Saturday, January 5, 2013

What is Sexy?

Sexy is a strong arm, a round butt, and bedroom eyes, but it's also so much more. As a writer I'm always thinking about what is sexy and how to show attraction between my hero and heroine that goes farther than a nice set of . . . ahem. 

The sound of sexy can be a honeyed voice--a man with a deep and full tone, not nasal or clipped.
The feel of sexy can be a silk gown or the petal of a rose.
The taste of sexy can be anything from strawberries and honey to spearmint toothpaste.
The view of sexy can be a crooked smile or a strong pair of hands.
The smell of sexy can be anything from spices and flowers to freshly baked cookies and licorice (A scent known for being sexy for both sexes)

Attention to detail is a great way to show interest between a hero and heroine. There's something sexy about a hero who notices things about a heroine that go beyond the obvious or usual. Perhaps he notices how she bites her nail when she'd nervous or frightened, or maybe he sees how her hair flutters against her throat the way he wishes he could run a hand along the same spot.

The appeal of qualities and personality traits
A protective man (Think of the man who stands between his woman and danger, or the one often seen in movies saying something like "If you touch her, I'll kill you.")
A mysterious woman (Think of the woman who "of all the gin joints in the world" chooses his place to walk into, and the one who leaves him wondering what else she has to offer.)
A confident man  (Think of the man who is so relaxed with his power that he doesn't need to act strong or crack his knuckles to inspire fear and respect from his peers. He knows he's powerful and brave, so there's no need to put on a front, and it comes through with his every breath.)
An assertive woman  (Think of the woman who faces danger without batting an eye. The one who never screams and faints unless it's part of her plan.)

The appeal of movements 
I love to watch documentaries, like the Science of Sex Appeal. There's so much fascinating information in the study of attraction and the way men and women show that attraction. I've probably watched dozens of documentaries on sex, attraction, and human relationships. I discovered something very interesting in one documentary. Men and women walk differently when they want to be seen as attractive.
Men - Sexy is widening the shoulders to show the power he can use to hunt. His sway is in his shoulders, and his arms swing as if to show off more of his muscles and strength.
Women - Sexy is rolling the hips, which accentuate the width and show the possible fertility of those hips. Her sway is in her hips, showing off the strength and health of the possible child-bearer.

Some historical romance authors offer their opinions-

I love strong shoulders, which is probably the reason I think archers are so hot. But the attribute I find most sexy are eyes. Looking into a man's eyes can tell you a lot about him. Is he intelligent? Do his eyes radiate kindness? Is there a humorous/mischievous sparkle? Those are qualities I look for in a hero. 

Deep voices. Strong jaw lines and broad shoulders.

Olivia Kelly said

Yeah, I like all those "superior male breed" markers too, lol! Wide shoulders, muscled forearms, strong hands with long fingers, a chiseled jaw...Although, for me, a man is at his most attractive when relaxed. Some of my favorite actors can slouch like nobody's business- think Robert Downy Jr. Why is he so relaxed? Because he knows he is the smartest, quickest, funniest guy in the room. THAT'S sexy.

Suzie Grant said

Love Robert Downey jr. I think it stems from confidence. Confidence is key.

I hope I've given you all something to think about because sexy is so much more than a body part. Please feel free to share your thoughts and idea with me. What is sexy?


  1. Great post, Robin. For me sexy is when he does something for the heroine he doesn't want to do. I tweeted and shared.

  2. I love that you mentioned baked cookies as sexy. Totally agree. :) Great post!

  3. Thanks Karen. :D I think there are so many things that don't get labeled sexy, but are.
    Thanks Ella. I think that's one of the sexist things a man can do. It features prominently in al my manuscripts. Thanks for commenting and thanks for tweeting/sharing.