I’m Taking Sexy Back

A friend of mine confessed yesterday that she “got in some hot water” for calling LinkedIn “the Rotary club of social media.”  I immediately laughed at the image because it was so spot on, but I didn’t quite see why she got in trouble for saying it.  It is kind of like an online Rotary Club.  That’s what it advertises itself to be, so what’s the issue? 

The issue was the follow-up comment.  “It’s just not sexy.”  Apparently the room was full of undercover Rotarians who were a bit miffed.  Which all leads me to finally do what I’ve been wanting to do for years now and say, “Lookit y’all.  I’m taking sexy back.” 

Postcard from Nick Bantock's Griffin & Sabine trilogy

The first time I heard sexy used in a questionable manner was about fifteen years ago.  I was helping prepare a communications plan for a conference.  My boss said, “Let’s not use brochures, let’s use postcards.  They’re sexy.”  The only sexy postcards I’m aware of are from Griffin and Sabine.  I am for sure they are not from a nonprofit organization offering a training event on HIV prevention. 

Without going into the weeds, I am down with sexy.  Real sexy.  Mirriam-Webster lists the number one definition of sexy as akin to erotic.  The number two definition takes a major dive with being listed as akin to simply appealing

This very morning I looked outside to see my husband, dressed in his professional to-the-office clothes, carrying three very large tools from our shed to his truck.  Pick ax, shovel, hoe.  He is unusually strong, and he carried these three things simultaneously and away from his body so as not to get any dirt on his suit.  He turned to blow me a kiss.  Holy mother of…..come on five o’clock is all I can say. 

I have no interest in telling anyone else what is sexy, but maybe we can all get together and give the word its meaning back.  When you mean appealing, say appealing.  When you say sexy, mean it. 

And when you use LinkedIn or go to Rotary, don’t look for thrills.  Just look for professional networking.  I think we can all be OK with that, don’t you?

11 thoughts on “I’m Taking Sexy Back

  1. Yes! Yes! Yes! I had a manager years and years ago who used to talk about making our newsletter more “sexy,” and I always thought it was a goofy use of the word.

  2. I TOTALLY agree… I think the loose use of the word sexy is just as annoying as saying “I know, right?” Don’t get me wrong. I’m guilty of letting the occassional “I know right” slip out, but come ON!! Language, people!

    btw, I love Griffin and Sabine.

    • I got so into that trilogy that I had to stop reading because I was scared of finding out who or what Sabine actually was. Pretty geeky, I know. I need to finish it. But the tension, it was unbearable! I was hooked.

  3. Nice story, Liz. When I think of taking sexy back, I get JT lyrics stuck in my head. Alas I work at a consulting firm and in the Corp Marketing/Comm team. We use that term way too much to describe the most mundane items (The ad is not sexy enough, the flash preso is not sexy enough, the demo does not sex it up enough). Conjures the imagination doesn’t it?

    Sexy to me is Scarlett Johansson, not a 72 black and white powerpoint addressing Corporate Responsibility. Liz is right, let’s keep sexy in the real world, not in corp America.


    • I too am guilty, but I always feel weird when I say it out of context, like someone expects me to use the word that way, and if I don’t accept it I must be a prude or something. No…like you, I just feel a little icky when “sexy” describes peanut butter labels and such. (Where is Scarlett Jo these days, anyway?) 🙂

  4. Pingback: Lies, Darn Lies, & Statistics – Esse Diem in 2011 | Esse Diem

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