Silicone Valley

I’m a guy who hates fake boobs. I’ve dumped women I really liked upon discovering they have them. Total deal breaker for me. However, I obviously can’t just ask whether a woman has them. What should I do? I don’t want to waste my time or hers.    

— Real Deal

Right. Not exactly a first-date question: “So … did you get your boobs from your mom’s side of the family or from some doc’s Yelp review?”

Your aversion to counterfitties doesn’t come out of nowhere. Breast implants are a form of “strategic interference,” evolutionary psychologist David Buss’ term for when the mating strategies of one sex are derailed by the other. Women, for example, evolved to seek “providers” — men with high status and access to resources. A guy engages in strategic interference by impressing the ladies with his snazzy new Audi — one he pays for by subletting a “condo” that’s actually the backyard playhouse of the rotten 8-year-old next door.

A woman doesn’t need an Audi (or even a bus pass) to attract men. She just needs the features that men evolved to go all oglypants for — like youth, an hourglass bod, big eyes, full lips and big bra puppies. Men aren’t attracted to these features just becuz. Biological anthropologist Grazyna Jasienska finds that women with big (natural!) boobs have higher levels of the hormone estradiol, a form of estrogen that increases a woman’s likelihood of conception. Women with both big boobs and a small waist have about 30% higher levels — which could mean they’d be about three times as likely to get pregnant as other women. So, big fake boobs are a form of mating forgery, like a box supposedly containing a high-def TV that actually contains a bunch
of no-def bricks.

There are some telltale signs of Frankenboobs, like immunity from gravity. Women with big real boobs have bra straps that could double as seat belts and bra backs like those lumbar support belts worn by warehouse workers. However, an increasing number of women have more subtle implants (all the better to strategically interfere with you, my dear!).

Though you might get the truth by teasing the subject of plastic surgery into conversation, you should accept the reality: You may not know till you get a woman horizontal — and the sweater Alps remain so high and proud you’re pretty sure you see Heidi running across them, waving to the Ricola guy playing the alpenhorn.

Got a problem? Write to Amy Alkon at 171 Pier Ave., Ste. 280, Santa Monica, CA  90405, or email her at
Alkon’s latest book is “Good Manners for Nice People who Sometimes Say F*ck.” She blogs at and podcasts at