Wise Guys – Can a Sexy Attitude Really Compensate for a So-So Body?

photo by pat hawks

Advice from three of our guy friends. This week a straight woman asks,”I know that often a sexy attitude is sexier than a great body, but I can’t help feeling self conscious all the same. I’m 20 years old and though the general silhouette of my body is good (enough to get whistles and even car honks directed at me, which I honestly find insulting), I don’t like my body. I hate the cellulite, the stretch marks, the spider veins, wobbly bits, and moles I see in it. Would these bother a man as much as they bother me? Can a sexy attitude make them overlook those defects? How bad is too bad? Am I being paranoid?

Gay Single Guy (Jay Dyckman): First off…wobbly bits?  Bits can be wobbly?  Who knew?  Second, there is nothing worse than someone hung up on their physical appearance.  Staying in shape is great, wearing flattering clothes is smart and staying healthy is a must.  But otherwise, here’s a simple trick to feeling better (or at least not feeling bad anymore).  Every morning look in the mirror and say – out loud – “I’ve got what I’ve got.”  That’s it.  Let it all go.  You’ve got what you got so don’t spend even a second more worrying about it.

Straight Married Guy (David Jacobs): Bad news: we care more than you do — about the visuals, that is. But you knew that. The good news? We generally care more about the total package, not so much the minor details. (Moles? Whatever. And some “wobbly bits” we quite like!) Also, we often have different ideals of beauty/booty. Quoth Sir Mix-a-lot: “So Cosmo says you’re fat/ Well I ain’t down with that…”

Straight Single Guy (Tyler Barnett): There is nothing more attractive than a confident woman. A woman who carries herself well and feels great about herself is incredibly sexy. On the flip side, it is one of the most obnoxious things to hear a beautiful woman complain about minuscule flaws and imperfections. If you see yourself in a generally negative light you will give off that image, and it doesn’t sound like that’s your goal. I would suggest looking past the image in the mirror at what’s inside and determine if your issues are really physical ones. Insecurity tends to stem from various places, most of which are not located on the outside of your body.

Our “wise guys” are a rotating group of contributors, some of whom wish to remain anonymous and some of whom like the attention. This week’s Straight Married Guy is David Jacobs, a NYC-based photographer; our Gay Guy is Jay Dyckman, an LA copywriter; and our Single Straight Guy is Tyler Barnett of Tyler Barnett PR in LA. To ask the guys your own question, click here. To ask the guys your own question, click here.


  1. My response to the question is simply that ‘it depends’. I’m going to guess that you failed to attract someone you very much wanted to attract and are correctly/incorrectly blaming something about your physical appearance for that failure. For me, a sexy attitude will NOT compensate for a so-so body. I avoided having sex with two, possibly even at the same time, fairly cute girls that had very sexy but not vulgar attitudes. Yes, they flat out said to me “let’s f…!” Neither of these girls are what I would consider a slut. Their being so sexually aggressive was not a turn off either. I really like both of these girls, but the simple facts of the matter is that due to their size, (heavy set), I really had no physical desire for them. I’m sure there are plenty of other guys though that would practically kill to get one or both of these gals into bed and maybe even fall in love with them.
    So, like I said, my opinion is that ‘it depends’ on the individual and hopefully when you find a special someone, you won’t end up driving them away by badgering them with questions such as “do you think my ears stick out too far?” or “don’t you think my knee caps are simply horrid looking?”

  2. Absolutely, positively yes!! I have met and enjoyed many women with figures that were, let us say, unique, who dazzled me with their sexy attitudes and personalities. A woman does not have to look like a film star to be sexy, she just has to believe that she is. The rest will follow.

  3. Beauty is most definitely in the eye of the beholder! I had a birth accident that left me with a partially paralyzed face, but was raised by parents who treated me like anybody else with the potential for social success. Result? Exuberant, unselfconscious, happy me got real friends and boyfriends; the latter only ‘changed’ once I reached junior high (and neurotic attitudes so typical of that time in everyone’s life). My experiences have been so varied since, I’ve come to the conclusion that people with negative, petty personalities are the ones who nitpick, and others who don’t can see my fine features and my body in a more whole way. I’ve been ‘hit’ on more often than I can count with a positive, self-respecting attitude. Any dissing guys later admitted they did it out of spite, because if I saw my body as beautiful I might leave them. It’s about power, not love…and not splitting yourself into ‘fragments’ (or being pressured to, so others can feel ‘more’ than you. Consider the source!!!

  4. simply put: yes. and the opposite is true, a smokin hot body with a ditzy or obnoxious personality is NOT attractive.

  5. First of all everyone who has ever existed has a body. Every man and woman can be judged and thought to have flaws. But why are these little details flaws? Why is there anything “wrong” with anyone’s body when we all have one and they all are shaped differently. No one can or should expect people to look like air brushed ads. No one should be concerned about the details. Beyond that it is helpful to be confident (not because it will supposedly stop men from judging you) but because it feels good to feel confident. Lately I’ve decided to walk with confidence and feel sexy when I do. No one’s paid me more attention but I feel good.It sounds like it’s more important for you to act confident so that you become confident than for you to act confident in order to “convince” men that you have no “flaws”.

