Sexual Attraction: How Does it Happen?

Sexual Attraction: How Does it Happen?

Last update: 01 April, 2020

The strategies people use to win over a potential partner can be as creative as our imaginations. But who says sexual attraction happens immediately? Are there certain physical traits that ensure success at the time of seduction?

The ability to sexually attract or generate sexual interest in other people is a skill. But you don’t need to have the face of an angel or amazing eyes to do it. There are other elements and factors that are just as valuable — even more so.

First impressions are critical

As much as we go on about how “it’s what’s inside that counts”, our eyes can’t ignore physical appearance. The first impression always matters. It’s thought that once this first impression is formed, the person will tend to reinforce this impression. Things will go in our favor if our first impression is good, but not if it’s bad.

A person’s appearance is processed in the brain instantly, before we even realize it. So in less than 2 seconds we have already made a quick judgment about the person in front of us.

Their way of dressing, their complexion, their nose … Everything is cataloged and classified. Without saying anything, they’ve already told us a lot — or rather, we’ve interpreted a lot.

In fact, it takes only a tenth of a second to determine if we find a face attractive. Thus, love at first sight does exist. At least, the love of the appearance.


a couple chatting outside

Hair and scent are key parts of sexual attraction

Hair is one of the characteristics we value most. In particular, woman tend to have two feelings about it. On the one hand, according to research, it’s been shown that they find thick, shiny hair attractive. On the other, baldness is not seen as negatively as we might think.

That’s because hair loss is directly related to high levels of testosterone in the blood. In fact, many studies believe that this hormone is responsible for attraction.

Scent is the second decisive factor. Unless it’s a fetish, an unpleasant stench produces anything but a desire to mate with the other person. In any case, it’s better not to risk it and opt for perfumes or deodorants that have fresh, pleasant aromas.

Beauty isn’t everything

There are some people who aren’t beautiful or handsome in the world’s eyes but do have “something special” that makes them irresistible. It’s the”je ne sais quoi” that works like a magnet: their way of speaking or laughing, their sense of humor … “Interesting” traits work very well.

On the other hand, there are a few days each month when women are more attractive to men: the days they’re ovulating.

When this happens, men perceive and are attracted by sweet, pleasant aromas that women have. Pheromones, for example, make them feel attracted and raise their blood testosterone level more than 100% in just minutes.

Other physical factors that stir up sexual attraction

Unconsciously, men and women tend to be attracted to symmetrical faces. In fact, this feature is considered to be the greatest indicator of beauty.

Eye color is not as decisive, but the intensity of the limbal ring, the dark ring around your iris, is. The darker it is, the more attractive we find it.

A good stature and well-formed muscles also make someone more attractive. In the first stages of human evolution, strength was a key element for the survival of the whole family.

And this heritage is still relevant. Nowadays, the heaviest and tallest men convey to women a greater sense of security and protection. This explanation is part of evolutionary theory that explains the factors that make us more attractive.


a happy couple, man with his arm around the girl

We’re not that different from animals

We know that some of elements that are the most physically attractive are valued just as much by certain animal species. For example, lionesses are also attracted by the coats of males.

Specifically, their amount, the thickness, and color of hair. The more intense and black it is, the more indicative of high testosterone and the more they like it.

Red female partridges prefer males whose colors are more intense. These tonalities are synonymous with a parasite-free immune system and good nutrition. On the other hand, the bills or crests of males transmit protection to the females and symbolize power.

Wrinkles are also beautiful

Signs of youth are not more valuable than their opposite. At least, not as much as the media and marketing, creams, tricks, treatments and the like want us to believe … It’s like a war on age and the passage of time.

But a study carried out by the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid counters this claim about the effect of marketing. Their conclusions suggest that men feel more sexual attraction to facial features that distinguish a female face from a masculine one than to those that are youthful.

That is, they value more highly, for example, the absence of facial hair, thicker lips or thinner eyebrows, than the absence of spots or marks.


sexual attraction in a relationship

Love and attraction are not exactly the same

Falling in love is very closely linked to sexual attraction. But other factors are also influential, such as the circumstances and time each person is in, their receptiveness, similarities, desires, values ​​or shared interests. Everything counts.

Therefore, sexual attraction is both physical and chemical. Of course, we can see that chemicals (substances and hormones) contribute to it, but without a good first impression there is a lot of ground to make up.

There’s no doubt that sexual tastes and preferences vary according to each person. However, a variety of good impressions that generate pleasurable sensations in each of our senses will help trigger that sex appeal.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.