Let’s be right – it all boils down to attraction. You want those rippling abs, strong arms and a barrel chest to make yourself more pleasing to others.
You want to look good in order to attract a potential mate.
We humans are the only animal that seem intent on hiding our attraction to potential partners.
Take thefrigatebird for example. When they want to attract a potential mate they inflate a huge red sac on their chest, much like a balloon. When drosophilaare attracted to a mate they dance for them. And only if the female likes what she sees will she accept. And male deer develop antlers ready for fighting other males in order to win the affections of the doe.
This is all what evolutionary biologists refer to as asdisplayor courtship.
It’s pretty unmistakable when animals are displaying. In humans though it’s more difficult to see – the signs are there, they’re just not as obvious is all. After all, there are laws for nudity and indecency!
In this article we’ll take a look at attraction hormones and tell you exactly how testosterone levels affect them.
You want to be more attractive? Give this one a read…
Testosterone, Sex andMotivation
From the onset of puberty through to your early thirties your testosterone levels are at their peak. This hormone controls motivation to mate in all primates – including us as humans. And when your levels are optimized you’ll experience a big boost in sexual motivation.
From thirty onward though, T levels slowly begin to diminish. It’sassociated with reduced libido, low sexual appetite and poor sexual performance. It’s also associated with a higher risk of metabolic disease and early death too.
High T on the other hand gives you bull-like sexual appetite, better endurance and a healthy, athletic physique.
Studies have shown that men with higher T levels not only have better sexual performance, but are more interested in visual sexual stimuli too – that includes both real and digital pornographic images .
Decrease testosterone and you’ll find that your lack of sexual appetite goes down. Take this study for example. A group of men had their T levels suppressed by blunting its master hormone called GnRH. It made the men less sexually active and less likely to masturbate too .
In terms of response to attraction hormones, men respond to women’s flirtation cues quite easily. You’re a simple creature really.
A flutter of the eyes, seductive eye contact or twiddling of the hair isn’t lost on you – particularly if you find the person flirting with you attractive. In fact, studies have shown that when men spend just five minutes in the presence of an attractive mate, T levels go up by 14% .
Is Testosterone the Key to Sexual Attraction?
Having higher T levels motivates you to find a partner. Your body knows it’s in its prime and it sees it as being a good opportunity to pass on your ‘genetic material’.
In most mammal species, sex hormones play an important role in controlling behaviour. They can make us more attracted to potential partners in different ways – and in fact make us more attractive to them too.
You’re less attractive to females if your T levels are low
A study based at the University of Mexico reportedthat females find men with masculine features, dominant characteristics and aesthetic frames more attractive . Nothing particularly new there.
So we know that women find men with higher levels of social presence, direct competitiveness and masculine features more attractive – and these are all hallmarks of high testosterone.
But what was interesting was that this attraction peaked during the ovulation phase of their monthly cycle – right when they’re at their most fertile.
Further to that, women only had a drop in attraction to men if they were less attractive or displayed less high testosterone-based traits. So the key is, if you want women to find you more attractive, get your testosterone levels elevated!
High testosterone means you’re more attracted to feminine women’s faces
In the same way that a women’s menstrual cycle can affect how attractive she might find you, studies have found that men with elevated testosterone find more feminine women more attractive.
Published inHormones and Behaviourone study manipulated the photographed faces of women to look either more feminine or more masculine. This was done with a 2D digital package where photos were adapted to suit the color, texture and shape of either men or women’s faces.
29 male participants were than asked to rate the attractiveness of the faces at random. The testosterone levels of the men were taken and they were than categorized into either high T or low T groups.
When each of the two groups’ tastes were analyzed, men in the high T group rated more feminine faces as attractive.
Women can sniff out your high testosterone too
Men with high T levels ooze masculinity. You’re more muscular, stronger and have a more dominant presence. But did you know that not only do you look more attractive, you smell more attractive too?
Thechemicalandrostenonedrives the ladies wild. And guess what? Up your testosterone and it triggers a much greater release of the chemical.
