I was sitting in a cafeteria having a quick bite to eat the other day when I saw an elegantly dressed young woman in a long but casual summer dress stroll in at the far side of the cafeteria, turn about slowly and elegantly as she assessed her surroundings – perhaps looking for someone, or perhaps just deciding if there was anywhere here she wanted something to eat from – before at last turning and walking back out the door she’d come through again, still with great elegance.
I’ve been thinking about elegance lately, and its cousin, sexiness. It occurs to me that taken together, these two qualities can largely describe every attractive person out there: he or she is either elegant, or sexy, or some mix of both.
It also occurs to me that almost no one out there really is all that elegant or sexy at all... neither the men nor the women, and it doesn’t matter where in the world you go to or what country you visit.
There are lessons here, for what you look for in a mate, what you allow yourself to feel entitled to enjoy, and how you construct yourself, and I think they’re all worth peeling back.
If you watch old American films, you’ll notice that many of the actors simply move a lot more slowly, and this looks a lot more elegant. Watch modern movies though, and everyone is snapping his head around and constantly in a big hurry.
For a clear-cut example, compare early Disney movies like Snow White and Cinderella with more modern ones like The Little Mermaid or Beauty and the Beast. Look at how much more quickly characters turn their heads and move their arms and legs in the newer films vs. the older ones. The newer characters are moving at least twice as fast as the ones from generations gone by.
Movies nowadays want to cram in a lot more action, of course, but these changes reflect what we see among our peers out in the world, too. A large part of this I think is that most people simply don’t have time to be elegant anymore. Everyone’s in a big hurry, slave to the hands of the clock and the call of his smart phone, pings of his social network, and demands of a 24/7 home-to-office connectivity.
Sexiness is one that’s remained more constant through the generations – constantly at a low level of commonness, that is. Sexy people were rare before, and they’re still rare now.
Yet, elegance and sexiness are two of the most attractive traits anyone of either sex can possess.
So why don’t people work on developing these qualities in spades?
Most People are Working Class
As I discussed in “Was the 1950s Housewife a Historical Aberration?”, most people are and always have been “working class” – that is, a member of one of the classes that has to get up at a certain time and get to work or the bills don’t get paid and food doesn’t arrive on his table.
In the past, these were farmers, factory workers, small shop owners and merchants, bankers, and the like. Today, these professions all remain, and now include a lot of office worker-class working people as well – anyone working in an office, courtroom, hospital, service industry profession, etc. is in the grind... if he doesn’t make it to work, he doesn’t get paid, and if he doesn’t get paid, well, his resources without a steady stream of new income from his own labor won’t last so long.
And the fact is, most working class people:
Have never been taught how to be sexy or elegant
May not have time (or think they have time) to bother with this
Come from subcultures where too much elegance / sexiness is mocked among its members (especially its male members)
If you feel rushed all the time, don’t really know how to be sexy or elegant, and have watched other people from working class group try to be sexy or elegant only to be mocked and lampooned by the rest of that working class group, you won’t just not care about being these things... you’ll actively avoid them.
For as much as everyone likes to say he or she is ‘unique’ (it’s the new ‘in’ thing these days... telling everyone how different, special, and unique you are), the fact is that the vast, vast majority of us really are conformists at heart.
And even if you are something of a rebel, it’s all relative – you might rebel a little bit against your subculture, but when compared to someone from a completely different subculture, you’re very clearly a member of your group, and conform far more to it than perhaps you’d care to realize.
The Drive to Conform
The reason why upper class people train themselves to be elegant is because everyone else around them is elegant too, and they feel embarrassed to not be elegant.
It’s the polar opposite of what working class people do – try to behave elegantly among your fellow retail workers or cubicle-bound colleagues and they’ll criticize you for being prissy and pretentious to bring you back in line.
