Even ugly rock stars have groupies. Kid Rock comes to mind. It's the same with famous actors and powerful politicians. The usual explanation for this phenomenon is that evolution predisposes women to seek alpha males who can produce excellent children and then protect them.

But that doesn't explain the occasional ugly guy with no job, and no ambition, who has inexplicable success with women. My hypothesis is that the common factor is a lack of fear. When women see a man who is apparently not afraid, in a situation where most people would be, that triggers the "must have your child" reaction.

If I asked you what a rock star and a cop have in common, you might say they both have power, and that is the part that attracts women. But how do you explain the appeal of firemen? Fire fighters aren't particularly powerful in society, yet they are like catnip to women. I think it has to do with their lack of fear.

Likewise, while the appeal of "bad boys" might have something to do with the fact that elevated testosterone levels are implicated in both bad behavior and sexual attraction, bad boys are also relatively unafraid of consequences. I think that is part of it.

To trigger sex appeal, being unafraid isn't limited to physical risks. Rock stars and business executives perform in front of crowds and risk only embarrassment and financial consequences. My hypothesis is that any man who has a high tolerance for risk of any sort is naturally attractive to women.

Lack of fear should not be confused with confidence. A man who is confident about things unimportant, such as his rightness of opinion, isn't exhibiting a lack of fear. Confidence only attracts women when it is applied to situations where real risk is involved.

You might wonder why evolution would favor those who take risks. Risk takers tend to die young. But when they don't die, they accomplish more for the tribe than all the cautious people combined. So I can see why nature encourages risk.

This hypothesis seems quite testable.
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Jun 10, 2009

I told my wife about your theory that women are attracted to firemen because they are risk-takers. She said no, they're attracted to firemen because they're hunks. I did not pursue the issue any further.
Jun 9, 2009
I love it when Scott speaks in terms of Darwinistic natural selection. It rings so true. He understands.

I hope he fixes the mashup font problem soon.
Jun 8, 2009
OK, I am a Police Officer.

Some years ago when I was still in my 20s I worked an extra job at a night club, as "security", in my police uniform. The women there weren't particularly interested in me, even though at the time I was in excellent physical condition, had a steady job, etc. I was friends with several of the attractive bartenders and waitresses, but they didn't show any interest in me other than friendship. The fact is, I assume, that the women who frequent or work at a night club are generally not the same type of women who would want to date a "cop".

There then came a night when a HUGE bodybuilder guy started using his beautiful girlfriend as a punching bag, and when I intervened there was a huge fight, no weapons, hand-to-hand. He was ridiculously strong, and outweighed me by about 60 pounds. I had wrestled in high school and was an avid karate student at the time. When it was all over I had a bloody lip, but he was much worse off, and had to be treated by the medics, get stitches at the hospital, in handcuffs, and I had no help. I was very lucky!

After that, almost every woman who was there that night made unmistakable and open advances towards me. Some just came right out and told me what they wanted ...

I always wondered if it was the image that I was the protector of the woman or just the Alpha Male who won the fight.
Jun 8, 2009
Certainly i would put a limited validity of this hypothesis depending on the culture and breed selection. This mixture of behavioral economics, atavism plus tribal logic do not explain the luck factor and the irrational of love. Exposure to more candidates surely help the odds of matching. Whatever the hypothesis
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Jun 8, 2009
Scott. I think your hypothesis is right on the money.

By the way ladies, I'm posting this from my blackberry during a free-fall parachute jump into shark infested waters.

Call me!
+3 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 7, 2009
One more perspective: I have three teenage sons - and as a hyper-involved mother, I pay close attention to the attention they get from girls.

The oldest has had no trouble getting a date when he wants one, though he has been turned down by his first choice at times. He's a bit nerdy in some ways, but he is tall and athletic-looking. He is not very socially adept - and far more interested in discussing Plato than TV (having intensively studied the former and rarely ever seen the latter - because we don't *have* a TV).

The middle kid is very attractive, but shy and totally into his own thing (plants/biology). I hear about girls who have crushes on him, but I've yet to see him act on it. He goes out in groups of friends that include girls and is really friendly with everyone - but shows no interest in dating. One girl hangs out at our house a lot helping with our animals, etc. I know she has a crush on my son, but she is too shy to say anything - and he hasn't noticed....

