Columns Dec 24, 2014 at 4:00 am

Only the Lonely


Study: women prefer taller men

Asking open-ended questions in an online survey to ascertain height preferences, researchers concluded that 14 percent of men expressed a desire to date exclusively shorter women.

But when it came to women, nearly half or 49 percent of females said they only wanted to date men who were taller than themselves.

Another reason I've heard/read women give for not dating shorter guys is that "guys aren't interested in taller women." When I've seen this comment, I've conceded that some men don't want to date taller women but that most men don't care. I've argued that height differential is much more of a woman's issue. And this study backs that up.

Here's another study that backs that up: Why Women Want Tall Men

In general, women were more likely than men to think that the man should be taller and they didn’t want to be in a relationship in which they were taller than their male partners. Men liked being taller than their partners, but they didn’t care about the height difference as much as women did.

@92 " There were 2 big take-aways from this week's column. "

1) Hunter would like to believe that you can buy love from more women than hookers. And
2) Hunter can't count. How many posts from women who would not date shorter men, opposed to women who have dated shorter men? Although I didn't add my two cents, I've dated a few 5'2" guys. None made much money but two were very sharp and one excellent dj. I still talk to one regularly decades later. 6' is probably the height that I like best though. And I have my preferred dick dimensions and eye and hair color; that doesn't mean I only date guys who are ideal in all ways. I've never met a perfect guy. And I care more about an exceptional attitude than exceptional looks.

I don't think that anyone is pretending that male shortness is attractive to most women, any more than small boobs are attractive to most guys, but most people can deal with imperfections if there's enough counterbalance.

Yes "mo' money" works for both genders but "get a great job" isn't very helpful advice imo. Everyone wants a great job anyway, I thought.
Hunter, as you know Philo, just likes to throw Granades. Sit back, with a big smile on his face and watch the Women bite.. You're naughty, Humter.
Some men might like small breasts, though, Philo. Dick dimensions?
You're funny.
@92 Control freaks might want a mate with a smaller salary/less options. And perhaps more control freaks are men but I'm not convinced.

I've noticed a frequent argument of yours, generally that women are not very physically attracted to men, just their money. I've drawn inferences. My deepest condolences.

@111/112 I seem to find it great fun to bat the grenades :) It's all in fun; we're just mysterious disembodied voices to each other after all.
Frankly, as a woman over 6'4", (who once upon a time could leg press over 500 lbs), I enjoy a good man under 5'5". Especially when they're OK with me picking them up.

Is JCIL into getting picked up? (Other than figuratively...)
As a woman over 6'2", I enjoy a good man under 5'5". Especially if they enjoy being picked up.

Is JCIL interested in being picked up? (Other than figuratively...)
To the first letter writer. My ex-husband was 5'4" My current boy friend, an excellent lover for me, is 5"2". My dad was 5'4" and married to my mother for 42 years until she had a stroke. Then he pined away and died without her 14 months later. As a woman who is 5'1" I can honestly say that having a sexual partner who is near my own height makes a lot of things in bed work that wouldn't with a tall man.
I'm 5'4" and much prefer men who are 5'3" to 5'10". I rule out men over 6 feet; too hard to walk & talk. I've dated men 5'2", no problem. Nice smell, nice smile, smart, talkative, and makes me laugh -- all more important than height, for men between 5'2" and 6'.
Hunter has a major chip on his shoulder. Going back over the comment list, I find that the women who state they have a short partner/are attracted to shorter men/would date a short guy if he were otherwise attractive outnumber those who say they wouldn't by about three to one. And as for the money issue, when I met my (5 ' 4") husband, he was living in the Salvation Army shelter. I'm not saying there are tons of women who would date a homeless guy - a shelter as a living address.might be an issue for more than a few women. My friends thought I was nuts at the time. But he had just moved here without a dime in his pocket. He was.employed and within a few weeks he had an apartment. I thought it spoke well of his guts to pick up and move to a new city with nothing in his pockets. What can I say, I like the spontaneous type. Sixteen years and three kids later, I'm glad I gave him.the benefit of the doubt. :)
Hunter; where are these women who want to be provided for and where are these men who will do the providing? This ain't the 50s anymore..
Maybe a certain % of population, go that way. Old rich men will look after young attractive women in some sort of exchange. She puts up with him, he pays for everything. How common is that, though?
Women now expect to shoulder their share of financial load and men expect them too. Even if women wanted to return to the 50s and stay home, the economy has closed that door. Hard for most families to live on one wage. Even after child birth, women expected to chop chop , back out there.
If a woman does stay home to rear the children, if her husbands wage can cover this- she isn't being provided for. She's doing the work of rearing the kids.
You keep your own story close to your chest, Hunter. You make all these pronouncements, but I haven't read any self disclosures from you in the time I've been reading and writing on this site..
Think the only true statements any of us can make is that we got born and we're gonna die. The bit between , people seem to do in a zillion different ways.
@121 His wife and the women he cheats on her with, apparently. Hunter seems strongly nostalgic for the 50's. Possibly he still lives there. He says he hired help to raise the kids and keep the house. Not sure if he has a relationship with the kids or the wife, not sure how he has the time between the multiple affairs, having to wine, dine, convince them he's not married, plus all the time he spends on here. And the high powered job and all. Must be a good multi-tasker.
Geez Hunter. Guess the sisterhood's work on you is far from done. I'm always up for a challenge.
@114: "I do not accept that men and women play the sex game the same way. Women care about what men can provide them. Men care about the appearance of women. Of course women can feel attraction for men, but for men it's more important."

You can regurgitate all these "trueisms" all you like, but do they really make you happier to believe?

You'd be better off putting down the evopsych pseudoscience and actually talking to women.
@aimeesay1972: That's a great story. Always refreshing to hear the exceptions.

