Hot girls are...
December 15, 2010 7:45 PM   Subscribe

What are some specific, widely held, possibly irrational turn-ons... for those attracted to females.

What are some things, that don't necessarily make sense, that are "universally very hot" about women.

I'm looking for the turnabout of this post, but for females:

"Catnip to the ladies: Four female friends of mine recently had a conversation about what makes an attractive man. Opinions varied, but in the end, three traits were deemed "universally very hot": riding a motorcycle, building things out of wood, and having been in more than a few fistfights growing up. This baffled me to no end. Help me compile a longer list."

Does this translate to females? Are there certain abilities (or non-obvious physical characteristics) that are widely held to be turn-ons?

To clarify, I'm not looking for answers like "someone who is confident and knows how to be herself" or even "big boobs and a nice butt". I'm looking for specific, widely held, possibly irrational turn-ons. (And, for good measure, why you think they are attractive or why they work for you.)
posted by alternateuniverse to Human Relations (81 answers total) 64 users marked this as a favorite
The smell of pumpkin pie, apparently.
posted by verb at 7:50 PM on December 15, 2010

-girl who can shoot a gun
-girl riding a motorcycle
-girl wearing leather
posted by Night_owl at 7:51 PM on December 15, 2010

Girls who drink whiskey.
Girls who will wear lingerie for you.
posted by Gilbert at 8:02 PM on December 15, 2010 [13 favorites]

I've heard some very interesting things about smells, too, specifically as they relate to vanilla, cinnamon, and the Daisy perfume by Marc Jacobs. The latter has some sort of ridiculously entrancing effect on men, to the point where at least 5 of my otherwise-uninclined-to-comment-on-fashion-and/or-makeup straight guy friends have purchased the scent for their girlfriends multiple times this year.

As a mostly straight female who occasionally develops rather strong attractions to girls, I'm personally attracted to women like Janelle Monae who can switch seamlessly and effortlessly between super feminine and super boyish looks. (Another great video here.) It's... It's sort of a balancing thing. Never too much of one mode of being at one time. I don't really know how to explain it. (FWIW I have the same attraction to men like Patrick Swayze, who are so incredibly masculine that they look even more gorgeous when they play women.)
posted by patronuscharms at 8:02 PM on December 15, 2010 [4 favorites]

Girls who will have a threesome with you, but (and this is key) remain focused on *you* the entire time.
posted by squasha at 8:04 PM on December 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

Good with power tools.
posted by whalebreath at 8:06 PM on December 15, 2010 [4 favorites]

I don't know exactly how common liking this is precisely, but women who can play musical instruments well. Particularly more aggressive instruments, like electric guitar.
posted by Hither at 8:08 PM on December 15, 2010 [4 favorites]

For some, cigarette breath, I've been told.
if you've ever smelled cigarette breath, you know how irrational this is!
posted by Rube R. Nekker at 8:08 PM on December 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

specific, widely held, possibly irrational turn-ons

This might be strictly an Australian thing: a woman who is knowledgeable about, or even better can play, cricket is proverbially [ahem] a good catch.

I'm very ignorant about the game and even I find that's a thing.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 8:08 PM on December 15, 2010

Drives a pickup truck.
Sneakers and a formal dress.
posted by AugustWest at 8:16 PM on December 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

Women who play the cello
Women who are (good) writers
Women with/pursuing a PhD
Women who can be absolutely ruthless and cold without batting an eyelash, but not in that way where they want to show how cold they are
posted by AlsoMike at 8:17 PM on December 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

My wife can hang drywall and kicks my ass at patching same. She can also, when riled, out-cuss me. These are positive things.
posted by notsnot at 8:18 PM on December 15, 2010 [2 favorites]

Glasses. I have straw-polled every male friend I've had in the last ten plus years and every single one has agreed that, all things considered, a nice pair of frames will make someone more attractive than not. I run in a reasonably diverse crowd, though there's not a lot of bogans (um, us translation I suppose redneck).
posted by smoke at 8:36 PM on December 15, 2010 [15 favorites]

None of the things you mentioned are universally attractive in men. In my book, motorcycles = cool, carpentry = fine, I guess (though there are other hobbies I would deem sexier), and fights = an actively bad/scary/unattractive thing.

