This is the modern representation of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.

The basic idea is that as you become comfortable that your Physiological needs are and will be satisfied you start looking to your Safety needs. Once you're comfortable that your safety needs are met you begin looking toward your Love/Belonging needs. And so on and So forth.

So when we go into a discussion about "what women want" what are the things that come up.
  1. Self-esteem
  2. Confidence
  3. Success (Achievement)
  4. Social Proof (respect of others)
  5. Social Grace (respect for others)

All of these things lie in the Esteem portion of the pyramid. But sexual intimacy lies in the Love/Belonging Portion. Establishing Love and Belonging, including sexual intimacy clears the stage to establish the elements of Esteem. Surely some esteem can be established without all of the elements of Love and Belonging, but it end up with two dynamics.

First, guys who've struggled to reach Esteem will focus on their sexual (romantic) intimacy as a prerequisite of developing esteem. They'll get stuck in a vicious cycle. Being unable to find love with a with a willing partner, they'll be told things like "you just need to be more confident", meanwhile they don't know how to "be more confident" because they're intimacy needs are continuing to go unmet.

Secondly, guys who have achieved esteem despite a lack of sexual (romantic) intimacy, have built their esteem on an incomplete foundation. The middle layer is unable to completely support that esteem. So they risk having their esteem eroded by romantic failures.

The expectation seems to be that you'll reach the pinnacle of the pyramid without the middle layer, then and only then will a woman deem you worth of intimacy. Sort of like needing credit to get credit. You need sexual intimacy and fulfillment to become self-actualized but you need to be self-actualized to be permitted access to sexual fulfillment.

Sometimes listening to all the posts here it sounds like women would turn down God himself because he dresses too old fashioned or they heard a story that he used to be vengeful. And that's not to start a religious argument, simply to point out the level of perfection people seem to be demanding.

In the meantime single women are wondering where all the good men have gone because they're looking for guys at the top of the pyramid when there's a metric ton of really good guys struggling in the middle of the pyramid.