Sunday, February 12, 2012


Y’all know Missed Periods, right? She’s the owner/operator of the cleverly named blog ‘Missed Periods And Other Grammar Scares’, where she educates her readers about punctuation and grammar in such an entertaining fashion that they ain’t got no idea they’re bein’ taught sumpin’. (I could use a few more lessons.)

Not too long ago, Missed Periods posted a blog bit titled ‘Crazy Sexy Men’ which she closed with this sentence:

“And speaking of the dictionary, in your opinion, under the word SEXY, whose picture will you find?”

My comment started thus... uhm... ‘thusly’? [Missed Periods, where ya be when I needs ya?!] :

First thing I need to do is differentiate between the categories. (I once considered composing an entire blog bit about this subject with photographic examples of each group, but I just never got around to it.)

I have 4 categories for desirable women:

1: Beautiful
2: Pretty
3: Cute
4: Sexy

Well, guess what, 'STUFFS' fans! I just now "got around to it."

Being the sort of man who appreciates the look of an attractive woman (in other words, “bein’ an ordinary bloke”), I have given this A LOT of thought over the years decades.

Most women would probably assume that most men would be most attracted to #1: Beautiful women. [Missed Periods, was that too many “mosts” in one sentence?] Followed by #2: Pretty. Then #3: Cute. And ALL women want to be thought of as #4: Sexy, or, at minimum, NOT thought of as a “dog”. (Don’t worry, babe, there are very few dogs out there, and you prot’ly ain’t one o’ dem. Besides, dogs need and deserve love too!)

Well, if that’s generally thought to be true by most men – that “Beautiful” is best and “Cute” is least in the ‘Battle Of The Babes’ - then I just ain’t like most men. (But then if you’ve spent more than fifteen minutes reading my blog, you already knew dat.) I will state unequivocally that there are plenty of Cute women I am more attracted to than Beautiful women.

I find that there really is four different classifications for the attractiveness of women. But I also find that there is a little bit of cross-over at times. For example: there’s sometimes a fine line between Beautiful and Pretty, and I’m not always sure which class I would dump a woman into. (Uh... well... if I couldn’t decide whether she was Pretty or Beautiful, the chances are I wouldn’t “dump” her at all.)

And sometimes there is a hard-to-define line between Cute and Pretty. However, NEVER do I find myself confused about whether a woman is Beautiful or Cute. (Is this classifying and labeling of women offending any of you females out there? Gee, I sure HOPE so! You’re so cute when you’re angry.)

The most intriguing, nebulous, elusive, subjective, hard-to-quantify – HOT! – category is #4: Sexy.

Not all Beautiful, Pretty, and Cute women are Sexy. Sexy women have a certain - I dunno - “It” quality that’s almost impossible to put into words, but it just makes a dudeguy’s motor immediately overheat. It’s not necessarily a good thing. I repeat: It’s not necessarily a good thing.

I can admire and I can desire a woman who’s Cute, Pretty, or Beautiful, but a woman who’s Sexy makes me... LUST! Sexy is a kinda Va-Va-Voom(!) essence that brings out the baser, animalistic tendencies in a man. It appeals to the raw, earthy, Pirate-y “Arrrrr!” instinct in a man. "Sexy" is that indefinable something that silently screams: "Jump my bones; have your way with me, boy!" It’s the difference between loving and something-else-ing”.  ...I threepeat: Sexy is not necessarily a good thang. “This world” would probably be better off without it.

Below I will provide two photographs for each 'Attractiveness Category', as seen through Stephen T. McCarthy’s eyes. I’m not trying to imply that I’ve labeled all these women correctly; I’m stating outright that I’ve labeled them ABSOLUTELY correctly.




The founder of 20th Century Fox, Darryl F. Zanuck, said that Gene Tierney was "Undeniably the most beautiful woman in movie history." 