Sexiness is another conformist trait – it’s no coincidence that most
of the clearly sexy people you will meet work in industries where they
need to interact with or impress the opposite sex often – everything
from pharmaceuticals sales reps and waitresses to strippers and
actresses. Even among these professions though, there are more unsexy
individuals than there are those who’ve successfully mastered the art
of being sexy. Here though, being sexy is rewarded – both in
more career success, and more plaudits from one’s admiring peers,
rather than the suspicion and discouragement like what you’ll encounter
in the rest of the working class world for acting or being sexy.
The only way you can largely escape from the urge to conform is to cut yourself off from most social environments. That’s relatively easy to do if you live a “rootless” lifestyle where you travel from country to country and rely on pure cold approach pickup to meet your women from, rather than social circle, like most people... but the fact is that for 99.999% of the population that isn’t remotely practical, or even desirable.
If you’re like most people, you probably have a job, and that job probably requires you to be in a certain place, at a certain time, surrounded by certain people, and those people are almost all working class and non-sexual, unless you select one of those sex-infused professions where meeting and impressing women is part of the job description.
What that means is that no matter HOW bad you want to be sexy or elegant, you will always have an anchor pulling you back down to “Earth” (or the working class version of it, anyway)... unless and until you find other ways to combat the tendency and urge to conform with the vast majority of totally average, normal, inelegant, unsexy, and utterly unexciting people all around you.
Short of launching your own successful business or freelance consulting career – or hitting the lottery – is there a way of busting out of the working class mindset and the urge to conform to its average, unsexy parameters?
I’m going to assume for the purposes of this article that you are rooted; that you have a certain job (or attend a certain school) in a certain place; and that you spend much more time around familiar people you see over and over again than you do meeting new strangers.
So let’s talk about how you fight the urge to NOT be sexy or elegant despite the pressures to conform by all the unsexy, inelegant people around you.
First Off: You Must BE Sexy/Elegant to GET Sexy/Elegant
Disclaimer before we dive in: you’ve got to be it to get it.
I see a lot of people online complaining about how women just aren’t feminine anymore, or men need to grow up and quit being oversized boys sitting around in t-shirts playing video games on the couch all day.
What I hear is, “I want a partner who is sexy and/or elegant.”
I’m almost certain that every single one of the people saying this are not terribly sexy or elegant themselves.
Know why I’m so certain of that? Because sexy and elegant people have other sexy and elegant people around them, socialize with sexy/elegant people a lot more, and end up together with mates who are sexy/elegant.
There are plenty of sexy and elegant women out there, but you probably won’t find them and almost definitely won’t end up with them if you are not sexy and elegant yourself, first.
So, if you ever find yourself pulling your hair and going, “WHERE are all the feminine women? They’re SO rare these days!” take a moment to put the magnifying glass back on yourself and ask the question of, “Am I either very sexy or very elegant?”
If the answer is “no”, then you know where all the sexy and elegant women are – they’re off with sexy, elegant men, and waiting for you to catch up.
You know what you need to do.
Becoming Sexy/Elegant: Conformism
The biggest monkey on your back when trying to learn anything new is to break free of conformist urges, which everyone has and which are so deep and so subconscious that you will bend to whatever forces you have in your life pushing you to kowtow to their way of seeing things.
If you’re living a rooted life with a job or school where you’re always around a lot of the same people, the best things you can do to counter these urges are:
Do lots of cold approach: meeting loads of new strangers multiple times a week keeps you honest and prevents your brain from getting stuck on thinking that the way things are at school or work is the “way of the world” and that these people are the be-all and end-all of what you must conform to
Socialize with extremely different groups: when I was a business consultant for a big-name firm, my friends outside of work were guys with crap jobs who drank, did drugs, and picked up girls... and I did the first and third of those things right along with them. I did not talk about my extracurricular friends and activities with people at work if I could avoid it, and I didn’t talk about work with my non-work friends. Occasionally I’d go out to a happy hour with folks from work, or I’d hit up a club with one of my female friends from the office, but that was about it; while we all worked together, outside of work we were just from different worlds
The interesting thing about this is that you will tend to feel a little embarrassed about each of these different associations when with one or the other (or at least I did).
You may feel a little silly for having such professionally
unsuccessful friends or going out and hitting on women so much when you
find yourself at work, or at a work happy hour, or socializing with
your boss and
now he’s probing into your private life. You can feel like you’re too
wild for your career.
