in

How to be sexy: Everything you need to know to look & feel attractive

We all want to be sexy, but how exactly do you do it?

Does it mean spending hours everyday at the gym and eating nothing but salad, or is there more to it?

There are countless people with amazing bodies out there but have no sexiness beyond how they look in a bikini.

The human mind is a complicated thing, and knowing how to turn it on requires understanding all the components that make up “sexy”.

Sexiness and general attraction is about so much more than just how you look without your clothes.

It’s about enticement and excitement; becoming another person’s object of desire, and making someone want you, intimately and deeply.

In this article, we discuss everything about sex appeal and attraction, from its psychological to its behavioral aspects, and how you can improve your sexiness, both long-term and on your very next date.

What Makes You Sexy: The 3 Vital Elements of Attraction 

Whether you’re trying to score your next date, or just want to feel better about yourself in general, you might be wondering – what makes a person sexy?

Sexiness or attraction is a complicated thing; you will never be completely attractive to every person who meets you. 

But there are some foundational, objective qualities that can increase your sex appeal to a certain level with just about anyone.

While love and absolute attraction are definitely subjective emotions, there is a certain amount of superficial sexiness that you can trigger in just about anyone, as long as you have the right stuff.

So what makes up attraction? There are three vital elements or trees of attraction, and these are: 

  • Physical Attractiveness
  • Mental and Behavioral Attractiveness
  • Psychological Attractiveness

We go into each tree of attraction below, and what you need to increase your physical, mental and behavioral, and psychological appeal to those around you. 

Method 1: Physical Attractiveness

Physical attractiveness is the most obvious element of being sexy – the visual appeal, the looks, and that instant “Wow” that you can make people feel with just the way you look.

While looks are an easy way to attract someone’s attention immediately, note that it isn’t always the most important element of attraction, depending on the type of relationship or interaction you are looking to have with the person you are attracting.

Short-term, casual, and exclusively sexual relationships rely most heavily on physical attraction when determining a potential partner’s sexiness.

But that doesn’t mean you should let your physical appearance fall on the wayside just because you’re looking for something serious.

Physical attractiveness is always important in any relationship, because some level of excitement and intimacy must always be maintained.

Aspects of Physical Attractiveness:

1. Your Fitness

Taking care of your body is an essential part of being physically attractive. Not only are people attracted to those who look good and feel good, but we are also attracted to those who value themselves enough to take care of their physical appearance. 

Tips: 

  • Workout regularly
  • Eat healthy meals
  • Understand what’s best for your body

2. Your Fashion Sense

Too many people cringe at the thought of improving their fashion sense, especially men. But fashion sense doesn’t mean turning your entire closet upside down.

It just means knowing what looks good on you, and caring enough about your appearance to look your best.

No one wants to date a guy who thinks graphic t-shirts and cargo shorts are appropriate every day of the week, because it shows that you don’t care about your value, which reflects on anyone who is out with you.

Tips:

  • Mix and match your clothes
  • Ask others for help – friends and family who have more style, if you need style help
  • Figure out your best look, and work it 

3. Your Personal Grooming

Grooming is healthy, quick, and does wonders for your appearance, but not everyone seems to do it. It’s the little things that add up to make a person physically sexy and attractive. 

Is your hair nice? Are your nails trimmed? Are your clothes clean? Is your body hair maintained?

We don’t all have the body of a catwalk model, but that doesn’t mean we can’t all try our best. Just trying is enough to make anyone just that much more sexier. 

Tips: 

  • Maintain, maintain, maintain – grooming yourself once first date but never again is not great
  • Do it for yourself, not for anyone else – grooming is about respecting yourself, not about impressing anyone else
  • Ask your friends for second opinions; what needs to be done to improve your personal grooming

Method 2: Mental and Behavioral Attractiveness

While physical attractiveness is important for catching people’s attention, you need something deeper inside of yourself to keep that attention. And this is where your mind and behavior come in. 

Intelligence is absolutely attractive, no matter whom you are trying to attract.

Of course, this goes up to a certain point – the amount of sexiness we attribute to intelligence doesn’t keep going on indefinitely.

Generally, it’s about proving that there is more to you than meets the eye.

If you have a unique interest or hobby, it can set you apart, making people see you in a light they wouldn’t have otherwise. 

And of course, your behavior. The way you hold yourself, when you’re alone and when you’re with other people.

