author C.C.Cole's blog

Sunday, December 29, 2013

On Defining Sexy

Richard III "The White Queen"
Juliet Barnes "Nashville"

I realize I may be making an idiot of myself with this topic but I find this to be an interesting and important concept to a writer. I’ll make an early note that I’m not going into the depths of erotic definitions, so if you’re seeking that, E.L. James has a trilogy of books you might like or love to hate that made her millions, with an upcoming film.  By the way, congratulations to Ms. James, her work, her success.

The first time I thought about the definition of “sexy” was back last century when I was still a swinging single in the mid-80s.  I had it all:  The massive hair, dark suntan, black eyeliner, bright colored clothes, and moonlighting a bit as a model.  While at dinner with my loser boyfriend soon to be an ex, he tells me that I look sexy, but I’m not sexy. 

Ouch!  Excuse me?  Yes, I was more than a bit irritated.  So he pointed out my “non-sexy” attributes.  Of course, my looks were sexy until I opened my post college potty mouth, a terrible mix of Valley Girl and typical mainstream bestseller dialogue.  If I sat still and said nothing, he said I was “sexy.”  He became an ex very soon, but I couldn’t disagree with him.  Seeing a person may look sexy.  But meeting, talking, all of it needs to fit together. 

This fall, a group of us on Twitter had a lot of fun watching the ace Starz series “The White Queen” and swooned over Richard III’s character, played by talented and cute Welsh actor Aneurin Barnard.  Not being short on cute guys, like Max Irons or David Oakes, why did we go nuts over Richard?  Answer:  I think we were drawn to him because of his complexity; he showed honor, vulnerability, loyalty, and flaws.  He was a sexy character.

For the girls, for obvious reasons, sexy is harder to define.  But in the show “Nashville” Juliet displays many similar traits as she is beautiful, destructive, but her heart breaks easily.  A tough girl like her keeps going.  Overall, she’s a sexy character.

While I think “sexy” is often in the eye of the beholder, there must be some complication in the character, some vulnerability, and some darkness.  People are drawn to mystery, and if none is there, it’s just another pretty face.


  1. But it is a deal breaker if someone thinks they know "you" behind the mystery and they are so totally wrong.

    I couldn't watch White Queen although I gave it a very good try. I read the books and couldn't make peace with what was in my head. Richard III was a confused bad guy as I saw him in the books.

  2. I agree "sexy" isn't the same for everyone for sure. I decided to use Richard III's character from "The White Queen" since he's more controversial to deviate from the expected Mark Harmon NCIS. Thank you for the post!