Brian Edwards Media

“I want to be a sex-object.” – A Masculinist Perspective

I want to be a sex object.

I want to attract wolf whistles from cheeky female chippies on integrated building sites. I want comely middle-aged matrons to press lasciviously against me in crowded lifts and huskily inquire, ‘Going down?’ I want graduates from assertiveness training courses to come up to me in bars and say, ‘Hi, my name is Jane. I’ve been watching you from across the room and I find you terribly attractive.’ 

It never happens. It’s not that women find me unattractive. It’s just that they find me attractive for the wrong reasons.

So I’m introduced to Dale over cocktails at the James Cook or the Hilton. She’s 35, gorgeous and the managing director of a multi-billion dollar Canadian logging conglomerate. By midnight all the other guests have gone. It’s Dale, me and Ron Brierley. Dale slips Ron  the money for the bus fare home and he shoots through. Now it’s just me and Dale.

‘It’s five twenty-three,’ she murmurs.

‘My god, is that the time?’

‘No, that’s my room number,’ she replies, a note of irritability entering her voice for the first time that evening.

Her room turns out to be the presidential suite. She pours Dom Perignon, changes into something more comfortable, dims the lights, puts on a record and joins me on the couch – not necessarily in that order. It’s all on!

‘You know, I don’t normally do this,’ she purrs, refilling my already brimming glass, ‘It’s just that I find sensitive, intelligent men such a turn-on.’   

Well thank you and goodnight, Ms Barkstripper! I don’t want to be loved for my mind, I want to be loved for my body. I want to be a sex object. I can’t understand anyone not wanting to be a sex object. To be the object of sexual desire seems to me the nicest, most flattering thing that could happen to a person.

OK, my wish to be a sex object is not unconditional. I don’t want to be loved only for my body, at least not always. There will be times when I won’t mind at all. But mostly I’d like to have my intelligence, my sensitivity and my chilli con carne recognised as well.

Next, I don’t want people going on about my neat bum or my beautiful hands all the time. It’s embarrassing.

I also don’t want to be treated as a sex object by everyone. I draw the line at toothless hags and randy boilermakers.

And finally I reserve the absolute right to say no – anywhere, any time, to anyone and without reason.

With these provisos I’m happy, indeed panting to be a sex object.

The feminists tell us that to treat a woman as a sex object is to demean her. I can’t see it. I can see that to treat anyone as ‘an object’ is to demean them by denying their humanity, but that isn’t what the term means. Does it demean you to be the object of someone’s affection, the object of praise? Of course not. In the phrase ‘sex object’ the word clearly means: the person on the receiving end. Didn’t you do sentence analysis at school? In ‘I love Melissa’, Melissa is the object of both my love and the sentence. Lucky thing.

So count me among the MCPs on this one. If a woman tells you she doesn’t want to be a sex-object, as distinct from just a sex-object, she’s alternatively – not of an appropriate age, not interested in sex [with you at least], not a sex object anyway, lying.

If you doubt this, take a leaf out of Lysistrata’s book and stop treating your wife, mistress or lover as a sex-object for the next six weeks or so. Should you receive no complaints, then either I am wrong or your relationship is in deep trouble or you are in the wrong house.

I have the distinction of having been treated as a sex object by one of the world’s most celebrated feminists, Germaine Greer. During a dinner-party organised by the defunct Thursday magazine, she nuzzled into my right ear and, in an unmistakably inviting tone, informed me that I had a voice ‘just like Georgie Best’ – Irishman, soccer star and her former lover. Curiously enough, she didn’t mention my mind at all.

[Originally published in the Dominion Sunday Times in 1986 when the author was 48.]



  1. Count me in too. I’m 48 and still healing deep emotional scars, that I was never touched up at school – I could’ve really done with $10,000 from ACC – as if being Ginger wasn’t bad enough. Sigh…

  2. I think you might find that a bank balance of several million dollars rather than your roguish good looks would be a far greater aphrodisiac and ensure swarms of young things hanging on your every word, not to mention hanging onto other bits as well.

