what sexy *looks* like

9 Jul

Had a thought today, inspired in part by both my recent feelings of unsexy-ness and by Patty B’s insightful comment about Amanda Palmer’s Map of Tasmania music vid.  That thought was “what does sexy *look* like to me/you”?

A while back I read Female Chauvinist Pigs by  Ariel Levy. A fascinating critique of the rise of raunch culture, I highly sugggest it.  More about it here and here.  But here’s the excerpt I am thinking of:

“Raunch culture is not about opening our minds to the possibilities and mysteries of sexuality. It’s about endlessly reiterating one particular- and particularly commercial- shorthand for sexiness.”

“If we were to acknowledge that sexuality is personal and unique, it would become unwieldily. Making sexiness into something quantifiable makes it easier to market… big boobs, bleached blond hair, long nails, poles, thongs… you can sell it. Suddenly sex requires shopping; you need plastic surgery, peroxide, a manicure, a mall.”

It makes me question what it takes to make me feel “sexy”.

Yes, I definitely feel more sexy when I’ve ‘cleaned up’ so to speak (ie, shaved, brushed my teeth, colored my roots, put on make up and something nice, etc…)  Does this mean I’ve caved into commercialism?  Well. Perhaps.

But then there’s also this:  A few years back I was taking a class in bronze casting, where we would work the foundry. You know, molten hot metal.  Dirty, sweaty, dangerous, requiring the wearing of lots of heavy protective equipment.  I was working the foundry with another woman and she suddenly said “hold on a moment” and went over and struck up a conversation with man who was passing through the studio.  When she came back she explained: “I’ve been meaning to ask him to go out for a drink for a long time… I feel so incredibly sexy right now I couldn’t pass up the moment.”  (This said as she pushed down her face guard with a heavily gauntleted hand.)

I *loved* that.

So, anyhow… What does *sexy* look like and feel like to you?  What is it that makes you feel *hawt*? What is it that you find *hawt* in other people?

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18 Responses to “what sexy *looks* like”

  1. Amelia July 9, 2011 at 11:14 pm #

    My boots make me feel sexy. They’re not typically sexy boots–no stiletto heels, not all that tight. They’re more like English riding boots than anything. But I put those on and next thing I know I’m strutting and feeling like I can conquer the world.

    Intelligent conversation makes me feel sexy. There are moments when I get into talking ideas with a man and he says something fascinating that sparks an idea and I push back a little with an alternative take and that sparks something for him. And before I know it it’s a full blown mind fucking. That moment when the stimulating conversation crystallizes into intense physical chemistry is amazing. Though it is inconvenient when one has that kind of moment with one’s married professor…pleasurable but it’s so much more fun when the man is available to be pursued.

    And I was very surprised to find that buzzing my head made me feel sexy. I didn’t expect that when I did it, but it did. And I swear I get checked out and picked up by more men when I had a freshly buzzed head than I ever have at any other time.

  2. Fanny A July 10, 2011 at 1:53 am #

    Boots- any kind, kick-ass boots.
    Well-fitting jeans.
    Expressive eyes.
    Holding my own in a conversation with someone I think is smart.
    Windblown hair and sunkissed cheeks from being outdoors.
    Confidence. His. Mine. Both.
    Cufflinks… oh my, I love cufflinks.
    A sense of adventure and willingness to play.

  3. KaralynZ July 10, 2011 at 8:13 am #

    Lots of the normal things make me feel sexy listed above.

    Exercise endorphins make me feel sexy. It’s not a “I’m more in shape now, I’m hot” thing but right through the middle to the end of my workout I feel super sexy. I have to make an effort not to sexually harass the men at the gym sometimes. (I tend to end up on the machine that is right by the door and they just come breezing in with all that cologne on! My gym is at work though so sexual harassment = no-no.)

  4. Patty B. July 11, 2011 at 11:05 am #

    I love that quote, Sister Eliza. And I think Levy is spot on. The commercialization of a uniform sexuality is problematic for so many reasons, not the least of which is that I think it can very seriously interfere with people being comfortable enough to enjoy their own sexuality and its expression with their partner. I have had a couple of partners who were so concerned about their own appearance and how it fell short of “sexy” that it prevented us from really enjoying sex. It makes me sad, because I truly believe that anyone can be sexy. I’ve enjoyed pretty amazing chemistry with men of widely varying body types and appearances, from athletic to obese. They were all sexy. Because sexy has essentially nothing to do with commercialized notions of “sexy” and everything to do with the particulars of how someone else and myself meld.

    And I’m with Sister Fanny: there’s nothing quite so sexy as confidence.

    Also smell. And I do not mean cologne because I can’t stand the stuff. But I’m very turned on by my partner’s smell, to the point that, with my last long term boyfriend, I would come based on nothing more than being pressed up against him fully clothed, no overtly sexual touch, and his smell.

  5. VirginAskingQuestions July 11, 2011 at 11:26 am #

    Is it weird that I don’t really feel sexy? I feel pretty, beautiful, attractive, classy, cute, lovely, wonderful, and splendid. But rarely sexy.

