12/11/2012 01:14 pm ET Updated Feb 10, 2013

What Women Want: Fun, Creative Guys

What do women want? It's really not a mystery anymore, thanks to the burgeoning area of sexual selection research. To attract the attention of the females of the species, all you need to do is:

Learn to play guitar -- or just pose with one. Simply hand a guy a guitar, and he becomes instantly sexy, according to a recent study by a team of Israeli researchers. A guy who posted a picture of himself with his guitar got almost three times as many positive responses from single women than the same guy without the guitar. Why did it work? Playing a musical instrument may signal that you have the money and leisure time to learn an otherwise useless skill, the researchers posit.


Join an improv troupe. Having a "sense of humor," being "playful," and "fun-loving" topped the list of traits that women prefer in their mates, says a new study out of Penn State. According to the researchers, lightheartedness signals that a potential mate is unlikely to be a wife beater or commit infanticide. This seems like a stretch to me. Perhaps playfulness signals that you would be good with kids. Playfulness also fuels a variety of other positive traits, including creativity, researchers say.

Practice your dance moves. There's a reason so many hook-ups happen in the club. Dancing lays bare otherwise imperceptible genetic glitches in guys, according to research published in Nature. Women also prefer men who show core strength, coordination and flexibility in their dance moves, scientists have found.

Get rich -- or just lease a Porsche. When looking to hook-up, women actually respond to conspicuous displays of consumption, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education. However, for women seeking a long-term mate, a guy with a Honda Civic was just as attractive as one who had recently bought the Porsche.

Interestingly, these findings don't hold true for men. In fact, if a guy says he likes women with a sense of humor, he probably means someone who laughs at his jokes, rather than making jokes of her own, research suggests. So what do guys want? Young hotties. Yes, it seems that, while women want funny guys, guys don't really want funny gals -- they just want women with fresh eggs. Of course, these preferences are gross generalizations and wildly heteronormative. But if I were a guy, I'd definitely play up these traits on my online dating profile. Since I am a woman, however, my only good option is to replace my profile picture with one of Miranda Kerr.