By Christopher Scapelliti
In 2014, a French study found that women are more attracted to guitar players than sports players. That study was itself a confirmation of research from 2012 that discovered the same thing.
But why? That was the question bugging writer Eric Spitznagel.
After learning how much his wife was turned on by guitarists, Spitznagel reached out to experts on human psychology looking for insight to why “playing guitar—or even just owning a guitar—makes a guy seem more desirable.”
His findings were published in Men’s Health recently, and they make for some very interesting—and potentially advantageous—reading.
Across the board, Spitznagel found, the answer was the same: “Women love guitar players,” he writes, “because they want to have their babies.”
Geoffrey Miller, Ph.D., an evolutionary psychologist at the University of New Mexico and co-author of the new book Mate: Become the Man Women Want, told Spitznagel, “Females of many species select the best male musicians as mates.” He said the most sexually desirable males are typically “best at vocal music, like frogs, birds, whales, or howler monkeys, or at instrumental music, like crickets that ‘stridulate’ (the sound they make by rubbing their wings together).”
Miller adds that great music is only produced by the “healthiest, most energetic, most intelligent animals. This has been true in our species for a long time—at least 30,000 years, according to the prehistoric bone flutes discovered some years ago.”
Spitznagel has his own take on this theory: “On a basic level,” he writes, Jack White isn’t all that different from a howler monkey. And 30,000 years ago, guys who knew how to play their ‘bone flutes’ were super popular with women.”
Others agree that playing the guitar confers a sense of superior intelligence on a man. In the words of Jon Maner, Ph.D, a professor of psychology at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, “Guitar skill—like many forms of skilled expression—provides a display of intelligence and creativity. Mating with an intelligent and creative partner increases the likelihood that one will have children who are intelligent and creative, and this is good for one’s own reproductive success.”
While Greg Bryant, Ph.D., a communication studies professor at UCLA, believes the “reproductive success” theory is “waaaaay a stretch,” he does agree that there is a biological basis for the attraction. Bryant compared guitarists to peacocks, saying, “The peacock tail is this ridiculous, elaborate trait that only the males have. It signals something about their quality. People have proposed that music could be, at least in part, a sexually selected trait.”
But if you really want to know why women prefer guitarists, you need to ask not a sex expert but a woman. Fortunately, Spitznagel found someone who is both: Anka Radakovich, a certified sexologist and the author of the 2014 book The Wild Girls Club Part 2: Tales from New York to Hollywood.
Offering her own explanation for why women prefer guitar players, Radakovich says, “While we watch him play his guitar, we are fantasizing that he is strumming our ‘clitar.’ Guitar players are notorious for being good with their fingers.”
So there you have it. Read the entire article at Men’s Health.