30th of April 2014

Where To Start If You’re Lost With Women, Part 5: How To Be More Attractive To Women

At this point, you should understand four big ideas:

1. The right mindset at the beginning is key (willing to try, ok with failures, and cautiously optimistic about long run success). Part 1 is here.

2. Female choice is the foundational principle of mating: (women choose, men pursue). Part 2 is here.

3. Women are attracted to many different traits in men, and men can cultivate those traits in themselves to become more attractive (effectiveness is the key principle underlying all these traits). Part 3 is here.

4. Female attraction is emotional and unconscious, but it’s biologically rational and adaptive for her and her offspring (female sexual preferences do make biological sense for them). Part 4 is here.

The fifth step is all about the actions you can take to be more attractive to women. That’s what this piece covers.


Before I even get into what changes to make and how to make them, I need to make a few points about change (some guys have asked about this):

1. Changing what you do is not the same as changing who you are:

We will tell you to change lots of the things you’re doing, mainly because most of them aren’t working. But telling you to change some things you do, even if these greatly impact parts of your identity, is not the same thing as telling you to change who you are.

We will never, ever tell you to change the fundamentals of who you are just to get women. For example, if you hate sports, that’s fine, we’ll never tell you to become a big football fan. Just because you’re doing poorly with women now, you don’t have to become a different person to change that. It doesn’t work that way.


2. Change is about becoming the best possible version of yourself:

Make no mistake, you will almost certainly have to change things. We’re going to help you get better at displaying the attractive traits you already have that women value (and I promise you have a few, at least), and we’ll help you develop some new traits that fit with who you are and what you’re comfortable with.

This sort of change is about making you into a better person, hopefully the best version of yourself possible, but not a different person. This will be the type of honest and productive self-transformation and growth that most guys yearn for (at least the ones I talk to).

Yes, this will require effort on your part. But not too much for you to handle. And yes, some of these changes may feel threatening at times, I get that. All change does, even small change.

But it should also feel exciting. You were lost with women before, had no opportunities in front of you and no clear idea what to do to get them. We’re going to give you a map and instructions on how to walk the path forward, and if you put in the effort, you will get to a much better place than you are now, and in addition, feel much better about yourself as a person.


3. No part of this requires you to lie, cheat or manipulate:

Let’s be very clear:

We will never tell you to lie, trick, or manipulate women in any way, or for any reason.

We don’t believe in that. In fact, everything we advocate is the opposite of that. Good relationships–even very short term ones–are built on a foundation of trust, and trust is impossible without basic honesty. And I can promise you–from a position of clear authority–that you do not need to lie or manipulate women to get them to be with you (despite what certain people may tell you).

You should feel proud of every change you make, and you should come away from your interactions and relationships with women feeling good about yourself and about how you dealt with the woman (and the woman should enjoy the interaction just as much as you do). If you do the things we talk about, that will happen.

Now, on to the fun parts:

How Women Assess You

Have you ever tried to talk to a girl, and you feel like she’s already made up her mind to dismiss you before you even had a chance?

Well, that’s probably because she did.

I’m going to explain why in this piece, because this is the key to understanding how to be more attractive.

The fact is, most guys have no clue how women look at and assess them. Even the guys who are truly good guys and would make great boyfriends or romantic partners for lots of girls get ignored by girls, because they do things fundamentally wrong at the beginning. Like we keep saying–having attractive traits is not enough. You must display them in a way that women respond to, and to do that, you need to understand how women see you.

Here’s a great example of what I’m talking about: Most guys think their interaction with a woman starts with conversation. They think a woman’s opinion of them is formed by what they say, so they’ll ask me how to get better at conversation, how they should approach her, what topics to discuss, etc.

This is wrong. In fact, it’s so wrong, what I’m about to tell you may blow you away:

In most cases, the woman has made up her mind whether she could be potentially attracted to you or not before a word comes out of your mouth.

How could that happen? Well, like I told you in Parts 3 & 4, female choice is predominantly unconscious, and is optimized to exclude males who don’t present a good potential mating partner. And the fact is, most guys present a terrible picture of themselves to women, a picture that repels women long before the conversation even starts.

I’m going to walk you through the basic process by which humans assess other humans in any social context, mating included. These assessments are automatic, instantaneous and unconscious, and they form the basis for how and what humans think about other humans.