I'm going to agree with Hunter, though, that women in general tend to reinforce traditional gender roles in their mate selection, especially in the initial phases. I have a badass pair of 4" platform boots, and when I've worn them out dancing, I get twice the attention as usual. And women seem to find me much more interesting since I move from the Central District to North Capitol Hill. It's also been interesting to watch my radicalized feminist friends in college turn their backs on their Ivy League educations and choose motherhood followed by early retirement instead of developing a career. Apparently the 1950s weren't as bad as they were made out to be. (I don't blame them, BTW, I'd have chosen the same, but it's hard to find a woman willing and able to take on a man as a dependent, and even harder to get any respect from our culture as a man in that role. So, I took antidepressants and pushed my way through a soul crushing but lucrative corporate gig, while building an escape business in my "spare time". Had things not worked out, each day would have become a struggle not to cash in my life insurance policy. Ah the privileges of being male.)

If anecdotes aren't compelling to you, the science of what women want from men offers plenty of corroboration. (And yes, there are lots of exceptions for every rule.)

In any case, no chip on my shoulder, just a healthy dose of skepticism about certain feminist ideals, and lots of empathy for the millions of "patriarchs" struggling to serve their women in the (sometimes brutal) provider role.
@114 No. I do not accept that men and women play the sex game the same way. Women care about what men can provide them. Men care about the appearance of women.
"Women care about the appearance of men, but perhaps care more about finding a good father for their kids," I could understand, even though I disagree. I think that most women aren't planning kids immediately, and really care about a cooperative, "successful", good looking guy with some common interests who can make her scream. How people interpret an attractive personality and looks and potential for success is really personal and not nearly as simple as "money" or even "has a good job".

Instead I find, Of course women can feel attraction for men, but for men it's more important.
Boring bigoted bs.
@126 I personally noticed more _male attention when I had a pair of 4" platform shoes, esp at clubs. And I think Lava also commented on the nasty economic changes from last century, when a single wage could support a family. But, there are still more men than women making economic decisions in this country so please don't lay that particular change at our door.
@Philophile: Don't sell yourself short - women in the US have been voting in greater numbers than men since the 1980's.
I'm a tall woman who doesn't mind shortness in men. It's not a fetish, just not an issue. Most of us have to get over other people's preconceptions in dating. It's one thing or another. Try learning to dance and go dancing. Women love that. If you go out dancing to straight venues, you'll always see women dancing with each other because straight men don't dance much (generally). That's my advice, beyond, obviously, keeping fit and clean and well-dressed and -mannered.
@wylbur I met my current bf at a bar. He's a few inches shorter than me and a good dancer. Stop whining and shake it.
Philophile @127, yep.

I care about having a partner who will contribute to the relationship. I’ve been the major or exclusive breadwinner for thirty years and I’m fine with that as long as I feel as though my partner is doing their share. My sister’s the same way — she’s fine being the breadwinner and she’s not fussy about how her partner contributes. Maybe he’s handy, maybe he makes enough money to hire a contractor. If he’s neither then she’s going to be skeptical about what the point is.

I think it’s likely true that most women want to see concrete evidence that someone can actively contribute to a partnership. She expects to be bringing home half the bacon and preparing half the meals, and in addition in a heterosexual relationship she will probably be doing most of the emotional work and social network maintenance. If there are kids, she’s usually doing most of the draining infant care. Many het women are more sensitive to mess than their male partners and end up doing more housework. These gendered contributions are not always as obvious as building an addition to the house or paying for a nice car, but they’re there and she’s fully aware of them. So yeah, she’s paying attention to whether a potential partner is likely to be pulling their weight.

If someone is not a potential life partner then income is going to be waaay down on the list of things she’s paying attention to. I’ve already got my life partner and when I’m dating the only material resources I’m looking for in a man is whether he lives alone or can come up with his share of a cheap hotel, because I don’t host.
Data for Hunter78:…

‘Fully 63% of rich men said wealth gave them “better sex,” which they defined as having more-frequent sex with more partners. That compares to 88% of women who said more money gave them better sex, which they defined as “higher quality” sex.

‘“This tells us that the women as a whole receive more sexual benefits from wealth than men,” says Ms. Grove.’
“The smartest guy in the room” can mean different things and while it’s not a very helpful way to describe what’s going on, it is real.

If you’re relentlessly analytical in a room of artists who believe in homeopathy, trying to engage someone in conversation is just going to upset both of you.

If you like to argue about ideas and you’re in a room full of people who like to talk about shopping, you’re very quickly going to develop a strong desire to blow your head off.

My advice to AAA: take up smoking. If you need to excuse yourself to go outside, other people unhappy with the overall vibe can take the opportunity to join you for a chat. The self-selection might get you a better match.

Alternatively: as others have said, take up activities where you are likely to meet people who enjoy your type of intelligence without needing to take that smoke break.

See also:…
SeanDr; you know confronting the Patriarchal structures, works both ways.
Up to men to open their mouths , too. And I , in my understanding of how the womb works, accepts some of my gender role. Or did.
Pregnancy, small children- and if you have several, that time when. A wan is pregnant and children are small can run into yrs. if your wife stayed home and did that work, she was doing work- I remember that work well. If after say 10 yrs she didn't have the drive to go get or continue a career, well it is understandable. Still, you were / are part of the equation.
And, as I understand it, with a lot / some (?) younger people, the woman continues working and the man stays home with the kids.
And please don't " blame" Feminism. As I remember it, the push wAsnt to make all women rush out and get high powered careers, it was to give women a choice.
Capitalism, however, had other plans. And over the last 55 yrs, esp- that choice was eroded because, well, the forces of capitalism not feminism eroded them.
If I saw a man in 4" platform heels, I'd be afraid, very afraid.
" a woman is pregnant"..
I'm a 5'0" twiggy lady with a 5'3" stocky ex-boyfriend. He was popular but I was the first short lady he'd ever dated. He was just used to being shorter than women and it didn't seem to bother him or them.

Sometimes our height comes up. Here are many things that have helped over the years. (listed from most obvious to least obvious. The last one totally works the best.)

- Platform shoes. Men have lifts that you can put in your shoes to give you those extra coupla inches when you want them, as 5'3" feels significantly different than 5'1".

- For first dates: vertical stripes, activities that involve sitting more than standing, and kissing them while standing on something, because you are oh-so-comfy in your skin. (Staircases rule.)

- Clothing that emphasizes your favourite parts of your body, instead of hiding your least favourite parts. (For the 5'3" ex, it was all about his wonderfully broad shoulders, but I dunno what your hottest features are.) Then when people look at you you'll know that they're admiring, not dismissing.