The youngest is the closet I have to a "bad boy". He also very attractive and can be quite charming, but he has a mean streak - or at least a really, really sarcastic sense of humor. He can be pretty insensitive - although when he realized how much pain he inflicted on a girl by teasing her about her weight, he was genuinely remorseful - and hasn't repeated that particular act. I have access to his text messages and I just found a few more numbers I will be blocking soon. Girls pursue him aggressively - and they generally are not the type of girls I want him hanging out with.

I don't know that he attracts more interest from girls than the other two (the "nice" guys), but he seems to attract aggressive girls that contact him incessantly. Maybe that's the difference. Nice guys have options they don't always pursue - while the "bad boys" attract the "bad girls" - who are a lot more visible - and hard to avoid even if they wanted to....

Jun 7, 2009
The evolutionary drive of women to get high status men is a bit more complicated than that. Ugliness is a sure sign of bad genes and thus avoidable quality no matter how much status the ugly guy may have. Evolutionary wise the best strategy is to get into a situation where nice ugly high status male takes care and protects kids fathered by a cute pool boy who is also a full time !$%*!$%*

For science behind this conclusion see 'Before the Dawn: Recovering the Lost History of Our Ancestors'. Accordingly this book about 10-15 % of Americans and 5% are products of this kind of process.

That way the kids will have the benefit of nice care taking parent, culturally/legally inherited wealth&status and genes for becoming a cute !$%*!$%*! In other words, Paris Hilton is the pinnacle of human evolution.
Jun 7, 2009
Bravo Psychone!

This really sounds like the legitimate plan. I have observed that too, they keep on casting wherever they can. So it apparently seems that they are more successful. But if someone does a census of the misses they have encountered, just one those 'bad guys' would be able to compete with the full class of the 'good guys' in his group in the number of misses.
Jun 6, 2009
Do firemen really have an easier time getting laid (in the US)? I live in a European country, and fireman and policemen are not viewed as heroes over here (I think that's mainly an American phenomenon, but I'm not sure). Over here, most people think fireman or police officer is just another job, about as dangerous or heroic as taxi driver, or snowboarding instructor, for example. Coincidentally, I have never heard of policemen or firemen being more successful with women than men of other professions, in my country. This might indicate that women do not really perceive risk-taking to be attractive, but merely a man's public fame and reputation.
Jun 6, 2009

There is another, simpler, explanation. Studies of college students report that the ones who get lucky the most are not the most handsome, or have the best lines. They simply ask more women. To your point, they don't seem to be afraid to get shot down, or they aren't bothered when they do. They are like fisherman who keep on casting, rather than leave if they don't get a bite on the first cast. Many of us (including me), feel devastated when turned down, so we stop ourselves from asking if the odds are bad. Some guys (your risk takers?) just go for it, laugh it off if turned down, then make another cast. Who knows what insecurities that smoking hot babe has that might make her vulnerable to your nerdy charm? Toss that lure out there!
Jun 6, 2009
Yeah... there you go man... I was exactly talking about your kind male, Mr. 'alok160'! And I am sure you might be getting a near 100% success in all your dates ;) with your ultra-intelligent conversations on some freaks in F.R.I.E.N.D.S., the proportion of vodka and orange juice in a !$%*!$%*! and about the fish that tastes better when rotten and blah, blah?

You are really in a position to grant that brahma-gyan to all of us mortals and make us successful too (at least 5% of your level) in our lives. So now open up and show us that light, Ye Reverend Father!
+2 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 6, 2009
I have to dispute this one.
I race stock cars, and there are some really hard-to-look-at guys who drive hard and fast and win frequently. I have yet to hear of any of them getting laid for their fearless daring. And believe me, they would be bragging if it happened! No, this isn't NASCAR, so the money involved is limited, which takes away the economic argument. And the fame argument, too, since it's a local track and our fame is limited to the fans in the stands.

There are too many women out there who get sucked into mothering their man, so the more incapable he is, the better they can mother him. That's my theory.

But what do I know? I think driving really fast in circles is fun.

