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Life Isn't All Funbags And Games

I love my girlfriend, including her small breasts, which are nicely proportional to her small body. But, the sight of big breasts does more than distract me, it makes me reconsider everything with my girlfriend. Not being 16, I recognize that giving in to impulses to get close to big breasts will probably be far more complicated than it's worth. I guess I'm a victim of Playboy and the rest. Is there a way to dial this impulse down a notch or two?

--Breast Stressed

There’s nothing like trying very, very hard not to think of big breasts to get you doodling them in the margins of your invoices at work. And then your boss wants to know why all your zeroes have little dots inside them. “Uh…leaky pen?”

Do you really think you’d be into small boobs if only the ones Playboy featured were a little less melon-like and a little more like two Red Hots on a wall? There’s actually a good chance a desire for big breasts predates Hugh Hefner by, oh, 10,000 to 1.8 million years or so. That’s when men evolved to go for the features they still go for today -- based on which women would be the healthiest, most fertile candidates for passing on their genes. Maybe that’s why some of the biggest honking hooters you’ll see are on a Paleolithic statue of a woman estimated to be roughly 250,000 years old.

“Barbie--Manufactured by Mattel, Designed by Evolution” is a chapter in the new book on human behavior, Why Beautiful People Have More Daughters. In it, the authors, evolutionary psychologists Alan S. Miller and Satoshi Kanazawa, reference research that suggests women with big breasts are more fertile, and women with both big breasts and small waists are much more fertile. In fact, data from the study, led by Polish researcher Grazyna Jasienska, showed that women with the latter shape have about 30 percent higher levels of the reproductive hormone estradiol, which could mean these women would be “almost three times as likely to get pregnant as other women.”

Unfortunately, being able to say “Evolution made me do it!” won’t get the elephant in the red satin push-up bra out of the room. I called Kanazawa to discuss your question, and he advised, “I think it’s more mature to recognize that there’s no perfect mate…and if she has 90 percent of what he wants, he’s doing better than most people.” Well, yes, but knowing what’s mature and being satisfied with what’s mature are two different things. The reality is, nobody spots somebody from across the room and wants to have sex with them because they look like they’d be kind to puppies.

Of course, in society’s eyes, you’re shallow and horrible for caring about a woman’s breast size -- unless you’re one of those guys who finds big boobs vulgar and unattractive, in which case you have a “preference” for smaller ones. I’m guessing you wanted to be “better than that,” and to buy into the idea that physical attraction shouldn’t be so important -- and went on your first date with this woman as the person of higher consciousness you aspire to be instead of the hooterhound you are. Cutting back on your exposure to big boobage may help, but since you say a mere sighting makes you “reconsider everything,” you need to be honest with yourself about exactly how big a thing you have for bigguns. You can love your girlfriend’s beautiful mind, and appreciate “the little things,” but this isn’t going to end well if, for you, the cup is not just half-empty, but filled with wadded-up Kleenex.

Posted by aalkon at October 3, 2007 5:18 AM

Comments

Al Bundy: "Hooters, hooters, yum, yum yum;
Hooters, hooters on a girl that's dumb"

Posted by: The Mad Hungarian at October 3, 2007 10:01 AM

As a 32C I can tell you if your girlfriend knew you were ready to leave her just because of her cup size, she'd probably leave you first. At least if she had any guts she would. I know Amy always loves to put 100% of the blame on evolution/biology/data/whathaveyou, which is fine, but I don't believe that's the whole story. I think butts are the new boobs. I say this based on ads/stars/store mannequins i.e. anything you're seeing now. As a white girl with a "black girl body" (I wouldn't have noticed, but they might be right) this is all good news for me. I might not have a round thing in yo face but I have a small waist, nice hips and a fantabulous @$$. So I think media has a lot to do with which part of the curvature we're currently fixating on. Besides I thought I read the waist to hip ratio is the one that really counts? Anyway I digress. I always (perhaps erroneously?) assumed that boob guys would leave me alone, and if I found out I was with one, what a shame for us both! I want someone who really, really appreciates my best features, not someone who pines for someone else's. Go find someone with a bigger rack. Watch 'em sag. Go for it. But let your GF find a guy who appreciates the "athletic" type. It just makes the most sense.

Posted by: Wendy B at October 3, 2007 10:21 AM

I have ENORMOUS boobs, and I had a boyfriend who, I figured out, thought big boobs were vulgar. That was the end of that.

People should be honest about what they're attracted to -- forget the notion, pushed on all of us by feminists and people who flunked biology, that what's inside is all that really matters.

P.S. I agree with you that butts are the new boobs. And like you, well, I once had a guy come up to me on the street in NYC and say, "Never seen a body like that on a white woman!"

Posted by: Amy Alkon at October 3, 2007 11:03 AM

LW didn't quantify "big". Representing my fellow knuckledraggers, a C cup is impressive, if not huge, so I suspect LW might notice you. I like them large, too, but my most memorable ex had smallish ones.

I suggest he follow Amy's advice and, if he chooses to stay with his GF, treat it as what it is: an irritating but not dangerous biological imperative that he can condition himself to ignore.

Posted by: DaveG [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 3, 2007 11:10 AM

I think BS should dump his girlfriend and get a girl that has the boob size that turns him on. He's just going to be unhappy and probably screw around on her and then feel guilty. She can probably tell he's not diggin' her boobs, which is a huge insult and turnoff.

I've got big boobs too (34DD), a nice small waist, tight little ass and long legs, so I'm pretty much one-stop shopping. The guy I'm seeing now is into my ass & legs, which is OK by me.

Posted by: Chrissy [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 3, 2007 11:49 AM

Did not anyone else here see that this kid is only 16? Or did I get that wrong? That, to me, is the main issue here. Maybe that would explain the obsession with big boobs...duh! After he's seen several more different pairs, I'm sure he will settle down...

