Do Thirst Traps Work? Women Weigh In On Those Shirtless Tinder Pics

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I'd love to be a fly on the wall when a dude is picking out photos for Tinder and is like, "Hmmm, this shirtless mirror selfie in a grimy bathroom is definitely working for me." You know the guys I'm talking about, right? Their dating app profiles and Instagram feeds are essentially ads for their abs. If you're a gym rat bro wondering if thirst traps really work, I did you a favor — I asked around to see what women really think of your pics.

Personally, I'm not into Tinder profiles that make muscles the main focus. Like, I get it, you lift. I'm not impressed unless you're also doing emotionally heavy-lifting. (For example, have you ever felt comfortable expressing a feeling? And no, quoting Drake doesn't count.)

But if it's an occasional pic of you hanging out by a lake on your family's vacation last summer, and wow, you just so happen to be in swim trunks? Not mad about it. Not mad at all.

Since I already asked guys what they think about girls' thirst traps, I figured it was time to turn the tables. I talked to nine women about those grimy mirror pics and whether or not your Tinder thirst trap is a turn-on or a turn-off.

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This woman doesn't mind photos of you playing sports, but hates your straight-up muscle shots.

Ugh, I hate it. I work partially in fitness (teaching yoga) and I definitely want to date someone who cares about their health. But I find it really vain and off-putting if that is what is being displayed, especially in a preliminary dating phase. If someone posts a pic of them playing a sport, or engaged in a physical activity it is less irksome... but if it's a straight up muscle shot, I'm not into it.

— Jane, 25

This woman says gym photos are fine — up to a certain point.

If they include a ripped shirtless photo, that makes me less likely to respond. For gym selfies, it depends on if they're shirtless. The guys who post the shirtless ones seem to be way more into themselves than they would ever be into me, and then I feel like in return, they're looking for someone who is equally as into the gym as they are.
I like the guys that post like the outdoors working-out photos makes them look less like a try-hard and more like they care about their health and fitness. Guys who post their protein shakes and shirtless six-packs make me think that they want to make their lifestyle yours, and if you don't have the hot bod they have, then they certainly won't be interested.

— Erin, 24

This woman only likes them as jokes.

I totally understand why dudes put up shirtless selfies, but personally I am turned off by them unless they’re done ironically. I feel like you can just tell by the rest of his pictures and his bio if it's done seriously or as a joke.

— Alexia, 24

This woman says your thirst trap makes you look shallow.

It is a bit of a turn-off for me to see a shirtless pic in a guy's profile, because it makes me think that he is in love with himself, and is only interested in something casual. It makes him seem shallow, and that's not what I'm looking for! However, if a guy has an outdoorsy photo, for example, he's surfing, or hiking, I love seeing that. It shows he is active, but he's not showing it off.

— Sarah, 24

This woman swipes left because she thinks you're only looking for something casual.

If people post them, they definitely are not looking for long-term relationship — or, at least, I don’t think they are. That makes me more inclined to swipe left. I'm at a place in my life where I'm not looking for anything casual or one-night stands. So thirst traps are a real turn-off.

— Emma, 24

This woman doesn't mind gym photos.

I don't think that gym photos are that big of a thirst trap. It takes a lot of discipline to go to the gym. It's a part of who they are. It only makes sense that people want to show that off.
I think random bathing suit or shirtless photos in a non-fitness setting are thirsty. I feel like the only thirst trap that I'd likely respond to is an unintentional one that depicts the individual's job or passion. For example, if they are a personal trainer and have many pictures working out.

— Kayla, 24

Tbh, this woman doesn't care.

I genuinely barely ever recognize other people's thirst traps when I see them. I look at it for 2.5 seconds, register it in my head as a 'nice pic,' and then forget about it. Other people usually have to tell me it's a thirst trap.

— Theresa, 24

This woman is not here for your thirsty pics.

I'm much less likely to be into a guy with a ripped shirt/post-gym selfie. It's never a good thing when a guy is more self-absorbed and mirror-obsessed than you are. That right there screams serious underlying issues.

— Laura, 24

Guys, don't lose hope. This woman loves them.

It shows confidence, and that's rad. I like when they send pictures directly to me, because that means they want my attention, and it makes me feel special.

— Meg, 18

No two people are alike. For every girl who cringes at a photo of your bulging biceps, there's another person at there who's checking you out. Just know that your thirst traps don't give off the most serious vibes.

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