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Wellness > Sex + Relationships

Do You Love Arms or Abs? Shoulders or Back? Which Body Parts Really Turn Us On

Everyone knows the classic debate constantly battled throughout male college dorm rooms: “Are you a boobs or butt guy?” Guys definitely have their preferences when it comes down to choosing between a woman with a Jennifer Lopez-sized backside or one with a Jessica Simpson-sized chest, but do girls have the same kind of passion for male body parts?
In a survey of over one hundred anonymous college women across the country, things got pretty steamy as they described the parts of the male body they love to see on a guy.
Check out the top physical characteristics in a guy that really turn us on – and enjoy the shameless man candy:

1. Arms

It’s no surprise that toned arms were the number one most desirable characteristic in a guy. While just about everyone emphasized that they didn’t like arms that were “too big,” “beefy,” or “over-the-top guido [?]… that’s just nasty,” it was clear that biceps that have just the right amount of muscle and lean, toned forearms really get us going. 
Several commenters described how toned arms make them think of all the things they can do with them: “When a guy’s got a great upper body i just imagine him wrapping me up in those arms and…yum.”
“If a guy looks like he could pick me up and pin me against the wall.”
“A nice strong hug is always comforting!”

2. Back 
Coming in at number two, seeing a strong back is definitely a huge turn-on for most girls.
“Back muscles. They are sometimes completely neglected (you don’t get to see them very often) but I think that might be why I like them. A guy with a great back (muscular shoulders, not hairy, lean) is such a turn-on.”
“I know it’s not often that you see a guy’s back, but if he’s shirtless or in a bathing suit and I get a glimpse, I go crazy – something about a strong back is so manly to me! It makes me want to give him a massage”
“The whole torso is what really does it for me, but the back is key. I love when a guy has a muscular back (nothing ridiculously beefy though) and it has that perfect triangular shape to it.”
“Back – if they have a nice, sculpted back, it’s a huge turn-on for me. I don’t mean tons of muscle, but a back that looks like you take care of yourself and is lean, it’s really hot!”
“Upper back. muscular but lean. really nice shoulders and upper back is soooo hot. something you can grab onto when you’re…you know”

3. Eyes

With nice eyes coming in at number three, it’s not necessarily all about hitting the gym and staying in shape. In my opinion, nothing is sexier than catching the gaze of a guy from across the room. Most girls said they preferred guys with green eyes, so it seems the perception that blue eyes are the sexiest eye color on a man is just an urban legend.
4. Abs
For any guys reading this article for tips, it might come as a bit of a shock to not see great abs at number one. While abs are always a plus, rock-hard ones are definitely not a requirement for a sexy man. The Old Spice actor Isaiah Mustafa has found a great balance between defined and beefy.  It can even be a turn-off when a guy is too muscular: “I don’t really like guys who are ridiculously ripped because it makes me think they spend way too much time on their appearance.”

Commenters mostly mentioned abs as an afterthought: “oh, and I guess abs too.”
“Obviously I’m into abs on a guy, but it’s not that important to me. As long as they aren’t fat, I don’t need a washboard stomach. I just like to know they’re strong and fit.”

5. Waistline

 Hello, Zac Efron. Don’t bother pulling your bathing suit up; it drives girls wild when we see those V-shape muscles and hip bones right above your underwear line.
“The way guys wear their jeans- low, but not ghetto low and just enough so you can imagine their sex muscles right by their hips above their pelvis”
“Those D’Angelo-style indentations above the hip. SWOON”
“And did I mention I love that cut right under the abs, right above the, well you know. It’s sexy. :)”

6. Jaw Line
There’s nothing like checking out a guy with a chiseled jaw and defined bone structure.

7. Hands
Do you think it’s true that a man’s hands reflect the size of his… feet? Well, tons of girls felt the need to highlight this largely ignored body part, as it seems a guy with small hands just don’t really do it for us.
“My favorite thing is a guy with strong hands.”
“I love hands that are large, squarish, and have long fingers”
8. Five O’clock Shadow

Finding the perfect balance between a beard and clean-shaven is a huge turn-on: there’s just something about a little bit of scruff that drives us wild. Even though it can scratch up our faces a bit…

9. Smile
A genuine smile can be an even bigger turn-on than strong muscles: when it comes down to it, how else can we gauge a guy’s interest if not through his smile?
“It’s really endearing when they have a nice smile”

10. Shoulders

Nothing completes a full package like a pair of broad shoulders. And Daniel Craig looks pretty good with his suit off, too.
“Slim hips and waist, especially when he has broad shoulders. I think that’s why I flip over guys in really well-tailored suits, like Daniel Craig in the new Bond movies or Jonathan Rhys Meyers in just about everything.”

Of course, nothing is sexier than a great personality. Whether it’s a guy who makes you laugh or impresses you with his visionary intellect, not all man candy has to be physical. But it doesn’t hurt.
100+ surveyed anonymous college women
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Joanna Buffum is a senior English major and Anthropology minor at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine.  She is from Morristown, NJ and in the summer of 2009 she was an advertising intern for OK! Magazine and the editorial blog intern for Zagat Survey in New York City. This past summer she was an editorial intern for MTV World's music website called MTV Iggy, writing fun things like album and concert reviews for bands you have never heard of before. Her favorite books are basically anything involving fantasy fiction, especially the Harry Potter series and “Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell” by Susanna Clarke. In her free time she enjoys snowboarding, playing intramural field hockey, watching House MD, and making paninis. In the spring of 2010 she studied abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark, and she misses the friendly, tall, and unusually attractive Danish people more than she can say. After college, she plans on pursuing a career in writing, but it can be anywhere from television script writing, to magazine journalism, to book publishing.