What makes someone Sexy? A question for girls and boys in blogland

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After discussing the great American romance novel with a group of ladies earlier in the day, I wanted to pose a question to the ladies and gentleman, respectively. Whilst there are many ways to approach a character’s sex appeal in a novel, be they male or female, my question is this: What makes a character sexy?

Men: What do you find makes a woman Sexy? Is it purely physical in the beginning or are there other things you look for?


Ladies: Same question, except about the men. What do you find sexy about a man?


It seems many romance novels are written from the perspective of a woman and the authors tend to give the men qualities they wish they had, rather than those that are commonly found. Does this happen if a man writes a romance novel? How much of this is simple stereotyping?

Thoughts please. You are helping out a starving author here. No, really, I just saw an advertisement for Chili’s Bar and Grill and now I’m hungry. Help me out.


315 thoughts on “What makes someone Sexy? A question for girls and boys in blogland

  1. I think sexy is a combination of factors. A physical or mental pull can be first. For example, being pulled in by someone’s eyes or hearing them say something that catches your attention. First impression sexy is usually physical, but there are times I get attracted to the humor or intelligence before seeing the person. The challenge would be retaining the sexy factor during the get to know you stage.

    A level of confidence and independence is very sexy too. As much as some guys like the damsel needing a strong man to boost their ego, it doesn’t last. I prefer a woman who can stand on her own feet and be sure of herself. Sense of humor falls into the requirement category too.


  2. I find a woman with a sense of humor very sexy (I think I remember what sexy is). Usually a sense of humor is an indication of an engaging, intelligent, delightful person. If you have all these you are sexy to me.


  3. Physical attraction is obviously an initial thing but as a musician I am instantly attracted to a man who can play a musical instrument reeeeeally well. I also love it when a man can make me genuinely laugh.

    Oh, striking blue eyes and an Irish accent also helps πŸ˜‰


  4. To me, I think there’s not just one thing that makes a man sexy. A good looking exterior can be ruined by a sucky personality and I think literature does it’s fair share of using stereotypes of an attractive mate, by both male and female authors. I hate to get into why an author writes what they do because I’m not a writer. Like some might write a character a certain way for a book to sell. I don’t know that.

    But to get back to the original question, What makes a man sexy. I think, gut reaction, looks is what I think is attractive leaning toward sexy but that doesn’t last very long for me. To me, if a guy can get me to laugh, comfort me when I’m in tears, hang out with me/my friends/family, has a bass voice etc. that’s more sexy to me than if he is just attractive on the outside.


  5. I think that the physical can draw you in at the beginning and the personality makes you stay—it can definitely work vice-versa, too, but the attraction has to be there.

    A sense of humor, confidence NOT arrogance, and genuine kindness are some of the personality traits that I find really sexy. I think kindness and gentleness get feminized and are underrated in men. Sure, I want a guy that can go chop down a tree in a sexy flannel shirt (err…what?) but I also want one that will take care of me if I’m sick and is friendly and kind to other people.


  6. His hands – his eyes – his smile. But what I find sexy, you probably wouldn’t and vice versa. The physical is just a beginning. There are plenty of gorgeous men out there that don’t do a flippin’ thing for me. Just give me a book to read instead and I will be happy


  7. you know this is a perspective I haven’t even thought about… In my story I’ve actually spent very little time in discribing physical appearences of my characters. Is it odd that I would venture to write a Romance without thought as to what is sexy…? My reasoning is simple, everyone has a different definition as to what is sexy, brain or brawn or a bit of both, physical, or intellectual and then there is the spiritual. Besides until later Epochs my story is rooted into what is more primal and instictual… urges and drives and the emotional drives of these… of course it is so much easier when your characters still live in caves… Sexy was probably having your health and limbs and a hunk of meat…


      • I’m willing to bet that of the fifty people following my story you would get fifty completely different composits were they to sketch each of the main characters…


    • LOL!!!!

      Okay, so guess what TJ? You just made sexy. No, really, men who make me laugh are incredibly attractive, I think with most women it is that way. I really don’t think about it very often in my own books either, even though they are contemporary.