- a really flattering haircut and excellent posture, that stuff is attractive to just about everyone. (Get a stylish and visually-minded friend to help you if you don't know what haircut will look good on your particular face.)

- Date other short people. (For me, short dudes are easier to kiss and high-five, and they don't go on and on about how tiny I am, so they get extra points even though it's not the tall folks' fault.) If there's a big height difference, though, it doesn't have to be a thing, just stand on a stair sometimes so they get that feeling or whatever.

The best one:

- Learning a skill wherein being short is a serious advantage. (For short-twiggy me, it was acrobalance and stilt-dancing, for my short-stocky ex, it was spinning fire and rock-climbing.) Seriously this can transform your relationship with your height, because your body becomes something that makes you better at something awesome, by being exactly the way it is.

I think that last tip applies to everyone with an unusual body type -- if you can, get good at something fun where your body type is actually an advantage. Skill is sexy.

Good luck!
woah, okay, that was long. The short version (hur hur):
- lifts in your shoes, and vertical stripes on your good posture.
- flattering haircut and clothing, concentrate on emphasizing your favourite features instead of hiding your least-favourite ones.
- a skill where your body type gives you a significant advantage. Have you tried rock-climbing?
- go do cool stuff that you like.
Good luck!
SeanDr; think it's been said before; patriarchal capitalism doesn't serve the deep human needs of most men, women and children. Or, the planet..
It's a fucked form of existence that turns us all into clogs. We do seem however , to be stuck with it. Until the last human breathes his/ her last breath..

@LavaGirl: If I saw a man in 4" platform heels, I'd be afraid, very afraid.

You definitely should be afraid of any man walking around in these instruments of terror. (They're actually more like 3" platforms.)

I don't wear them often - last time was a couple of years ago to a "metal" themed house party, and that was a top 5 night out for me. My best night out ever, though, was a couple of years before when I wore them as part of a "leather daddy" halloween costume.
@134: "“The smartest guy in the room” can mean different things and while it’s not a very helpful way to describe what’s going on, it is real."

The difference here is that feeling you're smarter than others doesn't make you smarter than others. If you have to tell others this repeatedly without ever trying to demonstrate or explain WHY, "you" may just not actually be smarter than others.

"If you’re relentlessly analytical in a room of artists who believe in homeopathy, trying to engage someone in conversation is just going to upset both of you."

Being "smarter than a homeopath" is a pretty sad comparison.
Crinoline @91, "Today is my birthday" isn't a counterfactual: if today isn't your birthday, it's simply a lie, which isn't the same thing. Counterfactual has a specific grammatical meaning; it covers e.g. conditionals where the condition is untrue ("If pigs could fly..."), but not just any statement that happens not to be a fact.
undead ayn rand @141, no idea whether AAA is in fact smarter than everyone in the room. Uncreative @48 expands on that very nicely. Smarter than a homeopath isn’t what we’re talking about; smarter than an Oscar-nominated filmmaker or a Governer General’s award-winning literary translator who (like many people in creative fields) believe in homeopathy is what we’re talking about. (Friends of mine. Talking about homeopathy is completely unproductive. Our intelligences don’t overlap much but we make an effort.)

My guess is that AAA values his particular kind of intelligence above all others and is frustrated with his inability to find female kindred spirits. Since his intelligence Is so tightly focused he gets very good at his particular type of thinking and he’s lonely for someone who can challenge him within his domain. (Hence feeling like the smartest person in the room.) In the short term he may be able to sustain cordial relationships with people whose minds work differently but they don’t lead to anything long term because he doesn’t relate. (As fond as I am of my friends, as life partners we would make one another miserable.)

My other guess is that he could be depressed. When you’re depressed you’re hypercritical and don’t appreciate anything. Even if he met the female kindred spirit of his dreams he might not get much pleasure out of her company because he just doesn’t experience much pleasure generally. He’d be critical and not offer her much pleasure so she’d move on.

To tie this together with JY @46’s observation on autism being a more likely possibility than psychopathy, autistics are often depressed because they lack the social connections that are so valuable in sustaining most of us. Antidepressants don’t treat autism but they can help an isolated person keep their head above water enough to make some connections.
@1, Lavagirl :"stop even thinking of height as an issue??? A poor workman blames his tools?" What an insulting load of crap. The dude knows what he's dealing with. He needs to find the girls who digs what he has. Telling him its not the issue is just dismissive bullshit. JCIL, there may not be a website for you... yet. Why not start with a blog? You might find a date through the responses.

@8, Hugh Jackman is 6'2". I'm fairly sure he does not shrink to play Wolverine.
P.S. What's he dealing with? He's got all his bits, I assume they work.
I think every man has to find the woman who digs what he has.. You make an issue of your height, your balding head, etc etc- then others will make an issue of it, as well.
A whole person, with all their imperfect bits. You attracted to them or you're not.
@99 Non-predatory/violent/stalkery men are.
@123 I believe at one point in your many many many posts, you mentioned that your wife couldn't possibly be too tired because she was a stay at home mom and had a cleaning lady and babysitters if she wanted to go out and take a spa day or whatever. Maybe I'm wrong?
LavaGirl @45, having a penis that gets hard is neither a rare quality, necessary nor sufficient. I don’t know why you even bring it up. I’ve had two boyfriends who never had erections — that is, by the time they met me they’d already stopped having them. Also several girlfriends who didn’t have penis-type erections either. Not a problem. (You can actually get a lot more going on if there’s no erection taking centre stage.) If it had been a problem it’s not that hard to find men who do have erections. Especially at my age (50) when I’ve started to get lots of attention from 25-year-olds, some of it even apparently serious.

So no, saying that because (you assume) his dick works conventionally that he should have no trouble attracting women is a total non sequitur. What are you suggesting, that he walk up to a pretty lady and say “Hey, what’s your name? I’m JCIL and I can get it up”? Or post a picture of his dick on Tindr? Those would be total turn-offs for me.

Lots of men are attracted to short women. They find them totally adorable and cute and want to fuck them. As a straight woman of course your height was never a problem for you. Don’t be silly.

