The Sexiest Tattoos

The Sexiest Tattoos

Do you find tattoos to be an instant turn-on in a potential partner? With almost a third of Americans having at least one tattoo, it seems that you’re not alone in finding body ink highly attractive. Research has shown almost 70 percent of Americans with tattoos have two or more. Every individual has unique preferences when it comes to tattoos. For those drawn to body ink, though, certain details have been scientifically proven to be more desirable. Tattoos are highly personal and getting inked should be a self-empowering decision. With that said, understanding how different styles are perceived can help you feel more confident in your selection. From the most seductive placements to design attributes, here’s everything to know about the sexiest tattoo options available. To get some design inspiration, scroll to the end for a curated gallery.

Exploring Sexy Spots for Ink

Tattoos occupy prime real estate on the skin – making its location the top priority. We surveyed over 1,000 individuals to discover what tattoo qualities they find attractive. Among those interviewed, we found that both men and women agreed that their desired partners should meet in the middle.

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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. The upper back and shoulder were not far behind, receiving 3.5 and 3.4 ratings, respectively. Those attracted to women saw a three-way tie between the upper back, shoulder and hips (with a 3.3 rating).

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Credit: @goodpodgon via @zensaskin/Instagram

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The back: a top-rated tattoo location for women and men.

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The hip: a top-rated tattoo location for women.

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The upper arm: a top-rated tattoo location for men.

Credit: @covertingculturetattoo via @zensaskin/Instagram

Tattoos in these areas are practical, too. Designs on these parts of the body, depending on their size, often are easy to cover up in professional settings with a jacket or long-sleeved top. This discrete element adds to these placements’ allure and might only be visible during intimate moments. The shared privacy of your tattoo provides a closeness and mystique around the design, which only amplifies its sex appeal.

Some slightly concealed tattoo options include designs between the shoulder blades and hip tattoos that extend onto the upper thigh.

Those attracted to men and women also agreed that face tattoos are universally the least attractive location for a tattoo. The average attractiveness rating was closer to 1 than 2 on the five-point scale, potentially due to its forwardness and distraction from one’s facial features. It is also worth noting that head, face, and neck tattoos are illegal in certain parts of the world. While less visible, the inner lip was a runner-up for the least attractive location for tattoos, regardless of gender. These designs are painful to get inked and often fade quickly, too.

Styles That Smolder

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Whether you’re a tattoo lover, there are clear winners for the most universally appreciated styles. For those who gravitate towards tattoos, illustrative designs are the most desirable. Illustrative tattoos refer to the designs that appear straight out of a book drawing or illustration.

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Credit: @lrzbff via @zensaskin/Instgram

They combine traditionalist and realism elements, including cross-hatching, dotwork and line details, and are exclusively done in black ink – which only adds to their mystique (and leaves them less susceptible to fading).

Sometimes, though, the sexiest tattoos embody the “less is more” philosophy. Minimalist designs, unsurprisingly, are preferred among those who often dislike tattoos.

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Credit: @joannamroman via @zensaskin/Instagram

These styles can include subtle linework of arrows, boundaries of states or countries, geometric shapes and outlines of animals or mythological creatures.

Japanese tattoos were the second most attractive style for both groups. These designs are known for their intricate designs in bright, bold ink hues and often feature dragons, flowers, fish, and samurai motifs.

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Credit: a little bit of everything/Pinterest

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.

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Credit: QuiteTheDress/Pinterest

All In The Details

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Men and women agree that a tattoo’s attractiveness ultimately exemplifies the sentiment: Art above everything else. Artistry was voted as the main quality that determines a tattoo’s attractiveness. Women were divided on the secondary quality of a tattoo’s attractiveness and equally believe that this title either goes to the tattoo’s location or style. For men, the decision was clear with almost 30% of men believing the tattoo’s 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.

Essentially, a museum-worthy design can only make you more magnetic. Finding the right studio and artist will streamline this process. These experts will guide you through the different stages of the tattoo selection process and the best aftercare practices to ensure that your ink stays clean, crisp and vibrant.

