January 1999
s m u g
and such and such
Darrin J. Mack


Sex Symbols vs. Sex Objects

Most everyone openly or secretly wants to be a Sex Symbol. To be a defining personality shaping the human experience. To have those of the opposite gender think dirty thoughts about you late nights, and those of the same gender to emulate you.

On the other side of the coin, we have Sex Objects, a stigma I'm sure no one wants to be pinned with. At the lowest form, a Sex Object is little more than a human shaped facet of minimal conquest. Sex Objects are people who wanted to be Sex Symbols, but failed. They weren't classy, smart, or unique enough to be revered, and they are no longer in that unstable power that is necessary in being a Sex Symbol.

So where do you fall? Hell if I know, but I did make this list of famous people, and found out where they stand in the struggle.

  1. Monica Lewinsky
    But oh! How she tries. She's got a lot of the necessary tools She's famous, in that her name is recognized by nearly everyone. She's fucked famous people. Which is always a good step, in a world of Nicole Kidmans, Winona Ryders and Chers. Where we look into people's privates life with distorted magnifying glasses, there are those who convert their bedrooms into circuses for the public to amaze in. Not classy, but still Sex Symbol in nature. She also has a distinctive style. Ever since her ordeal with Clinton, that girl with the black hair and the beret has been distinguished, and yes- even imitated. Why, this Halloween I saw three people who dressed up as Monica. if it weren't for the other points, this would make her a Sex Symbol.

    The problem is that she's a groupie. If she would have been all callous about the affair in that vein of "Yeah, I did him, so what." it would've been definite points in her favor. But she got too attached to something she should have known was a fling, leaving her with a glaring lack of the power that Sex Symbols must have. And she would have got a couple more points if she actually did him. Fellatio is a bit of a cop-out.

  2. Steve Buscemi: Sex Symbol
    His style is nervous, and somewhat unassured. More importantly, if he was some guy you just saw a picture of- you'd think he's ugly. But yet he's still famous. His picture is dominant on the posters for most of the movies he's in, and he's made lots of magazine covers too. Woman think he's sexy. Not as much as some other Sex Symbols, but it's his small victories that make him so special.

  3. Jewel: Sex Object
    First of all, she looks like she's 15, and fortunately the nation is not willing to accept that as beautiful. The lyrics to her songs read like half angry/half "take me back oh please oh please" letters from ex-girlfriends. She tries really hard to give off the independent woman schtick, which is about as inspirational as the Spice Girls screaming "Girl Power!" She poses with pouty lips and when she sings, and when she tries to pull off looking sexy, it comes off more as "fuck toy". No style, no style at all.

  4. Paula Cole: Sex Symbol
    But damn, does it hurt to say that. She comes off as mostly shallow and boring, and her music sucks without question, but that really doesn't matter. Sex Symbols aren't about talent, they're about appearance. And while hearing her sing makes my ears bleed, it never conveys that whole "please don't hurt me" vibe as Jewel has perfected. She dates people way more attractive than her, yet somehow still keeps the limelight on herself. So by the book, she wins. Sorry.

  5. Kevin Spacey: Sex Symbol
    Women who look at him wonder "is he gay?" and gay men assure themselves he is. That alone makes him a Sex Symbol.

  6. Alyssa Milano: Sex Object
    She started out as a child star in a sit-com, allegedly was involved in porn for a while, and is now making the R-rated equivalent. She's a Sex Object for two reasons. First, she tries way too hard. Every movie with her in it I've been unfortunate enough to have seen, she's always throwing herself at somebody. Secondly, she's icky-looking. You know what I mean.

  7. Drew Barrymore: Sex Symbol,
    (but declining)

    She basically has the same credentials as Alyssa Milano, except she can act. In her favor, she's played a lesbian, which helps her out a lot, and not too many people are still associating her with ET. Point against her: The older she gets, the younger she tries to look. She only maintains her status as Sex Symbol because she's still cute.

  8. David Bowie: Sex Object
    Think of it: this guy was the pinnacle of the Sex Symbols. He'll be famous long after he's dead, he pioneered that whole androgyny thing that's being plagiarized beyond recognition, and as far as fucking famous people goes- he's been around the block. The problem is, that is was established- he was cool. Then as he got older in years, he had to keep proving it to himself, and found himself in the Trent Reznor underbelly of rock stardom. Rather than maintaining a John Lydon-style grace of continuing his life knowing he is what he is, Bowie has chosen to not reinvent himself, but to try to further his legacy, and in turn- making it collapse.

