Men Wanting Magnetic Power Over Women

"The opposite sex has enormous power over you."

“The opposite sex has enormous power over you.”

If you’re straight, at some point you realize that,

The opposite sex has enormous power over you. They can break your heart, control your actions, completely dominate your thoughts, and (let’s be honest) basically turn off your brain.

So says Noah Brand.

He makes me think of guys who have complained on my blog that women don’t find men attractive. And they yearn to weld the same magnetic power over women that women have over them.

Brand says that because men are seen as utilitarian instead of attractive some guys turn to a magic book of spells, like pickup artist manuals:

Just as it’s easiest to sell quack remedies to people without access to real medicine, it’s easiest to sell magic charms to people who can’t believe they have any charms of their own. 

The problem may lie in understanding “attractive” only as “objectified” and “fetishized.” Women certainly can — and do — find men attractive. But since the male body isn’t “ified” or “izied” in either of those ways, the draw isn’t quite so intense. (This is one reason why porn sells a lot more to men than to women.)

But men might be surprised to learn that plenty of women wish that they were magnetic, too. Because 80% of women have poor body image and beleive they are nowhere close to holding the power of the “knock out” that men find so “stunning.”

But these women and those men don’t get that really, there’s a huge downside to the one-dimensional draw. Even if it’s powerful.

Marilyn Monroe complained that she was often seen as just a body, when she yearned to be so much more.

Or, I recently posted thoughts from one of my students who liked her breasts, but who often covered them because she wanted men to like her — not just her boobs.

Therapist Mary Pipher specializes in treating adolescent girls and believes that the luckiest ones are those who aren’t overly or underly attractive. The latter are ignored, while the former are used for their bodies and status.

And many of us don’t get that we needn’t be fetishized to be attractive. Or that better lives and relationships come when we aren’t objectified.

It’s a bit like the wayfarers of Oz. We actually do have what we need. Men have the power to attract women. And women have the power to attract men.

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About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on July 11, 2016, in body image, men, objectification, psychology, relationships, sex and sexuality, women and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 34 Comments.

  1. I don’t get it. Isn’t women nowadays who post selfies, dressed up or half naked, on the social media every day?
    I don’t see men bother posting selfies half naked.
    So isn’t women who want attention and magnetic power over other people?
    Men can’t have that magnetic power so they know that if they want to get a girlfriend they have to work for it and approach girls and initiate conversation

    • A lot of both women and men want that sort of power. Guys have complained on my blog that they wish they had let women had. And I point out that a lot of women wish they had what men think they have. And the sexy selfie phenomenon shows that a lot of women believe they have that power and use it.

      My point is that you don’t have to have that particular form of power to be either attractive or happy and satisfied.

  2. Are you focusing on just the recent blogposts you’ve written and responding to the comments? Or you’ve seen other comments on the other blogs, but putting them aside for now because you plan on writing something or responding but not yet, because you haven’t gotten a chance to put things together for a post as well as to others comments? I wrote in the omar mateen, brock turner post and about what’s going on or has been going on with Cops and minorities. I do plan to comment about this specific post too though in the next post, sorry.

    • Yeah, I tend to make a lot of effort to post comments on the newest blog post when it comes out and look at some of the others later when I have more time.

      I’m thinking about creating a file where people can make suggestions for blog posts because I was just thinking that you gave me a suggestion on something and I can’t find it now. But there’s another suggestion you made that I didn’t approve because I knew that I would be able to find it in my “Pending comments” file at some point. So if you come up with something and I don’t approve it, it may be because I’m guaranteed to be able to find it when I have time to deal with it by going into my “Pending comments” file. I’ve had similar issues with “Jean Clande.”

  3. Men have the power to attract women. And women have the power to attract men.”

    Well, I’m not so sure about that power to attract women. True, men can find that, through a lot of internal work and having the confidence and working on themselves to get a point through trial and error where they find ways to talk to women and approach that helps their chances. A good looking man has a better chance, though he still needs to be confident and talk well, etc too or else not have success either. But I don’t think a lot of men feel they have that power to attract women, whereas, women do have that power to attract men or much more so. I don’t know about you, but if I’m a man who isn’t getting laid or struggling with it or struggling to approach women and talk to women. As well as not seeming to get much attention from women or not told how attractive much or checked out. It would be hard for me as a man if going through that, to feel that happy and actually kind of helpless.

