What really attracts a man? Let’s hear it from the guys…


I’m excited to announce my very first guest blog post!  I asked a few of my favorite male bloggers to list three things that attract them to a woman, along with three things that “repel” them.  That is, if they were to approach a woman (at a bar, coffeeshop, whatever), what attracts them in the first place, and what turns them off?

I always had a hard time figuring out what motivates a man to approach and hang around (besides a woman’s “hotness”, but I think there is more going on)…do we send out the wrong signals and not even know it?  So, I’m pleased to share with you some expert thoughts on the subject…I knew I’d get some interesting feedback, and they did not disappoint.

Screen shot 2010-05-04 at 1.31.31 PMJack from F*cking in Brooklyn, who I love to follow because his honesty leaps off the page.

I’m going to skip the obvious (she’s hot) because there’s nothing superficial millions of years of behavioral programming. The realm of women I find physically attractive is fairly spacious; but finding the combination of qualities that truly attract me in one woman, is rare.

  • I’ve always found powerful women irresistible. Kissinger was right; power is the greatest aphrodisiac, and nothing is sexier than a woman who owns (not rents or leases with an option to buy) her personal sense of power.
  • Next would be depth. For me this covers intellect, creativity, worldliness, values and emotional maturity.
  • Last would be intensity. With a latin base of tensionem, (to stretch, struggle, contest) to me this means our energy will have a natural, (hopefully) sustainable tension, a key to battling eventual boredom.

Repels is a strong word, but three things I have no tolerance for?

  • For one, timidity. I come from a family of unusual tenacious women, so weak-willed women make me go all soft in places where a man should be hard.
  • Narrow-mindedness is also something I have no taste for. It’s a big world full of ideas, be open to new ones.
  • Lastly, I find bigots truly repulsive. Intolerance of race, religion or sexual preference isn’t just unattractive, it’s odious. I’d rather fornicate a Cuisinart.

Screen shot 2010-05-04 at 1.30.27 PMThis is from The Urban Dater, who makes me laugh and reflect at the same time…is that possible?

I am a simpleton, therefore I am a… uh… simpleton?  Anyway, I’m a guy of simple tastes, at least I think I am and it doesn’t take much to get my attention.  Obviously a woman disrobing in front of me is a great way to get my attention, but let’s face it ladies, you’re not going to pony up and show me the goods right off the bat.  That’s okay.  I like a challenge.

Turn Ons

  • Personality and a sense of humor are pretty huge to me and, I imagine, every Tom, Dick and Harriet out there.  If a girl can make me laugh that’s really a great start.  I also am drawn to women that have a personality that commands attention; you know she’s in a room, hard to ignore, the personality is warm and welcoming.  She gets attention without really trying, to me, that’s incredibly sexy.
  • I find that I am drawn to women that are creative and artistic; I tend to be a nuts and bolts kind of person, circuit boards and hard drives rule my day.  Having a woman that can make sure I’m getting my appropriate dosages of culture is nice. Sometimes these women are easy to spot; there’s a place I go to called the Gypsy Den and I tell you, these creative female types are all over… Though, they kinda look like they walked out of some sort of hippy people loving commune…
  • Lastly, I like a woman that knows how to move her body, no, not sexually speaking, I mean, yeah, that’s important, but that’s not what I mean.  I like a woman who’s a bit of “action star” she likes to be active, likes dancing, someone who can’t sit still for too long.  I’m like this, too, so it only makes sense to find someone who is of a similar cut of cloth in this sense.

