The answers–in 100 words or less–prove yet again that it’s different for girls.

At one time, all it took for me to feel sexy was hearing Jim Morrison singing “Light My Fire.” These days? I need killer eye contact with a man who smells like a rainforest and who can make me laugh until my panties slide to the floor. Nothing is sexier than a wicked sense of humor. It signals intelligence, imagination and confidence. All qualities of a good lover. I also find it sexy if a man loves to cook, speaks at least one foreign language fluently and has a secret passion. Preferably for me. P.S. If Jon Stewart doesn’t know how to cook and isn’t fluent in French, I’ll let it slide.–Stacia Friedman

*Dancing. A great modern class where I am fully in my body in a room full of dancers fully in theirs. Then going home and taking a hot bath, especially now that I had the grouting redone. Yes, it’s simple domestic luxuries that turn me on now. A clean bathroom, no dishes in a porcelain sink scrubbed white, cool sheets on a freshly made bed. I have a memory of thick lips in a dimly lit bar being enough to get me to disrobe in my studio apartment, now all you have to do is dance with me and do the dishes. Not in that order.–Dani Klein Modisett

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What makes me feel sexy? My partner’s hands kneading challah dough into a silky mound. With “Feels Like Home” (the Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt version) rippling into the kitchen from the living-room stereo. Because we still have a stereo, and a princess-style telephone anchored to the kitchen wall, and no microwave, so when she bends in her wine-stained apron to pull chocolate babka from the oven, and the kitchen is buttered with sun from the garden that went wild, simply wild, over winter, I could live forever in the warm caramel cave of her neck.–Anndee Hochman

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Wearing a pair of slacks that fit my ample butt just right. Spraying on a subtle fragrance in a scent that is slightly detectable and mixes well with my own pheromones. Going to an event and bumping into a man I dated more than 30 years ago, before I was married, and having that man say, “You’re still hot.” Don’t laugh.That actually happened to me and had me smiling for several days. Having a good hair day whether I wear it natural and very wavy/frizzy or ironed and pulled up on top of my head to show off dangling earrings. And last but definitely not least, dancing to great music.–Leslie Hunter-Gadsden

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Sinking a birdie putt in front of three men in my foursome.–Sue Kolinsky

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Graveyards get me hot, and I think my husband knows it; that’s why we visit them when we can. There really is something seductive about death for me. I love to roam among the gravestones with him, thinking about all the bone-racks lying there no longer able to touch flesh. They’ve had their erotic moments under the sun, their ecstasy between the sheets, behind the old drive-in, steaming up the backseats of cars. Wandering among the dead drives home the reality that we, even with our aching joints, creaky backs, and graying hair, can still walk hand in hand; can still press warm lip to warm lip, before going home to do what we can still do, thank fucking God.–Erica Ferencik


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Someone looking straight into my eyes and really listening to what I say.–Amy Klein


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Several years ago, I switched up the color and style of my hair. I was tired of looking (and feeling) like a frazzled mother. Long hair is sexy, but I never had the courage to grow mine out until I became an empty nester. My locks are now quite long, colored in glorious shades of purple, blonde, and fuchsia. The style has boosted my self-confidence, making me feel 20 years younger and sexy as hell. Best of all, my husband loves to run his fingers through my silky, purple strands. If that isn’t sexy, I don’t know what is.–Marcia Kester Doyle

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In a low-lit yoga studio in Midtown Manhattan, to the firm yet gentle commands of myteacher, my body moves–fluidly, gracefully, and, yes, sensually–from Child’s Pose to TreePose to Cobra and more. At class’s end, my flesh melts deliciously into the mat. Hypnotic sitar music plays as I relax into Shavasana, or Corpse Pose. In my black leggings and T-shirt, I feel aglow, lying still and at peace. The only gaze that matters to me is my own; I have no interest in being anyone else’s object of desire. Turning inward, I turn myself on.–Janice Eidus

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Back in high school, a guy told me I projected “an aura.” Spoken like a horny teenager, but I believed him. To this day, my aura, when I feel it, gives me a sense of power and a feeling of “Yeah, baby. Check this out.”It starts from the inside and works its way to the surface. When everything is going right for me (hair, makeup, lacy underwear), I go out in the world and know I’m giving off that vibe. I make eye contact and flirt a little. Good things happen. I feel sexy, yes, but powerful too.–Risa Nye

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I feel sexiest when my husband of 29 years takes my hand when we’re walking down the street. For me, being loved and loving someone after so many years together and getting older is the sexiest thing there is.–Sharon Greenthal

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Feeling sexy used to be external.Shoes with heels to make my legs look incredible.  A Good Hair Day.A splash of Pierre Cardin for Men.The glint in a man’s eyes when he looked at me. Not appraisal, as if I were prey, rather, appreciation…a look that said, “I know that you know.”It’s taken time to make me experience my sexiness internally. Time to become secure in myself, without props, without outside validation.But that’s what makes me feel sexy now: feeling secure.Knowing that I’m completely myself, and–if you’re smart–you’ll know that’s sexy.–Denise Wolfe

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Sadly, what most makes me feel sexy is feeling thin. (Thanks, society!) I doubt that I’m alone in this. We seem to revere the thin body. But besides that, a few things that make me feel sexy are: a great lipstick, a hot bath, a massage and firemen. Firemen make me feel very sexy.–Cathy Ladman

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EXERCISE! Feeling breathless, in a sweat, and feeling my body work to its maximum always makes me feel alive. –Alexandra Rosas

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Sexy is that tantalizing sensation of his eyes on you, that guy you’ve been silently flirting with all evening. Sexy is when his hand finds the arch of your back and he pulls you to him on the dance floor, and your bodies meld. It’s the three or four-second pause before a first kiss to savor that yearning, that fire, that moment, before your life is forever defined by: Before the kiss and After the kiss. It’s all in those magical moments.–Mary McLaurine

I feel sexy when I’m having a good hair day. I recently let my hair go white and added a few pink streaks for fun. And suddenly, men (and not just senior citizens and beyond) are noticing and smiling at me. And complimenting me. It has definitely made me feel sexier.
Janie Emaus

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I feel sexiest when I feel good about myself. When I’m being brave, taking chances, and striving to achieve something. What also makes me feel sexy is the way a man holds my gaze and gives me a smile that makes me feel like I’m the most exciting woman in the room.–Linda Wolff

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New lingerie, no adult children lurking about the house, and the tiniest puff of marijuana.–Julia Clark Salmon

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