Columns Dec 24, 2014 at 4:00 am

Only the Lonely


@204: But what you describe isn't chest hair. Until a guy gets really old and their chest sags down toward their belt line.
Oh Holmes. Of course it's not chest hair. The chest hair is above the belly.
And all of it, is very yummy, to me.. Or at least, was. You guys might worry re your height, try being of an older age.
Options, though not necessarily one's pussy, dry up.
@222: What makes panties wet varies widely across social and cultural lines. And if women (or men) want to marry power and wealth and maintain a happy, long term relationship, they need to have their sexual preferences aligned with their prospective social position.

Its not so much a matter of a spouse getting caught with the pool boy or maid. Long term, the idea of being married to someone who doesn't float your boat weights on a lot of people. And some of them find that they are better off divorcing and moving down to the social level that best fits them.

If a woman is turned on by Li'l Abner, she is better off not setting her sights higher than Dogpatch. The fortunate woman will get wet panties from a Wall Street Banker.
Oh, I totally believe power is a genuine aphrodisiac for some people. Personally I’ve always fallen a little in love with my boss. [There was one really bad boss though. Not her.] Not usually enough to want to do anything about, just enough to laugh gently at myself.

One of the first lesbian BDSM classics was titled “Coming to Power.” Can’t get much more explicit about power being sexy than that.

People are different.
@Alison: Thanks, fascinating read on many levels. I expect transfolk will have a lot of fresh and honest insights to offer on the nature and implications of gender.

It's also heartwarming to hear the little things that women appreciate in men.
@213, in my case, what makes me wet is someone willing to act like a stereotypical dominant asshole - staring me down, grabbing my hair, pushing me to my knees, ripping off my clothes, etc. etc. And acting like he's doing it because he wants to, rather than just to turn me on.

I may fantasize about a mechanic or pool boy doing that to me, but how on earth would I find the guts to explain the fantasy to the mechanic or pool boy, without worrying about offending them? No, my husband has it worked out; he knows what pushes my buttons, makes my panties wet and fall right off.
Ms Erica - If I understand you correctly, that is a difficult situation, as it has to be a double impersonation - you don't want a genuinely dominant a-word and you don't want someone who genuinely wants to impersonate a dominant a-word. That would make sense that you'd stick with one person who'd proven he could master the required performance.
@217: Hunter, having given up on discussing long ago, outs themselves as a sad troll.
Mr. Venn, Mr. P. seems to be able to channel his inner caveman, or inner dominant asshole. As a parent, son, and colleague, he is friendly and pleasant; but in private with me he genuinely seems to enjoy the power play.

If I'm wrong about that, then he has devoted 20 years to building up this act to please me, and I have no intention of undermining the illusion.
@228: "my husband has it worked out; he knows what pushes my buttons,"

There are two aspects of the "big man, little woman" pairing. The private one, where a woman gets turned on by the idea of being dominated by her partner. And the public one, where women feel "safer" with a big man to protect them. The former, private side of this can be pretty healthy, as role playing. Hence most womens' preference to submit to a partner that they already know and trust. In this case, it really doesn't take a great size/height difference. Given the typical male's superior strength, even with a couple of similar height,

playing dominant male isn't a problem.

The public face of this is a bit more disturbing. First, our culture has progressed beyond the point of two cavemen fighting over a woman, with the victor dragging her off. This may still occur to some extent in lower classes. But even there, winning the fight means nothing if a woman believes that she can still choose the loser of her own volition. And finally, if it comes to a fight, judging the outcome strictly on height isn't particularly valid. Just look at the physical attributes of those who make the best Marines or Royal Marines. Height, by itself is a negative factor.

I find it particularly encouraging that the majority of women here appear to consider the "big man" factor as an attractive attribute for their private rather than public life. Whatever floats your boat in the bedroom. As long as everyone is equal in public.
The only power that induces arousal is raw, physical power. A big, burly, bestial man who can pick up a woman and fuck her senseless with his big ol' hard cock. Hence the preference for taller men; if only as an affectation.