    Women don’t like it and I can;t blame them but it;s probably because women’s sex drive and visual nature is usually less than mens. I don’t think women would mind as much if they had the visual material and men’s bodies scantily clad ever where and women were visually aroused and lustful towards men’s bodies like men are to women. If that was the case, women would be in a constant state of arousal and would have those urges met easier. It’s a double whammy for guys, because they have the arousal and material, but at the same time because women aren’t on that level and need more, etc. Guys are aroused or have a high sex drive, but it’s a guessing game for guys with how to approach, talk, and work for the attraction, which still doesn’t mean sex. Women are more fickle as a result, so it sets up a situaion of a metaphoical “blue balls” for guys, yearning for sex so bad or relationships, but only having it every once and a while usually, when if they really were to get the sex in relation to their sex drive, it would be a lot more. Basically their hunger is much more than what they are able to usually get with attracting women, because it’s not so easy or even tough for many guys. The more shy a guy is, the harder it is.

    I have a quick post related to this with links to show the diffence with men and women.

    • There are a lot of complexities on this issue. Thanks for articulating some of the problems men face.

      Sometimes really attractive women don’t get asked out because guys are too shy to ask them. There can also be other reasons why women aren’t asked out, Which can make them feel bad about themselves. And then they might compare their bodies to the idealized images and think it’s because they aren’t good enough.

      Plus, we live in a culture that represses women’s sexuality, Making them more picky. And then guys having to face all of that that rejection you were talking about. Because we give the “Approach” role to men.

      So while we all can attract, There’s a lot of stuff that comes in and complicates. You’re right.

  4. I wonder if, even though women are more scrutinized and more likely to feel pressure and self conscious about their bodies. To me, it seems like women fall or can fall more on the “poles” as far as how they feel about their bodies. They often can maybe feel worse or more worse than a man maybe feel about his. Though women can have their bad body days, they seem to have times and days, with things they do where they can feel sexy and such. That’s the difference. It seems like guys don’t get as ‘low” as women as far as feeling bad about their bodies, though I’m seeing more guys getting quite self conscious about their bodies nowadays. But men seem more in the middle and don’t feel the “high” either of sexiness like women can it seems.

    Yes men can feel attractive or hot stuff, but I don’t know about sexy or sexually appealing like women can. Look at this though here’s women asked what they do to feel sexy

    The women aren’t say, nothing or I never feel sexy, but things like shave my legs, look at my butt in the mirror, where sexy lingerie, shower, etc.

    Look at the men’s answers when asked themselves. And I totally get it too. You said men shouldn’t feel bad not having validation or not getting dates, or whatever and I’ve said before how a man not getting laid even if fit can feel like how a 300lb woman could feel as far as sexiness. I myself feel attractive, but admit I don’t feel sexy at all if not getting laid, actually kind of feel like shit. Well how are you to feel sexy when you aren’t desired and getting that actual feeling and proof of desire which sex would do?

    Look at the women who asked I think, her edited response: ” I’m surprised by the amount of men here who have never felt sexy. Hopefully there are some good tips here to help change that.”

    Here;s som that I have in quote:
    “Sexy? As in the feeling that people want to have sex with me? I don’t think I’ve ever really felt that.
    I do feel confident after a good trip to the gym or when I’m dressed up in a nice suit.e male responses though that I

    “I’ve never felt sexy :(”
    And this one right here stands out to me, because I can relate to it. “Have sex.
    Seriously, the only thing that makes me feel sexy is a woman actually being happy to have sex with me.” “Do you need to feel sexy to want sex? I can’t imagine feeling that way. I always want to have sex, and don’t feel sexy unless it happens.

    • Thanks for bringing this up, Bob.

      re “You said men shouldn’t feel bad not having validation or not getting dates, or whatever”

      I totally understand why a man would feel bad not getting dates. I’m hoping that he will feel better about himself if he realizes that women’s sexuality is quite suppressed, leaving them cautious. And quite frankly it takes a lot to get them interested. But that doesn’t make them undesirable. It just means that different women have different things they like. I’ve been attracted to men where my girlfriends couldn’t understand why. They’ve been attracted to men where I couldn’t understand why. It’s common for women to need some level of physical attractiveness PLUS. Like ever since college I haven’t been interested in men unless they had a social conscience, were politically active, had interesting conversation (politics, philosophy, religion/spirituality), and was very monogamous.

      So if I’m not interested in a guy, that doesn’t mean he’s a bad guy. It doesn’t mean he’s an unattractive guy. But if a guy — who another women would find attractive because he fits her different criteria — approached me, I wouldn’t be interested.

      But then guys end up feeling bad about themselves because they are expected to approach, leaving them vulnerable to “in your face” rejection. I wonder if that causes some misogyny.

