Home Featured Don’t Call Me Sexy! A Discussion On How Men Should Express Affection To Women

Don’t Call Me Sexy! A Discussion On How Men Should Express Affection To Women

How Sexy is THIS?!
How Sexy is THIS?!

While hanging out with a bunch of friends the other day, we got into a conversation about women (as usual). One of the things that came up was the difference tween “pretty” and “sexy” (pretty vs. sexy). As men, debates like this are easily ended with the most important question of all: “… but would you hit that tho?!” The order is restored and we can move. Unfortunately, with women, it isn’t quite as easy. Not only do they have a divergent opinion from men on what is pretty and sexy, but some women even have issues with being called sexy in the first place! My good friend Reecie, whom most know as a regular commenter on SBM wanted in on this debate, and I love a challenge.

Here is our discussion on pretty vs. sexy and the way men use the two terms:


So Reecie, when I think of pretty, I think of beautiful women. Women who are girl-next-door cute and sure fire arm candy like Sports Illustrated models. A pretty woman is a woman who guys will give at least an 8.5 out of 10 across the board. This score would be weighted by their facial beauty, overall body type, and style. I’m personally not into big women, but I know MANY who are pretty in the face. I’m not into super skinny women, but they can dress and look the part. These women are facially attractive and would be deemed a beauty by the general population.

When I think about sexy, this woman doesn’t necessarily have to be pretty. Sexy is that X-Factor– that certain Je Ne Sais Quoi that a woman will possess. That look, that aura that grabs at a man’s soul and yells “Do bad things to me, make me yours, and don’t stop until I do!” This can be quantified by the way a woman walks, talks, and interacts with you. I know you hate the word swag, but sexiness is feminine swag on a sensual level.


pretty girl
She can hoop and she’s pretty? #HeyBoo

I kinda agree with this. Maybe not in terms of the point scale but I do agree that even within pretty there is a scale that probably ranges from cute to gorgeous dime piece. And it is 99.9% of the time a facial thing. Pretty vs. Sexy is not a competitive thing. One isn’t better than the other–unless you’re only one and not the other!!! I kid. Kinda. I mean ideally one would want to be both, right? Some say they prefer “sexy” because it speaks to their aura vs. “pretty” which is just genes and facial symmetry.  I’on knows. I like being appreciated all around, even if one piece I get from my parents!

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I think your use of beautiful is what I’d call “gorgeous” –the kind of breathtaking beauty that just can’t be denied. Physical beauty, that is. In my opinion, the trump card or ultimate compliment is “beautiful” because I think it encompasses mind, body, and spirit, but we’re not talking about that today so I’ll chill…

I’d like to take this a bit further and address this from the female perspective in terms of being approached and complemented by a man. I don’t think I’ve ever appreciated being called sexy by a stranger. It could come from years of just being heckled and what many of us know as “street harassment” or “club harassment” but that has a lot to do with why sexy from strangers makes me cringe. I think the “X-factor” that you speak of is not something you can tell at first glance–and in my experiences, if a man calls you sexy as soon as he lays eyes on you–it means he’s just thinking about sex and wants to sop you up with a biscuit.

I could be alone in this but I’ve seen it go down too many times during a night of dancing and drinking; it usually involves a man grabbing your arm as you try to pass which is immediately followed by him whispering “hey sexy” all creepy like.  *shudders* I don’t like anybody touching me without my permission.

I never really try to accentuate my sex appeal when I go out, but I will at times make a subtle focus on one particular physical feature and that subtlety is typically appreciated by a certain caliber of man. Now if I’m chilling around the house, cut off shorts & a wife beater in the kitchen whipping up some scrambled eggs and a man I dig tells me I’m sexy–I’m more likely to blush a little bit and appreciate that more. Timing is everything.

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I definitely agree with you that men accentuate the “sex” part of sexiness. That’s because dudes blurt it out instead of internalizing.

Sexy girl
Loco? Maybe. Sexy? YES!

Think twice, speak once!! You need to know time and place when expressing your appreciation for a woman’s sex appeal. Think about how many creeps leer and catcall women. Women get offered cock 100 times an hour, so how can a dude differentiate himself? I think that I’m the Charles Xavier of discovering a woman’s X-Factor, through my different life experiences along with trial and error. I think if you trigger that “ooh she’s sexy” reaction in a man, that’s how he knows you got it.

Some of it I can’t pinpoint, but once you wheel through the reasons (in conversations with your boys of course), you then get to the root of why a woman is sexy to you. I remember that Beyonce commercial when she was sitting on the couch giggling and playing with a Nintendo DS or some sh*t. Me and my boys all agreed that this was the epitome of sexy! It doesn’t have to be that you dress like a slut, or are showing titties faster than the speed of light, it means you have that thing. That thing. That. Thi-i-i-ing!

At the same time, I don’t see the sexy tag as a demeaning and objectifying term. Actually, I can see how women would feel that way. I think that it depends on the man and the context in which they use the term. Let’s be real: when a man uses the term sexy, there is SOME percentage of the context within the term that alludes to a lust filled connotation. It’s the nature and root of the term itself!

