Many men are ignorant about how attraction actually works.

Because of this, they’re forever destined to stay single (and alone.)

While attraction definitely involves muscles, good looks, and money, it has more to do with:

Where you rank on the “Provider Vs. Lover Distinction Ladder.”

And what I mean by this is: even the most chiseled, 6-foot hunk of a man can fall into the “Provider” category within a heartbeat. A category with:

  • No respect
  • No sex
  • And you’re treated like a doormat

Likewise, a fat, nerdy, IT programmer can be in BOTH categories — lover and provider — which means both short-term and long-term dating success.

And if any of this interests you, then you’re going to love today’s episode.

In this new episode, you’ll discover what women are actually attracted to in a man.

Listen now!

 Show highlights include:

  • The secret to attracting women effortlessly isn’t about fancy one-liners or tactics, but this: What are women actually attracted to in the first place? (0:56)
  • Think the answer to being friend-zoned is to voice “intent” you want to date her earlier on? Here’s why that’s completely wrong (and why the answer will blow your mind because of how simple it actually is) (1:37)
  • How do I tell her I like her (without sounding like a creep)? (1:45)
  • The most sophisticated, accurate, and effective resources that explain how attraction actually works (and is far superior than dating advice from YouTube) (2:59)
  • How to find “the one” by applying long-term mating strategies instead of short-term mating strategies (4:32)
  • Turn a woman on instantly by using nothing but this technique (and it’s got nothing to do with looks, status, muscles, or even what you say) (5:19)
  • Where do you rank on the “Provider Vs. Lover Distinction Ladder”? Women make their mind up about a man before he even opens his mouth according to this ladder (5:50)
  • In the friend-zone with an attractive woman? There’s still a chance you can date her (and marry her). You just need to know how, and we discuss the answer at (6:43)
  • Who’s more likely to succeed in the dating arena? A chiseled, 6-foot hunk of a man, or a fat, nerdy IT programmer? The answer might surprise you (33:54)

    Does your neediness, fear, or insecurity sabotage your success with women? Do you feel you may be unlovable? For more than 15 years, I’ve helped thousands of people find confidence, fulfillment, and loving relationships. And I can help you, too. I’m therapist and life coach David Tian, Ph.D. I invite you to check out my free Masterclasses on dating and relationships at now.

For more about David Tian, go here:

    Emotional Mastery is David Tian’s step-by-step system to transform, regulate, and control your emotions… so that you can master yourself, your interactions with others, and your relationships… and live a life worth living. Learn more here:


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Note: Scroll Below for Transcription

Welcome to the Masculine Psychology Podcast, where we answer key questions in dating, relationships, success, and fulfillment, and explore the psychology of masculinity. Now, here’s your host, world-renowned therapist and life coach, David Tian.

David: Welcome to the Masculine Psychology Podcast. I’m David Tian, your host. In this episode, I’ll be addressing the age old question of what women want. What are women attracted to sexually in a man?

Now, I have covered this in other places, very in-depth, actually, in my course Invincible, as well as in my complimentary master classes on dating, which you can get access to by opting in at my website, I’ve also made many videos about this topic, including one labeled “Love vs. Attraction”. [00:51.8]

So, why am I addressing it here again in this episode? Despite the fact that this is such a fundamental point, like any kind of dating advice about how to better attract women, [it] would require that you know what attracts women in the first place, what they’re naturally attracted to. And despite how much content I’ve made about it answering this very question over the years, it seems like a lot of men on the internet are completely ignorant of how attraction works and it’s like they’re knocking their heads against the wall, because the strategies that they’re coming up with to attract the women that they like in their lives are based on a false understanding of how attraction works, and so, obviously, those strategies don’t work.

Here’s an example of a question that was asked of me recently. He says, “I always get friend-zoned. But I know why. It’s because I’m not indicating my intent of this relationship is more than friends. How do I tell her I like her without sounding like a creep or sleazy?”

Unfortunately, his hypothesis for why he gets friend-zoned is wrong. He thinks, as he says it here, it’s because he’s not indicating his intent of this relationship to be more than just friends. That’s actually wrong. It’s because she’s not attracted to him, and him saying, “I like you,” won’t attract her more. His problem is she wasn’t attracted to him in the first place, so if she’s not attracted to you already, you saying that you’re attracted to her will not attract her to you in response. [02:19.4]

This is a typical intellectual response to an emotional issue. A lot of guys think attraction works through logic. That is, she’ll come up with a list of what she’s looking for in a man and she will compare the résumés of the various suitors and then logically choose the best fit. These men who don’t understand attraction think that the way to get attraction from a woman, to attract a woman, is to communicate his intent or his résumé, or what he’s got going for him, as if he were applying for a job and in a job interview, and he’s going to try to convince or persuade her to be attracted to him. That is not how attraction works. [02:59.7]

Now, there’s a lot that was bad about old-school pickup from the 2000s, mostly a lack of ethics and self-awareness of the woman’s point of view, beyond the adage “leave her better than you found her.” But almost 20 years later, those old school e-books and other resources that were explaining how attraction works are far more sophisticated, accurate and effective than anything I’ve seen on the internet in recent years.