Turn Offs

  • Negativity.  Nothing drains me more than a woman who is perpetually negative, with a bad attitude.  One of my exes was so keen to rag on her co-workers; it was the bulk of what we’d talk about.  She would make fun of these people, if she wasn’t doing that she was worried about how someone wronged her at work… Man, I couldn’t deal.  When she would come by, she’d immediately hop into bed and not for any “bounce house” antics either.  You don’t realize how much a negative person drains from you until you’ve kicked them to the curb!
  • Closed Minded women bother me.  They know what they know and really couldn’t care a spit about a differing opinion.  I was on a date one time with this gal who was Persian, we were having a great time.  Then I told her about a friend of mine who is Iranian and as soon as I said what region she was from; culturally divisive spew erupted from this girl’s mouth.  I couldn’t believe it!  No common ground could be reached, she was beside herself just denigrating my friend’s regional culture… I couldn’t get over it, our date ended shortly there after.  Closed Mindedness and self imposed ignorance are two bad tastes that were never made to go together.
  • Lastly, a gal that doesn’t take care of herself.  This is partly tied to appearance, truth be told.  A woman that doesn’t take good care of herself physically is more prone to be lacking in other areas of her life, too.  There’s a lot of fixing up to be done, in some cases.  If a woman is fine being out of shape and not taking care of herself and has no other issues, that’s okay, too.  However, I want a woman that cares about her well being and physical health as much as I care about my own; it’s as simple as that.

JeffreyPlatts_headshotJeffrey Platts, who I love because he brings his yogic sense of balance and spirituality into his advice.  Namaste.

3 things that make me want to approach a woman:

  • She is smiling.  Nothing is sexier than a woman who feels sufficiently good about herself to smile at the people she’s interacting with, whether it’s her friends, a baby or the waiter. Life is too short to be taken seriously.
  • She is enjoying herself.  She is putting out an energy that says “I’m here, I’m enjoying the moment.” She is not looking around for someone else to talk to or somewhere “better” to be.
  • She has a glow. Hard to describe this, but it’s something you can just feel when you see it.  You can tell that she’s connected to her heart and is okay with sharing her love with the world.  If a guy approached her and she wasn’t interested, she would be honest, yet have respect and compassion for his courage to come up talk to her.

3 things that would make me think twice about approaching a woman.

  • She is drunk. Whether it’s a bar, club or a dinner party, I’m not into a woman who feels the need to get sloshed in order to have a good time or feel confident around guys. The best indicator of whether there is a real connection is when both people are sober and able to connect to each other based on their authentic selves.  Meeting while drunk just adds another social mask that will eventually come off anyways.
  • Her body language is closed.  If her arms are crossed, she’s hunched over, her head is down, or her face is scowling, it’s hardly going to make me want to approach her. If you want to be approached, do your best to appear relaxed, open and inviting.
  • She is dressed a little TOO sexy.  It’s one thing if she’s showing some skin as part of an overall classy and confident outfit.  It’s another if she’s doing it to get obvious attention from guys or as a way to outdo the other women.  I dig a woman who knows how to attract with her body, but also her brain and energy.

Screen shot 2010-05-04 at 1.35.40 PMFishy from PlentyMoreFishoutofWater, because really, who doesn’t enjoy reading his posts?  Small nipples and escaping from dates through bathroom windows aside, he is one intriguing writer:

Biggest turn offs

  • Odour – Girls should smell nice. It’s as simple as that. We all have difficult moments but the one thing I can say about my mum, and my one and only long-term girlfriend, is that they a/ never smelt of BO, and b/ never left a stink in the bathroom. I lived with a German girl last year for a while and going in the bathroom after her was like visiting Chernobyl. Seriously.
  • Is she, or does she look, bossy? – I once went on a dinner date with a zealous vegetarian called Judith. 
When I ordered a fillet steak she told the waiter to come back in a few minutes.
”Do you mind having something without meat?” she asked me.
”I beg your pardon?”
”It’s just – I couldn’t stand watching you eat a steak.” 
”Er, right – so what should I have then?”
”How about spinach lasagne?”
A short while later the waiter returned and I chivalrously changed my order. To a mixed grill. 
Judith and I spent the next hour in near silence before going our separate ways.
  • Too much, or badly applied, make-up – If we can notice it, it’s too much. A natural look will always win the day. And the worst thing is those lines on a girl’s jaw line when she hasn’t applied the foundation properly. I once went on a first date with a girl who had flaky bit of make-up on the bridge of her nose between the eyes. It was like kissing a pasty.

