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Is it true that the first thing women check out on a guy are his glutes?
October 25, 2009 11:51 AM   Subscribe

Is it true that the first thing women check out on a guy are his glutes?

Hi everybody,

I recently heard that - after such things as the face - the one thing women check out first on a male are his glutes. Consequently, the butt seems to be the body part with the most sex appeal in the male body.

Is this true?

(Apart from anecdotal evidence I could not find any (scientific) information that would prove this claim. Also, I always thought male physical attractiveness was primarily determined by a v-shaped back.)
posted by pu9iad to Human Relations (87 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Probably not helpful to you, but it honestly, I'm sure, depends on the woman. Many of us are individuals with specific tastes, not a group of mysterious creatures taking cues from some bit of possible evolutionary theory. Trust me.
posted by itsonreserve at 11:54 AM on October 25, 2009 [37 favorites]


I can't really speak for womankind in general, but your proposition sounds logistically problematic.
posted by thirteenkiller at 11:54 AM on October 25, 2009 [9 favorites]


No!

In general, any claim such as "all women like x" will be false, because any claim of the form "all people of a certain type have the same characteristic x" will be false.
posted by Ms. Saint at 11:56 AM on October 25, 2009 [5 favorites]


We aren't all exactly the same, like a stack of Pringles.

Where did you hear this tripe? It's like hearing that it's a known fact that the first thing that all men check out on a woman is _______.
posted by iconomy at 11:59 AM on October 25, 2009 [5 favorites]


First off, the statement "after such things as the face" doesn't really tell me anything. Do you mean standard things? Because I've heard the butt from enough people that I would consider it standard. Do you mean parts of the face? I have no idea.

From yelling at my wife across the room she noticed (in the order she's telling me) eyes, personality, then she stopped answering.
posted by theichibun at 12:01 PM on October 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


They're probably the first thing some women check out, but that doesn't mean that all women check them out.

Different people are drawn to different parts of the body. For example, some men like breasts, and some like legs. There's no genetically determined checklist of things to check out and tick off.
posted by Solomon at 12:02 PM on October 25, 2009


No.
posted by timeo danaos at 12:03 PM on October 25, 2009


No. Anecdotally, I'm not usually conscious of checking out any particular feature first on a guy. It's more about the gestalt.
posted by MadamM at 12:09 PM on October 25, 2009 [3 favorites]


Perhaps in trashy novels, but not in real life.
posted by x46 at 12:10 PM on October 25, 2009


No. Sorry if you've been knocking yourself out on the Stairmaster.
posted by stuck on an island at 12:10 PM on October 25, 2009 [7 favorites]


Well, I think that is largely dependent on whether he is coming or going. But despite the correlations between departing men and recognition of backside features, the interest in said features is subjective to the woman.

A personal data point, I like teeth, which are located on the frontside of the body. So, depending on which side of the man is facing me, I might tend to direct my eyes somewhat differently, and subsequently notice a liking of a different feature. Despite teeth and butts being on different sides of the body, the two features have no bearing on each other. However, if both features are pleasing and located on different sides of the same man, the all around liking is significantly better than the sum of parts. Go figure.
posted by iamkimiam at 12:12 PM on October 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


Many women I know tell me they are attracted to broad shoulders on a man.

I'd be a fool if I inferred from this that all women are attracted to men with broad shoulders.
posted by dfriedman at 12:13 PM on October 25, 2009


I have never heard any of my female friends commenting on a guy's butt, and it has never occurred to me to check it out.
posted by emilyd22222 at 12:20 PM on October 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


I can but add perhaps a bit of common sense. If a woman meets, is introduced, first sees a man, she sees him frontally. If he has a shirt, jacket, or coat on, what will she see?
posted by Postroad at 12:20 PM on October 25, 2009


Do you want a woman who's into a particular sort of butt? Having that sort of butt may well attract that sort of woman.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 12:21 PM on October 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


I recently heard that - after such things as the face - the one thing women check out first on a male are his glutes.

If the woman is checking out the face first, she's necessarily not looking at the backside first, right?

