This post is going to deal with an issue of which I have very little experience to speak of. But I am still very interested in pursuing this question further, and it will be relevant in some distant future. The question is what features make a female person attractive in my eyes?
I should first confess that I have not had any sexual experiences before, and I have not found many opportunities to hang around with girls all that much, but in my few encounters, usually in classrooms, in some parties, and in public events (my favorite), there are certain patterns that I have discovered in interacting with these women, such that they appear attractive to me.
I have crystallized four factors that make a woman interesting and attractive to me during social encounters. Let me first say that this list is not exhaustive, and it is also no social science. There are other people, who can describe the situation with more accurate detail than me, but I will just note the things that I find relevant.
- Interest in what I have to say
- Physical beauty
- Non-verbal signals
Let us go over these points one by one.
Interest in what I have to say:
The first point is really important. Many women are willing to listen to what a man has to say, and there does seem to be something right about the archaic relationship between the man and the woman, in that the man has to be clever, creative and tell stories, while the woman listens, absorbs, reflects and responds. In traditional societies, where women are usually financially dependent on a male relative (fathers) or their husband, this is particularly important. But even in today’s societies, where women are more financially independent, one may still be able to observe this pattern. Rarely do I see women initiate conversations, or at least those that I find worthwhile talking to. If a woman shows no interest in what I have to say, then it will be very difficult for me to follow up or sustain the conversation. It becomes a failed interaction ritual, to put in Erving Goffman’s terms.
The barrier might be a little bit high for the women to climb, because I have read so many books in my life that I have to share with them descriptions of history, politics, economics and society. This is not a very sexy topic, even for many men. To some extent, I can make the story more interesting by explaining more about what I am doing, or what my heritage is, what my family is doing etc., but sooner or later I will come back to what I find to be the important topics in life, and the woman has to be able to respond to it.
But this is not only applicable to intellectual men. Even those, who are less intellectual need to tell stories of one form or another to raise the attention from females. In any case, for my own purposes, a woman, who displays interest in what I have to say can fulfill the minimum criteria of intelligence, and will not get bored with me, however much time we would spend together. The most interesting women are, of course, those who not only show interest in what I say (and interest can not be feigned over the long term), but also can attack and criticize my ideas. The conversation becomes a lot more dialectic. New ideas can emerge from these discussions, and the added advantage- compared to my male friends- is that long-term sexual relations are possible as well. I would be very delighted to learn from her ideas as well, if she has any.
Here I have to resort to my male, animal instincts. I wonder how much intellectualization is really possible here. A woman, who is not pretty enough, can arouse no sexual interest in me, and I would have to treat her as my sister or other female relative. We could have engaging and exciting talks. She might be interested in what I have to say, and vice versa. But there will be no further sexual interest. From an evolution perspective, it certainly makes sense that I won’t likely fall in love with old women, as much as I respect their wisdom. It is no wonder that women expend so much time and effort in beautifying themselves. I don’t want to completely discourage it, but I would not emphasize it too much, because women are naturally attractive (or not), and don’t have to be deliberately concocted (e.g. perfume, nail colors, hair spray, skin cremes etc.)
I noticed this to be one of the main strengths of females, especially when they are really attractive and satisfying the first two points. What is a non-verbal signal? There are certain hand motions and body positions that are probably too subtle for me to describe, but really the most important one is a smile and their look in your eyes. If she looks at you, she wants to continue the conversation. If she looks away, she wants to leave and run. Why is the smile so important? Well, the important signal that the women are giving you is that she feels comfortable in your presence, and that you can further proceed to make your advances. I can not begin to list how many conversations I have had with women, who satisfied the first two criteria, but they did not smile. There would be good reasons for that. Principally, they display their lack of sexual interest in me. They might already have a boyfriend, husband or partner. Anyway, if I don’t receive the non-verbal cue in the form of a smile, then I will treat her just like a sister, no more and no less.
There are certain character traits among some women that make them less than ideal partners. In many cases, people usually have a hard time hiding what character or personality trait they have. Some women are really extroverted, others really shy. Some women are very hysterical, others are very calm. Some women are very controlling, others very permissive. And so forth. I can’t list all the character traits that are relevant here, but simply note that probably the best character trait is what Aristotle described as the “Golden Mean”, i.e. not too much and not too little of either extreme. I have encountered women, who may satisfy the first three criteria, but they fail on the fourth one, because they are too extreme in one of their traits. As I said, people can not hide their traits, especially not in the long term. If I can discover their flaws right from the beginning, then why should it be better in a longer-term relationship?
So, these are some of my thoughts on what make certain women attractive.