We've spent so much time talking about the intimate details that others can detect merely by looking at you that you've probably swapped out your regular wardrobe for Hefty bags cinched with rope to retain some semblance of privacy. Well, don't forget to cover your head [Disclaimer: Do not put garbage bags on your head], because it turns out that allowing someone even the briefest glimpse at your face could tell them all about ...
5Your Likelihood Of Having A One-Night Stand
If determining another person's sexual intentions were easy, humanity would never have invented vodka. It seems like when you're looking for a long-term relationship, your skirt suddenly has more hands up it than the day it left the sweatshop. Or when you're just looking for someone to play a quick game of Flops and Slobbers, you find the girl who's been collecting wedding catalogs since she was 12. Wouldn't it be so much simpler if you could tell the difference at a single glance?
Well, according to science, the type of sexual engagement you prefer is in fact written all over your face, and there's nothing short of extensive plastic surgery you can do to hide it.
"I'm going for the 'committed but complicated' look."
In a study published in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior, researchers at Durham University asked 700 men and women what they were looking for in a relationship -- nuptials or bestials. Then they showed them photos of the other participants and asked them to rate their sexual attitudes. Seventy-two percent of the time, a single glance at another participant's face was all it took to correctly rate their tendency to slip away while the sheets are still conveniently slippery.
Want to test this yourself? Simply take a look in the mirror. Guys: If you have a wide face, a square jaw, and small eyes, then you're more likely to keep your intimate relationships on the casual side. Gals: If you have wide doe eyes and larger lips, then you're more likely to order your sausage to go, if you catch our drift. The dark evolutionary implication here is that men who look more conventionally masculine tend to fire their seed around like some kind of crotch-mounted Gatling gun, while attractive females are pre-programmed to treat their nether bits like a dive bar dartboard.
And like darts, it gets really confusing playing with three or more.
4Your Sexual Orientation
In a study conducted at Tufts University, researchers gathered up a plethora of male headshots from personals ads and flashed them at a group of undergraduates. With exposures as brief as 50 milliseconds, participants were still able to judge a male's sexual preferences with accuracy greater than could be attributed to chance. In case your brain doesn't run in CPU cycles, 50 milliseconds is 1/20th of a second. That's barely enough time to register that what you're looking at is a face, let alone reach a conclusion regarding what type of genitalia that face enjoys all up in it.
"That's a teabagging nose if I ever saw one."
And it's not only the guys. Tufts followed up with a similar study involving female faces, and found that participants were able to tell if a woman was gay or straight in even less time than it took for the fellas -- 40 milliseconds, to be annoyingly precise -- and were likely to make an accurate judgment even when all they saw was a woman's eyes.
So how is this even possible? One study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior attempted to answer this question by studying the facial structures of gay folk versus straight folk, and they found some marked differences. Lesbian women had more turned-up noses (as did straight men), and gay men had more convex cheeks and shorter noses (as did straight women), to name a few. Given the rapidity demonstrated by the prior studies, it seems that our brains are more efficient at assembling this facial puzzle when our minds stay out of the goddamned way. Or in other words, we should put more faith in our guts when it comes to butts.