Wednesday, November 6, 2013

'Tis A Gift To Be Sexy: Who Will Be People's Next Sexiest Man Alive?

What a glorious time of year this is! The leaves are changing, Thanksgiving is still in the future, and the elections are over. Today I want to remind us of a lesser known November occasion, one that isn’t on most people’s calendars. Put a big red circle around the 16th.

That’s the day People Magazine crowns this year’s Sexiest Man Alive.

I’m not sure who will take home the title this year. Last year Channing Tatum was the big winner. Last year is also the first time I started to really question the process.

Let’s be clear before I start with the complaining. I am not going to tell Channing Tatum that I had a lovely time but I’ve got an early meeting tomorrow morning. That would be terribly silly, wouldn’t it? He’s not a bad looking fellow at all.

But is he sexy? Is he?

I don’t want to say no … but I can’t say yes.

Sexy, to me, is about a hell of a lot more than looks. Strength of character is sexy. Experience is sexy. Intellect is super sexy.

I’m not saying that I don’t see that in Channing Tatum. I will say I had to go to GQ to see what, if anything, was really going on inside the pretty. I just think – and yes, my mouth does burn a little to say this – we can do better.

How? Well, let’s look at Benedict Cumberbatch.

Benedict was just named Empire Magazine’s Sexiest Movie Star. He’s got depth of character (that's my favorite picture of him), he doesn’t take himself too seriously, and he does a great Chewbacca impression. Is it too much to hope that he’ll end up on People’s cover this year, too? Probably. But I’m hoping anyway.
Who else? I checked out Glamour UK’s gallery – they put this contest to the popular vote – for some ideas. 

First I imposed a couple of restrictions.

I’m not sure anyone under the age of 25 is even old enough to be sexy. Seriously, if you’re younger than 25, you don’t know the world, yourself, or what you want well enough to be sexy. That would keep Justin Bieber off the list of candidates. I’m sorry, I just can’t think of a single reason Justin Bieber would be sexy.

 Because experience is sexy, I don’t think New Jacks, Johnnies Come Lately, or other Flavors of the Month should be on the list of candidates, either. This should also exclude those candidates who haven’t really been doing anything lately (bye bye, Taylor Lautner).

Having said all that, a quick look see at the gallery turns up some promising candidates. Robert Downey Jr. is still one of my favorites. His trip back to the world from rock bottom, his perspective on the journey and on his new place in the world, and his rock-solid grasp of who he is – all that makes him big-time sexy. Idris Elba is right up there, too. I like the way he works as a black actor – he doesn’t let it force him into or out of anything. Black is a part of who he is, and it’s an important part, but it’s not all there is, and he won’t let anyone forget it.

When all is said and done, I just want to see more of a focus on the sexy instead of just the hot. Granted, this might mean a shift in emphasis away from the young and the very young. But the good news is that sexy is much more durable than hot. Once a man is sexy, chances are that he’ll always be sexy. For a hot man, the future is far less certain. Even if he stays hot, which does happen from time to time, there will always be someone younger and hotter waiting in the wings.

Sexy is evergreen. Maybe that’s why this annual ritual is such a good fit for the winter, right?

Alexa Day's ILLICIT IMPULSE is a finalist in the Erotica category in the 2014 EPIC E-Book Awards. Check out this story of two friends, a friend with benefits, and a pill that suppresses the bonding hormone wherever e-books are sold, and watch for Alexa right here on the first Wednesday of the month, on Facebook, or on Twitter every Thursday night for Scandal!


  1. Excellent analysis as always, Alexa! I agree 100%. Sexy is so much more than "hot," even taking into consideration each individual's preferences. For example, Brat Pitt is certainly hot, but after he dumped Jennifer Aniston, I stopped seeing him as sexy. That's just me, and I really don't want to get into the whole "they married for the wrong reason" bit. The damage was done, and I'll forever look at him as a dog. To me, sexy is about confidence and strength of character as well as looks. And it doesn't hurt to have that way of looking at a woman that lets her know you think she's sexy, too. Thanks for the list of nominees, Alexa. I had fun looking! (And BTW, for a second I thought Justin Bieber was Miley Cyrus. What's with the hair?!)

    1. Justin is what, 6? He's experimenting with his appearance. :)

      Brad is actually a great example of what happens to hot people. Now that he's being supplanted by younger, hotter people, well, there's nothing all that interesting about him anymore. He's just another dude Angelina has on a leash.

      I can't wait to see who makes the cover! In the meantime, you know I'm happy to bring you hard-hitting analysis on the issues that matter. ;)

  2. Sorry to be seeing this so late, but if it wasn't for you, I wouldn't know anything about who is hot right now! Thanks for the update.

    1. Elvy, I'm about to complain to Tracey about this, but it looks like you're going to have to find a GQ if you want to really know who is hot right now. I hope I've caught you in time!

  3. I may be late, but I will always show up to defend the honor of Channing Tatum!!!
    Is he sexy? Hell yeah!
    I wasn't always a fan of his; I thought his ears were a tad small for his head; I just didn't get it. But then I saw him dance in Step Up and there is nothing like a white man that can dance. It's my kryptonite. Since then, watching his interviews and liking his sense of humor (#2 on my sexy list behind intelligence) and then seeing him marry his wife and then have their first child... it has made him even sexier in my eyes.
    So all be warned, don't mess with Channing!! :-)
    And as an update: Adam Levine was named Sexiest Man Alive this year. Was that good for you, Alexa?

    1. I will go so far as to say Channing is hot. Beyond that, I fear you and I will have to disagree -- I just don't think there's anything under there except bland. Parenthood actually set him back a few steps for me. If you want me away from a man, put a baby in his arms! :) Oh, well. At least now we know Channing will never come between us, right?

      I don't know where to begin to voice my displeasure with regard to Mr. Levine. Seriously. I was in denial all weekend, and then starting last night, I really had to try to decide what to do next. That afternoon, my GQ Men of the Year issue arrived in the mail -- I've been leaning on it pretty heavily, trying to reassure myself that the world of sexy still makes sense!