I loved Melanie Curtin’s “10 Things I Find Sexy in a Man” and Damien Bohler’s “10 Things I Find Sexy in a Woman.”
But since everything in my world is all about me (just as I hope your world is about you), I wondered: can one recognize and really appreciate sexiness in another without first having found it within?
Do ya know people who claim to love others while loathing themselves? Now that’s icky, sticky, clingy energy, the kind that dims your lights and sucks your soul. Um, no thanks.
I figure sexiness must work the same way. Before I can properly honor the delicious, authentic, hot masculinity in my partners, I endeavor to dig deep, squint my eyes a little so I blur the sight of those extra pounds and find the pure heat of the feminine in my own soul.
Here’s what I came up with:
1. I find my playfulness sexy.
I may be all grown up, but I still know how to play—-from soap bubbles and sidewalk chalk to poker, Scrabble and Twister. I may, in fact, be the last person on Planet Earth who actually likes Charades. I especially love stupid made-up games, like my late father’s desperate rainy day vacation standby, Change Something in the (Hotel) Room. I know how to play in the bedroom, too: outfits, toys, textures, pillow fights. No matter the venue, I love reminding myself that life doesn’t have to be hard work in stern capital letters.
2. Showing up, stepping up, and getting shit done—that’s sexy.
I know when to stop playing. I am envious of but exhausted by the Robin Williamses of the world, who spew a seeming endless stream of comic mania and whom I imagine, doubtless inaccurately and unfairly, careen giddily through life in hyper-drive. It’s great fun—for a while. And then I’m just like, shut up! Sometimes, I have to put on my big girl panties and take care of business.
3. Inner power is sexy.
I’ve earned my stripes, from the stretch marks on my breasts that date from the sixth grade, when I went from an A to a C cup (and marked the last time any guy would raise his eyes above my chest for about a decade) and my C-section scar to the grey streak in my hair and the laugh lines that frame my mouth. I’ve been through good times and bad times; I’ve seen them all and my dear—I’m still here. And you know what? Staying powerful is sexy.
4. Flexibility is sexy.
I absolutely suck when it comes to spatial concepts. I can waste an hour trying to fit an oversized chair through a doorway that can’t possibly accommodate it. I can get lost backing out of my driveway. If I didn’t live right next to some big freaking mountains, I wouldn’t know which way was north. Most famously, I managed to reach the age of 25 before learning that Alaska is not an island. (You know how they always show it in atlases in its own little square, like Hawaii? Let’s just say I made some really big assumptions.) This blind spot of mine used to mortify me, but I’ve mellowed with age. I know what I’m good at and I know when I’m better off letting someone else take the wheel.
5. Kisses are beyond sexy.
I know how to kiss and be kissed. Slowly. Teasingly. Firmly. And my favorite, what I call the Fairy Tale Kiss: a sweet, soft faintly lingering touch of one set of gently closed lips against another. Yeah, there’s a time for wildness and nipping and all that, but can you imagine a charming prince waking up Sleeping Beauty or Snow White with a torrent of saliva and thrashing tongue? Yuck. The best kisses are the ones that promise, there’s more. I’m really good at them. If I could kiss myself, I would.
6. Willingness to grow and challenge my assumptions is sexy.
I reserve the right to change my mind. Always. About anything. From my favorite color (formerly blue, currently green or orange), to my politics, to what I want from life. I don’t mean to jerk everyone around in a flurry of indecision. but I aspire to learn, evolve and expand my consciousness.
7. Owning my wants without making anyone else responsible for fulfilling them is sexy as hell.
I want what I want. This doesn’t mean I’m gonna get it nor that anyone is obligated to give it to me. But, after a couple of decades of low self-esteem and guilt for wanting more than a traditional family home life and a 9 to 5 cube job, for wanting to sing and live out loud, for wanting to walk around naked with the windows open or dance in an elevator, I am done worrying about what others think. I want a big, meaningful, joyful, weird and wonderful life.
8. Unspoken language between lovers is sexy.
I speak several languages but my favorite tongue is the secret, the sometimes unspoken language between intimates. The inside jokes, the invented vocabulary, the meeting of eyes across a room. If I can raise an eyebrow and my guy, seated four chairs away at a dinner party, knows just what I mean? Now, that’s sexy.
9. Authenticity is super sexy.
I talk too much. I speak too loudly. I gesture wildly. I go straight to intimate topics, bringing up how much money everyone makes, how they voted in the last election, or whether it’s just me or is everyone else’s poop fluorescent green after eating Superman ice cream? I am not to everyone’s taste. And I love that about me.
10. Loyalty is very, very sexy.
I am discriminating and at the same time impulsive. I bond quickly with people I’ve just met when I get that gut feeling, “Wait! I feel like I’ve known you, like, forever!” If you’re one of those people, you can sleep on my couch, have my last 10 dollars, consider me your on-call girl when you break your leg, need to post bail or just want someone on the other end of the line while you fall asleep because life is short and the night is long.
Are these things are what my partners over the years have found sexy about me?
I dunno. Maybe.
But ultimately, that doesn’t matter. Bottom line: I’ve known myself for many years now and I think the way I’ve settled into it without settling is the best, most loveable, hottest thing about me.
Your turn. What’s sexy about you?
Maggie McReynolds is an award-winning writer, writing coach, and certified life coach. Through her WriteWorks programs (lifeworkscoaching.com
) she ghost writes, edits, and helps established, stuck and new writers find their authentic voice, craft compelling blogs, newsletters, novels and nonfiction for their readers, get past blocks, and create joyful writing routines. As a life coach, she works similarly: helping people find their authentic “voice” in the world and break through transitions and obstacles to create lives of meaning, fulfillment, and joy. Her $67/month Kick Ass Club offers affordable, powerful results.
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Ed: Brianna Bemel
Assistant Ed: Karla Rodas