However, there is a difference between being tasteless and being eloquent in how you express to a woman that she has endearing, sensual qualities that you adore. You can convey to a woman that her sex appeal is off the charts in two ways. You can use the Caveman Approach, and be completely blunt, or you can use the James Bond Approach. Most men will be the super caveman and express his desires outright with loving terms like “Girl, your ass is SO fat! I NEED that right now!” It’s hard not to be a woman and not feel like a slab of Ribeye waiting to be devoured. Now, the James Bond Approach calls for men to use intellect and savvy when you describe to a woman how her outward aesthetics please you.

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You can flip the Caveman Approach and still convey a favorable message, like “That dress compliments you well! I definitely took notice. Looking great!” Not as crass as the Caveman Approach, but still conveys a favorable message in the same manner. What’s funny to me is that some women respond WELL to the Caveman approach, and dismiss the James Bond approach as the game! So this can be confusing to men, as we don’t know what offends and what is appropriate. I believe for women, the attractiveness of the man uttering these phrases, also plays a factor in whether or not they “hate” being called sexy vs. pretty.


I can agree with the attractiveness of said man can make all the difference in the world!!!! Or if he, in fact, has that “sexy” factor as well. Mutual attraction changes… A LOT!!!

Men: what are certain attributes about a woman that you identify with sexy and pretty? Is it something you can pinpoint immediately or does it depend on the woman, and the particular attribute? Is there a difference?

Ladies: What moments or characteristics about yourself do you find sexy? do you prefer being called pretty vs. sexy? Yes we know this is a strictly superficial discussion but roll with it…

If you like this post, you can also read on an interesting blog about how you can do better than your ex!

StreetZ & Reecie

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  1. I would prefer to be called pretty. I don't know why, but I just can't see myself as sexy. I have a baby face, chubby cheeks and dimples I just don't see myself as sexy. like AT ALL.

    another side of the coin is when men call me sexy 9/10 they be up on some ulterior motives. when a guy is constantly calling me sexy, he finds me so sexy he just wants to hit/just want me on that sexual tip. #turnoff

    usually when a guy calls me pretty, thinks i'm pretty, cute he's more willing to pursue something more than just the panties. might be different for other folks but that's been my experience

    1. Spoiler Alert:

      This is just a theory, but I'm rather positive that when a guy calls you pretty 9/10 he is up on some "ulterior motives" and wants to hit as well. But that's just stating the obvious. I'm gonna go ahead and assume your point is mainly that the "pretty" camp will at least attempt to get to know you as a person and at least pretend to show interest beyond the sexual.

      1. Yes that's what I referring too. I'm not so naive to think every guy who just calls me pretty is wanting to get to know me.

  2. Ladies: What moments or characteristics about yourself do you find sexy? do you prefer being called sexy vs. pretty? Yes we know this is a strictly superficial discussion but roll with it…

    i find my eyes to be sexy, sometimes i give myself a look and i'm like oh girl… although they are most of the world's population brown, there is just something about them that i enjoy looking at and have had people tell me they like… could be the shade, shape or the clearness of the eye whites but whatever it is… i like it oh and my voice, it has taken down MANY a man and woman

    i prefer to be called pretty, which means that i actually have a pleasing to the eye face… to me sexy means something that incites feelings of sexual arousal & although i like to be considered sexy, i don't want everyone to see me and want to sample my gushy but i don't mind everyone that meets me to describe me as aesthetic pleasing to the eye…

    1. For me, I think if you have a unique SHAPE to your eyes, whether they be brown, blue, green, purple, whatever, then, and only then, will I notice someone's eyes. Or if your your eyes are really on some crazy next level when it comes to color i.e. a color I've neverrr seen before. But yeah, I hate when "some" people are like, "Omgggg, she has really pretty eyes," and I'm like, "o-kayyy, though, she's blonde-haired and blue-eyed, whoopty doo!" How unique…

      1. It all depends where you live. If you live in Asia, then a woman with blonde hair and/or blue eyes is really unique. And on the flip-side, if you live in Scandinavia, people with brown eyes and black hair are pretty unique. Whether or not that uniqueness appeals to you is another question.

  3. Men: what are certain attributes about a woman that you identify with sexy and pretty? Is it something you can pinpoint immediately or does it depend on the woman, and the particular attribute? Is there a difference?

    For me, "sexy" starts in a certain body part. Stacey Dash is the GOAT of the label "sexy" b/c it's just something in her eyes. It started way back in the Cosby Show and continued through Mo Money and Clueless. With Amerie, it's her legs. With Kenya Moore, it's her smile. I almost always focus on 1 body part that just really stands and then go from there. But I agree w/ Streetz, "pretty"/"beautiful" is like the girl-next-door, they have like a quiet type of innocence about them. Those type of women don't exude sexuality just off the cuff, but it's there. Aaliyah is a classic example of that. Beautiful girl and had she stayed w/ us longer, her beauty would've evolved to sexy (or sex appeal)
    My recent post 5 Things I Learned From March Madness 2012

  4. This is an interesting question. I'm not sure which one I prefer, actually.

    I love to be considered (and told I am) sexy by a man that I am physically attracted to. It's a sentiment that makes me walk taller, smile brighter, and feel overall good about myself. At the same time, if it's coming from random men on the street/in the club/lounge/bar… I'll say "thanks" but it becomes a bit more bothersome.