For some science that may or may not be relevant to you, here is a study that examined where and for how long people focused on various images. Scroll down to the baseball player.
posted by trunk muffins at 12:22 PM on October 25, 2009 [9 favorites]


This might be interesting reading for you. When I took a class on the biology of human sexuality, we did discuss how facial symmetry and waist-hip ratios figure into standards of beauty. No mention of glutes or v-shaped torsos. But keep in mind, beauty does not equal attraction.
posted by emilyd22222 at 12:28 PM on October 25, 2009


The biggest problem with your theory (apart from the fact that it cannot be strictly true because it isn't true for me) is that a lot of men wear shirts that hang pretty low and/or baggy pants or at least pants that are not tailored enough to show the backside off. In fact, if a guy was wearing something that permitted me to really see what he had in the trunk, his sartorial style would be the turn-off for me.
posted by parkerjackson at 12:32 PM on October 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


Nope.
posted by you're a kitty! at 12:36 PM on October 25, 2009


As an anecdotal datapoint a long time ago I used to work in market research and we used an eye tracking machine and software to measure peoples unconscious eye movements when confronted with store displays and the like.

Both women and men looking at a man would invariably create a straight line from face to crotch and back again repeatedly for the first few seconds. Both men and women looking at a woman would create a diamond shape on our screen with the corners of the diamond exactly where you'd guess they'd go. The effect was so uniform that we used it to calibrate the machine.
posted by merocet at 12:37 PM on October 25, 2009 [31 favorites]


Is it true that the first thing women check out on a guy are his glutes?

Depends on whether he is coming, or going.
posted by ijsbrand at 12:37 PM on October 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Well, you're close.

It's not the shape of a man's ass, but whether or not he is one.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:37 PM on October 25, 2009 [34 favorites]


I was always told it was the shoes.
posted by turgid dahlia at 12:38 PM on October 25, 2009 [3 favorites]


No. Not even on the list for me.
I will admit that once and a while my eyes wander down the front to check out the, er, um...belt buckle.
posted by smartypantz at 12:43 PM on October 25, 2009


Personally, I tend to check out the brain first. THEN I look at the package the brain comes in.

Although, I've noticed an unconscious preference for eyeglasses in the past, but I'm not sure whether that'd be considered a physical feature on a man because, well, they're detachable.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:43 PM on October 25, 2009


a lot of men wear shirts that hang pretty low and/or baggy pants or at least pants that are not tailored enough to show the backside off.

Quoted for truth. For example, does this jeans model have a nice ass? Who knows.

In any case, "women" don't check the same things out first. My sister and I have wildly different tastes in men. BUT, if you think you have a nice ass, and that makes you walk more confidently, that's definitely going to make you more attractive.
posted by heatherann at 12:44 PM on October 25, 2009


No.
posted by limeonaire at 12:46 PM on October 25, 2009


"Every man is dying to know what male body parts turn women on the most. Well, guess what? I surveyed over 100 women and asked them that very question. Not only did their replies blow me away, but I quickly came to the realization that I need to get my sorry butt into the gym on a more permanent basis."
posted by iviken at 12:51 PM on October 25, 2009


My dad once said: "The first thing women look at is your bum, followed by your eyes and then your shoes. I've got a fat arse, bloodshot eyes and holey shoes."
posted by hnnrs at 12:59 PM on October 25, 2009


Women on scripted TV seem prone to checking out mens' butts. I suspect it's because it lets them be sexual but not as crude as if they were checking out their package. It's a little naughty but not too naughty.
posted by scalefree at 12:59 PM on October 25, 2009 [9 favorites]


No. I was always interested in necks, which I guess makes me sound a little like a vampire.
posted by mmmbacon at 1:03 PM on October 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think there's a difference between the first thing a straight woman notices about a man, and the body parts of a man that turn her on. Personally, as a straight woman, I don't view every man I meet as an opportunity to get turned on.
posted by muddgirl at 1:05 PM on October 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


I've never noticed glutes, if you are collectiing datapoints. Eyes, definately, smile, for sure.
posted by saucysault at 1:15 PM on October 25, 2009