Many fewer women are attracted to short men. That’s why being short is a problem for a straight man like JCIL. It’s not an insurmountable problem but it is a problem.
gnot @148, wasn’t that Tim Horton?
@135 & @139 LavaGirl: Spot ON, and bless you!

At 5'8", I can't imagine wearing 4" platform heels--even with a gold-plated health insurance policy well established first.
Alison.@149. What are you talking about? @45 was Grizelda. Did I mention erections in this thread? If so- refer me to correct comment. Please.
145/LavaGirl: I think every man has to find the woman who digs what he has.

Very true (and the same, of course, is true for women with men.)

You make an issue of your height, your balding head, etc etc- then others will make an issue of it, as well.

Again true. It's always good to accept yourself for who you are (or what you look like.) However, if you don't make an issue of some characteristic you have, that doesn't mean that people will ignore this characteristic. A guy who's 5'2" can be perfectly happy with his height, and a woman who's 250 lbs can be perfectly happy with her weight, but many women and men are not going to want to get naked with them.

Oh. Well. I wasn't just talking about a man's cock. I was talking about his whole body working..
How bout Alison, you cut out patronizing me? That is silly.
I don't suggest any manoeuvres . I'm suggesting an internal attitude, shift.
Ok. Heights a problem. Not having enough money' is a problem. One's father dying when you were 15 is a problem. Women not having big tits is a problem. A man not having a hairy chest is a problem. A man going bald is a problem. The list of problems or concerns each person has about attracting a companion goes on and on.
I'm talking about accepting oneself as one is. If another finds one attractive, great.
If not, too bad. Obviously, some women may not like this guys height or the fact he wears loud shirts or whatever. As we have read here on this thread, lots of women , of different heights also go for men of different heights. If he stays too focused on this aspect of himself, others will also.
Roma.. Well Dur. Ain't that the truth. And what, being so hung up about it is going to change anything? No it's not. Well, the 200lb woman could loose weight.
Maybe in the hook up culture, which I am too old to have been involved in, people look at each other like slabs of meat. And that's just the nature of the beast, so to speak.
If , we are talking about attraction to the whole person- than, I can only add, from my experience that attraction is hard to pin point. I've been with tall men, short men, ugly men, handsome men, men with full head of hair men who are balding. And all of them, I was sexually and emotionally attracted to.
@LavaGirl: Women not having big tits is a problem.

Eh, not really. Lots of men are into gamines, myself included. Your larger point is taken, however.
250lb woman.. That is one big mama.
Christian Rudder, one of the founders of OkCupid, took a look at the impact height has on the dating and mating success of the site's users. . . . "Women six feet or taller are either less attractive to men or are considered too intimidating to message," Rudder writes.

I wouldn't think that women six feet or taller are intimidating to men who are even taller and to men who are shorter than these women, I don't see it as the men being intimidated by the women. Instead, I think it's likely that they make the quite reasonable assumption that these women aren't going to be interested in guys shorter than they are.

"[But] the data also raises the interesting possibility that these tall women are much more likely to sleep with a man who does approach them. The takeaway for you, JCIL: Try hitting on taller women.

It would be very interesting to see what kind of response a shorter guy like JCIL would have if he contacted women six feet or taller.
Lots of men are into gamines

Indeed. Especially the type where they get to kill lot of people.
Roma, no internet dating when I was well, dating & coupling up.
I was just out and about and met people. Uni, work etc..
Now, being foot loose, I've thought to go online and face the demon story. So far, way too nervous. Or, not keen enough.
Hunter @146, people aren't denying that 5'10" guys have an advantage over 5'2" guys. But JCIL asked for advice, not sympathy. People recommended that he look for shorter women, and also that he build up his other attributes -- dance skills, athletics, good posture, a good haircut, and, yes, a good job, though JCIL could probably have worked that one out himself. Do you disagree with the advice?
I pretty much can only get aroused by 5'10 to 6'2 guys with 6-7 inch dicks. Good thing I live in the Mountain West where it's like the Hitler youth out here.

Honestly, I'd probably be more interesting in going out with the guy with ASPD (if he had the stats) than the short dude if I were still in the market. #shrug
I think it is ridiculous for people to suggest that height does not matter. Some women indeed will find short unattractive. And some will not date shorter guys due to how they will be perceived. This is shallow. that said, plenty of women will. I am 5'4". sure, I know, you would love to have two more inches, but still, I am short. I have dated and slept with a lot of women. A few who were into short guys. Plenty who just did not mind, car or even notice maybe. Most are around 5'4" to 5'8" I think that if you meet them in real life, you may not have the advantage tall guys do, but most women a few inches taller than you will not really notice. Many others will notice but not care as long as you are fun interesting, and yes, have some confidence.

I stay away from on line. You are immediately at a disadvantage. And since most guys on line add a few more inches, all the worse. Most women will screen you out.

But, if you learn to approach women in real life, you will have a huge advantage over most guys. Most guys do not approach women or have any game. You can work this advantage quite well.

Find some good pick up artist advice that is respectful and stay away from the bad ones. Learn what you can about being fun, approaching, and getting conversations going. Then go out and approach approach approach. You WILL meet some who will date and sleep with you. SOme might even be impressed with the fact that you are bold while being short.

It will work in bars and clubs. But if you prefer, do daytime. Go out to the mall, or out in the city streets, parks etc. If a woman does not respond positively, don't bug her. Move on. But plenty will. Ignore any woman who suggests it is rude to talk to a woman in public. All you have to do is be polite and leave them alone if they are not open to chatting.

If you can, work out a bit. Don't get huge. ThT will make you look like one of those compensating guys. But be in shape and try not to whimpy. If you are slim, then be a really sharp dresser. You will look great in most modern clothes.

Lastly, while you should be open to short women, do not think it is the answer. In my experinece, many women, especially asians, are obsessed with tall guys. They either feel too self conscious, or want to have tall babies, or whatever. But you are, in my opinion, much more likely to hit it of with a 5'3"-5'7" girl than a shorter one.