So, sorry, no universally attractive female traits. And I'm bi, so I should be able to weigh in if they existed.
posted by Sara C. at 8:38 PM on December 15, 2010 [8 favorites]

Girls who have a story about making out with other girls.
Girls who wear your clothes (although this is pretty much limited to your old shirts).
posted by holterbarbour at 8:48 PM on December 15, 2010 [4 favorites]

None of the "universal" things above work for me; glasses comes close, but still there are just too many different kinds of people. For every person who loves X, you'll find someone who loves the inverse.
posted by Chris4d at 8:50 PM on December 15, 2010 [3 favorites]

My understanding is that foot fetishes are extremely common among straight men, but somewhat rare among straight women.

So I don't know if "feet" was exactly the answer you were expecting, but there ya go.

(I specify "straight" because A, that's what you're asking about specifically, and B, I don't actually know about the prevalence of foot fetish among gay men or lesbians. Now I am curious. But not curious enough to Google it. I've learned THAT lesson.)
posted by ErikaB at 8:55 PM on December 15, 2010 [5 favorites]

So this question has totally piqued my interest and I've been tossing it to some of my friends to get their responses and one has asked me to suggest that looking at the lyrics of pop and rap songs as a way to determine those "universal" measurements of hotness since women are so frequently the focus of musical creations.

(Of course, when said friend suggested this, my entire group of friends immediately chorused "A LADY IN THE STREET BUT A FREAK IN THE BED" because we're all tools, so YMMV, but still... A source is a source is a source I guess.)
posted by patronuscharms at 9:04 PM on December 15, 2010 [3 favorites]

Girls who wore jean jackets and smoked were a big turn on for a teenage geek like me.
posted by bonobothegreat at 9:20 PM on December 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

I know you said you weren't looking for this, but all the traits I'm thinking of boil down to confidence.
posted by MillMan at 9:25 PM on December 15, 2010 [5 favorites]

It's not "big boobs and a nice butt" in the general, it's a waist to hip ratio of 0.7 to be specific. WTHR and symmetry. Both of these are universally attractive of women.
posted by zenm at 9:30 PM on December 15, 2010 [3 favorites]

With sexual tastes as variable as they are, I also have trouble believing there are any qualities of woman that will appeal to all men. I think a woman that laughs at my jokes is as close to a universally attractive quality I can get because it feeds the ego. Making me laugh gets someone noticed much more.

Irrational attractive thing? Anger.
posted by chinesefood at 9:39 PM on December 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

It's great to see my old question come back from the archives!

I would like to second the smell of cigarettes. I don't smoke and don't like smoking, but I love the smell. Irrational, but true.

I would also like to second the theme that seems to be emerging of "combining the soft and the rough". The power tools, the electric guitar, the whiskey, the pickup truck-- when combined with softer, more stereotypically feminine qualities-- it is the peanut butter and chocolate of attraction for a lot of straight guys.
posted by the jam at 9:56 PM on December 15, 2010 [2 favorites]

For me, a surprisingly erotic experience was listening to Vancouver author Annabel Lyon discuss her book The Golden Mean on CBC Radio a while ago.

For one thing, she has a purr like Kathleen Turner. She was also able to talk quite ably about Classical history, philosophy, natural history and mathematics. A real turn on. She also is, from my perspective, quite attractive.

I also find women who dress well, and look good in a pair of jeans to be attractive.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:06 PM on December 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

Women who know their way around a farm or who grow their own food. Bonus points if they've ever slaughtered something. But maybe that's just me...
posted by buckaroo_benzai at 10:18 PM on December 15, 2010

Being direct.
posted by benzenedream at 10:22 PM on December 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

Damn, what am I doing wrong, I've shot guns, I own and use power tools (carpentry and other sorts), I smell of cigarettes, I have a black leather jacket, boobs, a PhD, and I write a lot, sometimes well.