I do, but that's just to infer if he does squats or if discussions of his gym routine are going to be about bicep curls and tricep pushdowns.
posted by schroedinger at 1:16 PM on October 25, 2009 [4 favorites]


Mrs. Jeffamaphone pays much more attention to the shoes.
posted by jeffamaphone at 1:20 PM on October 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


That may be true for SOME woman but it's certainly not true for THIS woman.
posted by srrh at 1:25 PM on October 25, 2009


Uh, no.
posted by FlyByDay at 1:26 PM on October 25, 2009


SMILE then HANDS then SHOULDERS.
posted by cachondeo45 at 1:28 PM on October 25, 2009


Well defined glutes are indicative of strong muscles meaning a greater muscle control, thus greater ability to contain explosive diarrhea. When looking at the world through this metric, I would assume that, yes, heterosexual women would want a man capable of controlling explosive diarrhea as this leads to less poop exposure.

Otherwise, no.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 1:30 PM on October 25, 2009 [10 favorites]


Eyes, mouth, nose, hands, bum. In that order.
posted by pammeke at 1:30 PM on October 25, 2009


I don't believe women have the same eye to genital bloodflow relationship as men do, so it becomes less relevant.
posted by Vaike at 1:31 PM on October 25, 2009


I always x-ray my man to assess the size of his left ventricle. I'll settle for nothing less than 7 cm diastolic.
posted by serazin at 1:34 PM on October 25, 2009 [7 favorites]


I've liked different things, physically, about all of the men I've been seriously interested in. When there is a specific person I'm lusting after, whichever of his feature(s) I'm most attracted to are what I first consciously examine in other males.
posted by ecsh at 1:39 PM on October 25, 2009


I don't.
posted by crush-onastick at 1:41 PM on October 25, 2009


Various female friends say: no, hair colour. No, height. No, their voice. No, their hands. No, the way they smile. No, I like an ass like a ruler.

And flipping it around, I can't honestly say there's any particular thing I check out in a woman. Isn't 'gestalt' an option?
posted by Beardman at 1:54 PM on October 25, 2009


I am not a butt woman. But a nice jaw, preferably one that hasn't been de-fuzzed with a razor for a week or so. Oh. Oh yesss......
posted by raztaj at 2:02 PM on October 25, 2009


You know, there are a lot of us who don't check out guys at all. I mean sure, if I'm looking at a store display as merocet has measured then I'm looking because I have a reason to (I'm looking at the clothes or whatever is on display) but as for guys I know, I'm not even sure what half of them look like besides the most obvious facial features. Life isn't always about sex.
posted by shelleycat at 2:12 PM on October 25, 2009


[few comments removed - can we keep the lulz down please?]
posted by jessamyn at 2:15 PM on October 25, 2009


No way. Height, face, hair, shoulders, gut.
posted by twistofrhyme at 2:22 PM on October 25, 2009


I was always told it was the shoes.

Absolutely true. For me it goes: face, shoes, vocabulary. Tough list, I realize.
posted by meerkatty at 2:23 PM on October 25, 2009 [3 favorites]


I heard or read somewhere that women (one of which I am not) tend to pay more attention to the shape of the whole body than any specific feature, whereas men are more prone to focus on one or two things. This may just be a symptom of what other commenters have noted, that women don't do as much checking out in general.
posted by ropeladder at 2:33 PM on October 25, 2009


Absolutely true. For me it goes: face, shoes, vocabulary.

Sesquipedalian elocutionary proclivities have yet to yield even osculatory attention for this would be inamorato, which fellow is forced to surmise some anagnosia is afoot.

More seriously, this might be of interest.
posted by phrontist at 3:01 PM on October 25, 2009


I haven't read all the responses yet, but if a guy is walking away from me, yes, I will assess his posterior. I could care less about shoes.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 3:07 PM on October 25, 2009


His conversation, and how he treats other people, as much as I can glean from what may be a short interaction. Everything else is up for grabs, except bad (as in Shane McGowan level) teeth. Can't get past those.
posted by jokeefe at 3:37 PM on October 25, 2009


All my life, I've only ever scrutinized body parts after realizing I was attracted to the fellow. And subsequently been delighted, since my subconscious seems to choose "bigger than me" and "handsome" as top two traits. I'm indifferent to male bums unless they are spectacular. And even then, they inspire more awe than lust. In me.
posted by kitcat at 3:51 PM on October 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


I've never known a single woman, including myself, who cares what a guy's ass looks like.