Zanuck couldn't have been more right! Gene Tierney is the most beautiful woman I have ever seen anywhere. But the problem is, Tierney was SO beautiful that she seemed almost unearthly, goddess-like. Any woman who looked like that and allowed a man like me to paw her with his grubby little fingers would immediately lose all my respect!

[GENE TIERNEY again ...because she's just so luscious!]


2 - PRETTY :



3 - CUTE :


Oh, I had it bad, and that weren't good.
Until she went and married a guy named Eddie who was almost as "cute" as she was.


Get out in that kitchen and rattle those pots and pans!
Well, roll my breakfast 'cause I'm a hungry man


This is a kinda in-between category. I can't quite decide if these two women are Pretty or Cute, so I've decided to call them "Pretty Cute".


I once wrote a haiku about the 1970s:

Loud clothes! Fords explode! 
Seventies: silly, zitful. 
STILL want Susan Dey! 


When she was very young and playing 'The Flying Nun' on television, Sally Field definitely fell into the 'Cute' category. But as she got older, some of the cuteness became prettiness, until she was inhabiting that borderland between the two. -- I like her, I really like her!

4 - SEXY :



Lauren Bacall and Julie Newmar were both Pretty women, but they also possessed that aura or quality about them that just makes a man (well this man, anyway) have impure thoughts. The other women above - I can fantasize about having a relationship with them. I mean, a nice, good boyfriend/girlfriend or husband/wife relationship. But with Bacall and Newmar, my first thought is of buttons flyin' off and zippers screechin' down! It's horrible, and delightful a sinful way.

I know it sounds exciting - (hell, you should see how exciting it looks in my mind!) - but truth be told, this is not a good, wholesome thang. I REPENT! (...with Penthouse).

How many of the other women shown above do I feel exude that "Sexy"-Appeal aura?

Tierney? No. Too Beautiful to have dirty thoughts about.
Cardinale? Oh, hell yes!
O'Hara? Well, I'd say she's "semi-sexy". She has that quality but it's not quite in full bloom.
Irving? No.
Bertinelli? No. She's too Cute to be Sexy.
Ray? Ditto.
Dey? Don't get me wrong - I would have jumped at the chance, but, no, not really.
Field? No. But she definitely looked "hot" in the movie 'The End' - one of the darkest of Black Comedies.


Is it possible for a woman who is NOT Beautiful, Pretty, or Cute to be Sexy? Well, one does come to mind:


In my opinion, Joan Jett was not Beautiful, Pretty, or Cute [that's the BEST photo I could find of her on the Internet], but she did seem to send that silent signal: "Jump my bones; have your way with me, boy!" Unfortunately, she didn't just come across as "Sexy", but "Sluttish" as well. Because of that, I never lusted for her. She wasn't the type I would bring home to Mother ...nor bring home at all - I'd have to be rather drunk (and good friends tell me that on some nights I was!)


I know that a lot of dudeguys from my generation lusted after Pat Benatar. She was Pretty, and she could really sing, but, there was always something about Benatar that turned me off: I always felt she was trying to act "Sexy". But Sexy is an organic thang: you either have it or you don't, and I don't believe anyone can truly "fake it", at least not to me, anyway. I know it when I "FEEL" it, and all your tight clothing, plunging necklines and sashaying around isn't going to convince me that you possess it. I'll know you have "It" when I feel the fire down below!

But, I fourpeat: Sexy is not necessarily a good thang! It makes me think bad thoughts and feel guilty. In a heartbeat I would have married Valerie Bertinelli, but NOT Julie Newmar. (However, there will always be a dark corner in my mind where I will meet Julie for martinis and then let her tie me down like I'm Batman.)

If NONE of this is clear to you, and if ALL of it seems confusing, you need to bear in mind that a person cannot adequately ‘splain sumpin’ unless he or she truly understands it. I confess that I don’t understand this stuffs at all. I instinctively know it, but I can't 'splain it.

All I can state with certainty is that the only women pictured above that I would kick out of bed “just because” is Joan Jett and Pat Benatar. I could embrace the rest of them smoking AND eating crackers in my bed.

