Attraction,  blog,  Love is Blind Book

Are Men Threatened by Intelligent Women?

According to the study mentioned in the article “Men are threatened by intelligent women” by the Independent; “Men are attracted to the idea of dating intelligent women – but don’t actually like the reality of it.”

I myself at one time believed this to be true and I’ve spoken with many women who had this suspicion as well.  In the dating scene, to self-identified intelligent women, it appears true that men prefer dating women who aren’t as smart, who don’t have careers, who aren’t an “equal.” I’ve confronted men with this idea and heard rounds of denial that they love smart women and smart women excite them, but the reality is different.  Men can profess all day that they love intelligent women, but when I watch my smart, educated, successful and very attractive friends struggle with dating, I am suspicious.

So, whenever something appears to be true but receives adamant denial, I know that the problem is typically the way we are thinking about it and describing it due to societal hang-ups and an inaccurate view of ourselves.

To get past this, I have to get rid of any preconceived notions or biases or grudges I might have and I try to see the dilemma in as raw a fashion as possible.  Doing this means thinking about what we might be “trying to say” instead of what we are saying.  Doing this means thinking about if the words we are using are describing the reality or creating the reality.  Usually, I have found that if I let go of my reactions and distance myself emotionally, I will find some truth.

Here’s the truth I found this time.  There are several kinds of intelligence, although when speaking of intelligence most of us assume we are talking about book smarts.  And we tend to believe that a reflection of someone’s book smarts is how far they have gone in their career or education.  Not only is intelligence multi-faceted, but also intelligence can’t be isolated as a singular trait. When we think of book smart intelligence, we also think of many of the traits that often accompany intelligence.  Intelligence and success are very attractive to most. But someone who is successful does not achieve that success based on intelligence alone.  In addition to intelligence, successful people tend to also be driven, competitive, single minded, goal-oriented.  While these are very attractive traits to a company seeking a new hire, these are actually very unattractive, counterproductive traits in a woman while dating.

In the dance of dating for traditional, heterosexual men and women, the chase is part of the excitement and fuels the attraction.

“Men chase, women choose.” Kitten Holiday

Men use their drive, single-mindedness, goal oriented traits in both the boardroom and on the way to the bedroom.  These traits suit them well in both arenas.  Their intelligence and creativity are used to entice and seduce the oppostite sex. Their desire and pursuit attracts the woman.

But a woman who is driven, goal-oriented in dating comes off as desperate, pushy and aggressive.  It’s not that these are bad traits, but they go against the grain of natural sexual tension and attraction.

Tension is defined as a feeling of nervousness and excitement.  We don’t feel tension when we feel certain or comfortable.  We feel it when we are uncomfortable, uncertain, excited, full of anticipation.  Sexual tension is the same.  It is created by mystery, uncertainty, excitement and anticipation.  When a woman pursues a man, not only does she rob him of his desire to pursue and chase the object of his affections, but she also destroys any natural sexual and romantic tension possible in the relationship.

“The essence of romance is uncertainty.” Oscar Wilde

Some women who are very driven, have found ways to compensate for this.  They will seduce the man, then to create romantic tension artificially, they will create drama.  Drama makes us feel the same emotions associated with healthy, natural sexual tension like uncertainty and nervousness and so many often mistake drama for passion and embark on a toxic roller coaster ride.  But drama lacks the excited anticipation, the admiration for the other that natural sexual tension has.  Further, a dramatic relationship drains you of energy and ends in ruins, whereas a passionate one creates energy for both and hopefully ends in a fulfilling, sex and laughter filled relationship.

So, to say that men are “threatened” by intelligent women is misleading and meant to ruffle men’s feathers because of course they are not.  Likewise, to say that men don’t want to date an intelligent woman is incorrect because many men do want a woman who will turn him on sexually and intellectually, that is part of passion as well.  However, given society today and the way many people ignore or deny how passion and attraction work, with so many women taking the lead in both dating and relationships,  intelligence in academics or career may be detrimental to a woman’s dating habits.  Unlike with men, the skills and traits that make women successful at work actually work against them in romantic situations.