There are women who do care, I'm just saying I've managed to go my whole life without having a girl friend mention a guy's ass. When friends have pointed out guys they thought were hot, it was always either that their face was attractive, or they had a nice chest and arms.
posted by Nattie at 4:05 PM on October 25, 2009


Well since lots of people say they don't care, I will put it out there: Hell to the fuck yes I like a nice ass on a man, but it is usually hard to tell until you've got them naked, not exactly a first impression thing. Still, you should work those glutes because flat ass is not just unattractive to some of us, but an indication of a weak posterior chain and a sign you're probably not in terribly good shape.
posted by ch1x0r at 4:11 PM on October 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


pu9iad: Also, I always thought male physical attractiveness was primarily determined by a v-shaped back.

See, that just goes to show that it depends. Your eyes are attracted to guys' backs, whereas I've always been first drawn to hands. It's weird, but I'm a guy, and I've never really had a thing for other guys butts (at least looking at them) – I think you'll find, however, that a lot of women seem to, and furthermore a lot of athletic guys (at least judging from how much they seem to enjoy touching each others' butts). But I've always been attracted to the tall, lean guys myself, so I guess that's particular to me.

I think it really all depends, pu9iad, on what you find sexy, and what you're drawn to.

Anyway, there's really only one way to settle this for yourself, pu9iad. You should go to the gym, to a busy streetcorner, to a supermarket, anywhere that there are a lot of people walking by, and just mentally survey the first fifty guys that walk by. Take notes, first marking down whether each one is sexy and then marking down what physical characteristic you most find striking. I think that's the only way to settle what part of a guy is most immediately sexy, at least to your own satisfaction. It worked wonders for me.
posted by koeselitz at 4:19 PM on October 25, 2009


From what I have been told, it's not the first thing they check out, but if he has no butt (or if it's too big), this will supercede all of the other things that check out ok.

"His vocabulary", "How he treats other people" and other non-physical characteristics is not what the OP is wondering about.

This is not your chance to show everyone how wonderful and PC you are.
posted by Zambrano at 4:23 PM on October 25, 2009


From what I have been told, it's not the first thing they check out, but if he has no butt (or if it's too big), this will supercede all of the other things that check out ok.

If all of us refused any man with either a small or large butt, no matter what other characteristics he had, there would not be a human race.

Women are all different. We're people. We all like different things.
posted by lemuria at 4:40 PM on October 25, 2009


Well, I was on the treadmill at the gym earlier when a man bent right over about two feet in front of me to use the water fountain and I thought "Huh, nice bum". And that's pretty much the only time I can ever remember noticing a man's rear end.

So for this woman, at least, a man's glutes are definitely not a particular area of interest. Does that help?
posted by badmoonrising at 4:43 PM on October 25, 2009


No, definitely not. I only check out a guy's behind if he has a gorgeous face and an outstanding physique.
posted by anniecat at 4:47 PM on October 25, 2009


I've only ever scrutinized body parts after realizing I was attracted to the fellow

This. And I won't like a man with a perfect ass if I don't like his other features. For me it's a bonus, but definitely not something I seek in a man. I focus in other details, like eyes, hands, arms, body hair, lips, jaw shape, etc.

Hell, I have a big crush on Johhny Depp and I just realized I have no idea if he has a nice butt.
posted by clearlydemon at 4:51 PM on October 25, 2009


I like a nice bum but it never occurs to me to try to scope it out. And if he doesn't have one? Never been a deal breaker for me. But I like skinny or athletic guys so a big butt would be less appealing than a flat butt to me. And I have to agree about the V shaped back. Thats probably the only thing my guys have had in common.
posted by beccaj at 5:06 PM on October 25, 2009


Adding a data point that I've also been honestly baffled why anyone WOULD have any opinion about anyone else's butt, regardless of gender.

