Recently, I was discussing the rules of attraction with my fiance. He mentioned a friend that was so self-conscious about his hair that he never dated and was too shy to talk to girls.

“But girls don’t really care about hair,” I said.

“Sure they do.”

“No, they don’t. We don’t care that much about appearance. You want to be attracted to your partner, but I don’t know any woman who married her husband because he was so hot.”

My fiance seemed a bit flummoxed by this proclamation, but I stand by it. Yes, we hetero ladies notice hot men, and we may have the occasional fantasy about, oh, I don’t know, a soccer player or something. But in my experience, for the most part, looks play a very small role in who we seriously date. And for that matter, looks play less of a role in sexual attraction than, say, a good sense of humor, or skills in the sack.

So I’m a little surprised by this recent article in the New York Times about men who are relentlessly pursuing six-pack abs. Not only do I not give a shit about six-pack abs, nor do most women I know, but I would say that the personality traits belied by a strong desire for six-pack abs are far less attractive than any kind of belly could ever be. In other words, the cost-benefit analysis doesn’t add up.

Yet the NYT reports that “From 2000 to 2009, the number of men in the United States undergoing abdominoplasty (tummy tucks) more than doubled, to 4,670,” and that more men are trying gels that purport to tighten the skin on their bellies.

I wish I could tell them all that it’s really not worth it. No lady that I know wants a man who’s more obsessed with his appearance than she is — if he’s that vain about himself, he’s that vain about us. And then how could we ever forgo bathing for a week?

No thank you.