If we describe this as intelligence we are missing the point.  It implies that men want women who are not intelligent. That is absolutely not true.  Men do want intelligent women but they are not attracted to many of the traits that are very often found in high quantities in intelligent successful women.   Men don’t want to compete with their partner. In fact, competition is the opposite of partnership.  But too many women compete inside a relationship. To be the better parent, to be a bigger martyr, to make more money, etc.  Men want smart women but they want partnership and a lot of women don’t know how to leave their type A tendencies at work.  If a woman can learn to channel her drive and intensity into her career, but turn it off or turn it down when dating so that she can let herself be pursued, so she can enjoy being chased then she will have more success romantically.

I’m not making a comment on how women or men “should” behave.  If a woman wants to chase a man, she can do that. I’m simply pointing out that actions and attitudes have an effect on other people.  A woman chasing a man is a turn off to most men.  Sex and attraction are one of those things about humanity that pay no attention to politics, religion, education and social pressure.  Someone turns us on or they don’t.  There are things women can do to make herself more attractive to the opposite sex, to entice a man to chase her, to raise his curiosity and his pulse when she’s around.  Intelligent women would have more success with men if they studied how to attract and excite the man they want and then let him chase her, than pursuing him outright.  If we don’t understand the basics of seduction, attraction and sex, we will never get what we want and have the relationships we desire.

“Eroticism is mystique; that is, the aura of emotion and imagination around sex. It cannot be ‘fixed’ by codes of social or moral convenience, whether from the political left or right. For nature’s fascism is greater than that of any society. There is a daemonic instability in sexual relations that we may have to accept.” – Camille Paglia

Men aren’t afraid of or threatened by intellligent women. And they aren’t threatened by successful women.  The truth is that men are disinterested in a woman who hava potential to be competitive and controlling romantically. Men do not want to feel controlled and they don’t want to compete with their partner.  But many of these Type A successful women have a tendency to be controlling, demanding and competitive romantically and that’s a turn off.  Further, men love the chase and they want passion and excitement in their romantic lives. He is not going to feel attracted or feel sexual tension with a woman who chases him.


  • Daniel

    Many of the points you make therein are ones which i completely agree with. In fact, if one were to remove your name from the article itself one would be hard pressed to consider it a musing of a female, because of how thoroughly logical it sounds.

    I mean no offense by that, but i think you would agree that females tend to operate in a modus operandi that involves emotion far more often than not, by design and of course by choice. As such their remarks tend to include and even pass off emotion as the equivalent of reason, which is why a Man arguing with a Woman is pointless.

    You could sum it up this way:

    Man: Cogito ergo sum (i think therefore i am)

    Female: Sentio ergo sum tersus (i feel, therefore i am correct)

    Your article however is such that a Man could have written it, because the points you make within are practically flawless.

    That being said, let me offer you some elaboration from my particular gender specific viewpoint.

    You are correct in stating that Men are not at all threatened by intelligent Women. There are however males who are indeed threatened by them. How to explain this seeming non sequitur?

    The answer involves an understanding of the differentiation between “male” and “Man.”

    The first is a biological default we all share, the second is an evolved state of mind/description only a select few possess. This is no different than the female/Woman dichotomy, in that every Woman is a female as a default but not every female is actually a Woman, because of an absence of several additional factors.

    A Man will not be threatened by a Woman’s intelligence because he has enough confidence and intelligence to understand his value and his value to her. A male is not evolved enough maturity wise to truly value himself in this fashion. Therein lies the reason.

    This is why the article you cited from is misleading. It’s meant to imply that ALL males (Men included) must naturally fear the intelligence of ALL Women (including the lesser evolved simply “female” ones)

    This kind of thinking is not just specious, it’s intellectually criminal. The saddest part is that it’s written by a male too indoctrinated by feminist beliefs to think logically.

    With regard to intelligence itself there are many facets related to it (talent, wit, etc) but the one that most tend to associate with intelligence is book smarts, as you said earlier.

    Book smarts implies a conscious effort to learn about the world in order to improve the self. This appeals to the everyday Woman who instinctively seeks a Man that will not just attract her body but also her mind, because this implies he is someone with a goal to become better and a purpose to obtain more. This tends to appeal to the part of a Woman’s subconscious that is seeking a Man to provide the means by which to add to her life, financially and otherwise, not just for her immediate benefit but more importantly, for the benefit of future progeny.

    In other words, a Man with a purpose is one who will be better suited to provide for her and any children she provides to him. This sort of (tersely described) instinctive drive has helped the human species reproduce for countless years.

    His looks, swagger etc appeal to her conscious mind; the part that wants to mate with a Man because of lesser, secondary concerns.