One of the classic e-books of that era, was by David DeAngelo, who goes by the name now of Eben Pagan, the man who became famous for the cocky, funny style, and he had this adage that goes, “Attraction is not a choice,” and nowadays, the immature red-pill boys get scared of that, like attraction is not a choice, so you can never trust her, etc., etc.—I’ll cover that in the next episode on sexual temptation within a relationship, but in this episode, the audience I have in mind is single men—and the normal approach or the natural approach for the nerd or the intellectual type of guy is to approach it the way you would a school assignment, where you have to convince your teacher or evaluator that your work is worth an A, but attraction is not a choice. [04:12.8]

It is a choice what you decide to do as a result of feeling attraction or not feeling attraction, but the feeling itself is not a choice. You may even present your case so well as a potential suitor that you cause her to feel guilt for not being attracted to you, but that will not create attraction. It just creates guilt.

One of the main reasons there’s so much confusion in men about what attraction is and what causes it is that there’s a category error or maybe a category blindness and ignorance of the distinction between long-term mating strategies and short-term mating strategies, to use the terminology of evolutionary psychologists. I’ve explained it in the terms of evolutionary psychologists before and I’ve seen the eyes of men in the audience glaze over, so let me put it in more accessible or understandable terms. [05:01.0]

But just before we do that, let me reiterate the myth that we’re busting here, the myth of the intellectual approach to attraction, which is that you can talk a woman into being attracted to you. You can’t do that. You can’t convince her or persuade her through rational means to be attracted to you, because attraction is a feeling.

Now, you could use words to turn a woman on and the sound of your voice to turn a woman on, and thereby attracting her to you in the moment, but, obviously, that is not working through the pathway of persuasion or because you put together a rational set of reasons or arguments for it. Instead, you’re using words like music or poetry and the words and the sound of your voice in whatever effect you’re creating is itself generating emotion.

Okay, so back to the short-term versus long-term distinction. Here’s another way to look at it: the “provider vs. lover” distinction. I like to explain this in terms of a ladder with five rungs and the lowest rung on the ladder is like the creepy guy. You can imagine a woman on a bus and this physically-unattractive man leering at her or something along those lines, right? So, you have this creepy guy. [06:06.4]

Then above that is the nameless guy, and for most men and women, the opposite sex that you come across in the world, as you go about your day, are nameless. Unless they’re really good looking or stand out in some kind of extreme way, you don’t really notice them, and for women as for men, 90 percent of the people of the opposite sex that walk by you throughout your day, you don’t really notice. But you don’t have any negative feelings toward them, but then again, you don’t have any positive feelings. It’s just sort of neutral, right? It’s a nameless person.

So, the rung above that is a friend, and in this case, I would put it as a “just friend.” Speaking to this issue about the friend zone, I have a masterclass on how to get out of the friend zone. It’s a free masterclass. You can get access to it through my website. Not only do I explain how to get out of the friend zone, but I also explain what the friend zone is so that you can avoid getting into it in the first place. [06:59.5]

But just super briefly here, being friends with an attractive woman or a woman that you like is just fine. There’s nothing wrong with that, because up until there were pickup artists, and with the exception of players, which are maybe the top 3 percent of men out there in the dating world, the majority of people date their friends. They have sex with someone who was a friend, and then they marry someone who was a friend. That’s a normal trajectory.

Between arranged marriages and very formal courtship, and a Tinder type of app-based casual-dating culture, in between those periods, there was the normal way of meeting your future spouse, was because she was a friend of a friend or a classmate, or something along those lines, or somebody at work. This was just the normal way things were. So, you start off with a friendship and then it blossoms into something else.

The third rung isn’t just friendship. I would reserve that one more accurately to be in the third rung as just friends. When you’re a friend and you’re not just friends yet, a friend is sort of free floating, because it’s not clear yet where this person is going to land in your hierarchy, so being a friend, but not yet being a just-friend. [08:14.1]

Being a friend is a good position to be in. It’s good to have lots of female friends that you potentially could date down the road, if things don’t work out with their boyfriends or whatever it is. That’s just normal. Just friends, which is the third rung on the ladder of five is a category you’d find yourself in if you have a failed escalation attempt. The only time you would hear those two words, “just” or “just friends”, is when you tried to get a higher up in the ladder and you were rejected or pushed down. You were denied.

