As the editor in chief of Cosmopolitan magazine, Kate White has learned plenty of life's dirty little secrets.
In her new book, "How to Set His Thighs on Fire: 86 Red-Hot Lessons on Love, Life, Men, and (Especially) Sex," White offers quick training sessions on the topics women love to hear about, such as making yourself look sexy learning to accept that men don't like to talk and open up.
You can read an excerpt from the book below.
From "How to Set His Thighs on Fire: 86 Red-Hot Lessons on Love, Life, Men, and (Especially) Sex":
Own Your Hotness
One of the things I've thought a lot about since I've been in my job is the whole notion of sexiness. We write frequently about being sexy and feeling sexy and just plain reveling in your own sexiness. We also always aim to make the magazine sexy visually. When I review photography with the art department, we frequently make comments like "That's really sexy" or "That's not sexy enough" or "This picture's sexier than the other one -- let's go with that."
And, of course, our covers have to be the embodiment of sexiness. It's our signature, what's contributed to the iconic status of Cosmo covers for forty years. The bottom line: the more a cover radiates sex appeal, the better that issue sells.
I wish I could perfectly define what sexiness is, because then I'd be better able to hit the mark with covers each time -- and not have the occasional newsstand dud. But, unfortunately, it's not so easy. For starters, what's sexy to one person isn't necessarily sexy to the next. And though there are some attributes usually linked with female sexiness-like full lips, long lustrous hair, and a curvy body - you can certainly be hot without any of them. Recently we were working on a story about Hollywood marriages - about both the winners and the losers in that game (one common denominator of hose that work: the couples rarely spend more than two weeks apart). When we called in photos of some classic Hollywood couples, there was a shot among them of Frank Sinatra and Mia Farrow on their wedding day. She'd recently chopped off all her blonde hair into a kind of Twiggy cut and she was slender and gamine-like, so strikingly different from the other women Sinatra had dated. And not at all the classic definition of sexiness. In fact, at the time of the marriage, Ava Gardner, his former girlfriend, had reportedly declared, "I always knew he'd end up in bed with a boy."
And yet when I looked at that shot of Mia Farrow, all I could think was that she was totally sexy and enchanting. Frank Sinatra had certainly thought so. Farrow didn't have any of the classic attributes of sexiness. So what made her so compelling? I think she was sexy because she believed she was.
What I've really come to see in my job is that sexiness is first and foremost an attitude. It's confidence, a belief in your own allure. I see it again and again with both models and actresses. During the seventies and eighties, the Cosmo cover girl always had a come-hither expression on her face, as if she were looking at a guy and was about to utter something like "Get over here so I can tear your pants off with my teeth." But today I feel when we get the right cover image, it's as if the girl -model or actress - has just walked through the door into a party, scanned the crowd, and is thinking, I so own this room.