Women Like Men Who Play Guitars

Ryan GoslingTwo recent studies from two different countries suggest that women are more attracted to men when they’re holding a guitar. I, for one, do not discriminate, and if the man is, say, Ryan Gosling, I will be attracted to him whether he’s holding a guitar, a ukelele, or my gaze from across a crowded subway platform (What? Crazier things have happened! Drew would understand).

A study in France published just this week featured a 20-year-old man “previously evaluated as having a high level of physical attractiveness” who approached 300 women aged 18-22 in a French urban shopping district one Saturday afternoon. He introduced himself, told each woman he thought she was pretty, and then asked for her phone number. For a third of these encounters, he carried a guitar case, for another third, he held a gym bag, and the remaining third he was empty-handed.

Guess what? The guitar case was like a freakin’ aphrodisiac to these young French women. He scored numbers from 31% of them when he had the guitar in hand, compared to 14% when he had nothing, and a measly 9% when he was carrying the gym bag (sorry, muscle-heads).

In the other study, conducted last year in Israel, 100 single female college students received a Facebook friend request from a guy with the message, ‘Hey, what’s up? I like your photo.’ (I guess Israeli men aren’t any slicker than their American counterparts. “I like your photo”? Really? Anyway). Half the women saw an accompanying photo of a man holding a guitar and the other half saw a photo of the same man with no guitar.

And guess what? Guitars are a freakin’ aphrodisiac to young Israeli women too! While only 10% accepted the friend request from the guy with no guitar, 28% said, “Hell yeah” to the same guy when he was pictured with his guitar.

The researchers scratched their heads, trying to figure out why women would be more attracted to guitar-wielders, hypothesizing that music is strongly related to mating, that music ability is linked to physical and intellectual abilities — clearly the researchers haven’t watched the Grammys in recent years… — a strong work ethic, willingness to practice, and finally, linking musicality to prenatal exposure to testosterone, which, apparently, is a signal for male fertilizing ability.

Hey, researchers, lemme help you out: musicians are sexy. The way they hold their instruments? Makes women imagine how they’d handle … well, their instruments, their bodies. The way they sorta close their eyes when they get all into their playing? Hot. Unless they’re John Mayer, in which case, not hot, just icky. But, you get what I’m saying. This isn’t some big mystery.

What IS mysterious though is that men don’t seem to be turned on by musicians of the opposite sex the same way women are. When the researchers conducted a similar experiment using the Facebook profile of a woman, the presence of a guitar in her photo made no difference in how the male subjects responded to her. I’d love to know how they might respond to a photo of a woman holding a brownie.

[via Pacific Standard]


  1. Guess i’m going to have to ditch carrying around a motorcycle helmet and switch to a guitar case.

  2. Ah jeez…. I have definitely dated more than my fair share of musicians.

    1. Oddly enough, my first girl crush was a musician also. Hmm.

      Ladies who like ladies: Are you attracted to female musicians? The study said it made no difference for straight men looking at women with guitars, what what about same-sex attraction? Guys who like guys? Does a guitar do it for you?

      1. I think a female musician would definitely do more for me than a male musician. But (like GG below) I’m actually almost turned-OFF by male musicians? (This is probably due to my best friend in high school who dragged me to every “show” that her new hawt guy crush was playing, AND also this pretentious music major-y dude I slept with in college? I was so uninterested in his music that I never listened to it, even after he sent me his myspace link…ha)

      2. Thunder_Power says:

        Nah, musicians don’t do it for me. I dated a girl for a while who could play guitar, she even taught me a few chords. But I wasn’t gaga over her because of it. I feel neutral about that skill set I suppose.

      3. sisisodapop says:

        As a Bi-woman, I can definitely say that a woman with musical talent is a turn on. I think it’s even more so than a man with musical talent. But, I think that caviat may also be due to my personal experiences with male musicians; most of them have been at least a little arrogant. My experience with female musicians has been more limited, so I haven’t really had the opportunity to make the same observation…. if that makes any sense at all.