So, if you’re in the just-friends territory and she has said something along those lines, of those two words, “just friends”, now you are friend-zoned. Being a friend doesn’t mean that you’re in the friend zone, and being her friend or her being your friend is not necessarily limiting you yet. But being just friends is. That means you tried to get more and you got shut down, and now you know where you stand, and in a way, you’ve kind of reinforced it in her mind because she has had to make that decision and say it out loud that so-and-so, this person, is just friends. [09:14.3]

Okay, so that’s the third rung of the ladder. We’re going from creepy guy to nameless guy to just friends, and by the way, as you can see, still being just friends still gets you more connection. I mean, she knows your name. She will smile when you approach. You’re friends. But, unfortunately, you’re just friends.

The fourth rung of the ladder is a provider, and just as the title suggests, a provider is someone who provides resources, money, maybe security or physical safety, that sort of thing. It’s a provider. And the top rung in the ladder is a lover. The lover provides sexual value, obviously, sex, but also all of the exciting feelings associated with being a lover, and it’s important to see how the top two rungs differ. [09:58.7]

You can imagine how you could be a provider, but not a lover, right? Someone who just pays the bills, she kind of uses you for your resources, for your money, for your connections, something along those lines. She’s using you and you provide what she wants to use you for, and she does not give you any kind of sex in exchange because you’re not lovers yet.

You can think of a situation like that and there are many situations like this, and hopefully, you can imagine the opposite where somebody is a lover, but not a provider. This is the obvious pool boy, the sexy pool boy and kind of the Mrs. Robinson type of scenario, but also the hot Chippendales dancer that she got randy with on her, I don’t know, girls night out in Vegas or whatever. It could also just be the hot guy from work that she’s banging on the side, the mistress.

The reason I’m using this ladder analogy is to illustrate the fact that it’s very difficult to climb up the ladder. So, if you’re a creep or she sees you and puts you in the creepy category, it is almost impossible for you to just jump up to the top lover category. But it is very easy to go down the ladder, to fall down the ladder, so you can begin as a provider and, within minutes or seconds, fall down to the creep category, right? Or you can be a lover and, suddenly, switch into the creep category. It’s very easy to drop down the ladder. [11:16.8]

Now, this also is true for the top two rungs. If she already thinks of you in the lover category—that is, she wants to have sex with you. She’s having sexual fantasies about you, you arousing her sexual desire, and so on, right? So, this is, you’re in the lover category—and she’s going to you for that purpose by the lover category, it is relatively easy for you to say, “Hey, I’ll pay for the dinner.” Right? Now you move into the provider category. Or “I’ll pay your rent,” even more, right? Or “I’ll buy you a car, here you go,” right? It’s pretty easy for you then to go from lover to provider, and any time you want to go down the ladder, it’s relatively easy. What’s very difficult is moving up the ladder, climbing up the ladder. [11:55.0]

I think a lot of guys have never been told this or never even thought of it that once you get slotted in the provider category as your default or the first category she’s thinking of you in, you have now moved into a different part of her brain that is not sexual attraction, but is instead rational planning. If you’re long-term marriage material, you’re the provider category.

Now, you might go from hot, sexy lover, and then she starts to see parts of you or sides of you that she didn’t notice at first and now you’re in long-term provider category, and so you have both, the advantages of both, because you’re occupying two rungs on the ladder, and you started with lover, because going down is easy. Going up is very difficult, and this is where a lot of guys screw up.

These are the intellectual type of guys who see their primary value and worth in because they got good grades or they made some money, or they’re smart or something like that, and their societies or families that are riddled with sexual shame tell them, “Hey, you’d be a great catch, because you have a good job, and whatever. You’d be a good provider,” and they don’t get it either, and these guys approach a woman with this sort of résumé approach, interview-style approach of persuading or trying to convince her to be attracted to him. That totally doesn’t work because it’s appealing to the wrong part of the brain. [13:16.1]

But it will work at appealing to the long-term provider opening in her life, that job opening. But that is not sexual attraction, right? That’s not actually attraction. Obviously, the best approach is to be seen, first and foremost, as a lover and then to show that you can also be a provider, if you so choose, rather than coming in as a provider, because what she will naturally do if you’re not in the lover category, but you’re coming in as a provider, that is, understand what that would mean once I get to enumerating the different traits of a lover that you need, the more of those that you embody. The easier it will be for you to unconsciously trigger in her that sexual attraction, which is not a choice for her. [13:57.8]

But if you don’t embody those traits and you thereby don’t occupy or trigger for her the lover category, and our instead slotted into the provider category as a default to start and then find it very difficult to get into the sexual realm of the sexual value, which is the rung up, what she will do is to put you on hold in a sense of she’s going to elongate that period because you’re a good catch, but you’re not really sexy or fun or exciting to be with or adventurous, or just there’s none of that risky taboo when she’s with you.

