What makes a man sexy: what part are we up to now?

So, a few weeks ago, I started talking about what I think makes a man sexy.  To begin with, it was all about the smile.

Then we had the second part, where I told how bravery, commitment and kindness do it for me.

The in the third part, I confessed my predilection for smart, funny and talented gents (not necessarily all at once).

Then there was a fourth one, which was silly, but full of coaty goodness.

Now, due to public demand (one person, I think, but don’t burst my bubble) we will have more coats, but also some slightly more serious analysis of the sexiness of the dudes among us. (I think it’s serious. Don’t judge me.)

To illustrate, I will call upon Mr Darcy:

And a couple of vampires:

All of these lads rock an excellent coat, but that is not why I am including them in the sexy list today. (Incidentally, thank you Rolling Stone for finally providing me with some pics of Angel in his trademark coat.  Pics below, clink on the pic for links.)

These characters are all strong, proud and, in the case of the vampires, capable of being very, very bad.  As in evil bad.  This is not what makes them sexy – at least not for me.

Nor is the fact that they all fell for a strong woman, who demanded a certain standard of behaviour from them to even be around her, much less with her.  (Although, if their women weren’t strong, I would not have been interested in the story.  God bless Jane Austen and Joss Whedon for giving us flawed, real, strong, women!)

I fell in love with these characters when they let themselves be vulnerable for love.   Mr Darcy risks a lot going after Elizabeth.  He risks ridicule from his peers, his own self-image and he runs a serious risk that she will throw his love back in his face.  She has already done it, after all.  When it was just lust and pride, she told him to shove it.  Although they now know each other better, there is a good risk she’ll do it again.

But he goes after her anyway.  He risks, he makes himself vulnerable for love.  In all the productions of Pride and Prejudice I’ve seen it’s that moment, the moment when he’s not sure of his reception but he tries anyway, that Mr Darcy becomes adorable for me.

I won’t bore you with my Joss Whedon fangirly ravings, but just to explain, Buffy, the love interest of both Angel and Spike (pictured above) is a vampire Slayer.  And they’re vampires.  There’s a lot more to it than that, but that alone gives you some idea of what they risk in going after her.  In some ways, they run many similar risks as Mr Darcy: the ridicule of their peers, their own self-hate, violent rejection.  (Although Elizabeth is unlikely to stake Darcy.  And no, I don’t want to see that mash-up.)

In a way, Spike is the more vulnerable and consequently, the more adorable (for me) of the two.  Angel is Buffy’s big, fated love-that-cannot-be.  Spike will always be second-best, a stop-gap for her and he knows it.  But it doesn’t stop him loving her and it doesn’t stop him trying to prove it.  This leads to some very dark places for all concerned, but in the end, it leads him to sacrificing his life to save her (and the world; that’s Joss for you).  You can’t get more vulnerable than that.

So this is my sexy trait for the day: a man willing to be vulnerable for love.

What do you think? Does a man’s bravery in following his heart do it for you?

This is the end of this post, but because I promised the coat-fanciers more coats, here are some final Angel pictures…

30 thoughts on “What makes a man sexy: what part are we up to now?

  1. Wait, men in coats and mention of Joss Whedon, yet no Captain Mal?! 😉

    I’m not big on vampires, but Joss could write anything and make it good. Seriously. The man has me crushing on Bruce Banner/The Hulk for the first time ever.

  2. I think what makes a man sexy is a certain amount of masculinity. But beyond that it is his ability to see a woman as a human being. Similar interests help a relationship last long term. And finally, there is the ability for both of them to have a life apart from each other, as well as together. Men have times when they need to be alone and brood and grunt for awhile. It’s part of being masculine, part of what makes them sexy, and women have to give guys their space and be strong enough be on their own while their guy does his guy stuff.

    • You are so right Louise about our need to be different and go our own way sometimes. A man who is confident enough to be his own person and be comfortable with his partner being her own person is a very attractive beastie! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  3. Oh, Mr Darcy! I am a huge fan of the Colin Firth incarnation, but I have to admit, there is something about Matthew Macfadyen’s haplessly lovelorn portrayal that tugs at my heart. So I think I agree with your vulnerability hypothesis.