      4. I’m bi and have dated musicians of all ilk and YUP! I find lady musicians just as sexy as I find boy musicians, even if the degree varies by person.

  3. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

    I don’t particularly like musicians. Actually I’m pretty turned off by it.

    1. I only had two steadfast rules when it came to dating: no musicians, no one with kids. So I married a drummer with two kids =\ Personally, I think drummers are the sexiest, and they are often seen carrying around drumsticks because… well, because they are strange.

      1. lets_be_honest says:


      2. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        My fiance wishes he was a drummer. He drums on EVERYTHING all the time. Driving, the desk, the dinner table. It drives me bonkers. He also like to sing, loudly, first thing in the morning. Also drives me bonkers.

      3. My husband drums on everything too, including me (and the dogs, and the table, and the back of the couch, and every other thing he can get his fingers on). Drives me nuts. In our house “do I look like a damn drum?!” is heard daily.

      4. Avatar photo paperheart says:

        Drummers are my thing, too. B is a drummer. 2 out of 3 of my exes were drummers. I stalke….uhh…had a crush on….a drummer in high school, and I didn’t even know his name. I saw him at a show (which is a concert, but for “hardcore” local bands, for those of you who don’t know) and saw that he was super hot and was a drummer and I was in love. I called him “goofy red hat guy”, because obviously he was wearing a goofy red hat. Also, my best friend noticed him in the background of one of her pictures, so she zoomed in and printed and framed it for my birthday. (only kind of as a joke.) No wonder I didn’t have many high school boyfriends. I wouldn’t have wanted to date me, either Haha

  4. My boyfriend works in music, and it definitely did add to his appeal. I work in art so I like the creative types, and I found it funny he said he was really attracted by my art and ability to play instruments too.

    I’ve dated a few musicians before, but they were more the type with no fall-back plan, or any sort of plan in life, and that was not attractive at all.

  5. I use to have a thing for dudes who drive jeeps. Don’t ask me why because I have no idea. But to this day, I will check out dudes in jeeps.

    1. I think there’s an unwritten law that says only cute guys can drive Wranglers 🙂

      If you see a Jeep with the top off at the beach in the summer and the guy isn’t smoking hot, it’s such a let down.

      1. Right?

        Oddly enough, I dated two UT (TN) dudes for 2+ years each who drove green wranglers. Both went by their middle names. The middle name of one was the same as the first name of the other. So effing weird.

        I also have a thing for guys named Ryan. I have yet to meet a Ryan who isn’t hot. Although, I haven’t dated a Ryan. Maybe I should work on that.

      2. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Ugh, my asshole college ex drove a wangler. He wasn’t hot either.

      3. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        He was a massive douche bag though.

      4. One was funny. The other hot. There were probably 5 years between me dating them. The ex-fiance was in the middle. If I could combine all three of them, I would have a winning combination. For real.

  6. Trust me, y’all. Making music is by far the most intimate, responsive and personal thing I do apart from sex. What you share with someone when you make music together…. well, there’s a reason for the well-known Pepe Le Pew phrase, “We will make ze beeootiful musics togezzare.” And if you write her a song? You better be prepared to back it up with action, because you just got walked to third base. There have been times when my wife and I have sung together at parties, and then suddenly, “Uh… we gotta go home now.”

    1. Awwww. Swoon!

      I did have a couple songs written for me / about me. They weren’t entirely nice, though. He wrote them after we stopped seeing each other. (Except for the first one – which he played at a show for the first time ever while I was there – and I was barely paying attention. OOPS.)

      1. Writing the song after the breakup veers into stalker territory. Unless you need filler tracks for your album.

      2. Yeah, he just didn’t have anything else to write about.

      3. My high school boyfriend wrote a song for me for Valentine’s Day. It was called “My Bloody Valentine” …um, did I mention I was a bit goth in high school? It was romantic at the time.

      4. Avatar photo gillociraptor says:

        My ex-fiance didn’t even have a band until we broke up. So, all the songs about me are mean ones.

