Science: Lesbian, Gay, And Bisexual Attraction To Muscularity

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As a bisexual guy, I found this topic particularly intriguing!

So I've compiled a research-based overview of how lesbians, gays, and bisexuals perceive muscularity.


1. Some Prefer Thinner Body Types

Some gay and bisexual men might link muscularity with heteronormativity, conformity, or superficiality, leading them to prefer thinner body types and alternative expressions of masculinity. [1]

Another article just on this topic: 

Why do (some) girls like skinny guys? 

Check out the full article...

2. The superficial desire for muscularity

Conversely, certain gay men might seek muscular and athletic partners to compensate for a perceived lack of masculinity (in the heteronormative sense) or to avoid bullying or rejection from other men. [2]  

3. Self-esteem effects attraction to muscular men

Like heterosexual women, gay men with higher self-esteem, greater satisfaction with their bodies, and who consider themselves more attractive tend to prefer more muscular men. [31]

4. Attraction to lower body fat levels

Similar to heterosexual women, gay men find muscular men with lower body fat more attractive as short-term partners, but less appealing for long-term relationships. [3]

Click the thumbnail to read my full rant article about why muscles are attractive and how it changes throughout cultures! 

thumbnail Why Girls Crave Muscles

5. Gay men prefer muscular men 

Generally, gay men prefer men with greater muscularity and lower body fat than women do. [1]

6. Lesbians Prefer Partners With Lower Body Fat

Research indicates that, while lesbians' preferences for muscularity do not differ from straight women's, they tend to prefer partners with lower body fat. [1]


If that all seems like a complicated mess of words, here's a nice infographic showing how lesbians, gays, and bisexuals perceive muscularity:

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Coach Colt


[1] Cordes, M., Vocks, S. & Hartmann, A.S. Appearance-Related Partner Preferences and Body Image in a German Sample of Homosexual and Heterosexual Women and Men. Arch Sex Behav 50, 3575–3586 (2021).

[2] Lanzieri N, Hildebrandt T. Using hegemonic masculinity to explain gay male attraction to muscular and athletic men. J Homosex. 2011;58(2):275-93. doi: 10.1080/00918369.2011.540184. PMID: 21294030.

[3] Eleanna Varangis, Nicholas Lanzieri, Tom Hildebrandt, Matthew Feldman,
Gay male attraction toward muscular men: Does mating context matter? Body Image, Volume 9, Issue 2, 2012, Pages 270-278, ISSN 1740-1445,

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About the author 

Coach Colt here, the founder of Dating Armory, your go-to source for no-nonsense, practical relationship advice. I'm a bisexual male in a same-sex open relationship and a researcher in sex, love, and relationships with 7+ years of experience. I specialize in helping both men and women navigate the crazy world of dating.

Don't miss my other guides packed with practical dating advice (no bullshit repeated Platitudes) and tons of real life examples:

My Top 57 First Date Ideas That Always Work (As a Dating Coach)

Are Coffee Dates Good? It (Kinda) Depends

17 Basic Coffee Date Tips (From a Dating Coach)

How to Get a Gay Boyfriend: 25 Tips That Work