You are currently viewing Episode 294: Red HOT—The Color of Attraction

Episode 294: Red HOT—The Color of Attraction

Q&A episode!!! We’re answering a bunch of different questions from our listeners about the science of attraction, faking it, and how to bring sexy back!

What does scientific research say about attraction and desire?? What visuals spark chemistry and the get the erotic mind flowing? Hint: Red is SEXY! Like our Foreplay colors 😉

How can you bring passion back to the bedroom when you get a little too comfortable? Couples slip into habits… The key is being intentional, and building anticipation and excitement…

These questions… and more! Listen to Laurie and George answer YOUR Q’s in this week’s episode!


Laurie Watson 00:02
You got that heavy stubble growin, George, your beard – you haven’t shaved for a few days? Are you doing that because you know that the science of attraction says that women like men who kind of grow a light beard? That that’s better than clean shaven?

George Faller 00:19
Everyone’s learning my tricks. Laurie, what’s going on here? I don’t know if I like this science thing, giving away all these little cheats that some of us use so let’s do that today. Let’s talk about, we’re getting a lot of Q&A from our listeners around the science of attraction and do people fake it? And it’s just gonna take episode to answer some of these questions and have some fun.

Laurie Watson 00:40
Okay. Welcome to Foreplay radio, couples and sex therapy. I’m Laurie Watson, your sex therapist.

George Faller 00:49
And I’m George Faller, your couples therapist,

Laurie Watson 00:52
And we are passionate about talking about sex and helping you develop a way to talk to each other.

George Faller 00:58
Our mission is to help our audience develop a healthier relationship to sex that integrates the mind, the heart and the body. So before we answer some questions – You do a lot of working out? How’s your gym time going, Laurie?

Laurie Watson 01:16
Right? I’m going to camp this summer, almost every day. My trainer the other day, he’s started new exercises. And he calls them good girl bad girl exercises. Ab doctors and the abductors. You know the ones where your legs you’re building the inner part of your leg or the outer part of your leg. Anyway, it was hilarious. He knows I’m a sex therapist. So he just made it funny. He’s a kid.

George Faller 01:47
You might have to have him on this show.

Laurie Watson 01:50
Good girl Bad Girl exercises. Strengthening those leg exercises.

George Faller 01:56
That’s pretty good, Laurie, pretty good.

Laurie Watson 01:58
Well, you’re always saying right, that men are visual. So I’m trying to do something about that.

George Faller 02:06
Alright, so let’s get into this attraction. What’s the science saying, Laurie?

Laurie Watson 02:09
Okay, so it’s true. Given a heavy beard. Or just light stubble or clean shaven, women apparently, like heavy stubble on a man’s face. That’s more attractive. So just don’t shave for a few days, man. Save yourself.

George Faller 02:32
A visual too I guess here, huh?

Laurie Watson 02:33
Yeah, women are visual. Yeah, of course. I mean, I think attraction, right. What draws us to a partner, Yeah, definitely visual as well. And also that some of it is building muscle is good, but not too much, not overly developed bodies. You’re wearing your favorite color, which is blue. Is blue your favorite color?

George Faller 02:56

Laurie Watson 02:58
The most beautiful blue eyes. That’s why you wear blue. But if you’re trying to attract somebody wearing red, apparently is the ticket.

George Faller 03:06
Very interesting. I have this list of what makes women attractive and right again, it goes both ways.

Laurie Watson 03:14
Okay, let’s hear that. What do they say about that?

George Faller 03:17
Same thing – that men find women in red incredibly attractive. Women find men in red incredibly attractive. Red is the color that science keeps saying in both sexes, really pops up and gets those erotic juices flowing.

Laurie Watson 03:33
And that’s why our Foreplay colors are red and black! don’t know if you knew that.

George Faller 03:36
I did not know that. You should just put some stumbles on the letters and we’re all set.

Laurie Watson 03:42
Haha absolutely. Or a red dress, the red vixen in the red, we’ll have to find somebody like that. And maybe what, they like red lipstick? I have a son who is all about a woman in red lipstick.

George Faller 03:56
Yeah, yeah. I mean, the list of the men liking red lipstick, big smiles, hips, you know, the visual things we’d expect to see.