Likewise, you may feel a little silly for having such boring, uninteresting people around you all day long at work when with your going out friends. You can feel like you’re too tame for your pals and the girls you’re picking up.
I don’t think most people can handle this kind of cognitive dissonance – you somewhat feel like an imposter no matter whom you’re around or what you’re doing. But you keep yourself from fully conforming; you conform enough, in whatever environment you’re in, to make it work, but not so much that you become just another card-carrying member of that group. It’s hard to do, and is somewhat emotionally challenging, but is necessary if you live a rooted life and don’t want to find yourself boxed in by subconscious conformist impulses.
Sexiness and elegance are two different qualities... both extremely attractive.
Picture a beautiful woman in a billowing summer dress walking past you. She is poised; her posture is erect; she moves slowly, fluidly, and gracefully, almost as if walking down the street is a dance for her. When addressed, she turns her head slowly, smiles graciously, and speaks clearly, unhurriedly, and warmly. This is elegance.
Now imagine another woman in a tight, form-fitting suit of
clothes that show off her curves and have accents in all the right
places. Her lips are pursed in that “cute sexy look” we talked about in
“7 Facial Expressions That Drive Women Wild”;
she smiles sexily, and her eyes burn
holes into you, though you’re not sure whether she wants to take your
home and tear your clothes off or if she’s just doing it to get a rise
out of you because she likes to flirt.
Either way, the purr of her voice and the sensuality of her head
movements around you positively wakes you up and makes you take note. This is sexiness.
Both of these are things that men go nuts for.
Likewise, in men, these are qualities women go nuts for, too.
You can combine sexiness and elegance – in fact, I recommend it.
However, when you’re starting out, you’ll frequently find it’s easier to learn one first, and the other later.
Myself, I started with elegance and moved to sexiness later. At this point, for me, both are autopilot “on” all the time, and make making a good first impression a positive breeze.
While much of this site is already devoted to making you both elegant and sexy, for continuity’s sake let me break the two of these down into discrete chunks here and give you some links if you want to start working on one or the other right away.
Commonalities Between Sexy and Elegant
Both sexiness and elegance make liberal use of the following things:
Deliberateness in movement: I nearly put “slowness” here, but there are some people you will meet who move quickly, yet so clearly deliberately that despite the rapidity of their movement they do no look unsexy or inelegant. Usually though, this will be slow... and always very deliberate, conscious, fluid, and controlled.
Unhurriedness: try to be elegant or sexy while rushing around in a hurry, and you’ll find it’s next to impossible. Elegance and sexiness are based upon a sense of control, while hurriedness is (usually) an indication that one is not in control – of one’s time, life, etc. Again, there are exceptions here, but if you’re starting out, make certain you come across as unhurried as possible. You can play around with variations on this later as you get more comfortable being sexy or elegant.
- Superb posture:
goes hand-in-hand with both of these qualities – a straightened back,
chest puffed somewhat out,
shoulders back, and everything still kept slightly loose and
comfortable looking (i.e., not stiff) makes a big difference in a man.
Great eye contact: some of the specifics will vary (and we’ll discuss these below), but regardless, both sexy and elegant individuals have excellent eye contact with the people they are interacting with – or the people they want to be interacting with.
Now let’s discuss the differences.
Differences Between Sexy and Elegant
Because these are different modes, there are some differences between the two as well, and if you are learning both you will generally switch between elegant with people in general and with women who have not yet fully hooked with you, and sexy with women you want to get to know / date / sleep with who are also hooked.
Here are the big differences:
Piercing vs. unthreatening eye contact / inquisitive smile: the sexy man looks right through you with piercing, probing bedroom eyes, eyelids drooping, and mouth pulled into a sensual smile. The elegant man, meanwhile, looks upon you with a warm, thoughtful/contemplative, unthreatening gaze and a light, “I’m intrigued, yet making up my mind about you” smile if smiling. The elegant man also breaks eye contact to the side more often, defusing social pressure, while the sexy man keeps his eyes locked on yours like a tractor beam, allowing sexual tension to build and build.