      I should perhaps. Maybe that’s why my characters refuse to shag.


  8. For me it is far more about that emotional connection than any physical thing, especially initially. I think people make a lot of mistakes based upon purely physical attraction. I think it is better to connect emotionally first, with someone that has the same philosophy on life, the same world view as you. Someone who wants the same things and has the same dreams and aspirations. Ultimately a sexy woman for me is one that you can connect with in that way, that displays intelligence and humour and that can make you smile the instant you hear her voice. A woman whose presence you crave every moment you are apart. A woman that makes you feel as special and desired as you make me feel every day Ionia.


  9. I think different men are sexy for different reasons (although I just realized that weird is nearly common for all of them):
    ~ Conan O’Brien. Because funny is sexy. Smart, funny and weird are even sexier.
    ~ Dr. Who 10th Dr. (David Tennant) – A little slim, but enthusiastic, intense, weird, smart and a little goofy.
    ~ Thorin from the Hobbit (Richard Armitage) Oh, hells-bells I would follow that Dwarf to the center of the earth and back. It’s the eyes – it has to be, because his personality rivals Mr. Rochester for β€˜not-nice.’ The tall, well-built thing that the actor has going on in real life isn’t bad either.
    True self-confidence makes all the above happen and I think that may be at the root of it.


  10. Hhaha, you’re so funny! There is a big long list of things that make both men and women sexy and appealing, but I have to run out the door right now so I will say the #1 thing is CONFIDENCE!!! Holy cow, I’m just thinking of Rhett Butler, man that guy is sexy in his suite and tasting his wine like he owns the world. MmmmMMmmmM! It’s also hypnotizingly dangerous, because that’s how my bf tricked me into being with him! But honestly, I have no idea how you would show confidence in writing since it’s something that comes off in more of a scent and feel… if that makes sense. Okay, now I just feel like I’m rambling on. I’ll check back in on this one later. Thanks for getting us all thinking.
    Oh wait, and I HAVE to agree with most of you guys, #2 thing for me is humor. I get SO bored of you if you don’t make me laugh. I love laughing, especially the kind that makes me cry and pee my pants a little.


  11. Oh my goodness, there are so many good responses that I have read. Each has their own definition and well, mine goes along with what some have already said and more.

    I do agree that upon seeing someone for the first time, initially looks have a lot to do with it. Though, as also stated before, an ugly personality can ruin any amount of good looks. To me, someone who is truly sexy is someone I am attracted to both their physical appearance and their personality. I have met people who I find physically appealing, but upon getting to know them, I can’t stand them. I have also met some people with wonderful personalities that while I do love them and know God finds beauty everywhere, I don’t personally find them sexy. It really is a combination of so many things….

    I too have been attracted to musicians. If you can play an instrument and/or sing really well, I have been known to draw to them like a moth to a flame. Oddly enough, the man I fell head over heels with and so happy with now is NOT a musician, though he does have an intense love for music. Common interests definitely plays a role in things.

    Confidence does as well, as long as it doesn’t go from being confident, loving who you are, and sure of yourself to arrogance. One who takes care of themselves and takes pride in their appearance is important, just don’t come across as thinking you’re the greatest there is. πŸ˜‰

    Kindness, a sense of sincere compassion towards others is a huge factor for me. Be one who is going to take care of themselves, but also be more than willing to lend a helping hand to someone in need, to be there for their friends, family, and community. A warm heart really does win me over.

    Being able to speak your mind when needed is huge too, must be able to communicate, but also that ability to be confident in their silence as well is not to be overlooked.

    As far as looks go, I tend to gravitate towards people with brown hair, striking eyes, and a warm smile. I can also appreciate a man who has nice muscles and lean, but firm figure…..not to be overdone though….just healthy and in shape. I don’t seek bodybuilders and such. πŸ˜‰ I am happy the love of my life takes pride in his appearance and staying in shape. He also motivates me to do the same, another factor I find totally appealing….his genuine care for my health and well-being, as much as he cares about his own.