    RE: pretty. I appreciate being called pretty by men and women both. I think it's more than just a compliment to my genetic make-up. I consider pretty to be a mixture of features and presentation. Yes, there's always a certain level of prettiness to my features, but little things like walking around with a smile on your face as opposed to serious/angry makes a difference in the LEVEL of pretty. As does hair-style, accessories and so forth.

    What do I think is sexy about me? My favorite parts of me (currently) are the hair (soft, fluffy locks to the tops of my shoulders) and the boobage (shape, size, etc).

    1. I agree with your definition of pretty. it IS features AND presentation. I think a lot of people try to trivialize it with the features only thing. Presentation maters. which is why I kinda get irked when people like to say "oh I don't wear makeup…" as if its some sort of brag. Maybe you should. #imjustsaying. not for false advertisement, but for some sort of enhancement. I mean… Arch your brows, a little gloss and bronzer never hurt anybody!!! key word: little. all those things really bring out your face 🙂
      My recent post We Can Skip Dinner Head Straight For Dessert…

  5. "I think that it depends on the man and the context in which they use the term."

    Si. I agree with Reecie, being called sexy by strangers is a turnoff most of the time. It's made me smile on a few occasions, but only when not said in a creepy, boundary-overstepping manner. This is irrespective of looks; I don't like handsome creepy men either.

    "Ladies: What moments or characteristics about yourself do you find sexy? do you prefer being called sexy vs. pretty?"

    – Dancing. I definitely took advantage of the effect it had on the men I've dealt with.
    – Walking. I've been told I have a model walk. My brothers and friends make fun of it/me, but I do like to walk around like the world is my runway.

    – My legs, minus some "newly" acquired bruises or whatever they are. I hope they fade away into oblivion in time. So far, so good.
    – My lips, particularly when glossed up.
    – I like my shape as well.

    I tend to appreciate being called sexy more by someone of interest, usually someone I'm already seeing. I get "pretty" more so from passing strangers than people who know me, though. I get beautiful/sexy from familiar peeps. I think I prefer beautiful in general.

    This entire comment reeks of vanity. I should probably mention that I don't walk around with a head the size of a hot air balloon.

    1. lol Nobody thinks you're vain! It's the nature of the conversation. I'm gonna ask you like I asked SD, how does a person walk sexily? I have never understood this. I always thought walking was a way to get from point A to point B.

      1. "I always thought walking was a way to get from point A to point B"

        lol this cracked me up. I think it's mostly in the sway or carriage really.

        When I wear flats, I'm definitely of the 'point A to B as fast as I can' mindset so I'm just like breezing through the streets. Heels sort of make me stand straight and take my time so that there's a certain nice/sensuous sway to my movements.
        My recent post Spring Trends

      2. Haha, thanks.

        I don't quite know how to describe it. It's like a leisurely, one foot slightly in front of the other walk without the exaggerated moves you see on actual runways. The heels already add some oomph to the sway of your hips, so there's no need to be extra about it. Straight posture, looking right ahead. Um…yeah…that's the best I can do. lol. It's not a standard thing, though, and half of the battle is actually rocking the heels properly. I see women visibly struggling in heels and wonder why they bother.

  6. Lets be honest about this, all compliments have a sexual context. Though it is all about how the message is conveyed. I feel that the thing that makes a women pretty is her eyes and in the same vain it makes her sexy. I am from South Africa, the women here have the best bodies in the world though they aren't all pretty.
    That is why context is important, you can tell a colleague who you interact with a lot that they are sexy, you can tell the woman at the coffee shop that serves you everyday that she is sexy, though you can't walk up to a woman in a club and tell her she is sexy. You haven't complimented her, you have stated sexual interest.

  7. I’ve been told my height is sexy. I guess it has to do with my weight proportion and the way I carry myself. I don’t mind being called sexy, but I don’t believe the hype. It’s nice to hear though. I think I’m fairly average.

    I’m in Mexico City right now and have been called “calinda” frequently by men and women. That means cute right? I’ll take that.

    Also, I have a question. Before I left this weekend, I had a convo with a couple of my male friends. Skylar Diggins attractiveness came up and one of them mentioned how she was sexy AND can hoop which he liked. The other didn’t find the fact that she can play ball sexy and would be turned off if she suggested they go play ball/shoot baskets together. Do men find playing physical games with a woman attractive?

    I can think of 2 times that I’ve done this and it didn’t feel, “sexy” to me. If I lose, imma be mad. If I beat you, imma be mad that I beat you, you won’t be attractive to me anymore, and we will have to end whatever it was we had going on.