Laurie Watson 04:06
Mmm. The hips. Men like the way we walk. Yeah. Oh, yeah.

George Faller 04:12
Showing off your arms. An interesting one on this list was keeping the waterworks to a minimum, not showing lots of emotion.

Laurie Watson 04:22
The tears are kind of confusing. I think. Oftentimes for men.

George Faller 04:27
Yeah, I think a lot of times tears mean that the man did something wrong. Right, It’s hits the failure trigger. So it’s a turnoff. It’s a break. Subtly mimicking what he says. Copycat, letting him know that what he’s saying is important.

Laurie Watson 04:46
So just reflection you think?

George Faller 04:49
Yeah, I think that reflection –

Laurie Watson 04:51
Using his words and

George Faller 04:53
Using his words, right? That we all have a narcissistic side to us, right? So knowing that your words are being repeated – is a turn on.

Laurie Watson 05:02
I have a friend who does that, a male friend who repeats my very word like whatever I’m saying he’ll pick up on one of the words. And he’ll use it like, yeah, this and it does that reflection. It’s like, I always feel on track with him.

George Faller 05:19
You’re really good at that, too. You’re good at reflecting.

Laurie Watson 05:22
So these lists, what? they’re talking about the visual, right?

George Faller 05:28
Well, that’s what attraction is, right? It’s not about all these other things that might be more emotional and deeper and conversations. And we talk about best body the spirit, the erotic mind, this is really just that instinct chemistry stuff. Like what are some of the things that BOOM sparks that attraction? So yeah, a lot of these are visual for both, you know, is that man driving a nice car? I know, you pay attention to the shoes, what do those shoes look like?

Laurie Watson 05:56
I don’t pay attention to shoes, other women pay attention to shoes.

George Faller 05:59
Okay. Well, again, good information. If you want to give yourself the best chance you’re going out. You got a nice car, you got this beard going, you’re wearing red, got a nice pair of shoes on, you’re giving yourself a better chance.

Laurie Watson 06:13
That’s right. That’s right. And if you’re wearing a hot red dress, and red lipstick and swinging your hips and feeling a little free, that’d be great. Smiling, laughing. Those are things that show our interest.

George Faller 06:32
Laughter is important to both.

Laurie Watson 06:34
Yeah, we’re charmed by each other. Right?

George Faller 06:37

Laurie Watson 06:37
That’s nice.

George Faller 06:39
So not so different. After all, are we?

Laurie Watson 06:41
Nope. Okay. So I have a question from a listener who says that, after he moved in with his girlfriend, he’s been finding that rather than wanting to have sex at night, like they used to do, he’s wanting to just do Netflix and truly chill, or cook together or go off and do independent things like plays computer games. And he’s like, why am I sort of more drawn to the cozy right now than the sexy? And is this going to be a problem?

George Faller 07:13
That’s a good question. I think there’s something around familiarity and being a best friend and domesticated that you didn’t do get away from those things that you used to do building anticipation getting yourself ready. Those separation could kind of make your mind work a little bit harder towards this goal, where you know, you’re both in sweatpants laying around not brushing your teeth kind of, well, this sometimes happens to couples who get a little too comfortable with each other.

Laurie Watson 07:42
You know, I think there’s a balance too. I mean, there’s times right, It’s a rainy Saturday and sitting around and watching movies and being relaxed. So that’s good time. That’s bonding as well. Yeah. I mean, we don’t always have to be flirtatious and wearing the red vixen dress or the red shirt. I mean, sometimes Yeah. In relationship. Being cozy is great.

George Faller 08:07
I’m gonna order a pair of red underwear. I see what that does. Did you have to tell us that?

Laurie Watson 08:13
Yeah. Okay, that’s good.

George Faller 08:16
I’m gonna just draw it around this. I’m gonna do a test here. Gonna see for my listeners how it works, right? I’m doing this for science. Yes, this is for science.

Laurie Watson 08:25
For the sake of science! We’re check in with George a little bit later. See how the red underwear trick went? If he got more sex? Okay, that’s good. So our solution for this young man is when you’re laying around, plan, do Netflix, make sure you’re wearing your red underwear. All right.