This is the consequence of an intellectual approach to attraction that comes naturally to people or to men who did well in school and have approached their whole careers in the same kind of way of trying to get a good grade and impressing the teacher or the boss, etc., and then applying that same approach to life that they have to life to this area as well of attraction, only to discover that there is very little passion in their relationships and the sexual attraction is something that they don’t know how to trigger. They end up getting into a relationship where they’re begging for sex or that she can withhold sex, and that’s an actual thing happening, because he doesn’t know how to turn her on. [15:09.0]

And so many men around the world, East and West, don’t understand how to turn women on. They don’t understand how sexual attraction works. They don’t understand the emotional pathways of it, because they were raised in a sexually-shamed culture or community. So, the rare men who did figure it out and the women who know how it works are not encouraged to share it and it’s not open knowledge.

So, how do you get to land in the lover category as a default? Remember, we’re talking about sexual attraction here, not emotional connection and not desiring a relationship per se, because if she’s smart, that would involve rational calculations or rational pros vs. cons decision-making.

Now, all three might be present in any specific instance of a girl liking a guy and that’s one of the main reasons why most people aren’t aware that these are three different components that might go into one relationship, but they’re actually different. [16:08.2]

You can imagine being sexually attracted to a woman, but have little or no emotional connection, and you can think of being sexually attracted to a woman and not thinking of her in terms of a long-term relationship or seeing no long-term relationship potential in her.

Okay, so what does the science say about what women want most when it comes to sexual attraction or a lover, or short-term mating? In case you didn’t know, there are entire fields of research that are dedicated to these issues, to these problems and questions, so I’ll be drawing from evolutionary psychology here and social psychology.

If you don’t know the name, David Buss, B-U-S-S, you should get to know that name. He is one of the foremost researchers in the world on sexual attraction, mating science, from the perspective specifically of evolutionary psychology. I also recommend the work of Geoffrey Miller, Geoffrey spelled with G, G-E-O. Geoffrey Miller. [17:05.6]

David Buss is very senior and has published so much that I don’t have the time to list out all the books I’d recommend, but he is also the author of “the” textbook on evolutionary psychology and I’m looking at my copy of it right now. It’s called Evolutionary Psychology: The New Science of the Mind. I think it might be in the seventh edition now. Geoffrey Miller has written many books. I recommend the one called Mating Intelligence.

I personally collaborated on research in these fields, specifically with a professor named Norman Li, L-I, at Singapore Management University, and I recommend his work as well.

Before you dive into evolutionary psychology, it’s important that you keep in mind these common logical fallacies that laymen, uneducated people reading these more specialized works, these mistakes that the average non-specialist makes when it comes to evolutionary psychology. [18:00.0]

They’re actually addressed in David Buss’ evolutionary psychology textbook, in Part 1, Common Misunderstandings About Evolutionary Theory, and these three misunderstandings or fallacies I’ve found all over the place in red pill, MGTOW, incel literature, so it’s worth repeating here, very quickly.

The first fallacy is thinking that just because evolution has led to human beings tending towards one way or having a natural preference, or leaning in one direction, thinking that that means that human behavior is genetically determined, so the environmental triggers matter a lot and there’s a great range of variety between individuals.

So, any theories based on the findings of evolutionary psychology are relatively general and may not apply in any specific case, especially when you factor in environmental conditions, like somebody’s upbringing or the community they were raised in, or the stressors on their lives, especially in their formative years, in their childhood. So, just because women have evolved to prefer, in general, something in a man, does not mean that all women, everywhere, all the time, prefer it, as an example. [19:15.1]

The second fallacy is thinking that if it’s evolutionarily adapted, that we cannot thereby change it. That’s obviously wrong. That’s how evolution works. Change happens. Okay, I’m not going to spend much time on that one.

The third fallacy is viewing the current mechanisms that have evolved as a result of the evolutionary process, thinking that they are optimally designed. They’re obviously not. You can just look at your diet and the kinds of foods that we love and crave, and very often, they’re ones that are not actually very healthy for us, and that is because of evolutionary lag. By the time a mutation is prevalent throughout the population, it’s already been 50,000 years.