    Being able to handle me, deal with my insane family, and keep calm is very big with me too. I am a bit much sometimes, but if you can stay patient, keep calm, and weather everything with me….you have earned some major sexy points. πŸ˜‰

    And yes, laughter….being able to smile, laugh, and find the joy in life is a MUST! There are times to be serious, you must be able to take care of things, know when to buckle down, know when not to make a joke of things….but if you’re too tightly laced, it doesn’t matter how gorgeous you first appear….I’ll soon look away. Being able to make me laugh is so important…..lucky to have found someone who knows how to make me laugh, even when my day is so very dark. Never overlook that factor in someone….their ability to make you smile and laugh. πŸ˜‰

    There are the lists that tell you who is on today’s sexiest people….and some of them certainly make ya go…oh yeah, yum….but, ya wonder…if we were to actually meet them and get to know them….how many would we still say are legitimately sexy? Take away the cameras, make-up, fancy clothes, and strip them down to who they really are….who would we befriend? Who would we find as sexy inside as we do out? I wonder that from time to time….


  12. Although shallow, it is inevitable that in most cases the first sense to weigh in on a member of the opposite sex is sight. Often times this unfortunately is where it ends, we never really get to know the other person. If we give the person a chance then looks can and normally do become secondary.as they should. I know it may be cliche’, but I find a smart, funny, warm (and I just don’t mean body temperature for all you wiseguys out there) person, yes one with a pulse and a personality, far more attractive than a “beautiful” shallow person. Lets face it, once you get beyond the looks there has to be much more there to make you stay. Just my opinion.


  13. My radar for what is sexy is broken, obviously, because I never would’ve found MTM sexy before we met. I always went for dark, almost exotic looking pretty boys who exuded confidence. (Never mind that their confidence was really arrogance, which stems from insecurity, but I digress.)

    I still think true confidence is sexy in a man.


  14. It would be so easy to say a sense of humor makes a man sexy. And it does. But initially, before conversation, it’s posture that reflects confidence; eyes that show interest and intelligence and a smile that warms the heart.


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  16. OMG…I go away from my puter for a day and come back to see that I missed out on all the fun…again. I can’t speak for men about what they find attractive in a woman. So, I asked my husband the minute he walked in the door. He says, “You have to ask?” (I own over a hundred pairs of shoes because he has a foot fetish.) He says simply, “Pretty feet in pretty shoes,” and when I pressed him for more, he got really defensive. He says, “Sex and attraction and desire are all different things…you didn’t ask me what I want in a woman, you asked me what I find sexy!” He wins. He is so f’ing logical, Mr. Rocket scientist. As for me and what I find sexy in a man…I thought it was it was all in the mind, UNTIL my husband redirected me. After all, what ends in the bed starts in the head. When I first became single again, way back in 1997, I was all about physical attraction, even though I had been with a Greek Adonis who turned out to be a total disaster. I think I was just horny. In that way, all I wanted was good looks. I was quite independent, and didn’t care a hoot about a serious long term relationship with commitment. 12 years later, I wanted it all and refused to settle. I won’t say how many men I dated, but I wanted sexy, intellect in both mathematics/sciences and literature/arts languages, financial security, engaging personality, gregariousness, sense of humor, open mindedness, liberal politics, spirituality.. a real renaissance man. I got it all. (He’s holding a gun to my head right now.) But in the bedroom, it all comes down to rhythm and butt, so that’s what I find sexy. A man with rhythm and a nice, tight, round, high arse gets my attention in a heartbeat. They are very hard to find these days, just look at all those baggy, saggy, drooping jeans..and they think they look good. I can’t find the arse!


  17. Every woman has her charms if she chooses to use them. Girls start off being cute and flirting with their dad (in a non-sexual way) by showing them things, talking to them, asking them to go to the movies or the ice cream place. A healthy Dad-Daughter relationship leads to healthy sexuality as an adult. Having said that, the physical always is the first spark. There are scientific studies about skin tone, symmetry, curvature, proportions, etc.