As far as the A$$ being the new body part fixated on, I would have to agree. You can tell alot more about a woman by her A$$ than by her boobs...

Posted by: theothermike at October 3, 2007 12:08 PM

"Did not anyone else here see that this kid is only 16? Or did I get that wrong? "

"Not being 16..."

You got it wrong, t'othermike. Sorry. :)

Posted by: lily at October 3, 2007 12:11 PM

Isn't this just a case of wanting that which he doesn't currently have? As Bill Maher once said: "there's no such thing as big breasts, small breasts, fat, or skinny; there's just old pussy and new pussy."

Posted by: snakeman99 at October 3, 2007 12:13 PM

He's not 16. He's in his early 30s.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at October 3, 2007 12:31 PM

Oh I forgot to mention music. Music too. JT's "Lovestoned" and Kanye's "The Good Life." We like the girls that ain't on tv cuz they got more @ss than the models.

Don't let the C in 32C fool you. 32 means I'm small, body wise. I am not a board by any means, but it takes the best contraption Victoria's Secret can engineer to create cleavage.
I don't mind. If I ever want boobs that bad, I'll buy em. I have thought about it at times but it's a big risk, not to mention a lot of money to spend on what would more or less be the most expensive sex toys I ever bought.

So I look on the bright side. You can't fake the junk in the trunk, you can't make it round if it ain't, and you can't be expected to cover it up at work. I can't get in trouble for a pencil skirt, but a plunging top is a NO-NO.

I think Amy and I may be distantly related. (Well I like to flatter myself.) Face shape, forehead, nose, all similar. That sounds stalker-ish but it's true...

Posted by: Wendy B at October 3, 2007 12:46 PM

while it's true that there is much about our collective behavior that is coded in our DNA, having been selected for in the evolutionary process over millenia, it is absolutely NOT the case that there is some fixed sociobiological mean toward which all human behavior irresistably tracks. we have a perplexing tendency to site, in these instances, theory as fact and particularly so when theory supports, even endorses what might otherwise be regarded as 'bad' behavior. there are many reasons why a woman might choose as a partner a man who is a football player-senator-sculptor-brain surgeon all rolled into one superstar dude, but many, even the majority of those reasons evaporate when she learns he's already married. sociobiologically-speaking, i should still mate with that fellow as he swims in the deep-end of the gene pool, but i don't. why? b/c my frontal lobes are capable of modulating my limbic-based drives. consider that there is no biological imperative to seek pain (in fact, the imperative is to avoid it), yet many of us routinely train for marathons or engage in S&M sex. what explains that?

Posted by: somegirl at October 3, 2007 1:07 PM

Re: "You can tell alot more about a woman by her A$$ than by her boobs..."

OK, I give up. What can you tell about a woman by her tushy that you can't by her boobs?

Posted by: Beth at October 3, 2007 1:19 PM

"OK, I give up. What can you tell about a woman by her tushy that you can't by her boobs?"

That she keeps herself in shape for one. You can be born with or buy boobs. Got to work for an ass.

Posted by: snakeman99 at October 3, 2007 1:37 PM

"If I ever want boobs that bad, I'll buy em. I have thought about it at times but it's a big risk"

Query - common sense agrees with you that any surgery is a risk, but is it really that big a risk these days? The population of the enhanced would seem contrary to that. Any knowledge out there on this one?

Posted by: snakeman99 at October 3, 2007 1:40 PM

I wonder how BS would feel if his girlfriend wrote to Amy and told her:

I love my boyfriend, including his small dick, which is nicely proportional to her small body. But, the sight of big bulging crotches does more than distract me, it makes me reconsider everything with my boyfriend. Not being 16, I recognize that giving in to impulses to get close to big dicks will probably be far more complicated than it's worth. I guess I'm a victim of Playgirl and the rest. Is there a way to dial this impulse down a notch or two?

What a tool. o_O

Posted by: Flynne at October 3, 2007 1:45 PM

which is nicely proportional to her small body

"her" shoulda been "his"! ooooops!

Posted by: Flynne [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 3, 2007 1:47 PM

Um snakeman....

I don't work for my @ss. Never have. That's the beauty of it. If you're attracted to what I call a bad case of the Stairmasters, that's not what we're talking about. Soooo gross. Did you start looking at girlie mags in the mid-80's by any chance?

PS having a nice @ss I think is mostly in the hips. You don't see a nice booty unless there's good framework to support it. The spine...pelvic bone....it has NOTHING to do with gyms.

PPS the risk I'm talking about with plastic surgery is the risk of them not looking good. I'm not afraid I'd die under anesthesia as much as I'm afraid of looking like two aliens are attempting to burst through my chestal area. That sh-t is nasty.

Posted by: Wendy B at October 3, 2007 2:09 PM

Re "Ass is the new boobs". Girls, don't buy it that fashion changes what guys look at. It really is in the genes and does not change with time, but does change from one man to the next. And it's not easy to pinpoint. It took me quite some years to understand what features of a female body trigger this little switch in my brain that produces this "wow, she's hot" thoughts, because, as evolutionary psychologists and Amy will tell you, the brain looks at lots of things, weighs them all by every one's individual formula and them comes up with some guess on fertility. So, what's in this formula? A guy does not know exactly if he does not observe himself very carefully, And if you ask him, he might in fact say whatever is currently in vogue. But this does not influence his genetically rooted formula to assess hotness but only his *guess* about what exactly the limbic system in his brain takes into account in the calculation.

Posted by: Simon at October 3, 2007 2:12 PM

Re "Ass is the new boobs". Girls, don't buy it that fashion changes what guys look at. It really is in the genes and does not change with time, but does change from one man to the next.

It's not that guys aren't into breasts anymore -- that would be ridiculous (you rightly point out that what we're attracted to is in the genes). It's just that there's more emphasis on ass and white women are more comfortable emphasizing ass...and men are noticing. Ass is in!

