Belching? Gross. Wearing a wrinkled shirt on date night? Unsightly. Bringing up your ex? Distasteful. Fellas, without a doubt, all of the above will get under a girl’s skin — but if you possess basic manners, you probably already knew that (and hopefully refrain from doing them).

But were you aware that many women won’t want to sleep with you if your coffee order is too complex? Or if you don’t proofread your text messages? I’m letting you in on a secret: it’s the strange little things you do without thinking that could annihilate your chance of landing her digits, let alone a date.

To help, I asked a pool of 30 ladies to name particularly bizarre habits, actions, and tendencies of men that make females recoil. And to ensure their comments weren’t just personal opinions, each mention making it to print was agreed upon by at least two additional women.

Unmanly, ungentlemanly behavior

“If you’re scared of bugs, be a man and pretend you’re not. I sure as hell am not going to be the one to kill that cockroach.” — Julie, 29

“Men who start fights with each other, verbally and physically. If I’m at a bar or sports event and a guy’s temper goes from zero to 100 really fast, it looks tacky, not manly. It can also be scary.” — Lynda*, 24

“Guys who think they’re ‘too cool’ to read. Newsflash: it isn’t cool to seem uneducated. Pick up a book.” — Liz, 28

“It’s a big turn-off when a guy is too picky — this goes for travel, food, sex, and just about everything else. Yes, I think it’s attractive to have an opinion. But you don’t get to have an opinion on something you’ve never tried.” — Beatrice, 24

“I can’t watch a guy stick his hands down his pants and touch his junk. I know men say that adjusting down there is necessary sometimes, but it still makes me want to vom.” — Amanda, 28

Backhanded compliments and baby talk

“It’s a turnoff when a guy tells me, ‘You’re pretty for a black girl.’ So, you’re saying that black girls typically aren’t attractive, but I’m an exception? That’s nowhere near a compliment — that’s offensive.” — Janelle, 23

“It grosses me out when a guy baby-talks me. What makes you think I’d want to jump your bones if you’re speaking to me like I’m a fetus?” — Kendall*, 24

“I get turned off when a guy runs his mouth about sports but has no idea what he’s talking about. What, you think I won’t notice because I’m a girl? I’m actually a diehard Yankees fan, so you’re better off admitting the truth — that I know way more about baseball than you do.” — Sofia, 28

“It’s really unattractive when a man speaks negatively about another person’s body or features — man or woman. Whether I overhear it in a group or it’s behind the person’s back, it becomes clear that you have an inflated self-image. Then, I start to wonder if you talk shit about me, too.” — Kathie, 28

“I get really annoyed when a dude judges my food order. Like, ‘Oh, just a salad? Not hungry today?’ I’m ordering a salad because I want a damn salad! I’m also a vegetarian and you don’t hear me judging you for eating steak. Don’t make this weird.” — Kate*, 30

Grammatical minefields and oversharing

“It makes a guy look careless and dumb when he spells a bunch of words wrong in his texts, especially since all phones have spellcheck these days.” — Nicole, 25

“Do not just send me a slew of emojis! What the hell does ‘dragon-fire-calendar’ mean? I don’t have the time or emotional capacity to try and decipher your text. Communicate like an adult.” — Haley, 28

“Sitting on the couch while a guy shows me endless YouTube videos is not how I want to spend ‘quality time’ together. One hilarious clip? Fine. Your absolute new favorite song? Also fine. But I’m not wasting two hours of my life learning about you through clips of Andrew Dice Clay stand-up.” — Meagan, 28

“I can’t stand guys who write ‘lol’ in texts. I read it and I’m like, what is this, your seventh-grade away message?” — Marie*, 29

“Men who don’t spell words out via text or email. Like, ‘Miss you 2.’ Way to ruin the moment.” — Celeste, 28

Fashion faux pas

“I hate when a guy wears flip-flops as his everyday attire. We’re not at the beach, we’re at a bar in [the city] — I don’t want to see your gross toes.” — Vicky, 24

“Cargo shorts. They look like man capris and are sex repellants. Why are there so many pockets?! A man does not need to carry around that many items at one time. At that point, he might as well get a man purse. Which is equally as horrible.” — Michelle, 25

“Dudes who wear boxer shorts with cartoons on them. I’m sorry, but unless you’re a small child, Sonic the Hedgehog should not be covering your balls.” — Zoe, 24

“Transition lenses.” — Ashley, 25

Bedroom blunders

“When I’m having an intimate moment with my boyfriend, I hate when he tries to be funny during it. I normally love his sense of humor, but a joke about ‘knocker one and knocker two’ when I’m trying to kiss him will totally kill the mood!” — Katie, 25

“Guys, this isn’t funny anymore. Leaving your socks on during sex is never OK.” — Rachel*, 32

“If it’s a first-time or one-time hookup, smacking my ass is actually a turnoff. It’s too much, too soon. You don’t know me, bro!” — Allison*, 28

“It’s the worst when a guy is quiet during sex or is a silent climaxer. Theatrics aren’t necessary, but how do I know what you like or if you’re even enjoying yourself if you won’t even give me a moan?” — Jacqui, 30


Driving dives

“”After I’ve been in a car with a guy who either drives recklessly or has no sense of direction, I feel like I can’t trust him with anything else in life.” — Maggie, 25

“Fellas, cruising by in a convertible with the top down but the windows up negates the sexiness of both you and your Porsche. It’s the equivalent of having sex with socks on.” — Lindsey, 32 [Editor’s Note: See? Sex with socks on really is that bad.]

“I never understood why guys think it looks cool to drive with the bass turned up so high on their sound systems, the music shakes their cars. Clearly you want attention, but you’re not going to get the good kind.” — Melanie, 27

“Why do some guys drive with their seats reclined all the way back? I don’t think you look sexy or badass — in fact, all I can think about is how you can’t possibly see over the steering wheel.” — Taylor*, 29

Grooming fails

“I can’t stand it when a guy leaves his beard shavings in the bathroom sink. Not only is it gross, but it shows he doesn’t take pride in his space. It’s the easiest thing to clean up!” — Elizabeth, 29

“There is nothing less sexy than rolling around in the sheets and getting sliced in the shin with a guy’s jagged spear toe. It hurts, and also makes me wonder when the last time was he clipped them. Trim those weapons!” — Courtney, 24

(And while we’re on the topic of man toes…)

“Do not clip your toenails in front of me. Yes, we all have toenails and maintenance is important. But witnessing the act is foul and the sound of an instrument clipping through a man’s nail is piercing. I’d honestly rather watch you poop with the door open.” — Jane, 29




Ways women turn men off:

Middle age
Unwillingness (sometimes)
Lack of intelligence (or self-perceived overabundance)
Bad feet
Saggy tits
Conversation unbecoming a human

and on
and on
and on

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