If you do like really tall girls, then up your game and go for it. But many girls around your height to a little taller will just not notice or car all that much.
Hunter, studies can tell us all sorts of things. They are just a sample, though.
Do ALL women prefer taller men? I'd say, no. Some women like men their own height. Some like them taller. Some like them shorter. There is no blanket statement that covers ALL women.
You were making blanket statements about women wanting men to have money. To provide. Where do these generalizations come from?
It is more unattractive if a man is concerned about his stature, than the actual stature. IMO. Confidence, self acceptance, whatever you wanna call it-
lack of self acceptance, is very off putting. And one can sense that sort of mind.
If women are rude and put down men because of their height or their empty wallet- well then, those women are just rude.
Find some women who respect others, as they are.
People have their attractions. And it doesn't seem fair, that georgeous women and georgeous men even exist. Cause most humans aren't georgeous..
But they do exist, their good karma. Their good genes.

The rest of us are still full human beings though. We're not less than. And to put so much emphasis on looks, is to miss the real mystery of what is sexy, attractive , engaging..
I can see a middle age man, being loving and caring to his kids and I find that sexy.
Then, I might notice what he looks like. Initially, though, I was attracted to his kindness..

It would be very interesting to see what kind of response a shorter guy like JCIL would have if he contacted women six feet or taller.

Most likely, no response at all. From the short time I hung around on dating sites I learned that "no response" is the default for men contacting women.
PC here. Really Hunter. . If that 5'10" guy is a fucking arsehole, who beats his wife and screams at his kids- and the 5'2" guy is an angel in looks and manner- than No. No advantage, for the 5'10" guy.
142-zer-- Cool! I wasn't familiar with the specific definition of "counterfactual" having to do with grammar, have looked it up, and am glad you brought it to my attention. It does seem to me now that counterfactual means those statements when using the subjunctive is correct, and one uses the subjunctive whenever the statement is counterfactual. But I don't expect you to explain further here. I'll enjoy reading up on my own.

As for short men and money-- I feel a bit at fault for stirring up the brouhaha in 51. Let me explain myself, though I think I was pretty clear to begin with. Of course the first step to making oneself more attractive is to cultivate being a kind, interesting person who is interested in other people. Of course improving social skills and sex skills is more important than making lots of money. That to me seemed so obvious that JCIL had to know it already and his letter seemed more of an objection to the state of affairs than a question.

The rest of the discussion strikes me as pretty obvious too. A preference is not a dealbreaker. The trait that makes a woman interested in the first place is not necessarily important later on in a relationship-- whether that relationship is brief or long term, sexual or not. Having a preference does not make one shallow or a subject to the patriarchy or any other such nonsense.
Ms Cummins is correct - that was Mrs Horton, not Mrs Hunter. The thread in question was quite Reaganesque - total trickle-down.


Re Mr R and his putative "respectful PUA" - links or there's no such thing? (I'm just guessing, and I could be skewed from spending more time in feminist spaces, but the concept just seems off, somehow.)


I remember some decades ago finding out that tall men were paid more than short men - does that still apply?
It's absolutely true that short men are at a disadvantage dating. (And not only in dating: research shows that taller men tend to get more prestigious jobs, get paid more, and even get elected to public office more.) Overweight women and men are also at a disadvantage, as are people whose faces are less symmetrical, are acne-scarred, those with weak chins or beaked or hooked noses. Despite seandr's preference, women with larger breasts, or a sharp hip/waist ratio are also going to have it easier in the dating world. And youth counts for a lot, too, though aging deals women a much harsher cultural blow than it does men.

All that is true. When it comes to initial attraction, taller, fit men with heads full of hair are at an advantage, as are younger, slender women with large breasts and long hair. LavaGirl makes the point that it is the whole package that makes a person attractive to her, and so it is to many of us, but the reality is that many people never make it past the initial sizing-up moment in a dating scenario, and so never have a chance to reveal what a catch they are if only someone could look past that male-pattern baldness or that big nose.

And yes, crass as it seems, money can make an attractive person even more attractive and a less attractive person attractive enough.

These things are true in general, and to say otherwise based on some people's individual preferences and then to pretend that someone who dares to acknowledge this general truth is being somehow contrary or a throwback is disingenuous.

It's true that some of these attributes can be changed (though some of those changes are achieved only through extreme measures, like plastic surgery). But it makes far better and healthier sense to learn to accept yourself for who you are; to play up your best attributes--not only the physical ones that are immediately obvious, but all your attributes, skills, everything you bring to the dating table; to learn to take rejection in stride and not as a referendum on your true worth as a person. It makes better sense still to love yourself for who you are, warts and all (or rather than seeing them as "warts," think of them as quirks that make you an individual). It makes saner sense to look at others as you would hope to be looked at and judged: for more than the immediate collection of physical attributes.

But people are going to be attracted, at least initially and before getting to know the other person, by a combination of physical things that most of us have no or little reasonable control over, and rather than lament the unfairness of it, or whine if your preferred type prefers a different type than you are, it makes sense to keep a positive attitude, cultivate interests and skills that you like and that other people may share, and ditch that chip on your shoulder.

That chip is really far more unattractive than the lack of 4 inches of height or the extra 30 pounds.
Mr. Ven: I was writing my post while yours went up. Yes, I can't remember now where I read it, but I did read that taller men are more highly paid than shorter men. In presidential elections, taller men fare better, too.
Hunter78 @167 — even LavaGirl now concedes that height, among other things, can present an obstacle. Which comments suggest to you that it’s not PC to acknowledge that height-unfairness exists?

(I notice that nobody has mentioned race as being a trait that needs compensating. Black women are at a distinct disadvantage in the dating market.)
No, “Men are attracted to women” is NOT a fair statement.

The median age of the world population is 28.4 years. We don’t say “People are younger than 30 years old” precisely because we all know that for a sizable minority that’s just not true.
Hunter78 @176, I refer you to Hunter78 @92: “Men don't care whether the babe is an orderly or a star surgeon*. ... *Indeed, men might find the orderly more attractive, as she will respect their income more than the surgeon.”