Biggest turn ons

  • Talent – No funny anecdotes here. It’s quite simple, talent is sexy. Female comedians do it for me. As do female novelists. And girls who make a good cup of tea.
  • Girls who always think of things – I like girls who always make provisions. Girls who carry brollies (because there’s nothing worse than my hair getting wet), girls who keep tissues in their handbag, and girls who remember to remind me about their birthdays (and my mum’s).
  • Nice thighs – People ask if you’re a bum man or a boobs man. I’m neither. There’s something incredibly sexy about nice, nut-cracking thighs.

So ladies, I hope this is helpful.  I’d like to hear your thoughts on this…

About Kelly Seal

Kelly is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles, CA. She blogs about dating, relationships, and sometimes peanut butter. You can follow her on Google+, Twitter @kellyseal or through her website www.kellyseal.com.


  1. says

    Kelly – as Guest posts go, you’ve hit the jackpot here. The perfect blend of honesty, poignancy, humor, wit, balance small nipples and a deluded sense that the right girls’ poop doesn’t stink :-)
    Love this. Love these guys. Love their perspectives. Love your Blog.
    Thanks for posting!

  2. says

    Sniff.. thanks Lucky Girl! I love these guys…I wish I had them in my life sooner (like before I hit 35…)

  3. says

    Jack – My my, Kissinger and Latin in a short blurb about how women attract you? I’m in awe. Latin is badass, and I’m unashamed of the fact that I think that Kissinger is a stud. Eloquent and swoon-worthy, as always (you, not Kissinger… OK, well maybe both of you…). How do you not have droves of unconscious women at your feet wherever you walk?

    Urban Dater – I love your list. It’s down-to-earth, specific yet comprehensive, and very achievable from a girl’s point of view :)

    Jeffrey Platts – Consider me as a new addition to your fan club. Your list made me rethink my image. Heaps of thanks for the insights! Particularly the one about body language. I’m a notorious arm-crosser and inadvertent non-smiler.

    Fishy – Oh, Fish. Even though I’m on your reserves list for marriage, I’m determined to use this confession of your turn-ons/turn-offs to move my way up that list. Don’t underestimate me. I’m a determined minx with cycling thighs.

    Kelly – Brilliant collaboration project!

  4. says

    MS, thanks for the comments! These guys rock, what more can I say?

    Oh, and about the non-smiling and arm crossing thing…mostly I do this when I’m not in my car and walking around L.A. by myself, so I’m guilty too. Comes from the days of selling postage meters door-to-door in Inglewood and Downey. People didn’t much care for automated postage, and let me know. Go figure.

  5. says

    Kelly, great idea for a “crossover” blog. Better than any Grey’s Anatomy/Private Practice mix could ever be.
    Jack, always the linquist. I do own my power, no renting here; however, I have yet to find a man to who finds it sexy.
    Urban Dater, I’m with you – take care of yourself. If you slack there, you probably slack in other areas too.
    Jeffery, sorry dude, my natural expression, not much of a smile. Although, I scowl with a purpose – I find it keeps the bums of LA at bay. Something single girls in this area need
    to think about.
    Oh, Fishy Fishy, what can I say other than I know I’m your dream girl. Your just not tall enough to ride the ride at the amusement park. 😉


  6. says

    I agree with Man Shopper, Kelly. This is a FAB post and I’ll be linking to it on a similar post I just wrote a week or so ago: http://winkwinkwink.wordpress.com/2010/04/12/turn-ons-and-offs/

    I have one very big question: Why do Jackie, Alex and Jeffrey write first about turn-ONS, when Fishy writes first about turn-OFFS? Is it a British/American thing?

    Jackie, as usual, I appreciate your love for strong women. May the universe produce more men like you.

    Alex (Urban Dater), if someone had sat me down and asked me to write this same list, I would have come up with one very similar to yours. Even more proof that you’re awesome and that I’m lucky to be friends with you.

    Jeffrey, I’m smiling just reading your post. Nicely and concisely said, as always. I like your focus on positivity; this is a tremendously attractive quality.

    Finally, Fishy, I’ve got amazing thighs. Email me.

  7. says

    First off, the post is awesome and not because i’m in it! =) Seriously, great stuff and what an honor to be included by such an amazing collection of Male Bloggers that I share such great respect for.

    I’ve been reading through your other posts and it’s a shame I didn’t find your stuff sooner, Kelly! Really!

