Looks Don’t Drive Sex Appeal

Ottawa Citizen

News; Pg. A8
October 8, 2002, Tuesday

Looks don’t drive sex appeal: sexologist: World’s sexiest share one trait: confidence

by Tony Lofaro

Sex appeal is a strange, ambiguous quality that rests primarily in the eye of the beholder, says a U.S. sexologist who shares her thoughts about the lure of sexiness on tonight’s A&E Biography’s 15 Sexiest People.The list, culled from online voting from Biography’s Web site, includes people from movies, sports, publishing, fashion and politics, from Anna Kournikova to Sean Connery.The show airs tonight at 8 p.m. on Channel 31. The sexiest person in the group will be revealed at the end of the program. “Sean Connery is not sexy to every single woman,” Los Angeles sexologist Dr. Ava Cadell said in an interview yesterday.But she said confidence is the key ingredient in determining sex appeal.”Actual sex appeal itself isn’t just a matter of looks, but it’s that sense of confidence that makes you want to be with that person.”She said for too long society has placed undue emphasis on the physical attributes of a person, equating physical attractiveness with sex appeal. However, she said the inner qualities of a person should be ranked higher than physical attraction because in the end it’s more satisfying.”It’s so easy to say someone like Cindy Crawford is sexy because she’s beautiful, but it’s more than that. She has a quality that comes through, a quality of intelligence, of empathy, of mischievousness,” she said. “All these qualities and personalities quite often we perceive in ourselves, and if we see another person with the same qualities that we’re looking for in a mate that’s what turns us on.”She jokes to clients that if everyone lost their sight “we’d all be with different people and there would be less divorces.”A big surprise on the list is the inclusion of movie tough guy Tommy Lee Jones.”If you pull his rugged features apart then you have nothing. But put them all together and you have this generation’s Steve McQueen.”She said the appearance of Diana on the list was also a shock.