If you’re a guy and you’ve ever been a single adult for any period of time, then you’ve doubtless mused over the unfairness that men have to make the first move all the time.
Why is it that women are never expected to take the lead and talk to a guy they like? Why are we men left having to take all the risk?
While there is still some debate going on about to what degree this is a biological imperative and to what degree it’s social conditioning, there is some pretty good evidence to suggest why this trend persists, and why it’s likely not going to change anytime soon.
REASON #1: TESTOSTERONE
Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone. While women have testosterone as well, they typically have ten to twenty times less than men. It makes sense that women would be wired to seek men who display behaviors concurrent with healthy testosterone levels.
Indeed, testosterone is linked to risk taking, sexual assertiveness, obsessive sexual thoughts, and dominance seeking behavior. So from that purely biological standpoint it makes sense for women to want to feel some of those behaviors from a male suitor.
A great demonstration of this is to make the first move, take the social risk and pursue his sexual drive. In short, she wants to see that your desire for her is greater than your fear of rejection.
It’s also worth noting that female to male transgender men who supplement with testosterone notice a very obvious surge in obsessive sexual thoughts and sexually dominant behavior urges. They become noticeably more assertive when courting romantic partners.
REASON #2: FEMALE SEXUAL SHAME
In most cultures around the world there is still quite a strong undercurrent of shame around liberal female sexual behavior. For a woman to appear sexually available is considered highly undesirable by society. So most women who want to avoid being shamed by their peers elect instead to play it cool and aloof and avoid making any first move.
Surprisingly since the 1950s the number of women who will indicate interest to a man for example by smiling at him across a room has dropped by half. Women in modern society are less likely to let a guy know they like him than they were sixty years ago.
People like to blame religion for this cultural habit but I believe that’s only half the story.
The true cause is that both men and women are hugely threatened by female sexuality. they fear the true scale of female sexuality and fear losing sexual partners to other men as a result. So they have historically demonized female sexuality to keep it restrained.
Women feel a lot of threat from other women stealing their man, so shaming women who are sexually forward has become extremely common in most women’s social circles as a result.
It is these fears which continue to fuel slut-shaming. it’s sad but it will be a long time before this changes.
REASON #3: NURTURE VS PROTECT
I know this is a sweeping gender stereotype but on the whole most men crave a woman who they feel can nurture them and most women crave a man they feel can protect them. Yes I’m aware that at times everyone wants to experience both nurture and protection from their partner, but the primary desire tends to be one or the other.
It’s true that women don’t need physical protecting anymore, but they still crave feeling a sense of safety from their man in the form of emotional stability, they want the man to be their ‘rock’.
Women know that men have to face rejection by walking over and talking to them, and what better way to screen the men who have the courage to take action in the face of fear from the men who don’t? If a man can’t even face the fear of rejection when talking to a woman, why should SHE trust he could face other fears and dangers the world will throw his way?
but there’s really no reason to feel sad with the current state of affairs. Sure we men have to take all the risk, but we also get to make all the choices. A woman doesn’t choose who approaches her. She has to choose from what she’s offered.
Men also never have to worry that the world will judge them for following their basic desires. Women have to constantly juggle personal desire and societal judgment.
Neither gender has it any easier, we just have our own unique struggles in the dating game. I’m not saying that this is the way it should be forever, I’m saying that it’s not simply a matter of women being lazy as I hear guys so frequently complain.
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