OK, tomorrow I'm gonna go out and buy that perfume.
posted by mareli at 10:22 PM on December 15, 2010 [39 favorites]

Women (or men, actually) who are impressively confident, in a nonchalant sort of way, when using the tools of their trade. I don't mean hand tools, necessarily - it could be anything from a camera to a mixing desk to a set of chef's knives. But there's something sexy about a person who's both passionate about what they do, and so practised that they could almost do it with their eyes closed.
posted by embrangled at 10:34 PM on December 15, 2010 [10 favorites]

posted by pants tent at 10:37 PM on December 15, 2010 [4 favorites]

Purr Like Kathleen Turner!
posted by lalochezia at 11:10 PM on December 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

Spy/ international jewel thief.
posted by Artw at 11:42 PM on December 15, 2010 [8 favorites]

As a straight lady, I find motorcycles and fist fights pretty gross myself, but I can say that girls I know who don't wear bras seem to get a lot of dudes, regardless of their other traits. I have not tried this out myself, however.
posted by elpea at 12:58 AM on December 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

Good girls like the preachers' daughter willing to do bad things.
I'm surprised no one mentioned good at dancing- alone or with a partner. Not to mention on stage...
But for me, its The Walk. It has presence, just the right amount of sway of the hips, and a healthy cadence. I suppose most pursuers have their own formula of what The Walk means to them. Bonus points if I get to hear before seeing.
posted by Giggilituffin at 1:50 AM on December 16, 2010

The only thing I can think of, after recalling coversations with various guys over the years is one thing: a foreign accent. Something about that seems to push a button on our heads.
posted by nomadicink at 2:26 AM on December 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

Foreign accents
Dirty Talk

Can be combined for greater effect.
posted by gryftir at 3:26 AM on December 16, 2010 [3 favorites]

Loving to cook, and a sensual appreciation of food. I'm attracted to people of either gender who are great cooks and who have a little extra padding to show for it. Nigella Lawson is one of the hottest women on the planet in my mind... but I've also found myself unexpectedly attracted to somewhat plainer folks who know their way around the kitchen & dining table.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 3:36 AM on December 16, 2010 [2 favorites]

Women who wear click-clacking high heels... there's something commanding yet inviting about that sound, which just heightens your anticipation for the moment they stop walking and arrive exactly where you are.

I make no claims for the universality of this statement, but I'd be very surprised if I was the only one who thought this way.
posted by greenfelttip at 5:25 AM on December 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

Widely held and arguably irrational? How about being attracted to incredibly plasticized celebrities with enormous fake boobs? A bunch of guys I work with can't stop talking about women like that. Never mind that they are all happily married to totally normal (and quite attractive) women -- their idea of Super Duper HAWT!!!!!! has everything to do with quadruple-D's and plenty of silicone. From what I can tell by the cover of Maxim, it's a widely shared attraction.
posted by Forktine at 5:27 AM on December 16, 2010 [2 favorites]

Being interested in and good ad video games. Enjoying household chores.

Both these traits have always got me in the good books with men, friends and potential suitors alike. I must also admit, I find them attractive in a woman too.
posted by sunshinesky at 5:29 AM on December 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: This is great, everyone! Keep them coming.

Giggituffin -- what did you mean by "bonus points if I get to hear before seeing"?
posted by alternateuniverse at 5:40 AM on December 16, 2010

Most desirable trait: sense of adventure -- unafraid (not just unafraid of, but fearless and excited by) new menus, poorly-equipped camping trips, unfamiliar places, new equipment, new ideas. The sense that this person is somewhat dangerous and therefore an interesting companion.

Major turnon: good (confident and capable) with tools and/or building things.

Irrationally attracted to: short and/or crazy hair.

Not hot: Movie/TV talk. Anxiety. Rigidity/evangelizing WRT beliefs/food/lifestyles.
posted by fake at 5:47 AM on December 16, 2010 [3 favorites]

Intelligence. Short hair, pixie cuts. Directness. Love of food. Presence, being comfortable in her own skin.
I'm a sucker for an Irish accent :)
posted by arcticseal at 6:07 AM on December 16, 2010 [2 favorites]

I'm a straight woman, so not really qualified to answer, but just to share, I got more attention from men than I ever, ever have when I drove a muscle car. She was a blue '69 Firebird, black top and interior. I named her Betty.