Social power, even the kind that millions of dollars or sways of influence can achieve, pales in comparison.
@233: Thank you for telling us what arouses you, AntiEverything. But I think it's pretty arrogant of you to think you know what arouses any and everyone.

quite the comment thread this week... and it appears...based on all the contradicting statements... that exceptions to the rule are the new rule....and we in savageland are somehow exempt from the broader stereotypes that pervade the world outside this bubble....
Ms Erica - Ah, thank you for the clarification.
@234: The majority of straight women are deeply, primally attracted to the type of man described in my last post - drawn like moths to a flame in a way that their boss, or a politician, or any socially powerful man never could.

I'd love to be proven wrong, but it's like clockwork - more universal & predictable than even the male attraction to big breasts or wide hips.
@237 . As a fantasy, maybe. And in this fantasy, this brute, is also capable of tenderness- he doesn't just slam it it. In the real world, it's better as a fantasy.
The pool boy , the boy who brings in the breakfast tray to the hotel room
( one of my fantasy favourites),. Erica Jong called it the zipless fuck.. All fantasy.
Still, you got something going with a brute, enjoy.
AntiEvrrything; and some women, ie Lesbians, don't want no hard cock near them. I do understand your energy with this/ there is an attraction to raw male power/ for me/ in my head.. It's a power that youth get together , though.
When the eggs and the sperm are ripe.
@230. Hunter is no troll.
A study was done earlier this year on this very topic:…

There are exceptions to every rule, but sorry ladies, the general rule is that you are genetically programmed to desire a good provider most of the time, but a stereotypical masculine man when ovulating.

Or as Jean Grey said in The X-Men, "Girls flirt with the dangerous guy, they don't bring him home; they marry the good guy."
@241. Yeah. That's where I went wrong. Picked the cad traits guy to breed with, just forgot to also pick the good guy to coparent with. Obvious from this study, women need to have multiple men. Science has now proven it. Women are not monogamous.
@233 I am attracted to men. I am not at all attracted to what you describe. Maybe some people are, and that's fine. But it's not the only thing people are attracted to. I am attracted to people I have shared interests with, good conversation, and some similarities in reading preferences. Optional extras that make for more attraction: the ability to sing well, a good grasp of science with lots of interesting things to discuss about it, a desire to cook or bake foods I eat.
Biggest turn-offs are probably bigotry or hypocrisy.

But then, I've never gotten into a romantic or sexual relationship with someone I hadn't first had a good, functional friendship with. And I far prefer to handle my love life that way. It's not for everyone, but it definitely is for me. To me, friendship is a prerequisite for sexual activity.

Self-esteem and not being too bitter are definitely positive traits that I like. People often confuse self-esteem with arrogance. To me, the difference is being justifiably assured of yourself (which does not require putting anyone else down, since that usually comes from insecurity) versus either having an inflated view of one's abilities or being so insecure that one feels a need to constantly bring up one's positive traits or put down other people's. That kind of arrogance is, as far as I am concerned, the opposite of self-esteem and self-confidence.
AntiEverything @231, That’s not how it works. You make the assertion, it’s up to you to prove it.
^ Sorry, that would have been AntiEverything @237.

AntiEverything @233 — Like uncreative, I’m attracted to men but not like that. I’m maternal. I like to feel giving. A brute who takes doesn’t give me the opportunity to give. Ruins all the fun.
@Alison Cummings: I don't think anything will be definitively proven or disproven via an internet comments section, but the study provided by #241 would be a good place to start. If you consider yourself an exception, great - but most are not.

Traits like social power (and even emotional connections) are certainly attractive; even intoxicating in their own way. But they do not provoke a biological response with the intensity that the large, physically mighty male does. This is merely an ideal, though, and many women will not meet such a man. Fantasy, role-play, and just plain tall guys will often have to suffice. But physical power is what elicits the strongest sexual response in straight women.

@242 - I couldn't agree more about non-monogamy. Why have just one, when you can have it all?
@AntiEverything: You're painting an awfully cartoonish picture of female sexuality. You need to get out and meet some people.

