attraction

Pheromones and Attraction

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Have you ever found someone completely irresistible, but you’re not sure why? Some scientists argue that we might be picking up on someone’s genetic compatibility with our sense of smell.

When we smell something, tiny odor molecules bind to receptor cells that travel directly to the brain for processing. Smell—unlike the other senses—is analyzed almost instantly. This rapid analysis is the reason why smelling something familiar can trigger an emotional response instantly, and sometimes these responses can be quite powerful. Think of the last time you smelled chocolate chip cookies. Did you feel a cozy, comfortable feeling? What about popcorn? Did you find yourself in an upbeat, casual mood?

If smells can solicit hefty emotional responses, can they trigger us to have romantic feelings?

Scientists still debate the answer, but they all can agree that the discussion starts with pheromones.

Pheromones describe the special cocktail of chemicals that our body releases that may influence the way people behave towards us. These chemicals—when smelled—are known to stimulate the hypothalamus, a part of the brain known to regulate sexual behavior, mood, and hormones.

To figure out how sensitive we are to pheromones, Swiss zoologist Claus Wedekind conducted “The Sweaty T-shirt Experiment.” He instructed 44 different men to wear the same t-shirt two consecutive nights. After collecting the t-shirts, he asked 49 different women to sniff each t-shirt and rate the odor for intensity, pleasantness, and sexiness.

Results showed that the women preferred the odors from men whose DNA was most different from their own. Because choosing a mate with a similar genetic makeup can cause a host of genetic complications for an offspring, the women’s choices show that they have an ability to analyze and gravitate towards men who guarantee greater reproductive success. In other words, women preferred sexual experiences with men who smelled a certain way.

Pheromones also solicit responses based on sexual preferences, not biological sex. In another study conducted by Dr. Ivanka Savic and colleagues at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, a group of men—some straight, some gay—and women were asked to rate attractiveness to two different pheromones. Both the gay men and women responded strongly to the male pheromone, whereas the heterosexual males preferred the female pheromone almost exclusively.

Despite the science, there is no real way to determine the true effect of pheromones; There are simply too many mitigating factors. For example, it’s impossible to confirm the real reason we gravitate towards certain people we find attractive. It could be the scent they carry, but it also could be related to personality, confidence, appearance, or status.

If pheromones can influence sexual responses, is it possible to recreate certain smells to make yourself more sexually desirable?

Unfortunately, pheromones are an elusive mix of natural chemicals, impossible to replicate in a lab. To date, scientists (and fragrance companies) have not been able to get to the heart of what exactly makes up pheromones, how they are created, or how to emulate them. Some companies tout “love potions”, but these are most likely gentle, pleasant fragrances.

Pheromones could be influencing attraction, but it’s more likely a combination of factors with pheromones playing some small role. Visual cues, body language, and the quintessential “chemistry” of how your personalities mesh all play into your perception of a potential romantic encounter.

 

5 Easy Ways to Get Him to Approach You…and Ask You Out

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If you’re not getting approached, you might wonder, ‘What are these men looking for?’ or ‘What is wrong with me?’ To answer the question, it’s important to note the difference between desirability and approachability. We all have traits that make us desirable, but unless we look available and willing to engage in conversation, our best qualities will stay a secret. In other words, YOU are not the problem, but there might be something wrong with the SIGNALS you send.

When it comes to approaching an interesting stranger, men and women are quite similar. We all have egos to protect. To make sure they don’t end up embarrassed or rejected, men look for any clue that reason to initiate conversation. If you want him to make the first move, try these five tips.

  1. Choose your group wisely.

Women tend to go out in packs, adding extra pressure on someone deciding when and how to approach. When he knows he will not only have to impress you, but also your friends, you’re making it easier for him to bow out.

Men are also sensitive to other males. It doesn’t matter whether he’s your brother or gay best friend. He’s not paying attention to the context, just the chromosomes.

Pro Tip: If the group is large, stand to the side so you can be approached without forcing him to engage the group. If you’re not interested, you can easily segue back into the group setting.

 

  1. Cultivate an inviting vibe.

Your facial expression and body language matter. Smile at him and the people around you to put out the ‘I’m friendly and won’t be standoff-ish’ vibe. To escalate the moment, catch his gaze for sustained eye contact. All nonverbal communication has meaning, so consider what your posture and demeanor are saying.

Pro Tip: Always scan your surroundings to see if someone is trying to communicate with you via nonverbal cues. If you’re fixated on the conversation, you’ll miss opportunities to reciprocate interest.

 

  1. Give him something to say.

For men, the hardest part of the approach is knowing what to say. You can grease the wheels by inadvertently supplying the topic via clothing or behavior. You might wear a sports jersey to give him an invitation to talk about the team or the upcoming game. Or, you could peruse the menu at length to give him an invitation to talk about what he ordered.

Pro Tips: Bring a prop. If you’re at the coffee shop, leave the book you’re reading on the table. It will give him the perfect springboard into conversation.

You might also consider wearing an unusual pendant when you’re out and about. The pendant doesn’t need to be expensive, but it needs to stand out to be a great ice breaker. As you’re sitting in the café, run your fingers along the chain while “reading” your book and glance up, locking gaze with an attractive male. You’re signaling interest without saying a word and inviting him to talk to you.

