Not Very Romantic

Did anybody else watch “Secrets of the Sexes” on BBC1 this evening? Urgh, I’m yet again embarrassed to be male. The premise was a ‘scientific dating agency’, which matched people using facial characteristics, compatibility tests and various psychological profiles. It was a pretty interesting idea. They gathered 20 men and 20 women for a speed-dating session, making predictions as to who would find who most attractive.

Various subjects were interviewed beforehand as to what they wanted in a perfect match. The number of men who specifically stated they wanted somebody who could cook and clean…it was pathetic! They also put the men in front of a software program to design their ideal partner’s body shape. About half were realistic, but there were a fair number with anatomically impossible shapes, particularly in the breast area. Lara Croft + a good few cup sizes, with a teeny tiny waist, was popular. The ‘average’ build from the 20 men wasn’t as ridiculous, thankfully, with a 32C/D chest size. The most important result was a confirmation of other studies which found the waist:hips ratio to be the most important characteristic. It’s been proven that women with smaller waists and wider hips have a higher fertility rate, so evolutionarily speaking this trait of the male psyche makes perfect sense. In today’s society it of course makes no real difference, but it’s interesting to have it explained.

The biggest wankers of the show, though, were members of the “London Seduction Society”. Geez. These guys meet up to discuss the best ways to seduce women, and have talks and lectures on various techniques. As if this isn’t seedy enough, their behaviour was bloody appalling! Anna of little red boat wrote about similar guys recently, and it’s something I wasn’t really aware of. They basically criticise the women in order to make them grateful somebody is taking an interest. They’ll ask why the women are still single and suggest reasons why – one guy even said “so you couldn’t entertain me, then?” – and generally be terribly full of themselves. Ugh. After meeting everybody, each person wrote down those they’d been attracted to. It was extremely funny when two of the three society members had no women interested, while the other guy had one. Most of the nicer blokes were chosen by two or three women, so this was at least a vindication of my particular views on how to treat people.

The predictions failed almost completely. Particularly interesting was that while married couples tend to have similar faces, none of the similarly-faced couples selected each other. Odd. The scientists, in true scientific-method fashion, said that they’d work on more hypotheses. It was nice that the show didn’t feel the need to take the mickey at this point; it approached the whole thing as the experiment it was, rather than a ground-breaking discovery that failed. I’m not sure how scientific an approach it really was – 20 couples isn’t really a large enough number, I’d say – but it was an interesting show nonetheless.

I’ve not really spent any time in pubs / clubs / anywhere that people flirt generally, so watching these people talk and try to attract each other was something of an eye-opener. I’m not sure I’d be able to do it! It just seemed so false. I think I’ve watched too many romantic comedies – I just want my very own Sleepless in Seattle 🙂