      On your other comment, I’m saving it in my “pending” file in hopes that I will get to them before they become out of date. It’s summer and I have a lot of time to focus on writing a book, so I will go weeks without doing my blog — and depend on old posts. And a few that I will try to get to before I get to the bookwriting.

      • Yeah, I think this is an important topic. It has been an issue for a while from previous events from past years. But it seems to be coming to a tipping point. Just recently on the news, I saw how Baton Rouge police have had two serious threats and were followed and we know about the Dallas shooting. An officer in Missouri was shot from behind during a traffic stop. We are at a cross roads I feel in America in regard to this. Cops are already jumpy sometimes with minorities, but with threats and violence they could be more trigger happy and more deaths from minorities and the same token,such anger possibly causing targets on cops heads. So all this bringing the potential of more deaths, violence and bloodshed. That’s why I said, at a crossroads, if things stay the same or status quo things can get worse. So more than ever before, people have to start meeting halfway. So yeah an important topic and I’m sure you agree too since I know you are probably quite away of all thats going on in relation to all this.

      • I know that representatives of “Black lives matter” said that the shooting in Dallas really set back their movement.

        It’s so ridiculous that the color of one’s skin makes any difference. The color of our skin and eyes doesn’t (At least not anymore). Same should be for skin. The only thing it reflects is how close to the equator our ancestors lived. And now people are hating and dying over such a superficial thing.

  5. Very nice piece. I really enjoyed it!

    While I certainly feel women find most men unattractive, there are thing we men can do that can improve our odds. The bottom line is that for us men we MUST do a better of job with our “presentation.” Presentation is important because it all starts with visuals with both sexes.

    What do I mean by presentation? It boils down to dress, grooming, hygiene, etc. Frankly, there are just too many boring men out here. Too many men who take very little pride in their dress, appearance, grooming, hygiene, etc.

    Yesterday, my girlfriend and I went out for dinner at a fairly nice place. Not upscale but nice. A small and intimate place called the Milton Inn in Sparks Maryland (Google it). My girlfriend looked beautiful in her floral maxi dress. Most of the women were dressed well. But, the men…..That was a another story. Not bragging but I was the best dressed guy in the place. There was even one guy with cargo pants and a polo with sneakers. But, his wife was nicely dressed and cute. Just puzzling to me.

    My point is if men want to be more attractive to women then we need to do a much better job. We must put in more effort. You would be surprised at how little effort you have to put in to set yourself apart from the vast majority of men. That’s what a man needs to do. Set himself apart from the rest. Sad to say it really does not take a lot of effort. But, the rewards are significant.

    Guys ditch the damn socks and sandals. PLEASE! And for the love of everything holy, please polish your shoes!

    • Thanks for the input Huggy. I hope that some guys will put it to good use.

      • I know what you’re talking about as far as how a lot of guys don’t put in the effort. But even with that said. I groom and dress well and I do get looks sometimes and have been told to attractive sometimes. But I still have to not only approach, but sometimes girls don’t always show if interested, as well as having to play the game with not just getting a girl interested. But taking her out on a dafe and it going well. Or get her number keep the interest and go from there. Approaching is just part of it, conversation going well leading to a number. Girls can flake out at any of the times. For different reasons so even if one really seems attracted and interested and maybe wants you. A lot of girls can be talking to various guys when they are talking to you. So she stops texting back, because though she likes you, she’s liking the other guy she’s talking to just a little more.

        Guys we’re ready to go much easier and faster and usually less steps taken as well as, I think girls would have more success approaching guys. Especially attractive, pretty ones. It helps guys with looks, but you can’t say the same thing, because a guys conversation skills and listening skills are just as important or maybe more so than his looks. So while a good looking guy can pique interest upon approach initially, he could be a nice guy, but not be interesting to the girl, or create a spark, so he’s turned down. A pretty girl doesn’t have to be that great at conversing or need “game” at all, and a guy will more likely want her unless she’s like mean, rude or crazy. But otherwise stuff like that, it’s usually more straight forward for guys.

      • Thanks for filling in some blanks.

  6. Women are more powerful…their power had been crushed for centuries for this reason only. Now she has come out of the closet and wherever possible, she has demonstrated all kind of power she can wield. Men can only intimidate and grab, women are more spontaneous and alluring. 🙂

  7. When a man sees a woman on a street and finds her attractive does it always mean “objectification? Can it be an urge to establish a contact and know the person better?

    • Nope. Doesn’t have to be objectification.