I mean -- it's a butt. Everyone, male and female, has a butt. It's not a secondary sexual characteristic (in the sense that one gender has them and the other doesn't), occasionally it releases noxious smells -- I mean, I get that everyone is attracted to different aspects of each others' bodies, but personally, I never got why a butt would appeal to anyone. I don't think they're ugly, but I don't think they're more beautiful than other aspects -- they're just...there.

But that's just me. Y'all's mileage may vary. Of course.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:11 PM on October 25, 2009


Confession time: Hi, my name is juliplease, and I check out men's butts.
posted by juliplease at 5:20 PM on October 25, 2009


It depends what they're wearing. If I'm walking behind a guy, I'd probably check out his butt, calves and upper arms, but some or all of these might be invisible due to loose clothing. I can't imagine going out of my way for it though, and I wouldn't rate it as 'first thing to check out' at all. (order more like: face, hands, hair, shoulders/arms, butt?)
posted by jacalata at 5:32 PM on October 25, 2009


It's easy to dismiss the notion that either sex as a whole would primarily notice a particular body part of the opposite sex, but haven't there been studies established that there are attributes people subconsciously notice? There's the whole thing about symmetrical faces, and how many of us actually think, "My, he/she has an extremely symmetrical face"? Same goes for guys liking big eyes, small noses, full lips, etc. It may not apply to everyone, but it seems to be a general rule, even if most people aren't aware of it.

But I guess I would be a bit skeptical about butts, since it's something that's just not easily viewable. It might be more applicable with monkeys and apes, though...
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 5:51 PM on October 25, 2009


Let's hold on a second here. Some people are getting up in arms (or not) and dismissing this notion outright. Now, obviously, EVERY woman doesn't check out the back porch FIRST THING, just like EVERY guy doesn't check out the boobies FIRST THING. However it's going to happen sooner rather than later for guys, and I think the question is whether the corollary is true for women.

I would be extremely dubious about a claim by a male that the mams don't make any difference at all. In fact, I'd be dubious about a claim that they weren't extremely important to the overall gestalt (I like that term applied here, whoever said it) one way or another. Of course specific preferences are going to vary. One boob variant is not objectively better than another, but it's still important information (I'd go so far as to say) no matter what.
posted by cmoj at 5:51 PM on October 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


This is all from a straight male perspective, obviously. It's all I got.
posted by cmoj at 6:01 PM on October 25, 2009


Well, to be blunt cmoj, tits are in the front and an ass is in the rear. If I'm facing a guy it's more likely I'll be "checking out" his package, especially if we're talking subconsciously.
posted by muddgirl at 6:07 PM on October 25, 2009


I thought the first thing women checked out on a guy was his shoes...
posted by davejay at 6:11 PM on October 25, 2009


Sample size of 1 (Mrs. Zen): Yes, yes, yes. Definitely. (First sighting: Fraternity ice time @ Lynah rink, 1981.)



We were married in 1987.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 6:41 PM on October 25, 2009


Well, usually, it is the book collection and then the medicine cabinet with a quick peek in the freezer/refrigerator. I usually notice the back of the neck because I like to bite it.

Anyway, in answer to the original question, barring something very obvious in the physical department e.g., extra limb I usually notice the eyes first and then it is all personality.
posted by jadepearl at 6:54 PM on October 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Nope, I'm into neck/shoulders. I think it's an urban myth.
posted by Phalene at 6:59 PM on October 25, 2009


EmpressCallipygos: isn't your statement directly anti-eponysterical?

I have a feeling that anyone into fitness will notice butts more, on both sexes, as they're a pretty dead giveaway of one's fitness level (posterior chain, as ch1x0r wrote), so if you're tuned into that you will notice.

Likewise, how a man's pants fit (or don't fit) his butt will be something you notice if you're fashion-oriented. I have to admit I have pondered random butts and wondered how those low-low slung pants don't drop off.
posted by zadcat at 7:00 PM on October 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


I think it's pretty fair to conclude that glutes are NOT the male body part with the most sexual appeal. This sample, however, is probably not all that representative of the general population.