Also, it's entirely possible for a woman to find as much bad boy and provider as she wants in one man.
Hey Hunter, facts are so hard to find in these areas. In a study, a woman may say, yes, she'd prefer a man taller than herself. Then go fall in love with a man who is the same height as her.
So, who you gonna call? No that's not right. Just been reading an article bout Bill Murray in the Rolling Stone. And just ordered the six CD set of
The Basement Tapes..
I mean, who you gonna believe? The woman when she answered the Qu or the ( same) woman when she fell in love with a guy her own height?
@seandr: I mentioned the two not being mutually exclusive, in post #213, but it's hard enough to find a decent provider. It's also hard to find reading comprehension, apparently.

Let's put it this way: all else being equal, physical power will be the deciding factor. An emotionally giving, financially stable man who's 5'6, skinny and pale OR An emotionally giving, financially stable man who's over 6' tall and could lift a lady in the air without effort?
@247: "I don't see anyone willing to talk facts instead of cant."

Probably because you can't seem to avoid conflating nature and nurture.
SeanDr, and you speak as a , Yep, that's right- a Man.
Female sexuality, well. That's a topic for five thousand comments.
Of course one could find a Man who combines the good guy and
the" cad traits."
Maybe that's how Men should start to describe themselves on dating sites. Rather than their height etc..
@248: "Also, it's entirely possible for a woman to find as much bad boy and provider as she wants in one man."

They really are outing their own neuroses and personal failures with that narrative, aren't they?
@250. Now you gonna get all the skinny and pale guys all worried.
Men and Women( straight ones), have their fantasies. Right? Mostly though, those fantasies are composites and in ones own mind one can have who one bloody well wants to have.
In the real world, just ain't that simple. Obviously, some women would concur with your ideal and some women totally turned off. It's called individual differences. And praise to the Lord. Cause if all women wanted the same type of Man, we'd be in trouble.
Undead; wasn't Ayn Rand a fascist or something?
Check out the study that Fortunate referenced above. That's what SeanDr is referring to. Get with the programme.. @241.
My sister once said to me, "It's a good thing you're gay. You're short, most girls wouldn't go for you." (I'm 5'6''). And I know this statement to be completely true (as much as there are plenty of exceptions, as a general rule, women prefer taller guys).

But in the gay world? Exactly once I've had a guy tell me he thought I was cute/hot, but too short for him. I've dated/hooked up with guys way taller than me, and with guys shorter than me. I've never felt too short to hit on anyone, and for a while dated a guy who was 6'4''.

That said, however, online I feel compelled to say I'm 5'8''. Guys seem to have an online cutoff that they would never have in person. I've never, ever, had a guy see me in person and say, oh, you're shorter than I thought, this isn't going to work. It's not completely honest, but the arbitrary 5'6'' cut off is silly. Along with guys who say online "no one over 35" - as if they'd happily date/fuck a fat 35 year old but turn away a supermodel who was 36.
Do bad boy fantasies count if you're not actually pursuing the guy?

I'm happy with this.
Fortunate @241
>>sorry ladies, the general rule is that you are genetically programmed to desire a good provider most of the time, but a stereotypical masculine when ovulating. >>

Many of us are on the pill and therefore never ovulate except when we've already selected our mate. During the months we were actively trying to conceive, I didn't notice other men any more than I usually do. These studies are not solid, reproduceable science; they're just gestures at interesting questions.
@250: I don't like men over six feet because we can't walk and talk comfortably. You just sound obsessed, not insightful, with all your talk of lifting women to fuck them. I'm not unusual in fantasizing about being on my knees, rather than suspended in mid-air.
AntiEverything, I've been in a married to the same guy for the last 20 years and monogamous. My husband is a wonderful provider (I'm a pretty good provider too) and the only man I want to fuck, which we still do 3 or 4 times a week and with a lot of variety. Nothing you say about female sexuality resonates with me at all, and the study cited by fortunate means nothing to me either. I know this proves nothing but I do exist!
seandr @248, that is absolutely right. My husband is a great partner and father, except when we're in bed together and that's forgotten. Then he's a bad boy or bad girl or whatever we feel like.
Dr Sean - Now that I think of it, who's your favourite Honey Badger?