Ladies, if all of this yakkin' 'bout women in (almost) strictly physical terms makes you begin to suspect that Stephen T. McCarthy is a "bad" man, please understand that "I'm not bad, I was just drawn that way" ...thirty years ago:

~ Stephen T. McCarthy

YE OLDE COMMENT POLICY: All comments, pro and con, are welcome. However, ad hominem attacks and disrespectful epithets will not be tolerated (read: "posted"). After all, this isn’t, so I don’t have to put up with that kind of bovine excrement.


mousiemarc said...

Gene Tierney is BEAUTIFUL. Straight up angelic like beauty. Your not a bad man. You have good taste in the female form.

Br'er Marc

Jessica Bell said...

Okay, so I have to pull you up on something here ... I think you once said I looked like Joan Jett! You're telling me I'm not beautiful, cute or sexy??? Wha???????? ;o)

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

Thanks, man. And your remark about Tierney proves that you do too!

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

farawayeyes said...

That opening question is rhetorical, right?

A little sad, but I certainly wouldn't and couldn't place myself in any one of Stephen T Mc's categories.

In reality this post probably wasn't meant for my comments.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

I once told you that I thought you looked like Joan Jett? I don't remember that. Well, I don't like being held to things I said two days ago, much less two years ago.

But... in this blog bit I said Joan Jett had sex appeal! What, that's not good enough? Do you know how many women would give up their favorite eye shadow and lipstick to have sex appeal?

But if I said you looked like Joan Jett, I was probably temporarily confusing Joan Jett with Gene Tierney. (How'z that for a recovery?)

"Seriously", it's "funny" you mention my view of your appearance because I have a story to tell you. (THIS I'm SURE I've never told you before!)

You came up in a conversation I was having last August with a good friend of mine. She said it was interesting how I often seemed to look so different in so many photographs despite the fact that my hair and general style didn't change much through the years.

I have been described as looking like Jim Morrison (a long time ago!) A famous person once told me that I looked just like a younger version of his best friend, the actor John Savage. Someone once even said I looked like a young Jack Nicholson (WTF?!)

So, I told my friend about YOU. I told her there was this woman I occasionally interact with on my blog whom I have seen at least 6, maybe 7 or 8 pictures of, and yet I still don't have the slightest idea what she looks like!

You, Jessica, seem like a chameleon! If every picture I've ever seen of you was lined up before me, I'd probably find it difficult to believe that they all reprsented images of the SAME woman!

You rarely seem to look the same way twice to me. So, if I said you looked like Joan Jett, that was probably true... at that one moment in time and in that one particular photo I was viewing. But had I seen a different picture of you ten minutes later, I probably would have named someone else instead.

What the hell DO you look like? I mean, "REALLY" look like?

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

The opening question? About Missed Periods and her blog? I dunno if it's rhetorical or not. Hadn't thought about that. I was just looking for a way to "step in it" - uhm, this blog bit, I mean.

Well, I have never once seen a picture of you, so I couldn't begin to know which category I would file you under.

Regardless, I'm fairly certain you would find a place in at least one of my categories. Something just tells me I wouldn't find you hard on the eyes. (Women who have stood on a stage rarely are.)

Send me a picture and I'll tell ya which category I would place you in. (Unless you're a chameleon like AlliAllo, in which case I probably won't really know for sure.)

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

farawayeyes said...

Ah Stephen - you are a masterful 'word junkie'. Two incredible 'saves' to your credit. Very impressive!

Like I said earlier, this post probably was not for the ladies to comment on anyway.

Rhetorical ? - "Are you a blah, blah, blah.

I'll send you a picture when I get back to the States and can dig out one that's 30 years old. Fair is fair.

Jim Morrison and a young Jack Nicholson? You you callin' chameleon?

BTW - Who is that in front of the 'chicken joint' in the Warren Zevon post?

