Lift more weights, find more mates
Old rules still apply in the mating game—fit men with strong, lean bodies will always win out over those who are wimpy and weak as Jasmine Atieno finds out
There’s no doubt that ladies swoon over guys with muscles and six packs, who look athletic. Such characteristics have been used as a tool of sex appeal by advertisers, artists, actors and others to sell brands. But what is it really about the muscled man that makes him a juicy piece?
Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles have found out that muscular young men are likely to have more sex partners than their less-chiseled peers.
Their study recently published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, suggests muscles in men are akin to elaborate tail feathers in male peacocks: They attract females looking for a virile mate.
Gracie Kauthar, a receptionist based in Mombasa thinks all women actually want the muscled guy for a relationship, but there is more to a relationship than just muscles.
“Muscled men are good looking, fine and healthy. I think I am speaking from the eye of all women. The reason why we end up with the other guy is because there is more to a relationship than just muscles, and well, the small guys also deserve to be loved, don’t they?” she chuckles.
According to researchers Martie Haselton and Daid Frederick in their paper titled Why Is Mascularity Sexy? Tests of the Fitness Indicator Hypothesis, women were more willing to have short-term relations with muscular men without the requirement that they demonstrate characteristics particularly desired in long-term mates which include trustworthiness and emotional closeness.
Another woman, 23-year-old Dorcas Mwende says there are many advantages of having a muscled man, mostly sexual.
“It feels way better going to bed with a muscular man. Variety is the spice of your sex life. A physically fit man will add a few extra moves in the bedroom and keep his women on their toes. He is generally very flexible with most, if not all sex styles,” she says.
Away from that, Mwende adds that outside the bedroom, women tend to find men who seem strong and protective more attractive.
These sentiments are caked up by a 2017 study by researchers at Griffith University in Queensland also examined what factors most influenced female attraction to males and found that physical strength reigned supreme.
“The effect of height and weight on attractiveness may indicate that women are responding to cues of health or to the benefits that height and lean bodies have in protracted aggression, hunting and other aspects of fighting ability,” said one of the researchers, Dr Aaron Sell.
On the other hand, the men folks who are committed to staying muscled, say they enjoy the attention it brings.
“Women love a good looking man, so I definitely get a lot of attention. It gives them security, comfort and confidence too when they are in a public place with you. Despite the fact that a woman might be with a bellied man and the short round guys, it’s not physically attractive as compared to a man who works out,” says Fredrick Karisa.
He, however, admits that having a muscular body does not translate to having a good relationship, “It is especially difficult because you get to attract too many women,” he admits.
Lazarus Nzioki, who also works hard to maintain his muscles says it is more personal as a lifestyle than it is to impress the ladies. He says working out is a lifestyle he develops to stay healthy, to feel good.
“If you do it for the ladies, then you might end up having numerous women because that is what they will be chasing, but if you are disciplined you will be faithful in the relationship you have going on. The discipline and commitment of having the muscles has to reflect in the relationship,” says Lazarus Nzioki.
You’d be forgiven for thinking it is down to aesthetics and vanity, but actually it could be more to do with how our ancestors chose a partner.
Psychologist Jane Ngatia says traditionally, men who were perceived as physically fit were also perceived to be more likely to win in a fight - they are more of a protector.
“A woman will feel safe and protected when dating a muscled man as opposed to a man who looks weak. Maybe that can explain why some men even end up being beaten by their wives, because they look weak and they don’t provide any protection in case the need arises,” says Ngatia.
There is more. “If we are talking about the African woman especially, they want a powerful man because this is the set up traditionally that you have to fear your man, it would be easier to have something to fear. You want to fear a man who is strong to match the expectations,” she says.
On the other hand, not all women are terribly interested in the muscle-bound look. There are women who find big muscles completely repulsive. They don’t care for it, and, in fact, anything is better than the muscled man.
“I really don’t like muscled men. In fact they don’t fall in the category of a man that I would want to date or go further in a relationship with. Not that I am intimidated by their looks, but I feel they are too obsessed by their looks. They are not my type, besides, don’t judge a man by his muscles,” says Maimuna Salim.
Phylis Ng’etich is not into muscled men, she says they are good to look at, but it is not the most important thing that a woman looks for in a guy.
She feels that most people have been misled by advertisements, which tend to make begin to think that to “get the girl” you first need to get the muscles.
“I am more attracted to to a guy’s inner qualities such as confidence, charisma, social intelligence, emotional masculinity than his outer qualities,” she offers.