This comment of the day was by Introverted Playboy on the post “The Success Myth“
I certainly agree that men’s looks are a lot more consequential than traditionally assumed. However, there is no question that men are far more affected by a woman’s physical looks–the face and body–than women are by a man’s, when it comes to sexual arousal.
Teen girls have posters of pop stars and movie stars because these men are famous, and enjoy high social status. Not necessarily because they are good looking. Take the Beatles in their day, or Mick Jagger, for instance. Take Justin Beiber, Bruno Mars (who actually looks kind of girly), or Usher (who does not look particularly feminine or masculine, but just…not pretty).
An example of a “good looking” man in the masculine sense (square jaw, strong brow, etc) would be Arnold Schwarzenegger in his bodybuilding days.
The fact that softer features and a more feminine look (like Johnny Depp or Leonardo DiCaprio) can also be considered attractive just demonstrates that women are fundamentally less affected by physical looks (in the sense of bone structure and facial fat distribution) when it comes to sexual arousal. If a woman is hot for an Arnold Schwarzenegger type, she would describe him as “hunky” or “masculine,” and if she was hot for a Leo DiCaprio type, she would describe him as “cute.” But her attraction to him is mostly based on his behavior, personality, swagger, confidence, status and other attributes (which are what are emphasized in romance novels).
Men’s sexual arousal is far more influenced by physical appearance–which is precisely why we see that emphasis on the hyper-masculine look in gay porn (the equivalent is emphasis on the hyper-feminine in mainstream porn for straight men).
If women were so enthralled by men’s looks, then how come romance novels (the female equivalent of porn) don’t have pictures?
The science has all but proven, and any casual glance at people’s behavior shows, that women are far less interested in a man’s physical looks than the other way around, when it comes to sexual desire. Now that is different from “looking good” in the sense of being fit, dressing well, having a great hairstyle and being well groomed, etc. That definitely makes a difference in a man’s attractiveness.
Photo: juggernautco / flickr