Posted by: Amy Alkon at October 3, 2007 2:16 PM

One danger of breast implant surgery: silicone poisoning. My stepmother had her implants removed because of silicone poisoning. It impacted all aspects of her life. After a while, she was allergic to nearly everything she ate, even too much sunlight. She was sick a lot and tired a lot and didn't know why. Finally, she read about silicone poisoning, and had them removed in a long difficult surgery. Not one month had gone by before many of her symptoms had completely disappeared, and after a year she was completely healthy.

Even the newer saline ones have some silicone in the lining, I hear. I wouldn't chance it.

Plus there is the rather obvious point of having your nipples cut with a scalpel.

But the biggest reason I can think of against the surgery? The attention for "bigguns" is not worth it. I've had big breasts all my adult life and it's a big problem most of the time. They get in the way of driving the car, they hurt when I retain water, I can't sleep on my stomach and it's hard to get men to hear anything I am saying. The only time it comes in handy is when I need to get a bartender's attention. Mostly, the "benefit" of the cleavage is that men talk to my chest. Would that be worth having surgery for, for heavens' sake? I think not.

Posted by: jennifers at October 3, 2007 2:25 PM

32C and you have a hard time getting cleavage? I am 36C.. was 32B until I gained about 20lbs. I have cleavage without trying. I guess that 32 vs. 36 really matters. I did not think it did. Hm, learn something even at my age.

Posted by: Melody at October 3, 2007 2:29 PM

"....it has NOTHING to do with gyms."

*Disagree. What's "gross" about athletic women?

"PPS the risk I'm talking about with plastic surgery is the risk of them not looking good."

*Agree wholeheartedly. I think fake 'uns look great in clothes and pretty bad just about any other way.

Posted by: snakeman99 at October 3, 2007 2:59 PM

Well, there are advantages to being a breast man...

Posted by: Jessica at October 3, 2007 6:52 PM

Well, there are advantages to being a breast man...

(Apologies if this is a double post. Serves me right for not having Javascript on.)

Posted by: Jessica at October 3, 2007 6:54 PM

Well, as an A-cup, I totally think this guy should...break up with the girlfriend. Not because it would be good for him - while I don't hate him or anything, I really don't care much about his well-being one way or another. He should do it because his girlfriend *deserves* to have a boyfriend who thinks that she's hot, not one who's trying to build an intellectual case for the matter.


Forgot if I saw this here, or elsewhere, but I distinctly remember reading a letter to an advice columnist a few years ago (maybe Dear Prudence) in which a middle-aged woman was complaining that her husband was buying short-short skirts and skimpy tops for her to wear when they went out on the weekends, despite the fact that she was (in her own words) too heavy and too mature to dress that way. Didn't he know, she asked, how ridiculous that made her look? But actually (as the advice columnist pointed out)...he didn't. When he looked at her, he still saw her as smokin' hot. THIS is the way things are supposed to work in long-term relationships. If Amy's latest LW doesn't think his girlfriend is quite hot now, he's got no hope of doing so when she's that age. Obviously, not every relationship is going to continue on that long, but if you're in a relationship, for whatever reason, in which you don't think the other person is hot, then you're in a relationship with a limited shelf life, unless you're a masochist. You don't have to have big boobs for someone else to find you overwhelmingly attractive. You don't have to look like Angelina Jolie. I'd say you do have to take care of yourself, and you do have to figure out on what things you're willing to compromise in a mate, but just because People magazine's not rushing to take your picture doesn't mean that SOMEONE who has other fine qualities isn't going to think that you're hot.


This guy is in his early 30s. I'm willing to bet his girlfriend is around the same age. If she wants kids, she doesn't have a vast amount of time left - and while, Freya knows, it's very possible she doesn't want kids, that's a decision that she should be able to make for herself, not have made by a waffling boyfriend who feels he should be able to surmount his hormones and settle down with an "acceptable choice" but just can't quite do it. The whole I-need-big-boobs thing doesn't make him a better human being, but it doesn't make him loathsome. The guy who denies the big-boob thing until he gets caught in the closet at the Christmas party schtupping the double-D carpool buddy of his wife is loathsome.


Besides...in my experience, it wouldn't be the first time that a person seized on one characteristic of his or her SO in a vain attempt to figure out why, though the SO looks perfect on paper, he/she just isn't feeling any attraction. Maybe this guy really has realized that he MUST have big boobs...or maybe he wants to settle down, and feels that he SHOULD adore his nice girlfriend, but is being betrayed by a subconscious looking for something, anything to settle on. Amy read the whole letter, so she presumably knows more than I do, but just thought I'd throw that out there. This isn't the woman for him. He's wasting her time. He needs to end things now (without ever, EVER admitting the boob-size thing to ANYONE, except maybe his shrink - no need to give the girl a complex) and free her up to find a better match. Oh, and he needs to avoid whining afterwards that there are "no good women left." And he needs to hop to it. While guys who think big boobs are "vulgar" need to be avoided and mocked on principle, somewhere out there is a gentleman or gentlemen who'll appreciate his girlfriend as she deserves, and somewhere out there is a woman trying to find a heavy-duty sports bra who would love to think that SOMEONE is enjoying her knockers.

Posted by: marion at October 3, 2007 6:59 PM

ok, i guess I interpreted "not being 16" literally...ok, my bad...!

A womans a$$ tells alot about her, and its not all genetics. A nice tight little booty may not say that she works out, but it sure does say she did not let herself go. And, lets face, you ALL have boobs, but you all don't have a great A$$. I disagree with above, where it is stated that working out does not build a great A$$...that is a complete line of BS Wendy! A fat A$$ is just that, all fat! A gym is to work that off and turn it into muscle! But, I guess YOU were born with a perfecto butt, and never have to work at it. Well, thats pretty depressing for all the millions of women at the gym trying to work theirs off...maybe your definition of a "great A$$" is somewhat different than a males. Jennifer Lopez might have a butt that you could shelve books on, but the only reason it looks good is that the rest of her is NOT proportional with that butt. If it was, she would weigh 250 pounds.

