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Red Lipstick or Stilettos? Men Tell Us What’s Hot and What’s Not

By iVillage

Red LipstickBy Michele Laufik

We asked a bunch of regular Joes and a couple relationship experts for their honest take on sexual stereotypes and come-hither cliches. Find out what’s overrated and what’ll work like a charm

Hot: Red Lipstick

Men who kiss and tell claim a red pout is the hottest. The reason? “Her lips look flushed and engorged with blood, like the vaginal lips during sexual arousal,” explains Yvonne Fulbright, PhD., Astroglide Ambassador. According to research, men are simply following in the footsteps of their primate ancestors. The faces, genitals and backsides of female baboons and chimpanzees turn red during ovulation, an obvious mating signal to males. A bright, crimson pucker doesn’t just trigger a primal instinct, though. As one fella explains, “It says that she’s got confidence.”

Not: Stilettos

Your skyscraper stilettos may make your legs look a mile long and give your tush a little extra oomph, but if they’re like a vice clamp for your tootsies, keep them in the closet. Your guy doesn’t want to hear you complaining about your barking dogs all night. It’s the opposite of sexy and a universal turn-off among the men we consulted. Plus, your date may be sensitive about his height (and yours). “The sexiness of stilettos cannot overcome the un-sexiness of the woman now towering over me,” explains Sam Greenspan, creator of and author of 11 Points Guide to Hooking Up. Unless you know he’s into women taller than him, play it safe for now — ditch the killer heels and stock up on cute flats.

Hot: Long Hair

A recent survey by hair care manufacturer Pantene found that 82 percent of men believe healthy hair is the secret to a woman’s sex appeal — even more so than big breasts and cleavage! And nearly half of them favored long hair. Long tresses represent femininity and youth, which indicate fertility and a gal’s baby mama potential, explains Fulbright. But you don’t have to be Rapunzel to win a guy’s heart; they just “need a little to grab onto,” explains one man. As for gentlemen preferring blondes, that’s an outdated adage. Brunettes and redheads received just as much love from our guys as did the fair-haired ladies.

Not: Brazilian Bikini Waxes

Even if your man is a fan of The Karate Kid (1984 or 2010) that doesn’t mean he wants you to wax on, wax off. Although some men really dig ladies who are totally bare down there, most say that it’s overrated — just keep what you’ve got neat and tidy. The porn industry has promoted the Brazilian look, which has worked its way into pop culture, points out Fulbright. But channeling your inner porn star doesn’t mean you’ve got to spend time in the waxing room. Historically, a woman with bushy nether regions was the norm, adds Fulbright, and it meant that she was of child-bearing age. Score another one for Mother Nature!

Hot: Cleavage

This, er, overexposed cliché still remains a tried-and-true turn-on. “I’ve yet to meet a man who doesn’t like cleavage,” says Greenspan. “It’s about as foolproof as it gets.” Another guy agreed, adding: “There’s never too much.” Basically, boobs are kryptonite for guys. “Many men will tell you that they’re drawn to the parts of women that they don’t have, such as cleavage,” says Fulbright. Stressing that breasts can be especially attractive when “packaged for his pleasure.” Note to ladies: Invest in a good push-up bra!

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