What a One-Night Stand Guy Looks For ...

A new study suggests it's different from what a man interested in a long-term relationship pays attention to.

two people kissing
(Image credit: J. Rew)

Because I can be something of DUDE at times--in addition to being a student of male behavior--I have, on occasion, said, "Yeah, when it comes to a meaningless hook-up, all that really matters to a guy is a girl's bod, not looks so much." Here's my theory about why that's the case: A guy looking for a one-night-stand is usually inebriated; as such, it is easy for him, with his blurry vision, to think a not-so-pretty person actually has a pretty face--hence, ladies and gents, we have the term "beer googgles." But even a man who has been doing keg-stands is not likely to mistake a woman shaped like a fire hydrant for one shaped like an hourglass.

And--lo and behoid!--a recent study found that my conclusion was correct! Although the researchers behind it might take issue with my reasoning.

A new report out of the University of Texas at Austin found that men who are just looking for sex are more interested in a woman's body--while men who want to find a long-term partner consider a woman's face more closely. The academics behind this study postulate that the reason for this phenomenon has to do with evolutionary biology: A woman whose face looks young and purty will most likely have many years of reproductive good health ahead of her. along with great beautiful-baby-making genes--and will, therefore, be attractive to a man who is hoping to have kids with her one day down the road.

A woman's body is a better indicator of how fertile she might be in the present, however--and since evolutionary biologists theorize that all men have a desire, originating in their reptilian brains, to impregnate as many women as possible in order to make sure their DNA will survive through the ages, dudes who are into loving-and-leaving will prioritize a well-proportioned woman (with the kind of hips and breasts that indicate she will be a good child-bearer immediately) over a scrawny model type.


I actually think my beer goggles theory is better. Because a woman with a sexy shape who is looking for a one-night stand can do a lot to flaunt her body--attracting men from across the room and keeping them mesmerized close up with her hot figure--and to disguise her perhaps less-than-stellar looks with make-up and other grooming products. While a woman who is simply pretty but looking for a one-night stand might not be able to advertise her beauty quite as well.

What do you guys think? Do I sound like some kind of nutball?

Also, bonus factoid: The term that prompted this study was pretty hilarious. As one of the study's co-authors told Time magazine: "There are terms like 'butterface' out there — everything's perfect but-her-face. And that stimulated a thought about whether bodily attractiveness conveys something different than facial attractiveness."

I'd never heard that one before. Butterface.