As far as bigguns go..you can have 'em. Give me the little athletic ones any day...

Posted by: theothermike at October 3, 2007 7:03 PM

OK - where is all this "he should break up with her for both their sakes" vehemence coming from? Maybe I'm misreading LW, but it sounds to me that he's just finding himself looking at other women with different attributes. I thought that was normal. He clearly states that his GF's figure IS attractive, and he's asking Amy for advice on how to set his oglers on "reasonable." Instead of having him focus on the GF's attributes that he DOES like, somehow Marion has turned this into a referendum on the GF's lifetime reproductive odds!! (Sorry to single you out Marion; FWIW, I typically find your posts very focused).

Seriously, most men (and I'm sure women, too) can list something physical about their partner they'd change as one of their three wishes - and most men typically can list more things their women better not change!

Posted by: snakeman99 at October 3, 2007 7:14 PM

in which a middle-aged woman was complaining that her husband was buying short-short skirts and skimpy tops for her to wear when they went out on the weekends, despite the fact that she was (in her own words) too heavy and too mature to dress that way. Didn't he know, she asked, how ridiculous that made her look? But actually (as the advice columnist pointed out)...he didn't. When he looked at her, he still saw her as smokin' hot. THIS is the way things are supposed to work in long-term relationships.

That was my column, Home Is Where The Tart is:

http://www.advicegoddess.com/ag-column-archives/2006/07/home_is_where_t.html

And absolutely right. Whatever it is you're attracted to, see to it you have it. "Aspirational" attraction doesn't cut it.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at October 3, 2007 7:40 PM

Snakeman, it's all about personal threshholds. There are people who can say, "Well, she has many attributes, and together they're enough," and then there are guys who have a certain itch -- for big boobs, or a big ass, or a certain kind of feet. And they're best to just be honest about their needs rather than kidding themselves and a girl, and ultimately realizing that itch must be scratched.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at October 3, 2007 7:43 PM

Let me say a word in favor of appreciating the intellect and the personality. In my years as a college teacher I never lost my appreciation for beautiful faces and breasts and asses when I met classes for the first time. But if the women with those attributes showed in class discussions and writing assignments that their minds were dull and shallow, I saw them as mere attractive scenery.

I even developed a prejudice against attractive students--both male and female: I expected that very pretty or handsome people would not have interesting things to say, because they got what they wanted by their looks and did not need to develop other strategies for fascinating and charming people. I was often wrong, which is why I call my attitude a prejudice.

When a woman with fascinating ideas did come along, I would begin to notice during the semester that she was considerably more attractive physically than I had thought at first. (I didn't notice this effect with men.)

By the way, none of this admiration of other women, for either their physical or mental attributes, impaired my relationship with my wife. In fact, she enjoys looking at good-looking people too, and she sometimes points them out to me (as if I hadn't already noticed.)

Posted by: Axman at October 3, 2007 8:08 PM

Chrissy got an pics of that one stop shop??

somegirl S&M is easy, nerve ending that send pain and the same nerve ending that nd sensations of pleasure - S&M isnt about just feeling pain, its about feeling a particular intesity and type of pain that fires off your nerves and makes your brain process the sensation as plesurable at the same time - kind of like the way those sweet and sour candies play with your sense of taste

Posted by: lujlp at October 3, 2007 8:24 PM

Maybe I'm misreading LW, but it sounds to me that he's just finding himself looking at other women with different attributes

All men look. This guy is doing the equivalent of dramatically and instinctively whipping his head around when he sees a pair of double-Ds and staring involuntarily until he can't see them any more. If the mere sight of big breasts really makes him "reconsider everything" with his girlfriend, she is not the right person for him. There's a difference between feeling wistful about the necessity of making choices in life and trying to stick with a choice that leads to one being whipsawed by competing forces that make one "reconsider everything."

And, y'know, speaking as a small-breasted woman myself, if I were dating a guy who "reconsidered everything" with me every time he saw a pair of big boobs, I'd want him to break up with me (maturely and humanely, of course). It's one thing to be dating a guy who notices that other women have boobs, and that some of those boobs are large and/or attractive. It's another thing to date someone who wishes that I would just disappear so that he could start anew when he happens to notice someone else's big boobs.

(It's entirely possible that I went overboard with the reproductive thing, but something about this guy's letter just smacks me as Person Trying to Convince Themselves to Be With His/Her SO Because It Makes Sense on Paper. I've known a few couples like that, where the guy was trying to convince himself, and it never ends well. For all I know, the girlfriend doesn't want kids, and this is all a moot point, but I just thought I'd throw that in to remind us all that the girlfriend is a real person who does not benefit by going out with someone with whom she does not fit.)

Posted by: marion at October 3, 2007 8:38 PM

Flynne, excellent question...I would also wonder if you would likewise call her a tool ;)



Seriously though, attraction is a complicated thing - and it seems to be dependent very much on individual tastes. While it is easy to come down on this poor soul, one should be leery of becoming too-PC. As men, we are being taught that maleness - and the interests thereof - is bad...but is it really? If this guy has a woody for big boobs perhaps he should just accept it and move on and be done with it. It would probably be better for him which should be his first concern. Personally, I've been with women with quad-D all the way to A...breasts are breasts and I never really cared one way or another. To me they all are fun to explore. Apparently this guy is different. Just goes to show: all men - just like all women - are individuals. I can't disrespect this guy just because the talking heads on TV and in the class room tell me I should...after all, he knows what he likes...that's special in and of itself today. In my mind, a woman is a cornucopia of traits - some good, some bad...physically, I guess I'm a leg man more then anything (that and the supple curves a certain other part of her anatomy). But this guy, for better or for worse is a boob-man.