    I also notice something else that most of these pics have in common: the open-neck shirt. Another signal of vulnerability? And also very enticing…

    • Yes, that bit where he strides across the frosty grass looking all unkempt and hopeless/hopeful is too gorgeous, isn’t it? Glad I managed to get it across!

      You might be on to something with the open-necked shirt. Goes to look for pictorial evidence… no! Have wordcount to finish! Glad you like the pics, Lizabelle!

  4. Yesssss Colin Firth as Darcy!!!! he makes all the girliness inside me jump out in full force and sigh and swoon and dream…… 🙂

    • He does that hopeful puppy thing so well! Apparently he was afraid he wasn’t good-looking enough for the role, before he took it. And it’s a tough gig, because he has to do a lot of his acting silently and that is haaaard. Think he succeeded, though, eh? 😉

  5. You and your coaty goodness crack me. Matthew was wonderful as Darcy wasn’t he? And that voice. He did indeed rock the coat. If one is not willing to sacrifice for love then they’re not much of a hero. That they do it in a smexy coat only makes them more.

  6. I watched The Ides of March last night (weird title, quite where was the Caeser reference? They could have just of easily called it Rice Pudding and Jam) and its two stars are the famous Hollywood hunks Ryan Gosling and George Clooney. Both handsome chaps but they don’t wear overcoats. Actually there is a scene where Clooney does wear an overcoat. Anyway, Gosling’s taking roles (for instance, the excellent Drive) where he plays a quietly simmering, elusive type who is trying to do the right thing. All the ladies on Pinterest.com have certainly swooned. Personally, I’ve always found the Rimmer character on Red Dwarf appealing. He’s quirky and vunerable but witty and good fun. End statement.

    • If I can be serious for a moment, I think Rimmer is not so much vulnerable as broken. He would be an interesting character to put in a serious novel. He certainly has appeal, but in the context of Red Dwarf, we never really get past the funny. It was a master-stroke when they made him a hologram. Gave a completely new slant to his character.

      As to George and Ryan, the overcoat is not mandatory! One should only adopt the coat if one can OWN the coat. (Because pinching other people’s is usually frowned on in polite society. Like when Bertie Wooster accidentally pinched the judge’s umbrella, it could end very badly…)

    • I’m sure the effort wasn’t wasted! There is slightly more to it than the coat! But it must be said that a coat helps. As does a suit. Sorry to be shallow!

      As for not telling you, I’m telling you now! I’m sorry my sense of civic duty wasn’t around to help earlier, but future generations will thank me! 😉

            • It’s all part of the mystique, Peter! 😉

              I have a theory about this. I think, when we like people, we expect them to think the same way as we do – and it is always a shock when they don’t. Not all heterosexual people actually like the opposite sex, but most do and since, in many ways, we delight in them and their company, I think it’s doubly baffling when they hold an opinion, or act in a way, that seems foreign to us. Does that make sense? I’m still working on the theory.

              Or you know, maybe it’s just part of the mystique!

              • No, that makes perfect sense. I think one of the strangest things in life is how even the people who are closest to us have such a different viewpoint & perspective & experience of living to ourselves and how impossible it is to know what it feels like to be someone else. I think that’s why relationships always involve a lot of risk & trust and getting to know someone is a series of little shocks (and some bigger ones!) I know this isn’t quite what you’re saying but I think it’s connected. It’s all part of the mystery, anyway, and without mystery life would be pretty boring and certainly not worth writing about!

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  8. I completely agree with Louise above. And I think your assessment of Spike was pretty spot on. I, too, adore him. He was strong and vulnerable at the same time. Not every guy can pull that off. And coats – I have to admit to having a HUGE coat fetish. LOVE them. They can make a guy look so much better.

    • They add a certain something don’t they? I always remember poor Riley, after Angel had swung into town and swung out again, coat flapping, saying that he couldn’t compete because he just didn’t have that ‘king of pain thing’ going on. He thought he was talking about the tortured lovair thing – but we know it was really about the coat, eh Debra? 😉

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