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Welcome to Day 17, Intellectual Badasses! We’re talking about attraction, and how masculinity and femininity play a role in creating attraction between two people. Yesterday, I covered how a man can lead with his masculinity. Today, I will talk about femininity and its importance in creating attraction in men.

I had a client once; she was young, very pretty, athletic, and smart – she was an IB, an engineer. She was great, and the kind of woman who should have no problem getting dates. But she was in a dating desert, despite her efforts. After some investigation, I realized why: she had too much masculine energy. Being athletic, hanging around guys, and being raised with 3 brothers, she’d learned to be one of the guys. As a result, men liked her, but weren’t often attracted to her.

I could identify with this. In my younger years, I was just like her. And when I began getting more in touch with my feminine side, without changing anything important about myself, the date offers started rolling in.

Another example: I have a lot of colleagues who are matchmakers. And of the female clients they get, the most common is the smart, successful career woman who has tons going for her… and lots of masculine energy. Ironically, the traits that help her succeed in her career can backfire with men.

Does this mean a female IB needs to back off on her career, hide her accomplishments, or become some sort of ultra-feminine siren who lives in lingerie and red lipstick? God no. If so, I’d be in trouble. No – as with many IB men, IB women are often well-balanced on the masculine-feminine spectrum, and that’s a good thing. However, if you find that you intimidate men, that you aren’t getting dates despite the fact that you’re attractive and smart, or you have plenty of guys friends but no boyfriends, it couldn’t hurt to try leading with your feminine side.

Here are a few suggestions to try. As with the guys, experiment and see what works. This is about making small shifts and letting your feminine side emerge.

Wear color. Simple, right? Attraction begins with your appearance, and color stimulates the emotions and looks less business-like than wearing neutrals. Think red, pink, purple, blue… not black, gray, khaki, or beige.

Avoid business wear. Suits, pinstripes, neutrals, and boxy jackets are for work, not dates. They say “business.”

Wear something feminine. Hey, I rarely wear dresses and hate skirts. You couldn’t pay me to wear lace, sequins, or ruffles. But I have found some dresses that fit my style. When I was dating, I wore jeans, but made sure I wore a colorful top that fit well, or a pair of heels. Dressing like a girl – whatever that means to you – attracts men.

Smile. Smiling is feminine, and makes men feel comfortable around you.

Don’t try to impress. Like I talked about on Day 10, trying to impress usually backfires. Double that if you’re female. If you’re smart or accomplished, he’ll figure that out. What impresses him more is your listening skills and how you make him feel.

Compliment and acknowledge. Compliment his shirt, his great arms, his great hair. Show that you understand where he’s coming from when he says he loves Big Bang Theory. Men love compliments and to be acknowledged.

Ask for help. Many smart women are do-it-yourselfers. No self-respecting IB wants to look helpless, right? But it never hurts to get some help. Men love to feel useful and chivalrous, so ask them for help moving a heavy object, setting up your new flat screen TV, picking out a new computer. Sure, you could figure it out on your own, but why not make the job easier and make a man feel good?

Let him take the lead. It’s okay to approach men, initiate conversation, or show friendly interest, but let him ask you out. Let him call you (he will if he’s interested). Let him plan the date. Avoid taking charge or chasing men, which scares them away.

Show gratitude. Always thank a man for a date, especially if he pays for anything. Men want to feel appreciated.

Don’t argue or challenge. Some women want to seem “sassy” or like they aren’t pushovers, so they’ll argue about politics or challenge a man’s belief that humans are meant to eat meat. As I talked about on Day 11, it’s better to avoid doing this. Confident people don’t need to prove their own strength to others.


Men like strong, smart, successful women… but they’re biologically attracted to femininity. And, yes – you can be smart/successful AND still attract men with your femininity. If you’re a female Intellectual Badass, never change – just let that feminine side of you emerge when around men you’re interested in.

What say you? Gals: what seems to charm men? Guys: what makes you suddenly attracted to a woman?

Some useful links:

A recap of what we’ve covered so far in the 30-Day IB Campaign

Christie’s books