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Do guys get turned on by red?

Red is a color that has long been associated with passion, excitement, and arousal. From red sports cars to red lipstick, the color red can evoke feelings of energy, intimacy, and romance. This effect seems to extend to human attraction and dating as well. Many people wonder, do guys get turned on when they see a woman wearing red? Let’s take a closer look at the psychology and science behind red and attraction.

The Color Psychology of Red

Red is considered a warm, vibrant color that captures attention. It’s associated with increased heart rate, respiration, and brain wave activity. Red can make us feel more energetic, passionate, and impulsive. It’s an exciting color linked to danger, action, and adventure.

In color psychology:

  • Red relates to our most primal, physical needs and desires.
  • It’s tied to sexuality, reproduction, passion, and romantic love.
  • Red provokes the strongest emotions of any color—both positive and negative.

So red has a natural, biological connection to arousal and attraction. It lights up the primitive, instinctual parts of our brain.

Red and Physical Attraction

Multiple studies have found that men are more attracted to women dressed in red compared to other colors:

  • In one study, men rated women as more attractive and sexually desirable when wearing a red shirt instead of blue, green, or grey.
  • Another experiment found men chose to sit closer to women wearing red versus blue, green, or grey.
  • When showed images, men reported being more attracted to women pictured in red dresses and willing to spend more money on a date.

Researchers believe red triggers instinctive attraction that traces back to our primal roots. For our early ancestors, red signified fertility, sexual readiness, and increased blood flow. So the color red still sparks these associations for men today.

The Red Dress Effect

There’s even a term for red’s allure—”the red dress effect.” It’s the phenomenon of how men can’t take their eyes off a woman in a fiery red dress. Men tend to stare longer at red versus other colors. Something about a red dress captivates male attention.

The Science Behind the Red Dress Effect

Scientists have studied what causes the red dress effect across genders. They’ve identified a few possible reasons why red is so captivating:

1. Red Signifies Sexual Readiness

For our primate ancestors, a female’s red skin or swollen rump indicated ovulation, fertility, and sexual readiness. Even today, we associate red with “hotness” and being revved up for romance. Red makeup, lingerie, or dresses can subconsciously signal “sex” to men.

2. Red Raises Male Testosterone

Men biologically respond to seeing the color red. Studies reveal that just briefly looking at red stimuli is enough to boost testosterone levels in men. Since testosterone drives sex drive and aggression, red likely amplifies male feelings of lust and dominance.

3. Red Makes Women More Attractive

Higher testosterone translates into rating women as more attractive, especially women wearing red. The surge of testosterone from seeing red seems to prime men for romance and makes women look more desirable.

4. Red Makes Men Feel More Amorous

Men report feeling more loving, romantic, and passionate after exposure to red. The color red seems to awaken the parts of the male brain focused on sex and love. Red promotes affectionate, lustful feelings in men.

5. Red Enhances Female Curves

Red draws attention to a woman’s hips, lips, and chest—areas with natural red tones. Red dresses or blouses can make these sensual body parts stand out more. Accentuating feminine contours makes a woman more eye-catching.

Does Red Make a Man Fall in Love?

While red grabs a man’s attention and stirs initial attraction, it likely takes more than color to make a man fall head over heels. A red hot dress might capture a man’s eye, but physical appeal is just one piece of the romantic puzzle. Lasting love depends on deeper compatibility factors like shared values, chemistry, and emotional connection.

However, donning red clothing or makeup for a first date could increase your desirability and get the romance off to a passionate start. Here are some tips for leveraging the power of red:

  • Wear a red dress, top, or bold lipstick on a first date when you want to look seductive.
  • Add a pop of red to your outfit with shoes, jewelry, or a scarf to increase your visual magnetism.
  • Use red lingerie to get your partner’s heart racing in the bedroom.
  • Decorate your space with red accents to create an atmosphere of romance.
  • Go for a powerful red power suit when you want to exude confidence in the boardroom.

The Bottom Line

Science indicates that women wearing red have a captivating effect on men. Red grabs a man’s attention, boosts his testosterone, and makes his heart beat faster for romance. So believe the hype about the red dress effect—red really does turn heads and stoke attraction. Work this color to your advantage for maximum allure on your next big date!

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do guys like red lingerie?

Guys are attracted to red lingerie because red is closely linked to passion, excitement, and sexuality. Red evokes physical and romantic arousal in men, so seeing a woman in scarlet lingerie signals intimacy, availability, and sparks lustful feelings.

What color turns a man on the most?

Studies consistently show that red is the hottest color to men. Research reveals that men find women more attractive and sexually desirable when they are dressed in red compared to other colors. Red stimulates male attraction on a primal, instinctual level.

Do guys like red lipstick?

Yes, many men are turned on by red lipstick. Red lips are associated with youth, fertility, and sexual excitement. Bright red lipstick mimics the natural red of a woman’s sensual lips and makes them more eye-catching. Red lips signal femininity, passion, and can be highly arousing.

Is red sexually stimulating?

Red is considered the most sexually stimulating color due to its primal associations with fertility, sexual readiness, and romance. Exposure to the color red lights up the sexual centers of the brain for both men and women. So red strongly impacts attraction, arousal, and sexual behavior across genders.

What color attracts the most?

Studies show both men and women are most powerfully attracted to the color red. Red is an exciting, emotionally intense color that stimulates strong responses. It grabs attention, gets hearts pumping, and ignites feelings of passion and romance in the opposite sex.


Red has a strong, scientifically-backed power to spark attraction between the sexes. Something about the vibrant hue taps into the primal mating instincts of our past. So leveraging red clothing, makeup, or décor can help amp up the sexual chemistry on a date night or ignite the fire in a long-term relationship. While red grabs a man’s attention, real love depends on deeper factors. But a lady in red certainly gives romance a passionate head start!