    And Fishy, Zoe’s right; her thighs ARE amazing. Something will get cracked.

  8. says

    Thanks guys for contributing…I am digging all the RTs and Facebook comments, too!

    Zoe – I too noticed that Fishy started with the turn-offs. I was about to flip them, and then I thought no—there is obviously a reason to start off with the negatives. Fishy?

    Zia – Thanks! I think I need to seek more male advice. I’ve hung out with the girls for too long.

    Alex – (Blush). Feel free to leave comments anytime.

  9. says

    Enjoyed the post. Well done!!

    I think I agree the most with Mr. Platts. Actually I could easily agree with all the comments, good and bad. But his seem the most attainable and reachable. And realistic.

  10. says

    Zoe, I emailed you on Monday – you never replied! Ha. I will forgive you if you send me a photo of those thighs you mention.
    Anyway, enjoyed the other contributions. I might do one of these collaborative posts myself.

  11. Giggles says

    I love your blog! I lovbe these guys! They know what a good woman should be. I feel good. I know I got it all hehe in my own way

  12. says

    There are guys putting this stuff in books and making lots of money, but their books are not nearly as entertaining nor do they have the ring of truth that you have managed to convey. As an older woman back in the dating scene, all I can say is thanks!!!

  13. says

    You can definitely see your enthusiasm in the paintings you write. The arena hopes for even more passionate writers such as you who aren’t afraid to mention how they believe. All the time go after your heart.

  14. Misty says

    I am a single mother of 3. I made the wrong choices in men. I have always been a hard independent working mother and always will put my children first. I got out of a relationship that turned out to be abusive and couldn’t stand the evironment around my children and wasn’t a healthy relationship. Oh believe me, I told his mother to come get him cause he was a mommies boy and just couldn’t seem to grow up. Men puts on that first impression so he can get u and after your with them for a while, their true colors come out. Everyone has their flaws but watch the red flags!
    As I was single my neighbor who is 3 yrs younger than me and much more mature than my last with a good steady job offered to help mow my yard and we became friends. We just were so busy with work and our pass life we never took time to notice each other. Friendship grew stronger and turned into a relationship. Yes things he does might bug me like OCD but hey at least my house is clean and kids are learning from it! I can live with his unique ways about him. Now we are engaged to be married!
    Bottom line is don’t rush things! Eventually she/he will be there to catch your eye. Give it a try. Things may not be perfect how you can imagine them to be but if you can live with their little flaws and care deeply about the person then you will feel in your heart that she/he is the right one for you. I was just looking at the wrong places at first and never will regret my children. Things happen for a reason and to learn from our mistakes.
    We joined together and now i got one happy family!

  15. says

    It’s good to see some other guys who share some of my tastes. Personally I like:
    *Intelligence, otherwise what are we going to talk about?
    *Power/wealth, it can really sucks if you are dating someone who doesn’t make close to what you do. If the girl makes a lot more than me even better.
    *Devotion, if I’m going to make you the center of my life, I want the same in return.

  16. varely spriggs says

    i told this guy i like him, now he barely sends me messages.i was honest and i know what i want but i am not looking for a relationship i just go with the flow.. did i do wrong?

  17. says

    Varely-you were honest and upfront, and unfortunately not many guys can handle it. I think dating is hit or miss. Even if you have chemistry with a guy it doesn’t mean anything will come of the relationship. He might not be interested. It’s all about taking chances, and you did, so that’s a good thing. And since you’re not looking for anything serious (or even if you were) – I’d tell you the same thing – on to the next, and forget that guy! XO

  18. says

    The biggest attraction for me is a woman that has truly embarrassed her femininity.
    Being truthful and honest.
    Someone that knows what she wants in a relationship and a man.

    Manly women big turnoff
    Women who feel they need to control the relationship.
    Women who are cancelling, changing times, and outright flaking on dates.

  19. Sasha says

    Any one know where I can meet a man like mr. Platts in the Denver area? Lol I’m seriously horrible at going out to “find that guy”. Mainly because I have a job and an almost 2 year old. Men show me their interested but they usually only want one thing.. Any suggestions?? People says men find single mothers attractive but where are these men at???