What has happened was, back then when it first came about, it was advantageous and then thereby spread through the population. It was advantageous then, and by the time it got to spread throughout the population so that almost everybody’s got it, it’s 50,000 to 100,000 years later. [20:14.1]

So, actually, obviously, our taste preferences are evolved for life 100,000 or 50,000 years ago. Back then, if you saw a doughnut rolling down the street, you probably should eat it because you’re probably not going to see another one for very long. Just because we’ve evolved to crave foods like that when we see them, doesn’t mean that we thereby have to act on that, and that speaks to the second fallacy. We can actually change our behavior with willpower and rationality, and so forth, and with good habits and so on, and with just understanding how the mechanisms works, they don’t have that same unconscious automatic hold over us.

With all those caveats in place, let’s look at what the science says about what women prefer in men, and when it comes to the lover category to sexual attraction and short-term mating. [21:02.5]

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Quoting here from David Buss’ textbook on evolutionary psychology, Page 183 of my edition: [22:03.7]

“What women are looking for when it comes to short-term mating opportunities are heritable markers of health and fitness—that is, markers of health and fitness that can be inherited—signaling the presence of genes that facilitate resistance to diseases and other environmental insults, specifically looking for physical symmetry, especially facial symmetry.”

Reading on.

“In short-term mating, women place a great premium on physical attractiveness. In short-term mating more than in long-term mating, women also prefer men who have a masculine facial architecture, and, generally, that means a more pronounced jawline, a more pronounced brow line, and who are muscular.”

Okay, so far, none of this should be any surprise to any man. Women like good-looking men and muscular men, and men who are masculine. So far, we have a kind of action-hero type of image. This is what the manosphere calls Chads, I think. Okay, reading on. [23:00.3]

“For casual sex, women prefer men who are daring, confident and strong.”

Okay, so far, we have a kind of picture of a sort of Gaston from Beauty and the Beast, right? He’s daring, confident, strong, masculine, muscular, symmetrical, especially facial symmetry, is healthy and has obvious physical fitness.

Just pausing there, there’s not a whole lot people can do when it comes to how symmetrical your face is or how tall you are. Your symmetry can be changed with good workouts or bodybuilding. Obviously, how muscular you are, that’s something that you can do something about and increase your muscularity, and I think a lot of guys in the world severely underestimate the power of a really good makeover.

A good stylist is worth their weight in gold. I highly recommend you up your points as much as you can in those categories of health and fitness, and that’s an obvious one. There’s a huge multi-billion dollar industry built around health and fitness, and it’s not good just to attract women, but also for your longevity and your health, and energy and your enjoyment of life, so you should be maxing out on that as much as you can. [24:10.1]

And I want to reiterate how powerful fashion can be and just a makeover, a good haircut, skincare, especially your posture, your body language. All of this is largely within your control and as at least it’s largely changeable, and getting a good stylist is definitely a good decision to make. In fact, many department stores, if you’re in a big city, the big department stores will often provide fashion styling for free because they’re going to recommend clothes from their portfolio or from their store, and if it’s a big department store, you’ll have a lot of brands to choose from and a relatively large range of prices.

This really deserves its own course, and guess what? I actually have a course on fashion and style in my Platinum Partnership, and I’ve worked to great advantage with many excellent stylists in Singapore and hairstylists, and so on. It makes a huge difference. So, it’s not just how you look naked. You’re not going out meeting new women naked, generally, unless you’re in a nudist colony or something. You’re going out with clothing and you can use that to great advantage. [25:14.1]

Then, of course, is their hairstyle, and I’ve got a beard now and that’s a whole other haircut, so there’s only so much you can do apart from, I don’t know, cosmetic surgery, but you can significantly increase your physical attractiveness, if you take into account your clothing and your body language. I didn’t even get into body language and eye contact, and the sound of your voice, which are all important. Actually, I haven’t addressed vocal masculinity, so I’ll do that in a second.

Just before we move into the next section on what women want in short-term mating, the studies I was just referring to have also found that women place a great premium on the man’s desirability to other women, and so this brings in not just the mechanism of social proof, but mimetic desire. There’s a great book on mimetic desire, maybe “the” book, called Wanting, the most successful book on mimetic desire. [26:05.6]

That is, the desires that aren’t really ours, but that we pick up because we see other people wanting these things, and we unconsciously, automatically, just buy into their ones and adopt them for our own, and we’re copying them. That’s mimetic desire, and that is largely at work here as well when women want men that other women want and a part of that would be getting bragging rights to other women, and so that increases their sort of status within women peer groups.

Then there’s a mechanism of wondering what other women find attractive in him and becoming curious about that—you see this a lot in Singapore, there’s a whole term for it, where people line up just because they see a long line, because that’s indicating to them that there must be something desirable at the end of this line—and that’s all in addition to the core mimetic desire where you have just internalized other people’s wants as your own. [27:01.2]

Old-school pickup artists capitalized on this by focusing on social proof and some pickup artists made that their main shtick, just having social proof, a game, so to speak, where most of what they were doing was just creating the illusion. Then later on, it starts off as an illusion, but then it’ll just pick up speed like a snowball effect, and just presenting these women like me, and then that causes a kind of feeding frenzy. And, yes, I have a whole course on that, social circle mastery and how to create that effect for yourself, if that’s something you want to take advantage of.

