The results are in: There are few sights in the world as beautiful as an outstandingly attractive person cuddling a furry animal.
That's the thinking behind @hotdudeswithdogs, a new Instagram account dedicated to red-hot men and their four-legged friends. The account has barely been around for a week, but it already boasts more than 45,000 followers and 50 smoldering shots of men posing with their pooches.
All these hot dudes: The appeal of Hot Dudes With Dogs — "These dudes with dogs will make you drool more than man's best friend" — isn't shocking. Past studies have shown that men who approach women with dogs get more dates. According to Slate, part of the dog effect is because we see men with dogs as more approachable, relaxed and caring.
But most of all, seeing a hot dude with an adorable puppy is incredibly humanizing. And that's part of the larger appeal behind the "Hot Dudes" trend that's hit Instagram in the past few months.
In February, @menandcoffee emerged as a showcase for carved dudes and their caffeine. Creator Alex Tooby credits a late-night talk with her girlfriend as the inspiration for the idea. Before that, there was @hotdudesreading, which took off in early February. The account, which now has more than 462,000 followers, shows hot men poring over books during their commute.
"We've always chatted about constantly falling in love on our subway commutes and organically began sending these pictures to one another," the anonymous creators of Hot Dudes Reading told the Huffington Post. The account is so popular because reading and perceived intelligence are sexy, but it also gives us a context for that attraction.
Getting real: The rising popularity of the "Hot Dudes" on Instagram trend reveals what men and women truly find sexy: someone intelligent, someone with passions, someone real.
Research has shown that when looking for potential dates online, people don't want to see overly edited, perfected shots. Because at the end of the day, people are most attracted to someone they could actually picture a relationship with.
Instead of centerfold spreads of shirtless men sprawled out on a beach, the Dudes of Instagram are attractive people commuting to work, enjoying a morning brew, kicking back with a newspaper — in short, doing the things we'd like to imagine them doing with us.
If you're wondering what the next iteration of "Hot Dudes..." is, we'd place our bet on cats, tea and household chores. Just picture it: a shirtless man cleaning the gutters next to a kitten and iced chai. Now that's a centerfold millions would pin to their walls.