Quitting smoking made me less attractive, says Mirel Zaman in Refinery29. Sure, my life improved in other ways. My skin glowed, I saved money and I got fitter. But I miss my voice. On about half a pack a day, it was devastatingly sexy. Everyone said as much, “friends, lovers, check-out clerks, anyone who spoke to me on the phone, once even a doctor”.
But when I quit smoking, my chronically sore throat disappeared, and so did “my perfect, Lauren Bacall-style rasp – and all the resulting admiration”. Research around vocal attraction is mixed. Men with husky voices are universally seen as competent and attractive. For women, it depends on the culture. “In France, a raspy-voiced woman is almost irresistibly hot, while in Japan, women who tend to speak in higher tones are seen as more attractive.”
I will just have to get by on looks and personality – like the rest of us unlucky, un-husky lot. It’s healthier this way. “But I do experience a private, perverse thrill whenever I’m sick and start losing my voice, anticipating the compliments that I know will start to roll in.”
Sexed-up celebs are making tongues wag
Celebrities are lusty at the moment, says Polly Vernon in The Sunday Times. Everyone’s at it. Actress Megan Fox and her boyfriend, rapper Machine Gun Kelly, touched tongues on the red carpet. Kourtney Kardashian has a vial of her boyfriend’s blood. Jay-Z and Beyoncé cuddled on the front row at a basketball game. Helena Bonham Carter walked arm in arm with her boyfriend at the Baftas. And exes turned lovers Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck were spotted snogging at a sushi restaurant in Malibu – “the very least they could do, given the competition”.
I’m calling the craze PPPDA – “post-pandemic public displays of affection”. It represents “the earliest stirring of bold, new, highly flirtatious, sexed-up post-Covid sensibilities”. It’s an exciting prospect. Sex is back and, if our giddy celebrities are anything to go by, it’s going to be “sexier than anything we’ve yet known”.