When I started writing my romantic suspense novel Spy Babe, I wanted the hero to be very, very sexy. He’s an MI-6 agent, after all. He has an archetype to live up to.
So I asked myself, what makes a man sexy?
Broad shoulders. Muscled body. Faded, fitted jeans.
Well, yeah, that’s a given. So much so, it’s a romance novel standard. But there’s only so many times you can discuss a man’s physical attributes in a novel before you need to move on. You have to show he’s sexy, not just say he is with muscles.
So with the goal to see how sexy men moved and behaved, what they said and did, I watched a lot of TV shows and movies, and the answer surprised me.
The sexy guys are the guys who are good at what they do.
Take spies, for example. Spies and sexy go hand-in-hand, and they need every ounce of intelligence, every ounce of physical strength and agility, every ounce of people smarts and charm they’ve got to survive. Even Steve Carell’s character Maxwell Smart in the Get Smart movie, who starts out as a bumbling newbie, became sexier as he became more competent, finally outwitting the bad guys.
It doesn’t hurt for a guy to be drop-dead gorgeous. It doesn’t hurt if he moves like an agile athlete. But if that’s all he’s got, if he’s not smart or funny or fun to be with, if he’s not competent at what he’s chosen to do and be in life, he’s not going to be a keeper.
Because a competent man is a confident man, and a confident man will let himself be vulnerable to the right woman.
And that kind of man is sexy forever.
What makes a guy sexy for you? His sense of humor? His intelligence? The way he moves? His voice? If a handsome guy boasts about being sexy, does he become less sexy to you? Who’s sexier? Bad boys? Spock or Kirk? James Bond or Jason Bourne? Heathcliff, Darcy, or Mr. Rochester? McGarrett, Chin Ho, or Danno?
Sharon Louise is a world-traveling hiker, a spy story and romance novel fanatic, and the author of the romantic suspense novel Spy Babe, in which MI-6 agents and U.S. Marshals fall in love while battling the bad guys.