Since its arrival on the social media scene, photo-sharing site Instagram has become one of the most popular networks, with 300 million active users every month and 70 million new photos posted each day. Among these millions of images, one can find all sorts of snapshots of everyday life – and, like anywhere else, plenty of users simply enjoy showing off.
As you might expect, #sexy has become a widely used hashtag in Instagram photos. We wanted to dig deeper to find out more about who’s using #sexy, where they’re posting from, and what they’re talking about. After analysing more than 4.2 million Instagram posts and their location data, we’ve mapped worldwide countries that are posting the most #sexy pics. Keep reading to see where your nation ranks among Instagram’s sexiest places.
COUNTRIES WITH THE MOST #SEXY INSTAGRAM POSTS
Looking at the top five nations for #sexy Instagram posts per 10,000 residents, you might notice they have something in common: four are islands, and all are coastal – features that typically attract large numbers of vacationing tourists. Coming in first is Monaco, a European micronation bordering France with a Mediterranean coastline running along its entire length. This country, covering less than a square mile in total, is also the most densely populated nation on Earth. With pleasant weather, scenic beaches, and extravagant wealth, this tourist destination boasts 65.92 #sexy Instagram posts per 10,000 residents. Keep in mind, the country is host to a population of merely 37,800 – quite a small number compared to the 328,000 tourists who paid a visit to the luxurious nation in 2013.
In second place is the French territory of the island of Saint Martin in the Caribbean, which covers 60% of the island (the remainder is controlled by the Netherlands). Saint Martin is a renowned beach destination for vacationing tourists, hosting over a million visitors every year – and much of its coastlines are clothing optional. Yet with 16.18 #sexy posts per 10,000 residents, this territory still has less than a quarter as many such posts as Monaco. The U.S. territory of the Virgin Islands, bordering the Caribbean, shows 10.46 #sexy Instagram pics per 10,000, and many of these are likely coming from the estimated 601,000 international tourists who visited the islands in 2015. Dutch-controlled Aruba similarly has 9.86 #sexy pics per 10,000 – and about 1.1 million international tourists arriving annually. Placing fifth is Maldives, an Indian Ocean archipelago with 7.43 #sexy Instagram posts per 10,000 residents. While about 341,000 people live in Maldives, 1.1 million tourists visited in 2013. One trend is clear: Islands, beaches, and tropical vacation destinations likely encourage traveling Instagrammers to share sexy snaps of their beach bodies.
The top 20 nations and territories for #sexy Instagram posts show just how thoroughly Monaco eclipses every other location: Even among the top-ranking places, most have only five to 10 such posts per 10,000 residents. The island trend is also further reinforced; 15 of these nations or territories exist on islands as well.Ranking just below the top five is the United Arab Emirates with 7.01 posts per 10,000 residents. The UAE is home to the breathtaking skyscrapers, hotels, and the manmade beaches and waterways of Dubai. Seychelles, a nation consisting of 115 islands off the east coast of Africa, rates highly as well, with 5.9 posts per 10,000.
As might be expected, Sint Maarten – the Dutch-controlled southern portion of the island shared with France – likewise charts highly, albeit seven places lower than French Saint Martin. And although many may think of Iceland as a wintry sub-Arctic nation, the country’s tourism has experienced a boom in recent decades, with its natural beauty attracting summer visitors to its geothermal hot springs. Iceland ranks 10th for these posts, with 5.62 per 10,000, illustrating that #sexy Instagram posts are truly a global phenomenon.
"SEXIEST" EUROPEAN COUNTRIES
When it comes to #sexy Instagram pics, European nations show a diverse pattern. Omitting Monaco, which otherwise heavily skewed the rankings, scenic Iceland places first in the region. And Malta, an island off the coast of Italy, ranks No. 17 worldwide and No. 2 in Europe, with 2.97 #sexy posts per 10,000 residents. This Mediterranean country boasts a rich history as well as an appealing climate and numerous tourist destinations, and the photogenic landscapes have served as a backdrop for many films – as well as Instagram pics.
One notable exception to the coastal trend is San Marino in the No. 3 spot, a landlocked nation surrounded entirely by Italy; it also happens to take the No. 4 place in Europe. The tiny country’s biggest tourist attractions include historic cathedrals, plazas, and other architecture.
Conversely, not all coastal nations follow the #sexy trend. The Faroe Islands, located off the coast of Britain and bordering the North Atlantic, place No. 46 out of 50 European countries, with only 0.42 #sexy posts per 10,000 residents. Romania and Bosnia, two nations bordering the Black Sea and the Adriatic Sea respectively, come in last at No. 49 and 50.
"SEXIEST" U.S. STATES
Overall, the United States itself ranks 14th worldwide for #sexy posts, with 3.4 posts per 10,000 residents. It’s not a bad designation, but the U.S. is a large and diverse nation – so how do the 50 states stack up? Despite the clear trend of coastal appeal, America’s top-ranking state is actually landlocked Nevada, with 15.35 #sexy posts per 10,000 residents.
While this state may not offer beach breezes or blue ocean waters, it does have one important feature going for it: the freewheeling party destination of Las Vegas, known for its vivacious nightlife and massive casinos. While it’s often said that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas – the city uses this slogan extensively in its tourism marketing – this clearly isn’t the case on Instagram. Nevada would place third in the world, between Saint Martin and the Virgin Islands, if it were ranked as a country.
