“Men must be physically attracted to a woman in order to feel love. Is it impossible for a man to love a woman who does not initially captivate him with her physical beauty?”
This is an incredibly fun question that goes right to the heart of male sexual psychology.
It also allows us to see some very interesting aspects of male attraction that most men don't even notice about themselves.
Let’s do an experiment.
We’ll call her Mariah. Why not, eh?
Thanks Dreamstime, she’s dreamy.
Now I don’t know about you, but I think Mariah is pretty hot.
I’m fairly certain I have never met her, and I have no idea what she’s like… but even with no other information, I identify her as very attractive.
Even though I cannot see her face, my brain identifies certain qualities such as her slenderness, her curves, her long vibrant hair, her healthy-looking skin… it makes some very exacting calculations, and it says..
How hot is Mariah?
If I were to rate her attractiveness compared with the level of attraction I normally feel when encountering women in my everyday world, I’d say she rates 10/10.
Your level of attraction to Mariah might be different… but for this experiment, I want you to assign a subjective rating now too.
Now, Mariah might not be your thing- and that’s totally OK, since I’ve called “dibs" already. You may pick another photo if you like. For this experiment, you want a photo that is at least a 9/10 on your personal attraction scale.
Keep your pants on, and come back when you’ve found a suitable photo. Clothed is probably best.
Ready? Let’s continue.
The Experiment Begins
Have a good look at that photo, and pay attention to your physical and psychological responses. How do you feel when looking at that photo?
All kinds of wow, right?
Now I’m going to tell you something unfortunate about lovely Mariah.
And I hope I don’t break your heart.
FACT #1 - Mariah is infertile. You’ll never be able to have children with her.
Such a shame. She seems to have some good genes too! Oh well, life sucks and that’s her unfortunate reality.
Now, while you’re clearly imagining her infertility, look at that photo again. How do you feel when you look at that photo?
Has your rating changed? Maybe gone down a point?
But wait, there’s more.
FACT #2 - Mariah walks hunched over, and with a bad limp.
Maybe it was a childhood injury, or maybe she just got addicted to DoTA 2, but she walks like Quasimodo.
How’s your rating doing?
FACT #3 - Mariah is possibly the rudest, meanest person you’ve ever met.
Sure you’ve met some challenging people… but Mariah takes the cake. She might look like all kinds of sweet, but that beauty is skin-deep. She abuses trust, dents your car and kicks your dog, too. She can be downright cruel.
Has your rating changed? Maybe gone down another point?
Not done yet.
FACT #4 - Mariah’s voice is deeper than yours.
She sounds like Barry White.
Where’s your rating now? Moved at all?
And finally… the most unfortunate bit…
FACT #5 - Mariah has AIDS.
Damn, that sucks.
__Poor girl. But that’s life.
Due to her health issues, her life will likely be shorter than it would be otherwise, and full of challenges. And then there’s the problem that AIDS is sexually transmitted.
I want you to scroll up and look at Mariah’s gorgeous picture one more time. But now you know that she’s an infertile, hunchbacked baritone who is sick with AIDS. No wonder she’s so mean to people, eh?
Remember those facts while you’re looking at her photo.
What are you feeling? Where’s your rating now?
Do you still want to be her lover?
If you’re still at a 10/10, I’m very concerned about your mental state.
For me personally, I’ve gone all the way from a solid 10/10 to a solid 0.
Here's the thing-
Mariah's photo hasn't changed one bit, however my attraction has. If Mariah were here in front of me, she'd still have the same 10/10 gorgeous body, and that wouldn't be enough.
Because the fact is... physical beauty is only skin-deep.
And so... I hereby relinquish my dibs.
Good job on the experiment. What have you learned?
Here's what I see
For men, looks are definitely not the only factor in attraction.
There are actually a lot of factors in a man’s sense of sexual attraction- however we are often not aware of them.
The reason is that our brain is deeply-wired to make snap judgements which are largely based on our first-glance perception of a woman’s fertility. That includes physical characteristics such as the shape of her hips, butt, and breasts, as well as indications of her health and youth.
Here are a few “non-beauty” factors I’m aware of …
- Her personality, including kindness, gentleness and self-responsibility. It matters to that she’s nurturing, and playful.
- Her intelligence.
- Her voice
- Her scent.
- Her body movement. It’s an indication of health, but it is also often an indicator of her sexual interest. Entire cultures have developed dance entirely around the sensuality of physical movement. And you can probably find twerking in the animal kingdom too.
- Her health.
- Her fertility.
There are other things that matter too, to some extent. Her family, her social circle, culture, religious and political view, tastes and preferences… all of these will have some influence on your overall picture of attraction.
But you couldn’t factor any of these things in until you got to know her.
Chances are, you didn’t really think about these things until I pointed them out, and you participated my experiment.
But ask any man who has gone through a bad divorce, and he can tell you with certainty… beauty is only skin deep. In the end, other factors are far more important to your happiness and family success.
So, can a man love a woman he's not physically attracted to?
In the same way that these “non-beauty” aspects of a woman can destroy your attraction towards a woman, they can also magnify it.
It’s absolutely possible to meet someone who you might initially describe as a 5/10… but once you get to know her, you find she is an amazing creature. Talented, creative, smart, witty. Incredibly healthy with a great family relationship. She'd be a great mother. She’ll support you in your dreams, no matter what happens in life… and if things get tough, she’ll never give up on you.
Now that’s a woman.
Men often don’t understand this because it can take years to build this level of connection with someone… but once you do, that “5” will be at least a “9” and no one else will do.
You will feel all that attraction, that you felt for Mariah.
Except it’s real.
Real beauty is far more than skin-deep, and women with that inner beauty are the ones worth investing your life in.
What this means for men
Maybe you're looking for that special life partner.
Perhaps you have someone in your world who... at first look, isn't exactly a supermodel. Yet, she is a wonderful human, with a wonderful heart, who cares deeply about the people in her world.
Invest time in that friendship, because just knowing her will your a better man.
And then, maybe, someday... look again.
You just might see her differently.
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