    What really gets me and my fellow men going though are the following: 1) sassy but not bitchy; 2) laughter; 3) fun; 4) down to earth, not snobby; 5) they like food (they don’t have to eat a lot, but they don’t pick pick pick at it; 6) the smile; 7) they make you feel happy; 8) they make you want to be better; 9) they dress nice but not slutty; and the most sexy of all things a woman can do –

    10) Look at a man with those eyes that say, “I find you amazing.” No man can resist a woman that looks at them that way. After all, we are simple ego driven creatures. The respect, passion, love, lust, or simple appreciation in your eyes is all we really need.


  18. Okay, I gave up in trying to read all the comments but what I did read I agree with, lol. Confidence is key. I think that is what is really sexy, a woman who knows what she is about. I feel very very unoriginal here, lol.

    Isn’t one of the more successful Romance writers a guy? Nicholas Sparks? I haven’t read any of his books but I think his characters aren’t really the supermodel perfect type but always connect on an emotional level (and then die, buwahahahaha).

    So this what I find sexy in my girlfriend: her confidence, her humour, the way she makes me feel, her laugh, her voice, her ability to see me for me, khakis, how she helps me to be a better me. I think she epitomizes sexy and I really consider myself to be one of the luckiest men alive to have just known her. (The fact that I can be such a sap like this and she appreciates it).


  19. As a man, physical attraction will always be a part of the picture in what we find sexy in a woman. Being able to have a good intellectual discussion (I like to debate) is sexy as well. It shows me she thinks about the world around her and interested in other things besides shopping. LOL!!

    For me, a woman that likes a variety of music (jazz, r&b, country, salsa…etc) and reads all types of books is sexy too.



  20. They have it. I can’t tell you what it is, but they have it. For me, there is now one thing. Like hair color. Or legs. Or this or that. There’s just something that clicks for me. It’s important though, to differentiate between physical sexy and real sexy. Physical sexy is just how they look. Is there something about her hips and things that move me, if you know what I mean.
    But, real sexy, which is what I think you’re really talking about? Well, that’s a mystery isn’t it. Like I said, it’s not just one thing, one body part, one personality trait. It’s a combination of all of those things. The ease of laughter, the willingness to be open and to share, the willingness to share both pain and joy. And, yes there’s a physical aspect to it, but that physical aspect becomes real when those other connections are made. Yeah, I could look at a woman who has a nice figure and an attractive face and say to my self, “damn, I’d like to …” but that’s not sexy, that’s just basic physical need.
    Sexy is sooooooooooooo much more. You know what is sexy to me some times? Seeing a mother with a small child, totally wrapped up in that child. Not distracted by her phone or her friends or whatever. Just seeing a mom be a mom. That can be sexy.
    The sexiest women I know are the ones I’ve got to know in an intimate way — not physically, but emotionally and intellectually. The depth they have, their inner core. That’s sexy. And yes, having hips I want to run my hands along doesn’t hurt either. πŸ˜‰


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  22. You know, I like a good sense of humour. If they can laugh at my jokes and I can laugh at there’s, there is a good chance that I’m going to, on some level, find them attractive. Of course there are other details to consider, physical attractiveness has a small part to play, but of course, I have my own idea of what makes a girl pretty, and this doesn’t necessarily follow societies ‘standards’. I like eccentricity for some reason, as well confidence in themselves and the way they are. Someone who can be themselves and not be afraid to have their own personality and style is extremely attractive to me. Also, a degree of intelligence is also important to me, as I like to be able to hold a meaningful and interesting conversation with somebody who can understand where I’m coming from and hold their own.

    –Oh… and also big boobies. They are also good.


    • So happy you mentioned that society standards may not reflect your own. Love that. Also, who doesn’t love a good set of boobs. Afraid to be yourself is a frightening thought, clearly not a problem on this blog:) thank you for your comment!


  23. Of course, I was just joking around with the boob comment… it’s not hugely important!
    I imagine there are a lot of people around who are afraid to themselves, living in fear of judgement and lack of acceptance from their peers. It’s sad really, because everybody should be encouraged to walk their own path in life without criticism from others on the way they dress or the things they like. They shouldn’t be afraid to wear the t-shirt of their favourite band or talk excitedly about some geeky aspect of life that they are interested in.
    A blog that promotes self-awareness and freedom of expression is always worth reading and commenting on, thank you for keeping things interesting!