    I listed these two in this particular order for a reason. A Woman (not a female) will prioritize a more substantial benefit (a provider role) even over looks because of an instinctual motive. This is why a Woman will tend to excuse a Man’s aesthetic appeal, provided he has the potential to give her the kind of safety, security, and stability she would need in order to fulfill the biological imperative: reproduction.

    (Notice i said Woman and not “female” because of the differences between both, maturity wise.)

    With males it’s practically the opposite.

    Males seek females who will attract them physiologically, through the interpretation of the eye. Their concerns are immediate by default, any other considerations are secondary. All males are designed to further the species through the sharing of seed, and this is why they tend to have a wandering motive with regard to females. Instinct has designed males as such, even if the conscious efforts act as a buffer to keep all males from behaving quite literally like an animal would under such circumstances.

    Now with Men the tastes are evolved somewhat, but the desire to be (and mate) with an attractive female still remains nonetheless. The difference is that with Men, we tend to give attractive females less of a pass when it comes to stupidity.

    If one is a Man (as time and maturity has confirmed) one will be less likely to remain with a female who only has her looks as a distinguishable value. If she has a definitive intelligence, that is the bonus that makes being with her more than just a pointless exchange of reproductive fluids.

    So what i am saying here is that we as Men don’t primarily seek out intelligent Women, we seek out Women who are attractive and if they are intelligent, we as Men are more likely to remain with them. That first part speaks to our instinctual drive which compels us to mate and mate often. We seek out attractive females by which our libido is inspired to share the seed of the future, and our consciousness acts as a buffer to keep from behaving as a (male) animal would by using less commonplace but almost as important factors (such as with intelligence) to scrutinize potential mates with.

    Intelligence in an attractive Woman is like the icing on the cake, with the cake being her looks. With Women it’s the opposite…his role as a potential provider is the cake itself, with his looks and swagger representative of his additional “icing on the cake” virtues. I am speaking generally of course, as with everything there is always room for an exception. What’s interesting is that the lesser evolved males and females tend to share (immature) characteristics just as Men and Women do with regards to mature ones.

    Despite our fundamental differences though, we are perfectly complemented to each other because of our similar motivations. We as males/Men seek to reproduce, you as females/Women choose the best means and potential for reproduction.

    The problem that complicates the reproductive prosperity of the species arises when males and females emulate characteristics that are associated to the opposite sex as a default.

    Whenever males behave too emotionally, and whenever females behave too “empowered”, the line between genders gets blurred and the courtship/mating interactions between both get confused and chaos is the natural result.

    This brings me to our current society. Some would consider it a patriarchy, when in reality it’s more akin to a matriarchy.

    Females are encouraged to be more “empowered” which is a euphemism for “being like Men.”

    Conversely, males are encouraged to show more emotion ostensibly to understand females but in reality, it’s just a means by which to have them sabotage themselves so that any female they come across will have more of a dominating effect on them, since they are far more versed in emotional complexities than males are.

    Both examples are the true heart and soul of modern day feminism…the means by which to make females stronger by having them act like Men, and making all males become weaker by having them act like females. This article you cited and the study it references is yet another means by which to promote this pernicious agenda.

    This is why whenever you have an intelligent female, even an intelligent Woman, she is likely to have a corresponding arrogance to her the more that she takes pride in that intelligence, as if it was the most important aspect to her life. You spoke of this earlier as well.

    A Woman’s natural and most important role in life is not to become as intelligent or financially/professionally successful as possible, it’s to become as effective as possible in the role of Motherhood. This is what she has been designed to do and whenever she supplants that instinctual motive with a conscious desire to prioritize other, less consequential factors to the survival of the human species, she only succeeds in fulfilling a selfish goal of the self rather than a selfless one for humanity. It’s why career Women tend to become depressed as their biological clock winds down, as their window of propagation potential slams shut. Only females can give birth, which means it’s the most important role any female can have within her lifetime. Everything else is secondary.

    While not every female can become a Mother, the instinctual drive to become one is embedded within each and the drive to mate with the best Man available (an Alpha type) also lies therein. Even lesbian activity speaks to this, which is why some to most lesbian couples have one female representing femininity and the other representing masculinity. Their default sexual aid devices also speak of a need to recognize the importance of the male reproductive apparatus.

    The awesome potential of instinct is largely overlooked in our society, because of our hubris to believe we are masters of our own destinies regardless of our design.