You’re moving the goalpost considerably. You made a statement about all men, that the accomplishments and social status of their partners is irrelevant to them except in that they may prefer a partner of lower quality than themselves who might be dependent on them. All we need is a single male poster here to assert that he’s more attracted to accomplished, confident babes who pay their own bills than to dependent babes who dropped out of high school and bingo, your statement cannot be upheld.
BiDanFan @93 readily acknowledged that height-unfairness exists, but that height comes as part of a whole package that is a human being and is often outweighed by other parts of the package — so it exists but not as a huge impediment. No mention of stalinism.

aimeeday1972: Makes a quantitative statement about comments in this thread. Acknowledged height as a dealbreaker for some women but a minor or no disadvantage for others. No mention of stalinism.

gnot @122: no mention of either height, height-unfairness or stalinism.

undead ayn rand @125 and Philophile @127: Take issue with your assertion that appearance (height) does *not* enter significantly into mate selection for women since money is all we care about. So here you’re the one saying that height-unfairness isn’t a thing and they are calling bullshit. No mention of stalinism.

Yes, LavaGirl repeatedly said that height doesn’t matter, only attitude, but in a later comment retracted that assertion. No mention of stalinism.

Can you be more specific about what in these comments leads you to believe that it is politically correct to deny the existence of height-unfairness?
Hunter78, when you don’t qualify your statements, yes, ‘all’ is implied.

I wouldn’t say “men enjoy football more than women” (note your sudden introduction of a qualifier!) because I know women who enjoy it and men who do not. What I would say is “men are more likely to enjoy football than women are.” That is accurate without citing specific exceptions.
Hunter, you ask whether women are more interested in the "income, wealth (and power) of potential mates than men? "Doctor" is more important in WFM or MFW ads?"
Without doing research, I'd guess that power and wealth are more important to women in searching for a potential mate than they are to men. Jerry Seinfeld had a bit about how if a woman hears a man is a garbage collector or something, she is turned off no matter how good-looking he is, whereas if a man thinks a woman is hot she can tell him she's a mortician and he won't even really be listening. I tried to find the clip, but couldn't.

But I think the reasons that power and wealth are more important to women when looking for a mate (as a general thing, ymmv, all disclaimers apply), is that historically, the only access women have had to power and wealth was through a husband. There's been a commodification of attributes, wherein women trade beauty for financial security in operation for centuries, if not millennia. Look at almost every folk/fairy tale from every culture, and you'll find the beautiful woman being the prize won by the rich and powerful man. Look at every young, beautiful trophy wife of a powerful businessman. Look at the plot of every nineteenth-century novel in the Western cannon. Look at most movies.

In our culture, girls learn early on that they're most valued for their looks and that the the biggest prize is to use those looks to attract a rich powerful mate. The prettier the woman, the more wealth and power she can hope to snag. Conversely, little boys see a culture in which men are valued for their importance, their status. And they look around and see that the most powerful and wealthy men tend to have wives that are significantly younger than themselves, and who are exceptionally beautiful.

These are culturally learned lessons, not innate preferences.
@180 Alison - Thanks for the succinct accurate summary of my point.

Furthermore although there are evidently differences in gender norms of attraction, I believe both genders consider sexual attraction to be a need, an integral part of a relationship. If I am not sexually attracted to my partner I'm probably not going to have sex with him. I don't do sexless romance, I don't see the point.

I think part of my preference for taller-than-me is a sex thing. I like kissing and having sex a lot which is limited with a shorter partner.

I forgot about the guy under 5' I dated in high school. He was kind of a jerk, though so only a few dates. But a talented martial artist. That's a good skill for short agile people (Jet Li, Bruce Lee). And gymnastics.
My ex-girlfriend was a garbage collector while doing her BFA and a certificate in education. By the time she finished her schooling she had enough hours to apply for a permanent position, which she did. Now she’s got a well-paid union job with good benefits.

If the guy were a garbage collector he would definitely be good-looking because he would be in fantastic physical condition! If he were curious and had an outside creative gig of some kind so he kept his mind working I would be fine dating him or even partnering with him. A man I love dearly is from a professional family but just dyslexic enough to not have been interested in pursuing higher education. He has his masonry business in the summer and does restaurant work in the winter. He dates Master’s students.

It really is the whole package. While I’m not representative of all women, neither is Elaine.

If a man has a marginal income he’s absolutely going to be looking for a partner who will contribute financially.
My Last Relationship - find a dating website for those over 50. I think one of them is called Our Time. I keep seeing tv ads for it.
@Philophile (183): " I like kissing and having sex a lot which is limited with a shorter partner." For the life of me, I can't tell why having a shorter partner would limit your ability to kiss and have sex a lot. If you meant that you're simply not sexually attracted to a man below a certain height, it follows that you're not going want to do a lot of kissing and having sex with someone to whom you're not sexually attracted.

@Alison Cummins (184): I threw in the usual disclaimers, and I don't think that a comedy routine by Jerry Seinfeld should be taken as a rigorously-conducted sociological study. Hunter was speaking in generalities, as was I. You yourself said at the top of the thread that you're typically more attracted to taller men; lots of women have attested to the fact that they either have no set height requirement or preference, or indeed prefer shorter men, but in general women tend to prefer to date men who are taller, or at least taller than they are. Equally, while to many women, wealth, power, and social status may not matter too much or at all--or be definite turn offs--in mate selection, in general most women (and probably most men, if given the choice) prefer mates with high earning potential and power who rank higher on the social status hierarchy.

P.S. Not all garbage collectors are good looking. Or they might be fit (not necessary with some of the trucks today), and be ugly, no? And of course, there is the existence of the short, ugly garbage collector, just as there is the stereotypical hunk.

I'm also not talking about people who take marginal jobs while they're on their way to something else, and I don't think Hunter was either. He's talking about the phenomenon of (usually very conventionally attractive) women making a man's wealth, power, and social status a priority.

Despite all of us who deviate from that stereotype, it is a stereotype grounded in fact. I don't understand what point is served by pretending that just because you personally don't subscribe to it, it doesn't exist.
nocutename @186,

My point is that you don’t have to go back millennia to find reasons for women to be practical in mate choice. People are practical in mate choice right now for reasons that make sense right now. They can often detail them. Both men and women with high incomes are free to prefer the non-monetary contributions to a relationship a partner can make since the money is already taken care of and in fact I see examples of that around me. In @133 I cited a study which shows that women derive more sexual benefits from being wealthy than men do, which suggests that if women have lots of their own money they prioritize sexual generosity in mate choice.