      It’s human nature to appreciate beauty and an attractive person. One can do that either with or without harm.

      Objectification involves behaving in ways that don’t take into account the person’s feelings. For instance, staring or cat-calling usually feels threatening, instead of like a compliment. You don’t even necessarily have to get to know the whole person. Just keep in mind how they might feel and have empathy for that. (And how your partner might feel it she is with you as you admire someone else.)

      If a man looks at a woman as just a bunch of body parts and loses concern for her (or his partner as he ogles someone else) — sees himself as the only one who matters in the equation — that is objectification.

  8. I know that representatives of “Black lives matter” said that the shooting in Dallas really set back their movement.

    It’s so ridiculous that the color of one’s skin makes any difference. The color of our skin and eyes doesn’t (At least not anymore). Same should be for skin. The only thing it reflects is how close to the equator our ancestors lived. And now people are hating and dying over such a superficial thing.”

    Yeah something has to be done though or else more lives can be taken. Angry minorities could cause more cops being trigger happy other possible deaths, and then in return cops having targets on their heads and it being even more dangerous for cops. We could have more lives lost on both sides if things aren’t discussed constructively. The problem is alot of people are stuck on each side and stubborn or not willing to try seeing the other side. With that happening, nothing will get resolved. Just as much as things have to possibly be done differently from law enforcement.

    I believe, I don’t know if they can do it. But organizers or people in charge of blm movement, they need to have a discussion with the many people a part of it. Because even though many are handling things right, there are some part of the BLM movement who are causing problems. I get it, they are mad, so it can cause aggression. But not only is it wrong, it’s counter productive for their cause. If you get in people’s face or get aggressive, it’s going to piss people off and where someone might have decided to try understand blm, they will now tune it out. That’s just human nature. What I’m talking about is this. We all know burning down a city or rioting is not the way to handle things. I think many admit that when they said violence is not the answer. But what’s missing is that even though protests now are most often non-violent. But they are still or some are still handling things in a wrong manner. First in toronto there was a gay pride celebration that they have annually I think. Even if blm was invited, which I’m not sure they were. The hijacked the pride parade and said it will not go on until cops are removed from the parade and they shut down the gay pride parade. How extremely inconsiderate and then they wonder why people are not liking blm. They talk about oppression and their lives, yet they don’t see their own hypocrisy from their actions, because they aren’t the only group oppressed or has a history of oppression. Umm, the lgbt community is another oppressed group, but yet they just blocked and didn’t give a damn about them. Then last year there were protesters who barged in restaurants specifically where white people were and were eating and decided to rudely interrupt their dinners. And ;last but not least, this is not isolated.

    There have been multiple protests through various cities. But cops have had to arrest 100 people or so from each citiies protest, becaude assholes blm protesters are going into the highways when it’s illegal and were warned they can’t go there. Sometimes the cops can’t get all the people away. So these assholes end up blocking traffic. The is so extremely inconsiderate blocking people from driving down it, maybe some have emergencies. And that’s exactly my point, whenre you block a main highway, with thousands or potential driver. There can be medical emergencies that got delayed because of these assholes. There was already something that happened where an ambulance was blocked from getting a boy on the bridge who was really ill and they had to drive the wrong way down another highway and it took a half hour to get to him. Luckily he was alright. But think about it. A husband’s wife water broke and he’s trying to get her to hospital ASAP, an ambulance has someone in grave condition, say your family member had a heart attack or a stroke and you’re trying to get them to the hospital and that hospital and the quickest way is from that highway the the asshole blm protesters blocked? Someone could end up dying one of these days from not getting to hospital in time and I think such people should be charged with homicide or sued, fucking assholes! It makes them look hypcritical when they are so self ceneterd to not care about other peoples lives. This can’t happen and the leaders or black lives mattter need to talk or discuss amonst themselves so that the ones doing this stop. Because it takes away from their movement when the rest are doing things right, but then they have stray protesters doing this bullshit and in return it’s going to cause people to tune out blm and turn away from the cause when they do bullshit like that.

    • It’s a vicious cycle that can build hate.

      Have you seen this? #‎BlackLivesMatter‬ + ‪#‎AllLivesMatter‬ + Police UNITE TOGETHER!

      • Yes that’s what is needed. Trying to meet in the middle and unify. Well you’ll hear the news anyway, but tonight another damn terrorist attack on France. As if they didn’t have enough the last time. A truck filled with grenades crashed into a crowd in Nice, France where people gathered watching fireworks. Reportedly atleast 80 people dead and tons injured. So the death toll could be more after they discover everybody there, as if 80 people dead isn’t bad enough. I’m so tired of human beings and this earth sometimes 😦

        It just doesn’t stop we have this stuff with cops getting shot, Fidel Castille, and then orlando shootings. The france attacks late last year and then another thing.

