Sunday, December 04, 2011

The Sexiest Man Alive

When a spokesperson for People Magazine called me on the phone to tell me I was chosen for the annual, “Sexiest Man Alive” issue and then asked for my consent to appear on the cover, I was flattered, amused, and honestly—embarrassed. Every year when the issue arrives on the newsstands, I scoff and shake my head in disdain. After all, how can one American magazine be qualified to make such a weighty and highly subjective announcement? Does this mean that every woman finds the chosen man the most attractive of all men on earth? Impossible. After all, people have different tastes, and of course, happily married women will always say that their man is sexiest—no matter his looks, or what is in the bank account. It is the special, unique “love” factor that is the biggest turn on, and keeps a partner coming back for more.

Months after the interview, and after the phone call, I had a chance to talk with a couple of the judges who selected among over 150 men. In the end, it was between me, and Bradley Cooper, the latest actor sensation. He has good looks with a chiseled physique, is intelligent, and has a certain charm that attracts the ladies. Yet, People Magazine had something different in mind for this year. They wanted more than the young actor with baby stubble on his face, smelling of expensive cologne. During his interview, Mr. Cooper sat amiably enough in the expensive hotel room, but he crossed his legs and his shirt was unbuttoned down to mid-chest, and he laughed a bit too much. Ho-hum, same old stereotype. What People Magazine told me was that they liked my “tragic depth” and worldly wisdom. Yeah, I am 59 years old and not as quick and strong, but I have walked the mean streets of Rio De Janeiro, and Nairobi, and danced in their nightclubs, slept in the desert beside my camel, walked alone for miles on the streets of Berlin, Paris, New York and Rome, and told would-be robbers to get lost. I smell good just the way I am so do not need cologne. I can wear socks that do not match, wash dishes in my house and make meals too. As for sensitivity, the magazine liked that I massage, hold hands, kiss, write sweet things for my wife, and also, that I am very faithful.

My wife, Heidi Of The Mountains told me to go ahead and accept the award, simply to break the mold that Madison Avenue has established to sell sex. Anyway, all that matters to me is when I hear from her lips, “To me, you are the sexiest man alive.”

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