I was going through a gearhead phase, and I bought the car by and for myself, so I did some research and could talk about the car's virtues and features and explain things a bit. This, in turn, made me feel cool, which probably made me seem more attractive. (It was also a good verbal smackdown for dudes who unwisely led off with, "Is this your dad's/boyfriend's car?" So lame.)

The range of men who tried to chat me up using Betty as a topic blew my mind. I was commuting to work from a rural/touristy area to a college town (Ann Arbor), and, as a consequence, saw a pretty wide array of people. Everyone from father/son rednecks to the 30ish suit who tried to buy Betty from me in the bank parking lot. I also got a lot of catcalls from cabbies.

My uncle was working on Betty one day, and kindly let me take his Heritage Softail to work. I think of that as my Elvis day- the day that I was the hottest I will ever be. My completely non-lecherous boss chuckled and said, "You realize you are ruining all these men for any other woman, right?" This kid I worked with was standing outside when I got of the bike and took my helmet off, and just shook his head kind of woefully and told me he was in love with me. Another dude told me that if polygamy wasn't illegal, he'd propose.

The men featured in this story ran from 18 to mid fifties, include both immigrants and native born Americans, and cover a lot of races- white, black, Asian, Middle Eastern, and Hispanic. So the gearhead appeal seems, if not universal, pretty broad.

And just for the record, I'm not that good looking. I've been a little overweight my entire life, and I certainly do not fall into the Barbie/cheerleader/girl next door type that seems to get all the attention.
posted by Leta at 6:10 AM on December 16, 2010 [20 favorites]

She should be smart, educated and funny; wear jeans, boots, a flannel shirt, and glasses; have hair cut short at the back; be able to ride a horse and drive a truck; drink half a bottle of whiskey and still shoot straight, skin her own rabbits and roos once she's shot 'em; have an appreciation of both vintage kitchen paraphernalia and Venetian art glass, and possess a dirty dirty mind..

Medical or mechanical knowledge is always appreciated as well.

Or am I just aiming too high here?
posted by Ahab at 6:22 AM on December 16, 2010 [2 favorites]

Universally attractive?

Long Hair.
posted by sanka at 6:28 AM on December 16, 2010 [2 favorites]

Turtlenecks on a woman with nice skin drive me crazy.
posted by Philemon at 6:48 AM on December 16, 2010

White teeth.
Teeth can be clean and healthy without being especially white, but white ones invite.
posted by fivesavagepalms at 6:48 AM on December 16, 2010

Long Hair.

I was pretty much shocked at how many of my male friends reacted when I cut my waist-length hair in college (which, for the record, I couldn't really do anything with and generally looked pretty limp). They were appalled at the idea of cutting it, and begged me not to. Very weird.
posted by you're a kitty! at 7:04 AM on December 16, 2010

No long nails. Especially, no long fake nails.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:15 AM on December 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

I'm with marell. I must be the sexiest woman on the planet (a hilarious thought)--I used to smell of Dunhills, my favorite spirit besides Korean soju is rye whiskey, I've had both mega long and ultra short pixie hair, was very big into carpentry as a younger woman doing functioning 2-story sets and staircases etc. for local theater (but alas, haven't built much the past 5 years), have shot guns, like to bum around in "manly" type stuff like wifebeaters and oxfords whenever possible, am OBSESSED with all kinds of cooking from fancy ass frou frou to home-style comfort food, have bitchin' teeth, and have never had long nails. I also like wrestling, skating (ice and roller), skiing, snow-shoeing, swimming, horseback riding, lifting weights, kicking my husband's ass at video and computer games, and laughing really hard at stupid shit. Got my degree in a traditionally male field and am generally better at computer science and math than my husband despite his degrees in both (he'd tell you as much too, I'm not slagging him). And yet I am also a crazy cat lady who collects tea pots and has NO IDEA about ANYTHING having to do with cars, so go figure. And these traits have never pinged on the radar for the folks who know them about me (being better at math and all that actually hurt me romantically back in the early 20s, you know how insecure young men can be)--meanwhile I get hit on all the time whenever I wear a skirt or something girly that shows my legs and bust. So I'm sort of with Forktine; these are traits people like to want in someone, they make them feel good to appreciate them, but in the real world out there I dunno.

