Meanwhile Tom, who is one barstool over, is caught in a different struggle.
And how many men have bravely catalogued the qualities of particular women that threaten their ego, and thereby their arousal?
But one area, at least, seems to be a no-brainer: a man's own physical likes and dislikes.
He senses in her an unswerving confidence in herself and in the cosmos, and a capacity for aggression, that make him feel he may be out of his league.
So Randy is leaning toward a no on the "lover" issue, except for one thing: he has noticed that Rachel (who is wearing an attractive taupe business suit) has long, very good legs, and Randy is a confirmed leg man.
What we're talking about is, how do men pick out which women they are going to try for. All this may strike the sensitive, intelligent woman as superficial, even offensive. "True beauty is on the inside," women cry out from the salons of the world.
Nor am I condoning, excusing or endorsing men's methods. "Besides," I hear them say, "we women are forgiving of men's looks -- why can't men return the favour?But he opted out of court work because it was too scary, and he is very conscious of a threat to his ego in this woman.Those legs make him wish that she didn't intimidate him, but he can't fight the verdict of his genes.(He is having trouble getting good views of her legs, because he is right next to her, and has to lean back and tilt his head to inspect them.) To make matters worse, Rachel has said she is a criminal lawyer.Randy is a tax lawyer, and they are bantering about the legal scene.We will take a clear-eyed look at that question, and maybe we will find that the truth has some redeeming qualities. They don't proceed in a politically correct, enlightened way to select a woman. Evolution wants the mating process to succeed, and so it makes sure that men home in on that which will be conducive to success, regardless of how unrefined this strategy may be. "Well, it's because the genes that triggered that kind of behaviour had the best chance of survival down through the ages, until all the men who were left had those genes." In other words, an obsession with reproduction leads to a better reproductive score . Right online.) Now let us ask, what are men looking for? If you're feeling cynical, your answer may be, "Cameron Diaz." Or if you happen to look like Cameron Diaz, your equally discouraged answer may be "Kiera Knightly." But this is so wrong it is laughable. A face that strikes one man as masculine may seem feminine to another. Men -- regardless of their conscious attitude to having kids--are designed to look for good reproducers; a low waist-to-hip ratio of around .70 signifies "likely to be a success at bearing children." (Larger waists relative to the hips have been linked to lower estrogen levels, less body fat available to sustain pregnancy and lower fertility.) And in both sexes, facial beauty is associated with grace, intelligence, popularity and, in general, fitness for survival.