Making a stand for sex and sailing is fun and simple, there’s a splash to it that my dramatic little heart rather loves. There is rich complexity here too, however. Depth and promise that go beyond the act of sex. Beyond even lusting after Johnny Depp and George Clooney, although I’m very happy to keep them in the picture.
It’s all about definitions. What is sexy? I realised recently how much my perception of sexy has broadened, so when I say I want to make the world a sexier place it isn’t (just) about the loving act. I have realised that people who live a life of conviction, from a place of truth and strength from within, have an appeal that goes beyond appearance.
Sir Ken Robinson, for example, is a sexy man. Sir Ken is a very British educationist and inspiring author who now lives in the US. He is a man who sports more the air of a rumpled academic than your classic, sculpted Adonis. Sir Ken is no silver-screen hero, his attractiveness comes from a deeper place within him, which is all to do with what he stands for rather than simply relying on how he looks.
Watching Ken’s fantastic TED Talk challenging the education system to embrace rather than kill creativity in our children, what you see is a normal, nice-looking man, with a hint of soft corduroy about him. What you hear is a passionate and persuasive advocate for massive, mind-boggling change in education. This is a man with a mission, someone who has uncovered the difference he wants to see in the world, and is stepping out to be that difference. This is the essence of his sex appeal. He almost crackles with the energy of his conviction. It is exciting and admirable, manly and reassuring, and then he laughs at himself about his need to focus when he’s frying an egg, and my knees buckle. I no longer see corduroy and ‘nice’ I see leadership, I see courage, I see conviction and through those things, I see the essence of the man within. This is a man who has no doubt had to take himself on in order to take on the world, and who, just for that, is worthy of a decent snog, although his wife might have a thing or two to say about that.
In recent years I have worked with many men who share the qualities Ken Robinson is living. Not all of them are, as yet, riding the wave of success that living from truth and conviction so often creates. Many have got as far as rolling up their trousers to paddle in the unfamiliar waters of their true nature and purpose. Increasingly they are looking further out to sea, preparing to dive deeper, knowing they may feel out of their depth, but compelled to live a life of conviction whatever that takes. Without exception, every man I have watched take to the water, has gained in stature, in solidity and in sex appeal as a result of their choice to bring the core of their essence and their purpose into the world. Maybe it is the self-mastery that is required to still the voices of doubt within, or the growing confidence that comes with getting results from taking action and attracting increasing recognition and support. Whatever it is, the men around me are getting sexier and I love it.
The world is in dire need of more sexiness. I’m not talking about the vacuous and, god help us all, waxed sex appeal delivered though TV ads. We need more of the solid, purposeful bone-melting sexiness of real, rumpled, men who have reached within to find the courage of their convictions and the confidence to make a stand for the truth that is within them. When these men make that stand, as their friend, colleague or lover I have a part to play. This is to leave them in no doubt that I admire and appreciate them, and that their sex appeal is on the up. Think about it, if men started catching on that living their true purpose was sexy, wouldn’t the world rapidly start to be a better place?