Fast is sexy

James Bond and Aston Marten

James Bond and Aston Marten

I started writing  tonight about the value of silence and calm in our worlds. How in a time of email and cell phone and kids and dogs and every other commitment you can think of, a few minutes of pure silence, of sitting with yourself, is an amazing thing.

…then I watched the new James Bond movie. And here’s the thing…fast is sexy. So is confidence, calm in the face of diversity, tall women in short skirts, high heels, piercing blue eyes, cavalier disregard for authority, massive explosions, muscles, and quizzical half smiles.

But here’s what gets me. So, apparently, are slightly too tight white pants. Too tight white pants? What? I’m strictly a 501s girl. To me, Brad Pitt in Thelma and Louise is pretty much the single sexiest thing on the face of the planet.

So where do snugly fitting white pants come in? Context. It’s all about the context.

As I’ve aged (no comments from the peanut gallery, thank you), I have come to realize that there is nothing objective about sexy. Remember in elementary school when we learned about absolute value? No such thing when it comes to sexy. It’s all about context, or who and where.

Take, for example, lifeguards. I don’t mean to disrespect them as a…species? I can only speak for my single experience. When you’re hanging out at the beach at Ocean City, Maryland, the lifeguard in the chair behind the condo ranks right up there with chocolate, ice cream, and five carat diamonds as stuff girls want.

The summer after I graduated from high school, my friends and I adored him daily. His blond, blond hair. His tan. White teeth. The way he deftly maneuvered that life saving board thing. Dreamy. Sighing. Stayed up at night on the balcony teary eyed after having too many drinks because you weren’t with him, dreamy.

He was all we all wanted.

And then one night…we went to a party at his apartment. First of all: maggots in the kitchen sink. Yummy. Then, we actually talked to him. Well, talked at him.

Because outside that lifeguard chair, his world, his context, dissolved. It was like talking to…well…no one. I remember my friend Kelly grabbing my arm at one point and begging me not to make eye contact with her, for fear she would burst out laughing at him.

Without the context, he was just another guy.

Or take pool players. Yes, pool players. If you are an aspiring billiards player, you find yourself in smoky pool rooms drawn to the guy who can make that double kiss into the side pocket shot. They are gods. They move with an ease unparalleled in the universe, a quiet cadence of cue ball hitting target ball rolling into a pocket.


But let me warn you…don’t let them out into the light of day.

Because it isn’t pretty. Sexy, once again, is context. That expert pool player you swooned after in the neighborhood bar? Not so good at dinner with your parents.

Still don’t believe me?

Look at your college professors. Or look at mine. My international relations professor was just about perfect to me. He knew so much. How many co-eds dreamed of him? Hundreds. Maybe even thousands.

Did I mention he was overweight, unkempt, arrogant, and half blind? Sort of a Jerry Garcia with an intellectual attitude? Not pretty once you got him out of the classroom.

Don’t get me wrong. There is sexy without context. Soft kisses about love, not lust. Quiet confidence and sense of place in the world. Willingness to help clean the kitchen or do the laundry.

Feeling someone reach for you and pull you close in the middle of the night. An unmatched rhythm of life. That is sexy that traverses all boundaries, all context, and that lasts.

So I wonder….if James Bond wasn’t a super sexy MI5 agent, would slightly tight white pants work on him? Sorry, James…I’m guessing no.

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Lisa M. Ruth
Lisa M. Ruth is Editor-in-Chief of CDN. In addition to her editing and leadership duties, she also writes on international events, intelligence, and other topics. She has worked with CDN as a journalist since 2009. Lisa is also President of CTC International Group, Inc., a research and analysis firm in South Florida, providing actionable intelligence to decisionmakers. She started her career at the CIA, where she won several distinguished awards for her service. She holds an MA in international relations from the University of Virginia, and a BA in international relations from George Mason University. She also serves as Chairman of the Board of Horses Healing Hearts, and is involved with several other charitable organizations, including Habitat for Humanity, The Boys and Girls Clubs of America, and AYSO.