George Faller 08:45
Listen, just that he’s thinking about the right underwear, it’s probably enough to start getting himself going a little bit. But I think it’s a great question that he listened to your own body, if you’re getting a little bit too comfortable. If your desire’s not being triggered, it probably means you’re creating an environment that’s leaning a little bit too much in a cozy department. And you got to do things a little intentionally to kind of move that direction a little bit.

Laurie Watson 09:10
And I think too, I mean, he said he’s moved in with his girlfriend. So probably before, when they’re just dating, the way they schedule the evening is sex is, you know, going to be there. Right? And suddenly they have all this time together. And they’re not necessarily intentional about. Okay, when are we going to have sex and how are we going to anticipate that and build that excitement? It’s easy. It’s easy to slip into habits of just being brotherly sisterly.

George Faller 09:43
Yep. Such good advice. I mean, you just have to be intentional. I love that this guy’s identifying, Hey, what’s going on here with me? I’m not finding myself where I used to be. That’s the key, cause once you can identify that, you can just start doing some of those moves that got you there in the in the first Place. You might need a little bit of separation, you might need to kind of take a jog and take a shower and just think about things and get yourself, to me the key is anticipation. The anticipation for him is really low, just, you know, hanging out not thinking about it.

Laurie Watson 10:17
I have a person that I know who’s really good at this. She loves to have kind of an overlap of sexy with cozy, so when they’re cooking in the kitchen, she turns on dance music and is playful and flirtatious. She says stuff like, you know, is this dance taken sir? And comes up to her partner and starts to flirt with him and dance with him. And she says, You know, I like that. I’m not saying I necessarily want to have sex in that moment. But I like our interactions to be sexy, as well as just, you know, mundane cooking dinner together. And so she’s like, you know, I just want more play, and she’ll plant a juicy kiss and you know, kind of just wants him to enter that moment with her.

George Faller 11:03
I like it. I’m trying to think about what could he do? While he’s doing dishes? That’s it doing the same kind of vibe. That’s trying to say.. because he didn’t do dishes when they were going on dates, right? They go into a restaurant. Now he’s got the logistics of doing dishes. How do you do that in a sexy way Laurie?

Laurie Watson 11:23
Well, what I suggested is haha

George Faller 11:27
Dishes in his red underwear again?

Laurie Watson 11:28
Haha I suggested he throw it up on the counter every once in a while and you know, just in response that, that might be sexy too. Might be fun. Forget the dishes.

George Faller 11:40
Even if you don’t act on it just allowing his brain to think that turns the dishes into –

Laurie Watson 11:44
Or tell her, or suggest it.

George Faller 11:46
Yeah, I like that. Okay, let’s come back and get into another question.

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Laurie Watson 12:56
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Laurie Watson 13:45
George, this writer says “I’ve been faking it for 23 years. I have no idea how to let him know that I’m not having orgasms. What do you suggest?”

George Faller 14:00
I refer to you on this one, Laurie? that’s just, that’s killer. So it’s you know, once you start faking it, it gets easy to keep doing. It gets harder and harder to tell the truth. And before you know it 23 years have passed by so it’s a tough place and i’m glad that she’s saying you know I want to tell the truth. I don’t want to live this way anymore. I mean, I think that’s where change begins, with a desire for something different, something better.

Laurie Watson 14:32
23 years she’s gotta be a really good fake. Gosh, and maybe really unselfish.

George Faller 14:41
Again, it’s a beautiful thing to do, to love somebody and serve somebody even when you’re not having the gratification of it.

Laurie Watson 14:50
But I imagine what he’s gonna feel right? Just anger, like a failure.

George Faller 14:58

Laurie Watson 14:58
Betrayal, like How could you not tell me this? How could you fake this? Oh, it’s gonna be tough.

George Faller 15:05
Yeah, it is, also, I would like to think, you know, an opportunity. And what has he been missing? How has he not been dialed in? Or is it tuned as he could be to kind of not notice? I mean, there has to be some distance built in, that you’re reliant for 23 years, and your partner doesn’t even realize it.

Laurie Watson 15:25

George Faller 15:26
So again, this is an opportunity for closeness.