High society vs. “I want you now”: the overall demeanor of the elegant man is one that says, “I am a member of high society; I am elite; I am exceptional. Yet, I find you potentially intriguing and am interested in hearing you out further.” Conversely, the demeanor of the sexy man is a sensual vibe that says, “I already know I want to throw you in bed and take you. All that’s left is this game of flirting and fun, which I enjoy and you enjoy and both of us knows where it ends.”
Leaning back vs. leaning in: this one’s simple enough – the elegant individual, as one who is among the cream of the crop and is here to sift the wheat from the chaff, remains poised and straight, or leans back and away from the individuals he is talking to. He is unmoved; he must be impressed. The onus is on the other person to do that impressing. The sexy individual, by contrast, is already sold, and is confident too that his prospect wants him just as well – and so, rather than lean back or stay straight, he leans in, allow the tension to build as he gets nearer and nearer to this individual.
Chin up vs. chin down: another simple difference is how the elegant man holds his chin versus how the sexy man does. The elegant man holds his chin parallel to the ground, displaying poise, refinement, and the need for others to impress him. The sexy man lowers his chin down into an “underlook” (that’s another one we discussed in the facial expressions article), which gives him an almost predatory gaze – very good for creating sexual intrigue.
Thoughtful reaction vs. aroused reaction: the elegant man responds to things a woman says and does by looking up and away while uttering a thoughtful, “Hmm,” as if taking these in and giving them great thought. Conversely, the sexy man reacts by staring dead into her eyes, flashing her a sexy half-smile, and purring out an aroused, sensual, “Hmmmm!” that sounds more like a satisfied moan than an expression of curiosity.
You see that these are two different modes, one focused on demanding that a woman qualify herself to you, and another expressing out-and-out-interest. Once you know both, you will frequently start out in the first and move to the second later once she’s shown sufficient interest to impress you and it’s time to take things from a “skeptical about her but intrigued” direction into a flat-out “turned on by her and ready to get things moving” one.
The Rarity of Elegance & Sexiness
Do you deserve an elegant and/or sensual woman?
Usually, only if you are elegant and/or sensual yourself.
However, you can become elegant and sensual with time, focus, dedication, and practice, and once you have become these things, you’ve given yourself a leg up on the other male competition out there that makes you stand head and shoulders above them wherever you go.
There just aren’t that many men out there who are like this.
In fact, because men are more inclined to work on their careers or other “missions” than their appearances and presentations than women are, you’ll find there are a lot more elegant and sexy women out there than there are elegant and sexy men.
This opens up a huge window of opportunity for you – if you’re willing to take the time and energy necessary to give yourself an edge like these give you, you become very attractive in ways that women very much want to experience (after all, they see these men all the time on television, in film, and in their books) yet usually feel like they’re missing out on.
So, wrapping up:
- People invariably conform to the subcultures they’re involved in
- Most people are working class (9-to-5, same social circles every
- Working class people dissuade others from being sexy or elegant
- To lessen the drive to conform while living a rooted / working class life:
- Do lots of cold approach
- Socialize with extremely different groups
- Commonalities between sexy and elegant include:
- Sprezzatura / the Law of Least Effort
- Deliberateness in movement
- Superb posture
- Great eye contact
- Piercing vs. unthreatening eye contact / inquisitive smile
- High society vs. “I want you now”
- Leaning back vs. leaning in
- Chin up vs. chin down
- Thoughtful reaction vs. aroused reaction
Ready to be sexy and elegant?
These are tons of fun; they make you really stand out; and they make meeting women a smooth, simple dance of intrigue, interest, and unveiling your own desires.
Everyone else around you may be running around like chickens with heads lopped off, but don’t let that dissuade you from dialing up your own sexiness or elegance – just because someone else is running around like crazy doesn’t mean she won’t respect you because you aren’t.
Rather, she’ll be interested... she’ll be curious... and, she’ll
want to know exactly what it is you
know that she clearly does not.