A pendant with a great story will help you gain even more traction. Maybe it’s an unusual crystal you had cast in silver from a hike you took in the Dolomites or a coin from your great grandmother. Sharing an interesting story about yourself is a great way to keep his attention and reveal your sense of adventure. And who doesn’t love being entertained by an interesting, worldly woman?

 

  1. Remember: Location, Location, Location.

Proximity is one of the biggest factors when it comes to the approach. If you’re moving around, you’ll be a lot harder to catch. Try to stay in the same place to give him an opportunity to make a move.

Pro Tip: Settle in a place that is central to the room. If you are in a corner, not only are you harder to access, but you’ve raised the stakes by making it harder for him (and you) to move along if there’s no conversation.

 

  1. Give him a reason to contact you.

Getting him to approach you is only the first step. You can escalate the conversation by bringing up topics that segue into plans. Upcoming events make for perfect conversation, even if you don’t end up attending the event together. In the conversation, you might ask about an extra ticket, but days later you might find yourselves circling back to talk about how the event was.

Pro Tip: Have personal calling cards with you at all times. Whereas business cards reveal too much personal information (like your last name) and tend to set the stage for business, a personal calling card is a smart dating tool that gives him all the information he needs to get in touch. Think first name, personal email, and mobile. Simple, classic, and elegant is best.

Ultimately, all of your actions should be inviting and reassuring to help your partner escalate the interaction into a more romantic situation. Smiling and encouraging the conversation to flow will make you more attractive to interested strangers.

 

 

Putting the CON in Confidence… Part I

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When Amy and I are asked to name the one quality that women find most attractive in a man, the answer is easy: CONFIDENCE. We hear it every day, and while it’s true that some guys can seem a little bit too confident, confidence is a lot like money; it’s hard to tell when you have too much of it, but it’s very, very obvious when you don’t have enough.

Confidence is absolutely essential for converting a first date into something more, and eventually ending up in a relationship; after all, if you don’t believe that a particular woman should be interested in dating you, then why should she be? And how are you ever going to convince her that you’re the right guy if you can’t even convince yourself? Given that we aren’t all 6’5” with a cleft chin, a full head of hair, and huge biceps, it can be easy to doubt yourself or be anxious on a first date. Thankfully, a little bit of confidence is something a guy can fake pretty easily (Do you hear that, ladies? You aren’t the only ones who can fake things.). And for a guy who’s low on self-esteem, even faking just a little bit of confidence can go a long way.

1. Before you pick up the phone, have a plan.

Under no circumstances should you ever call a woman for a first date and say “What would you like to do?” As a man who has spent most of his life dealing with “complicated” women, I can tell you that this is a huge mistake. To get the upper hand (and earn some respect at the very beginning of your relationship) only present her with a series of Yes or No questions. And do them in order of Day, Time, Place, and Transportation. For example:

“Are you Free on Saturday?” No? “How about Sunday?” No? “Can you be free for dinner on Friday?” Once you get a yes, IMMEDIATELY move on to times. “Does 6:30 work for you?” No? “How is 7:30?” No? “Great, I’ll make a reservation for 8pm.” Then move on to “Do you like Indian?” or “I was thinking of this Burmese place” or “I thought we could go to a bistro I like in Saratoga.” Be sure to have three or four different options picked out in advance, and once you get a Yes, MOVE ON. “May I pick you up?” No? “I’ll see you there. I’m looking forward to it. Feel free to text me if anything changes.” And then HANG UP THE PHONE.

Do not ask “What times works for you?” DO NOT do that. If you do, she will likely spend several minutes telling you why all of the other times do not work. You will feel beaten by this. You will be tired. We do not want that. And do not ask “What kind of food do you like?” Do not do that. Because most women will tell you what they don’t like instead of what they do. Even if she started with something like “I love Thai” you will end up hearing a story about food poisoning or a bad date or a cockroach that she encountered at a Vietnamese place with bad lighting on the outskirts of Boston that she mistakenly frequented during her first year of grad school. Ten years ago. And you will forget where you are in the entire date planning process. See? You probably forgot where we were in this lesson, and I only distracted you from the path for just one sentence.

It is really key that you do not open any windows into her past in this initial phone call. Remember that this woman is interested in dating a gentleman – and you might be that gentleman – so take a firm hold of the conversation, and make sure that you only open the door that leads to her future.

If you’re new to the area (or new to dating) or really want to make a great impression, Amy and I will happily give you recommendations if you ask. And we can certainly make you aware of any dietary restrictions or allergies you should consider. Make a checklist if you need to, but go into the call with clear goals and objectives, namely a day and time that work for you, a place you want to eat, and clarity on how she’ll get there. You’ll be off to a good start. And believe it or not, she’ll be glad you took the lead.

Next time, more tips on how to fake it… for when you’re actually on the date.

Why do we kiss?

How you ever changed your opinion of an awkward first date when it ended with a surprisingly good kiss? Or maybe you found yourself questioning the value of an otherwise wonderful experience after a date that ended with no kiss at all? There’s no denying that when it comes to relationships and romance, kissing is incredibly important. And even when it lasts for only a few seconds, sharing a kiss is one of the most intimate and revealing things that two people can do. How much importance do you place on a good kiss? And why do you think it matters? Arab casual couple flirting ready to kiss with love

Take a few minutes to watch this video from the Linx team about The Science of Kissing: