‘It’s magic each time we hold each other, each time we cuddle, and each time we kiss. I feel goosebumps all over again. I never want to let you go for fear of losing you, so I just hold on a little bit tighter each day, refusing to let go. You will never know the warmth I feel inside me when I’m with you. You’re all I ever wanted.”

OK cue the scratched record, enough of that stuff – What is it that attracts the sexes? In heterosexual relationships it is partly humour. Women tend to be attracted to men that can make them laugh and men are attracted to women who laugh at their jokes. Which seems really quite logical in retrospect, since humour is a fairly easy compatibility signal to interpret.

So what else do women find desirable in a sexual partner? Well, according to a recently published book it is warmth, kindness and the smarts, essentially the same thing as men profess to admire. However, women in general rank social status as greater importance than physical attractiveness, and in western ‘culture’ social status means a big, (that’s right size does matter) – salary. That substance called money, tends to be an aphrodisiac for women although according to self reported claims, women and men rank warmth, kindness and the smarts as more important than attractiveness and the size of the bank account…

Other factors in the game of love are slightly more primal than social status. Like hormones that race through the female system especially revolving around the ovulatory cycle, however those influencing factors only come into play in the short-term or uncommitted dalliances as opposed to long-term relationship preferences. Here we get into the real primal aspect of sex – like rutting dogs in the park kind-of-a-way. Fertile women seem to like deeper voices, and alpha males, and will actually pay more attention to baubles which they perceive to denote social status. Oh, vanity of vanities, all is vanity!

Ladies will flirt, a decidedly non-verbal form of hello. However guys are not the best at reading non-verbal signals, and will err on the side of thinking that a smile is a flirt when it’s just a smile.  Ladies will also attract a mate by the way they dress. Austrian researchers measured the amount of estradiol and testosterone in the saliva of women who self reported that they were motivated to get a sex partner. Sure enough, those with the higher levels of hormones in their spit wore more revealing clothing than women who were not so interested in obtaining a sex partner. And, caution here guys and girls, the women did so when they were at their most fertile point in the ovulatory cycle.

Primal indeed.