formerly Diane's Addled Ramblings... the ramblings are still addled, just like before, and the URL is still the same...
it's just the title at the top of the page that's new

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Is It Getting Warm In Here?

Not long ago, a male friend referred to me as ‘hot.’ I eyeballed him suspiciously, waiting for the punch line. When it didn’t come, I chuckled, sputtered, and then snorted (which, I’m certain, is not ‘hot’). In case you haven’t sorted it out, ‘hot’ is not a word I have ever attached to myself. Ever. He assured me that I’m selling myself short (as I am wont to do) but I still scoffed (and suggested he have his eyes checked).

But it got me to thinking. (Smell the smoke?)

Obviously, ‘hot’ is like beauty, in that it’s in the eye of the beholder. I know this, though I do think there must be some universal ‘hot’ standards, just as there are universal beauty standards. Right? I mean, I'm betting there are few people on the planet who would look at Halle Berry and say, “Ew. She’s ugly.” Hello. She’s Halle Berry. She’s gorgeous. Now, I can see some people saying, “Well, yeah, I think she’s pretty, but she’s not that fabulous.” I think those people would be nuts, but I’ll give a little… eye… beholder… all that…

And I know lots of women who think Brad Pitt is drop-dead-gorgeous. Me? Meh. Same with Tom Cruise. In fact, not only is he not gorgeous, he’s downright creepy. And I have a guy friend who thinks Drew Barrymore is beautiful. Really? I don’t see it.

Eye… beholder… all that…

But that's beauty. What about ‘hot’? Are there universal standards? I really wasn’t sure. So I asked my Facebook friends (and I should note here that I do realize asking my FB peeps does not a Universal Standards study make, but I got some interesting answers nonetheless).

I found out there are several levels of ‘hot’ (which I think I pretty much already knew but it was made very clear by the replies I got).

The first level is the initial ‘Wow!’ That’s when you see a photo of someone or pass them on the street or see them in a bar and think, “Damn! Dude is HOT!” For me, it’s this guy...

I can’t even remember his name. But really? Who cares? Dude is HOT! This level of ‘hot’ is superficial. Completely superficial. The person is not even real at this level. In fact, you almost don’t even want him to open his mouth because you know the whole effect could be ruined (like the first time I saw Jean Claude Van Damme in an interview. Hot… then so not).

The first level is purely physical. Purely sexual. It’s about ‘Oh yeah, I wouldn’t kick him out of bed for eating crackers.’ It’s about abs and butts and boobs and whatever other physical attribute floats your boat. It’s the first date with the gorgeous guy you have nothing in common with but want to lick up one side and down the other anyway. It’s, as a friend said, the younger, well-endowed woman gyrating in front of him in a club. It’s lusty. It’s good. But it’s not real. It has no substance. It's more about imagination than the ability to actually touch.

The second level is still superficial, but slightly less so. The person is real but you still don’t really know him. For me, it’s Gerard Butler.

Oh my. Gerard is hot. He’s hot on a physical level, certainly, but I also like the person I believe him to be (a belief garnered from watching him in television interviews, natch…you didn’t think I’d actually met him, did you?). He seems like a great guy… funny, smart, charming, self-deprecating. He might not be any of those things but he comes across that way, so he remains hot (and will until he’s arrested or photographed kicking a puppy, when he will be dumped into the Tom Cruise ‘not hot’ category).

This level of 'hot' is the beautiful girl who works in your building and smiles at you and makes small talk on the elevator. It’s the gorgeous, friendly Alex O’Loughlin look-alike who waits on you at the coffee shop and gives you goosebumps when he touches your hand as he gives you your change. It’s lusty, too, but it has to do with more than just the physical. It’s still superficial and not really real, but it’s a little more real than the guy in the photo whose name I can’t remember because there is another component -- the personality -- involved. Get it?

The next level of 'hot' is real because it’s about real people. It’s the level I was hoping to hear about from my peeps. It’s the level that moves past the superficial (though it can certainly contain superficial elements) to the heart of what really turns us on. It’s where I think my friend was looking when he labeled me ‘hot.’

Now, I should note here that a few of my friends disagree with labeling this level of ‘hot,’ well, ‘hot.’ They said ‘hot’ should be reserved only for the superficial, first glance, walk-into-a-pole, oh-my-god-I-would-do-her-in-a-second reaction (note I said "her," as I believe all the people who suggested the third level of ‘hot’ was not ‘hot’ were guys). Anyway, they said this level is about attraction and getting-to-know someone, etc.