Laurie Watson 15:29
Ah, right. I mean, I think it would be natural for him to be angry, because that’s going to be safer than looking at- How did I not know that? How could I have believed that? I mean, you haven’t been getting pleasure this whole time, or enough pleasure? And so what do we want her to do?

George Faller 15:52
Rip the band aid off?

Laurie Watson 15:54
So we want her to tell him? You know what, I’m not actually having orgasms?

George Faller 16:00
Yeah, I think there’s a lot of context. You know, maybe she didn’t know. I mean, I think a lot of women go into a marriage, not really knowing how to have orgasms or how things work. And we all have assumptions. We all have these myths that we believe, you know, there’s a lot of misinformation. You know, I think, to say I, you know, I really wasn’t sure. I came from a loving place, I wanted you to feel good. I mean, I think we’re constantly stressing here, the intent was good, it was to protect and not hurt feelings, you know, but the impact of the lie has been bad on both of them. Right? So she’s having the courage to stand up and to do that differently. And he might not be able to hear that in the short term. But in the long term, he will because what she’s doing is brave. And what she’s doing is heading in a direction of health.

Laurie Watson 16:46
Absolutely. She might say, you know, I heard on this podcast, this Foreplay Radio Podcast, that I actually need a whole lot of clitoral stimulation. And that will give me this, you know, this huge experience of orgasm, you know, I think I’ve probably been mistaking my arousal for orgasm, and I’m not really getting the part that you seem to be getting. And I know I make noises. And I tell you, it was good for me. But I think there might be a way that it can be better. And I’d love to try that. Would you be willing to give me that?

George Faller 17:25
I mean, it still is bonding, it’s still connecting, it’s still arousal, there’s been great things that they’ve been doing for 23 years. She just hasn’t gotten to the, you know, the cherry on top of this process. And that she’s willing to fake that to make him feel good. It makes sense. So I like that you’re just trying to be delicate with the timing of it all and using your words to soften the blow. You know, but that if she can let him know what to do so she actually had an orgasm. That’s the target.

Laurie Watson 17:59
That’s the target. Yeah. And maybe she it sounds like the way she wrote it. She knew she wasn’t having orgasms. So she knows how to have an orgasm herself. You know, not she’s not asking what you know, how do I have one. But you know, sometimes people are afraid to do that with their partner, it feels so vulnerable to surrender to that moment. And so maybe it starts out not just protecting him, but protecting herself. But people get into this place. And I think having orgasms in your partner’s presence requires a lot of vulnerability and telling him this, it’s Yeah, it’s gonna be tough. Yeah. But it’s so important to be physically intimate and stop the emotional distance. So that’s good for you.

George Faller 18:47
Yeah, there’s so much to this question. And you need more context. I mean, is she attracted to our partner, sometimes we’re not attracted to our partner. You know, we don’t want to hurt their feelings. But we want to keep a relationship going the kids in the family. So there’s so many layers to this, of what motivates the lying. And, you know, are they in a place where they can do it differently? At the end of the day, we’re always working towards new moves. So this is her start of a new move. And I hope that despite the shock and the betrayal that her husband would be able to get on board and see the opportunity for for a better relationship.

Laurie Watson 19:23
And I mean, he does have some responsibility. I will never forget the man he came in. And he said, Laurie, I’ve had 30 partners, and none of them needed clitoral stimulation. They all orgasmed.

George Faller 19:37
He just was the exception to the math.

Laurie Watson 19:40
He hit the blue streak haha. Okay, next question.

George Faller 19:46
Here’s an interesting question. Laurie. We have a listener write in saying he’s in a gay relationship. And, you know, a lot of advice sounds great, but we speak to heterosexual normative language in our podcasts, and he wanted to know how applicable is what we’re talking about in his relationship?

Laurie Watson 20:08
Yeah, I appreciate that he’s listening to us. We have been targeting more heterosexual couples. But I think what we say in terms of attachment theory and the pursuer withdraw, it works for the couples that I see too, who are gay, lesbian. I mean, definitely, this is important. And I’m grateful he’s listening. And I guess we’ve also heard people say, you know, that they feel excluded from us, because we don’t use examples of gay and lesbian couples that we are speaking just to heterosexual couples. And I know that there are heterosexual couples who are conservative listening to us thinking, What do you mean, you’re talking about gay and lesbian couples? But I think for us, our heart is helping couples who are committed to each other, keep sex vibrant, and alive and erotic, regardless of their sexual orientation.