All of these things can be gamed once you understand the mechanisms for them. Even if you don’t want to do it yourself, it’s important for you to recognize, I think it’s important to recognize when others do it or when companies do it, or when marketing or salespeople do it or are trying to create that effect in you, and you can understand that pull that you’re feeling. [27:55.0]

I think it’s also important, and this is one of the main reasons I’m making this episode, to understand the effect that is having on women. If this is your wife or girlfriend, or even your sister, and understanding the unconscious, automatic pull that this is going to have on her so that you can appreciate the moral character of her, actually, the kind of internal energy that she’s exerting to resist acting on these natural urges.

If a lot of her girlfriends are talking about some other guy, she’s going to naturally be curious about him and be attracted to him, and this is something to recognize, right? I think the physical-attractiveness angle is actually going to be stronger than the desirability-to-other-women angle, but it’s important to recognize they’re both at play when it comes to short-term mating.

Now, the desirability-to-other-women thing often tracks status or fame, so guys get that confused. It’s not so much that women are attracted to a man just because of his status or fame. It’s because the status of fame then signals desirability to other women and that then kicks in the mimetic desire mechanism. [29:03.8]

Okay, so even more, and this is made a lot out of from the manosphere on women’s preferences and how they shift during the period of ovulation, again, a reminder that just because there are preferences, it does not cause them to be determined in this way and that, in fact, and something I’m going to be covering in the next episode, this is the moral point, where if there is no temptation, then there is no moral virtue from resisting the temptation.

There has to be something at play here and this is the natural thing at play here, women’s preferences and how they shift during ovulation, and if you don’t know this, then you’re in the dark. You can’t even operate with that knowledge. So, it’s important, if you want to be morally good, which I think is a good thing, to be street smart about it, to have it, go in with your eyes open and not to be naive or going in blind, as the Bible put it, as innocent as doves, but as wise as a serpent.

Okay, so now quoting that same section in that David Buss textbook. [30:00.5]

“Women’s preferences shift around ovulation, the peak time of a woman’s fertility. It’s only during this fertile window that any genetic benefits can be reaped from short-term mating. Research has documented several shifts in women’s preferences at ovulation compared to other times of their cycle.”

They have listed out six different differences here, and the first is “an increased attraction to men with symmetrical features,” no surprise there. Obviously, all things being considered, you’d prefer to have your children with half their genes from someone who is healthy and fit, and that’s what symmetricality is supposed to be indicating.

The second is “an increased preference for facial masculinity, body masculinity, and vocal masculinity.” Facial masculinity, like I said, this is largely the jaw line is bigger and the brows are more pronounced. Body masculinity, this is muscularity, especially the shoulder-to-waist ratio as being bigger. Then the vocal masculinity, that is, how deep your voice is. [30:58.1]

The third is “an increased preference for men who are tall,” and no surprise there. Number four, “an increased preference for men who display creative intelligence.” Okay, so up to this point, it’s been about physicality, right? You’re looking at basically another action-hero type of person. But the studies have also shown that in short-term mating, both during ovulation and even outside ovulation, women prefer men who are not only muscular and masculine-looking, the Gaston from Beauty and the Beast kind of stereotype, but also humorous, and humor is a way to display creative intelligence.

Geoffrey Miller’s book, The Mating Mind, is all about how we would have evolved art, how art doesn’t really play into survival and replication, except because it’s displaying creative intelligence, so I recommend that book as well. This is an area where you can see that women would get turned on by men who use their intelligence in creative ways and this is obvious through the way that women have gone crazy for artists, musicians, especially, but also Picasso-type artists, visual artists, artists of all kinds. [32:05.6]

Then humor as a way of displaying your creativity and your quick wit and sharp mind, in ways that can evoke emotional responses in women. So, it’s not that they’re just turned on by someone who can do math really well. Women are not turned on by men who do rote memorization or can recite the periodic table or something. They’re looking for creative intelligence, so humor is an example of that.

