Women Prefer Feminine Men When on The Pill

Those birth control pills taken daily by women around the world might leave husky, masculine types (Daniel Craig) by the wayside, in favor of feminine, boyish types like Zac Efron or Leonardo DiCaprio.

Women who take the birth control pill may be attracted to different types of men than those who do not suggests a new study published in Trends in Ecology and Evolution.

"When you're on the pill you may choose partners who are more feminine or with different features," says Alexandra Alvergne of the Department of Animal and Plant Sciences at the University of Sheffield, one of the study's co-authors.

At different points in their cycle, women are attracted to different types of men Alvergne says. When women ovulate, they prefer masculine men with symmetrical faces who seem most "genetically dissimilar" to them – in other words, men who will father strong, healthy offspring, at least according to women's animal instincts.

During the rest of the month, women look for something different: men for the long haul, who seem caring, more feminine and more similar to them genetically.

"In the long run, you're looking for a parental investment, but for the genetic quality of the child, you're looking for good genes in the man," Alvergne says. "And you can't always have it all."

Upon reviewing seven recent studies, the researchers found that when women take birth control pills, and are not fertile, they are always attracted to the same type of guy – the more feminine one.

Whether this translates into mate choices remains unknown. But when two parents are too genetically similar it can affect the health of the offspring, or be more difficult to reproduce at all, and that may explain women's ovulation-time attraction to masculine characteristics. Also, when a woman meets a man while on the pill and then goes off it, it is possible that she could become less attracted to her partner and realize she craves someone a little more manly.

On the flip side, men also find non-ovulating women less attractive. In a study of lap dancers, the ovulating dancers earned $20 more per hour, on average.

According to the study, ovulation brings about physical changes in women that men pick up on, including changes in facial appearance, odour or voice pitch. As well, women may dress more provocatively or perceive themselves as more attractive when they are ovulating.

"For the same woman, if she takes the pill throughout all her cycles she's going to be less attractive on average than if she was off the pill," Alvergne says.

Increase in Men Going for Clinical Treatments

Age restoration, was once the exclusive realm of women. Now it is a unisex endeavour.

"I haven't slept in 10 years," says Lende, a top agent who specializes in downtown luxury homes.

"It's seven days a week, full speed. The eyes tell the story."

Slowly, the needle's clear liquid contents empty into the Toronto real estate agent's face in a ritual that is becoming increasingly common among men of a certain age anxious to smooth out the wrinkles.

Lende sits part of the male cosmetic procedure demographic: Mid-40s, successful and in an industry where appearance, especially youthfulness is essential to success.

Experts say real estate agents are among the leading group of male Botox-seekers.

"Presentation is part and parcel of the industry," says Lende. "If you're happy with your face it gives you more energy and vitality. It's not always inside out. It's often outside in."

Achieving the new 30 when you're in your 40s comes with options.

There are creams and serums, invasive cosmetic surgery. And then there is clinical, non-surgical treatments that plump, smooth, lift and brighten.

"We're not going to do anything drastic, just make you look like a better version of yourself," says Diana Phillips, the cosmetician at the DLK on Avenue clinic where Lende sought the fountain of youth.

The process included a "soft lift," microdermabrasion and a photo facial – words and phrases not previously part of the male lexicon.

The soft lift is done by injecting a combination of Juvederm, which promises to restore volume in hollowed-out cheeks and smooth out folds around the nose and mouth. And Botox, which is designed to turn back the clock on frown lines and crows feet.

It's not cheap.

The Juvederm treatment costs at $600 and up for a single treatment requiring a touch-up every six to nine months.

Botox treatments cost $350 and up for each session and must be repeated every three or four months,

Lende's youthful restoration also included intense pulse light (IPL) photo facial treatments in which a technician zaps uneven skin tone and broken capillaries (three to six treatments every two to four weeks; $350 and up for each treatment) and diamond microdermabrasion to suck up dead skin, exfoliate and brighten (three to six treatments every two to four weeks; $150 and up each).

"Men are slowly starting to realize there are options out there that will not drastically change their looks; rather, just make them look and feel younger," says Dr. Lisa Kellett, the Toronto dermatologist who owns the DLK clinic. "The benefit is that there is no surgery so, therefore, no downtime and more reasonable cost than surgery."

The before and after pictures tell the story. Weeks after his procedures, Lende does appear more rested and even youthful.

"I thought it was a subtle but distinct transformation," he says. "It's not a matter of wiping years off your face. But stress and exhaustion do dissipate. It's kind of like Photoshopping your face."

Vika Goodale, owner of Yorkville's Vikaspa, says there are days now when she sees more men than women.

""Men absolutely love facials and pedicures," she says. "When you have younger and younger and smarter guys coming in looking for your job, grooming is a big way of keeping up.

"It's a cultural change," says Dr. Nicholas Nikolov, a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon who has recorded a 30 per cent increase in male clients over the past three years.

"The perception is that people who are energetic and capable look youthful. Patients want to look younger so that the outside matches their enthusiasm and vigour inside."

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