Sexy is an art. Like sculpture, painting or poetry, it comes more naturally to some than others.
I love playing basketball, but I will never beat Joakim Noah in one-on-one. Similarly, I may never be able to purr pure sex appeal like Sophia Loren, who most guys would readily take to Pleasuretown even in her golden years.
When I was growing up, I studied sex icons such as Kate Moss and pre-crazy Britney Spears the way most people study math. I thought that if I understood the map to seduction, I could wear the right lipstick, have my mom drop me off at the mall and -- wow, bam bang -- I'd hook myself a prom date! As if wearing Joy by Jean Patou would awaken some sort of primal lust in men and suddenly they wouldn't be sure if it was Ana or a reincarnation of Marilyn Monroe.
I think I was missing the point.
I have a serious weakness for figure-hugging dresses and spiky heels. I love the way my legs look in a tiny hemline. TDH, however, tole me that he fell for me the day I wore
flip-flops, shorts and a plain gray tank top. After all the effort I put into looking good for him, it was the time I just threw on something comfortable that I really caught him. It was a complete accident. To see me peel away my layers of insecurity was the sexiest strip tease he could imagine.
Turns out, sexy is nothing specific. It's the confidence to slip on your own shoes, whether they be skyscraper pumps or fresh sneakers, plant your own footsteps and carry yourself along the path that you want to travel. Sexy is allowing your individuality to fill out your entire body, wearing it proudly. Sexy is when your energy exudes from you like perfume. Sexy is however you define it, as long as you express it fully. There's just something so alluring about being unapologetically you.
Here's what else I've learned: The essence of sexy is to be sexy when no one is watching. Wear your lacy panties when no one will see them. Take a pole dancing class and don't tell anyone. Sleep in a slik nightie when you are all alone. Have champagne and strawberries just because it's Tuesday. Consider the things that make you feel the most sensual and do them for yourself. The rest of the world will take notice.
I could never be sexy in the same way as Sophia Loren, Marilyn Monroe or the girl standing at the bar next to me. And who would want to be?
Sexy can't be copied. There is no blueprint. Once you understand what it feels like the be sexy in your own way, once you begin to speak your body's language, there will be nothing accidental about your sexy.
This post was originally published as a Page Four column in the RedEye, January 22, 2011.