And anyway I don't think there's too much universal really. And a lot of these aren't "irrational" at all--they do either come down to being confident and unique enough to subvert gender norms OR they're about having a useful skill, and hey, skills are attractive.

That said, here's one that really is "irrational" as I see it--there's a certain kind of voice that is enormously attractive to me on a woman. I've encountered it only a handful of times, but when I have so help me. It's not quite manly or raspy per se, but it's a little husky while still clearly "feminine". Hard to describe. That and a certain kind of music taste which I suppose sort of goes back to the whole "confident and unique enough to subvert gender norms" thing--the lady who digs Big Black or This Heat or Savage Republic, stuff that's vaguely obscure and also very unladylike but super dynamic and interesting.
posted by ifjuly at 8:01 AM on December 16, 2010 [2 favorites]

I don't find the gearhead thing attractive in women, but I can confirm that driving a convertible is always an immediate boost in attractiveness, at least to the average man on the street. There is no other circumstance in which I ever get as much attention as when I'm driving around in the summer. Biking in a dress rates second, but it's not even close. Even in Portland.

But, really, what embrangled said:

Women (or men, actually) who are impressively confident, in a nonchalant sort of way, when using the tools of their trade. I don't mean hand tools, necessarily - it could be anything from a camera to a mixing desk to a set of chef's knives. But there's something sexy about a person who's both passionate about what they do, and so practised that they could almost do it with their eyes closed.

Though with the caveat that I'm a grad student, so most of the people I know are grad students, and for me it's people who relate to their academic discipline in that way. They just fucking love thinking and talking about poetry or math or whatever they do, and their ease and comfort with it is palpable even if you don't understand it. So sexy.

Though this becomes charming instead of sexy if they're not also physically attractive, which for me has a lot to do with how comfortable they are in their skin. My current crush is a former ballerina, so the way she moves is pretty extraordinary, but that wouldn't be enough if she wasn't also one of the smartest and most passionate people I've ever met.
posted by dizziest at 8:06 AM on December 16, 2010

"The wife has three great attributes: intelligence, a Swiss Army knife and charm." -- Billy Bragg
posted by kirkaracha at 8:33 AM on December 16, 2010

More often than not, when I mention that I used to be a gymnast, guys get way too interested.
posted by rmless at 8:51 AM on December 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

One snaggle-tooth, particularly a lateral incisor. Dang that's hot.
posted by jasondigitized at 9:03 AM on December 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

posted by Kitty Stardust at 9:18 AM on December 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

The sample bias in this thread is so out of control, there's no way we're getting anywhere near "universally hot" even if our frame of reference is the developed Western world.

But for what it's worth: number one, with a bullet, the only one that is not only specific, irrational, and widely held among my acquaintances also attracted to the ladies, but I share it too?

Girls who can drive stick shift are hot.
posted by clavicle at 9:29 AM on December 16, 2010 [3 favorites]

One snaggle-tooth, particularly a lateral incisor. Dang that's hot.

Maybe you need to go to Japan, jasondigitized.

I will echo that short hair on a woman, for me, is very attractive. So obviously the long hair thing is not universal (I like that too, just not exclusively).

I'm having a hard time figuring out if if anything is actually universal or even "widely held." Certainly attraction to strictly physical characteristics ranges all over the map for men (and women I assume). And I'd also venture to guess those attributes "widely held" to be attractive are probably pretty culturally bound (for example, see above yaeba link).

What I can think of is that there are some female characteristics that seem to crop up a lot but don't have a lot to do with male attraction. Personally, I've found very few guys—and I know this is true for me as well—who are actually attracted to the sort of bone-thin women that you see so often in advertisements and the general media. I think it's safe to say (ha) that for the most part men are attracted to women who weigh more and are "fuller" than the media presents. Granted, there's still a lot of variation in there, but I would imagine this is generally true.

