Forget Adam Levine: A New Dating App Reveals What Women Really Think is Sexy

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Courtesy of Lulu
Courtesy of Lulu

Ask a man to describe a woman who’s a “10,” and statistically, the main criteria are not likely humor, manners and ambition. But for Lulu, the new social networking app that allows women to rank and review their male Facebook friends and former flings, those are the first three categories in an algorithm that gives men a score from 1-10. Appearance is last.

The concept of ranking a guy by a number may sound petty, but a 10 on Lulu is the whole package, because frankly, apart from casual hookups, that’s how women pick their suitors. Sexy is as sexy does.

And that brings us to Adam Levine and the over-the-top Internet outrage over the Maroon 5 frontman’s being named People’s Sexiest Man Alive.

Women and men alike are ranting that Levine is undeserving of his new title because frankly, he can come off as kind of a jerk. But others argue he’s undeniably, physically sexy—so what’s the big deal?

The problem is that the idea of sexy is a complicated concept for women who tend to be more qualitative, and less hierarchical when it comes to assessing guy’s  attractiveness. Sure bad boys have always had appeal, but when someone is named the ultimate “sexiest” guy anywhere, lots of women feel that personality should be a part of the equation.

For example, if Joseph Gordon-Levitt, well known for his starring role in “500 Days of Summer,” were declared Sexiest Man Alive, would there be as much backlash? Probably not. He may not look like a model,  but he’s charming and his sweet-guy public image suggests that he calls his mother on Sundays. Whereas Adam Levine told Women’s Health “Let’s face it, I only practice yoga because the classes are always packed with beautiful women.” He was joking, but still,  those things matters in the way women assess men.

That kind of thinking is basic biological science. Research shows that when women are looking for a mate, they tend to be pickier since they bear the greater parental investment. And when it comes to the characteristics that people value in a mate, there are significant gender differences. When women asked to rate what characteristics are most important to them for a suitable partner, women are most likely to list: considerate, honest, understanding, loyal and interesting to talk to. Whereas men say they prefer women who are physically attractive, good looking, and frugal. It’s not that men are ultimately more shallow, but our checklists at first encounter are different.

Take Lulu’s recent popularity. The app, which has over 1 million users and about 2.5 million reviews, is solely for female users, who anonymously rank their male Facebook friends on criteria including, humor, manners, ambition, commitment and appearance. Using its algorithm, Lulu grants each guy a number from 1 to 10. But that’s not all. Women also select hashtags that best describe their former fling or friend—and they’re quite detailed and specific like “#DoesDishes” and “#GoneByMorning.”

The results are a pretty accurate—I was surprised to see how well my own friends and former boyfriends were characterized. And interestingly, Lulu founder Alexandra Chong told me that 70-80% of users’ reviews focus on personality traits over physical features.

“It’s about validating your experiences and that’s rewarding. As women, we have the need to share, and we are far more communicative than men,” says Chong.

Chong says Lulu isn’t a dating application—they plan to have a review platform for beauty products and careers by the start of the new year. And she’s not planning a version for men. “We are different, and creating Lulu really highlighted that. We need a place for just us to feel safe and speak our mind. I personally am not going to create a platform for men,” says Chong. “I don’t think we need the same things.”

The reason Lulu works is that it appeals to how women do their research on men before agreeing to a date. It answers questions early on, such as, is he career-motivated? Will he respect me? “A large portion of the conversations that women have are about relationships. Relationships are a really important topic to women,  and we look to each other for advice on how to navigate that,” says Chong. “The majority of women will Google a guy before a date.”

Having some form of a “background check” if you will, is important to many women. Which is one reason why many are unsatisfied with rankings based solely on looks to determine sex appeal. If Lulu users rated Adam Levine based on what they know of him from the media, he might only get a 6. But we should remember that our evaluations of celebrities are more fantasies based on our own projections and online gossip, than reality.  The real measure of Levine’s sex appeal would have to come from people who know him, for the rest of us he’s just eye candy.

28 comments
AzBabyBoomer
AzBabyBoomer

Adam Levine is a sexy man DRESSED. His total graffiti tattoos that cover much of his body are just bad art. Worse..in about 15 years they will all be a blur. Why is it that women will get a tattoo or 2 or 3 BUT they are almost always done in  some kind of art like design. Men seem to get anything as long as it is big black and has a skull or two.Men seem to have a golf shirt and pants brain and they always think they ALL go together. WRONG. Who likes total body tattoos? Other people just as messed up.

DeweySayenoff
DeweySayenoff

One wonders what people would be saying if there was an application for men that did the same sharing based on traits that men find attractive in their women.

Something tells me that the feminists would be up in arms screaming SEXIST! in nothing flat.  So why aren't the defenders of "equality" doing the same thing NOW?

Women don't want equality.  It's been proven over and over by the advantages they get which men do not.  These blatant double-standards in our society are appalling.

HarrisonHaines
HarrisonHaines

Didn't Zuckerberg make something like this before he starting facebook and almost got expelled for it and hated by everyone for being sexist? This is possibly the most sexist thing I have ever seen.

