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So, one of the constraints I have on designing my world's fantasy races is that all of them used to be human, because these creatures only came about through humans getting access to supernatural shapeshifting powers. This means, among other things, that they all have to conform to human standards of beauty, because (at least with the first generation) they don't magically get their own new standards of beauty upon transforming. All of the creatures I create, if I want it to be at all believable that more than a miniscule minority of people became them, have to be things a human could look at and believably go "yeah, I'd hit that".

But this brought up an interesting question as I was designing them: how should I design a fantasy race so that it has attractive men?

I don't mean that in the sense of "what makes guys sexy", I've been able to get a pretty good idea of that on my own. No, I mean more along the lines of:

What is the male equivalent of a catgirl?

We've seen endless examples of female fantasy creatures with exotic nonhuman characteristics designed specifically to make them more attractive to men, from elf ears, to animal ears, to tails, to those anime girls with wings where a tramp stamp would be, but it's the strangest thing, I can't seem to find much discussion at all about what nonhuman features you could add to the male form to make them hotter.

And you see, the first two races I introduce are basically the "gateway races", intended to ease humanity into the concept of turning themselves into nonhumans, and so they're the least bizarre looking and the most conventionally attractive by human standards (though still capable of having unattractive members, I'm talking more about the upper ceiling). The speed-based race is more traditionally feminine in appearance, the strength-based race more traditionally masculine. The men of the former are the pretty straightforward concept of pretty-boys, so they're no problem, but I'm trying to figure out what sorts of "this clearly isn't human" features I should add to the men of the latter species that would enhance, rather than detract from, their appearance.

Any advice?

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closed as primarily opinion-based by StephenG, RonJohn, JBH, elemtilas, Andon Apr 28 '18 at 1:42

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • $\begingroup$ Is your storytelling purely verbal, or you working towards graphic media? If former, you can achieve anything with words (like "his antlers were irresistibly handsome"). If latter, artists have developed some long-standing traditions for Anthropomorphism. $\endgroup$ – Alexander Apr 27 '18 at 22:34
  • $\begingroup$ @Alexander Purely verbal, but I want to make sure it sounds at least believable. $\endgroup$ – Jason Clyde Apr 27 '18 at 22:37
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    $\begingroup$ I can give you advice, but from writing.stackexchange.com's perspective. I think this question is too much opinion-based here in worldbuilding. And to answer your highlighted question, its Black Panther :) $\endgroup$ – Alexander Apr 27 '18 at 23:01
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    $\begingroup$ You're a guy trying to figure out what's attractive to women. No offense, but good luck with that. When marketing uses the addage, "sex sells," what they really mean is "sex sells to men." Women don't react to physical sexuallity in the same way men do. Thus, porn dedicated to women is only, what, 10% of the porn market? And what female-oriented porn is successful is more about setting the mood than it is displaying the body. I therefore declare with arrogant certainty that the male of the species cannot answer this question and a woman's response will make little sense to you. $\endgroup$ – JBH Apr 27 '18 at 23:31
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    $\begingroup$ There is something to what @JBH says about "sex sells to me".. And gay men are men. You can take some clues about sexy males from the preferences of gay men. Google is your friend. $\endgroup$ – Willk Apr 27 '18 at 23:46
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I propose that your story have an evolutionary-type process for determining hotness.

This is because whatever you choose can be claimed to be the result of a process in the story. And that makes it more fun.

First you need some scenario where male hotness can easily be determined via multiple data points. There is too much potential for noise if hotness is determined only by who you pick up at the club on some given night. For example, newly transformed folks have something like a youtube channel where upvotes or membership is largely contingent on the hotness of the channel owner. I understand things very much like this exist in the real world.

As others contemplating transformation or modifying their own transformation decide on what form to take, they will consult the leaderboard and then model their transformation on what is popularly considered hot. They will add their own touches or ideas which is where the evolution comes from. The occasional individual will go his own route with his own ideas which probably will be a resounding flop but might succeed greatly - then hot concepts based on this lucky individual will be incorporated into the forms taken by later transformees.

I like this because you can lay forth the current hottest not as your own conception of what is hot, but as the evolved product of the described process. Just as the most arousing smells for men turn out to be vanilla and pumpkin pie your hottest looking male morph might more or less look like the cute monkey from Littlest Pet Shop.

monkey littlest pet shop

He actually does have a very male cuteness about him, this monkey. Sort of a Fred Astaire thing going on.

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