  6. I think the key is just to do your best to look and feel your best and be confident. You can’t be Gisele, but you can be you. The Best You! Work out, eat right, dress to impress in clothes that make you feel great. Leave it at that.

  7. Wow and ALL of you missed the most important piece of the puzzle. Pick the cliche of your liking, there is someone for everyone, One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Look thing is, if you love who someone is, there are things you will not even see. And nature such as it is, when we meet our mate, hits us with a nice dose of “blindness”. By the time we come out of the love induced fog, we’ve already fallen on our asses. The love of my life has a scar from his lip down around his chin and jaw. I dont even see it anymore, cuz he’s freakin hot and thats all I see.
    A woman who loves herself and embraces her sexuality just gives off a certain.. idk vibe. A man I work with said once”Idk what it is, but its like your eyes or idk.. like you have a secret or something” which meant “I have no idea why I find you attractive” haha.
    Am I pretty, probably not if you ask most men. But I’m sexy.. lol Men can’t put thier finger on it and women treat me same as the hot chick in the room and they don’t know why. I do, I make them insecure just because I am confident in the woman I am and I am very aware of myself sexually.
    I am also assertive. I have other ways of letting men feel needed and masculine lol, I will never play stupid. I would never dumb down. I would never do anything but be me. Like it, lol Lucky you, hate it.. then move on, Im not missin ya honey. There is someone for all of us, short, tall, thin fat, white, brown or yellow.I mean just sit in the mall or someplace and look around.Look at the couples, how many are magazine covers waiting to happen? Not many. lol Just learn to enjoy yourself as a person,in everyway.Especially sexually! People will be intrigued by the smile on your face and the sparkle in your eyes. Trust me.

  8. Attitude definitely matters.
    A couple of years back I looked up “the one that got away” on the internet. He was still single and expressed interest in seeing me; but it turned out that his motives were less than romantic. He knew that I had been married (and divorced) and had two children, and thought he’d get a little revenge on me for dumping him in the past. When we met up, he made a point of “noticing” all of my physical flaws (stretch marks, spider veins and widened hips)in an attempt to “bring me down a peg”. But I had recently lost 25 lbs., colored my hair and joined a gym that I went to religiously. I felt great, and my confident attitude ultimately seduced him.

  9. I think attitude helps because how you carry yourself (posture, dress) CAN make a difference. At first glance, before someone even talks to you, they can look and see “hey! Now there’s a girl that takes care of herself”

    I often have body issues too, but I always make sure I follow a healthy diet and exercise regimen. That way I can tell myself I have absolutely no excuse not to love my body – it may have cellulite and a few spider veins, but it’s still toned, fit and fun 🙂

  10. Noooooooo! Just no! What I’m hearing you say is that you’re attractive enough to men (obnoxious ones anyway, but they’re just the ones crude enough to mention it) to, well, attract them but you’re saying they all have to be wrong because you don’t think so.

    Sorry, and not to be rude (really, I’m not mad and I’m not being mean), but attractiveness is democratic and we each get only one vote. And it sounds like you’ve being out-voted.

    And just to be clear I’m not talking about a vote on visual appeal or other superficialities. For instance I might find myself appealingly generous and fair, but if everyone else is saying I’m unattractively mean and rude… well… who should I believe?

    Bottom line being that yes, it’s our bodies, and it’s our personalities, and it’s our abilities, and so our dreams, desires, and opinions about a lot of things trump everyone else’s. But when it comes to attractiveness (or its reverse) it’s majority rules.

    But here’s the trick on that: we trick ourselves into imagining we’ve got to win a majority. And if we’re running for office that might be true. But in relationships we almost always really only need to attract one person… or maybe just one person at a time. And regardless of what anyone else (including you) think, the only vote that really matters in that circumstance is theirs.

    Here’s another thing: based on quite a bit of personal sex-pundit research into people’s attitudes about their own self-images. People have an extraordinary eye for their own flaws. Even weirder, we have an unbelievable tendency to fret about parts of our own bodies that we ourselves never notice about other people! The classic example being noses — we’re generally remarkably critical of our own (to most plastic surgeon’s delight) yet repeated studies show that even highly-critical people are overwhelmingly unlikely to judge the noses of other people. (Clue: noses are too close to eyes for most people to spend much time assessing them — eyes are just way more expressive and attention-getting.)

    Another good example was from a confidant who worried that her upper arms looked funny when she reached back to take off her bra. When in fact if someone’s taking off her bra nobody — not her partner, not her doctor, not even her mom — is going be looking at her arms. And never mind that everybody’s arms, men’s, women’s, athletes, and accountants, look “funny” when they reach back like that.

    And finally to answer the first part of your question? Yes, a sexy attitude (especially a sexy unconcerned attitude!) definitely compensates for all manner of flaws: real and imaginary flaws, visible and character flaws too.


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