If money is less certain, whether because of the type of work you do or your expectations around childbearing, then you really have to pay attention to your partner’s ability to contribute financially. Women often make less than the men in their social class, which will make them more sensitive to a potential partner’s finances. In the US where parental benefits are awful, one parent often drops out of the workforce when children arrive. If a woman thinks she might have to do that, she will very sensibly look for a partner who can pay the bills for a few years. But I’ve seen this go both ways. Sometimes the more flexible partner who cares for infants and small children is the father. Before the kids arrived though, he had made sure he had a partner who could pay the bills while he was being flexible.

If you look at the reasons women care about a partner’s money, you’ll find that most of them apply to men as well. As social circumstances change, so do people’s choices.

Yes, there is the phenomenon of a woman dedicating herself to being a trophy wife or mistress, and a man displaying his trophy wife and trophy mistress and trophy ex who he complains about and maintains in high style. There are the legends of women who repeatedly marry and divorce rich men, keeping half their assets each time and accumulating great wealth. They’re real but they aren’t most of us, though many think of how nice it would be. That bit probably is at least partly an evolutionary atavism though it’s clearly not universal or always dominant.

(My ex’s well-paid union job with great benefits is putting up road signs, by the way. She’s not running the city but she and her colleagues pay their own bills.)
@188: "We know little about nature v nurture with gender differences. Don't transgenders tell us they are the opposite sex from the one they had been taught?

Transgender persons being born with genitalia that doesn't match who they are is not a sign that your evopsych gibbering is valid.
@189: "Where did that come from?"

Knowledge of the phrase "politically correct", I imagine.
@nocutename: That women value status and income in men more than men do in women has been replicated in countless studies using all different kinds of methodologies. If there is any controversy around this, it's political, not scientific. (Sorry, I'm on my iPhone now so not feasible to share links.)

As for the reasons, one reason is that most men aren't terribly useful as anything other than a provider, in which case, as Alison stated, what's the point? Also, these men are competing with other men who are willing and able to provide, so why not hold out for the latter? Having time to focus on being a mother is a very common aspiration among women, and unless you are independently wealthy, that dream requires a provider. These reasons aren't necessarily a function of culture.

Hunter; do you ever sleep?
Ok. Next question.
I didn't concede height is a disadvantage Or an advantage. I'm suggesting not to even enter that world of comparison. It is of no use. Waste of mental space.
And Hunter, seriously- I'm starting to feel concerned about you. You been chatting like at all hours for three days now. What gives? Rest. Recuperate .
Seandr. This providing thing is a big concern for you, right. I did use to think my mother, once we had all gone to school- could have got out there and got a job. Maybe my father would have lived longer if she had bloody noticed.
And here she is, 93 and still going!
Do men like to provide? And if so- where is that feeling coming from?
When a family is young, yes, I can see that impulse to provide and protect-
Children grow, though. So a man needs to change the terms , esp with his woman.
If , that is she hasn't noticed. All negotiation, really. Not falling into roles, and keeping on redefining the story.

undead ayn rand @191: Bingo.

Hunter78, if you’re trying to be taken seriously as someone who holds absolute scientific Truth that everyone else in this benighted comment thread is refusing to acknowledge for purely ideological reasons, you need to be precise in your language and understand the words you’re using. Waving your hands and saying “Oh, you know what I mean!” doesn’t make it into peer-reviewed journals for a reason.
LabaGirl @194, I refer you to LavaGirl @154: “Ok. Heights a problem. Not having enough money' is a problem. One's father dying when you were 15 is a problem. Women not having big tits is a problem. A man not having a hairy chest is a problem. A man going bald is a problem. The list of problems or concerns each person has about attracting a companion goes on and on.”
No. That was me just throwing back out there perceived problems. If one wanted to seperate out bits of people, which I'm suggesting is not the best way to be.

Although, a man not having a hairy chest really IS a problem.
Re @198. Just playing with you Alison. Though a hairy chest, not too much hair mind.. ESP that line of hair going down to the groin. Very sexy.
@198: Real Men keep the hair worn off. ;-)
Oh seandr, you will love this essay by Patrick Califia FTM on transitioning to a more masculine body:…

‘When I was equivocating about whether to keep taking testosterone or not, asking myself if I liked it just because it gave me an excuse to stick a needle full of a drug into my body, I tripped over an amazingly deep well of shame about maleness, and antipathy toward it. ... Everybody, even men, know that they are at best stupid, wrong, and backward; at worst, evil. The good people, the people who will transform the world and make it a safer, better place, are women. ... Are men good for anything at all?

‘I've asked as many straight women as I know about this, figuring that since they sleep with men and even live with them, they ought to know what valuable qualities they possess. It seems to be an embarrassing question. A couple of times, my het girlfriends have admitted that they like cocks or that boyfriends are useful for picking up heavy things and changing the oil in the car. One woman mentioned that her male lover was the only person who would watch "Beavis and Butthead" with her, and laugh as hard as she did. Another said that watching her boyfriend move around the apartment was like watching her big dog run through the park. There was something unselfconscious about his physicality that made her love him.’
(seandr, I post that as someone happily married to a man, happily dating men, who used to be a dyke but now finds women to be too much work. No nastiness intended to you or any of the other self-identified men in this thread. Just sympathy with your particular culturally awkward position.)
Ms Cute - And I expect at least part of the reason tall men are better paid will trace back to having something to do with those tall being more likely to have to support "higher quality" women. As a slight aside: you, Ms Cummins and I are all old enough to remember Lou Grant telling Mary Richards that her predecessor was paid more because he had a wife to support.