When another person enters your visual field–meaning you see them, even out of the corner of your eye–your brain registers these sets of traits immediately and unconsciously:

1. Size (quite literally, how big you are)
2. Shape (your shape, human or animal, hip to waist ratio, musculature, etc)
3. Body language (how you carry yourself, facial expressions, your walk, etc)
4. Other specific interest points (sex, race, age category, facial symmetry, etc)

Why does our brain work like this? Remember that humans are primates. We did not evolve in safe, gated communities, we evolved in the same natural habitat that every other animal lives in: violent, dangerous, and unforgiving. These immediate unconscious judgments are first threat assessments. Does this person pose a threat to my safety or not? That’s why size is #1, because size is the best proxy for a threat in the natural world.

After we take in this info and make a threat assessment, then our brain shifts to social evaluation. Humans are the most social apes, and quite a bit of our cognitive ability is about assessing and evaluating relative social status within our group. So the next level of unconscious thought is about the health and perceived status of this person; are they muscular and healthy (body shape), how are they walking and what is their posture saying about their mental and physical state (body language)? Are they smiling and happy, or angry and violent (and what does this mean about their rank)? Your brain makes these assessments instantaneously and unconsciously, and creates the appropriate emotional reactions, whether you recognize it or not.

Then the person takes in sex, race, age, and other things that tend to be human or social specific concerns. Though again–these assessments happen in seconds (or even faster), so if you consider them to all happen at once, that’s fine (for the purposes of this discussion, and in fact, sometimes the order can be changed, but again, not relevant here). But the point of all of this immediate information assessment for the brain is understanding if this person is a physical threat, then where they stand relative to you and your social concerns.

Then the more conscious (or at least sub-conscious) evaluations take place. Women especially look at two distinct things on guys:

5. Grooming
6. Body ornamentation (clothes, shoes, jewelry, etc.)

You can argue about the order of these, but the point is that she is looking at how clean and well-kept you are, and what visual signals you are sending about yourself (through the things you decorate yourself with). Grooming is very important to women, and they immediately register things like your basic level of cleanliness, your facial hair, etc.

The same goes with everything you put on your body, like clothes, jewelry, watches, etc–what an anthropologist would call “body ornamentation.” It sends a visual signal that tells the world about who you are, and women immediately look at these things and evaluate you by them. You may think you are “expressing yourself,” and you are, but more importantly, you are signaling to other people who you are and what you believe.

For example, if you have a suit on, that sends a very different signal than if you are wearing a nice leather jacket and comfortable jeans, and those both send very different signals than if you’re wearing a neon pink tank top that has “Female Body Inspector” on it.

Again, this is all before you’ve spoken to her, and it’s usually also before you’re even in physical proximity to her. At this point, she’s already made numerous judgements about what type of person you are, and if she could be attracted to you.

Let’s say you decide to engage her on some way. Once you get in speaking range, these two things that come into play, again mostly before you start talking:

7. Social context (who you’re with, where you are, if she’d heard of you already, etc)
8. Smell (body)

Where she is meeting you, who you’re with, what she knows about you beforehand, and what she’s doing at the time are all the social context of the interaction, and they are SUPREMELY important to how she assesses you. This can get very complicated quickly, and we’ll cover it in depth later, but one example should help you understand: talking to a girl who is alone riding the subway is completely different than talking to the same girl when she is right in front of you in line at Chipotle, even though both are random approaches to strangers. And if you are with someone the girl knows, or if she’s heard positive things about you beforehand, these are the best possible situations for you.

I don’t want to gloss over smell. Many guys don’t think about this, but smell is incredibly important to women, and it forms a large part of unconscious attraction. Smell is another very complicated subject that we will dive deeply into later, but the simple takeaway is this: if you smell bad to a woman, there’s pretty much nothing you do can overcome that. She will be immediately and totally repulsed.

Let’s go back to the main point: You’ve now been evaluated on eight (or more) major factors by the girl, and this is before you even have the chance to say one word. Only then does interpersonal interaction start to matter. During the first 5-30 seconds of conversation, before you can say anything meaningful, these two things come into her evaluation:

9. Initial contact (first interaction, touch, attitude, facial expression, etc)
10. Smell (breath)

Guys think their approach is important, but its only about the 9th thing women look at, and as you utter your first words, smell comes back–bad breath is probably the single best way to make sure a girl is repelled by you. This is not even considering whether or not you touch her, what your handshake is like, your skin tone, facial expressions, etc.

Here’s the best part: What you say in this initial interaction is only about 10% of her assessment. The other 90% is how you are saying it. The old cliche about most communication being non-verbal is true. Your words are a tiny fraction of the information you are giving this girl about yourself.