  7. Gotta say I lusted after many (and made out with a few) dudes in cover bands in college. I still remember Billy, the hottest guitar player ever fondly 🙂

    My first college boyfriend also wooed me with his guitar.

    1. Lily in NYC says:

      Ha, I misread your comment and thought you wrote: the hottest guitar player I ever fondled.

      1. Liquid Luck says:

        This interpretation is much better than what bethany said anyway.

  8. Definitely have zero interest in musicians. If he plays, that’s cool… but in general, not my type.

    I dig the stereotypical southern fraternity guy look — RL polo, SM, VV, etc. shirt, Wranglers & boots with the “SEC”-style haircut. Hahaha all my exes look alike :/

    1. ^^ That really doesn’t explain much. But basically I like good ole Southern boys from small towns. I prefer a guy who’s worked on a farm than one who knows how to play guitar.

    2. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

      I like the southern frat look but the preppier version- no cowboy boots or wranglers for me. But my fiance doesn’t look much like it. He looks like a jewish history professor. which is half right. I am converting his clothes slowly though:)

      1. Hahaha aw I laughed out loud at the “Jewish history professor” description. Well if you’re converting his clothes, soon enough he’ll look a little less professor-y 🙂

      2. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Funny thing is the history professor part is the true part! He isn’t a drop jewish!

  9. Older and (hopefully) wiser says:

    Oh no! My husband plays guitar. Should I not let him carry it around in public?

  10. Oh geez. I have several male musician friends and they are ALWAYS getting laid by new women. I mean ALWAYS. They’re freakin’ sluts and pretty average looking if you ask me. Anyway… that bit of anecdotal evidence seems to support the theory.

  11. Lily in NYC says:

    This cracked me up. It must be opposite day for me, because I am just NOT into guys that play guitar – it actually causes me to lose any attraction I might have had. I don’t necessarily mean people who play in a rock band – I mean guys that use it to try to impress girls by sitting on the grass strumming badly or bringing it out at parties. That was usually my cue to leave and go find another party.
    Embarrassing confession: I dated a flamenco guitarist that was on the Billboard charts but had not heard his music until our 4th or 5th date. The first time I listened to his band, I lost all interest because he it turns out he was a New Age flamenco guitarist and his music made me cringe. I’m not proud of it, but I just couldn’t muster up any feelings for him after I heard his music. It was a visceral reaction and I’m not sure why – I wonder if it’s because I’m a musician as well? Something for me to think about I guess.

    1. Hahaha, yeah, some guys are super douchey about it. I probably wouldn’t be attracted to a musician whose music I didn’t like.

      I think, for me, I’m attracted to a certain “type” of guy, and that “type” also happens to be more likely to play an instrument.

  12. lets_be_honest says:

    Guitars don’t do it for me, but I’m with you on Ryan Gosling.

    1. Lily in NYC says:

      He looks like a muppet to me. I know I am the only female in America that is not into him. I will say he seems like a great, great person; I only hear good things about him.

      1. I am also not into him—you’re not alone! I think his eyes are too close together.

      2. lets_be_honest says:

        You’re both wrong. Sorry.

      3. Bittergaymark says:

        I absolutely don’t get the hype behind Gosling. He’s nice enough looking, I guess. But he has to be the blandest sex symbol in decades… He’s just… Yawn… Definitely not all that and a bag of cheetos…

      4. Yeah, I think he’s attractive, but not anymore attractive than any other celebrity…


    As many of you know I teach music. Here’s my thing with guys and guitars: it’s NOT THAT HARD to play guitar. I mean, you hold down the strings and strum. Woohoo. A monkey could do it. Not to mention, most pop songs are only like 3 or 4 chords anyway. This video sums it up very well: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pidokakU4I Now, I’ve heard some AMAZING guitar players in my day too who do more than just strum chords, and that’s awesome. I heard a classical guitar player in college who was from Sweden and he was ridiculously amazing. That stuff is impressive…pop/rock guitarists? Not so much.

