I realize you're probably stressed about everything in your life — and here's one more fun thing to worry yourself ugly about: When you're stressed, you're less attractive to men. I know, it's all so stressful.
Researchers from Finland's University of Turku found that men find your worried woman face poisonous to their erections. However, when a woman is relaxed, they rate her as more attractive. I know, I'm blowing your mind with this groundbreaking information.
I'm not sure why such a study needs to exist — if you show me a picture of a dude grimacing and a dude smiling, I'm gonna tell you the smiling dude looks like a better lay. (Although I'd honestly probably be more attracted to the grimacing dude in the long run — grumpiness is nature's most potent aphrodisiac to the misanthropic lady.)
However, scientists insist this phenomenon of men being attracted to women who don't look like they're about to jump off a building just so everyone will stop asking them to fucking do everything CAN NOBODY DO ANYTHING THEMSELVES AROUND HERE is happening for very scientific reasons — and it can be studied by measuring the levels of cortisol in your blood.
Cortisol is a hormone that, among another things, suppresses the immune system and aids metabolism — and men find women more attractive if they have less of it coursing through their veins.
The lead researcher on the study, Dr. Markus Rantala, said:
"Perhaps, then, low levels of cortisol signal health in female faces.
“This would be consistent with many studies in humans that have found that stress has strong negative effect on health, including immune function, heart disease and susceptibility to cancer
“An alternative explanation is that facial attractiveness signals reproductive potential, which is mediated partly by stress hormones.”
Basically, if you have lower levels of cortisol in your blood, your face will signal that you are healthy and fertile and it's time for him to put a baby in you (puke I mean so sexy). If you're stressed out, you become a hag-faced crone and can go back to burying yourself in paperwork because who could want you anyway, crone?
Ultimately, these infinitesimal differences in cortisol levels most likely don't matter when you meet someone you really like. My guess is that the real problem is that it's really fucking hard to meet someone when you're always stressed out. Convincing yourself that you have the time and energy to expend on dating is a job in and of itself — and one that offers very little incentive in terms of the benefit to risk ratios.
If the stress of work and life already has you picking out patches of hair and popping anti-anxiety meds like they're delicious Skittles, your first priority probably isn't slogging through OKCupid to find the least awful person to meet at fucking Starbucks for what's most likely going to be an awkward, awful encounter.
I'm not helping with the stress thing, am I?
Image via Getty.