As a biologist myself, I do agree with Amy that there is a biological drive for BS's interest...but before Somegirl comes in so say otherwise, yes it is also true that there is more to the story. Biology joins with experience and the realities of life. Biology gives one an inclination to go one way or the other. Biology is natural and isn't wrong. A man (or a woman) shouldn't feel bad just because they are interested in breasts (or other physical attributes)...What they should feel bad about is leading the other person on when there is no future. On the other hand, temptation is a part of life...anyone who says otherwise is a romantic or trying to sell something. What is the magnitude of the temptation? Is it something that he expects to get past in the long run as he learns to appreciate the rest of the pie? Is it something that he just likes to look, or does he need more? After all, many women I have been with like looking at the feminine form and if his "boob-fix" can be kept to the visual, perhaps she can join in the fun!



And since someone brought up reproduction, I would say that if he does want kids one day then he should really consider whether that temptation will become an obsession...the law does not smile kindly on male-divorcees-with-children...Depending upon her circumstances, he could end up paying out an arm and a leg supporting her lifestyle with little hope of supporting a family with his future, "better-suited" wife.

Posted by: Lance at October 3, 2007 8:56 PM

Marion: "It's one thing to be dating a guy who notices that other women have boobs, and that some of those boobs are large and/or attractive. It's another thing to date someone who wishes that I would just disappear so that he could start anew when he happens to notice someone else's big boobs."


I couldn't agree with you more! I would hope that any woman I were with would treat me the same way...I'll never be a Brad Pitt (et al) either, but I would hope my "cornucopia" would make up for it. But if it doesn't for her, then she damn well better have the guts to break up with me so I can move on myself.

Posted by: Lance at October 3, 2007 9:06 PM

What is it with these types of dilemmas? Men always seem distressed by the fact that *gasp* there are more attractive women out there than their girlfriend/spouse/etc. Guess what? There will ALWAYS be someone skinnier, prettier, smarter, and/or kinder out there. Instead of taking your girlfriend for granted, and focusing on what she lacks, why don't you appreciate the great characteristics she possess? The things that made you fall for her in the first place.

Good god.
Men always want impossible standards out of women. She should be skinny, but she should have tremendous breasts. She should be innocent and naive, but smart... list of contradictions goes on and on.

Unless the LW is perfect (and seeing as 90% of the population ISN'T, I'm guessing he's not, either.) he has no place being so critical of his girlfriend. If merely going out in public (and inevitably seeing breasts) makes you reconsider the entire relationship you've built with this woman, then you do have a problem, and you were right to write into Amy.

What should be done?

Start appreciating your girlfriend. Remind yourself of all the great qualities she possess, and you'll find yourself being even more attracted to her.

If not... then it wasn't meant to be. But your standards need to change if you want to sustain any kind of normal relationship.

Posted by: Jaime at October 3, 2007 10:14 PM

Flynne, excellent question...I would also wonder if you would likewise call her a tool ;)

Well, yeah, Lance, a tool is a tool, regardless of gender.

Posted by: Flynne [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 4, 2007 6:01 AM

Men always want impossible standards out of women


If this guy were writing into Amy saying, "My girlfriend is pretty and smart, but I secretly, powerfully want to be with someone who looks like Angelina Jolie, has the boobs of Katherine Heigl, and is a nuclear physicist," then I'd agree with you that the LW's problem is unrealistic expectations. He didn't do that. He wrote in and said that he felt a powerful pull to be with a woman who has large breasts. Full stop. While an average guy is unlikely to land a spectacularly beautiful woman, just as an average woman is unlikely to land a spectacularly handsome guy, an average guy can land a woman with large breasts, as long as he's willing to make that a priority.


And Jaime, no offense, but the way you're describing the relationship, it sounds as though this guy should stay with this woman because it's good for him. Don't know about you, but I don't want someone viewing me as the equivalent of celery and cranberry juice - i.e. the "healthy" choice. I want someone staying with me who doesn't have to convince themselves to be with me. If the couple were married 15 years with kids and the guy had suddenly started feeling the pull of huge boobs, I'd be more on your side. If the LW and his girlfriend were married and she developed breast cancer and needed a mastectomy and he was staring hopelessly after other women's huge boobs, I'd unsympathetically tell him to head to a therapist and a hypnotist to retrain his mind. But they're not. They're dating. The purpose of dating is to try out relationships and then end them before too much is at stake. I've seen relationships where people convince themselves to be with their SOs because they want to feel like better people/think it's good for them/whatever. It does not end well, and the person who tends to suffer most is the unsuspecting "inadequate" SO. And if the LW ends up having a string of affairs with Vegas showgirls, at least his girlfriend is out of it, one hopes with a guy who can thoroughly appreciate her.


Besides, it's not just men who have unrealistic expectations. I have had to accept that I'm never going to find that guy with the IQ of 160 on the CEO track who looks like Owen Wilson. It's tragic, I tell you, tragic. However, I think women have an impetus to work harder to tamp down their "unrealistic" expectations during their 20s and 30s because of the whole biological clock thing (and, again, while many people don't have children, many people do, and there's also a subset of people who wanted children but don't end up having them because they don't find anyone "in time"). What I have seen happen at times is marriages breaking up after the kids come and hit a certain age, with the woman in question saying, "Y'know, I'm not happy. I want a partner that will make me happy," and the guy in question being absolutely gobsmacked. Guys get more attention for unrealistic expectations, and I will concede that they are more likely to have unrealistic expectations about their SO's looks, but this isn't an only-XY thing.

Posted by: marion at October 4, 2007 6:29 AM

Marion, very wise, as usual. And my friend Catherine Salmon, in the book she edited, Evolutionary Psychology, Public Policy, and Personal Decisions, compares porn to romance novels. Both give a very unrealistic view of the opposite sex. "But, no one is out there lobbying to ban romance novels because of the harm they do to women's attitudes toward men."