    1. Never been in any kind of relationship with a woman who could actually play basketball, so I can't call it. I think the key to the whole thing though is to remember that sometimes a man goes to play basketball because he feels like playing basketball. Other times he goes because he want's to get away. If he's going because he wants to shoot around, I think it'd be cool if your shorty could roll with you every once in a while. But if I'm going to get away and clear my head, or me and my boys are going, don't get offended if I say no.

      Also, what if we're playing one on one in the park, and a like 4 other dudes are like "hey, y'all wanna run threes?" So then we start playing 3 on 3, what's the proper etiquette if a dude fouls you hard? Like, now I gotta snuff son… but it's just basketball, but you my girl tho… quagmire. Or what if you cross somebody over, hit the layup, and then dude pats you on the butt like "good play" … do I let the rock? It's it'll awkward…

    2. " Do men find playing physical games with a woman attractive?"

      I think its more of the fact that when it comes to Womens Basketball, for me the majority of women that play aren't attractive. Its the love & basketball effect. A pretty girl who knows sports and can play is sexy to me because shes a competitor and can show that fire. A time and place thing if you ask me.
      My recent post Video: Daniel Bryan Leads YES Chants After Monday Night Raw

    3. Yeah, I'll co-sign what Streetz said. It's a commonality thing, also. If she is passionate about whatever sport (say basketball)….knows the game and can talk it then it's something both parties can discuss and always find converation over.

      " If I beat you, imma be mad that I beat you, you won't be attractive to me anymore, and we will have to end whatever it was we had going on. "

      Funny, I was having a conversation with a woman the other week who played ball in college and she said thee exact same thing, lol. I find this interesting. If you beat me then I'm not attractive, or as attractive, to you. I wonder if this is a natural submissive attitude ingrained in women or what not. *strokes goatee* Almost as if women expect the man to dominate in all aspects….Ahs wells. *turns to SportsCenter*

    4. I'm in Mexico City right now and have been called "calinda" frequently by men and women. That means cute right? I'll take that.

      They are actually saying "que linda" That means pretty/beautiful. Roughly translated "How beautiful"

      SN: Im sad Im late to this discussion party and feel like any of my comments wouldn't matter now, but I just wanted Classy6ft5 to know what they were saying Lol

  8. Sometimes her walk is sexy – or maybe she oozes confidence, very sexy! Maybe shes pretty until her clothes come off then the curves of her body say SEXY! Pedicured toes/manicured hands = SEXY! Maybe she can carry a convo about politics or watch the game with me and shuts the hell up so much I wanna teach her about the game..lol Iits when she can wear any damn thing and still I get the urge to tear it the hell off and proceed to give her a severe poundation?! SEXY!!!!

      1. Full Disclosure: I have a really unfair advantage to this question, as I am a pageant coach (My Toddlers & Tiaras episode airs today!! TMI, I know, TMI.).
        A sexy walk is much like a woman in a form-fitting dress that hits at the knee. I't's all about what you imply, not what you show. There is a swing of the hips involved, but not in an overt manner. Her walk is graceful and light, nothing "bounces". Her head is up, and the gait screams confidence. It doesn't always involve heels.

        1. Okay. I guess I don't get it because the only people that I know of that have a "walk" are models and you can't walk around like that all the time. Everybody else seems to walk regularly except for my sis who so obviously switches.

        2. 10 PM, TLC. Haven't the slightest idea what made the cut so can't promise a ting. You have to say crazy stuff for them to show you, and I don't really play that. They're babies! I'm very interested in how they showed the interviews with the parents & judges because they kept asking us 'diversity questions' (it was a very ethnically diverse judging panel, but the contestants, not so much) as if we weren't capable of judging white kids. It was wierd.

  9. On the topic of saying it to a woman, I'm one of those kinda guys who thinks that a man can get away with saying almost anything to a woman, whether he's known her for 20 years or 2 minutes. It really is all in how you say it and whether or not she finds you attractive. If she finds you attractive and you prove to her within the first couple seconds that you're not a jerk, you can get away with telling her she's sexy.

  10. Ladies: What moments or characteristics about yourself do you find sexy? do you prefer being called sexy vs. pretty? Yes we know this is a strictly superficial discussion but roll with it…

    I have been told that I have 'bedroom eyes'. Not sure what that means exactly (I look sleepy?) but ive been told on more than a few occasions that its sexy. I think my shape is sexy. I like to be called pretty because most of the time when a guy calls me sexy he is really only thinking about my booty. I do not mind being called cute which is what I usually get when I am on my comfort clothes ish.

