Women’s 6 Biggest Turn-Offs, According to Science

Your handy guide of what not to do.

The mating game is tough. You’re with an incredible woman and all is going smooth as butter, but then one wrong move and suddenly it all falls apart—and you’re left wondering why. Sure, every woman has her own list of things she finds hot or not, but a group of researchers at the School of Social Sciences and Psychology in Western Sydney University put together the ultimate compilation of turn-offs through six studies for our collective dating edification. We dug a little deeper and broke it down.

1. Discriminating against others

Man or woman, nobody likes a racist. Surprise! Discriminatory remarks ooze negativity, and that isn’t very sexy. Negativity is known to induce stress, and stress isn’t good for female arousal. So it’s best to check those derogatory comments at the door if you want to get lucky. Or, you know, just be a decent human being.

2. Not taking care of yourself

Dark circles, wrinkly clothes, and the bad kind of bed head could be sealing your fate. The artfully disheveled look is sexy in the right context, but blatantly not taking care of yourself is a huge turn-off. Speaking in evolutionary terms, women subconsciously look for signs of vitality in potential mates to ensure a good genetic combo, so any potential kids turn out healthy. Also, women often subconsciously search out a man who can provide for her and her family, so if you look like you don’t even give enough shits to look after yourself, she won’t be too keen on getting with you.

3. Dating multiple people at the same time

Dating more than one person at once is a remnant of a mating mechanism from a period when people didn’t live very long, and men had sex with lots of women to make sure his lineage continued. *Sigh*, simpler times. These days, it seems we haven’t grown past this trait. Now, two timing will more often than not have women considering you no more evolved than the monkeys from whence we came.

4. Being bad in bed

Not knowing your way around the sheets is a massive turn-off. Shocked? Didn’t think so. Getting a woman off is a delicate art that unfortunately not a lot of men have mastered—think jamming all five fingers in her is a surefire road to an orgasm? Think again, champ. Women don’t enjoy that. Ask her what she wants, and be sure to actually listen.

5. Anger problems

Losing your shit over the small stuff is an easy way to make sure you stay single forever. Anger problems are turn-offs because men who go blind with rage are frankly kind of scary. Plus, it says a lot about how poorly you handle stress, and suggests that you’re not very good at interpersonal problem solving—no woman wants to be with a man who’s just going to make her life more difficult.

6. Smelling bad

Listen, no one wants a partner who smells gross. Women are a lot more sensitive to bad odors than men, and if you smell anything other than clean, it’s a turn-off. It doesn’t matter if you smell like sweat, Chinese food, or garbage; it’s all really unattractive. Believe us when we say: a shower, deodorant, and a little cologne can do wonders for your sex life. 

When all is said and done, these things are pretty damn easy to avoid. Basically, get your anger and hygiene in check, and you’ll be on the path to attracting a woman. You’re welcome.

Photos by Peter Zelei / Getty Image