Manspreading is the key to the hearts of women everywhere—at least, that’s the conclusion of a recent Atlantic article, “When Manspreading is Sexy.” It’s based on the findings of a study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that found that men who sat in “expansive postures” got better reactions in speed dating than those who adopted a “closed posture”; these “expansive postures” are listed as “wide-spread limbs and a stretched out torso.” Participants in the 144-date study found such body language more attractive than even smiling or laughing. It would seem that showing off your, ahem, assets via physical presentation is a more surefire way of attracting women than the conventional Funny Jokes, Giant Wads of Money, or Ending Every Sentence with “Ladies” To Show You Know Your Audience.
I have a few questions about this study—for starters, the inclusion of the term “manspreading,” while certainly helpful from an SEO perspective, is dubious since the men could fulfill an “expansive” posture with wide-open arms (what, you don’t go speed dating for the free hugs? NEITHER DO I! MOVING ON), a Vaudeville tap routine, or a circus ringman-style chest-puffing-up thing, all of which would display both confidence and an implication of talent. Furthermore, even if manspreading was more attractive in a speed-dating scenario, that doesn’t make it more attractive when you’re trying to grab a seat on a packed Red Line car.
This study did open my mind to one revelation: I had no idea men were doing this for our benefit. In an effort to open my mind even further to the potential romantic bliss of a manspreading mate, I looked to nature for examples of male expansion that might shed light on our evolutionary destiny. I was able to identify five common manspreads so that we females can recognize them in the wild. Perhaps they offer clues to the haunting question: What have we been missing?
- The “Look On My Works, Ye Mighty, And Despair”
- The “If You Can’t Handle Me At My Worst”
- The “Most Women Love This About Me”
- The “It’s Leg Day”
- The “Just Wait Till I Start Talking”