I must commend Kathy Shaidle for effortlessly encapsulating what is most likely to earn a man a boost on the sexy scale. It really is quite simple. If I could offer an even more thoroughly abridged version, it would be: get some nice clothes, learn a few skills really well, and look people in the eyes when you talk to them.
One of Kathy’s lines, however, touched me in particular:
No one is ever surprised to learn that [Mark] Steyn is a big James Bond fan.
As a shameless Bond fan myself, I must comment on this. There is a tendency to view Bond fans as the equivalent of, say, Trekkies or gamers or sci-fi geeks: we are lumped in with sophomoric wannabes living in a fantasy world. I find, however, that most male Bond fans are much more dedicated to transforming themselves into their fictional hero (or a more realistic analogue) than are the sci-fi crowd.
Allow me to traffic in a few stereotypes here. Think of every comic-book geek you’ve ever known. Do any of them ever make an effort to transform themselves into the manly heroes they idolize? No. Most of them are idle, indolent, and inactive. If they’re scrawny, they don’t work out. They can’t fight, and they don’t take up boxing. They wear ugly super-hero shirts and argue over the canonical minutiae of whether Yoda’s lightsaber style would beat Mace Windu’s. This is horrendously un-sexy to females of any age.
Bond fans are different. They (we) make an effort. When I was younger, I found that watching the Bond films and reading the books made me a more active and motivated person. I began to take an interest not just in playing video games but in learning new things. Online Bond forums are, by and large, not a bunch of nerds arguing over fantasy scenarios but guys talking about actual skills: effective martial arts to learn for self-defense, good clothing decisions, how to fix cars, elegant alcoholic drinks, card-playing tips, travel locations, etc. These are real skills that you can go out and learn and use. You can’t learn how to fly an X-wing, do flips with a lightsaber, or use the Vulcan neck thing to take out a mutant invader.
Sure, as a Bond fan I learned some of the more outlandish skills, such as how to pick handcuffs with a paperclip, but I also got off my ass and took up boxing, judo, military combatives, and foreign languages. I also took an interest in classic men’s clothing (though Steve McQueen beats any Bond any day of the week in this department). I still love Bond, though as I’ve aged (I’m a ripe old 27), he’s no longer my inspiration for learning new things. But he was my initial inspiration, as a younger lad, for striving to be a well rounded man.
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