Individuals are always looking for potential partners they can admire, and what’s more admirable than someone who has full control over him or herself? 

Aspects of Mental and Behavioral Attractiveness:

1. Your Confidence

Confidence is everything. The way you perceive yourself and the world around you begins in your mind, and the level of confidence you have determines the way you act, behave, and even think. The way you walk, the way you match people’s gazes, the way you talk and what you talk about. 

It can be easy to confuse confidence with boisterousness, volume, or arrogance. But confidence is none of those things.

Sexy confidence is a self-assurance in yourself to be who you are, and not try too hard to be something else. It also means knowing when to say that you are wrong, and the way you do it. 

Tips:

  • Practice makes perfect. Confidence isn’t something we’re all born with, but it’s always something you can train. Teach yourself to embrace confidence everyday
  • Be kind to yourself. While it’s okay to be honest with yourself and point out your own flaws, confidence means having the assurance to be kind enough to yourself until you can work those flaws out
  • Be ballsy. Don’t be afraid to go a little overboard on your confidence. Joke around and dare a little, and show people that you’re not someone who will hold back 

2. Your Intelligence

Your mind is a precious thing, and improving your mental capacity and mental sharpness is a quality that many people find sexy.

The days of people looking down on bookworms are over (and if they’re not, then do you really want to be with someone who doesn’t find intelligence sexy?); these days, it’s all about putting yourself out as the perfect, complete package. 

Show people that you have interests, that you like learning new things.

Explore parts of the world that have nothing to do with sexiness or romance or dating, and it will show your potential partners that you are someone who is much deeper than they realize.

Intelligence generally comes with passion, and displaying that passion out for the world to see is always sexy.

Tips:

  • Find your true interests. It’s not about having a 150 IQ; it’s about having unique interests that deepen your personality and talking points
  • Put the time in. Improve yourself as a person holistically by putting in the time and energy to improve your interests and skills
  • Be curious. Sex appeal means excitement, and excitement means having a partner who is always curious about new and unusual things. You don’t want to be old, lame, and boring before your first white hair

3. Your Social Behavior

A mix between intelligence and personality, your social behavior is one of the defining factors that makes up your sex appeal and general attractiveness.

People are always on the lookout for partners they can imagine themselves standing beside. We want people who have the social grace and acumen to navigate through life without much fuss. 

We want partners we can admire, who will inspire us to become better versions of ourselves, and there’s no better way to show that than by showing how much other people like you and want to be with you. 

Tips:

  • Smile and meet people’s eyes. Don’t show others that you are afraid of them; show them that you are part of them
  • Dance with the conversation. You must have the bravado to roll with the conversation, and the humility to pull back when necessary
  • Be kind and respectful. No matter whom you are dealing with, everyone can admire kindness and respect. No one wants to be with a person who doesn’t value basic manners

Method 3: Psychological Attractiveness

Image credit: Shutterstock – By View Apart

A big part of sex appeal is playing the game, and knowing how to do it right. Attraction and sexiness involve the tango between two partners, and one misstep can be the difference between falling into the friend zone, and being the next object of their desires. 

So what does this mean?

Psychological attractiveness is partly conscious and partly subconscious, and operates on levels that we don’t always recognize.

Love, sexiness, and attraction can’t always be broken down into rational, simple equations; there needs to be an element of the unexpected, and what this unexpected “is” can change from couple to couple. 

But at its most fundamental level, attracting people psychologically means defining yourself as an object of value in their eyes.

Proving to them that you are someone who is not only worthy of their time, but someone they want to pour their time into. It’s a power play at the most intimate levels. 

Aspects of Psychological Attractiveness: 

1. Your Body Language

There is a ton of nonverbal communication going on at the subconscious levels, whether you recognize it or not, and making the most of this nonverbal body language is an easy way to secure someone’s interest.

Just by touching a person’s body, you can plant the ideas of being more intimate with them, and increasing friendliness and acceptance.

Tips: 

  • Touch the person you want to attract. Maybe touch them on the wrist or the arm, or on the shoulder without being creepy about it. Open their mind to the idea of being physical with you
  • Be open. Don’t close yourself off, such as crossing your arms or your legs
  • Lean towards them, but not too much

2. Your Pace

Pace is something we associate with music or sports, so what does it mean in terms of sexiness?

When we talk about pace, we’re referring to the speed and the rate at which you reveal yourself to your potential partner or date.