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

Ha!-Ha! I should probably be playing professional hockey as a goalie, eh?

There are a couple of more recent photos of me floating around here somewhere. They ain't pretty though. Life'll do that to ya.

>>...Jim Morrison and a young Jack Nicholson? Who you callin' chameleon?

Yeah, I know. I admit that it seems I have that chameleon thang goin' on too. (The only one I ever really "understood" though was the John Savage comparison. That one was rather spot-on, or at least at one time it was.)

In front of the old 'Pioneer Chicken Stand' location is my dear ol' buddy General Poohregard (or "Pooh" for short). I took the picture of him there and then he later performed some of his computer magic on it, adding all the chickens.

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

julie fedderson said...

And this just makes me think about one of my all time favorite movies--Bull Durham.

Annie Savoy: Well of course I'm trying to seduce you, for God's sake, and I'm doing a damn poor job of it... Aren't I pretty?
Ebby Calvin LaLoosh: God, I think you're real cute.
Annie Savoy: Cute? Baby ducks are cute, I HATE cute! I want to be exotic, and mysterious!
Ebby Calvin LaLoosh: You are, you're exotic, and mysterious, and... cute... and... That's why I'd better leave.

I'll take exotic, too, for that matter. Hot works in a pinch.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

What a great comment! Thanks!

To not only reference a really good movie, but to also provide excellent dialogue illustrating a point, well, that's how you leave a "great comment"!

You probably missed it, but not long ago I posted a blog bit pertaining to my all-time Top Ten favorite Sports movies.

No, 'Bull Durham' (as much as I like it) did not make the list. But I did mention it while writing about Costner's "other" great baseball movie, 'Field Of Dreams'. Here's something I wrote:

Both of those excellent movies should be seen by all baseball fans and everyone else. And true, ‘Bull Durham’ contains some really classic scenes and lines of dialogue [“So, is somebody going to go to bed with somebody, or what?”], but for my baseball movie money...make mine “mysterious”.

One thing that would have improved 'Bull Durham', in my opinion, is a different female lead. I can barely even stand to look at Susan Sarandon. Not only do I NOT find her Beautiful, Pretty, Cute, or Sexy, but I actually think she borders on "Ugly". Those are not "big eyes"; those are "bug eyes"!

However, your dialogue excerpt addresses something I (hopefully) made clear in my blog bit: Most women probably think that in a man's mind, "Pretty" trumps "Cute", and "Beautiful" trumps 'em both. NOT NECESSARILY SO! At least not to me, anyway (and I don't presume to speak for all or even most men).

For example: In my blog bit, I said that Claudia Cardinale is both Beautiful AND Sexy - and she surely was! - while I said that Valerie Bertinelli was merely Cute, and "too Cute" to be Sexy. And yet, for a longterm (lifetime?) relationship, I would have selected Bertinelli over Cardinale.

So, Beautiful, Pretty, and Sexy are not necessarily superior to just "Cute". I LOVE "CUTE"!

>>..."Hot works in a pinch."

Well, "Hot" usually LEADS to "a pinch" ...and "a pinch" sometimes leads to sex ...and sex too often leads to... dancing!

Best to avoid "Hot" altogether.

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

POSTSCRIPT: Thanks for the GREAT comment!

Sheboyganboy 6 said...

I am late to the comments, as usual. I was fascinated that almost all of your commenters were women this time. I think that this topic got all of your female friends considering which pedestal they were placed on in the west wing of StMc's "Emily Hall."

As someone who dearly loves women, I have a couple of comments to make. First, I agree with your assessments of the women you posted photos of. Beautiful, yes. Pretty, yes. Etc.

I disagree with your Susan Sarandon comment, though I may be mostly remembering her lithe young form from "Rocky Horror" and paying less attention to her face. It is her politics that totally turn me off.

But there is more to this whole attraction and "beauty assessment" spectrum than can be explained. To me, the attraction to certain women (and probably this holds true for women's assessment of men, also) is like our attraction to music. Why do we like what we like?

