Thursday, December 08, 2005

What Makes A Man Sexy?

Last month, when the People magazine, which annually transforms a mere mortal into a Greek God, named Matthew McConaughey as the “sexiest man alive,” I silently rejoiced. Silently, because not many people I know have heard of him, leave alone seen his movies. And rejoiced — it is important to clarify at the outset — because I felt vindicated and not because I dream of being marooned in an island with a Hollywood hero.

Even I had never heard of McConaughey (what a difficult name even to type out) till I saw Sahara, an action movie based in Western Africa, which ran in the theatres for just about two weeks. But for Penelope Cruz, it might have gone totally unnoticed. An out and out action movie — so much of action that it could have given you a headache. Surprisingly, I didn't get a headache. In fact, I went back to watch it one more time.

There was something seductive about the movie. Was it the camerawork which did justice to the beauty of Africa? Was it Clint Mansell's haunting background score, including the adrenalin-pumping Boat Montage song? Or was it the action itself — at times convincing, at times deliberately comic? I can't figure why, but, yes, I found myself being enamoured of McConaughey: tall, rugged, good-looking and with the air of devil-may-care, he pushed Penelope Cruz and her role to insignificance.

Now that's a real man, I thought, so why aren't they talking about him? But they kept on writing obsessively about Tom Cruise and his scientology (whatever that might mean) and Brad Pitt and his romance with Angelina Jolie. They kept toasting George Clooney and kept gushing about Johnny Depp's good looks (something I will never understand). No one ever mentioned McConaughey, no one mentioned Sahara.

And now comes People magazine’s verdict, which is soon likely to become the people’s verdict. The magazine chose him as the "sexiest man alive" because of McConaughey’s “heaping helping of Texas's finest South charm.” The jury, instead of pinning down his charm to a certain geographical location, could have simply said: “The man has got presence.”

My opinion might have been vindicated, but the question continues to rankle me, whose answer I am not destined to find: What makes an actor, or just about any man, sexy? This is considering that he is tall, trim and reasonably good looking.

Does the woman like him raw? Or does she like him refined? I really wouldn't know, for women rarely reveal the crevices in their minds. All my life, I was given to understand (by women) that they like hairy chests. But the men who are ruling their hearts have chests that are as smooth as a baby's bottom. I always thought a real man was the one who rubbed Lifebuoy soap on his hairy chest under the shower. But present-day sex symbols sit in a bath tub strewn with rose petals and caress their smooth chests with a cake of Lux.

The moustache is another area of confusion. In India, especially in states like Haryana and Tamil Nadu, the length of a man’s moustache is considered directly proportional to his manliness. But the heart throbs of today are all clean-shaven. Even the cricketers. So does the moustache make a man sexy or does it not?

Smell is another area were I have doubts. Does she like him smelling of sweat, leather and tobacco? Or does does she like the fragrance of cologne on a well-scrubbed skin? And the hair — is long sexy? Or short? Short seems to be the flavour of the season, but Mahendra Singh Dhoni grows it long.

From what I gather, the definition of sexy changes every season. That is why you had men who were metrosexual, then retrosexual, and now technosexual. Tomorrow they could be autosexual, when the size of their cars would be determining their manliness. I would rather remain just a heterosexual who prefers sex over sex appeal. Sex appeal, after all, is just a mask you change every season. The other one is the real thing.


Blogger Maya said...

A sexy man is one who is wordly but has a dash of vulnerablility, looks rugged and mean but has the kindest eyes, has terrific physique but can touch a lady with the softest caress. He is one who is allowed to be brutally honest only if he is capable of falling deeply in love! And when he takes me into his arms, crushing my curves into him, smells like spring and makes me feel like the Goddess of Love and Lust :) Ha!

My all-time favourite sexiest man is Sir Richard Burton. God doesn't make men like him anymore!

Enjoyed your writing. It's honest and witty. Thanks and rgds. Maya

3:33 PM

3:37 PM  
Blogger Sharmishta said...

Great write-up, enjoyed it immensely.

And my thought on men....
Men are like toilets; the good ones are taken, the rest are full of offense to all the great single guys I know :)

9:02 PM  
Blogger Bishwanath Ghosh said...

Maya: Wish I looked like Richard Burton! :) Thanks for your comments which also seem to be, to quote you, "honest and witty."

Sharmishta: This is all I can say after reading you, "Man, I feel like shit!" :(

3:02 AM  
Blogger Sharmishta said...

Like I said, no offence to any of the great single guys I know....are u telling me you dont consider urself great? After all the great stuff you write about?

Come on....

7:43 PM  
Blogger Muthu said...

i enjoyed most of your writings in indian express..

5:03 AM  
Blogger Usha said...

Want to know a secret? psss... come aside and promise not to tell...
All these changing definitions of a sexy man are just to keep you guys on the toes. Actually the all time sexy man is a kind sensitive man with a sense of humour - as simple is that! And you do score pretty high on all three fronts - so whats the problem?

3:55 AM  
Blogger samforyou said...

I totally agree with Maya about Richard Burton, but hey Maya, there's one more Richard ( Gere) !! yes , they don't make men like them anymore. Men have to be oh so rugged and so gentle. Smelling fresh of the cologne,a real MAN should be able to give his woman sweaty nights and drowsy mornings.
Great article Ghosh..Few thoughts to ponder along....


5:24 AM  
Blogger rachana said...

Hi Bish,just read ur blog with a big grin on my face. Once again well written and quite an interesting subject to write about. Well I don't know what makes a man sexy and who cares as long as he delivers time and again :)

11:28 PM  

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