Ms Cute - I suspect that we could get multiple Sartre Awards from this thread, even without bringing back Ms Driasis.


Mr Anti - You sound as fervent an advocate as Ms Erica (on whom, once or twice, I might have bestowed a Rumpole Award had I thought of it), if perhaps less persuasive. But universalizing pluralitarianism rarely does much good. (From the parallels we've seen, the woman running the study to which Mr Fortunate linked may genuinely expect it to work on the side of Good and provide women with a reason not to dump providers, but mainly it will likely just amount to a Cheating Pass.) But I suppose we can take it as encouraging that nobody's suggested your fervency is consolatory, which would doubtless have happened at one or two other sites.
It's 2015 down under. Happy New Year all you SavageLoveLand people..
Hunter; in Australia Fems is a tampon brand. Please don't use that word.
And I do agree with some of what you said in @263.
Not sure what it is you are looking for here. That there are behavioural differences between (cis) males and ( cis) females. That are not attributable to nurture?
Of course scientific inquiry is important and valid. This study that Fortunate cites, I have heard its premise before. And personally, it makes sense. The continuation of the species with healthy children is , obviously important.
And I do believe women generally prefer men a little taller than themselves. Is that cultural or something else? Is it just western women?
That there are women of all heights, means men can find women who are a little shorter than them.
I've started reading the book " Reading Lolita in Tehran".. And it just boils my blood how women are so deeply repressed in some Middle Eastern countries. They can't even seem to get to first base of finding out who or what they can explore about themselves.. What is this fear of women? Of their energy, their sex?
Is it to do with the power of the mother over her sons? Where does this wish to control and contain women come from?
To me- these issues between men and women are very important to explore and tease out. Happy new year.
"These studies are not solid, reproduceable science; they're just gestures at interesting questions. "

Sorry, they are science. That there are exceptions or interdiction that result in different outcomes in some cases doesn't change the facts.

Humans are genetically predisposed to have two arms and two legs. That some people are born missing a limb, and other people lose a limb during their life, doesn't change the fact that the normal genetic expression of the human genome results in a person with two arms and two legs.

Most men have a desire to have sex with women. I'm gay and don't, but that doesn't change the fact that most men do and there is clearly a genetic drive behind that. My being an exception does not disprove the rule.

Women are genetically predisposed to seek out certain kinds of mates for reproduction and different kinds of mates for raising a family. That pills and circumstances or individual make up doesn't make that 100% universal doesn't change that fact. The same kind of behavior has been seen in other species.

People don't like to think that we, as humans, have some kind of over reaching genetic program. Doesn't change the fact that we do. As individuals some of us are not 100% slaves to our biology. As a species however we are.
Hunter; Feminism isn't some creed. To me it is about women having freedom. To think, to do, to feel, to be. Doesn't make women " right", though some women use it that way.
Patriarchal structures exist. All around. That just means, that culture has evolved over thousands of years with men being the cultural decision makers. Women the ones looking after the kids and the men.
Why? Pity it has evolved this way- because if men and women had worked together, and done this around the children- we may have a culture now that would reflect the real needs of all the group. As it is, it's just a run away train.. We have to work with it though. Find our food, shelter, happiness, creativity etc within it.
Correction.@267. That would reflect the real needs of all the group, and those needs being better met.
From Fortunate's study:

"Their findings suggest..." (not demonstrate).

"desires for those masculine characteristics... might have increased the odds of [a woman's] offspring surviving and reproducing." (Or maybe not. It's an untested theory, like most research on human behavior.)

"Whether women's mate preferences shift at high fertility has been a source of debate since the late 1990s, when the first scholarly studies to hint at such a change appeared. Since then, several papers have failed to replicate the early studies' results, casting doubt on the hypothesis."

As I was saying: unreproduceable.

