When you meet a potential sexual or romantic partner, the hue of a shirt or the shade of a lipstick can turn your "meh" into a "hell yeah." The links between color and sex are powerful, and researchers have studied the ways different tints inspire attraction for decades.
When dressing up to go out on a date or choosing something to turn on your S.O., how much do you consciously — or subconsciously — take color into account? White panties can signify innocence, while neon pink lingerie might give off an experienced party girl vibe. Although these are merely stereotypes, both colors are still strongly associated with distinct emotions and behaviors.
"Green with envy" or "seeing red" are timeless sayings for a reason. Just as some view pink as feminine and blue as masculine, there are strong cultural connections we learn early on between different shades and different feelings. That's not to say we don't then cultivate our own color predilections and associations, but colors are still likely to invoke many of the same emotions in folks, regardless of age, gender, or culture. And when it comes to sex, color is a powerful instigator.
Here are five things science and surveys have to say about color and sex:
1. Purple Will Pump Up Your Sex Life
According to a British survey of 2,000 people, folks with purple bedding and/or furniture have 3.49 "intimate encounters" per week. (Could this be one reason the late, great Prince was such a fan?) Those with gray in their bedrooms, on the other hand, averaged out at 1.8 times.
2. Red Lipstick Gets Male Attention
Lipstick always makes lips pop, but which color is the most attention getting? Scientists at the University of Manchester found that men look at women's lips more when they are swathed in crimson. Analyzing the eye movements of 50 men, the results showed them taking 7.3 seconds staring at red lips, 6.7 seconds looking at pink lips, and 2.2 seconds glancing at women who wore no lipstick.
3. Ladies In Red Are More Enticing
Just as wearing red lipstick is a proven way to get attention, wearing red clothing has been found to get the most swipes on a dating site. Another study found that women in red are viewed as more warm and confident, making them seem more approachable. (So, basically, if you want to be left alone, try black I guess.)
4. Caramel Makes Folks Sweet On Each Other
A Travelodge survey of 2,000 people found that folks who have caramel-colored decor in the boudoir have active sex lives because the dessert-inspired tones makes folks sweet on each other. And although red inspires passion in lipstick and clothing, red rooms do not inspire sex, apparently.
5. Men In Red Are Sexy And High Status
Just as men are drawn to women in red, women are drawn to men in red, too. Scarlet inspires similar — although often subconscious — thoughts of fertility and passion, so women perceive guys in red as more aggressive and high status.
The bottom line? Decorate your body, not your living space in red, and you're statistically more likely to get lucky.
Images: Andrew Zaeh for Bustle; Giphy (5)