The book is here:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0805843779?ie=UTF8&tag=advicegoddess-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0805843779

Posted by: Amy Alkon at October 4, 2007 6:43 AM

So I think Marion really hit on the distinction here. I know because I've done that very thing: at a certain point I settled for the next thing that came along just because that's what I thought I was supposed to do, and I didn't think I could ever do any better. (My dating career up to that point had been pretty miserable; I had some bad luck and got used some, but I freely admit that I have to take a fair amount of the blame myself.) It ended badly, as anyone here could have predicted.

A while after that, I realized that I was never going to be happy until I got what I wanted. And yes, there were certain physical attributes that were part of that package. It also hit me at that time that I could improve my odds significantly by engaging in a self-improvement campaign. By making myself a better person to begin with, I'd be more likely to attract the kind of mate I wanted. So I worked on some things. It took me several years. But not long after that, I met the woman who has now been my wife for 14 years this month. And yes, she's as smokin' hot as the day we met, and I dare anyone to say otherwise.

So for me it wasn't a matter of having too-high expectations; rather, it was very much the opposite. My expectations were too low, both for my partner and myself, and from my own experience, I think this is far more common than the opposite situation is.

Posted by: Cousin Dave [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 4, 2007 11:10 AM

Big Boobs..vulgar????? That's communistic.

Posted by: brian [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 4, 2007 1:48 PM

Go for what you want. You may or may not get it and you may change your mind. But at least you won't torment yourself wondering what to do or what might have been.

Posted by: asolando at October 4, 2007 1:54 PM

Nope, otherwhitemike, still can't "build" a better butt. They're not Lego kits. I'm not talking about two little gluteous knots that look like a 10 year old boy's. Listen to it- "tush." Ahh. Yes. Does it sound hard?

And no, you can't feel mine.

Posted by: Wendy B at October 4, 2007 3:40 PM

Nor would I want to feel your butt Wendy. Can't even imagine where that thing has been...

Posted by: theothermike at October 4, 2007 5:13 PM

I don't understand people that have only 1 body type that they prefer. I have found that I favor the best feature of the person I am involved with.

Many years ago, I'm 61, I was dating a young lady that was very well endowed. At a party I met a women who was very pretty but who had small breasts.

I was so captivated by this woman that I never dated anyone else. It never bothered me that she was not buxom. We have now been married for 32 years and I am sure that she is the best thing that has ever happened to me.

This is not to say I do not notice well endowed women. I am not dead or blind. But appreciating beauty does not mean I am not satisfied with my wife.

Posted by: Mike at October 4, 2007 5:55 PM

Most hearty congratulations on being married for 32 years Mike. Good for you in realizing that the important things in life have nothing to do with body parts. If more people could grasp that concept our society would not be in the awful mess it is today...

Posted by: theothermike at October 4, 2007 6:29 PM

Mike, I'm so glad that you're happy with your wife. But attraction comes in all shapes and sizes. Some people are happy with a variety - to a point - while some have more...restrictive tastes. As long as those with restrictive tastes don't bother the rest of us by whining about how hard it is to find the perfect mate, I think the world is big enough for all of us.

Posted by: marion at October 4, 2007 6:44 PM

I am in the opposite position, not so into the big boobs, my partner has them. Honestly don't care. Do I look at women who have smaller chests? sure. She also looks at guys who have hips (as I have, shall we say, "blossomed" slightly around the middle, in the last year, I suspect she looks at tighter tummies too, but she claims to dig my modest belly). Often as not, we ask each other if we saw this or that person.

Agree that butts are the thing. At risk of sounding crass, I hate bony butts. I have had really unpleasant times, banging my hip bones into bony butts, which bloody well hurts. I imagine that the padding that has developed over the last year and a half would help, but really have no desire to find out. Bones are a pretty extreme turn-off.

Not to sound trite (I know, too late), but I really have a preference for brains. Some sort of psychosis is a huge help too. I much prefer a partner who gets literary allusions and has a strong comprehension of science. Writing is a big plus. Most important, she has to read, I mean a lot. I am all about the tee vee on DVD and movies, but nothing says sexy, like lounging naked in bed, with a good book. I also enjoy the physical beauty, don't get me wrong. But I will take my girly over Angelina any day.

Oy, and I really dig sexual aggression. I like a gal who'll move me into the right position, if I don't pick up the cue. Or for that matter, will shove me around and nekify me, if I'm not noticing that cue (I have severe ADHD, so yes, I do occasionally fail to notice she took out the movie, put in porn and is nekked). . .

My gals all that and more. So I am more than happy to deal with the boobs. Small price to pay for absolute joy and simplicity. She even makes clothes, can't beat home made slippers and a thermal union-suit, that actually has a functional ass flap. Not as necessary in Portland, but essential in the job-site portapot, during MI winters. And, and, shes a kick ass mom, carrying our next....I'll stop now, suffice it, I can live with the boobs.

Posted by: DuWayne at October 4, 2007 7:54 PM

Some people are happy with a variety...

There was a time. . .When I was young, pretty and had a band.

Posted by: DuWayne at October 4, 2007 7:57 PM

Geez! A guy comes on here and says how happy he is to have found a great gal to marry, and says how long he has been married, and it turns into a not-very-well-masked sarcastic stab at marriage. Why not just congratulate him for finding someone for him, instead of trying to make a statement that pushes your own agenda....

Duwayne your post cracked me up...!

Posted by: theothermike at October 4, 2007 9:07 PM

But, Marion is right -- some people have more "restrictive" tastes. I think marriage needs to be stabbed at, because too many people hold illusions about what it is and can provide.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at October 5, 2007 3:16 AM

Geez! A guy comes on here and says how happy he is to have found a great gal to marry, and says how long he has been married, and it turns into a not-very-well-masked sarcastic stab at marriage

Uh, sorry, but I think people are misinterpreting my post. I didn't mean to say anything about *marriage*. I talked about the different ways that attraction works for different people. Full stop. My point about the restrictive vs. non-restrictive tastes was about the process that people go through to find their mates. I wasn't suggesting that most people need to be involved with multiple people AT ONCE to be happy. I was thinking of the 32-years-married guy who evidently can be attracted to a variety of women.