    Sad to say though while you drive a Smart Car you are likely to attract only raspberries.

  3. My god that Kronic has a lot to answer for. I now see what they mean when they describe its hallucinogenic powers.

  4. finally- signs of humanity in the country of Media- i’d given up hope.

  5. Were I to hazard a guess, I’d say in that photo you are at Muri Beach in Rarotonga. Pacific Resort? Fantastic place.

    JC: Well spotted!

  6. Hmm – very useful insight into the male psyche!

  7. If a man is admiring me as a whole package, including my sensuality AND intellect, I am complimented and show my appreciation.
    It’s when I could be any other ‘Jane’ to him when he’s looking down my cleavage that I get brassed off.
    There are perfectly good magazines or ‘gentleman’s clubs’ if all he wants is a perv.

  8. Could this possibly be related? It appeared on my facebook page just after I read your article.

  9. If one wants to BE a sex object, one doesn’t entertain the possibility of drawing the line anywhere. But to include the veto clauses, which boil down to something like;
    “I want to be a sex object ONLY to people I find sexy, and ONLY when I feel like it,” is to assert a degree of individual sexual autonomy that accords well with contemporary feminist thought.

  10. What the hell is a sex object?

    Those male enlargement thingies that used to plague our emails a decade or so back?




    Things kept in closets?

    Furniture? Check “Who is afraid of virginia woolf? for that one!

    “sex object” like “politically correct” are meaningless phrases that have replaced “damn”, “bloody”. “shit”, “crap”, and a long list of expletives used to express vehemence (ie suppressed anger).

    I have been under the misapprehension that the rest of us were humans that might or, might not. have mutually interesting body parts.

    I could not possibly comment on you, Brian, I have an unfortunate perverse need for humans of the opposite gender to my own.

    Now if there any women out there looking for a sex object that resembles myself I am sure we could come to an amicable arrangement.

  11. Lymette – sadly, it’s neither your sensuality nor your intellect which is likely to be displayed from across the street – it’s yer cleavage. So in the case of a random male interesting himself in yourself, he’ll have noticed your norks long before he discovers your understanding of quantum physics or your penchant for having your ears nibbled.

    And who says all he wants is a perv? He may have just left an equally intelligent, sensual prospect and, having score you both equal so far, is left with nothing more to mark except the cleavage.

    If the sight of your well-presented chest brings the results you claim, let them glance. Life is about giving and you clearly impart pleasure where others maybe don’t.

  12. Only in your Walter Mitty dreams.

  13. At first glance I thought the blog was about the jailed fraudster who rinsed the ASB Bank for $17m.

  14. whoops- with speed comes accidents and i meant to say – your piece is showing there are signs of human life in the plastic castle called the media. or is it in the past?alas.
    from one female, woman, girl, slut(isn’t that the latest)perspective – i would be most appreciative of a wolf whistle every so often.

  15. Being a sex object would be so tiring. Like a politician you will have to be so hard pushed to keep up to the standard set by your persona.
    Backside trims.
    Chest enhancements.
    Penile enlargements

    Much more fun to be a slothful slobbish chap of whom no-one expects anything even ordinary.

  16. ianmac-get your light out from behind that bushel!

  17. You may well wish to be a sex object, Brian (even 25 years on from the original article – or perhaps even more so 25 years on), but let me tell you now, it isn’t as easy as it looks. Be careful what you wish for…

  18. Move over, Hef. When it comes to the “World’s Sexiest Oldie”, you’ve just been bitch-slapped into second-place by our Brian.

  19. I agree with Don.

  20. I just dragged and dropped the picture of BE into Google image search. This is a new feature of Google that lets you actually search for an image as opposed to searching for images. The results showed some fairly spunky looking young chaps that google thinks look like BE. So maybe he is a sex object.