  11. Men: what are certain attributes about a woman that you identify with sexy and pretty? Is it something you can pinpoint immediately or does it depend on the woman, and the particular attribute? Is there a difference?

    i exclusively attribute being pretty to how a woman's face looks. i'm careful about calling women pretty if i don't think her face is appealing. matter of fact i'd just keep my mouth shut. being pretty in my opinion has nothing to do with a woman's body or her aura. now there are sexy woman out there who aren't necessarily pretty. they have the come f*ck factor. rihanna is a great example of someone who i think is sexy but not really pretty.
    My recent post The Greatest Sham Ever Conceived…

  12. There is no single way to express affection towards women and get what you want as a guy; everything is risk and the more experience you have, the better you become at taking those risks and being successful. Asking women or even yourself what is the proper way to express affection to women, is like asking the dealer at the blackjack table, how much money he thinks you should bet, before the cards are even dealt.

  13. I will likely be the oddball here, but I have come to love being called sexy. Let me explain a bit though…I used to loathe it, because it wasn't true. Much like a lot of the women who have responded, men who called me sexy, typically upon meeting me, were only considering my physical appeal and wanted to bed me. I think I am pretty. Definitely not an 8.5 out of 10…maybe more like a 6.5…but still, I don't think you have to be drop dead gorgeous to be pretty. One of the very first comments details chubby cheeks, and a baby face. That's totally me. I have a fat face, tiny eyes…I try to take full body pictures as much as possible because I have a big girl face, lol. I am not thin, or anything, but I am not an extra in a Redman video out here either…but yea, I wasn't sexy. I was a young girl, with a cute face and a great ass to waist ratio.

    Then, I had children. Almost instantly, something changed about me. I really did become a woman. People who had known me for years prior to me having children looked at me differently. Strangers did too. I carried myself differently. I felt much more comfortable in my own skin, and even though I still had the same face, I had certainly been totally transformed. My thigh dimples, my stretch marks, my post baby breasts… things about me that I was still very conscious about began to pale in comparison to my sex appeal to others.

    I mean, this could all be in my mind, as well, but I swear when men call me sexy now, its not the same. I am also not out in the streets, or the clubs as often either. So if a man has an opportunity to tell me how sexy I am, its literally usually at a grocery store or at a mixed parent playgroup, or the last time it happened, it was an older European guy, fixing my glasses. Typically when i hear it, its also not a come on. And usually its made clear…like a man will stammer through the fact that he isn't a creep…but there's something about me… Call me crazy, but a lot of women are pretty. I enjoy being called sexy. I feel sexy. So I like it.
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    1. I agree with you somewhat. I think after having kids, it is hard for me to find myself attractive so when I get the attention, it's kind of a surprise so I like it but at the same time, I think it's the way it is delivered. A dude rubbing his stomach and smacking his lips while calling me sexy is totally not welcome but a dude who says it matter of factly in passing, well I like that. I think I would still prefer pretty over sexy. I get pretty more often anyway.

  14. Wow, just recently had a discussion with my homie about "sexy." And went to Twitter about it, too. What's funny to me is not even the difference between "pretty" and "sexy", it's the one between "cute" and "sexy." And how some women can get both. And I have… like, fellas, riddle me this… how can I get "cute and adorable" AND "sexy" in the same breath, doe? Like, ain't the former of innocence and the latter… not so much?

    And please note this is no complaint whatsoever, just sincere curiosity of where ya'll mind goes. Because to tell ya the truth, I always thought men who called me adorable and pinched my cheeks (not those… if they pinch those, they ain't thinkin "adorable"… lol) they figured I was just like this cuddly little plaything not some sexy siren. But again, I get both… all the time. So, like I said… curious. Can "cute" be "sexy?"

    1. ETA:

      And Streetz, you a fool for this:

      "I think that I’m the Charles Xavier of discovering a woman’s X-Factor" LOLLLLL

      Great post, you two!

      "I can agree with the attractiveness of said man can make all the difference in the world!!!! Or if he in fact, has that “sexy” factor as well. Mutual attraction changes…. A LOT!!! "

      Definitely! Unfair, probably. But there are always exceptions to the rule. lol

      1. "I think that I’m the Charles Xavier of discovering a woman’s X-Factor" LOLLLLL

        I totally cracked up at that too! Streetz is soo funny!

        1. Yeah, and real talk, pinching cheeks is automatic disqualification. Don't. Pinch. My. Cheeks. I am not your child. Equating me with a child will cause me to equate you with a parent. Do you want to f**k your father? I thought so. Leave the cheekies alone.

        2. LOLLLLL. That's actually my tagline at the blog. "with cheeks you wanna pinch… but don't."

          I do make exceptions though for the homies and folks I overall think are cool. lol

        1. *nods* Makes sense. It truly does. Annnnnnnd that's all I'mma say about that. Forrest Gump swag. Tee hee.

  15. Men: what are certain attributes about a woman that you identify with sexy and pretty? Is it something you can pinpoint immediately or does it depend on the woman, and the particular attribute? Is there a difference?

    Probably how a woman looks at me…her eyes….and then her smile and lips will exude the sexiness factor along with her physical body make up.

    Like Mad Scientist said up thread when I think pretty I'm normally referring to just her face. Is there a word for the opposite of "Tip Drill"? (It must be her face b/c it ain't her a$$…she a….?) Lol. J/k…but being pretty and having a nice body on top of that aren't mutually exclusive.

