The Anatomy of an Alpha Male

by Andrew Daniels February 28, 2012, 05:00 am EST

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We miss the days when all it took to woo a woman was a winning smile and a couple of witty one-liners. Life was simpler back then, back before scientists started to measure all the secret ways women size men up. Practically every week, a new study comes out that reveals another hidden method females use to pick potential partners from a crowded pack of men. And most of the time, we have no idea we’re even being judged. Case in point: According to new research in the journal Nature Communications, women rate guys with high levels of testosterone and stronger immune responses as more attractive.

Bet you didn’t know she finds your antibodies sexy, right? And wouldn’t it be great to know if you have other features that stealthily turn her on? Good news: You have plenty of them. And we did all the leg work to let you know which of your body parts, gestures, and accessories scientifically stand out most to her. Starting with a dynamite immune system [1], here’s what you need to polish up before you hit the town tonight.

 2. Your Five O’Clock Shadow
Kiss clean-shaven goodbye. In a study at Northumbria University, women rated pictures of men with light stubble as the most attractive, and said a man sporting it was the ideal romantic partner. Though women scored full beards highest in masculinity and aggression, fuzzy faces bottomed out as the least attractive. Learn how to grow the perfect stubble here.

3. Your Smooth Baritone
Gentlemen, get your Barry White on. There’s a reason the soul master was a total ladies’ man—because his legendary low croon made women swoon. And you can do the same: According to a 2011 study in Memory & Cognition, women have a stronger preference for hearing a deep-voiced man talk.

4. Your Favorite Fragrance
Men who use cologne are more confident than those who don’t, says a University of Liverpool study. But the same study also found that when women simply see a man apply a scent, they consider him more attractive. Easy as that: Use a scent you like, and your confidence carries you. Use our Scent Selector to find the right cologne for any date.

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5. Your Barren Pits
Listen, we’re not telling you to go underarm commando, but a new study out of the Czech Republic found that when ladies sniffed odor samples from shaved armpits and armpits with hair grown for 6 to 10 weeks, they liked the smell of hairless dudes better. It’s your call, but a couple of snips might not hurt (as long as you’re careful).

6. Your Loaded Guns
BREAKING NEWS:  Big muscles carry big benefits—especially when it comes to the ladies. Research out of UCLA confirms that yes, women are indeed attracted to muscular guys. (We were shocked, too!) A series of six studies found that fit men are catnip to women looking for fun, and they have twice as many partners as average Joes and weaklings. Just one more reason to hit the gym.

7. Your Red Attire
Inject some rouge into your wardrobe. According to a study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, women are more attracted to dudes in red than any other color, finding them more attractive, powerful, and sexually desirable. Use a photo with a simple touch of red—a tie or a deep red button up under a blazer—to get her attention. (Discover the clothing she wishes you would wear.)

More from Improve Your Life with the Best Colors

8. Your Ritzy Ride
Procuring a luxury sports car isn’t as easy as, say, buying a red shirt, but nevertheless: If you’re looking for a fling, zip around the block in a Boxster. In a 2011 study from the University of Texas at San Antonio, women were more likely to choose Porsche drivers for a date and less likely to choose them for marriage. (Fast car = fast hook-up.)

9. Your Firm Handshake
Strengthen your grip, stat. A good handshake isn’t a shortcut to her bed, but a bad one can doom you. Hands are loaded with tactile nerves, and people with weak, clammy handshakes were perceived as shy and neurotic in a University of Alabama study. So hold your drink in your left hand and give her a firm but not bone-crushing grasp. Pay attention to her grip as well: The same study showed that women who give firmer handshakes tend to be more adventurous.


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  • How the NHL Playoffs Turn Her On

10. Your Average Package
Believe it or not, bigger doesn’t always mean better in the penis department. Women rate extremely long penises as less attractive than those of a more average length, according to a 2010 study in the Archives of Sexual Behavior. Unless you’re a member of the Red Hot Chili Peppers circa the early ’90s—Google it—this tip’s for the bedroom only.

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11. Your Towering Presence
Sorry, shorties. A study in the Evolutionary Psychology Journal found that tall guys have more attractive partners than vertically challenged men. But if you’re stuck below 6 feet, that just means you’ll have to do a little extra work: Learn 4 ways to mimic the confidence of tall people and start reaping the benefits you deserve.

