Today is the only day I feel that I have a disclaimer large enough to cover such a broad and frustrating question as what women want (and it isn’t Mel Gibson). Here’s the brief back-story.
Back in the glorious Internet golden age of the mid 21st century I began my relationship hobby with more questions than answers (that hasn’t changed), and so I decided to ask the ladies themselves directly by creating a poll and making an article about it. Despite my best efforts it was a flop, Google wouldn’t touch the article and the bounce rate was higher than a marble on a trampoline. Now, because hell, as they say, is doing the same thing over-and-over again, I decided to retain my sanity and promptly forgot about the article entirely.
Recently, while doing a clean sweep of all my accounts, profiles and publishing platforms in an effort to find creative ways to advertise this website, I ran into an old acquaintance. Yes indeed, and he was all grown up by now. Somehow, in my absence, the article had caught steam and I was looking down the fuming barrel of thousands of results to assess and analyze. This article is me, doing exactly that. For once then, it isn’t my usual outspoken, biased, erratic self talking, but data.
As we can immediately tell from the picture, my questions tend to skip the foreplay, which I’m particularly proud about.
Here are some of the more interesting patterns that emerged from the data.
The public-private distinction
What really struck me about the responses was that women really do not seem to shy away from adventurous romance as much as we (I) may think. But there is a catch. Many of the poll answers involved backtracking in order not to “appear” needy or desperate. Consider the illustration above, insinuating that she is adverse to blunt romantic advances (3%) was the least popular option (they were five times more likely to jump into bed with you). Even less popular than passing for an alcoholic!
As we can see, this public-private tug of war is re-affirmed in the answers time and time again. What this tells me is that women want you to play the game, be persistent, but also wish to feel comfortable and respected.
Security Is Sexy
Men and women do differ when it comes to attraction, the idea that we would seek “security” (statistics show that men are far more likely to seek validation) over adventure, validation, sex or emotional stability may be a little strange. For women, however, it’s a big deal. Rather than ramble on about evolution and our ancestral past as hunter-gatherers, we’ll just take it for granted that security is not only a nice feeling to have, it was also for the better part of thousands of years, and absolute necessity for women — who were burdened by child-bearing and could not provide for themselves due to sociological constraints. This isn’t to say that a troglodyte inherently has a mountain of sex appeal, but it does mean that being secure, calm and reassuring are good things to be.
On a serious note, I really do mean it when I say that the alpha-male is not the be all and end all of comfort and security. When asked what part of a man’s body stands out the most, woman preferred the eyes (16%), the smile (25%) and the shoulders (21)% over a muscular posterior (4%). I could not find questions regarding a preference in the behavioral traits of men and their relation to security, but I’m going to hedge that the way you act overshadows any physical attribute you may have been gifted.
Make Them Laugh
By far the most rewarded behavioral trait was a mans ability to make a woman laugh. Evoking a smile, thereby associating yourself with a positive, merry emotion in the long-term, seems to be the number one deal-maker when it comes to long-term relationships. If you fail at just about everything, but have that uncanny knack to make her laugh when others don’t, you’re not out of the ballgame quite yet.
P.S: It bears reminding that the result that comes a close second in this particular question is also rather telling. It seems to me that the perfect mix can be deduced from the poll; Lots of fun, lots of passion, a little transgression and very little neediness.
That Reminds Me
From here on about I’m going to listen to this before every date I go on, just to get into the right frame of mind!