In fact, unlike our beloved Amy, I'm a big fan of marriage. :) I'm especially a big fan of marriage lasting. Which is why I'm NOT a fan of people "settling" and marrying the person they're settling for, because, much if not most of the time, the "settler" ends up being so unhappy over what he or she has done that the marriage does end. If relationships are going to end, I think it better that they end in the absence of legal vows, mortgage, and offspring. Call me limited.

Heck, the only people I meant to be sarcastic toward were those who allow themselves to have very restrictive tastes and yet whine about how there are no good women/men out there. If you can only be attracted to natural blondes between 26-29 who have masters degrees in finance or economics, say, and you just can't see beyond that, then you're likely going to have trouble finding someone quickly. Just don't bore your friends about how there are "no good ones out there" when you keep turning down second dates with a wide variety of perfectly nice, intelligent, attractive people. It gets old.

Posted by: marion at October 5, 2007 6:59 AM

Forgive me for trivializing all of this and for being crass, but I am about as crass as they come. Boobs are a lot like cruise control in your car, if you have it, on long trips you will probably utilize the function. If you don't, is it that troubling to step on the gas pedal?

The most attractive part of the woman is usually temporary especially at first glance. You may notice the boobs, start a conversation, notice the ass, keep talking and realize the girl is smart too. Add that all up and you probably want to roll around naked with her, and if successful, you probably won't remember what one factor it was that led you to your romp. There really is no reason to break down the female form into component parts. It's all a pretty good time if you ask me.

Posted by: CJ at October 5, 2007 9:13 AM

...because, much if not most of the time, the "settler" ends up being so unhappy over what he or she has done...

Where was it that I heard, "Never settle, because when you settle, you get less than you settled for?"

Posted by: Flynne [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 5, 2007 9:20 AM

I think marriage needs to be stabbed at, because too many people hold illusions about what it is and can provide.

Couldn't agree more. I am of the belief that one should have fun with whomever they please (that are willing, that part is important), for however long both please. If it's a night, cool, if it's longer, better still. Enjoy the company your keeping, while you keep it.

I have discovered that I am pretty damned selective, using that process. I daresay there are a lot of women that I would be happy with in the short term, but very few that I would be happy with in the longterm. Honestly, I need a women who thinks the bookstore is almost as romantic as it gets. A dinner she doesn't have to cook and an intimate bottle of wine at home, being rather better.

If one is so inclined, I highly recommend making sure you want to be together for many years, if you choose to have kids. It was only a year and a half, but I can tell you, single parenting sucks. Beyond that, I really don't think "settling" is the way to go, it will only lead to misery.

Posted by: DuWayne at October 5, 2007 5:56 PM

I have to agree with Marion on this one. Once upon a time, I was in a relationship with a guy for five years - engaged for 4.5 of them. When we met, I was overweight. Not obese, but overweight, but still had good shape. While we together, I lost weight, though never quite got to my goal weight. Anyway, long story short, he was never happy about my weight, always harping. He didn't name call and wasn't openly/intentionally cruel, but there it was. Mostly we had a perfect relationship - except for that one issue, which further deteriorated over time. The only time we fought? If I didn't feel like going to the gym. Yepper. So, how did it all end? He dumped me for an 18 year old (he was 34 at the time). During the whole break-up, I asked him why the hell he'd spent 5 years of BOTH our lives tied up in a dead-end relationship if that was how he felt? His answer? Because he loved me, and he wanted everything to be right, he just couldn't get past that.

Moral of the story?
Accept a person for who they are - don't fall in love with an idea and then try to mold your SO into that ideal. If you can't accept them, move on.

When I was growing up, my daddy always told me if I thought I loved someone to make a list of every little thing that I didn't like about them, or that bugged me, and then go down that list point by point. At each item, decide if that's something you can live with or not. If it is, then don't stress about it, ACCEPT it (and accept does not mean try to change or improve). If not, turn the page. I have to say that it's advice that has always served me well.

Posted by: Anne [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 9, 2007 9:15 AM

As the husband of a breast cancer survivor. let me clue you in on a little fact. What looks good in the window has very little to do with whats inside. If this boy is worried about size, let him wonder what his life might be like without the love of his life beside him forever. Ladies, the package is incredably beautful, but it is the soul I have and will always been in love with.

Posted by: The Dome at October 9, 2007 9:43 AM

A woman can influence the shape of her bottom. She can pedicure, wear heels in the bedroom, and show off nice legs and butt.

But a woman with hooters was born with them, thinks the world owes her for her luck, and eventually, they will be drooping all over. Show me a 40 year old woman with hooters who is still skinny.

A woman with store bought hooters, well, she probably loves them more than you do, and wishes the would would think they owe her for them.

Posted by: Smarty at October 9, 2007 12:41 PM

I'm 48 with big real hooters and I'm skinny. Go figure.

Posted by: Chrissy at October 9, 2007 3:36 PM

smarty, I initially thought your post was funny, but after thinking about it, that was not a very insightful comment...chrissy is right, in this instance. I have seen a few older women with big boobs who are skinny. Its genetics. Every time I see the word "hooters" it cracks me up! O O

Posted by: theothermike at October 9, 2007 9:44 PM

When I was growing up, my daddy always told me if I thought I loved someone to make a list of every little thing that I didn't like about them, or that bugged me, and then go down that list point by point. At each item, decide if that's something you can live with or not.

Your daddy is smart. I say something similar...and add that nobody ever broke up with anybody because they made too much money, were a clever conversationalist, and acrobatic in bed.

--Amy, "large hooters, IQ" (How I once described myself when I place a display ad for a man in the LA Times. Probably the real reason I'm still banned from the features sections.)