Secondly, is there any guy on the planet who actually finds long, manicured nails attractive? I've never, ever gotten that one. Impractical? Check. Ugly? Check. Implying someone who is high-maintenance? Check.
posted by innocuous_sockpuppet at 9:30 AM on December 16, 2010

Yeah, I'm not getting this universal thing - so many of these things I know to be turn offs for a lot of the guys I've known and certainly are turn offs for me as a lesbian.

But this much I can tell you - I've never known a guy who wasn't insanely more interested in a woman once he found out she used to sleep with women.
posted by FlamingBore at 9:39 AM on December 16, 2010 [2 favorites]

One snaggle-tooth, particularly a lateral incisor. Dang that's hot.

This is popular in Japan, where it's known as yaeba.
posted by benzenedream at 9:45 AM on December 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

these are traits people like to want in someone, they make them feel good to appreciate them, but in the real world out there I dunno.

Point taken, but I've fallen hard for three different women for the three exact reasons I mentioned, and now they are a big deal to me. It's just that there are less opportunities to demonstrate those kinds of things in everyday life than just showing some leg (which also works just fine, and in concert with some of the things I've mentioned, I'd swoon, thanks).

There are different places and times for things. In LA there are magazine-beautiful (IOW not my kind of beautiful) women everywhere, but few builder-types. So what is attractive shifts.
posted by fake at 9:46 AM on December 16, 2010

I'm sure there are dudes who want to rescue damsels in distress, but for me: enough self-confidence and self-esteem to be well and truly over all the things holding them back or keeping them from doing what they want to do. Shorter version: being game. Goes for men, too.

Kinda doesn't matter how they got there, whether through seasoning or being born that way, but there's nothing worse than someone who needs constant reassurance and/or rescuing. Essentially, being on top of and in charge of your life (for real, not posing or posturing like you do).

All of the above is just the cost of admission - the irrationally hot part is doing all that and choosing to share it all/involve others, especially me.

YMMV. My answer would have been very different 10, even 5 years ago.
posted by NoRelationToLea at 9:50 AM on December 16, 2010

Mod note: folks -- OP would like to make a list of general stereotypes, saying that you personally don't find a certain thing attractive doesn't help, doesn't answer the question and turns an already dicey question into a total problem. Please just answer the question and let it recede into the distance. Thank you.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:35 AM on December 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

-Getting ready quickly, i.e. low maintenance
-Seconding whiskey drinkers
-Likes the outdoors, or not afraid of getting dirty
-Well-defined ankles
-A bit of crassness
-The 'out of bed look' - sweat pants, over-sized t-shirt, no bra
-Independence/own interests
-The elusive unicorn

What's interesting, and maybe someone said this and I missed it or it was mentioned in the other thread, is that a lot of the 'universal irrational things' the het people attractive in the opposite sex are so often qualities stereotypically associated with their own gender (i.e. men who cook, women who fish, etc.).
posted by Lutoslawski at 12:16 PM on December 16, 2010 [2 favorites]

Has to have a wicked sense of humour. and when I say wicked, I mean wicked.
Has to be intelligent.
Has to be strong and resilient. I can't bear crybabies of either sex.
Has to be an atheist.
Has to love words, music, food and drink. Can't be doing with picky eaters. Really appreciating food and drink shows sensuality, which is not only a good thing in the kitchen and the restaurant, right? Riiight! Speaking of which...
Unrestrained and un-self-conscious in the sack.

Those are the big ones, for me. Then there are a few things I really like but which aren't quite so important.

Tall. I love tall. Taller than me is absolutely fine. Wear the damned heels too. Flaunt it!
Long hair. Yes, clichéd, but there it is. What can you do?
Black hair.
Curves. A body that looks like a woman's body, not a cancer patient's
A deep and dirty voice. Especially if it's in a Russian accent. I lose my goddamned mind when a woman speaks with a Russian accent. I don't even care what language she's speaking, if she does it with a Russian accent I turn to jelly all over. Well, almost all over.
posted by Decani at 12:24 PM on December 16, 2010

The perfect woman:

