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Two things made me think about sexiness this week – or rather ’being sexy’.

English: undercover

English: undercover (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The first was Mick Jagger’s 70th birthday. WTF that sinewy old rock god’s secret is, I don’t know, but I still would, if you know what I mean?

It made me realise that it’s actually quite hard to quantify sexiness.

For me, Mick Jagger just oozes sexiness no matter how many lines he has on his face or how skinny he is. It’s the same raw sexual appeal that Michael Hutchence had. There are a lot of men out there, (and I imagine the same is true of women) who are good-looking and nice eye candy, but there are few that are truly sexy, who you would just fuck go to bed with, given the chance.

I find George Clooney attractive, for example – but does he really turn me on? If I’m honest, not as much as Jagger.

Actually, I can’t think of another 70 year old who turns me on in quite the same way. But when I jokingly commented about him on Twitter recently, (I believe it was something typically mature comment like ‘wanting his babies’), my sister (who is seven years younger than me) was appalled; which only goes to prove that sexiness is subjective. Which is lucky really, otherwise we’d all be going for the same blokes.

So what exactly does makes Jagger still ‘sexy’ to millions of women, even beyond middle-age?

Is it a purely physical thing like his voice or his ‘moves’, or is it his reputation as a ladies man and the well-documented history of his prolific love life? It might be the ongoing urban myth about Mars Bars, or is it simply that ‘being hot’ is indefinable?

Different things turn different people on, fortunately.

For example, I find humor and intelligence sexy in someone who is potential marriage material, but in terms of raw sex appeal and lust, it has to be that element of naughtiness, that ‘bad boy’ appeal that does it for me.

Unfortunately we all know that lust and ‘sexiness’ don’t generally stand the test of time.

We age, our sexual desire becomes compromised; where once a simple touch could ignite the body and senses, as we get older it takes a few drinks too. And at times during long term relationships we have to fall back on on other character traits to hold things together.

The ability to laugh at each other and at our kids has kept the old man and I going for a while now.

It’s not even that the early sexual attraction diminishes necessarily, but it can get doused by responsibility at different stages in a long relationship – by the everyday shit like kids, work and bills.

But even harder to define, is what makes a woman sexy?

Because not all men are turned on by the Barbie stereotype of big boobs, tiny waist and no brains, no matter what they would lead us to believe.

The second time the issue of ‘innate sexiness’ came up this week was during a conversation with Nerd Child, who was talking about trying (and failing) to get the attention of some guy she ‘likes’. When I daringly suggested that a little flirtation might go a long way, (rather than just discussing the rock formation of the San Andreas fault), she looked at me horrified and said, ‘but I just don’t do ‘sexy’.

That’s true for a lot of us.

We’re not all Marilyn Monroe or Dita Von Tesse and it’s hard to just summon up sexiness if it’s not part of your natural persona.

Personally I have always felt absolutely ridiculous in sexy lingerie; rather like some bad hooker.

Some of us are more Bridget Jones in bed, and luckily there are guys out there who find awkwardness and being laughed at endearing – like the Colin Firth stereotype who falls for her in his multiple portrayals of the Darcy-esque character. Like Bridget, the sexual predator-types like Jagger and Hutchence would be way too much for us to handle, even though we might have their posters on our walls. Those men remain ‘fantasies’ that we would probably run a million miles away from if we ever actually had the opportunity to ‘go there’ – (well, maybe).

Bridget Jones, 25 year later

Bridget Jones, 25 year later (Photo credit: tripubad)

But being sexy doesn’t have to be about sultry moves, flirtation, suggestion, lingerie and Mars Bars. Sexiness can be about kindness, laughing at the same jokes and sharing stuff in common.

And in my experience, it’s often the ones you least expect who turn out to be the most sexy.

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