When it comes to attraction, there may indeed be a little weird science involved. Seriously, how many times have you looked at a couple and said to yourself, Hmmm…how did a guy like that get a gal like her? Well, we’re not going to say we’ve found the magic elixir, but we did dig up some surprising secret ways men can effortlessly make themselves more attractive to the ladies.
We’re guessing that even if they don’t actually work for you personally, the extra confidence you’ll exude knowing you’ve got these stealth attraction tactics (i.e., “attractics”) in your arsenal may just help you land a date with that gal you’ve had your eye on.
Attractic #1: Wear red
Red is a power color, and that doesn’t just apply to politics and carpets at Hollywood events. According to a recent study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, simply wearing the color red or being surrounded by the rosy hue makes a man more attractive and desirable to women. The fact that women are largely unaware of this color’s arousing quality makes wearing it that much more effective for men who are in the know (unless they’re women who happen to have read this article… in which case, they may be on to you, but they’ll still probably respond to the color anyway).
Adding a touch of red into your wardrobe apparently makes women perceive you as having a higher social status, more likely to make money and think of you as powerful (whether it’s true or not). On a purely animalistic level, for non-human primates — like mandrills and gelada baboons — the color red is an indicator of male dominance and is expressed most intensely in alpha males. Females of these species mate more often with alpha males who, in return, provide them with protection and resources. “When women see red, it triggers something deep and probably biologically ingrained,” says Andrew Elliot, the lead author of this study and professor of psychology at the University of Rochester. In other words, dressing to impress may now mean adding a pop of cherry into your typical black, gray and navy wardrobe staples.
Attractic #2: Eat celery
Real men don’t eat rabbit food, right? WRONG. If you want to reel in the ladies, try increasing your crunches — of celery stalks, that is, not the gym variety. And it’s not just because women tend to congregate around vegetable trays at parties; in fact, eating celery increases the amount of female-attracting pheromones that men emit. Why? It seems that the cytoplasm found in celery contains the same chemicals as those found in human male sweat (specifically, regular sweat that’s responsible for a subtly masculine scent, which may not always be perceptible through clothing); both contain the steroid Androstenone, which makes men more attractive to women.
Why would you want more pheromones oozing out of your pores, you ask? Well, these are the hormones responsible for letting animals know when it’s time to mate, and they’re also how insects attract their mates from up to six miles away. So if you find yourself within flirting distance of an attractive woman and you’re dripping in delicious pheromones thanks to the celery you snacked on for lunch, women may find themselves irresistibly drawn to you. “The effects of celery are almost immediate,” says Judy Gaman, coauthor of the book, Stay Young: 10 Proven Steps to Ultimate Health. “We recommend that a man work out, have a nice, warm shower, chomp on a few sticks of celery, brush his teeth — and then head out the door smelling good!” Admit it: you’re rethinking the “eat your vegetables” edict now, aren’t you? Just call it “eau de crudité.”
Attractic #3: Play romantic music
Looking to score a gal’s digits or get her to think that you’re Prince Charming? Take a cue from the French and play a little love song first. According to a recent study by researchers Nicolas Guéguen and Céline Jacob from the Université de Bretagne-Sud (along with Lubomir Lamy from Université de Paris-Sud), women who were exposed to romantic music before interacting with eligible males were more likely to hand over their contact information (ostensibly, to set up a date) than those ladies who were exposed to “neutral” music in the same scenario. And while sappy ballads might make more macho guys want to gag, if your goal is to get the lady in question’s email address, it might behoove you to stomach a little Il Divo or Josh Groban in the presence of female subjects (the researchers showed positive correlations between romantic feelings and background music). Or try attending a crooner’s concert performance solo; who knows — you might just find yourself fighting off a whole group of swooning women!
Attractic #4: Order a chocolate dessert
Meeting a lady for coffee? Order some food, too. And if you can, make it something with chocolate in it. Here’s why: when people talk about falling in love, what’s really going on is that you’re participating in activities that promote forming an attachment to each other. Things that facilitate the attachment process raise your oxytocin levels (the love and bonding hormones) in the brain. According to Dr. Alan Hirsch, Neurological Director of the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago, eating and the smell of food increases oxytocin levels in humans. So, by ordering an appetizer or dessert as an accompaniment, your date’s oxytocin levels will spike, thus encouraging a mutual bond to develop. (Who would’ve guessed that love was just an order of nachos away this whole time?) “You may want to be alone with her while eating, however, so she doesn’t bond with someone else at the table,” warns Dr. Hirsch.
To enhance the bonding effect even more, order something that contains chocolate. Eating chocolate increases the serotonin levels in the human body, which can induce feelings of euphoria and chemically improve your mood. “By being around a woman while she’s eating chocolate, you get this sort of ‘halo effect’…she likes the chocolate you ordered her, therefore she likes you,” says Dr. Hirsch.
Attractic #5: Learn some dance moves
So you think you can dance? Go ahead and bust a move, then! Actually, make that a good move (if you are a horrible dancer and you know it, please try options #1-4 above first). Why? The movements associated with men perceived as being skilled at dancing appear to send a subliminal signal to women that you’re in good health and have reproductive potential.
A recent study published in the Royal Society journal, Biology Letters, analyzed the dance moves of 12 non-professional male dancers. Researchers videotaped these men grooving to a basic drum rhythm and then turned their “dances” into computer-generated cartoons (that way, each guy could be judged solely on his moves, not his looks). Women then rated these dancing avatars on a scale of 1 to 7.
The results were clear: if it’s female attention you’re after, don’t flail your arms on the dance floor. Women participating in the study paid more attention to those dancers who were connected with their core body region. In other words, the guys who earned higher ratings had more control over their upper bodies and were twisting, bending, moving and nodding instead of simply pumping their fists in the air. Women scored men whose movements were twitchy and repetitive the lowest — so try to stay on beat and avoid shuffling back and forth aimlessly. And if you know you’re smooth, well...don’t be afraid to show it! You just might have women falling at your feet (but not stepping on your toes).
Kimberly Dawn Neumann (www.KDNeumann.com) is a New York City-based freelance writer whose work has appeared in Cosmopolitan, Redbook, Women’s Health, Marie Claire, Maxim and more. A frequent online contributor for Match.com’s Happen magazine, she’s also the author of The Real Reasons Men Commit as well as the founder of www.DatingDivaDaily.com.