These are a few quick-and-dirty biological imperatives that will turn many a man's head. But a lot of women fulfill those requirements already. So what makes certain women boy magnets, and leaves others spending Saturday nights watching Saturday Night Live skits?
As always, men are more complicated than a lot of people give them credit for, and when it comes to turn-ons, the masculine gender has plenty of surprises up their metaphorical sleeve. Here, some of the ways to effectively rev the masculine engine:
1. Standing Tall
Don't get me wrong: it's not that we want a woman who can balance a beer tray on her head. It's what good posture says about her. A woman who stands tall typically a) dresses well, b) exercises often, and c) is confident about her body and what it's good for. And if she's proud of her figure no matter what shape or size, that makes men take notice, as well.
2. True Grit
Men know that women cry. Men know that women can get hurt. Men want to be there to help whenever they do. But there's something insanely attractive about women who can bite their lips, buck up, and grit out some of life's twists, turns, sprains, and pains.
Note: Before you throw e-daggers my way, I'm not suggesting that it's not OK to cry or that women shouldn't seek proper attention when they're in pain, either physically or emotionally. (Nor am I saying that lots of men don't need to heed this advice as well.) I'm simply saying we're often drawn to partners who can walk off life's minor insults.
3. Baseball Caps
When we were growing up, we used them to show our team allegiances. In college, we used them to hide bed head. Past the age of 30, we mainly wear them to cover our bald spots. But no matter what team we root for, we like a baseball cap the most when it's worn by a woman. The look sends all kinds of messages about the kind of woman she is: sporty, strong, comfortable kicking back, Sox fan. (All the better if it's a Cubs hat - she's an optimist with a great sense of humor.)
4. Software Savvy
Maybe it's a giant sexual metaphor, but women like men who know hardware, and men like women who know software. Show a guy a woman who knows her way around systems, networks, and connections, and he'll be dazzled by her smarts - and appreciate her talents.
There's something sexy about a woman who can click a few buttons and get something working exactly the way she wants it to. (That is, as long as the buttons she pushes aren't his.)
5. Sexy Shampoo
Men typically are stereotyped as needing visual cues to feel attraction. While it's true that men need their share of eye candy, they also are mightily turned on by the olfactory sweets, as well. Perfume and body lotion are nice and all, but the smell of her freshly washed hair that's nestled up under the chin on a Sunday morning is a reminder of all that's good about relationships.
6. Understated Underwear
Slinky and small lingerie works for anniversaries, birthday surprises, honeymoons, and other seduce-me moments. But the look that makes men feel both comfortable and excited is when she's wearing boxers (waistband rolled) and a thin-as-can-be T-shirt that's neither too tight nor too big. Call it supreme sexiness in the understated. The same effect can be achieved by wearing his old dress shirt and a pair of panties.
7. Dirt and Sweat
Of course, men like to see their women dolled up for a night out. But many men appreciate the exact opposite: The woman who hikes, bikes, mows the lawn, hacks trees and branches, and otherwise pulls her weight. Seeing the dirt, mud, sweat, and occasional road rash is something that stokes our primal side.
8. A Few "Duh" Moments
Men like smart women (see "software savvy," above). But there's a small part of a man's brain that wants her to have an occasional dollop of ditziness. Why? Because if she can show that she may not know everything, it reinforces something deep inside a man that he's needed, that he's trusted, that he can be there to help.
And it says that when we screw up on occasion (and we will, oh yes, we will), she'll understand. Hypercompetence is something we just can't compete with. And ultimately, this game isn't about competition, it's about crossing the finish line together.