-1 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 6, 2009
Hi freak_at_large,

Talking about Socrates, Plato, Einstein, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky etc. may be an intelligent thing. But on a date?
I guess it needs more intelligence to know what to talk on a particular occasion.
It also needs some intelligence to know that people who haven't read Socrates, Plato, Einstein, Tolstoy and Dostoevsky may also be intelligent and may have attractive qualities.
Jun 5, 2009
I am sure that has something to do with the intellect.

I always had the view (at least seeing females in India, so the ones outside of India should refrain from bashing me up!) that most girls, with their tiny little pea-sized brains, are not capable of carrying out an intelligent and wise conversation. They are good so long as you talk about latest bikini that has come out in the corner store or the new color of nail polish that looks awesome on them or at best (the height of intelligence), an episode of F.R.I.E.N.D.S. that you enjoyed or the stale lyrics of some pop song that you liked.

Then I got to talk to a guy (quite intelligent in general) who managed to get girls more often than most of us around. On asking him the secret (he being so intelligent and wise and yet capable of doing that made the query more interesting at it), he had a plain and simple suggestion. When you go out on a date, put your brain inside the deepest freezer so that it doesn't cause a problem in between you and your girl. Talk mushy, fabricate things, (false) praise gleefully and 'NO' intelligent talks (keep your Socrates, Plato, Einstein, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky in the cellar), that hinder your prospect.

Now who, other than a 'bad-boy', satisfies this narcissistic swellheaded profile better. Sub-mediocre intelligence (that makes him rude, for he hardly knows/cares what ALL he doesn't know), street talks (easy to digest for pea-sized brains), and occasional display of muscle strength (at least some bravery which our ladies can boast about too) make them the hero of folklore in the kingdom of lilliputians.
Jun 5, 2009
Interesting comments here.

I for one agree. It is quite testable, and I have seen several examples first hand.
Jun 5, 2009
Have actually know couples who got married mainly because they thought the looked good together. Every one turned into a disaster.
Jun 5, 2009
Honestly Scott, you are such a troll. The reason firemen are popular, obviously, is that everyone appreciates a hero. Just check out your local fairy tale. The handsome prince rushes in in times of danger and rescues people. Fireman and emergency medical technicians are the awesomest people in the world.

As for your theory about confidence and all that. I don't think that's entirely it. The reason some women fall for the jerk is they get a vicarious kick out of the way he unabashedly speaks his mind. He is able to say and do the things that she can't because it would not seem "feminine". She is trapped in a polite straightjacket of niceness and can't really say or even think the mean and angry things he will let fly effortlessly. He's a great relief to her. She enjoys his bad attitude vicariously. Anyway, that's my theory.
Jun 5, 2009
In my opinion, there is no problem with a man who die young, he has to live just a couple of minutes to deliver his genom... I think that ability to care about childern is not primary interest of child-wanting woman - just that few minutes to obtain the right genes. It is also reason why men can have childern (and often have) in their 60' or even 70'. Mother Nature dosn't count with men rising their childern, women do it. (Or, at least, men are not as important as we like to be).
Jun 5, 2009
>> But that doesn't explain the occasional ugly guy with no job, and no ambition, who has inexplicable success with women. <<

I think their success is mostly attributable to their ability to zero in on women with no self-esteem - and mis-placed maternal instincts. The woman feels like a valuable human being because she knows this guy couldn't make it through the week without her. Together they tend to produce a mix of lazy, unambitious users and eager helpers - who each seek out partners from similar backgrounds. These guys don't necessarily take more risks with women than other men, they just manage to find their own match-type.

On the attractiveness of risk-takers, I agree. I just don't agree that your typical Lazy-Ugly qualifies as a member of that group.

Also - maybe part of the appeal of a risk taker is that a future with one holds more possibilities. A predictable person might seem to offer a predictable life together - where with a risk taker - you could get lucky and have a fabulous life. Older women tend to prefer stability, but young women might be more likely to want to roll the dice for fabulousness.
Jun 5, 2009
I dispute your saying that confidence only works in real-risk situations. I think that confidence really is the key. Because a confident guy will pick up a woman where a less confident guy will not. They're not overcoming a real risk, they're overcoming the make-believe, genetically hardwired implied risk of approaching a woman. This got you killed in tribal days, but there's no "real" danger today. But women still like the confident guy more. Confidence is the main trait of the alpha male, which is what all the things you listed have in common.
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