Whip Appeal: A Dad Makes the Argument For Owning His Sexy


It was a flyer that that got me thinking. That simple, gaudy, overly Photoshopped flyer stuck under my windshield wiper: “Grown N’ Sexy Party. 21 and Over Only,” followed by a list of rappers and DJs I never knew existed. The woman pictured on that little rectangle was contorted in an inhuman position and couldn’t have been over 23. The man—his airbrushed abs glistening in obsidian splendor—looked to be in his mid 20s. This was grown and sexy? Made me question if I was either.

What is grown? Or, how do any of us know when we’ve entered that hallowed space of “I’m a grown-ass wo/man”? This is easier to determine; it’s a personal realization. Also, we know it when we experience it. Some people claim grown but really aren’t. But when you’re in the presence of a grown person, you feel it. There is gravity about them; a weight, a special air that signals they are handling business. Isn’t this what being grown is about, taking care of you and yours?

What is sexy? While I understand that this is wholly subjective, the more intriguing question to me is: do I still have it? Whatever elusive quality “it” is, am I in possession of it? Did I ever have it? We all know people who consider themselves sexy, and we think they’re overstating their case. Does it even matter what others think as long as we’re feeling ourselves?

I told my wife what I was going to explore this week, and she immediately offered to “write a couple of paragraphs” supporting that I was, indeed, sexy. She stressed that she wanted me to own my sexiness instead of resorting to the self-deprecation I sometimes engage in. She spoke to me in such a way that I felt sexy. But this was coming from my wife. Isn’t it the job of your spouse/partner to highlight the things we miss or omit about ourselves?

I don’t think that men talk enough about this. Surprise, surprise, we want to be desired. Many of us thoroughly enjoy that rush we feel when we’re sure that someone finds us attractive. We don’t want to be objectified—like too many of us do to women—but we want to feel as if we’re worthy of others’ attention. But it would be too easy for us to just come out and admit this. We have to make it a production…

Read the rest of Shawn’s post, “Bringing Sexy Back,” on Ebony.com.


1. Celebrating—and Finally Loving!—My Curves
2. Loving My Milkshake & My Pearls: A Celebration Of My Physical Self
3. And Now, the Part Where My Daughter Starts Hating Her Bootylicious Butt
4. {Digging In the MBB Crates} Shining: What I Love About Me

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