Men vs. Women: Sex Appeal

Category: Men vs. Women Series

Charlie's Angels

We all know that a great keyword is sex. I’ve actually found that money is even better. Hmmm, maybe I should use both? I was having a discussion with a friend about sex appeal and how men and women view each other differently in this regard. In the course of the discussion, I reflected on four women – famous women/actresses – each of whom I’d met and/or worked with in my former life in showbiz.

I found two of these women extremely sexy and two extremely beautiful, but not particularly sexy. By “particularly sexy,” I mean something that is palpable, something that I could actually feel. All these women were or are awfully (don’t you just love that choice of word!) stunning by any objective standard. But, to this man, each had a different level of sex appeal.

In the interest of keeping my health, safety, and welfare, I will not declare who was who – in my humble opinion – but describe the context in which I met and/or worked with each of them. You can guess who is who. And, to be further undeclarative (turns out that is not a word – but I like it anyway!), I will list them in alphabetical order.

~~ Farrah Fawcett – Farrah Fawcett was an iconic sex symbol of my era, having posed in an infamous poster and starred in the original “Charlie’s Angels.” I met her when she was living with Ryan O’Neal and used to go to their home in the hills to play racquetball with O’Neal, on their home racquetball court.

Jane Seymour

~~ Jane Seymour – During my tenure as head of television movies at ABC-Television, I once took Ms. Seymour to lunch to discuss an idea she had for a television movie. She was charming and we ended up putting into development the idea she pitched to me.

Brooke Shields

Who is that young guy next to a very young and oh-so-pretty Brooke Shields?

~~ Brooke Shields – In the summer of 1984, ABC did a movie with a very young Brooke Shields called, “Wet Gold.” It was shot in the Bahamas and I felt it my obligation to go visit the set and “supervise” production. I met Brooke as you can see via the photo, and learned to scuba dive along with her and others connected with the movie because the movie involved underwater filming. I also wanted to hang with my best friend, who was producing the movie, and we brought our girlfriends and had a blast.

Jaclyn Smith

~~ Jaclyn Smith – I met Jaclyn Smith on the set of a movie she was starring in for ABC. She was charming and oh-so-professional. That is not meant in any way as a slight. I respected professionalism given how often I encountered the lack of it during my tenure in showbiz (see 12 Most Unforgettable Showbiz Memories for examples of the good and the bad I experienced).

What makes a man or a woman sexy to the opposite sex? Naturally, everyone has an opinion on this but as I am wont to do with this series, I will make my generalities with the usual caveat that every generality has its exception so don’t bust my chops!

~~ Most men judge a woman’s sex appeal by the depth of her soul, her values, and her character. Nah, we tend to respond to T&A and it all flows from there.

~~ Most women judge a man’s sexiness by how nice he is. Nah, they tend to care about sense of humor and the size of his…wallet.

Sex Appeal quote from Audrey Hepburn

Well, I think I’ve pretty much covered this subject with those two observations. For more insight, please go to Playboy.com.

Seriously, for me it’s such an intangible aura, scent, feeling, look, smile, glance, twinkle in the eyes, and to a superficial degree their looks and body. Yes, the look is the first thing that will catch a man’s eye – this man’s eyes – but the sex appeal may not be apparent at first, regardless of the flamboyance of a woman’s “look.” Sex appeal can come from a woman wearing baggy clothes but giving off that thing that is ethereal.

Why is a woman in a sexy bikini often sexier than a fully nude woman? Because the mind is the sexiest organ of them all.

Why does an unattractive man make some women swoon? Because he’s funny, brilliant, and self-assured. And, he’s probably either or both powerful and rich.

The intangibility of sex appeal is cool. I love that men and women differ in their opinion of the same person – same sex or opposite sex. Thankfully, God made us that way or only certain people would couple.

To be explicitly clear, I don’t think there’s a right or wrong with this subject. Whatever turns you on is what turns you on. I think God knew what he was doing when he gave us the infinite variety of spice in life when it comes to sex appeal. Now, it’s your turn to share!

  • David Weber

    I have many, many reactions to these thoughts. Actually, too many … so I will just share a brief personal anecdote:

    I lived in Denver, CO, from about 1987 to 1999 and in the first few years there, I had a friend–more an acquaintance–whom I will here refer to as Harlan Edmunds. Harlan was something of a nebbish–a bit on the meek side. He was very bright, had attended good universities and was very articulate. He also was kind of shabby in his attire and somewhat slovenly in his grooming, his personal hygiene was at best so-so and although he was not a homely fellow, he was not someone that just anyone would consider handsome. AND: Harlan didn’t have a steady job. He was a kind of wannabe consultant, more often not working than working.

    Harlan and I occasionally crossed paths professionally, but we knew each other mostly socially–we had some friends in common. Whenever we were at a social event together, Harlan came with a different date, who was always a winner in every respect. The women he went out with were very bright, very accomplished professionally, very funny, attractive, well-dressed…they all had a great deal going for them. I could not figure out what made Harlan so attractive…if anyone could do better than Harlan, it was these women.

    So one time, I asked him. I was not mean or thoughtless about it, I simply said, “Harlan, the women you go out with are always really great. I wish I could attract women of their calibre. What’s your secret?”

    Harlan’s answer? “One secret is that I ask them out in the first place. Many men are intimidated by them–even guys you’d think wouldn’t be. So they don’t get asked out as often as you might think. I’m not intimidated, though, so I ask and they go out with me. They LIKE the fact that I don’t get intimidated. Second secret is: I wear my heart on my sleeve. They feel safe with me.”

    Anyway, that was his story and he was sticking to it.

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      Good story. I wear my heart on my sleeve too and I just get chided by my wife! Lol…