    Instinct does not compel females to be as intelligent as possible just as it does not compel males to be as emotional as possible. It has a different role for both of us that is no less important to the survival of the human race.

    Intelligence is a staple of leadership, which is part of our masculine instinct. The more intelligent one is the more likely that person will be a pioneer in a particular field, a military genius, and so forth. This is why Men are natural leaders because of their propensity for intelligent thought, ability, talent, etc. it’s no coincidence that Men have been (and still are despite the social impediments) the architects of human civilization. Intelligence is as natural to us as emotion is to females. We are designed to reproduce for the benefit of the species, and we are also designed to want to become the best at whatever activity we put our minds to and to lead others in doing it. The very best of the best are considered Alpha types, and these are the ones that females tend to gravitate to. One such type are colloquially referred to as “bad boys.”

    Females are designed to use instinct to sort from the best available providers, but they also are designed to use emotion to inject feeling into potential situations. Emotions provide for the basis of empathy, which is extremely essential when raising children. This is why they make the best nurturers, while we make the best providers.

    To summarize: All females are designed to nurture children, All males are designed to spread their seed. Females are subject to the influence of emotion, Males are subject to the influence of their libido. Women embrace femininity and do not operate against their maternal instinct, Men embrace their masculinity and use reason to lead themselves and others intelligently as per their instinct.

    I hope i was able to elucidate for you the male and masculine (Man) perspective.

  • Mikki

    A month ago, I would have argued with this. .being the Tyoe A personality that I am and all.
    I’ve been the center of this.

    Recently I met a guy, where it just flows. Easily.
    I don’t have to be pushy or driven. I don’t have to make things work. It just falls into place.

    Type A woman, we know what we want and we knkw we can make things happen. But that doesn’t work with relationships. Free will and fate don’t bend to our demands.
    And as perfect as someone looks on paper, if they aren’t the person, our pushing won’t help.

    I hate how so many people have been right, telling me when you find the right person it will be easy.

    • Kitten Holiday

      I think we all learn the hard way and through experience. Reading about or hearing about other people’s experiences and lessons may open us up to seeing things differently or re-affirms what we know already but we rarely actually internalize something without learning it through our own experience. With that said, I’m excited you’ve met someone wonderful!

  • Allan


    You are something else. In a good way 😀

    I can’t even begin to explain how I found this website, but I am glad I did. Not for the dating advice per se, but definitely for the insightful, well thought out articles…

    I don’t quite know how to explain it, but “You are not afraid to think” is the simplest way I can think to sum it up.
    Have you heard of David DeAngelo? I think you two would have interesting conversations 😀

    I am curious about your background… education, experience etc reason being, I’m interested in knowing how you started thinking this way (no offense intended – at all) have you always been this … open to thought?
    You don’t have to answer btw 😀 I’ll understand a need for privacy, anonymity, discretion etc

    One last question… after you’ve gone through this entire thought process/ realization and come out at the other side, knowing how people (men/women) think and why they do what they do… do you feel manipulative while relating to them? How do you deal with that?

    Once again, good work on this blog.

    • Kitten Holiday

      Thank you! I think we all have the ability to be manipulative, and when you have any advantage at anything, you are inclined to want to use it. Even moreso if you are competitive. But love, people and relationships are different from work, athletics, etc. If you have a “winner” then you also have a “loser” and I don’t want to be with a loser. 🙂 And I don’t want to be the kind of person who takes advantage of others. I want to be loved for me. So how this knowledge works for me is I try painfully honest with myself and brutally transparent when dating. That’s the best way to level the playing field and also I believe, the best way for me to find what I want, which is a healthy, sustainable, satisfying relationship. Sometimes my openness is taken as manipulation. People have a hard time trusting. But even though sometimes my openness scares off others, more often people really appreciate it (lovers, friends, family, etc.).

      I haven’t heard of David DeAngelo, but I will look him up. I’m glad you found my website and I hope you share it! 😉 Follow me on Twitter @KittenHoliday and Google Plus +KittenHoliday and Instagram @KittenHolidayWrites to get notified with new posts.

      Thanks for leaving a comment!

  • Richard Morgan

    It’s all about the chase.

    There’s the excitement of the pursuit — especially with someone who has that wonderful spark of intellect that makes the heart light up.

    By the way, I love how openness can be interpreted as manipulation. Excellent observation.

Leave a Reply to p Cancel reply

%d bloggers like this: