I know what you'll say: Yes, there is such a thing as a sexy name. Names can be sexy, just as words can be sexy! But after many long, serious minutes of thinking, I have concluded that it is not so. People are sexy. The sexiness of a person's name is an afterthought, assigned in retrospect after seeing, hearing or knowing them.
What am I talking about? Dude at BroBible posted "survey " results from a dating company dubiously named What's Your Price?, where ostensibly you "get the date by simply using your wallet," whatever that means. The site did some data digging and looked for the names of the men who got the most dates. They concluded that since these were the men who got the most dates, they must have the sexiest names.
BroBible author J. Camm correctly notes that is deeply unsexy flawed thinking, but let's bite anyway — what dude names garnered the most online dating action for the service?
Bulllll-shit. Mostly, these names are just super common! Therefore, more likely to exist! Therefore, more likely to get dates! As Camm correctly notes, "It's not a level playing field. Extremely common names are going to win out every time; they have insurmountable numbers."
And also: Insurmountable normal-ness. You know what I always say: Unsexy until proven otherwise, amirite? If you are going to MAKE me pick the sexiest name off the list site unseen, fine, it's Antonio. But that's not because it's sexy per se, it's because I grew up very sheltered in the deep South, so of course the Italian/Greek/Spanish sounding name will seem sexier to me when I went to school with people named Tater. But would any old Antonio make women weep with pleasure in Rome or Athens or Madrid? Doubt it.
Also, no offense to our own resident beefcake Mark Shrayber, but for every sultry Mark there is an equally normie one who fails to turn heads of any persuasion. As my friend Ashley said: "There are beautiful Ashleys and busted Ashleys."
Or as Mark "Beefcake" Shrayber said, "I would never date a Glen."
Or as I said, you show me a sexy Richard and I will show you a woman on a futon, reading her prior-year taxes just for fun.
Let me prove it this way: Prior to the success of True Detective, there is no guarantee that someone named Cary Fukunaga is necessarily an impossibly beefy dreamboat on name alone.
Only get this: He IS.
Again, afterthought. Had you not seen him before now, you probably would've just been like, yeah he sounds like a dude with a name. Look, I'm not saying names don't convey anything. They do — always choose a name wisely and consider its associated meanings. Lolita is a perfect example of this, where a fictional character's nickname has changed the actual name's association, linking it to seductive young girls when it should just be a name, period, and a pretty cool-sounding one at that. But is it actually sexy? Depends on the Lolita.
And yes, there are obviously other names we've assigned sexiness to — Google "sexy names for women" and you get this kind of shit:
Laura, Vanity, Natalie, Jasmine, Isabella, Janessa, Vanessa, Farrah, Olivia, Angelina, Cassandra, Kiara, Danielle, Gabriella, Janelle, Bianca, Alicia, Aaliyah
Note that these are all names that make your mouth make the elle sound/shape or the uh sound or shape, or the ess shape. Basically any name that makes your mouth mimic a singsong mouth-watery "oh la la." But this is dumb. I get that some words are easier on the mouth, so to speak — I've never been a fan of a lot of hard consonants, and I'm probably not alone in this — but that doesn't mean Gertrude is less sexy than Gabriella IRL.
Clive Owen "THE NAME" is not inherently sexy but Clive Owen is guh-sexy gurgle.
Hey, would you like to go out on a date with my friend Richard Markson? See? You don't know dick about his sex appeal. Would you date my friend Antonio Olivia-La-La? Yes? Because BOOM: you're stupid. Made him up.
Look what happens when you Google "sexy male names:"
Dmitri** - ooohh yummy
Matthew - not matt
Christopher - not chris
Also known as:
Don't think so
Um, seriously context-free Doug is a sexy name? I mean, I'm sure sexy Dougs exist but let's not put the cart before the sexy. Can we all just agree to give it a minute, take our time, and investigate the sexiness? Why do we need EVERYTHING to be sexy? What is wrong with us? Again, Dmitri is only "especially steamy" because it seems exotic in the good-ol-US-of-Davids. I agree it's a cool name but I can't tell you whether it's sexy because a context-free name has never turned me on, not even once, not even sorta.
Has it you?
Could some just whisper Troy in your ear and actually get you all amped up? Seriously? I mean, if Troy is not already your boyfriend/husband/person of interest or there isn't some associated meaning with Troy?
Actually, it could happen. While "name fetish" is not a thing, "name attraction" is, so you could and very well may find names sexy that sound most like your own name. In an interesting piece about this, we learn that the author probably has some name attraction going on in his own life, or at least a plausible explanation for why he dated three gals named Emily in college:
Psychologists explain it using "name-letter effect," the idea that the letters in our names influence our decision-making, including who and what we're attracted to. According to a SUNY Buffalo study, a man named Dennis might be likely to pursue a career in dentistry. George might be likely to live in Georgia. "Name-letter effect" explains why Tom Cruz and Penelope Cruz dated (that or a shadowy deal with Scientology). It's even more obvious for people with gender-neutral names or gay couples. According to the theory, I associate the "M" in Max with the "Em" in Emily.
Of course, all this doesn't mean the name Emily is sexy or anything. Just that this Max likes himself soooo much that he thinks any name that sounds like his also seems sexy. This is like the self-fulfilling prophecy theory of name sexiness. So if that's the case: You're sexy! I'm sexy! Names like yours and mine are sexy. We're all sexy? Because everything is sexy. Happy?
Image by Jim Cooke