Meta-studies find interesting correlations, and even (as in this case) statistically significant correlations. That doesn't mean the authors have conclusively demonstrated causality. Or even eliminated the possibility of random results, since if you do enough meta-studies and include enough crap studies in your meta-studies, you'll always find something worthy of publication. Doesn't mean the claim is likely to hold up to more inquiry.
Except that it correlates to what we find in the animal kingdom as well.
Is this so-called science useful? Because arguing about whether free will is an illusion seens like a waste of time.
EricaP. I don't know if it is about us having free will or not. Our minds, after all, can force all sorts of things on our bodies.
These studies are interesting, to me. Knowledge, as they say, is power.
I find it quite funny that we keep start out talking about big strong men and keep calling them bad boys. The idea that women are only attracted to physically imposing men, and not powerful men is contrary to the bad boy. A bad boy is one who excerts power without necessarily being physically large. He demonstrats his power by refusing to play by societal rules and also offers danger and excitement, which other studies show are turn ons. Or, beyond the bad boy, we have actin heroes. Perhaps Bond is a bit of a bad boy, but it is his suave smoothness, demonstrating social status, social power, and confidence that really turns women on. Further, guys in expensive well cut suits are very attractive to women as they demonstrate both money and a certain control of their environment.

As far as power goes, think of all the women attracted to rock starts, bartenders, or men with money and power. Are they outliers?

And what about attraction to slim effeminite women. David Bowie, slight gay men, Mick Jagger, or many other rock stars. Most are not big or particularly masculine or muscular. Even movie stars are not particularly big. These days, they are often muscular. But look at the movie stars of the past. Bogart, Errol Flynn. It is almost shocking when you see them with no shirt. Flabby. But they exude power and confidence. They take action. They make things happen. This is why they are movie stars. yes, they also have good faces, and that often includes masculine traits such as a square jaw. But it is masculinity, not size that is often atractive to women.

Yes, I know there are some women who love big guys. I know a guy who is 6'6". Contrary to the comment from the OK cupid guy, there are some women who will seek him out. He walks into a party or bar and there is almost alwasy one or two women who will walk right up to him and talk to him. I know a few large women who like big guys so they do not feel so big. And I know a lot of women who are attracted to tallish guys over short. But these days, it is often slim swimmers build tall guys, not big muscular brutes.

I also think tastes change over time. One era has women attracted to effete gentlemen in garish clothing. Another has them attracted to broad shouldered man's men. One era has them into mop topped nice boys in matching suits. Ten years later, it is bearded mountain men or guys with hairy chests and moustaches. Then, ten years later, it is long haired make up wearing rockers.

Just goes to show, you can not pigeon hole attraction. Especially women. Men's attraction is probably simpler and more consistent. But even looking at female movie stars of the last 70 years show incredible variation over time.
In the pick up community, it is commonly held that while a guy ought to work out a bit, he should dial up his alpha male attitude. Not necesserily being a jerk. But being a bit cocky. I know that doesn't work on all women. But it seems to work on the women those guys are attracted to.

I have long held that the more feminine a woman is, the more she is attracted to masculine guys. But that can be attitude as much as physical size. But probably more into bigger guys. And vica versa. Masculine guys are more attracted to feminine women. Think of the typical wife of a military guy. Probably pretty feminine. That leaves more balanced people for each other. Personally, I consider myself somewhat balanced in terms of my masculine nature and more feminine side. And while I might find some of them physically appealing, overly feminine, high maintenance, girly girls who can ot do anything for themselves drive me nuts.
Dude, if you need a therapist who's smarter than you... happy hunting. My guy is borderline "developmentally disabled" but every week he comes up with something for me to ponder and even change...
I'm a short girl (4'11'') i'd always been with tall guys (not really on purpose, it just happened that way) now I've met the love of my life and he's just a hair taller than me. i don't really have any advice, but i will say that my man's confidence is a big turn on. he's sexy and cute and great in bed, so don't sweat it to bad. then again, im in a country right now (in latin america) that's a bit shorter than the US average- maybe try learning a new language, branch out, try a new place and you may get different reactions?

    Please wait...

    and remember to be decent to everyone
    all of the time.

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