* Can drive a stick (motorcycle even better)
* Doesn't wear makeup, and looks down on those who do
* Has small hands/feet
* Isn't afraid of tools, including power tools
* Camps and/or gets dirty without bitching
* Likes music older than her
* Waxes everything
* Doesn't have long nails
* Works out hard (not just an elliptical jockey)
* Has a European accent
* Enjoys at least one sport, and is knowledgeable about it
* Knows what she wants sexually, and isn't afraid to ask for it. But at the same time...
* Won't try to have sex on the first date, or even the 3rd
* Can beat me at Trivial Pursuit and air hockey

This is an "I like" list, but I'm only including things I've heard from many other guys. Universal? Probably not. But then, I disagree with 90% of the previous posters.
posted by coolguymichael at 12:38 PM on December 16, 2010

long hair.

Nah, when I cut my long hair to about shoulder length and it was much bouncier and fuller, my boyfriend reacted with enthusiasm, and I've heard the exact sentiment from other men in the past.

I will say boyish hair as been referenced as almost universally unattractive. Almost.
posted by namesarehard at 1:00 PM on December 16, 2010

I heard a guy make a (successful) argument that the hottest thing a woman can wear is a man's dress shirt (basically something like this image of Jennifer Aniston from the cover of Vanity Fair). It wasn't irrational though, his argument was that it implied intimacy (sleepover), but a circumstance where the woman hadn't prepared anything to bring over, so she had to find something out of his closet, e.g. his shirt. The image implies a scenario where the woman had to be convinced, and the guy is lucky (or charming) enough to have a serendipitous screw.
posted by I am the Walrus at 1:02 PM on December 16, 2010

Seconding I am the Walrus's comment about women in dress shirts. :-)
posted by ssqq at 1:18 PM on December 16, 2010

In my experience, men like women who are nerdy in the same way that they are. They want someone who gets them. Many women won't listen to men talk about their love of StarCraft/boxing/foreign sports cars/Kool Keith/linear algebra. Men are told that women think their interests are boring, so it's probably really exciting when there exists a woman who contradicts that.

Men also think it is sexy when women are brats to them and don't make it too easy. Most dudes wouldn't admit that it is a preference, but they always like it better when they think that they can't have you or that you don't want them.

I have never met a man who wasn't into women who could cook and bake well. I have met a LOT of guys who say that they don't like makeup, but they think makeup means Divine (not Mila Kunis).
posted by 200burritos at 3:01 PM on December 16, 2010

According to an informal study I've performed over my 18 years of being attracted to women and knowing people who feel the same, the one thing that was universal is a hot girl driving a pickup truck. In my findings, nobody who is attracted to women has ever disagreed with that.
posted by General Malaise at 4:37 PM on December 16, 2010

"I prefer my liquor dark and a mean white slut." Nice girls are boring. Mean girls are hot. It is irrational, but universal.
posted by ND¢ at 7:32 PM on December 16, 2010

the one thing that was universal is a hot girl driving a pickup truck

You can't include hot in the thing itself. The thing has to make her hot.

I only met one girl who was actually attractive in a unique way, like you couldn't walk beside her without stumbling into her, crowding close to her when you sat anywhere, felt a pulling feeling in your chest if you had to move away from her. I have no idea what it is with her. Gets stronger all the time. I felt it before I felt the feelings... I think it was just her, the whole thing, and all the little reasons came after... as if the analysis was all post-hoc rationalization if some pre-rational gravitational tendency.
posted by ServSci at 7:41 PM on December 16, 2010

Trying to come up with some near-universals & answering not necessarily for myself, but based on what I've heard from boy talk over the years...

- Librarians, yeah, big tick there.

- Rides a motorbike, which also entails wearing motorbike gear (needn't be full leathers).

- Drives a cool car (anything from a Morris Minor to a muscle car, it doesn't matter, as long as it's the kind of car that enthusiasts have clubs for). Bonus points if it's a manual / stick shift, and double bonus points if she can change a tyre herself, and do at least basic engine maintenance.

- Truly enjoys watching (at least some) sport, and has knowledge & enthusiasm - none of that "why did he just throw the ball forward?" stuff. A kind of "hangin' with the boys" thing.

