Being overweight can cause a variety of health problems for men, including heart disease, diabetes, and upping their kid’s chances of being obese. Fortunately for heterosexual guys, however, women tend to be surprisingly forgiving about the flaws of the male body, perhaps because they have fewer neurons in their visual cortexes. There’s ample evidence that women prefer a man with a little extra to hold onto.
We’re not suggesting men pack on the pounds to enhance their love lives—women can’t protect you from diabetes, so you’d best put that cookie back in the jar. But the following five scientific explanations for why women love those love handles should, at the very least boost can boost the confidence of big guys.
You’re A Product Of Evolution. Sort Of.
“Those who could store fat easily had an evolutionary advantage in the harsh environment of early hunters and gatherers,” Garabed Eknoyan of the Baylor College of Medicine wrote in a 2006. “This ability to store surplus fat from the least possible amount of food intake may have made the difference between life and death.” Indeed, in early human history weight was a status symbol—it meant that you had the resources to survive, and share with a spouse. Although modern women are more likely to be attracted to money than food, old habits die hard. It’s possible, Eknoyan writes, that traces of this instinctual attraction for fat linger, even when it doesn’t come with a penthouse.
Your Love Handles Can Handle Longer Lovemaking
Husky men are better in bed (and not just because they occasionally bring snacks) according to a survey of 2,544 British women. Thirty-eight percent reported that overweight or plus-size men were superior lovers. It’s not totally clear why extra cushion improves the pushing, but research suggests stamina might have something to do with it. Men with noticeable bellies and higher BMIs last 7.3 minutes longer in bed than slimmer men, a 2010 study from the International Journal of Impotence Research found. And that’s 7.3 minutes you don’t have to spend in the gym.
Everyone Trusts The Fat Guy
People consider heavier male politicians more trustworthy than thin ones, according to research out of the University of Missouri. This, unfortunately, explains how Chris Christie is still in office. But it also may explain why women are attracted to fat men in general—everyone wants to be with someone they trust. Of course, skinny politicians like Anthony Weiner sometimes sneak in under the radar. And everyone who trusts them pays the price…
All Fat Guys Are Funny…Right?
There’s a substantial amount of evidence that women are more attracted to men who can make them laugh. (In tribute to everything wrong with the world, it doesn’t work the other way around). While all fat men aren’t necessarily funny, pop culture has socialized most people to believe that they are until proven otherwise. This leaves overweight men with the option of either working out or working on their material. Wouldn’t want to disappoint the ladies…
Everyone Looks Thin Next To A Fat Guy
Let’s face it—for every one study that says men aren’t judged for their bodies, there’s another 10 saying that women are positively flayed for theirs. So partnering with a man who’s not obsessed with his body might make a woman feel a little more secure about her own. This, of course, on top of the literal comfort of cuddling with your cozy dad bod.
*Originally published on Fatherly.