Okay, so reading on, “an increased preference for men who are physically attractive and muscular,” okay, no surprise there. Then the sixth, “an increased preference for men who display social presence and direct intrasexual competitiveness, dominant personality traits, and warrior-like aggressiveness—qualities that indicate social dominance.” [32:48.2]

Okay, so that last one is built into three different dimensions there, but here’s an easy way to illustrate this, right? In addition to assertiveness and the ability to stand up for yourself and defend your loved ones, a kind of warrior-like aggressiveness that will intimidate potential other threats to you and your family—like, if you’re a woman, all things being equal, it would be good to have a man who could stand up and defend you and your family, and so forth. What intrasexual competitiveness is referring to is competition between men in this case, and winning those. Pickup artists call this the “leader of men” trigger and the “protector of loved ones” trigger.

The only thing that’s scary for some women when it comes to warrior-like aggressiveness is the real fear that that warrior-like aggressiveness could get turned on her. But there’s also this sort of risky adventure inherent in it and it’s sort of exciting for her that he’s potentially dangerous, but you have to show if you want it to be sexually attractive that you’ve got that under control. [33:54.4]

Okay, so the best illustration of this is, if you were to compare a really good-looking guy, let’s say, and let’s say a fat, older man who is not too tall, like shorter than the good-looking Gaston, but this shorter—let’s make him just less physically attractive—man is this Gaston-looking guy’s boss and maybe the Gaston guy is his bodyguard and he can order him around.

If she’s first attracted to the good-looking bodyguard and then finds out, oh, his boss can tell him, “Stop talking to that girl right now. Come over here,” and he can order him around. He can say, “Get on your knees and say sorry,” and this guy does it, all of the attraction she was feeling to this Gaston guy will then get transferred to this more powerful guy who can order him around, and that is how powerful the sixth dimension there is, an increased preference for men who can win or are winning intrasexual competition, because if she made it with that good-looking guy, but who has less power, then she’s actually making a wrong choice, obviously. [34:59.8]

Now, this not-so-good-looking guy is wielding this power and that creates this intrigue, how did this happen, but it’s also showing that if she mates with him, her children are going to inherit those genes that would have led to this power. Then you can see how this soft power, this sort of influence over others, is the greatest aphrodisiac. Power is the greatest aphrodisiac.

If you can demonstrate your power over your other competitors, when it comes to short-term mating, the natural thing that will happen is that you win the attractiveness game there. She would have to exert willpower, the kind of moral willpower, to stay loyal to this good-looking guy who is being beaten down, who is willingly submitting to this less good-looking, more-powerful, in terms of soft power, man.

Maybe I’ll end with an illustration of how all of this might come together in your life. You can imagine a rich man who marries kind of, I don’t know, a bimbo gold-digger type woman and she’s at home and with all of her needs economically met, but because he’s a hard-working businessman working 80-hour weeks to make these millions, right, he’s never at home and she’s bored out of her mind. [36:08.4]

The pool boy comes by to clean the pool, I don’t know, twice a week or whatever, and he takes his shirt off and he’s a really good-looking guy and he’s flirty, and let’s just give him all of these other markers for short-term mating and let’s say she’s ovulating right then and there. He is showing that he is muscular and he’s got masculine facial architecture and physical attractiveness, and maybe the things he’s saying or the kind of vibe he’s giving off is that he’s daring and confident. Maybe he looks like a kind of dangerous type of guy with tattoos and he offers her some fun, but not too dangerous drugs, maybe some weed or whatever, and this is his sort of daringness in there. And he’s funny, he’s cracking jokes and stuff. She will naturally be attracted to him, because he is, objectively-speaking, attractive, right? We set it up that way. He’s a good-looking guy, who is muscular, masculine, daring, confident, strong, and we’ll throw in humorous, too. [37:00.8]

Now, for her to stay loyal to the rich guy who is never around, she’s going to have to exert willpower and say no to her natural urges, and that’s possible, speaking to the manosphere guys who are all these little boys who have been hurt by women and it’s easier to just say all women have no control over their emotions or whatever. But we do this all the time when we deny ourselves Krispy Kreme doughnuts, for instance, right? You can say no to the thing that you naturally want.

In the next episode, I’m going to be getting into more depth on temptation in a relationship and how sexual attraction works there, but for now, we’ll just present that as a scenario. You’ve got the rich man and the pool boy, and maybe she ends up having sex with a pool boy because maybe he’s very persistent and he’s there all the time, and she can only resist for so long, etc.

Then it looks like we’ve got a situation here where we have a beta male, the rich guy. Even though he’s the rich guy in this setting, because of the short-term mating preferences here, he’s the one getting cuckolded, and then the pool boy who has hardly anything going for him in terms of being a provider is in the lover category now. [38:06.0]

So, you can see how, bringing it full circle back to the ladder, right, he’s in the lover category. If it turns out the pool boy has just inherited a billion dollars and didn’t mention any of that, and is willing to provide for her, he’d suddenly become a lot more attractive, right? Because it’s easy for him to go from lover down to provider. It’s harder if you’re slotted into the provider and she grudgingly gives you sexual favors or whatever, sex in exchange for economic protection and whatever, moving from provider up to lover.

