetic controls evolved to trigger human reproduction and ensure the development of strong, viable children. They also promote social behaviors, such as flirting, sexual aggressiveness and restraint, and the desire to increase physical attractiveness (e.g., lifting weights and wearing stylish clothing) that help people pursue and win their preferred mate. Hormones such as testosterone, vasopressin, dopamine, and serotonin interact to promote feelings of love and mating behavior.

In terms of evolutionary biology, women are naturally attracted to muscular men because building muscle takes extra energy. In the animal world, the most sexually desirable males are those with the most beautiful feathers, mains, and tusks. Developing these features takes extra energy and shows the female that her chosen mate has plenty of energy to spare for reproduction. In humans, the degree of muscularity depends on testosterone. For example, Dr. Tom Storer and colleagues from the Drew Medical College in Los Angeles found that the capacity to increase strength and muscle mass were directly proportional to blood testosterone levels.

Women will pick up on cues suggesting high testosterone levels, such as a muscular-looking face and neck, confidence, and cocky behavior. Important sexual and mating cues for women include facial masculinity, symmetry (athletic shape), intrasexual competitiveness and dominance (i.e., ‘the alpha male’), shoulder-to-hip ratio (broad shoulders and narrow waist), waist-to-hip ratio (waist thinner than hips), height, self-confidence, prestige, and socioeconomic status.

In the UCLA study, muscularity and body fat were extremely important in ratings of sexual attractiveness. On a nine-point scale, women rated ‘built’ and ‘toned’ men slightly more desirable (6.97 and 6.87) than brawny men (i.e., competitive bodybuilders; 6.37). Slender and typical men scored lower than more muscular men (5.42 and 4.28). Chubby men were the least sexually-desirable (2.95) and were rated more than 50 percent less desirable than muscular men. Brawny men rated higher in physical dominance and volatility but lower in commitment than other body types. Chubby men rated highest on commitment (5.9 vs. 4.02 for brawny men).

Fat is a sexual turnoff for women and men. Most people are overweight or obese, yet men and women rank fat people at the bottom of the sexual attractiveness scale. According to psychology researchers from the University of Washington, most women would rather go to bed with a mentally ill man or one with gonorrhea than with a fat guy. Male and female college students were shown six photos of possible sexual partners with the following characteristics: lean and healthy, armless, wheelchair-bound, mental illness, STDs, or obese. Women found obese people the least sexually-desirable of potential partners on the list. The results were similar in people who were overweight themselves. The study showed the importance of a good body for sexual attractiveness.

It’s best to be muscular and lean if you want to arouse women. Buff, athletic guys get more short-term action than skinny or fat guys. However, muscularity and athleticism are less important in long-term relationships. Fatter and less muscular men fair better than extremely muscular men in relationships that women describe as romantic, trusting, and emotionally close.