George Faller 21:01
Right? And so like to kind of apologize if people feel excluded, right? Because the spirit of this I mean, when we quote, Peggy K, Platts, and great lovers, it doesn’t matter sexual orientation, right? what they’re able to do, in being vulnerable and present and part of something bigger than themselves cuts across genders, and how people identify themselves. But certainly, in the brevity of time, in these quick podcasts, sometimes it feels easier to just kind of give the typical example. Yeah, but if doing that makes people feel like they’re left out, they’re not being represented. Again, I apologize for that.

Laurie Watson 21:40
Yeah. And I think that some of the focus is on the difference, because of, you know, two different bodies have challenges that maybe two same bodies don’t have. And, you know, I think that’s been part of our focus is how do we manage this commitment to monogamy and understanding when we’re coming from two very different bodies, but the principles work for different sexual orientations? So do you have an example for us?

George Faller 22:10
Yeah, I mean, I do think there’s something also to be said about systems in place that could make it more challenging for gay or trans couples. Right. So for example, I was working with a gay couple, and just doing what I would do with any couples and kind of help them have these vulnerable conversations and this real bonding moment, right, where they’re both crying, holding each other, loving each other in places that they never loved before. Right. And that just feels so human, and beautiful to be part of, you know, and usually when a couple like that leaves my office, you know, I just look out the window. And I just like, that’s the afterglow, you just see them holding hands and the sun comes out, it’s just a great feeling. So I watched this couple as they walk outside my office, and all of a sudden they let go of each other’s hands. Right? They don’t want to be seen in public holding hands. That the system in place kind of gives them a level of pressure. They face challenges that a heterosexual couple wouldn’t face. To just know that there’s a pressure out there, there’s consequences to kind of two men holding hands, you know, in this part of where my office is, it’s just, there was really, I felt so sad for them.

Laurie Watson 23:26
They had all this beautiful connection in your office, deeply seeing each other and feeling attachment, and then they go out there and enter the world, they have to not show that… that is painful.

George Faller 23:39
And that’s a level of work and stress that a heterosexual couple wouldn’t have to face. So there are these challenges that, you know, add more complex trauma and and and deeper layers to make this a little bit harder at times.

Laurie Watson 23:57
Yeah. More challenges. Yeah. Especially the fact that they’re sexually connected. That’s what they have to hide.

George Faller 24:02
Right, yeah. And the lack of that awareness, you know, and a lot of times we can fall into that, too, when we’re using heterosexual normative language, you know, it continues to kind of make people not in that category feel excluded. So I think we all have our work to create more safety.

Laurie Watson 24:22
I was just, you know, thinking about a podcast that we did recently, I was listening to it and edit it in it. And we were talking about what turns men on, and I was thinking, you know, what, this all turns me on, you know, as a woman who has more sexual pursuing parts inside. I was thinking, yeah, I can see this in men, but I can see this in me. You know, everything we said. And so I think sometimes when we go binary men, women, we’re excluding people of any gender, of what they might feel. So I thank you for bringing this up.

George Faller 25:00
Well, it’s a great point that we’re trying to help. But sometimes unintentionally, our help could actually cause more hurt. And all we do welcome that feedback. You know, we will keep trying to make people feel included, and we’re in this mess together. So we can’t fit people into neat little boxes. Sometimes we try to do that and, you know, 20 minute episodes that we have, but you know, life can be more complicated than that. And, and we really, we really just appreciate the feedback.

Laurie Watson 25:29
Yeah, thanks for listening. Keep it hot everyone.

George Faller 25:34
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Laurie Watson 26:16
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Announcer 26:41
Call in your questions to the Foreplay question voicemail, dial 833-MY4-PLAY and we’ll use the questions for our mailbag episodes. All content is for entertainment purposes only and should not be considered as a substitute for therapy by a licensed clinician or as medical advice from a doctor. This podcast is copyrighted by Foreplay Media.