It turns out that, while ovulating, lap dancers make better tips, or so sayeth this new study. Unfortunately, the bulk of the actual procedure seems more along the lines of data analysis (important, to be sure, but nonetheless somewhat boring), but there will hopefully be follow-up studies done in controlled environments and I humbly offer my services as a test subject to the noble scientists pursuing this line of research.
The story says that the researchers don’t believe that the effect is a result of “obvious things” such as speech patterns and dance movements, though while reading the story, my mind instantly went to the latter as explanation. Instead, they believe it might be something more subtle (conversely, the article also quotes Evolutionary Psychologist Karl Grammar, who does believe that it’s a result of body movement rather than pheromones), though don’t want to specify what that factor might be.
Obviously, the human mind is conditioned to be interested in sex (the most prominent search term for those who find this site is “sexy”), and I think this study offers a potentially new way of looking at the whole concept of sexiness. Women often find themselves obsessing over physical appearance with various diets, make-up, outfits, and cosmetic surgeries, but could the main scientific answer to “What is sexy?” be chemical?
The story reports that women on birth control did particularly poorly overall, in terms of tips, which begs the question could there be a similar “sex-appeal” control pill that makes women more desirable? I’ve certainly seen advertisements for pheromones that are likely little more than snake oil, but there would definitely be a demand for this kind of pill (and it wouldn’t necessarily work through pheromones, either — maybe the chemical just makes women move in a more alluring manner or maybe, for whatever reason, ovulating women are more confident or happy).
As a man, I can say that the women I’ve found to be the sexiest aren’t necessarily the ones that I’ve found to be the most attractive. There are many other factors at play rather than just appearance (like personality and intelligence, among other things), and many of these factors aren’t necessarily things I can put my finger on. Perhaps one of them is just my pure and simple naturally selected desire to reproduce and some unconscious detection on my part that this particular woman is fertile.