- Drinking whiskey has been mentioned, but I'd generalise that to drinking anything normally thought of as traditionally "manly", including beer. Nothing sexy at all about sweetie mixed drinks or cocktails: one reeks of teenager-like immaturity, and the other a kind of faux sophistication.

- Has some girl on girl stories to tell. That's probably 100% universal.

- Plays a bass guitar, or failing that, a regular guitar.

- Gets down & dirty with tools. This might be the car maintenance thing, or gardening, or whatever. A bit of sweaty effort & elbow grease, like in a ratty old t-shirt & pants.

Funnily enough, most of these more or less translate to something like "can be at ease being like one of the boys" - only it's a woman, so it's hot.
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:40 PM on December 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

"what did you mean by "bonus points if I get to hear before seeing"?"

greenfelttip summed it well: "Women who wear click-clacking high heels... there's something commanding yet inviting about that sound, which just heightens your anticipation for the moment they stop walking and arrive exactly where you are."
posted by Giggilituffin at 7:04 AM on December 17, 2010

Girls on bikes is irrational, yet real.
posted by teriyaki_tornado at 10:59 AM on December 17, 2010

Here's my list:
1. Drinking bourbon.
2. Knowing how to handle (and MAINTAIN) a knife.
3. Making coffee in the morning while wearing one of my shirts.
4. Knowing how to drive stick.
5. Riding a bike . . . and not a cruiser.
6. Knowing how to surf.
7. Playing, or having played a rough sport (like soccer).
8. Knowing how to dance--ballet, belly dance, hula . . . doesn't matter.
9. Knowing how to walk in heels.
10. Knowing how to cook and appreciating food.
11. Owning at least one pair of cowboy boots.
12. I have a thing for larger than average or crooked noses (weird, right?)
and last, but definitely NOT least . . .
13. Hoop earrings. The bigger the better.

Please note these are all things my wife does/knows/has, etc., . . . which is probably why I fell all over myself to ask her to marry me after a year of dating.
posted by kaiseki at 8:16 PM on December 17, 2010

Competence. Skill at anything, particularly things that men are more stereotypically interested in than women, is a turn-on. Passion, about virtually anything, is an attractive quality in either gender.
posted by JDHarper at 9:21 PM on December 17, 2010 [3 favorites]

High heels can get my attention, boots will keep it.
posted by Blasdelb at 10:12 AM on December 25, 2010

I grew up with a mom that was basically the world's doormat. She was gullible and did favors for anyone that asked and would take it as people yelled at her constantly. It was pretty demoralizing and I took on many of her traits before wising up when I finally got out on my own and realized the world takes advantage of people that are too nice.

Anyway, the experience produced a streak in me where I was instantly and insanely attracted to women in positions of power, that showed intelligence, and showed toughness. Any bold assertive woman was my new crush when I was in my 20s simply by being the opposite of the mom I saw growing up.

The success rate of this was hit and miss. Of the women that would actually go out with me that I fell for, it turned out that for many of them it was a bit of an act, a defense mechanism for new people and they weren't so bold or tough after you got to know them which was a bit of a drag.
posted by mathowie at 12:07 PM on December 26, 2010 [4 favorites]

Those of you who are into librarians... I am one and hang out with them all the time. They are really not all that great in the hotness department. Your average librarian is more Susan Boyle than Parker Posey.

Also, I'm just chiming in to say that once again my hotness criteria for dudes is apparently way off. I don't like builder guys, but a guy who wears nail polish, reads Jane Austen, and has long, delicate fingers totally does it for me.
posted by missrachael at 7:07 AM on December 29, 2010

Those of you who are into librarians... I am one and hang out with them all the time. They are really not all that great in the hotness department.

I don't think I explained my list well enough earlier - it was meant as an "all other things being equal" list, whereby the exact same woman will be thought of as hotter if she has one or more of those attributes.

It's a bit like the truism that people are always 50% hotter when either on stage or working behind a bar.

So, Parker Posey as a librarian is hotter than vanilla Parker Posey, and librarian Susan Boyle is also hotter than plain old singing Susan.
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:41 AM on December 29, 2010

« Older What's the charging voltage for an Mx Revolution...   |   Loose current or what? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.