A study published in the journalArchives of Sexual Behaviourfound that when a group of men upped their androstenone levels, they encountered an increase in sex, as well as more frequent ‘petting/affection/kissing’ too. They also reported an increase in informal dates with females.
The Birds and the Bees
There’s a hell of a lot of ornithological research that looks at T and its effects on courtship rituals. You might wonder what the link is, but birds and humans are not a million miles apart when it comes to attraction hormones.
Take this study for example. Published in the journalHormonal Behaviour, canaries were given testosterone to see how it affected their mating rituals.
Now, when male canaries are in the mood they sing to attract a mate. The researchers found that when T levels went up, so did the volume of singing – and the chances of attracting a mate.
How is this useful to you?
Well we don’t expect you to start signing to make yourself more attractive, but its worth noting that canary hormone systems are very similar to humans and they regulate very similar areas of the brain too.
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- Rupp, HA. Relationship between testosterone and interest in sexual stimuli: the effect of experience. Horm Behav. 2007; 52: 581–589
- Walken, K.Sex and Context: Hormones and Primate Sexual Motivation.Hormones and Behaviour.
- Roney, JR et al.Androgen receptor gene sequence and basal cortisol concentrations predict men’s hormonal responses to potential mates.Proc Biol Sci. 2010; 277(1678): 57–63
- Gangestad, SW et al.Women’s Preferences for Male Behavioral Displays Change Across the Menstrual Cycle.Psych Sci. 2004; 15(3): 203-207
- Welling, LL. Raised salivary testosterone in women is associated with increased attraction to masculine faces. Horm Behav. 2007; 52: 156–161
- Cutler, WB et al.Pheromonal influences on sociosexual behavior in men.Arch Sex Behav. 1998; 27(1): 1-13
- Sartor, JJ et al.Coordinated and dissociated effects of testosterone on singing behavior and song control nuclei in canaries (Serinus canaria).Horm Behav. 2005; 47(4): 467-76
High testosterone means you're more attracted to feminine women's faces. In the same way that a women's menstrual cycle can affect how attractive she might find you, studies have found that men with elevated testosterone find more feminine women more attractive.
Does testosterone affect who you are attracted to? ›
Research has suggested that men with naturally high levels of testosterone are more drawn to women with typically feminine faces: women with smaller jaws, bigger eyes, and higher eyebrows.
Does taking testosterone make you more attractive? ›
Testosterone increases perceived dominance but not attractiveness in human males. Biology Department, College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, VA 23197, USA.
Why does taking testosterone make you attracted to men? ›
Forcier points out that when taking testosterone, there are a few reasons why you may become more sexually attracted to men. For one, when someone starts taking testosterone, "their body and brain will now be living and experiencing themselves and others in a new body and brain hormone milieu," says Dr. Forcier.
Does low testosterone affect attraction? ›
For many men with low testosterone, the wanting is there, but they can't act on it. “Men with low testosterone will commonly report that they still find their partner sexually desirable, but simply have lost the drive to initiate sexual interactions,” says J.
Does testosterone affect desire? ›
Some men maintain sexual desire at relatively low testosterone levels. For other men, libido may lag even with normal testosterone levels. Low testosterone is one of the possible causes of low libido, however. If testosterone is lowered far enough, virtually all men will experience some decline in sex drive.
Does testosterone make you more flirty? ›
The men who had a greater increase in testosterone levels during the competition flirted more when they met a woman, the PhD student has determined. They asked more questions, were more open about themselves, made more eye contact and smiled more.
Does taking testosterone change a man's personality? ›
Testosterone will not change who you are. You may discover new aspects of your personality or learn how you want to live in the world as you transition. Bear in mind that some of these feelings might feel new.
What are the facial signs of high testosterone? ›
Besides affecting your jawline, high testosterone levels also result in a wider and 'bonier' facial area. This means a wider face, sharper cheekbones, and a strong chin.
Does more testosterone make you look younger? ›
Some experts believe the hormone may also have a positive impact on how well we age — the Fonda effect — playing a role in keeping your skin looking younger and your body in shape.
Can boosting testosterone levels improve your sex life? The hormone testosterone plays a big part in men's health, but perhaps its most meaningful role is to fuel sex drive and performance. Testosterone levels tend to decrease with age.