Okay, now here, I’m going to take it a step further and bring in that sixth dimension of social power. Imagine the husband comes back early from work and catches them in the act, and the pool boy gets down on his knees and grovels for forgiveness, because he, for whatever reasons, just makes something up, like he doesn’t want to lose this job or this man is so powerful that he could just ruin this pool boys prospects for getting any other kind of job. Or maybe he can get him landed in jail because of drug possession, or whatever it is, right? He’s a powerful guy, set it up, so that there’s this big power disparity. [39:07.2]

What will happen is. the woman, when she sees that, sees her husband demonstrating that soft power over this better-looking, more muscular and more masculine, but, in this case, socially weaker, then her attraction will dissipate like a popped balloon, and then will, in fact, transfer to the husband who is demonstrating the power.

Now, the attraction transfer, something I’ve seen, so it’s anecdotal—that’s the way I think about it and I find it to be helpful, so I’m sharing it with you. That’s too sophisticated for any research to have been done on it yet, but that’s my pet theory and I’ve seen it played out over and over—if you can own the guy, so to speak, that she was really into just before, she will suddenly go, “Oh, who is this guy?” And that’s without any other kind of moral constraints on the situation there, right? In this thing that we’ve just set up, the moral right thing to do here, in this case, is for her to go back to the husband, right? So, it’s easier to imagine that. [40:01.8]

Now, there’s a great illustration of this in this TV series whose name escapes me right now. I tried to do a Google search real quick here, but I couldn’t find anything. In this TV series, in one of the later seasons, throughout the series, there was an affair going on between the wife of an influential white-collar type of man and his junior member of his staff, and this affair went on through multiple seasons.

Then the man found out and the wife was very afraid of getting divorced for some reason, and the man she was cheating with was very afraid of losing his job and being kicked out of the industry, basically, because this man was so high up in the industry that he could ensure this other guy doesn’t get a job in the same industry for a long time. So, they’re both kind of groveling, saying, “What can we do to make it up to you? Please don’t punish us in these horrible ways.” He says, “Okay, look, this is what we’re going to do. You can continue. I want you, in fact, to continue to have this affair. But every time you have sex, I have to be here and I’m going to watch you do it.” [41:03.0]

It was a really weird scenario where over the course of the next three episodes or maybe the rest of that season, their sexual chemistry just went away, because it just pops like a balloon, right? Because now whenever they had sex, instead of it being an expression of their intimacy with each other or of their love, so to speak, right, it now got turned into some kind of performance for the benefit of this uglier older man who was actively demonstrating his power over them. She, in the course of the season, got more and more attracted to her husband again. By the end of it, she wanted nothing to do with this other guy and he got really shafted on this deal here.

Hopefully, listing out those traits that women are looking for, these features that women are looking for, in short-term mating, and what generates sexual attraction in them when they’re looking for a lover, someone to just fulfill those sexual needs, and how that’s actually different from what a lot of people out in the world think leads to sexual attraction. [42:07.3]

Now, if you are banking on your provider value, your résumé, so to speak, and you have not given any thought to your sexual value, then what you’re doing is you’re working really hard to be at that fourth rung of the ladder and that’s a bad position to be in the long-term. It’s much easier to be slotted in at the lover category and then to move down to provider, if you choose to do so, rather than the other way around, just as it’s really hard to start off at the bottom as a creepy guy and then move up to being the lover whereas it’s much easier to fall down the ladder.

So, it’s important to try to cultivate in yourself, sort of max out your potential on physical attractiveness, muscularity, masculinity, vocal masculinity, your body language, eye contact, your creative intelligence, and your humor. All of these things are variable and you can increase them without surgery. Then that sixth dimension of social presence or social dominance, social power, that’s a huge factor that can vary widely. [43:11.3]

I have lots of courses that address these. I’ve mentioned my styling course. I’ve mentioned my social-circle mastery course. But I also cover this in my dating skills course, Invincible. If you’d like to cultivate more of the lover traits in yourself, this is possible and I recommend that you do it.

In the next episode, I’ll be covering how this makes a difference in any long-term relationships, especially when it comes to sexual temptation in a relationship. Okay, so come back to the next episode for the natural extension of this knowledge.

I’d love to get your feedback on this. If you have any comments at all, please let me know, and hit a like or subscribe wherever you’re listening to this, and thank you so much for listening. If this helped you in any way, please share it with anyone else that you think could benefit from it.

Thank you so much for listening. I look forward to welcoming you to the next episode. David Tian, signing out. [44:02.3]

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