  24. At the risk of alienating myself, I’ll admit that sexy for me is a man of a certain body type and image. Truth be known: when I met my future husband, it was lust at first. No, not love. No typo here. L U S T. During a lunch break from work, before we started dating, we went a community pool with a bunch of other coworkers. I could not keep my eyes off his chest. True story. Fortunately he also has a great sense of humor and is sensitive to my emotional needs; otherwise, the great looks would have eventually become a poor bargain. We’ve been happily married almost 24 years and that can’t happen on good looks alone. Then again, he has done a good job of maintaining his lovely chest and tight butt so … what’s the question again?


      • I closed my eyes. Seriously, we actually had a slightly rocky “courtship” during which he joined the Peace Corps and went away for two years. But that’s one of the things I love about him is his desire to help people meet their basic needs. And we both loved being outdoors and trying new restaurants and going to the movies (I’m talking mid-1980s in the San Francisco Bay Area). He was probably the first man I ever dated with whom I felt I could be myself, my klutzy, introverted, bookworm self. He helped me to face and even overcome challenges, often times without even knowing he was helping. I guess, in short, I find a man sexy when I can be myself with him, when he accepts me as I am and doesn’t ask me to be someone else.


  25. Hello darling! Long time listener, first time caller…. okay, well, that’s not true — this is actually possibly the first thing I’ve read of yours (maybe not, who knows) but you are spoken highly of by some mutual friends, and so I thought I’d drop by and say hello.
    In answer to your post, I think you’re right and that both men and women authors project into their opposite the qualities that we think we’d LIKE them to have — but the fact is, men AREN’T usually like that, and we often love men for how they really are — which is flawed, and posturing, and in control of their emotions (or at least the good ones). It’s why Twilight is so ridonkulous — no man — no real man — is that emotive, and if I ever met one who was, I’d laugh in his face. (Have done, akchu-ally). We as women read a man’s description of the perfectly sexy woman, and she’s either a porn star or a princess. Good writing usually (in my experience) depicts women as willing participants in “the game”, and that confidence doesn’t necessarily equal sluttiness.
    What do I think sexy is? A lop-sided grin. Hard-earned sweat. Spontaneity. Being employed! (ha ha) Intelligence, but not cockiness. (Well, if THAT wasn’t a Freudian slip, darling, I don’t know what qualifies).
    Anyhow, nice to meet you. Do drop in sometime.


  26. I’ve found in my writing that for romance novels everyone wants the gorgeous guy with the 6 pack abs and great tan. The woman has to be beautiful with no flaws. But as for my characters I try to put a couple of flaws. Flaws can be sexy in their own way. I find a mind that is sensitive, but yet strong of characters. A good body doesn’t hurt, but sometimes an ok body can be sexy too. Great post question and I enjoyed the many comments…


  27. Wow, what a question…it’s a real thinker. I like it when a man as confidence but not cocky. Can give a sexy look with his eyes but not feel like he’s undressing you with them. Sexy is a man who smells good. I’m a sucker for good cologne. Sexy is a guy who can laugh at himself. Sexy is a guy who can go from construction boots and grubby jeans to dressing up for a nite out on the town and look good either way. I’m sure there’s more but that’s what I come up off the top of my head.


  28. Do you people have any idea how long it took to get down here to the bottom to make a bloody comment? Channeling Ionia now. The sexiest thing about a man is the way he responds to me:>) And the way he treats other people. All the nuts (there she is again) and bolts will fall into place if he actually listens and then that eye-to-eye contact…okay, and butt.


  29. Wow….this is a popular topic. Good one, Ionia! Well, I’ve noticed a lot of butt comments from the ladies. Yes….for us guys a good squeezeable butt on a woman is sexy. Of course…that’s too obvious to write in our politically correct world these days. However, it is still true regardless. LOL!!


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