Quick, what is the first thing that comes to mind when you see someone wearing red at work, or out somewhere? Seriously, take a moment to actually visualize a woman walking up to you wearing red pants, or a red dress, or even the pop of a bright red scarf. This is what I asked a handful of men one recent night at Shim Sham Room.
Before I get into any responses though, let me give you some fun facts about red. I mean we all know red is the color of love, but there’s so much more. According to to the recent article, “Red Alert: Science Discovers The Color of Sexual Attraction” in Psychology Today, written by Noam Shapancer, Ph.D, he elicits some pretty spicy research signaling to the sexual prowess of being, wearing, possessing and seeing red. Of course, none of this is groundbreaking or sparks any revelation. Throughout history, there has always been an association with red, such as red crosses in Christianity, red roses, red lipstick, Red light district, and red robed leaders in Rome. However, multiple new research studies are suggesting that there is a deeper connection between the color red and sexual attraction, according to Shapancer. He reports that women see a man wearing red and equate “higher social status” and “potential for success,” while men see a woman wearing red and equate “sexually receptive” and “sex-readiness” based on the experimental studies conducted. Another interesting fact from the article found women who wear red on online dating sites were often looking for casual sex, versus women who wore no red and were looking for marriage, “On dating sites overall, women expressing an interest in casual sex chose to present themselves dressed in red much more often than women who expressed an interest in serious relationships only.”
Further, Shapancer concludes, “Astonishingly, the link between the color red and sexual attraction appears to be subconscious. In all studies cited above, during debriefing, the overwhelming majority of the participants failed to guess the purpose of the experiments, and none reported that color had been a factor in their rating decisions.” He continued, adding that historically, there is a biological predisposition towards attraction and red because many species will become flushed or become reddened in their genitals when they are ovulating. He notes that we all know that red also signals other emotions, such as anger and aggression, as well as sometimes danger or violence. There are definitely more questions to probe when it comes to these subconscious messages, but allow me to get to the good stuff; the questions I asked these few men (not wearing red).
The first male person I asked, Travis, said he thought red was attention-seeking, but that it looked good on his coworker who wears red pants to work sometimes. Foltz went on to say that red is his favorite color because it provokes passion. Anthony Orrach stated, “It’s a power color, I think a girl wears it sometimes to feel empowered when they themselves may feel easily intimidated. It makes me think of bulls charging.” Cody Davis pensively remarked, “It can be abrasive, it comes off as aggressive if a woman is wearing all red.” More responses? Yes indeed. I asked another guy named Tony, what he initially thinks of when seeing a woman in red. He said, “I don’t know really, because I look at a girl’s face before her clothes, I’m very picky.” He brought his friend over for me to ask the question, and his friend immediately said, “Honestly, sex is what I think of, is that wrong?” So after my own subjective short study, I guess all I can say, is “Women, get out your red skirts if you’re ready, and men, get out your red ties.” It may signal abrasive on a conscious level if analyzed, but according to the facts, the subconscious has first class seating, and if it has its way, it will pick red probably almost every time. After all, it’s not like we go around thinking what color people are wearing, so if you see it and dig it, throw caution to the wind and have a little fun with red. Or, I guess if you prefer to keep it tamer, maybe go with taupe or grey.