Dale Hodgins wrote:
Let's hear it ladies. And let's break it down according to age. If a guy is 25 and he post some photos showing that he's in good shape, is that a negative?
Now suppose that he's 54 like I am, where much of the competition are flabby guys with man boobs. If I were still looking, would it work to my advantage, to display the results of my efforts, if I gave a little blurb explaining just how much time I put into it.
I'm 33 years old. I think the problem with these sorts of pictures is that they are all about the muscle. The feel like a cheep pick-up-line: something done JUST to get a girl, which is a turn off. Now, if there were pictures that showed a guy using his strength in useful or fun ways, without trying to show off, that might be better. A guy in a normal, not-baggy shirt in a "candid" picture, like climbing a tree or swinging an ax or pushing a broken-down car is about 100 times more attractive than a topless shirt of a guy posing in front of a camera. Now that I'm married, I love pictures where my husband's strength is featured, but I would have been totally turned off if he's sent me pictures when we were dating. The more candid the picture is, the better, in my opinion. It's like saying, "Here I am, doing something I believe in/am good at/enjoy doing." The woman likes seeing what you're interested/passionate/strong in, and then ALSO notices that, "Oh wow, he's hot, too." I picture that is just showing off muscle says, "You want me because I'm Hot" to which the woman thinks, "If all you're about is trying desperately to look hot to get laid, I don't want anything to do with you."
Of course, I'm not a "normal" woman, so I don't know how much of my advice applies to "normal" women...but then, I'm figuring guys here on permies are probably not looking for "normal" women. So, perhaps my opinion is still helpful.
I married more of a Luke Skywalker than a Hans Solo. I always thought Hans Solo was a bit of a jerk. I don't like jerks. But, I do know how many women have the urge to go for "bad guys," especially bad guys they feel they can "tame." The, I-killed-a-lion-and-was-going-to-go-fight-another-guy-for-his-lion-but-you-told-me-that-wasn't-nice,-so-I'm-not. They want all of the fierceness and strength, but they want it supporting and working with them, rather than doing whatever it wants all the time. What this ends up looking like in todays society is that they want jerks that they think they can turn into not-jerk...which doesn't work most of the time. BUT, I'm thinking a guy can show strength and daring without being a jerk, and they might be as successful at "getting a girl."
I think it also depends on what kind of girl a guy is looking for. There ARE girls that like nice, dependable guys. These girls are a bit more rare, and not often part of normal dating scenes. Being a jerk will almost certainly turn these girls away, while it might attract the other type of girl. The question is, who do you want to be with?
As for the amount of muscle tone on a guy, here's a useful picture:
I think it's generally accepted that most women are attracted to something between the 10-20% on that chart. The 6-7% is a little too muscular, but not gross like the 3-4%. The 25% is a bit flabby, but also not gross or off-putting. The 25% is like "Okay, this person has other focuses than being strong, but they don't look unhealthy."
Frankly, when I met my husband, I was 19 and he was 22. He was around the 25% mark. I honestly didn't care one bit about whether or not he was muscular. He was strong, and not too overweight, and had some acne and a great smile. Rather than appearances, I was more interested in whether or not he was nice, liked Jesus, was funny, was weird, and was someone I could talk deeply with. A few years into our marriage, he became all about paleo/primal eating, and he got a lot a lot stronger. He's now somewhere around the 12%, and I think he's hot... but I thought he was hot the whole time he was getting stronger. I'm more interested in him, than in his appearances.