Now, finally, the woman starts to evaluate all the things that most guys ask me about:

11. Conversation
12. Life facts (social proof/professional status, etc)
13. Emotional intelligence/empathy
14. Other potentially attractive traits

Look at this list. Conversation–the things you say to the women–is not even in the top 10 things the woman uses to evaluate you on first contact. And even when it comes in, it’s still not supremely important.

Yet, this is the usually the first thing most guys ask me about. They ignore and neglect all the things before that…and then wonder why they can’t effectively talk to girls. It’s because the girls have already decided that they aren’t attractive.

There’s an important point that needs to be made here, that is subtle and most guys will miss: women do not decide all their attraction based on your appearance before you speak. But if you do something repellant before you get to the conversation stage, then there’s almost no chance for you to overcome that. Simply put, she won’t be attracted to you based just on a good initial appearance and presentation, but if your initial appearance and presentation is bad, she will be repelled and give you no chance.

If you smell bad, or have an unpleasing body shape (obesity), or wear awful shoes (Crocs), then she is already strongly repelled by you, and that’s nearly impossible to overcome. First impressions don’t just matter, they dominate how women assess you (vice versa as well, by the way).

If you present a woman with an unattractive exterior, you must be extremely skilled in other areas to overcome that handicap. Yes, it’s possible (I used to do it all the time) but very few guys can do it (it’s called “counter-signaling” and it’s an extremely powerful technique, but it’s also really hard), and you aren’t one of them (at least not yet, we’ll go over it later–it’s a long way from the basics).

That’s the big problem I see over and over: Most guys (unknowingly) present women with several unattractive or even repellant traits that are obvious prior to any verbal interaction, and thus have virtually no shot at having a positive interaction with the woman.

Your takeaway from this:

The quickest, easiest thing most guys can do to be more attractive to women is stop doing things that make them repellent to women.

This is one of those situations that I see over and over with guys. They will ask me about how to do better with women. I ask them questions about what they’re currently doing, and it becomes apparent that they’re doing so many things wrong before the conversation even starts, that they don’t even have a chance once it does–the best advice about conversation skills or similar advice like that would be wasted on them.

What do I mean when I say they are doing everything wrong, and repelling them before they start? Very specific examples:

-They are unclean
-They are overweight
-They dress in ways that women hate
-They have bad skin
-They have facial hair that women hate

The list could go on and on. The point is, they are presenting themselves to women in a way that is so fundamentally unattractive, that they can almost do nothing but fail because of it. They are setting themselves up to fail, instead of giving themselves a chance to succeed.


The First Step To Being More Attractive: Stop Being Unattractive

The fact is, you’re probably repelling women with your first impression, which cripples any chance you have to eventually be attractive to them…and you don’t even realize it. That’s the bad news.

The good news: It’s really easy to change.

I’m going to give you a basic checklist of things to evaluate about yourself, and then outline simple changes. For most guys, just checking these boxes off will help them become substantially more attractive to women.

[NOTE: Remember, this is all before you even get into any long term behavioral or life changes, which can have profound impacts on your success with women. This is just the basics. The more advanced stuff can produce great results, but takes more information and work, and we’ll get to that later.]

Step 1: Physical Appearance 

1. How much do you weigh? Is this the proper BMI for your height, or are you overweight?

If you’re overweight–and lots of guys are–you need to lose weight. Yes this will take time but it’s far easier than you think. Believe it or not, 80% of your weight is determined by what you eat. Here’s a super simple place to start to get your diet right. We will cover eating quite extensively on this blog, because what you eat impacts much more than your weight (it also impacts your mental and emotional functioning, your sexual ability, etc).

Time to change: A few weeks to start seeing good results, a few months to get to where you should be (usually).


2. Are you in shape? What is your actual shape? Do you have good muscle tone? Are your shoulders wider than your waist?

You don’t need to be a world class athlete to have a very attractive body to women, you just need to have a basic level of fitness. Most studies show that the type of bodies most attractive to women are the ones that cross-fitters and swimmers have; wide shoulders, thin waist, lean, not overly muscular, but with clear definition.

You can get that without a ton of work, and looking this way can provide immense benefits (both to your success with women, and in other areas of your life). We’re going to do lots of posts on exercise, but you can start with the info in this free ebook if you want. The plans it outlines are going to basically be the same we recommend to normal guys.

Time to change: A few weeks to begin seeing small results, a few months to see big changes.


3. How do you walk? Confident and assured, or stooped and unsure? What is your posture like?

Body language is a long, complicated discussion, one that will take several posts to cover in any depth at all (and we will do that). The short takeaway is that how you carry yourself greatly impacts how people think about you. Walking stooped over, standing in a shy reserved manner–these all send very clear signals about your social status that are very unattractive to women.