I get that. And I don’t necessarily disagree…

But I asked what people found ‘hot’ and more people (men and women equally) responded with things that fall into this category than the superficial ones. I’m sure that has to do with the fact that most of my FB friends are around my age and by this age we are focused on the whole package and not just the superficial. I surely hope so, anyway, or I’m screwed on the dating front!

So, I determined that this level of ‘hot’ is about the real person… the internal as well as the external (which included dimples and strong jaw lines, sparkly eyes and real smiles)… it’s about having a sense of humor and being open-minded and intelligent. It’s about the level of caring and kindness the person expresses. It has a lot to do with confidence and attitude, feeling sexy and being comfortable in one’s own skin. It’s about the look or the smile, the touch or the suggestive comment from someone you genuinely like (and might love) that makes your stomach do those floopy things. It’s about being a good parent and having respect for one’s partner and expressing love in generous ways. It’s listening and providing a shoulder to cry on and going out at midnight for NyQuil when the flu hits (now, that is hot!). It’s not, I’m happy to say, about 6-pack abs and perfect thighs. Whew!

And? I like it. And I agree. It’s good. It’s real. It’s ‘hot.’

Or, as my nearly 70-year-old Aunt Jean says, it might just be about the ass.

Who am I to argue?

13 comments:

Chris said...

I think you nailed it. The physical stuff is what gets your attention, but the deeper stuff is what holds that attention and is more important, ultimately, in the long run. Personality, sense of humor, etc...those are the keys.

Boobs, naturally, don't hurt either though...;)

slommler said...

Aunt Jean may have something there!!
But I agree with you...it is more than looks. It is caring and kind and honest and true and courageous and helpful and things like that!! The stop everything I am doing just to get you a milky way bar. That is hot!!
Hugging you
SueAnn

SSP said...

yes, hotness fades...the sizzle is what keeps the coals burning long after the flames are washed away.....

Debbie(single;complicated) said...

YAY you!! Love to wake up to a blog post from my favorite blogger!! And I agree HOT is HOT..as in Sherman? or whatever his name is from Criminal minds! BUT, HOT gets cold OH so quickly if its not backed up by substance! And cold becomes a HEAT that burns, when someone shows the qualities that leave you weak! Great post! of course...:)

dianne said...

Yes sometimes there is the Wow factor that first attracts us, I agree that Gerard is a handsome fellow ... but I have found some men who are are not HOT, can be just as attractive and desirable once you begin to get to know them.
It may be their personality, manner, their smile, the way they speak, I guess we all have different ideas of what is 'hot' and what appeals to us as individuals.
Great post Diane! xoxoxo ♡

Greenfingers said...

Oh Diane! What a brilliant post! I'd be proud of this myself!
And I'm just old school where by I equate hotness to the cooking of food...no wonder I'm confused sometimes!

EcoGrrl said...

there's that *thing* - the touch of his hand, the way he looks into your eyes, the way you can relax during your conversation...matched with those luscious pheromones!

i giggled a little when a fella i know called me 'hot' at dinner the other night - not a term i'm used to at all as i think of buxom blondes ala baywatch and victorias secret. but hey, i'll take it!

Cheri @ Blog This Mom!® said...

Gee whiz, I popped over here thinking this post was going to be about menopause.

You are wise and writerly, too. And hot. Duh.

swenglishexpat said...

Very interesting post!
Pretending to be a wise man of a certain age, I would say that, of course physical attraction is important, but it is the intellect and the personality that last. If you can't have a proper conversation with somebody, what's the point?

Vivienne said...

Very funny post and HOT! :) In what I've noticed about my dating behavior is that he needs to be physically attractive (my definition of "hot") and has a desirable personality (humorous, intelligent, nice). I'm not asking for much! :)
Great POST! :)

nowimagrownup said...

After seeing you ask this question on Facebook, I was looking forward to reading the follow up post on here. I personally think that attitude can contribute to the hot factor. Confidence is key. But DAMN.. that first picture you posted about made me drool. And I don't know a THING about his attitude.

Sometimes Sophia said...

Great post. A man who is confident enough to show tenderness and compassion, who takes care of his body, and likes to share his passions - from cooking to race car driving - he is hot.

Marla said...

Ok, I love your Aunt Jean. Love her!