    As for drummers…it does take a lot of coordination to play drum set, but a simple rock beat isn’t difficult at all. Those guys that carry drum sticks with them like someone mentioned up above drive me crazy. The ONLY REASON you would do that is to get female attention. Or if you were my percussion professor in college and you practiced your snare drum rolls on a practice pad in the car while stuck in traffic.

    Of course I’m a music snob and a classically trained musician who spent hours and hours and hours (and HOURS) practicing for my senior recital. My ex boyfriend actually wrote a piece of music for me which was really cool because I got to perform it at my recital. I came across it the other day.

    I have a major thing for classical piano players. Now THAT takes some mad skill.

    1. Yikes, I’m such a snob. Sorry guys.

      1. Geez, L. Point 1: Piano isn’t that hard if you keep the left hand simple and just play chords. But you wouldn’t be playing Moonlight Sonata then, would you? Playing any instrument well is an art. Point 2: Technical proficiency does not equal effective music or expression. Point 3: Complex music is not necessarily harder to play well than simple music. Rockabilly is simple music, but few play it well.

        I’ma hafta say a prayer to St. Joe Strummer for you.

      2. You’re very right, Diablo. I realize I was really snotty in my first post. Even the most basic of music can be beautiful and I do know that. It’s the guys who think they’re musicians just because they can play a G and a C chord who drive me nuts.

      3. As you specified, you need to know at least four chords to be a musician. It wouldn’t hurt if they were all in one key, neither, but let’s not nitpick.

        I think violin is hard. You have to work for a long time to get a decent tone, bowing is difficult to master, the gradations of pitch are so close together on the tiny neck, no frets or keys to guarantee you hit your tone. My guarantee on behalf of hacker musicians: we can’t always make it good, but we are painfully aware of when we suck.

      4. Hahaha you’re so right, Diablo. I agree with you — violin, viola, cello, and string bass are ridiculously difficult. I remember taking my class on string instruments and I was so ridiculously bad at playing all of them.

      5. lets_be_honest says:

        I’ve always wanted to learn how to play the violin. Someday, hopefully.
        I love listening to a piano though. My old neighbor used to play it at night and I’d turn everything off and just listen through the walls.
        Lil_be_h can play a tiny bit. She just learned some Adele.

    2. I actually always wondered what you taught. (She said in the least creepy way possible… haha :-))

      1. Haha, yeah I’ve been vague on that in the past!!

    3. I sure hope my husband doesn’t carry his sticks around to get chics (that sounded dirty). Of course, he doesn’t carry them in public – just in the house. But I have seen guys do it in public and I’m betting you’re right that they’re just doing it for chics.

      1. Yup. If I see a guy carrying drumsticks around in public and I just laugh.

    4. Grilledcheesecalliope says:

      Ive always been partial to boys who play horns. Saxophone s are sexy, unless it’s Kenny g.

      1. In high school band I always seemed to have a thing for low brass players — trombones especially. (No needs to go off on those stupid dirty trombone band camp jokes because I’ve heard them all! 🙂 )

    5. Eagle Eye says:

      🙂 My boyfriend is a classically trained pianist AND plays the guitar

      1. Oooo lucky girl! My ex was a piano player and could play Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata (my favorite piano piece) flawlessly. Definitely a reason why I dated him for so long! Ha.

    6. Lily in NYC says:

      I’m a classical pianist! What’s your main instrument?

  14. Bittergaymark says:

    It’s always amazed me how SHITTY many musicians treat their girlfriends… Even more amazing is just how willingly so many vapid women just eat it up…

    1. Who said anything about being their girlfriend?? Guys in bands are hook up material, at best.

    2. Avatar photo bittergaymark says:

      My life has been littered with women making bad choices over uniquely untalented musicians. I only care as — somehow — it’s always me who gets called in to pick up the fucking pieces…

      1. If all the women you surround yourself with are colossal train wrecks, maybe that has more to do with who you choose as friends and acquaintances than it does about womankind as a whole…

      2. Liquid Luck says:

        Seriously, I think this every time he posts about how ridiculously stupid women are. Choose better friends. Stop playing the martyr and find people who don’t need their pieces picked up, because it’s only your job if you make it your job. You are making the conscious choice to do so, so you don’t get to bitch about it.