  16. If I could be called something physically, it'd be "gorgeous." When I think of gorgeous, I think of a woman who enters a room and commands attention; it's on a whole different level. I rarely see a woman who is gorgeous by my critical, non-hater eye, but to me you'd have to have possess these characteristics:

    1) An inner light that just oozes through; you just look super radiant and your face is warm/inviting rather than stank, and you have a genuine smile that literally lights up the room.

    2) You have to have some height to you–at least 5'7", 5'8", or else you just end up being "cutesy," in MY opinion. And height will always command attention, that is, if you can carry it off well.

    3) Can't be too "safe" looking, like Halle Berry; I mean, granted, she's beautiful, but I think you need something on your face to stand out, be "exotic," if you will, whether it's a cool gap in the tooth, a cute cleft chin, nose, forehead, lips, but it has to work for you e.g., not everyone can pull off gap-teeth.

    I see "pretty" as being somewhat safe, typical, conventional…a little boring.

    And "sexy," I just really wouldn't like at all because when I think of sexy, I think solely of the body, and I'm more of a face person. However, I do think Zoe Saladana blends the two well (sex appeal in the face, rather than the body–if curves equate to sexy for you)

      1. But you forget, there're always the exceptions, sooo, maybe you'd be an exception. lol But yeah, sorry for the harsh criteria. =)

        1. I think you can still tell whether a woman's relatively short or tall.

          And on the contrary, too tall can be cumbersome, and in my opinion, 5'11"and over is def. pushing it. Being short is NOT, by any means, a bad thing, but I think height inevitably enhances presence. Ultimately, it's about your demeanor and how you carry yourself.

          Shout out to Brittney Griner and the Baylor WBB team. I actually love all her 6'8"ness…she's be an exception…lol

  17. "I think that I’m the Charles Xavier of discovering a woman’s X-Factor"…

    I would like to point out that a dude who can say this statement without laughing can probably get away with saying anything, to anyone, at anytime.


    I have been called sexy since puberty, and had a very hard time with it, because I never saw it as my 'appeal'. I was a BioChem major in college, and spent all of my highschool years in a lab coat. It wasn't until my late 20's that I became okay with it. I don't mind now, because I have a much healthier ownership of my body and am fine with you thinking whatever you will, as long as you understand that I am NOT obligated to do anything about your feelings. That's purely your issue.

  18. When guys call me sexy I appreciate the compliment but it makes me feel a little awkward since I'm a married woman and all. And it also feels weird to say thank you to being called sexy. How am I supposed to respond to that exactly? I appreciate being called pretty. It's just funny to me to hear a guy say the word pretty. Like, it doesn't go or something so when it's said, it feels like a real compliment. I'll be honest though, I really like being called gorgeous too. I think my shoulders and (when my toenails are painted) my feet are sexy. When summer hits, I stay in a tank. And it all goes back to fourth grade when somebody told me I have nice shoulders and then high school when somebody told me I have pretty feet. I guess those are just different than what I'm used to hearing so I really appreciated them.

      1. I can accept a compliment but the term sexy seems like it should be reserved for my hubs. It just makes me feel awkward coming from anybody else. I never know what to say back. Thanks just doesn’t seem right.

    1. Re: your shoulders and toes
      As has been said on this site on at least two occasions – if you want to compliment a pretty girl, tell her she's smart and if you want to compliment a smart girl, tell her she's pretty.

      It's true, because we all want what we don't have and something different. If we hear "you have beautiful eyes", "I love your shape", "you have a radiant smile", "your dimples are so cute" or whatever repeatedly – while it may be nice, it lacks a certain appeal. We've heard it before and millions of girls have "a radiant smile". Specific, out of the ordinary compliments are the best. You feel like they really are paying attention and like something about you outside of the usual.

  19. First, I enjoyed the dialogue in the post…and I also enjoyed reading the comments.

    I'm not sure I find anything sexy about myself, physically. My butt has embarrassed me numerous times but I don't get the big deal about it. My shape, age, and youthfulness…after having 2 children…seems to be alluring to men. I think I'm cute…and that my overall presentation (personality, confidence and class) makes me beautiful. Whether or not I prefer being called sexy vs. pretty really depends on who's talking. If I'm attracted to the guy, I'm flattered by both. If I'm not, I'm probably wishing you hadn't talked to me at all, lol. The other factor is presentation. I'm not sure I like actually hearing, "You're sexy. Lemme holla at you for a minute." I prefer a thoughtful approach…playful banter with humorous flirtation and deliberate glances. With that, you've let me know exactly what you think…and shown me that you have a personality.

    1. "If I'm attracted to the guy, I'm flattered by both. If I'm not, I'm probably wishing you hadn't talked to me at all, lol."

      And Bingo was his name-o.

