Exploring Male Sexual Attraction And What Men Find Irresistible

Updated March 12, 2024by Regain Editorial Team

The subject of sexual attraction has many layers and facets, along with an infinite combination of individual preferences. Many have asked, "What are men sexually attracted to?" but the answer can be as unique and complex as the man to whom the question is applied. Read on to explore some common elements of male sexual attraction and what you can do to make yourself more irresistible to men.

Do you worry about not being sexually attractive to men?

What is sexual attraction?

While some people may consider them interchangeable, there can be a vast difference between love and sexual attraction. Love usually involves a deep emotional connection that entwines your life with the one you love. Sexual attraction can occur with strangers and may even sometimes be an involuntary biological reaction. 

“Men and women experience sexual arousal very differently, not only physiologically but psychologically.” — The Science of Sexual Arousal

It is also important to note that there are numerous sexual orientations in which sexual attraction is uncommon or only occurs with a specific set of people. These are also valid experiences and don’t mean that person can’t engage in loving and meaningful relationships. As with any romantic bond, communication between partners can be crucial to the relationship's success. 

Lust vs. sexual attraction: What’s the difference?

In general, sexual attraction is a healthy part of the human experience that many people encounter. The definition of lust can vary from person to person but usually ranges from intense sexual attraction or craving for sexual gratification to an unhealthy obsession that interferes with your ability to function in one or more areas of your life. 

What the laws of attraction tell us about why we want someone

Getty/Halfpoint Images

What makes someone attractive?

There is no single answer for what makes someone more attractive—to men or women. What you’re sexually attracted to is unique to you, as it is for everyone else. However, through years of study, human psychology experts have compiled a list of some characteristics often considered to make someone more attractive. 

Physical looks

When discussing sexual attraction, physical appearance can be a significant factor for many people. Studies show that men often considered the following as physically appealing traits:

  • Clear, smooth skin
  • High cheekbones
  • Facial symmetry
  • Short, narrow jaw
  • Wide-set eyes
  • Small nose and chin
  • Full lips
  • Broad face
  • High forehead

Biological factors

Sexual attraction can be the body’s reaction to specific biological factors, like adrenaline or anxiety, which can heighten arousal. A person's individual pheromones and scent can also make them more physically attractive. Pheromones are the body’s natural scent markers that transmit messages about sexual arousal and fertility. Many companies sell pheromone-based perfume, though their effectiveness needs to be clinically proven. 


Scientific studies back up the conventional wisdom that self-confidence makes you more attractive as a potential partner. Both men and women rate a person’s confidence in themselves as an attractive trait

Good sense of humor

Laughter can release beneficial neurochemicals that boost your mood, so it isn't surprising that a good sense of humor is prized as an attractive personality characteristic. Many studies show it is a desirable trait for both men and women. 

Wearing the color red

The color red is often associated with passion, heat, and sex, so wearing red clothing can potentially make you more attractive to men. Even across different cultures, the color red relates to love, and studies show that women tend to wear red and pink more often when they are sexually receptive

Not playing hard to get

According to multiple studies, men tend to find women more attractive when they don't have to guess their thoughts or feelings. Studies show that men rate women as more attractive if they can easily understand the emotions they see them display.

Higher pitched voice

Some researchers suggest that men prefer women who speak with a higher-pitched voice, while women tend to prefer men with lower-pitched voices. 


While physical appearance can dramatically influence sexual attraction, it is far from the only factor. Personality traits such as kindness are frequently listed as desirable traits in a potential partner. Supporting the “what is good is beautiful” stereotype, studies show that physical attractiveness is often associated with positive personality traits. 

Self-care and attention to personal grooming

Valuing your overall mental, physical, and emotional health and well-being is considered self-care. Many men find women who take care of themselves attractive. Regular self-care generally leads to an effective personal grooming routine, leaving you with clean, flattering hair, nice clothing that fits well, good posture, health, and physical fitness.

Effective stress management

Smiling frequently can demonstrate happiness, and stress also comes with physical indicators. For example, being stressed can lead to trouble sleeping, which then can cause bags under your eyes and dull skin. Practical stress management skills can make you physically more attractive. People who have an array of functional coping skills to help them manage stressful situations may be more desirable as stable long-term partners when they show themselves capable of keeping a cool head through tense situations—which can already heighten sexual arousal.  

Showcasing your curves

Studies show that women often think men prefer thin partners, when the opposite may be accurate more often. Research indicates that many men are attracted to curvier women with “childbearing hips” at a waist-to-hip ratio of 7:10.

Not wearing too much makeup

According to several recent studies, women may think men find makeup much more attractive than they actually do. Research shows that the amount of makeup a woman wears can affect how men perceive her. Natural makeup is typically viewed favorably, but dramatic makeup can be seen as untrustworthy

Hanging out with friends

The "cheerleader effect" made famous by How I Met Your Mother isn’t just a funny plot; it’s backed by science. Researchers at the University of California conducted a study with results showing that participants often rated groups of people more attractive than individuals.

Tips to make yourself more attractive to men

  • Take care with your physical appearance. How you look is often your first impression and can influence whether a man approaches you for conversation. 
  • Body language can sometimes say more than words. Be aware of what signals you're sending with your body language, and use it to your advantage. 
  • Be confident in yourself and know your value. Self-confidence is sexy, so remember what you bring to the table. 
  • Make eye contact while speaking with a man you’re interested in to help show your interest. It will help make him feel like the focus of your attention. 
  • Get comfortable and allow yourself to relax. When you feel safe in a location, you're more likely to let more of your personality show and be open to communication. 
  • Communicate what you want and feel rather than make him guess. 
  • Smile while talking. Displaying evidence of your happiness can make women more attractive to potential partners. 
Do you worry about not being sexually attractive to men?

How therapy can help you build confidence and feel more attractive

If you feel unattractive and struggle to build confidence alone, consider working with a licensed therapist through a virtual relationship-focused therapy platform like Regain. Therapy can help you identify areas where you may feel insecure and shift your thinking to build confidence. A qualified therapist can also teach communication skills so you can effectively express your emotions and needs to potential partners and in relationships and help you learn coping skills to manage stress. 

Studies by the American Psychological Association show that online therapy offers comparable results to in-person treatments, typically with reduced costs and shorter wait times. Many patients said the physical separation of teletherapy made sharing personal details about their lives easier, which can help you build a trusting relationship with the therapist and increase the effectiveness of treatment. Attending therapy from home allows many people to participate more reliably, increasing how well the treatment works. 


While there’s no single answer for what men find attractive because every man has individual preferences, there are some common things that most men find alluring. The information provided in this article may offer insight into what men find sexually attractive and how you can make yourself more desirable as a partner. 

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