How do men with high testosterone feel? ›
Men with high testosterone can experience a variety of troubling symptoms and possible health consequences. Excess testosterone can lead to more aggressive and irritable behavior, more acne and oily skin, even worse sleep apnea (if you already have it), and an increase in muscle mass.
How does testosterone make a man feel? ›
You might be thinking; higher sex drive, excess muscles, extra strength. However, that's not the case. While high testosterone levels in a man can sometimes result in increased muscle mass, it also brings with it a whole host of other side effects; acne, mood swings, stunted growth, and weight gain to name just a few.
Can a man with low testosterone get hard? ›
While testosterone definitely plays a role in your sexual function, many men with low levels of testosterone (also referred to as low-T or hypogonadism) can get erections just fine. On the other hand, many guys with healthy testosterone levels find it hard to get and maintain an erection during sex.
Does testosterone affect love? ›
Lower testosterone helps facilitate supportive relationships, researchers said. Other research found that the quality of a relationship, including satisfaction, commitment, and investment, lowered testosterone for both men and women, and that couples were more satisfied when one person had lower testosterone.
Which hormone is responsible for attraction? ›
Attraction is mediated by hormones of stress and reward including dopamine, norepinephrine cortisol and the serotinergic system and has the nucleus accumbens the ventral tegmental area as key mediators.
What hormone causes horniness in males? ›
Results: Testosterone has a primary role in controlling and synchronizing male sexual desire and arousal, acting at multiple levels.
Does testosterone control horniness? ›
Testosterone is a sex hormone that plays important roles in the body. In men, it's thought to regulate sex drive (libido), bone mass, fat distribution, muscle mass and strength, and the production of red blood cells and sperm.
Can a woman smell a man's testosterone? ›
The chemical androstenol contributes to the musky smell of body odor. Men produce much more of this chemical than women, and testosterone levels may be linked to production of these molecules, the researchers suggest. If so, the women in the study may be responding to these subtle odor cues.
Do men with high testosterone smell different? ›
Although testosterone levels were not directly tested here, the current study's findings are congruent with previous research showing that single and partnered males can be differentiated based on their testosterone levels (e.g., Van Anders and Goldey, 2010), that higher testosterone levels are associated with a ...
But androstenone, a derivative of testosterone that is a potent ingredient in male body odor, can smell like either - depending on your genes. While many people perceive a foul odor from androstenone, usually that of stale urine or strong sweat, others find the scent sweet and pleasant.
What happens if a normal man takes testosterone? ›
You will experience physical, mental, and sexual changes when you take testosterone supplements, including muscle mass growth, increased physical strength, higher sex drive, easy arousal, and an elevated mood.
Do narcissists have high testosterone? ›
New research provides evidence that narcissism moderates the relationship between testosterone and generosity in men. The study, published in Hormones and Behavior, found that the most generous men tended to be low in endogenous testosterone and simultaneously low in narcissism.
Does testosterone make a man more dominant? ›
Abstract. In men, high levels of endogenous testosterone (T) seem to encourage behavior intended to dominate--to enhance one's status over--other people. Sometimes dominant behavior is aggressive, its apparent intent being to inflict harm on another person, but often dominance is expressed nonaggressively.
Can girls sense testosterone? ›
Women (and anybody else) can sense that a man has high testosterone levels by looking at his physical appearance. Typical manly features, a broad v-shaped back, generally more pronounced musculature and facial hair are all indicators of high levels of testosterone.
Does testosterone change your physical appearance? ›
Your eyes and face will begin to develop a more angular, male appearance as facial fat decreases and shifts. Please note that it's not likely your bone structure will change, though some people in their late teens or early twenties may see some subtle bone changes.
Do men with high testosterone look older? ›
Often, anecdotal observations highlight that men with high levels of testosterone look strong (more muscle mass, deep voice, specific male facial features), but also often older for their age.
Do men with low testosterone look different? ›
Probably the biggest change that's noticed with low testosterone is your physical appearance. From a young age, your testosterone level dictates things such as voice depth, body hair, and physical composition. These are the things that make you who you are, so it's not hard to notice when these things begin to change.