  9. Kim Basinger: Sex Object
    While she does maintain a certain amount of elegance to herself, it always looked like she was trained to be that way. Behind every word she says, you can pick up on a hint of trashiness. And while she does her best to look graceful and stylish, the grimace plastered on her face points to a previous night of rough riding. Sex Object yes, but perhaps only found at Macy's.

  10. Foxy Brown: Sex Symbol Times Two
    First of all, let's explore Pam Grier, the original Foxy Brown. While her movies admittedly suck, they suck in a really good way. It's impossible to tell whether those movies were tongue-in-cheek or not, which make them all the better. In her movies, she gets it on with other chicks in prison, kills drug dealers, and can say lines like "I got the hottest bitches on the planet, motherfucker" with the utmost bit of style. Sure, her breasts are lopsided, but she still is cool, and that's what really counts.

    Secondly, the woman currently calling herself "Foxy Brown", Def Jam superstar Inga Marchand, is a definite Sex Symbol. And it's not just because she's gorgeous either, though she is. Foxy has a style that could never be duplicated. This month she was on the cover of Vibe magazine, wearing nothing but a silver bikini, one hand on her right breast, the other on her crotch. Anyone else, and it would like your run-of-the-mill skank. But while Foxy is all about sex, she's also in control. Getting men to fuck you is no big deal, Foxy could make you get on your knees and beg for the chance to touch her.

  11. That Guy From Psychotica: Sex Object
    Has anyone even heard Psychotica? I was reading an interview with that guy a few months ago, and he was still talking about cutting his penis off. What was that? Three years ago?

  12. Christina Ricci: Sex Object
    Maybe in a couple years my feelings will change, but right now it's like watching a high school sophomore who just got her first real bra. They are very nice breasts, I'll admit. But it takes more than a good pair of tits to be a real Sex Symbol.

  13. Robert Smith: Sex Symbol
    Sorry if you expected to speak about how "he used to be cool", but he's still got it, goddammit.

  14. L7: Sex Symbols
    Because almost everyone likes at least some of their stuff. And no matter what you think of them personally, they're constantly being imitated by all-girl garage bands with names like "The Menstrual Tramps". They did a photo shoot about a year ago where they had Labradors sniffing their crotches, and they still looked good. Sex Symbols all the way.

  15. Whoever Has The Record For Biggest Gang Bang: Sex Object
    Oh fuck you. If I had no self-esteem I could just as easily lie there and get senselessly pounded like that bitch did.

  16. Henry Rollins: Sex Object
    I really wish he'd just admit he's gay, and that whole "being angry" thing is just an excuse to run around in bicycle shorts and no shirt. Maybe if he just came out of the closet he could turn it all around. If he admitted he was gay, maybe women would want him And he kinda looks like a Chippendale's dancer, gay guys might take a shining to him too.

  17. Betty Boop: Still A Sex Symbol
    In the purest form, because she's all appearance. More than 50 years, and men are still tattooing her on themselves. She's never been mean to members of the press, she's never dated a guy in a band, and she doesn't age. At the worst, she's a sexual icon to prepubescent boys and boyhood mentalities. And is that really so bad?

  18. M. Doughty: Sex Symbol
    Every Soul Coughing show I've seen has been in the middle of an awe- strucken crowd. M. looks weird in that cute, accessible way. He dates famous people, but only famous in that indie sort of way. He moves his hands around a lot when he sings, and he knows how to dance. What a Sex Symbol!

  19. Hugh Hefner: Out Of The Game
    He's a swinger, he's monogamous, he's impotent, he's errect. Christ, the guy has gone through more stylistic changes than Metallica. And there just comes a point in a guy's life when no one wants to hear about your sex life. Hefner is way past that point, yet he won't shut up. It's that desperation that would point him out to be a Sex Object, but I just don't want him to be having sex anymore.

  20. Ewan McGregor: Sex Symbol
    We saw his penis in The Pillow Book, we saw his penis in Trainspotting. Now everyone wants a piece of him. While he doesn't necessarily have the traits necessary to be a Sex Symbol, lots of women like him. And damn, even flaccid he's pretty well hung.

  21. Leslie Harpold: Sex Symbol
    Because she likes the young boys, and the young boys like her.



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