how to be sexy
Image: Shutterstock/Diana Indiana

How to be sexy is subjective. Everyone has their own ideas of what sexy is. In short, how to be sexy is relative. It depends on the person you’re trying to entice with your sexiness. To figure out how to be sexy, it helps to have a better understanding of what it means to be sexy.

What Does It Mean To Be Sexy?

If someone says you’re sexy, what does that mean, exactly? At its core definition, to be sexy is to be desired in a sexual, physical context. If you’re in a bar having drinks with someone and they lean in and whisper that they think you’re sexy, it’s safe to assume they’d like to take you home, or are at least enjoying imagining you in a more intimate setting.

Still, when someone says you’re sexy, it’s subjective and relative to the situation. It doesn’t necessarily mean they want to have sex with you. (Which is a real comfort if your sister says you look sexy.) If you’re in the dressing room trying on swimsuits and your friend says you look sexy, they’re likely referring to the condition of your body or the amount of skin you’re showing.

How Culture Influences How to Be Sexy

While being sexy is subjective, there are some universally accepted standards of what being sexy is. But again, even those are colored according to culture, even within the boundaries of one country. For instance, in Hawaii, many people from certain ancestries believe that heavier women and men are sexier than “scrawny” men and women. In a place like California, someone considered to be a sexy person would be fit, toned and tanned. While these are generalities that certainly don’t apply to every single person’s taste in Hawaii or California, they’re interesting to consider because these two completely different body types are at opposite ends of the spectrum, yet share the same description of being sexy.

How to Be Sexy Starts From Within

In all cultures, though, it can be safely assumed that sexy comes from within before it’s expressed on the outside. It’s how a person feels about themselves and how they relate to the world that is the origin of how to be sexy. If you’re depressed and slumping around with a sagging expression, bemoaning the fact that “everything bad always happens to me,” you won’t come across as sexy, even if you’re wearing a miniskirt at the time.

If that’s the case, what does being sexy feel like on the inside? Don’t worry. Feeling sexy doesn’t have to mean you want to shimmy out of your knickers all day long. You can still get through an average day of running errands, attending staff meetings and cheering on the sidelines of your partner’s soccer game, all while feeling sexy. How to feel sexy is a matter of learning how to feel confident and self-possessed. (Self-possessed in a poised way, not a Linda Blair, head spinning way.)

Confidence is Sexy

Have you ever been at a party or a backyard cookout and someone walks in and people turn heads to stare? This person is no George Clooney or Elle McPherson – hell, they aren’t even as attractive as James McAvoy or Zooey Deschanel. But good heavens, they are sexy to the 10th degree, and you just can’t wait to be introduced. There’s just something about them that you can’t put your finger on, right? (But you’d like to.) That something is confidence. It’s the way they own the room, or the backyard, as the case may be. They know how to be sexy isn’t all about how they look – it’s how they are.

If there’s one person who is the epitome of being sexy through confidence, it’s Sara Jessica Parker. Parker is no great beauty by traditional standards. She has a mole on her chin (which she recently had removed), an elongated face and eternally straggly hair. Yet she’s the epitome of sexy according to popular culture. Why? Because she exudes confidence. She holds her (now) mole-free chin high, looks people in the eye and owns the room. You can do that, right? Yes, of course you can.

How to Be Sexy With Your Body

Confidence isn’t the summation of how to be sexy either, though. Hillary Clinton was confident, but few people would describe her as being sexy.

Knowing how to be sexy with your body is equally important, so here are some guidelines and practical tips.

Hold Yourself Well

Good posture makes your silhouette more attractive. When you sit and stand straight, your core muscles naturally contract, tucking in your tummy and accentuating your shoulders, chest and rear end.

Wear Flattering Footwear

High heels are certainly flattering for most women, but not all women can comfortably wear them. If you can, this will probably be your sexy footwear look. If not, there are equally sexy footwear options, like strappy sandals and gladiator boots. Try experimenting with various footwear options that accentuates your legs and feet.

Dress Your Body Type and Age

Take a long look in the mirror with the lights turned up high and figure out your body type. There is a fashion style that will make you look sexy no matter what size, shape or age you are, and you can find it. If you need help, enlist a trusted friend, a knowledgeable sales associate, or turn to the pages of the fashion magazines. When you dress to look your best, it will automatically help you look your sexiest.

Move Your Body

You have hips for a reason. Sway them as you walk and you’ll be on your way to knowing how to be sexy. Gesture with your hands as you speak and touch your hair, face and lips gently to draw attention.

As you can see, how to be sexy is a combination of being self-confident and poised, along with using your body. It has less with what you look like and more about expressing who you are. You don’t have to wait until you lose 10 pounds, or until you can summon up the nerve to wear false eyelashes in public. You can be sexy today, starting right now.