Apparently This Matters: Holding a guitar makes you sexy

Posted at 6:42 AM, May 13, 2013

Editor’s note: Each week in “Apparently This Matters,” CNN’s Jarrett Bellini applies his warped sensibilities to trending topics in social media and random items of interest on the Web.

(CNN) — There’s a great song by Todd Snider called “The Ballad of The Kingsmen.” In it, he sings, “Marilyn Manson gets a lot of chicks. They’re weird chicks. But they’re chicks.”

And it’s true. Heaps of (weird) women lust for Marilyn Manson. He’s a bona fide rock star.

Really, that’s why most guys get into playing music in the first place. To increase their sex appeal.

If, say, owning a bagel shop somehow proved to be just as glamorous, right now teenagers would be boiling delicious circles of bread in their parents’ garage. But that’s not the case.

In fact, never in the history of the world has anyone ever said, “Make love to me, Bagel Man.”

Those words. In that order. Not even once.

Sorry, Bagel Man. They’re just not that into you.

Whereas, when it comes to truly sexy male occupations, the official list seems to top out with musician, athlete, and Anthony Bourdain.

But good luck trying to get THAT job.

“Are you Anthony Bourdain?”


“Thanks for coming in. We’ll keep your résumé on file.”

Fortunately, though, almost anyone can at least aspire to be a musician, and a new study backs up this seemingly obvious connection between attractiveness and playing an instrument.

Or even just holding one.

You see, in the study, which was conducted by a professor at the University of South Brittany in France and published in the journal “Psychology of Music,” a 20-year-old “good looking” man was challenged to ask 300 women for their phone number.

For 100 of those women, the man carried a guitar case. For another 100, he held a gym bag. And for the final third his hands were empty.

In the end, 54 women out of 300 gave him their number.

Which, even at an 18% success rate, still seems like a rather impressive return (And much better than my lifetime batting average of negative-12%).

Maybe it’s time to change my go-to pickup line.

“So, do you like greyhound racing?”

But let’s get back to those phone numbers.

In the study, 31 of the 54 — a vast majority — were achieved when the subject was carrying a guitar case. Fourteen women offered up digits while he was holding nothing. And only nine were received when the gym bag was used as a prop.

Scientific conclusion: Never exercise.

Ultimately, the research suggests that the attraction of a musical instrument is real, as it may indicate physical and intellectual abilities.

And I totally buy that.

Understanding music is difficult, and someone who knows how to play an instrument usually is also mentally capable of forming complete sentences.

Which I am not.

Though, to be fair, I play bass guitar and that tends to rattle the brain. I’m pretty sure actual ideas fall out of my nose in the shower.

So, generally speaking, holding that guitar case seems to work quite nicely. But this female attraction to male musicians shouldn’t be seen as baseless or shallow or ditsy.

Quite the opposite. It’s a good thing to appreciate a man with intellectual interests beyond dominating his fantasy football league.

And it works both ways. Women with musical instruments also get major sexy points.

(Susan Tedeschi, do you like greyhound racing?)

Of course, one shouldn’t just play music for the sole purpose of appearing more attractive. For that, God invented whiskey.

Instead, the ultimate goal is to play music for the joy of playing music. But usually that’s just an evolution over time. Dreams of stardom often come first.

And it starts early. Hell, I’ve wanted to be a rock star since I was a kid.

Sure, there was a short phase where, as a young man, I yearned to be veterinarian. However, that quickly went away when, one afternoon, I was allowed to hang out at a local clinic and promptly saw a dog get his testicles cut off.

That changed things.

“Welp, thanks for letting me come by, Doc. I’m gonna go home now and rethink my life.”

So, aside from that momentary lapse of reason, my heart has pretty much always been set on rock stardom.

But you see how well that’s going.

Anyway, screw it. I’m opening a bagel shop.

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