If you like any jazz, you will certainly like GREAT jazz, and virtually everyone listening to Brubeck or Miles Davis or John Coltrane will acknowledge that THAT is good jazz. Likewise, you'd have to be an utter ninny to not say that Claudia Cardinale is gorgeous. But with music we also may be very attracted to some obscure jazz artist that almost nobody thinks is particularly good. We DO think so, however.

How do you explain it? Hell if I know. But I believe the same goes for beauty. I have friends that think their spouse is physically very attractive, yet I simply cannot see it. They are VERY wrong, to my eyes. But my eyes don't matter in this case, as some very loving eyes DO think they are lovely. And I mean physically, not just on the inside!

So, all of you female readers of Stuffs: you ARE INDEED gorgeous... without question. Whether you are universally acknowledged as such doesn't matter (though I am NOT saying you aren't). You are regardless. The people that love you know it, and see it.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

A very fine comment, as usual! And equating it to the unexplainable reasons we are attracted to some music, or some Jazz musicians, and not others, is right on the note.

Of course, in this blog bit, I was addressing solely facial attractiveness, as I am in no position to elaborate on any indefinable qualities any of these women might possess that I find a turn-on or a turn-off.

In fact, I didn't even address the beauty of the body, either, but kept it all above the neck and all very superficial ("superfacial"?)

Several blog bits could probably be written about what attracts us to certain body types, as well, and I think there would probably be greater room for disagreement in THAT than in the beauty of the face.

Why is one guy turned on by the Marilyn Monroe body type (not me) and someone else turned on more by the Audrey Hepburn body type (more so for me, but I could find others that turn up the heat even higher for STMcC)?

There are also all those little "quirky" things that some find attractive but others do not:

The way you wear your hat
The way you sip your tea
The memory of all that
No, no, they can't take that away from me

The way your smile just beams
The way you sing off key
The way you haunt my dreams
No, no, they can't take that away from me

Sometimes, it's just something about the way a woman laughs, or the way she folds her arms, or...

A past friend of mine used to have this small gap between her two front teeth. It wasn't a HUGE HOLE, but just a slight space between them. Something about that I just found attractive. It's not like I have some "gap fetish", but for some completely unexplainable reason, I found the small gap endearing with that one particular woman.

Well, Gene Tierney was about as close to "perfect" as I think God has yet made a woman (facially), and yet Tierney had the slightest little overbite. Something about it really appeals to me.

And it's not always about teeth with me either - in fact, those are the only two "teeth" examples I can think of.

But sometimes we'll find some little "imperfection" to be a real turn-on. Who knows why?! And I'll bet it's the same way with the women and their men.

Ah, love and romance, ever mysterious!

>>...Susan Sarandon comment, though I may be mostly remembering her lithe young form from "Rocky Horror" and paying less attention to her face.

Someone hit that woman with an UGLY STICK and she never recovered. (Of course, that's just this one man's opinion.)

I didn't even remember that she was in "Rocky Horror", but then that's probably because I've been TRYING to forget that movie for a long time. I saw it only once (circa 1980), in an L.A. theatre, and I've been questioning my masculinity ever since!

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

Hold my hand: a social worker's blog said...

You crack me up again with your creativity! :-))

Lady Doris

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

Thanks! Incidentally, if it weren't for the fact that you are married, I would gladly tell you where you get filed in the STMcC GRADING SYSTEM.

Let's just say you would score quite well and your husband is a lucky man!

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

SigToo said...

Here's one late vote for my favorite movie mom from 'One Hour Photo' and 'Gladiator' fame...Connie Nielsen.

Attractive list and Susan Dey haiku to boot! (Not sure why I always insist on counting the syllables). Did you ever make any 'Partridge Family' appearances? Or did you draw the line at 'Happy Days'?

On an unrelated note, if you run across any other blogs that shut down your browser, just download an updated 'Java' here:

and it should solve the problem.
I just had the same problem after a recent Windows update.