Now I've no particular stake in how opposite-sexers choose to organize heterosexual lifestyles. But I don't like that gay men get paid according to a straight standard that plays out in a completely different way for us. It's only a minor irritant, perhaps in part because there's no easy fix. But it serves as an example of why I'm not a full assimilationist.
@200. Not in my world. With some men, esp in their board shorts, when I see that line of hair running, in that tantalizing way, down their belly, I just imagine walking up to them and following that line with my hand.
Hunter, @174. Ideological horse? No. I'm trying to talk from experience.
So, what are you talking about re men being more concerned with looks than women. You talking of young people? Cause I remember being just as taken with good looking men as men were taken with good looking women. Except when I was taken by something else in the man. Which, as I've said, I can't pin point.
You talking about people in their late 20s early 30s , looking for a mate. Wanting to start a family? Maybe then, the sexes branch out a bit. If they have their wits about them, calculating the partners prospects. Far as I remember, falling in love, wasn't too rational a decision, for me. Who knows,.
Personally, my choice of breeding partners were both duds. Yet, the children were and are great. So, what unconscious choice was in play? Or just me being a fuckwit.
If you talking about just walking down the street, admiring good looking people. Then I don't know if women are different to men. Of course, those young women in their short shorts and bloom of youth are a joy.
I look at them too( and wish I could stop every one and warn them! How soon that bloom will end. How important it is to choose a good man).
I also look at good looking men. Men who go to the gym, have lovely sexy arms.
I notice looks, all the time. And have no problem, noticing. I don't see any of them as " things" though. I realize, they are, like me, full human beings. They eat and shit and sleep and cry.
Let's clarify something here: by and large, I don't believe women are sexually, attracted to money/power - these "Providers", as some have called them. They wed or commit to LTRs with these men, but that 5'4" billionaire isn't getting anyone's panties moist (unless one lubricates from the thought of swimming in diamonds which, admittedly, is getting me a bit warm).

When it comes to raw lust, suddenly a man's career means a whole lot less, and their physicality means a whole lot more. Kind of like men's lust, actually. The 6' tall, well-built garbage man will turn far more heads (especially when not on duty) and can parlay that into oodles of sex if he plays his cards right.

Short version: women marry the provider, but fuck the tall mechanic when hubby's at work.
@186 " I like kissing and having sex a lot which is limited with a shorter partner." For the life of me, I can't tell why having a shorter partner would limit your ability to kiss and have sex a lot
One example is that I like to wrap my legs around his torso, in that position it's hard to kiss someone of the same height let alone shorter. Another example is standing sex. But I don't want to go into the mechanics any more.

I've been fucking a 6' guy for a few years now so my preference probably come from habit. My other long term bfs were shorter. Not shorter than I, though.
@207: "Short version: women marry the provider, but fuck the tall mechanic when hubby's at work."

Also, mistresses aren't people.
@207, not all women. I find orgasm elusive with anyone but my husband. He knows where to touch me and with what pressure, plus I'm relaxed rather than tense. I do like dancing and flirting with new people, and I like bdsm with almost anyone. But sex with my "provider" husband is far better than with anyone else.
Alison @201, I find (many) men are better at just being, without worrying as much as women (tend to) do.
undead @209 good catch.
@210: No, not all women. But for most, I will wager it is not the provider that provides orgasm - at least not to the degree that the men do who are chosen based on more purely visceral, physical, primal reasons.

Not that the two need be mutually exclusive, but it's rare enough to find a "good provider" as it were. The chances of finding one who also rings your bell in that way is slim. Not to mention that the best providers tend to have cultivated such traits specifically because they are not 6' tall beefcakes.
@AntiEverything: "Lady Chatterly's Lover."
LW1: I'm female, and 5 ft 3. My awesome husband is 5 ft 6. We've been together 14 years and my god, the awesomeness! I'm taller than him in all my favorite boots. I don't care, he doesn't care and our GF of 4 years (5 ft 7, taller than us both) doesn't care. (though he does have A Thing for those boots...)

Try not to concentrate on on your height and concentrate on your brain. Smart is sexy, height is optional. Be funny, be smart, be awesome and we won't care how tall you are.

Henry Kissinger was 5'9" and still is ugly. In 1973 when asked how he attracted the beautiful women he dated he responded, “Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac.” The implication was that he had no trouble with seduction and I see no reason to disbelieve him. (I have no particular reason to imagine he’s a generous lover, but lacking evidence either way I won’t comment further.)

For example, see picture with Marlo Thomas here.…

I have thoughts about the wild-oats reproductive strategy vs the prudence and care one, but so as not to evoke the derision of Dunning and Kruger I will not share them here.
@216: I've no doubt beautiful women slept with Henry Kissinger. But aphrodisiac implies sexual arousal, and that's not what was happening there. They wanted to be seen with him, be the beneficiaries of his connections & his money; in short - to be ensconced in the kind of life he lived.

Such desire may be a kind of lust, but it is not a sexual one.
@216: You don't know. None of us know. What turns one person on leaves another cold. Sexual attraction is hard to pin down.

I do agree that mate selection involves different criteria than sexy-times-partner selection, so that some of those beautiful women choosing the wealthy, powerful men might not be motivated by lust. But I also wouldn't say that they never are.
And tastes vary.

@Hunter: I do think it's cultural, not innate. It's so deeply ingrained, what men and women are valued for. And up until quite recently women had no ability at all to provide for themselves.
Plus, your example of transgender people seems poorly-thought out and poorly-expressed. As I understand it, transgender people feel disconnected from the gender they are told they are based on the genitals they have. That has little to do with cultural priorities.
@AntiEverything: Marrying rich and fucking the proverbial pool boy is certainly a thing, but you're tripping if you don't think money and power can make panties wet.
Hunter, you do realize this important task you have- the week in review- should present an impartial assessment? Hopefully, now you will rest? Lack of sleep impinges on ones mental abilities . Though as I see it, if you just repeat and repeat " this is just another Feminist plot", no one will notice.
We will return, to fight the good fight and discuss with SeanDr what gets women's pussies wet, another day.
@220: If I may invoke a duo of graphic visuals: money & power may open legs, but do not make panties wet.

Sex is merely a means to an end, and any titillation involved comes solely from the thrill of the venture being successful. They're merely acting aroused to lure in the catch.

This need not be strictly a woman's game, either. Nor need it be an extreme scenario, like a poor person fucking a rich person to garner favor. It happens in smaller and more pragmatic ways all the time.

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