  6. Fanny A July 11, 2011 at 11:34 am #

    I don’t think it’s weird,VAQ, it may be simply that you haven’t explored that side of yourself yet. All of us sister-wives here are more experienced and have spent years figuring this part of ourselves out. It bodes well for you that you are interested and curious.

  7. mfranti July 11, 2011 at 12:02 pm #

    Fanny, Is it necessary for women to feel sexy?

  8. Lucy W. July 11, 2011 at 12:31 pm #

    VAQ: IMO, we (LDS women) have spent too much of our lives deliberately being NOT sexy. It would surprise me if you DID.

  9. Fanny A July 11, 2011 at 12:32 pm #

    Ooooh… good question. I think feeling sexy comes with confidence and a comfort with your body and your sexuality. It’s hard to tap into your desires and be open and comfortable with them, perhaps, if you don’t feel sexy.

    Can you have sex without feeling sexy? Of course.

    Can you fully embrace your sexuality and not have sexiness be a result? I don’t think so.

    But, like everything else, this is highly individual. Feeling sexy has nothing to do with having a perfect body, or the perfect setting or anything, really, outside of yourself and your own confidence.

  10. Miss M July 11, 2011 at 1:22 pm #

    For me:
    Painted toenails
    Good posture
    Plucked eyebrows

    For him:
    Baldness
    Cufflinks (I hear you Fanny)
    Pink dress shirts…swoon.
    Good dental hygiene. Yes, flossing is sexy!

  11. bananas July 11, 2011 at 2:26 pm #

    i’ll tell you what sexy DOESN’T look like for me, and that is nine damn months pregnant. sigh.

  12. ceridwen July 11, 2011 at 5:11 pm #

    Truly, sexy is all about your brain. What is sexy to you might not be sexy to me. Case in point – Bananas, I felt MOST sexy when I was nine months pregnant. I’ve heard it said that in the eternities we get to choose what our bodies look like. I will choose to be forever pregnant.

  13. anna July 11, 2011 at 9:25 pm #

    ceridwen – you have blown my mind. i know the pregnant female figure has a great history as a sexual and fertility totem. i’ve tried to embrace that aspect (and hormonally i AM very horny!) but have just not been successful. more power to you. 🙂

  14. Fanny A July 11, 2011 at 9:47 pm #

    I rejoice that their shall be no more fruit from my loins. But I’m all for those of you who feel awesome.

  15. KaralynZ July 12, 2011 at 4:35 am #

    I was, alas, not one of those women who was perpetually horny during pregnancy. “Hardly ever” was more like it. I’m slightly ashamed to admit my favorite part of being pregnant was the *attention*. Everyone looks at you. Well, at your belly, actually, it’s kind of like having if you go out wearing a low cut shirt and a push up bra, everyone looks. So for me i guess it’s the same *effect* as being sexy, because the only reason I ever feel the need to actively try and look sexy is when I want to feel special and for people to look at me.

    The only time I felt particularly *sexy* during pregnancy though was when I wore the bikini at about 6 months along. First time in my life I ever dared wear one, I thought I looked pretty awesome.

  16. Mouse July 12, 2011 at 6:11 am #

    I don’t know what sexy looks like on me. I guess I feel sexy when I’ve dressed up a bit, or am wearing panties (gasp! I will occasionally not wear my garments when I have dressed up for a date with my husband, how scandalous) but mostly I feel sexy as a result of interaction with my husband. Attention, good conversation and feeling desired spark me right up, but I have horrible self esteem issues and haven’t reached the point where I have the confidence to feel sexy in and of myself. Something to work on…

    Things I find sexy –
    the sneak attack back of the neck kiss
    being hopped in on in the shower – oooh, or walking in on my husband in nothing but a towel around his waist
    a certain type of cologne
    wearing lingerie, sending flirty (or dirty) text messages
    achieving something – this probably ties in to confidence

  17. anna July 12, 2011 at 12:14 pm #

    it’s funny, karalyn, i too have noticed all the attention you get for being pregnant, but i have really disliked it. not because i don’t normally like it when people look at me, but because i think my brain interprets their looks as being negative. which is silly, because i think pregnant women are lovely. but i think somewhere, deep down inside me, i don’t quite believe that i am pregnant. i feel like i am just getting fat. and in a week, when there is a baby next to me, and i am several sizes smaller, i think part of me at least will just be shocked. it’s hard for me not to understand those “wow, she’s pregnant!” looks as “wow, what a fatty!” i’m sure those self-image issues play a big part in my not feeling sexy while pregnant, even though hormonally i am veryvery horny.

  18. Foxy mom July 12, 2011 at 2:02 pm #

    I feel sexy when pregnant and I think it is be cause I can’t see my legs and my boobs look better, fuller. It not that I think you have to have big boobs to be sexy but for me I like them better just a bit more plump. I also feel very sexy by just the way my husband looks at me. Or wearing my favorite outfit. freshly painted nails and a good hair day.

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