Les Gros Bonnets wrote earlier this month that “what is marketed as sexy is not sexy to me” and asked us to “redefine sexy“.  I couldn’t wait to explore the subject . . . and then I waited too long, and now the month of October is almost over.

I expected to write a post panning the stereotypical images of sexiness, such as this image from the Frederick’s of Hollywood website, but I actually find the lace apron sexy, even if the setting is overwrought.

Fredericks ruffled lace apron
I expected to spend even more time on sexiness as an attitude, and I found the perfect example in the older Zumba instructor who taught my class last week. Her biceps are the sexiest thing I’ve seen in a long time! I don’t have a picture of her, but the 70-year-old instructor below has the same effect. An older woman sweating in her gym clothes in front a room full of women can be even sexier than a carefully posed model.

One form of sexiness seems momentary and external–everything must align to produce a certain image: hair, makeup, breast placement, night-like setting. The other form seems to come from within. It’s there whatever the person is wearing, but it especially shows when a person wears something that allows her to demonstrate awareness and acceptance of her body.

For me, sexiness isn’t primarily about being noticed by men (although I did walk a little taller after a man I passed in Harlem the other day muttered under his breath, “Still got it!”). Unless I’m putting on a show for my husband (like the tight tee shirt I wore to a Mets game), sexiness isn’t one of my goals for dressing. Lately it’s been something that sneaks up on me, like when I wear my Urkye Mala dress and remember how great it feels to like my body.  On the other hand, unless I’m dressing for a setting where all evidence of sexuality must be suppressed, it isn’t my goal to hide it, either.

I haven’t even begun to “redefine sexy” today. I’m not saying anything that you haven’t already seen, heard or thought about sexiness. It can

  • mean being scantily clad in a provocative pose;
  • be about being confident and strong;
  • be intentional;
  • be incidental.

I’m really only stating a preference:  I like sexiness to be a natural side effect of appreciating and taking care of myself, and I most appreciate it in others when it doesn’t seem to be their primary focus.

I’d love to hear your “redefinitions” and preferences in the comments. Also check out these other bloggers who have delved into this multi-faceted subject. (I’ll be updating the list as other bloggers discuss this subject before the end of the month.)

Les Gros Bonnets

Redefining Sexy: New Series Coming Up

2 Cakes on a Plate:

Full bust problems – Bringing sexy back? 

An introduction and some general thoughts on the theme

What’s up with the high-waisted knickers?

Braless in Brasil

Porn Star Boobies and Breast Feeding

Filling a Niche

How Do I Define “Sexy”?


Redefining Sexy: Underneath Your Clothes

Voluptiously Thin

Defining What I Find Sexy; And Why It Matters


What “Sexy” Means To Me