Your work certainly speaks volumes about you, but are we really so shallow as to evaluate potential partners on their careers alone? We'd like to think not, but according to a new survey, certain jobs do provoke a resounding “sorry not interested” from the opposite sex.
Coupon site Vouchercloud recently asked 2,122 UK men and women which professions they considered “deal breakers” for relationship prospects. Jobs with perceived “danger factors”, “unsociable hours” and—to paraphrase a very British expression—strict adherence to petty regulations were the biggest offenders. Smelly jobs also didn’t fare so well.
Apart from the obvious sexy-suckers, some choices here may seem a little counterintuitive. There could be something immediately attractive about them — at least in the dress code — but in the realm of relationships they suddenly become pretty unsexy. Some of them seem to have less to do with typical attractive work qualities — respect, good pay, solid hours — and more a general perception of the job itself being utterly uncool. Having said that, you'd probably never guess the number 1.
Take a look at the percentages of people who voted these 10 jobs as instant deal breakers:
10 Prison officers: 6%
The movie myth of prison officials is that they’re unanimously uptight, unsmiling, aggressive (in a totally unsexy power-trip sort of a way) and prone to laying smack downs on unarmed convicts. That could have to do with why 6% of men and women say they wouldn't date one, which is really quite sad considering if enforcing the unfreedoms of unfree people is your full-time job you probably need more love than most.
9 Politicians: 7%
Maybe it’s the overly clean-cut image, the word mincing, or the general aura of sleaziness associated with politics. Whatever it is, by popular vote it’s one of the least sexy careers to be in. Of course there are plenty of exceptions (not pictured above), but with a tendency towards both unsociable hours and a strict adherence to regulations — petty or not — a suited politician doesn't invite arousal for many people.
8 Garbagemen: 9%
Last we heard they make decent coin providing an indispensable service, but with “garbage” in their name — a pretty unsexy word in its own right — their job ranks with the most unattractive. Even if you can handle your partner coming home reeking of trash, you still have to swallow the fact that roadside collection breeds a higher risk of traffic incidents, especially during those occasionally long, off-hour shifts.
7 Used car salespersons: 11%
For every sexy used car salesperson that theoretically exists, there’s just one too many sleazy ones in cheap suits standing in the way. Used car vendors tend to invite a disproportionate share of misgivings from the public at large, probably because they have a reputation as being pushy and won't shy away from a fib or two to get you to finance that commission of theirs. But of course, to many of us a salesperson is just a salesperson; it’s the thought of one trying desperately to peddle that used car smell that leaves 11% of libidos dead on arrival.
6 Taxi drivers: 12%
Off-hand hours are pretty much guaranteed, and if you work in New York City safety certainly isn’t. A car-for-hire isn't the most exciting livelihood, but to a whole 12% of shallow men and women it spoils all dating prospects entirely, even though it’s perfectly conceivable your taxi driver could have irresistible charms and look like George Clooney or Natalie Portman.
5 Fast food restaurant workers: 15%
Is there anything less arousing than slapping two greasy patties on a limp bun and shoving them into a brown paper bag? While not exactly unsafe unless you have a dangerous fast food predilection, with dead-of-night shifts and a perfunctory work ethic, careers in this industry rank on the bottom end of the desirable list. The smell of grease, the sound of sizzling ground beef — 15% say the work is a deal-breaker, probably because there’s something overwhelmingly unsexy about the product it deals in.
4 Strippers: 16%
Sexiness might be their trade, but peddling your own promiscuity for a living can be a major turn-off. The thought of unsavory crowds ogling your partner night after night can also be a bit beyond comfort, and all off-hand hours aside, putting on sexy performances for strangers might kill the idea of private intimacy. Strippers generally catch a bad rap in their line of work, and it’s no different on the relationship scene where 16% of surveyed adults wouldn't give them a chance.
3 Military members: 22%
It’s said everyone loves someone in uniform, but 22% of those surveyed would rather play dress up than see their partner off on long, potentially dangerous deployments. Military work generally commands a certain degree of respect and admiration in most places, but when it comes to dating prospects the sacrifices of the job become too personal. And while many certainly find that rigid military command structure kind of sexy, more than 1 in 5 probably find it too square and unexciting.
2 Truck drivers: 28%
Truckers live a life on the road traversing borders, mountainscapes and open fields for days and weeks on end. It can be a fulfilling if lonely career, but it’s likely just the latter for your partner waiting at home. Aside from practical issues, truckers also battle the unflattering stereotype of being idle slouchers behind the wheel of dirty diesel-guzzling monstrosities for hours upon hours, holding up traffic whenever you're in a hurry, gnawing on sticks of beef jerky and occasionally sleeping in barren truck lots. It's probably these unfair stereotypes that lead 28% of the surveyed population to assert that this is least sexy of jobs.
1 Traffic cops: 35%
There’s always a time and place for strict adherence to petty regulations; unfortunately for traffic cops it’s always that time and place. 35% of adults say they wouldn't date a traffic warden, probably out of sheer spite. It’s not exactly a dangerous job — unless you work in the UK where some have been issued stab proof vests — but when you elect to write someone up for parking 15 minutes over the meter, the feeling of uncool pettiness can be just too much to reconcile. It’s unsexy, but someone’s got to do it.