Why Men Love Women

There’s much more than physical appearance that attracts men to women. Here, men share the qualities that drew them to the ladies they love.

By Mark Amundsen

lot of women believe that men only want women for one thing — and it isn’t someone with whom to play cribbage. (Perhaps Milton Bradley’s Twister would be closer to the mark.) But there’s a lot more than this to female appeal. From the time he works up the nerve to peel himself off the wall of the gym to ask a girl to dance, the male of the species enjoys all the things that women are. Such as? Well, keep reading.

Women Are Perceptive
“One thing I personally find appealing about women is the perspective they bring to things. My wife and
I don’t understand female intuition enough to explain it, but I know it exists.
other women I have known and worked with have helped me see things that my ‘guyness’ made me blind to. They have helped me see things that I otherwise wouldn’t have noticed. For example, my wife has an intuition regarding people and situations that far exceeds my own. I am so black-and-white in the way I view things, but she sees nuances and shades of gray. Female coworkers have offered brilliant observations that all the guys on staff completely missed. I don’t understand female intuition enough to explain it, but I know it exists … and has saved my hide more than a few times.”
– Mark Atteberry, author of So Much More Than Sexy (Standard Publishing, 2009); Kissimmee, FL

Women Inspire Awe
“Alas, the love of women! it is known
To be a lovely and a fearful thing.”
– George Gordon Noel Byron, Lord Byron; Don Juan, canto ii, stanza 199

Women Are Challenging
“I know the disposition of women: When you will, they won’t; when you won’t, they set their hearts upon you of their own inclination.”
– Terence (c. 185 or 195 B.C.); Eunuchus, act iv, scene 7

Women Smell Nice
“I love the fact that it doesn’t matter what they are doing, have done, or are going to do; they always smell so damn good! They could have just run a marathon, or done the dishes, or just got home from a 10-hour waitressing shift. They just smell delicious. Like a mix between an angel and strawberries.”
– Beau Coniglio, Warrenville, IL

Women Sound Nice
Women’s voices are literally music to our ears — well, to our brains. In a paper published in 2005 in the journal NeuroImage, scientists at the University of Sheffield in England explained their findings that in the male brain (or whatever it is), female voices cause activity in the auditory section, which processes music, and male voices cause activity at the back of the brain.

Study coauthor Dr. Michael Hunter explained that “When a man hears a female voice, the auditory section of his brain is activated, which analyzes the different sounds in order to ‘read’ the voice and determine the auditory face. When men hear a male voice the part of the brain that processes the information is towards the back of the brain and is colloquially known as the ‘mind’s eye.’ This is the part of the brain where people compare their experiences to themselves, so the man is comparing his own voice to the new voice to determine gender.”

Dr. Hunter also explained that the female voice is actually more complex than the male voice. This is
Women aren’t slow. They are deliberate. There’s a difference.
caused by differences in the size and shape of the vocal cords and larynx between women and men. Also, women have more natural melody in their voices.

Women Are Attentive
“Have you ever noticed how women can pick up on a very subtle detail of something that some (OK, most) men cannot, even if we are around it or working with it or looking at it constantly? A woman can come in and in no time at all tell you why a situation ‘is what it is’ or why ‘this goes with that’ or what ‘could be or should be’ possible in a given scenario. I’ve been astounded at times when a woman pointed out to me some minute detail about my home or my car or my clothes that I never noticed before. It’s absolutely surreal how they do that!”
– Ish Major, M.D., Greenville, SC

Women Are Educational
“From women’s eyes this doctrine I derive:
They sparkle still the right Promethean fire;
They are the books, the arts, the academes,
That show, contain and nourish all the world.”
– William Shakespeare; Love’s Labour’s Lost, act iv, scene 3

Women Are Thoughtful
“I’ve been married 20 years and raised a daughter. Many men think women are a little slow to move, very cautious and afraid to make big leaps in life. They also complain it takes them forever to get ready to go out and even to make the smallest of decisions. Women aren’t slow. They are deliberate. There’s a difference. Most men wait until they are hungry to decide what they are going to eat, and the drive-through fast-food business is glad for it. Women know when they are going to be hungry, and they plan by taking something out of the freezer to defrost, throw something in the Crock-Pot, or they simply make a reservation. Men think that women take their time before deciding to take relationships to ‘the next level.’ Nope. Not so. A woman knows within 10 minutes of meeting a man whether she could actually sleep with him. She knows by the middle of the first date the when, the where and the precise circumstances. Men have a mistaken belief they can have any kind of impact that timetable — other than to screw it up. They can’t. That’s why women will always have the upper hand. Men react — women think.”
– Tony Panaccio, Clearwater, FL

Women Are Generous
“If you have a girlfriend, she will give you, at MINIMUM, a birthday gift, an anniversary gift, a Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa gift and a Valentine’s Day gift, and every one of those gifts will be nicely wrapped AND accompanied by a thoughtful card. When she gives you this gift, YOU HAVE TO GIVE HER ONE BACK. You can’t just open your wallet and say, ‘Here’s, let’s see… seventeen dollars!’”
– Dave Barry, “Road to Romantic Ruin Paved with Chain Saws” in Boogers Are My Beat

Women Are Sympathetic
O Woman! in our hours of ease,
Uncertain, coy, and hard to please,
And variable as the shade
By the light quivering aspen made;
When pain and anguish wring the brow,
A ministering angel thou!
– Sir Walter Scott; Marmion, chapter XXX

Women Are Efficient
“I love that women are much better at keeping track of a million details. My wife can seem to float a dozen projects at a time and keep all the balls in the air. She’ll remember people’s names, where they’re from, people’s birthdays, what they told her six months ago — she has much better social skills on that level. On the other hand, she remembers all the negatives, too: A social slight from three years ago is still fresh in her memory.”
– Tom Penketh, Brooklyn, NY

Women Are More Accepting
According to a study in the June 2009 issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, women are attracted to more and varied attributes in men than men are in women. According to study coauthor Dustin Wood, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology at Wake Forest University, “Men agree a lot more about who they find attractive and unattractive than women agree about who they find attractive and unattractive. This study shows we can quantify the extent to which men agree about which women are attractive and vice versa.”

Study participants rated photographs of men and women ages 18 to 25 for attractiveness on a 10-point scale ranging from “not at all” to “very.” The 4,000-plus participants ranged in age from 18 to more than 70. The photos showed people displaying various characteristics: seductive, confident, thin, sensitive, stylish, curvaceous (for women), muscular (for men), traditional, masculine or feminine, classy, groomed or upbeat. While both genders showed a lot of correlation between what they found attractive in photos of the opposite sex, the men tended to like the same women while the women’s choices showed more variation. Dr. Wood says, “These differences have implications for the different experiences and strategies that could be expected for men and women in the dating marketplace.” Women, for example, may encounter less competition from other women for the men they find attractive.

Women Command Respect
“When the Himalayan peasant meets the he-bear in his pride,
He shouts to scare the monster, who will often turn aside.
But the she-bear thus accosted rends the peasant tooth and nail.
For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.”
– Rudyard Kipling, from “The Female of the Species”

And Finally: Women Are Exciting
“We were so dumb and stupid. We didn’t know anything. We didn’t know who was a lady. … One morning [Bernie] got up smiling and he said, ‘Hey, I think there’s ladies here.’ So I said, ‘What do you mean?’ So he said, ‘Cause in the night I was thrilled and delighted.’ Then he told me such a story it’s hundreds of years later I still blush.”
– Mel Brooks as the 2000-Year-Old Man

Mark Amundsen is a writer and editor in New York who thinks that women in general are awesome — and that his wife is awesomely awesome.
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