Hopkins
Hopkins

Halo Effect: A person’s attractiveness has also been found to produce a halo effect. Attractiveness provides a valuable aspect of the halo effect to consider because of its multifaceted nature; attractiveness may be influenced by several specific traits. These perceptions of attractiveness may affect judgments tied to personality traits. Physical attributes contribute to perceptions of attractiveness (i.e. weight, hair, eye color). For example, someone that is perceived as attractive, due in part to physical traits, may be more likely to be perceived as kind or intelligent. The role of attractiveness in producing the halo effect has been illustrated through a number of studies. Recent research, for example, has revealed that attractiveness may affect perceptions tied to life success and personality.[2] In this study, attractiveness was correlated with weight, indicating that attractiveness itself may be influenced by various specific traits. Included in the personality variables were trustworthiness and friendliness. People perceived as being more attractive were more likely to be perceived as trustworthy and friendly. What this suggests is that perceptions of attractiveness may influence a variety of other traits, which supports the concept of the halo effect.

irrenmann
irrenmann

"The real measure of Levine’s sex appeal would have to come from people who know him, for the rest of us he’s just eye candy."

No one proofreads TIME any more, eh? 

JorgeJohnson
JorgeJohnson

The test of the Lulu app would be to see how the "People" judges score Adam Levine (vis-à-vis the runner-ups). Get back to me when that happens, and then I will be convinced. Until then, I will remain convinced that women are not much different than men: looks remain essential. Everything else is secondary.

defr
defr

Encourage the objectification of men whilst decrying that of women....sounds like a cash grab.

aboscotime1
aboscotime1

SO let me get this straight .... a woman inputs her impressions of a male's traits and this app spits back the result that yes, this is accurate and places him on some arbitrary scale against others whom the woman also rates - SO ..... essentially the men that this woman believes are more fun and compatible to be with are actually rated as being more fun and compatible to be with based upon this woman's belief and provided information that they were IN FACT more fun and compatible to be with .....  Really???? REALLY???? only a woman would need such an app .....

katyaduras
katyaduras

Spying on him!

Catch the new L-I-V-E Book 'Furtive Desires'. Spying on him was her guilty pleasure… Read at more at thegreaterbooks

 

iamanacepilot
iamanacepilot

I have an HD app for what women find sexy, it's in my bathroom above the sink, and I use it every day when I shave. Well, every other day.

AlexMacp
AlexMacp

All of us can have a date in 15 minutes...as long as we're happy to date the ugliest person in the room. Good looks imply good health, which genetically tells us our respective partner is a good breeder. Everything else is BS.


All this article shows is how self-deluded the women who use this app are. They post what they "think" they believe. Men can admit they want to "date" as many good looking women as possible (on the whole), to improve the chances of good offspring. Women cannot afford this honesty genetically as they must hang around to raise said off-spring, so further partners compromise that drive. 

amodel8591
amodel8591

Let's face it.  Women choose their hookups using one set of criteria and a long term mate using another.

bornfree.gonnabe
bornfree.gonnabe

CNN…

Rush Limbaugh uses rape analogy to decry filibuster rule change

/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

As Limbaugh continued to tell the truth in a way that infuriated the midgets at CNN

CNN wimped that OTHER women should be offended and lost its argument…again

Meanwhile…Limbaugh continued to EARN 250 mil a year and to pick CNN’s bones

As his audience topped 20 mil and CNN struggled to keep a fraction of Sierra Leone !!!

LouAZ
LouAZ

A study conducted by UCLA's Department of Psychiatry has revealed that the kind of face a woman finds attractive on a man can differ depending on where she is in her menstrual cycle.  For example: if she is ovulating, she is attracted to men with rugged and masculine features.  However, if she is menstruating or menopausal, she tends to be more attracted to a man with duct tape over his mouth and a spear lodged in his chest with a baseball bat up his as s while he is on fire.
No further studies are expected on this subject.

hamstaking
hamstaking

Imagine the backlash that would occur if this was an app for guys that rated girls. 

This whole article is rationalization. 

FrankBlank
FrankBlank

This is mostly nonsense, as anyone knows who has ever seen women react when a really good looking guy walks into a party.  

jimbones97239
jimbones97239

In my experience, women choose their dates on appearance just like men do. The idea that they consider personality first is an urban myth.

SeanDorsey
SeanDorsey

Is there like a male agenda to keep the status quo on how women should think and find sexy?

LOL If appearance was the last thing to make a man sexy then Magic Mike would never have been made -__-

PhillyCannabis
PhillyCannabis

It must suck to be a woman. Sex and relationships is so much easier for us guys.

Mondschein7
Mondschein7

@amodel8591 you're absolutely right. if you're just gonna hook up, you don't need the guy to be anything but hot and maybe not a total dbag for the sake of your dignity... but dating or marrying someone is a different story.


TimeTraveler28
TimeTraveler28

@b.jacaranda.w Correct. What women describe when asked is very different from what they are *actually* attracted to. And often this isn't because they're consciously lying. They themselves don't realize the difference between what they *think* they like and what they actually like. There are studies that clearly demonstrate this. 

BldrRepublcn
BldrRepublcn

@PhillyCannabis Baaah loney!  

A woman can walk into a bar and have a "date" for the evening in 15 minutes.  You?  Would take several hours - AT THE SOONEST.

And don't tell me otherwise - you are just filling your ego with hot air.  

defr
defr

@TimeTraveler28 I guess that is deeply seated in their susceptibility to being told what to think.

dualwolf3d
dualwolf3d

@BldrRepublcn @PhillyCannabis I'm a guy and have had a date for the evening within 15 minutes of arrival of a bar...