Stephen T. McCarthy said...

I don't even know who Connie Nielsen is. I'll definitely have to look her up.

Ha! No, no 'Partridge Family' work (I think that show was done before I was in), and, for the record, I thought 'Happy Days' was really dumb! But Susan Dey beats Joanie any day of the week! Ha!

Funny you mention the Java browser thing because as of last night, I ran smack into another one of Blogger's big bugs, and right now my blogs are totally fouled up.

You can't see the mess on your end, but my Dashboard is wrecked and at the moment, I am unable to post anything new. (I was going to post something about MASH last night, but now I'm screwed, and not able to post ANYTHING.)

I may follow your suggestion and try to download the Java browser, just to see if that clears anything up. Otherwise, I may be prematurely kaput!

Thanks, friend! (Wish me luck here.)

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

Robin said...

I think every woman reads this and tries to figure out where she fits into this categorization. Beautiful. Nah. Pretty? Compared to those ladies... Nah. Cute? Maybe. On a good day with excellent lighting. Sexy? OMG, no.

However, what you have proven here is that once you bypass the Beautiful category, it really becomes very subjective.

I think about some of my worst crushes as a young person (and even as an older one) and they were all on people I could TALK to. They were interesting and I could just listen to them talk FOREVER. I think they must have had 7s in their chart. And my soul urge number is 7. So, there you go.

I remember this one guy I really liked in college wasn't even that good looking. Seriously, even I knew at the time he wasn't that good looking, but I had a terrible crush on him. I am not sure he knew I was alive. Or if he did, he was thinking... Who is this annoying girl who follows me around hanging on my words? And there you go.

My last two serious boyfriends were total morons. And that includes my ex-husband. Neither one of those jokers had anything worthwhile to say... but were excellent at BS.

One last thought on those womens who dress like sluts because they think it is sexy. It's not. Well, on some girls it might be. BUT, that is not how guys read those signs. It just screams Easy. Quick story for ya: After I moved to NYC my friend took me clubbing. I had no clothes for "clubbing" so she loaned me some black spandex number. Oh Lord Have Mercy. Men men everywhere men. That song It's Raining Men could have been playing all night. But, they all wanted to take me home and do very wicked things to my person. Naive thing that I was couldn't figure out why I was getting this response. After a couple more clubbing experiences in my friend's "club" clothes I figured it out.

After that, I said, "I will go, but I am wearing jeans, a t-shirt and no make-up." It all got smoother after that. She was still shaking them off with sticks, but I was (mostly) left alone. As you say, sexy just churns up stuff that most womens aren't ready for in a man.

I would send you a link to a song, but you already told me that if I made you listen to anything else even "remotely" like that again, you would unfriend me. So, I's keeping it to myself. Get your sexy on!

Stephen T. McCarthy said...


>>... My last two serious boyfriends were total morons. And that includes my ex-husband. Neither one of those jokers had anything worthwhile to say... but were excellent at BS.

Oh, but how did they LOOK?
Great-lookin' guys, or what?
(A lot of maroons can get by on just looks and the ability to BS the womens.)

"Sexy" was always the thing I fantasized about but was never truly interested in pursuing. (Admittedly someone like Lauren Bacall would be an exception.)

But then I'm different from most guys. When I was young, the guys were just looking for a good one-night stand, while I would be in the dance club hoping to find a "girlfriend" and not just a hot, one-night fling.

I've always been an odd duck.

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

Robin said...

Actually, they weren't even that great-looking (to me). They were both excellent talkers, though. Just took me way too long to figure out they were full of crap. I hope I've learned my lesson. 'Cause this girl can't take no more of that nonsense.

Now I did date one really good looking fella (in my opinion) after I divorced my ex, but the timing sucked. Or maybe I wasn't ready yet. Or it just wasn't meant to be.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

Well... hopefully the "dream" activity was good, at least.

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'