At the very least, stand up tall, throw your shoulders back, hold your head up, and walk around like you deserve to be there. You don’t need to be arrogant, just confident in your posture. One of the most popular TED talks of all time is about this exact subject. We will soon create much more specific information for you on what to change and how, but the tips in that video are a great place to start.

Time to change: Immediate. You can have good body language right now if you choose. And the best part about changing your body language–it actually changes how you think about yourself.


Step 2: Grooming & Hygiene 

1. Are you clean? Do you look and feel showered and fresh?

It may seem basic, but you’d be shocked how many guys are not clean. They may not be filthy unwashed bums, but just because you aren’t covered in grime doesn’t make you CLEAN. Being clean means you are taking a shower at least once a day, and you are using soap and water and scrubbing the oil and grime off yourself. Including under your nails, behind your ears, etc.

If you’re like me, you’re laughing at this part, because I sound like a fucking British nanny. I mean, who doesn’t do this? TONS OF GUYS!! You wouldn’t believe! Just fucking wash yourself dude, it’s easy and goes a long way towards attraction.

Time to change: Immediate. Go take a shower and clean yourself thoroughly, and each time you are going to be around women.


2. Is your skin clear? Is it sticky to the touch?

Here’s another thing that is so easy to do, and so many guys don’t even think about it. Clear skin is so attractive to women, and bad skin is incredibly repellant. It’s not hard to avoid acne, and it’s really easy to have good skin if you eat well and wash your face every now and then.

And if you’re showering, then hopefully you aren’t sticky to the touch. We’ll cover acne and clear skin in depth later, and go deep into some of these skin issues for those who have problems with them.

The quickest way to avoid acne is to stop eating anything with caffeine (chocolate, sodas, coffee, Red Bull, etc) and stop eating sugary processed junk foods (candy, Doritos, etc). Caffeine especially, it is the main cause of acne.

Time to change: Immediate, or relatively quickly, depending on your issues.


3. Is your hair cut and clean and styled properly?

There is no one single way to cut your hair that’s most attractive to women. What women find attractive are guys who look like they care–so whatever style you pick, do it well. Scraggly, shaggy, oily, frizzy hair is pretty much the worst. I mean–wouldn’t you be repelled by a woman who had hair like that? OK, she’s the same with you.

Time to change: Immediate. Washing your hair takes no time, and getting a haircut takes 30 minutes. If you aren’t sure about your haircut, look in a fashion magazine, find one on a model that you think will look good on you, and take that picture to a stylist to have her replicate.


4. Is your facial hair appropriate to your face and your social group?

Facial hair is a tough one, because the research is all over the place on this, and women seem to have very strong, and very contradictory opinions on it. We’re actually going to do some independent research of our own to get you some clear answers, and we’ll publish it on this site.

But there is one thing we do know: Whatever you do, take care of it (is this theme starting to sink in?). Scruff, beard or clean shaven can all work, if done right. Just like the hair on your head, scraggly and wispy is bad. We’ll post examples of all of this when we post our research.

Time to change: Immediate. Whatever your style is, do it right.


5. Do you smell good? Do you at least not smell bad?

Smell is incredibly important to women, mainly because they have much more sensitive noses than men (usually). Smell is very much connected to attraction as well, and we’ll cover this in depth later, but right now, it’s easy to make sure you don’t smell bad. If you’re showering at least once a day, you should be OK, but I would still use some sort of deodorant or scent masking agent.

Also, don’t use cologne until you can afford really good cologne, and you know how much to use. We’ll cover this later in with specifics on the blog. Most young guys use way too much cheap, repulsive cologne or ‘body spray’. Better to smell like your own clean self than to smell like you drenched your torso in Axe Body Spray.

And make sure to check your breath. If you are unsure, just pop in some decent sugar-free gum. And note that brushing and flossing your teeth is the best way to control breath odors, so please do that.

And stop laughing at me–tons of guys do not do these simple things, I swear, I see them EVERY DAY.

Time to change: Immediate.


Step 3: Clothing Signals 

1. What do you wear? What are your clothes signaling? Is it what you want the world to think?

Obviously what you wear is a long and complicated subject, and we’ll spend quite a bit of time talking about it. But the basics are not hard at all: Women like to see men who clearly take care of themselves and their clothes, and have some basic fashion sense. You don’t need to be “fashionable” or anything like that, but if you’re wearing ratty t-shirts or dirty hoodies, most women are going to be repelled (with the few exceptions being either counter-signalers or those few social groups where a ratty shirt is seen as high status).