Does testosterone increase promiscuity? ›
Introduction. Testosterone has long been thought of as the male sexual hormone. Individuals with elevated levels of testosterone have been portrayed to have increased sexual promiscuity.
What is the personality of high testosterone? ›
In some cases, high testosterone levels can cause mood changes, including increased irritability or aggression. Changes in sexual function and libido may occur. For people with a vulva, high testosterone levels can lead to an irregular menstrual cycle, increased muscle mass, or an enlarged clitoris.
The only way to know your testosterone level is with a blood test. You may talk to your healthcare provider about a testosterone level test if you have symptoms of low testosterone.
Does testosterone make men emotional? ›
Background: The effects of both high and low levels of testosterone are wide ranging and can include changes in mood, often overlapping with symptoms of mood disorders.
What does a man with low testosterone look like? ›
Reduced erectile function. Loss of body hair. Less beard growth. Loss of lean muscle mass.
What are the characteristics of a man with low testosterone? ›
Does low testosterone affect size? ›
- Low sex drive.
- Problems having an erection.
- Low sperm count.
- Sleep problems such as insomnia.
- Decrease in muscle size and strength.
- Bone loss.
- Increase in body fat.
Testosterone plays a role in the development of muscle mass, and reduced levels of the hormone can result in a significant loss of muscle mass. However, as low testosterone causes a decrease in mass, the function and strength of the muscles do not diminish, according to a 2016 review .
What hormone makes a man fall in love? ›
According to love biologist Dawn Maslar, the chemicals dopamine and vasopressin are vital for a man to start falling in love, whereas it's oxytocin and dopamine for women. Oxytocin, often nicknamed the love or cuddle hormone, also plays an important role in men but at a later stage.
What causes intense chemistry with someone? ›
Chemistry is born of several different factors like physical attraction, mental stimulation, shared values and interests.
What is the 3 hormones of attraction? ›
Oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin are often referred to as our “happy hormones.” When you're attracted to another person, your brain releases dopamine, your serotonin levels increase, and oxytocin is produced.
What hormone is released during orgasm? ›
However, recent studies have begun to investigate oxytocin's role in various behaviors, including orgasm, social recognition, bonding, and maternal behavior. For this reason, it is now sometimes referred to as the “love hormone” and many such names described earlier.
Is testosterone linked to cheating? ›
Background: Infidelity in romantic relationships is a common, but severe issue often causing breakup and severe psychological impairment. Higher levels of testosterone are related to mating-behavior, sexual desire, and infidelity in men with sexual dysfunctions.
Testosterone supplementation will likely impact sperm production and your ability to get pregnant. But don't despair; the damage is usually reversible, and there are many options to safely increase your husband's sperm count and testosterone.
Can a man with high testosterone be faithful? ›
New research suggests that men with higher levels of testosterone tend to devote more energy to keeping their romantic partners faithful and in a relationship with them. The study, published in the journal Physiology & Behavior, examined what is known as mate retention behavior.
What hormones attract males to females? ›
Androsterone, or androstenol, is a putative human pheromone that may make men sexually appealing to women.
Does testosterone make you more jealous? ›
During the jealousy condition, males had higher levels of testosterone and plasma cortisol concentrations. The hormonal increases triggered by jealousy weren't surprising, given testosterone's association with mating-related aggression and cortisol's role as a stress hormone.
What happens when men take too much testosterone? ›
Excess testosterone can lead to more aggressive and irritable behavior, more acne and oily skin, even worse sleep apnea (if you already have it), and an increase in muscle mass.
Can a man transfer testosterone to a woman? ›
The long answer: Transfer of testosterone to another person by skin-to-skin contact happens if the gel hasn't had time to dry. Females who absorb testosterone from the gel, if exposed for long enough, can develop masculine features like excess body hair, acne and a deepening of their voice.
Can taking testosterone cause personality changes? ›
Using testosterone as a gender-affirming medication can create emotional side effects such as: Gender euphoria. Decreased depression and anxiety. Increased sex drive.