Elsewhere in the U.S., the results are somewhat more predictable: Florida (8.91 per 10,000), Hawaii (8.02), and California (7.47), all states with extensive coasts, rank No. 2, 3, and 4 in the country. Each of these states is a popular vacation destination in its own right, and worldwide, they would all rank just below global fourth-place Aruba.
TOP TERMS MENTIONED IN #SEXY INSTAGRAM POSTS
Our analysis did not only encompass the number and location of #sexy Instagram posts. We also looked at a selection of terms you’d expect to see commonly used alongside these pics, such as “women” (including near-synonyms like “girl” and “lady”) and “men” (grouped with terms like “boy” and “guy”) as well as “body,” “legs,” and other physical features.
Worldwide, use of “women” and related terms in #sexy photos (11,861 total instances) far outnumbers the use of “men” (3,831) by a factor of about 3 to 1. And while “body” is the most frequent physical term we encountered with 1,776 posts, the focus on specific features isn’t always explicitly sexual. Occurrences of the terms “eyes” (736) and “faces” (650) both outranked “legs” (563) and “ass” (536).
COUNTRIES WITH THE MOST #SEXY WOMEN MENTIONS
We’ve seen that mentions of women in #sexy Instagram photos are much more common than mentions of men – so which nations are posting about women the most on Instagram? While world-leader Monaco makes a strong showing in second place with 2.39 such posts per 10,000 residents, it’s the UAE that surges ahead to take first with 3.52 per 10,000. The Faroe Islands, one of the lowest ranked countries in Europe at only 46th place, unexpectedly places No. 6 worldwide for #sexy posts mentioning women with 0.21 per 10,000.
COUNTRIES WITH THE MOST #SEXY MEN MENTIONS
Although the threefold difference worldwide between mentions of women and men in #sexy posts was already quite substantial, this gap becomes even more striking when looking at the top-ranking nations for each. Mentions of men in these Instagram posts by first-place San Marino (0.32 per 10,000 residents) are still little more than a tenth of the mentions of women by first-place UAE (3.52). And while islands continue to dominate the top 10 nations for #sexy posts about men, it’s prosperous alpine Liechtenstein – an acclaimed winter sports destination landlocked between Switzerland and Austria – that comes in second with 0.27 mentions of men per 10,000.
COUNTRIES WITH THE MOST #SEXY BODY MENTIONS
Beyond differences between mentions of women and men in #sexy Instagram photos, we also looked at posts that made reference to a sexy body. Unsurprisingly, Monaco places first by far on this measure as well, with 0.27 mentions of sexy bodies per 10,000 residents. But out of the remaining nine, only five also appeared in the global top 20 for #sexy posts. Bermuda, Jamaica, the United Kingdom, and Panama are all overrepresented for specific mentions of sexy bodies in these Instagram pics.
TOP #SEXY TERMS BY COUNTRY
We’ve seen the national rankings, but what do Instagram trends in sexy women, sexy men, sexy bodies, and other terms look like across the globe? We mapped the most commonly used word alongside #sexy out of our selected terms for all countries where data were available. Overwhelmingly, #sexy women are the most prominent in North America, much of South America, Asia, Europe, and Oceania. Notable exceptions include Brazil, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Ethiopia, where #sexy men were the most mentioned. In Uzbekistan, #sexy bodies are the most commonly mentioned in these Instagram posts, while Bolivia, Myanmar, Nepal, and Namibia focus on #sexy eyes.
TOP #SEXY TERMS BY STATE
A closer look at the United States reveals a national pattern that resembles the global trend: Out of 50 states, 37 show women as the most commonly mentioned word from our selected terms alongside #sexy. Largely rural and inland states such as North Dakota, South Dakota, and Arkansas primarily take an interest in #sexy men. However, so does Hawaii; this island location contrasts other states such as Nevada, Florida, and California, which rank highly for overall #sexy Instagram posts. Montana stood out as the only state where posts about #sexy eyes came in first, while Wyoming showed a particular interest in feet, and West Virginia primarily posted about sexy shoulders. Even within a nation with a high prevalence of Instagram posts about sexiness, the type of content that holds the most appeal can be truly diverse.
LOOKING OUT FOR YOUR SEXUAL HEALTH
It’s plain to see that around the world, people from all walks of life find strong appeal in looking and feeling sexy, particularly when enjoying vacations at home and abroad. While these destinations can often be a place to unwind and explore, it’s crucial to remember something more important than sexiness: your health. At Superdrug Online Doctor, we provide numerous services for you to take control over your sexual health, including STI test kits and treatments, contraceptives, as well as medications for travel-related conditions. Our certified medical professionals offer discreet consultations and deliver right to your door. Visit onlinedoctor.superdrug.com, and enjoy yourself knowing that your health is in good hands.
We scraped all Instagram posts containing the tag #sexy over a period of January 3, 2016 to January 4, 2016, collecting approximately 4.2 million posts, over 375,000 of which had geolocation data. To account for the small populations of many island nations, we counted these posts per 10,000 residents of a country using the latest population data from The World Bank. In certain maps of Europe, the nation of Monaco was omitted due to its prominence in the data and to ensure that the differences between other nations remained visible.
Our analysis of associated words in #sexy posts included a hand-picked selection of terms, and it does not offer an overall look at all words used in these posts. The term “women” was grouped in with “woman,” “girl,” “girls,” “lady,” and “ladies,” and “men” was grouped similarly. Other terms such as “body” were grouped only with their plurals (“bodies”, etc.). Geolocation data for Washington, D.C. were not available.
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