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The Sexiest Tattoos

Has seeing someone with a tattoo changed your perception of how attractive they are? If you’re looking for individuals sans body art, you may discover that these people are harder and harder to find. In fact, almost a third of Americans have at least one tattoo, and it usually doesn’t stop there. Research has shown almost 70 percent of Americans with tattoos have two or more. While a little or a lot of ink may be a turnoff to some, it can ignite passion in others.


We surveyed over 1,000 Americans about how they felt about others with tattoos. Of these participants, two-thirds didn’t have tattoos … yet. Is permanent ink seen as an aphrodisiac? Has the tide turned on tattoos being sexy? Read on to learn about people’s feelings toward attractive ink.

Exploring Sexy Spots for Ink

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Participants rated the most attractive locations for tattoos on a scale of 1 to 5. For those interested in men, prime real estate for a tattoo was the upper arm at a 3.8. Those attracted to women saw a three-way tie between the upper back, shoulder, and hips.


It’s likely these tattoos, depending on size, are also easily concealed at professional functions. Throw on a blazer or shawl, and you can save seeing these tattoos for a special someone. You may also need to be intimate with these individuals to get a peek, which could play into the allure of more private tattoo spots.

Those attracted to men and women did agree on the least attractive location in an almost unanimous fashion: the face. The average attractiveness rating was closer to 1 than 2 on the five-point scale, potentially due to the inability to mask such a mark. And even though it’s more easily obscured, the inner lip was a runner-up for the least attractive location for tattoos, regardless of gender.

Styles That Smolder

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For people turned on (or off) by tattoos, there were clear winners when it came to the most appreciated styles. For those who don’t generally like tattoos, a minimalist approach is preferred. These can be a subtle linework of arrows, boundaries of states or countries, geometric shapes, and even outlines of animals or mythological creatures. Ultimately, they feature less color and flourish than other styles, but this doesn’t make them any less attractive.

Japanese tattoos were the second most attractive style for both sets of people. Featuring dragons, flowers, fish, and samurai, these intricate and beautiful designs are marked by bold and bright colors. They also work on most body locations, with some individuals opting for their entire body to be covered with Japanese-styled tattoos, and others going for smaller pieces on their arms and hands.

The most appealing style of tattoo for those who like them was illustrative. This style can feature creative interpretations of pop culture icons from comics, film, television, and video games, or even just a different take on a flower.

The X-Factor

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Now that you’ve learned about the best locations and styles, what about tattoos makes men and women more or less attractive? Men and women agreed the No. 1 element behind an attractive tattoo was the artistry. That’s right, we may have just witnessed the end of an era of “Mom” tattoos being cool. People are more likely to be attracted to pieces that turn your body into a walking museum.

In fact, there are tattoo artists whose work has been featured in the National Gallery of Art, like Pony Reinhardt of Tender Foot Studios. You can’t call her work anything but art.

While women were split on what was more important – location or style of tattoo – almost 30 percent of men thought the location of a tattoo was the second most important factor in the attractiveness equation. Women were, however, more concerned with the message or meaning behind the tattoo.

Like many things in life, it’s the art of the tattoo that matters most, which means you should shop around to find more than just a tattoo parlor, but an artist.

In the Eye of the Beholder


Over 40 percent of men and women agreed a tattoo was not a big determinant of attractiveness. Though, in general, men were less likely to find a tattooed person attractive versus women. In fact, almost 35 percent of women said they found other people more attractive if they had ink, where only 27 percent of men felt the same.


By age, people most likely to be turned on by a tattoo were between 18 and 25 years old. Perhaps this is due to almost 50 percent of millennials sporting ink themselves. Not surprisingly, the group least likely to have a tattoo – baby boomers – were also less likely to be attracted to someone with them (59 percent).

What Your Tattoo Says About You


Are people with tattoos more sexually adventurous? Of those surveyed, over 40 percent of men agreed a tattoo made someone seem more sexually adventurous. However, only 30 percent of women shared their opinion. More than half of women had no opinion on whether a tattoo indicated someone was sexually adventurous between the sheets. Forty-six percent of men felt the same way.


What influences some of these feelings? Forty-six percent of men said the location of a tattoo played a large role in how they perceived someone’s sexual attitude. Women, in general, felt more strongly (almost 45 percent) that no aspect of a tattoo impacted how they interpreted a person’s sexual nature.

The Other X-Factor

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Even though many participants said having a tattoo usually made no difference in how attractive they found someone, there were specific scenarios where tattoos were a major turnoff. Most struggled with the idea of someone having the name of an ex tattooed on them.


Prison tattoos also caught a bad rap. Over 20 percent of respondents found these to be the biggest turnoff. Cheap tattoos and ones with misspellings were additionally rated poorly.

Public Opinions of Tattoos

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So what would the best tattoo look like? It would need to be located on the upper arm and take advantage of an artistic, illustrative style. Tattoos like this speak to the importance of doing research, finding a great artist, and collaborating with them on the piece.


The worst tattoo would be located on the face, be a large portrait of an ex, and have their name located underneath. Although this is likely an uncommon combination to settle on, consider these findings as a design idea to avoid when contemplating your next piece.

Your Body, Your Ink

If you’re worried a tattoo will make you less attractive, banish the thought from your mind. As a whole, people are way more likely not to care or find you more attractive. And the attitude continues to shift. As more millennials get inked, it’s becoming a social norm. While there are certain styles – illustrative and artistic – that speak to many, it’s still your body and your choice. When it comes to a tattoo that you’ll have forever, artistic quality is the most important thing to consider. Help make sure you stay nice and still for your artist by preparing with Zensa Numbing Cream. You’ll avoid and potential mistakes, as well as the pain. It’s a clear win-win.


We surveyed 1,004 Americans and asked them about their opinion of what makes a tattoo attractive. 57% of respondents identified as men, 43% as women, and less than 1% identified as a gender not listed by our survey. Of our respondents, 67% indicated they did not have a tattoo.

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Posted Jul 12, 2017
Approximately 5.5 min. read
By Zensa
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