Women are totally drawn to dudes with ink, but that doesn’t mean you should just go get a barbed wire band or some meaningless tribal tattoo on your upper arm. A tattoo with a good story or some sentimental value, however, is attractive. And that's, of course, not the only reason you should put some thought behind that permanent ink—a new study that analyzed deceased tattooed folks actually found ink stains on their lymph nodes. Yep, tiny particles of potentially toxic metals made it from the skin to the nodes, which isn't exactly ideal. The researchers aren't advising against tattoos quite yet, but this preliminary study does suggest that the longterm effects of tattoos are wildly understudied. So choose wisely, for both aesthetic reasons and, you know, your health. Here's some ink-spiration to get you started... Photo: Getty Images/mediaphotos
1. Quarter- or Half-Sleeve Tattoos: Whether you’re a buttoned-up businessman hiding a dramatic upper arm tattoo Monday through Friday, or it peeks out of your rolled-up sleeves on a daily basis, a quarter- or half-sleeve tattoo gives off sexy bad-but-not-too-bad-boy vibes.
2. Embarrassing Tattoos: Look, we’re definitely not sitting around dreaming of a guy with Tweety Bird on his hip or Peter Griffin on his butt cheek. But if you have an embarrassing tattoo, and a good story and sense of humor about it, it can be super endearing.
3. Secret Tattoos: Along the lines of the embarrassing tattoo, learning about a secret tattoo makes us feel like we have a little glimpse into your life that others might not. Maybe it’s a favorite song lyric tattooed on the side of your torso or an important date on your upper back. Whatever it is, we want in on it.
4. Animal Tattoos: Again, we’re not talking Tweety Bird here. Instead, think abstract elephant or stunning bird. It’s even better if it has special meaning for you. For example, did you narrowly escape being mauled by a bear while hiking alone in the woods? That kind of bravery calls for a grizzly tattoo!
5. Floral Tattoos: Or buds. Or blossoming trees. This one may surprise you, but a man who can confidently rock a floral tattoo—whether it’s colorful or all black—is clearly a secure man. And that in itself is very sexy.
6. Clever Tattoos: Okay, the finger moustache thing may be a little overdone, but a clever tattoo along those lines—or even a clever phrase—shows you have a sense of humor. (Just make sure it’s not supposed to be a lame sex joke. That’s not clever; it’s creepy.)
7. Spiritual Tattoos: Not all women are into spirituality, but if you want one who is, a tattoo that shows your commitment to your faith—whatever it may be—can be a real turn-on. And it doesn’t have to be explicit. Think artsy fish instead of clichéd cross.
8. Scientific Tattoos: Do you know something about science that most people don’t? Or is there a mathematical equation that blows your mind? We may not share your love for quantum physics, but your nerdy tattoo is a surefire way to get us to strike up a conversation with you in a bar.
9. Sentimental Tattoos: No, we’re not talking about a heart with the word “Mom” in it. But a silhouette of a spoon because you used to spend so much time in the kitchen with your mom? Or an outline of your home state? Now, those are sweet.
10. Full-Sleeve Tattoos: A full-sleeve tattoo tells us two things. 1. You don’t like playing by the rules and 2. When you commit to something, you really commit to it. Of course, when it comes to relationships, those may be mixed messages, so it’s a good thing we’re not over here reading way too much into your tattoos, right.
11. Half-Back Tattoos: Women love men's backs. We love looking at them almost as much as we love laying on them. A back half-covered in tattoos shows a commitment to your ink, since it takes up a good chunk of space, but it also shows us a peek of the you underneath it all.
12. Map or Compass Tattoos: You'll never meet someone who says they don't like to travel. In fact, studies show that we find people with passports more interesting and more worthy of dating, which is why we all talk about it in our dating profiles. Wearing a map or compass permanently tells her you really like to travel.
13. Insanely Intricate Tattoos: Whatever it is, having a tattoo with a lot of attention to detail says that you probably pay a lot of attention to detail. And women want men who are mindful of the little things.
14. Scenery Tattoos: Any tattoo depicting some kind of scene paints a picture. It probably means you're full of stories, which makes you interesting.
15. Bicep Tattoos: Women love biceps. Period. And tattoos call attention to them.