Squawk Radio

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Lisa on "Not So Macho Men"

Dear friends,
I’ve always been pretty consistent in my preferred type of man. I like ‘em macho. I like a big, burly, hairy, barrel-chested, deep-voiced manly-man who can change a tire and beat up the bad guys--the kind of guy who holds you on his lap when you cry. Extra points if he carries a cloth handkerchief. Can’t help it--macho is a turn-on. I think this is why Teresa and I share the same avid fondness for Russell Crowe--put him in the right role (Gladiator!) and he sweats testosterone. He's manly even in a skirt and sandals.

But I have a confession : every now and then I find myself fascinated, compelled, and yes, sexually attracted, to a different type. The anti-macho. The Pimpernel. The Olivier.

I’m not necessarily talking about homosexuality--it's the delicately androgynous quality that gives an actor or character a stunning erotic charge. Laurence Olivier had it in his youth. James Dean had it. Johnny Depp certainly has it. Orlando Bloom had it in LOTR, but later seemed to lose it along with the long blond hair. Sometimes--although this is arguable--Keanu Reeves has a moment or two of feline sexiness, in-between the long blank stares. (Ironic side note : despite their magnificent and thoroughly convincing portrayal of two cowboys in love, there is nothing androgynous about either Heath Leger or Jake Gyllenhal, so they’re out of this discussion.)

I’ve tried to figure out why the anti-macho guy can be so compelling, and I think it’s this : you get the sense that he really "gets" women, or that he would be a refreshing change from a steady diet of manly predictability. Going to bed with him would not be plain vanilla. He’s got moves way beyond Missionary. Liberated from the constraints of traditional masculinity, this guy could take you places you’ve never been to before. And in Depp’s case, you could even make the argument that he represents a form of ultimate masculinity . . . whether he wears nail polish, eyeliner or beads in his beard, whether his hair is worn long or short . . . whatever he says or does, Depp knows that beneath all the playful affectations, he’s a man. And he makes certain we know it, too.

Any other anti-machos you’ve thought were attractive? Are you one of those who don’t get Depp? Do you like the ever-reliable vanilla, or do you fantasize about the other thirty flavors too?
Lisa Kleypas, 5:43 PM