      1. LOL! Wasn't like that at all. Just thought of the part of me that most often intiates lust…and since hair isn't really a body part, I had to go with #2…the booty. *shrugs*

        I never knew men really cared about hair until my locs got long and fabulous. The amount of attention my hair gets from men is crazy…

  20. I get a bit turned off when I am called this, especially by complete strangers. Where I am from (St. Lucia), men seem to use this term as an ice breaker. Eg, "Girl you real sexy eh". My thing is, if you don't know me, please don't make reference to how f*ckable I look. No good is going to come of it. Btw, this is my first time commenting but I really love your writing sir.

        1. I stand corrected, it was your Haitian accent that made it sound that way…lol. I am
          just kidding. It was nice meeting you, fellow west indian-er.

  21. In short, to me "pretty" is about looks and "sexy" is about sex.

    A chick can be not so pretty but be sexy as hell. A chick can be not so sexy but be pretty as hell. It's very rare that you find someone who is both. But when you do… it's awesome.

  22. What moments or characteristics about yourself do you find sexy?
    I'd have to go with my eyes, since I get the most compliments on them. I've been told they're a nice almond shape and the color ranges from hazel to light brown depending on the season [weird, I know]. I also like my lips/smile.
    Do you prefer being called sexy vs. pretty?
    I like to be called pretty, but I take it as a bigger compliment if it comes from a woman, oddly enough. I feel like it's more genuine from a woman because she [more than likely] isn't interested in me. When men compliment me, I feel like it may be a bit exaggerated if they then ask for my number. Still appreciated, but I do feel like it's game much of the time. Being called sexy by anyone kinda makes me uncomfortable. Like a couple people said upthread, I definitely have the round babyface thing going and I think of myself as 'cute' – so maybe I just don't see it.

    1. I feel you. A woman told me I was stunning once and I was floating on that compliment for a couple of days!

        1. Yeah, I know, lol. I try not to be cynical, I appreciate a compliment be it from a man or a woman. Whether it sincere or not or from who, I don't really care. People ask how I am doing all day and don't really mean so it's not biggie. Say your thank you's and keep it moving or stay play.

    2. Co-sign on the female compliments. I also get all gushy from compliments from a child. My ex's 4 yr old goddaughter was with us for easter and she saw me in my dress and said, "you so pretty". Nobody could tell me nothin' that day, lol!!
      Also, and I really don't get this often, I prefer being called beautiful. There's a bit more to getting 'beautiful' out of someone, like they had to do some due diligence to get to that conclusion. I dunno. I haven't gotten a compliment in a WHILE, men are getting lazy. They just kinda point to a bodypart & ask for your #.

  23. Ladies: What moments or characteristics about yourself do you find sexy? do you prefer being called sexy vs. pretty?

    This is going to sound weird but…Some of my most sexy moments have been when I wore a nice outfit and "fire" stilettos while carrying my football equipment to practice, a game or to workout. (I played semi-pro football for a season. REAL football, not that lingerie league bullshit! lol)

    What I prefer to be called…
    Often I've been referred to as both (geesh this reads so vain smh lol), which is flattering; but sexy is the adjective I usually get referred to during and after an initial conversation.

    Characteristic-wise: When I was in my 20's, I thought independence, having money, and being one of the "hottest" women in a room was sexy. However, as I matured and happily 36, I discovered confidence is one of the most sexiest qualities – sans all the superficial nonsense.

    On the flip, something I've been trying to wrap my head around is….Complete strangers (men, including some broads -_-) have told me "…You ooze sex…"

    And after I give them the *WTF Care Bear stare* I ask them to explain what (in the world) that means. Paraphrasing: They've said a woman can carry themselves in a very sophisticated, classy way but have this energy and aura about her that is extremely sensual or sexual without dressing or being slutty…

    Ummmmm, I guess. LOL ish sounds like man-code for: "…if people weren't around I would give you DA BIZNESS…" smh LOL

    If someone can translate, that would be great.

  24. I'm probably the odd man out here but sexy and pretty are two distinctly different looks to me. For example, Meagan Good is always going to look sexy to me how see dresses or if she looks sick because there is something about the combination of her face and body that will just always scream sex to me. Someone like Fo Porter* on the other hand, is always going to be pretty to me. Well in the "pretty" category because I think pretty understates how gorgeous she actually is to me. Pretty isn't someone I necessarily wanna have sex with though. Pretty women are the type I wanna sit around and fawn over all day to bask in their presence.

    Then there are other people across the spectrum that can look "pretty" or "sexy" on occasions but aren't so 100% of the time. They are usually still attractive, just outside of "pretty" or "sexy" to me.

    *photo here -> http://27.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lh1uz7Cbtm1qfm1… target="_blank"> <a href="http://*http://27.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lh1uz7Cbtm1qfm194o1_500.png” target=”_blank”>*http://27.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lh1uz7Cbtm1qfm194o1_500.png

  25. Hmmmmm.

    Luckily, i've never had this issue because I never say "Sexy" … I don't even feel comfortable using the word. Not saying that women aren't "sexy" but using it as an adjective in relation to a women seems a bit tired and cliched. And now that i think about it, i rarely compliment a woman on her looks upon meeting her because the first 15 guys already did that. I walked over to you, I'm talking to you … Of course i find you attractive. The conversation is what matters most, not the introductory compliment in relation to her looks.