If you’re totally confused, just wear clean, nondescript clothes that are comfortable and blend into the conventional social mores of your location. For example, T-shirts and shorts on a college campus, suits on Wall Street, button downs and khackis at a horse race–whatever.

And if you are really confused, look around at the high status guys in your location or social group, and imitate them. Or go to a mainstream clothing store in your area, and ask the women who work there for help, and buy what they recommend.

We will cover this area in depth later, but the one thing you should know is that if you’re buying new clothes, make sure they fit you well, given your current body shape. Most guys get clothes that are too baggy and loose, which doesn’t look good unless you are some sort of disenfranchised youth–skater punk, hoodrat, etc.

If you want to make a statement, or signal something specific, clothes are a great way to do that, and you should feel free to do that. But just make sure you know what you are saying. If in doubt, go with convention.

That’s the important point: your clothes are ALWAYS telling a story about you. Make sure you know what it is, and that its the story you want to tell the world.

Time to change: Immediate (or longer, depending on your goals).


2. What shoes do you wear?

It might seem like shoes are the same as clothes. They’re not exactly the same. Women look at shoes much differently, and usually with far more scrutiny. We have already done a ton of new and independent research on shoes, and we’ll be posting this soon, but here’s the quick takeaway:

If you don’t want to repel women, avoid things like ratty sneakers, Crocs and flipflops (unless you are in the proper social context, like the beach). Our research found that women love leather shoes, almost irrespective of price. Leather signals to women that you care about what you put on your feet, and you think about aesthetics, at least somewhat. This is a huge step up from most guys, and usually very attractive to women. We’ll cover this in depth later.

Time to change: Immediate. Don’t wear ratty, shitty stuff if you’re trying to look attractive, and get decent leather shoes if you can.


3. What accessories are you wearing? Watches, jewelry, necklaces, etc? What are they saying?

Accessories are very complicated, and are the most sensitive to social context. A very expensive Rolex can signal something very attractive to women in one context, or could signal a guy who is out of touch in another. We’ll cover accessories in depth as well, but my basic rule is this: I don’t wear accessories at all unless it’s something meaningful to me. Otherwise, I leave jewelry and adornments off.

If you choose to wear ornaments, that’s fine, but remember it’s just like clothes: You are telling a story about yourself with your ornaments, so at the very least be CLEAR about what story you are telling and why.

Time to change: Immediate.


Step 4: Approach and Conversation

NOTE: I had a lot here, but I cut this section out, because this piece has already gone on too long. Plus, approach and conversation must be covered within the context of WHERE you are meeting women, and that is a subject that guys are totally and completely confused about.

The fact is, how you approach women and what you say to them is a secondary consideration. The primary thing you should worry about is WHERE and what social context you are meeting them. If you do the where/context right, then approach and conversation usually take care of themselves.

I will cover this whole thing in Part 7, Where To Find Women. And of course, the whole point of this site and the ensuing book is to teach all of these skills in depth.


The main point of this piece is simple: The quickest, easiest thing most guys can do to be more attractive to women is stop doing things that make them repellent. It takes time to develop and learn to display new traits. You can stop being unintentionally repellent today, and drastically increase your chances of being attractive to women.



1.  Changing what you do is not the same as changing who you are. The goal is to become the best version of yourself possible.

2. Never lie, cheat or manipulate women. Honesty in all areas works best.

3. In most cases, the woman has made up her mind whether she could be potentially attracted to you or not BEFORE a word comes out of your mouth.

4. Women asses you on these traits, in roughly this order, all prior to conversation: 1. Size, 2. Shape, 3. Body language, 4. Human specific interest points, 5. Grooming, 6. Body ornamentation, 7. Social context, 8. Smell (body), 9. Initial contact, 10. Smell (breath).

5. She won’t be attracted to you based just on your initial appearance if it’s good, but if it’s bad, she will be repelled and give you no chance. The quickest, easiest thing most guys can do to be more attractive to women is stop doing things that make them repellent to women.

6. The things you can change quickly to avoid being repellent are your weight, your physical shape, your body language, your cleanliness, your grooming, and what you wear.


Where To Start If You’re Lost With Women:

Part 1: Developing The Right Mindset

Part 2: How Mating Works

Part 3: What Women Are Attracted To

Part 4: The “Why” Of Female Attraction

Part 5: How To Be More Attractive To Women 

Part 6: Figuring Out What You Want

Part 7: Where To Find Women 

Part 8: The Road Forward

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