  20. says

    Hi Sasha,
    Well I think a lot of single mamas will tell you it’s not easy to date and take care of a young child, so kudos to you! Just so you know, there are a lot of guys out there who will be immature or not ready or willing to take on a woman with a kid. But then, there are those wonderful men who can handle it. These are the men to meet—don’t be afraid to let your dates know you have a child and being a mother (and finding a good father figure) is important to you. I married a man with kids and don’t have any myself, so it was a big transition. But well worth it. Instead of hitting the bars, try meeting guys through friends, church groups, or activities you enjoy. Good luck!

  21. A guy says

    Don’t ask how I stumbled onto this website. These guests had some good pointers, but I can tell you the one thing that is mostly important to ALL men is that a woman MUST look after herself and her appearance if she wants any sort of magnetism. Doesn’t matter if you are overweight, or skin and bones – your appearance goes a long way in attracting the right type of man. If you dress like a slut, you will attract rubbish. Dress like a hobo and, well you will attract the flies? Lol. Seriously, first of all, appearance is a reflection of who you are. Unfortunately, people do judge a book by its cover, especially men, SO LOOK GOOD AND RESPECTABLE if you want to attract the right man. There is nothing better for me than being in public with my fiancee and she looks nice, because ultimately her appearance is a reflection of her respect towards me as her partner. The same applies to men.

    Secondly, I cannot tolerate woman who think they are the center of the universe. There is nothing wrong with being confident, and I find confidence very attractive AT THE RIGHT TIME, but what woman must understand is that men naturally want to lead. Woman who are too boisterous and opinionated really repulse me. There needs to be a good balance there too. My personal opinion and experience with girls that are overly loud, is that they are VERY insecure. It is a major turnoff.

    It might sound cliche, but kindness and sincerity go a long way. Show genuine interest in what he has to say.

    Thirdly, and I guess its part of being confident, is being organized. A man loves a girl who has things planned and ready. I won’t go into too much detail here, but generally a woman must all the bases covered and be punctual. If you are already living with a guy, make sure the house is well stocked with food and all the other stuff like shampoo, soap etc etc. Dinner must be on time. A man REALLY REALLY appreciates a woman who is on top of that sort of thing.

    Lastly, a man needs time alone every now and then. We do not like to be continually smothered all the time. It is not because we do not love our woman any less, we just need time alone to space out and unwind. Be it going fishing, reading a book, video games, watching the game with mates…men NEED this time to function properly. It’s a phenomenon I can’t explain, but when I do not get my alone time, I start to feel suffocated. My fiancee has finally realized this and since then, our relationship has been going so much better.

    All the above is what initially attracts a man to a woman, and keeps him attracted to her. Also, give him regular sex! Try new things in bed and be adventurous.

    Good luck ladies.

    A 29 year old male

  22. Johnny Boy says

    Most of these tips hit the nail on the head, especially the ones about smiling often and don’t be bitchy. It kinda sums up and correlates with what this guy says:
    Men aren’t looking for women who project negative energy, have self-esteem issues, or are looking to take a woman on as a therapy client.

    Stay classy and positive ladies because in the end, that’s what most men want.

  23. Moneca says

    Verely; what you did wrong telling this guy you liked him is you were too easy. You have to find a way to attract a man to you, by being friendly, flirtatious maybe, but you don’t just give yourself to him.


  1. […] always curious to hear the opinions of guys when it comes to dating.  In my last guest blog post, I asked the amazing, hilarious and insightful dating bloggers Jack From Brooklyn, Fishy, The Urban […]

  2. […] I am often left a little confused, when I see the decisions men make, in regards  to choosing a mate.  And really i believe that it stems from the fact that there are really just to many of us. Not in a bad way, just in a probability way. There are so many types of people with myriad hobbies and interests that it seems overwhelming to have all of the pegs align.  The other reason is that most women have pretty skewed ideas about what men actually find attractive. Yes guys, do love thongs but they also like self confidence. And girls who can talk about things not cloths, shoes, celebrities.  Sometimes the best way to get an answer is to ask the source. Here are a few guys, and what turns them on and off of a potential date.  http://www.kellyseal.com/?p=451 […]

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