12. Your Handy Bouquet
Pink carnations, red roses, yellow daffodils—don’t forget the flowers. French researchers recently found that if you want to increase your odds of making a good first impression with a woman, it’s as simple as bringing her a bouquet—or, if it’s too early in the relationship for that, reserving a table at the nearest garden café. So potent is the effect of fresh petals, the study found, that merely sitting near a floral display caused the man to “appear more attractive and sexier.” Score!

13. Your Acoustic Axe
Good news, would-be rock stars: Chicks really do dig guys who play guitar. Women love men who sing and play music for them, says Helen Fisher, Ph.D., a biological anthropologist at Rutgers University and author of Why We Love. “Indeed, anthropologists now think this is why humanity developed our advanced ability to sing and compose music: to win at love,” she says.

More from How to Seduce Any Woman in the World

Additional reporting by Kiera Aaron, Mike Darling, Justin Park, Laura Roberson, Cassie Shortsleeve, and Denny Watkins

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FILED UNDER: attraction, charts, dating, infographic, picking up women, sex


  • BuySellHoustonHomes

    UT at Sandiego?  Has texas reached the west coast already?

    8. Your Ritzy Ride

    Procuring a luxury sports car isn’t as easy as, say, buying a
    red shirt, but nevertheless: If you’re looking for a fling, zip around
    the block in a Boxster. In a 2011 study from the University of Texas at
    San Diego, women were more likely to choose Porsche drivers for a date
    and less likely to choose them for marriage. (Fast car = fast hook-up.)

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  • David Clive

    RE: 4. Your Favorite Fragrance
    Cologne is intended for the person getting close to you and should not be an olfactory hammer that slams everybody within your vicinity.

    My commute is an exercise in trying to find fresh air because the large majority of men using cologne wear way too much.

    After using a scent for an extended period you become less sensitive to it but here’s a hint: if you are doing more than two pumps with a cologne spray you’re wearing too much.

    If you’re meeting up with your significant other after work think about keeping a travel size in the office drawer. You only need a dab at the centre of your neck to get enough of that fragrance back to tantalize.

    When you step into a room and invade the space with the latest fragrance trend you smell like an amateur. Not to mention you’re giving everybody a headache.

    So dial it back a bit gents. Save the “smell good” for the people getting close to you. It should be their reward, not everyone’s aggravation.

  • Christopher Davis

    its san antonio not diego

  • Anonymous

    Correct me if I’m wrong,  but these guidelines – as with all the “rules” in MH, GQ, and the rest – and the photos that go with them, seemed aimed exclusively at the 24-30 club. If you’re outside of that, ie, older, I wonder how many still hold.


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  • Daniel Medrano

    Dudes it doesn’t matter what age you are, if you got it, you got it. I’m seeing this 2 ladies, one of them I’ve been seeing for about two years the other one for about three months, and I’m telling you I could be seeing more but my work dont let me, too many hours, anyways I pretty much do all the above except the tall part since I’m 5’8″, the porsche part, The guitar part. the flower part and I’m working on my guns,and I’m telling you it works. I do not worry about sex, Its awesome.

  • Anonymous

    This article is so dumb. Stop doing things for women to get women.
    Just do things FOR YOURSELF TO BE YOURSELF and the girls will flock to you.

    I’m an asian dude 5’11,  in good shape etc and I’ve dated some of the hottest girls in the world. Be it blondes, latinas, asians, etc I honestly don’t have any problem attracting great ladies of every ethnicity and culture. I’m not rich at all either and don’t have anything beyond a highschool diploma but I’m still considered hella smart  and “amazing” so I’m told.

    Oh and to boot it off, some girls assume I have a small package because of bad stereotypes (hey it still didn’t stop them from getting to know me intimately) and they get surprised when they see my 7.6 inch member. 

    The point is, I’m supposed to have a lot against me but I’ve overcome and conquered all those odds simply by being me to my full potential. Not that fake stuff to get girls, just by being who I really am and aspire to become.

    For example.. Don’t pick up a guitar just to get a girl, that’s an insult to music and the magic of the art. Pick up a guitar because you’re passionate about music and playing the damn thing – let that be the only reason.

  • Sergey Morozov

    Written above is a mix of pseudo-alpha and social alpha.

    The alpha-male is comprised of the following elements:
    an array of male biological and behaviour parameters,
    and female recognition and interaction programs.
    The alpha emerges only when two of these elements come together. We could write that the alpha-male is a Gestalt, even two forms of Gestalt: male and female. (from Sex and Rank)

    Nobody can become an alpha.

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