It’s summertime hot outside almost everywhere right now, sure. It’s also the perfect time to talk about the kind of heat that transcends seasons and temperatures to remind us that we’re not just alive, we’re extra happy about it. I asked some of the coolest women I know to tell me about the hottest and sexiest they’d ever felt. Alone, partnered, at home, or away they brought it.
Well, Good Morning!
“A 48-year-old night owl, I was nervous to plug my first (comic, autobiographical) novel, Speed Shrinking — about my therapist moving away — on a TV morning show. I set the alarm for 6 a.m., opening my eyes at 5, unable to return to sleep. My amazingly supportive husband asked, “How can I help?” We wound up having the hottest sex ever. I was completely energized for my TV segment, which rocked. The interviewer totally got the book, laying down on the couch like I was his shrink. When people said I looked great and relaxed, I’ve never revealed why — until now.”
— Susan Shapiro, Bestselling author and co-author of 15 books including Five Men Who Broke My Heart, The Bosnia List, The Byline Bible and her memoir The Forgiveness Tour.
New Life, Who Dis?
“There have been many times in my life where I felt sexy, but I embodied it the most when I divorced from my son’s father. I pursued acting and modeling, worked out every day, and just focused on my well-being while juggling motherhood. It was a difficult time with many setbacks, but it fueled me to take back my life and find the parts of myself I felt I had lost. It was a new chapter with many unknowns that eventually led me down the path to entrepreneurship.”
Sexy on Set
“I feel pretty sexy in general, if I’m being honest. However, the sexiest I feel is when I’m completely at peace in whatever environment I’m in. I do quite a few press events and none made me feel more Natasha than my time covering the Black Panther film. Of course there were celebrities there, but they got to meet ME! It didn’t hurt that my husband flirted with me via text all night after seeing some social media shares. A bold lip, smoky eye, and good company will always make me feel good about the skin I’m in.”
— Natasha Nicholes, Founder, We Sow We Grow
“When I was in my twenties or even thirties, I felt sexy when I was dressed to the nines in form-fitting clothes for a night out. But as I get older, I feel the sexiest when I am truly enjoying myself and present to my senses. It’s much less about eliciting reactions from others and more about thinking, “What makes me feel good?” In this photo, I am on a secluded beach that we had to hike down a very steep path to get to. I have just come out of snorkeling in the ocean. My hair is tangled, and I am getting sprinkled on by afternoon showers, and I’m loving it. Not that I’m a natural mermaid: I got tossed around by the waves and got water up my nose. But in the moment, as I was floating in the saltwater and feeling the strength of my arms and legs, I truly loved my body and everything it was experiencing. Being in a hot, tropical environment doesn’t hurt, either!”
— Grace Hwang Lynch, San Francisco Bay Area journalist and essayist. Follow her on Twitter @gracehwanglynch or sign up for her newsletter Small Bites
A Gaze Sets Her Ablaze
“Feeling hot and sexy are two different things for me, and they usually involve other people. What do I mean by this? Other people who I find sexy can get me hot. Ninety five percent of the time, feeling as if I’m sexy occurs in relation to the gaze of others. I am at my sexiest when there is heat or chemistry between me and another person. If I find him or her sexy and they find me sexy, then the fuse is lit. Turning someone on who turns me on makes me feel sexy. Where does that other 5 percent come from? It comes when I choose to feel sexy all by myself, just by appreciating that aspect of myself.”
Confidence is Everything
“After I divorced, my life became more authentic. I had been a chronic people pleaser and never considered myself enough until then. I sought outside affirmations as a barometer of self-worth. After I turned 50, I felt good about myself and accepted that I am perfectly imperfect. I started dating and became choosy about whom I wanted to spend my time. I learned the difference between being alone and being lonely. We teach people how to treat us, so if we put up with poor treatment, we will receive it. To me, confidence equates with sexiness. I have that now.”
— Maria Leonard Olsen, Washington, D.C.-based attorney, author of 50 After 50: Reframing the Next Chapter of Your Life and host of the podcast, “Becoming Your Best Version“
Electric Blue Me
“It’s not when I was a teen. It’s not when I was pregnant. Honestly, the sexiest I have felt was in my thirties when I came to accept my curly hair, hourglass figure and that I looked nothing like other women in media. I remember walking a red carpet in a long red dress and feeling appreciation for knowing who I am, what fits me, and simply being me. Most recently, I went to Greece and booked a photo shoot just like I had seen on Instagram. For years I imagined being in Santorini with a flowing dress that seemed to fly. So I gave myself the gift of feeling pretty, young and confident enough to put on the electric blue dress. Those photos and doing something just for myself made me feel so wonderful!”