Posted by: Amy Alkon at October 10, 2007 12:22 AM

Hooters are something a woman is born with. Beauty is far more influenced by habit, grooming and health.

And yes, there are older some large-breasted women not prone to being over-weight. But personally, I don't like droopers later in life, and most of the guys that I have known who are fixated on big ones are a bit immature.

Posted by: Smarty at October 10, 2007 5:45 AM

Smarty, you've got to upgrade your social circle. I'm seeing one guy who loves my big hooters, which considering their size and the fact that they're natural, are not that droopy (I've seen worse on much younger women). This guy is not immature, he just happens to get turned on by big boobs.

I've got good genes and I take very good care of myself, mostly so that I can attract the kind of guys I want, and keep them after I get them.

And I've never thought the world owed me anything - you've got a bit of a chip on your shoulder about this, maybe you should talk to your therapist instead of being so angry at busty women.

Posted by: Chrissy [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 10, 2007 8:59 AM

Wow, you assume I am angry with so little evidence? Don't tell me that women with impressive breasts don't get used to special attention, and it takes a woman of above average character not to let it go to her head. Honestly, we are not doing a great job in the US of instilling character anymore.

And you evaluate maturity how? I evaluate it when these same guys love going to strip clubs for lunch because "they make a great burger", or who seem shallow in "locker room talk".

I just happen to be a "leg man"

Posted by: Smarty at October 10, 2007 9:44 AM

I've seen enough evidence that you're angry, and maybe bitter too, otherwise you wouldn't have made the following statement:
"But a woman with hooters was born with them, thinks the world owes her for her luck, and eventually, they will be drooping all over. Show me a 40 year old woman with hooters who is still skinny.

A woman with store bought hooters, well, she probably loves them more than you do, and wishes the would would think they owe her for them."

If you were neutral emotionally about the whole thing, you would have just said 'I'm not a boob man, I'm a leg man', end of story.

I think it takes intelligence to understand the motivation behind the attention that you are getting. I always found it funny that guys thought I was stupid just because I was blonde with big boobs, and thought they could manipulate me into having sex with them. I sure didn't get a swelled head about it because I didn't think very highly of the guys who were giving me all this wonderful attention.

Posted by: Chrissy [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 10, 2007 10:39 AM

> So I think media has a lot
> to do with which part of
> the curvature we're currently
> fixating on.

A woman who thinks that these "trends" are caused by magazine editors in NY or cinematographers in LA is horribly deluded. This is very much like thinking that global warming is caused by Humvees.

Policy is not the problem. Policy is not the problem. Policy is not the...

Posted by: Crid at October 11, 2007 9:38 PM

Marion says "I have had to accept that I'm never going to find that guy with the IQ of 160 on the CEO track who looks like Owen Wilson."

Maybe, maybe not. I've got the IQ and the looks ;). Definitely not on the CEO track, though. Maybe because that IQ helped me to realize that there are far better ways to spend one's life than in corporate management. The very thought makes me shudder.

Posted by: LMM at October 17, 2007 7:10 AM

"There are many reasons why a woman might choose as a partner a man who is a football player-senator-sculptor-brain surgeon all rolled into one superstar dude, but many, even the majority of those reasons evaporate when she learns he's already married."

Biologically speaking when seeking a mate a female would not only look for a male with characteristics that would greatly increase the chance of survival of her offspring, but one who would also provide the best food, shelter, and protection.

In fact one could argue that being a productive provider who is "faithful" to the female and her children is MORE important then mating with a man who can provide the best genes for her offspring.

Who cares if your children would have grown up to be football players, scientists, CEO's, models, etc. when you're inevitably going to die with in the month because you're pregnent and unable to fend for yourself and your mate has run off with another female.

So historically speaking from a females perspective finding a biologically successful mate is second in importance ONLY to finding one who will provide for you.

That's why modern women don't usually mate with those in the "deep end of the gene pool" if they are attached. Although it should be observed that a woman is infinity more likely to mate with a married man who's traits they find desirable then then to mate with an "average" man who has also married.

Posted by: Mike Hunter at November 1, 2007 6:42 AM

Women come in a lot of shapes and sizes, and most of them are nice to look at.

I thought my ex's appearance was perfect. She was pretty and graceful. She constantly thought I was shopping for something nicer. Bigger here or there, different color this or that. She certainly had a problem, but I think she delighted in creating problems where none existed. I'm sure that one of her new paramours will buy her the boobies she thinks she deserves. That is, unless they get to know her, first. She's certainly someone who thinks her appearance entitles her to an idle-rich suburban life with no responsibilities.

(Shrug)I think at some point my ex yelled - 'My next husband won't be an asshole.' My reply was 'my next date will be with a mime'.

Posted by: Wayne at November 2, 2007 9:22 PM

my self i am a 38 yr old man and i have always found large breast unattractive i love small chested women but i do like a nice round butt.

why women enlarge their breast i guess i will never understand but for the ladies happy with the small cup size ....good for you as long as you feel attractive about yourself that is all that matters

Posted by: MIke at November 13, 2007 7:18 AM

The "way to deal with it" is to come to some objective thoughts about women and their breasts and your interest in them. It will tone you down to realize that some of the greatest breasts are...well, great to look at and that's where the greatness stops. Some women have extremely attractive breasts that they take no pleasure in themselves, in that they don't like you to look at them, fondle them, suck them or any of your other dreams and fantasies involving them. Other women have breasts that may or may not be traditionally attractive, but their owners love to have them appreciated in every way that you'd like.
The first group you can tire of quickly. The second group is a whole lotta fun. I've found that an ounce of enthusiam is worth at least a full cup size.

Posted by: GregS at January 10, 2008 9:30 AM

my gf no more any fun bags her sister get big ones but she no moa

Posted by: mike paahana at January 31, 2008 7:40 PM

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