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Why it’s vital to relax around women if you want them to find you attractive

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I've got women on my mind at the moment because I've spent months researching the 10 Steps to Be Naturally Attractive to Women Course.

Anyway in my last post I regaled you with the tale of how my aunt, several decades ago, stood a guy up she was supposed to be meeting because of the way he was standing even though he was good looking.

I used this to describe how women are attracted (and repelled) by how men communicate to a huge degree - perhaps even more that many women consciously realise themselves.

She described him as looking "..dejected, slumped, kind of defeated by everything. The way he stood put me off."

Studies have found that women are turned off by highly stressed men. I think my aunt looked at him and instantly sensed he was carrying more than the usual supply of cortisol or "stress hormone."

Women are subconsciously looking for indicators for men that they are potentially good mates. So why should stress affect female selection so much?

Testosterone-fuelled hotness

Women generally find calm and collected men more attractive than "stress heads". Quite possibly you've seen the research focusing on testosterone levels and attractiveness in men (1). The hormone is linked to certain facial features such as larger jaw and brows and is also associated to better long term health which, from an evolutionary perspective means a good mating prospect. So, on the surface, it might seem that a testosterone rich male might win in the attractiveness stakes. But it gets more interesting than that.

Drawbacks of the macho man

Its long be assumed, and studies have seemed to find, that testosterone laden guys may be more appealing to women when the women are ovulating and looking for "good genes." Yes I know this is so not romantic but it is valid up to a point.

But research has also found that extremely high testerone men are perceived as being less sensitive, fatherly and least likely to be potentially faithful. It turns out that stress hormone may have more to do with whether a man is deemed sexy by a woman than testosterone.

Chilled men beat the rest

In one study (2) conducted by Dr Fhionna Moore, a Psychology Lecturer at Abertay University in 2010, found that low levels of cortisol were particularly attractive to women when they were ovulating. Why should this be? High cortisol levels mean a weaker immune system and therefore more likelihood of current and/or future disease. Being more stressed also weakens fertility in men making them less desirable to woman. We know women tend to like confident men. This piece or research shows that one reason for this may be increased fertility relating to lower stress hormone in confident men.

It seems that higher testosterone levels may be attractive only in as far as it indicates lower cortisol levels.

In other words, it might not be the testosterone that woman go for so much as what sometimes come with it - lower cortisol. Men with high testosterone but also high cortisol were not especially attractive to women and in fact may be more prone to violence. (3)

My auntie (bless her) no doubt sensed high cortisol levels in this man (the one she so cruelly stood up by ducking out of sight and continuing on the train). High cortisol is related to lower health status and lower fertility and maybe she picked this up in him just by peering out of her train window.

Men don't just have more fun around women when they relax more - they'll have more success too.

If you want to know more about how to give the right signals to women, see the course "How to be Naturally Attractive to Women".

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  1. Kruger, D.J. (2006). Male facial masculinity influences attributions of personality and reproductive strategy. Personal Relationships, 13, 451-463.
  2. See: 'Cues to sex- and stress-hormones in the human male face: Functions of glucocorticoids in the immunocompetence handicap hypothesis'. Department of Biochemistry, Queen Margaret University Edinburgh, Musselburgh.
  3. See: SOBER-STATE CORTISOL AS A PREDICTOR OF DRUNKEN VIOLENCERALF E. LINDMAN*, ANU S. AROMAKJ and C. J. PETER ERIKSSON Department of Psychology, Abo Akademi University, FIN-20500 Abo, Finland and 'Department of Alcohol Research, National Public Health Institute, Finland (Received 25 November 1996; in revised form 15 May 1997; accepted 16 May 1997)
Published by Mark Tyrrell - in Relationship Help