Being sexy is more than wearing a cleavage-bearing gown or a T-shirt that shows off the hours you spent in the gym perfecting those biceps.
Unexpected factors, including scent, voice pitch, facial features, financial security and kissing ability, are five sexual cues we give and seek and could have more to do with your choice of a mate than anyone ever knew until now, reports Oprah.com.
Sex Appeal Factor No. 1: Smell
A woman spritzes perfume on her wrist and a man slaps cologne on his neck in an attempt to attract the opposite sex. But when you do this, you're actually covering up the natural odor that potential mates find most appealing. Researchers Karl Grammer and Elizabeth Oberzaucher have found that ovulating women secrete pheromones called copulins. These have a distinct smell that Oberzaucher describes as "butter gone off." When a man gets a whiff of copulins, his testosterone level rises and he produces androstenone. The odor of androstenone actually repels women who aren't ovulating.
Sex Appeal Factor No. 2: Voice
Men like a woman with a high-pitched voice. When women ovulate, they produce more estrogen and that raises the pitch of their voices. In an experiment conducted by researchers at the State University of New York at Albany, 10 men were asked to rate the attractiveness of 10 female voices. Some of the voices were of the same woman, but recorded at different times during her menstrual cycle. All the men preferred the higher-pitched voices, which is an unconscious indication of fertility. Based on this, a woman's voice is most attractive to a man in the middle of her cycle when she is ovulating.
Sex Appeal Factor No. 3: Facial Features
If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, how can the attractiveness of a face be quantified? Easy. It's called symmetry. Dr. Kendra Schmid, an assistant professor of biostatistics at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, has determined an equation for the perfect face using 29 measurements on a scale of 1 to 10. Using her formula, most people rate between 4 and 6, with Brad Pitt getting the highest score of 9.3. No one has ever had a perfect 10.
Sex Appeal Factor No. 4: Financial Security
Nothing new here, folks. A man is deemed far more attractive to a woman if he makes a lot of money. This doesn't mean women are gold diggers, but rather being logical. "It goes back again to evolution," insists sex therapist Dr. Laura Berman on Oprah.com. "When we were having babies who were very dependent on us, we couldn't hunt and take care of ourselves, so we were looking for the man who had the most social status, who was the best hunter, who was going to bring home the biggest chunk of meat for our babies. It's the same thing today."
Sex Appeal Factor No. 5: Kissing
All it takes is one kiss for both men and women to assess the future of a relationship. "You really learn a lot from a kiss," Berman said on Oprah.com. "You're seeing if you like the way he smells. All your senses are engaged, and you get a sense of his sensuality, his connection, whether he's a take-charge kind of guy or more of a stepping-back kind." She says 66 percent of women would dump a guy after a bad first kiss.
--From the Editors at Netscape