I wonder how much the wide variety of body part favorites here has to do with the fact that that men's bodies (at least in 'Western' culture) are not nearly as sexualized as women's bodies. Guys are socialized to check out the female trio (bust, legs, booty). Ladies are generally not as socialized to fixate on certain male-parts.
posted by kitcat at 7:13 PM on October 25, 2009


Data point: I am a girl and I don't even have an idea of what a sexy male butt is supposed to look like. I'm a pretty visual person, and there are a lot of other physical characteristics I check out and appreciate, but a guy's butt's not even on the list.
posted by booksandlibretti at 10:57 PM on October 25, 2009


I see women on TV and film ogling a guy's butt, but in real life none of my women friends have ever done that or specifically mentioned butts, and I don't check guys' asses myself. If it's "my guy's" ass, then I do have a particular fondness and affection for it and find it perfectly lovely... but no random guy's butt has ever made me feel swoony. If that's what you're asking.
posted by taz at 2:55 AM on October 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


I look at the whole guy.

However, nothing disturbs me more than those guys who've built up their upper body to ridculous proportions and done nothing for their legs and bum. Stick legs holding up hugely overbuilt shoulders and arms = scary for me. For all the bicep curls some dudes do, I wonder why they can't ease off and do a couple of squats instead once in awhile.
posted by Kurichina at 8:43 AM on October 26, 2009 [3 favorites]


Speaking as a fag, it's eyes first, then smile, then package. Ass later.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 9:03 AM on October 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


face, then body, then hands. butt is only an afterthought. i'd probably go weeks without looking at it if it wasn't unusually nice or not nice.
posted by anthropomorphic at 12:39 PM on October 26, 2009


I enjoy a nice ass. And talk about any good butts in the vicinity with my gay men and women friends. We also talk about arms, chests, eyes, jawlines, hands, feet....

No idea what in the world I "check out" first. Depends on what the guy has got going on.

This is out in public - in the gym I tend to "check out" people if I can learn something from their form.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 5:44 PM on October 26, 2009


Honestly it's right down the end of the list for me.
posted by Chrysalis at 6:51 PM on October 26, 2009


I like a nice forearm myself: oxford shirt, sleeves rolled up to reveal a sinewy arm covered in golden brown hair.... scuz me while I just drift off to my own little fantasy....

However, I don't find myself checking out a man's arms when he is walking by. I look at the overall shape. I like neatness. Not tidy clothes, necessarily, but a trim, tidy body. Neat. Sleek. I like tall, slender men, but I also find short men attract if they have that certain sleek look. A "great ass" is something I've always had trouble assessing; I'm not really sure what makes a great ass. While I may be doing it unconsciously, I have never, ever checked out the crotch. I'm no prude, I just don't think it conveys any information. He may be a grower, not a shower, and then again he may be a superb lover with a smaller cock. So I would say the order is Face, Hair, Shape, Clothes, before I zoom in on your lovely, lovely arms.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:14 PM on October 26, 2009


Um, I can relate to you something one woman told me once... so this is really anecdotal:

I asked about the whole butt thing, being confused about why some women seemed so entralled by guy's asses (we were talking about women's reactions to football players' asses at the time, I think). Here's how she explained it:

Okay, first stand up straight, then pull your hips back a bit, then push your hips forward as far as you can. Notice the muscles in your lower back, ass and thighs that flex doing that. Now try to guess why certain women might be interested in a guy with well developed muscles in that area (ie. can perform that motion forcefully & repeatedly)

so... That was how it was explained to me. At least in this one case, ass development = sex power...
posted by ServSci at 8:25 AM on October 27, 2009


Funny thing is that, after this entire discussion, I've yet to find myself noticing people's posteriors, male or female, if only to see what the fuss was about. Even after the thought occurred to me at work, I still didn't notice anyone's hineys. Maybe tomorrow.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 12:52 AM on October 29, 2009


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