    But that's just me.

    1. "The conversation is what matters most, not the introductory compliment in relation to her looks."


    2. great answer Top5DOA….caveat to that is some women really wanna hear it and feed off of compliments from men. If nobody tells them they look good they never think they do. So you could do that with a woman and wonder why she still doesn't realize that you do find her attractive.
      But then you would probably lose interest in that type of woman and K.I.M. (keep it moving).

  26. I definitely prefer to be called pretty because I think that at some point anyone can be sexy( just highlight your best feature: eyes, boobs, legs). And I don’t feel like pretty is a term that can be applied to everyone (im well aware beauty is in the eye of the beholder).

    *off topic* these multiple posts per day are the business!!

  27. Ladies: What moments or characteristics about yourself do you find sexy?
    Moments – when I have on lingerie and just get my hair done, nails done, erethang did.
    Characteristics – I think my personality, based on the general consensus. I'm pretty out-going and very friendly and can sometimes be flirtatious. I think I've been called sexy more often than pretty which is cool. I'll take that over being called ugly.

    1. I totally ignored moments, LOL.

      I def co-sign when I'm fresh…fresh out the shower, hair & nail shop, rocking new gear…and night gear does help, lol. Honestly, its probably just more of a confidence thing for me than a sexy thing. When I'm confident, I feel completely comfortable doing, saying, and being whatever I deem appropriate at that moment.

  28. I think how it makes a person feel depends on who it's coming from and what they think makes you sexy and/or pretty. Many women I know, (self included) love being called pretty, sexy, beautiful and the like by their s/o's and husbands. Like the other female commenters I too don't take well to total strangers telling me I'm sexy…..but then I don't take too well to compliments from strangers anyway, especially women. I've been told I was sexy by women and it just felt weird. Like Krystal I had no idea how to respond to that…..lol. I probably just said thanks, half fake smiled and kept it moving….lol
    Do you prefer being called sexy vs. pretty? Honestly I don't have much of a preference. I'll take either one or both. At the end of the day it feels good to be acknowledged.
    Only time I really don't welcome comments on my sex-appeal or physical features is in the workplace. I like to be taken seriously for the work I do…..not my looks.

  29. it depends. If am feeling sexy and the person says it the right way i am cool. I have been told i have a sexy smile or legs, again its how it is said. I have had strangers say it in a way that did not bother me. There was no drooling . Lol! I heard pretty sometimes as well. I think each guy has his own bases for each. Compliments IMO are always good. I always smile and acknowlege the person if they are not disrespectful, even if I keep it moving.

  30. Call me any compliment you want, honestly. Call me sexy in the morning, pretty in the afternoon, sexy again later on….. LOL. I'm really not trippin. My issue is if you ain't saying sh*t at all. And believe it or not, a lot of n*ggas are getting scared to compliment girls now. Like they're simpin for calling a woman pretty. Can't understand my generation right now, we are lost.

    If I have anything to say to men, it's that y'all should really compliment a girl's appearance most of the time when you see her, *especially if she really does look good,* and even if she's just a friend. Honest compliments are good. Like this sh** should be verbal diarrhea. I know a few men like that, and they do very well.

  31. Y'all are behind First Saturdays. Who knew? I've only been to one. I met a security guard that I went on a couple dates with who was perpetually late (like, REALLY late), to the point where I assumed he just had another chick who wouldn't let him get away. I had to discontinue seeing him because of this belief. Had to go with my gut on that one, plus I hate people being late. I've only been to one First Saturday. It's not really my type of party, but I might go again, now that I have a boo and it won't have to be a meat market situation. 🙂

  32. I’m not often called pretty. Im attractive, facially, but i have sharp features that don’t appeal to everyone. I got one of those sneaky pretty faces. It’s an acquired taste, lol. But I’ve been called sexy since before I really knew what that was. Dont know if its the body shape, kinda hourglass, confidence, or the fact that I smile and laugh very easily. I wouldn’t mind knowing, so i could play it up, or down, at will.

  33. I think the best way to sincerely compliment a person is specifically say what you like about them.
    Like if you like their eyes say that. Tell them "you have beautiful eyes", or "that shirt or dress really brings out your eyes" or "your hair is beautiful", or compliment their style of dress. I had a guy compliment me on my earrings a few weeks ago….I was damn near speechless to say the least, because I didn't think guys noticed and payed much attention to stuff like that to compliment a woman on it. But I didn't complain nonetheless.

    1. Know what's been catching me off guard lately? Men complimenting you in passing. Like just a compliment and moving on. Not an opening line, not a flirtation, not an attempt at flattery for panties – like genuine appreciation. Blew. My. Mind. Happened twice in the last week.

      Men compliment shoes in the grocery store cause the authentically like your shoes now?! I'm ashamed to say how much this has messed with my mind, but it has.

      And no, they didn't come off as homosexuals that I could immediately ascertain.


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