In the Eye of the Beholder

Tattoo culture often favors the young. Millennials, Gen Z and Gen X individuals are the most inked generations. According to a 2019 study conducted by Ipsos, 40% of 18-34 year-olds and 36% of 35-54-year-olds surveyed had at least one tattoo. Unsurprisingly, these groups – also are more likely to find tattoos more attractive on other individuals.

Our survey found that people most likely to be turned on by a tattoo were between 18 and 25 years-old. 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

Beyond physical attraction, tattoos are frequently perceived as indicative of someone’s personality and are associated with traits correlated with higher sex appeal. Individuals who get inked are more likely to give off a rebellious energy and, depending on the tattoo’s location, might convey a sexually adventurous drive. Men (56%) more often believe that a tattoo’s placement correlates with this aspect of one’s personality.

Thigh tattoos might have the most sexual undertones and convey a sense of mystery and openness to intimacy.

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Credit: @zensaskin/Instagram

Upper arm tattoos evoke both adventurous and practical qualities. With this balance, it makes sense that all genders universally consider this placement to be the sexiest tattoo location.

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Credit: @zensaskin/Instagram

Back and rib cage tattoos express a sense of strength, boldness, confidence and resilience.

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Credit: @jordylee.jones via @zensaskin/Instagram

Your tattoo style choice also implies certain elements of your personality. Those who select illustrative designs showcase a genuine appreciation for artistic expression, attention to detail and the skill to make decisions with the long-term outcome in mind. These designs often incorporate several intricate elements and find a middle ground between a classic and cutting-edge aesthetic. Similarly, minimalist tattoos indicate a practical nature, attention to detail and an appreciation for the little things in life – with a hidden rebellious side.

Japanese style tattoos suggest one’s open-mindedness, explorative personality and appreciation for artistic beauty. These bold colours often require larger tattoo pieces. Enduring this process of getting a Japanese-style tattoo demonstrates one’s confidence and resilience.

Don’t Forget The X-Factor

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Our study found that most participants agreed that having a tattoo usually made no difference in how attractive they found someone. However, 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 were perceived in a negative light. Over 20 percent of respondents found these to be the biggest turnoff. Cheap tattoos and ones with misspellings were also rated poorly.

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Public Opinions of Tattoos

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From the surveys referenced above, the data indicates that the objectively sexiest tattoo would need to be located on the upper arm in an artistic, illustrative style. Even with these scientific metrics in mind, tattoos that speak to your soul, suit your personal style preferences and allow you to radiate confidence will always be the sexiest option(s).

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However, these findings confirm that carefully planning and researching your tattoo can go a long way. With permanent ink, it is essential to find the right artist to provide the highest quality design and care instructions you can find. Do not decide on a tattoo design impulsively. Consequences, such as a misspelled or disfigured tattoo and having a temporary love interest on your sleeve, can haunt you for years to come.

Keep It Personal

The sexiest tattoo will always be the one(s) that make you feel the most confident and connected to your creativity. As more individuals get inked, tattoos are becoming a social norm. While certain styles, namely illustrative and artistic ones, are overwhelmingly considered attractive, let your intuition be the guide when deciding on your preferred tattoo.When it comes to a tattoo that you’ll have forever, artistic quality is the most important thing to consider.

Products like Zensa Numbing Cream and Zensa Healing Cream promote these favourable results. The numbing cream will act as an anti-inflammatory agent to reduce pain during the session and boost the healing process. During the aftercare stages, the healing cream contains several natural ingredients to accelerate the healing process and preserve the ink’s saturation. It includes calendula and grapefruit oils to reduce irritation with shea butter and cucumber extracts to soothe and hydrate the skin. These ingredients will help the area feel less susceptible to excessive peeling and itching. It also features sunflower seed oil that helps preserve the ink’s vibrant colour.


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.

Which tattoo designs do you find most attractive?

Gallery Images



Upper Arm/Shoulder

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Upper Arm

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Upper Back

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Upper Back/Shoulder

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Upper Back

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More Concealed Options

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Minimalist (Men)

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Minimalist (Women)

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People & Different Generations


Millennial Tattoo 1

Millennial Tattoo 2


Gen Z Tattoo 1

Gen Z Tattoo 2


Gen X Tattoo 2

Gen X Tattoo

(All gallery credits courtesy of Instagram/Pinterest)

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