Remember: dating and creating an aura of attraction is all about playing the game, and one part of that game is keeping them wanting more. 

You don’t want to tell your whole life story on your first date, or show them every flaw and unattractive quality you have, in the hopes of wooing them with your honesty.

It’s okay to be honest, but try to slow it down a bit. Let them process you, bit by bit, so they can taste you slowly like a fine wine, not a shot of vodka to be thrown back down the hatch.

Tips:

  • Ask about them at every opportunity, giving them the time to share instead of hogging all the minutes
  • Don’t be too eager. Over-eagerness is only cute in dogs, but in people, it can sometimes be a put-off
  • Take it slow. Just because you had a great date doesn’t mean you should be planning your wedding. You want them to miss you and yearn for you as much as you might be yearning for them 

3. Your Value

At the end of the day, your level of sexiness revolves around the perceived value other people see in you, as a combination of all your qualities and the way you present those qualities.

Value means self-respect, and self-respect means dignity – the dignity, self-respect, and personal value to care for yourself, keep yourself growing as a person, and be a positive influence to those around you. 

Tips: 

Likability. Show your potential partner that you are a likable person, and that you have the social graces to be a positive part of the world around you

Self-care. You value your limited time on this earth more than anything, and understand the importance of taking care of yourself, physically, mentally, and psychologically

Stability. Financial stability, mental stability, physical stability. There’s nothing more attractive than someone who can be your rock, and help you push yourself higher than ever before

4 Universal Ways To Look More Attractive

While becoming more attractive does entail some personal transformations, studies suggest that attractiveness can be as much of a social phenomenon as it is a personal preference.

Like much of human behavior, it turns out attraction can be hacked based on generalized preferences that are more or less universal. 

Want to take a shortcut to being attractive? Below are four interesting studies that could help you boost your attractiveness, thanks to human psychology. 

1. Stay In Your Lane

One foolproof way to be attractive is to try and attract those that are around the same “league” as you.

A study observed 60 heterosexual male and 60 heterosexual female users and their behavior in an online dating site.

The scientists found that individuals who sought after people who were around the same attractiveness as them (as rated by independent observers) found more success than those who pursued highly attractive people. 

It’s not really complicated science: if you set up yourself against highly attractive people you have other highly attractive individuals competing for their attention.

Staying “in your lane” eliminates unfair competition and gives you a fighting chance against other prospects. 

2. Beware Of Your Beard

“The easiest way through a girl’s heart is through a guy’s beard” might sound like a cheesy line but a study suggests there’s a correlation between a guy’s beard length and his attractiveness.

351 heterosexual women were asked to rate 177 heterosexual men with different beard lengths: clean shaven light stubble, medium stubble, and full beard. 

Women rated men with medium stubbles as the most attractive.

Scientists suggest that, because facial hair signifies maturity and masculinity, while also representing aggression, a balance between clean shaven and full beard turned out more attractive for women.  

3. Own A Pet

Ever considered people with pets as attractive? It turns out you’re not the only one.

A study found that men who owned pets, even those profiled as potential cheaters and abusers, tended to rank higher than other guys.

Even compared to responsible-types with dogs, the bad boy types with their own pets fared better than the competition. 

Scientists suggest that owning a pet signals responsibility and the ability to make long-term commitments, regardless of a person’s individual nature. 

4. Get A Signature Scent

At this point, you already know that confidence is key. As it turns out, there’s a way to hack that, too.

A study involving male and female undergraduates found that people who wore scented deodorant felt more confident and attractive than people who don’t. 

What’s even more interesting is that when another group was asked to rate these individuals, people who wore the scented deodorant (vs those who wore something unscented) were ranked more attractive, even though the participants couldn’t smell them. 

It turns out spraying a bit of cologne can make you feel better about yourself, which can encourage to display more confident and attractive behavior. 

Women VS Men: What Do We Find Attractive 

If there’s one thing these studies prove, it’s that men and women have things they find generally attractive.

And while it’s true that attraction varies depending on personal tastes, there are things both sexes will naturally gravitate towards.

These include:

PHYSICAL TRAITS

What Women Find AttractiveWhat Men Find Attractive
Tall height, good legs to height ratioWide waist to hips ratio
Groomed facial hair Healthy, shiny hair
Deep voiceHigh pitched voice
Strong jawlineSmile

PERSONALITY TRAITS

What Women Find Attractive What Men Find Attractive
Men who are older/more experiencedWomen who are younger 
Good sense of humorConfidence and openness 
Vulnerability and candidnessIndependence
MindfulnessPassion 

Knowing these fundamental traits we find attractive is in no way a guarantee that you’ll become the sexiest person alive.