      • I’m starting to get mass killing fatigue. 😦

  9. The thing is, Us forces and Russia have caused ISIS to shrink. But with this success, and what happens when a group made out trying to have power. They get desperate and prone for more backlash. So while it’s good we’re causing ISIS to shrink, during this time it could be dangerous as ISIS tries fighting back and revenge. It makes me think when you said when countries are in the progression stage with civil rights, there’s the push back from status quo trying to regain their power, so it’s a volatile time. Unfortunatley right now could be a volatile time for our security or such countries because of this push back from a desperate faction losing ground.

    • Yeah. ISIL also seems to increase terrorism when they are doing poorly in terms of real power in an attempt to create the sense of being powerful so that more people will come to join forces. One of the reasons that 24-7 News coverage helps the enemy. Makes ISIL seem like a bigger deal than they are.

  10. It’s a mystery, this magnetic power women have over men. In fact it’s more than a mystery, it’s a bloody hassle. For starters, it’s one of the reasons women were so persecuted by the Christians, because they were a distraction from the spiritual life. Personally, my partner complains from time to time that I have all the sexual power in the relationship ie I have what he wants and I get to decide if he gets it or not. I didn’t ask for that, I don’t want it to be like that, I hate that there is some energetic transaction in our relationship. I think it’s gross. Yes, so it’s nice to be desired, sure, but it’s tiring as well.

    • Thanks for bringing this perspective to the discussion. I know that I have felt envy at times until learning the downside of what I had been envious of. There’s always another side, and it can be helpful to find that out.

      • It sucks that women have to deal with that side you’re talking about. I know you don’t want it to be like, but I don’t think it’s simply that you have the choice and body that your partner wants as well as other women having what their men want as well. But how it’s because it’s not reciprocated.I don’t think men would care how they wanted women if women wanted men just as much or just as lustful. That’s why it’s lopsided. Because there would still be a sexual power if men lusted for women, but women did back, but the different is that the power would be equal and men have it just as much. But men don’t have that power or most men don’t except those few heartthrob male, model looking actors or top athletes or top musicians.

        But then again the lust women have is for such guys is more so than looks and body but attraction to their status, charm and talents. Whereas we know how men can lust for women just for their sexy bodies. But yes, it’s true, it’s nice to have lustful women. But it gets complicated because unfortunately the few women or some women who are more lustful than average can be slut shamed. So women are damn if they do, damned if they don’t. So this power is despised, but when some women are up to the level of men with visual or sex interested, they get put down. So it is stupid how this repression is pretty convoluted. I think the slut shaming is often related to jealousy though from men and women.

      • I think the things that bother women about objectification are 1) feeling uncomfortable by being stared out or cat called 2) feeling uncomfortable when your partner stairs of someone else 3) your partner is so busy thinking about your body parts that it doesn’t feel like much of a connection 4) your partner is so busy thinking about your body parts that he doesn’t care about your feelings at all 5) about 80% of women have poor body image and feel like they aren’t a magnet any more than men feel like they are — the other side of the coin.

  11. I can relate to a lot of things within this post. As a teenager I felt less attractive then the girls I was friends with. At that point our value was really placed on how many girls wanted to be like us and how many boys liked us. The “popular” girls had cute or older boyfriends and you had to be attractive to attract any of those boys. What I didn’t realize or couldn’t see was that personality and confidence probably also had a lot to do with this. So my goal was to be as attractive as possible and when I got the desired attention I felt good at first but if there wasn’t a connection there other than a physical one it usually didn’t last long and therefore it didn’t lead to any meaningful relationships and left me feeling empty. As I got older I “blossomed” and had confidence and didn’t feel the need anymore to use my body to get attention from to men to feel validated. I had other interests and had became good at things that mattered to me and had more meaningful relationships in my life. However I still struggled to find a relationship that gave me real genuine connection. Initially physical attraction is what prompted most of my relationships but then it was hard to build on it. Now I feel more close to men that I connect with intellectually and emotionally. I like to feel funny and smart and interesting, thats what makes me feel attractive. I am attracted to men physically and can be attracted to men that make me laugh or are interesting that I wouldn’t necessarily be physically attracted to. Its interesting that our wants and needs flip flop and what satisfies us does as well. I’m sure it will continue to change for me.

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