      3. Avatar photo bittergaymark says:

        Many of these women aren’t friends but rather people I work with who were RELENTLESS about bringing their personal lives to the office…

  15. Avatar photo veritek33 says:

    I always had more of a thing for writers….but not song writers…..And people just don’t carry around typewriters anymore to show off their writing prowess.

    1. AliceInDairyland says:

      If someone carried around a typewriter I would be all over that. Unfortunately if you see a laptop you gotta figure they are either on FB or DW and not writing anything. 😉

    2. Oh god… writers are fucking awful. I know. I am one. And I’ve dated one.

      My ex was the fucking trifecta: a fiction writer, musician (guitar and keyboard), and a Wall Street banker (banker wankers as my English friends call them!).


      1. lets_be_honest says:

        That is quite the trifecta!

      2. My only excuse is that I met him in college -creative writing class, actually!- so I didn’t think he’d become a corporate banker… Then again I DID know he wrote poetry (about me! swoon/gag) and music (about me! swoon/gag), so…. yeah. I have no excuse. NVM!

  16. AliceInDairyland says:

    Another vote for not really being into guys with guitars. Maybe in theory guys who play guitar are attractive, but then in practice I feel like most of them end up being a little too lassez-faire about their whole life and I need me a little more structure.

    I want to know what IS everyone’s type. Do you have a specific type you go for (like Lynn mentioned above?)

    My type is: significantly taller than me. Slimmer athletic (think runner not lifter). Dorky-cute. Not really worried about what he wears at all (because I don’t either and I don’t want to get shown up!)

    1. Another to add to my type-list (I’m picky ;)), I’ve never dated a guy shorter than 6′. I like tall guys… shorter guys just don’t do it for me which sucks because there are a lot of great guys other there, but if the attraction isn’t there, it just isn’t.

  17. Drummers are my weakness. My best guy friend I was in love with was a drummer. He also played piano and guitar. He could draw and paint pretty well too. Stupid sensitive, creative Pisces.

    The last guy I was dating played me a song after we tried (and failed) to have sex. I was embarrassed and drunk and it was 3 am and I thought my neighbors would hate me. So not a huge turn on.

    Bartenders/restauranteers are my weakness. Especially when they have sexy accents. 🙁

  18. Hmm, when I hear a guy say he plays the guitar, I either think 1) Oh, he’s a d-bag musician or 2) He wishes he were a d-bag musician. Though if I actually saw an attractive man playing the guitar well, I’d probably find that hot. Just wouldn’t want to date him. I also cringe whenever I go out with a guy and he says he wished he played the guitar.

  19. AliceInDairyland says:

    Also… I just want to say that the way to get into my pants is if you can build me something, that trumps playing a musical instrument by 1,000x. Bookshelf! End table! House for my goats to live in!

    1. Ooooo, agreed. I have a major thing for carpenters.

  20. Liquid Luck says:

    You know what types of musicians are the best to date? Woodwind players. They spend years strengthening their tongue muscles and have quick fingers. Oral sex is pretty much their thing.

  21. The timing on this is too funny. The guy I’ve been seeing texted me this video like two hours ago:


    That’s because when we were first getting to know each other, he picked up my guitar and proceeded to play it and serenade me (turns out he actually plays a classical instrument as well- and he’s really good at it). My response: “Do you do that with all the girls when you’re trying to get laid?” Him: “Is it working?”

    It was. Lol.

  22. I don’t know who I find to be the bigger douches, successful musicians who never hear “no” from women don’t want to get “tied down” or wannabe musicians consciously learning instruments to land chicks. No thanks. Ukulele is cool though.

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