These things are more of expectations people have of the opposite sex – a sort of guiding principle when navigating the world of dating and attraction.

And while this is true for most people, there’s no reason why you can’t go above and beyond when creating your own brand of sexy. 

Going on a Date? Tips and Tricks to be Sexier Right Now

1. Make Eye Contact

Eye contact is the easiest way to project confidence. When you hold someone’s gaze you’re able to create a more intimate connection between the two of you.

The best part is, anyone can pull this off and come out a lot more attractive.

Again, confidence is the key to everything, and not looking at your phone every time you open your mouth is definitely a plus. 

2. Leave Them Guessing

While it’s good to let them in just enough to know about your personality, you should deliberately leave out some details for them to figure out. It’s the conversational equivalent of “come hither”. 

Leaving people guessing is more than just about being mysterious. The minute your date laid their eyes on you, they probably already have an impression of who you might be.

Don’t be transparent and reveal everything about yourself on the first date. Save some of the details for next time; this should make the getting-to-know-you part all the more exciting. 

3. Be Dynamic

Aside from eye contact, there are other body language cues you could adopt to become sexier.

Instead of sitting in your chair and staring at your date all night, use hand gestures, facial expressions, and different voice intonations to your advantage. 

Whether you’re just getting a drink or telling a story, it’s always a good idea to be dynamic and open when interacting with your date.

Smile with your eyes. Touch them on the shoulder (if they’re alright with it). Use your hands to make a point. Having a dynamic presence makes you look more authentic, confident, and therefore memorable. 

4. Engage In Your Interests

Discussing your interests, no matter how obscure they might be, is always a much better option than being a conversation sponge.

Looking good for the date is just the tip of the iceberg; what actually matters is showing up with an enjoyable personality. 

Talking about your interests is a foolproof way of having a good time because it: a) gives you a lot to talk about; b) makes you look passionate and knowledgeable about something; c) allows you to relax during the date by talking about something within your comfort zone. 

5. Come Prepared

In the age of social media, it’s impossible to be uninformed.

At the very least, look up your date before showing up. Instead of trying to come up with clever things on the spot, you can prepare beforehand and have a glimpse of their personality through Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. 

Yes, it may sound a little close to a job interview, but isn’t that what dates are about? No matter what your intentions – a fling, a casual relationship, a long-term commitment – you have some sort of goal, and knowing about the other party can bring you closer to that goal. 

Sexy But Not Sexual: What’s The Difference, And How To Stay Classy 

To some people, the pursuit for sexy means “putting out”. But being sexy and being sexual aren’t one and the same thing. You can still be sexy, radiate confidence, and come across as attractive without having to be sexual. 

When someone asks us to be sexy, we immediately think of baring our chest, showing some skin, or putting on a lewd smile.

For the most part, it’s hard to visualize sexiness. As opposed to other virtues like kindness or honesty, sexiness is hard to represent through actions alone.

Not to mention that attraction is fluid, meaning there is no one way to appear sexy from one person to another. 

Without an easy, universal way to represent sexiness, it’s easier to turn to visual cues that have come to represent sexiness.

As a result, when someone mentions sexy, we don’t think about personality traits but physical characteristics that make someone sexy. 

Distinguishing sexy from sexual is crucial in a world that’s becoming more sexualized.

We need to understand that sexiness is a state of being, a personality trait that results from confidence and security.

Wanting to be sexy doesn’t necessarily mean you want sexual attention – it just means you want to be a more ideal version of yourself.

Once you realize this, it’s easier to accept that sexiness isn’t malicious.

It becomes easier to want to present yourself in a better light, without worrying about moral compromise.

At the end of the day, you don’t have to be Hollywood-perfect to be sexy; you just have to be an idealized version of yourself.

Sign up to Hack Spirit's daily emails

Learn how to reduce stress, cultivate healthy relationships, handle people you don't like and find your place in the world.

We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit
Lachlan Brown

Written by Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 6 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter or Facebook.

no chemistry

What to do when there’s no chemistry: An honest guide

10 reasons he keeps you around when he doesn’t want a relationship