Try to tell us that even you didn’t just get a little excited, there?
Even people who don’t particularly like foreign accents do dislike the mundane. Hearing an accent is not so much about the sexiness of the actual sounds as much as the titillation of foreign mystery. Foreigners have different standards of social interaction than we do. “How will that person treat me?” you may wonder, hearing one. “Will they be more flirtatious? More sexually aggressive? Wittier?” When you hear an accent, there’s the promise of experiencing foreign culture in the way you will handled by the speaker.
For example, the British (“Posh”) accent suggests style and sophistication. (Obviously, the cockney accent does not.) When you hear one, you have the chance to travel back to the Victorian Era, where sex was verboten and flirting was buried in breathless prose. It takes you away from the convivial hook up culture of North America that you may feel like you never asked to participate in, but that’s part of your everyday. Hence: accents take you away.
Having framed accents within a (metaphysical…) time-and-space-travel paradigm, let’s go on a little journey through 10 accents that turn her on. And more importantly: why.
This one I believe is fairly obvious. Everyone has heard a girl say: “Oh, he’s so dreamy. Listen to that British accent!” I think the reason they like it is twofold: 1) Clive Owen (and Kate Beckinsale) 2) they understand it. Although the rhythm/ melody of foreign music is often wonderful, it becomes much more enjoyable when you actually understand it. I’m sure there are plenty of kpop songs as catchy as Gagnam Style, but the fact that the lyrics were partially in English made it penetrable to audiences the world over, turning it into an international phenomenon. Long story short: girls love themselves some British accents. Just don’t pull a Madonna…
Jump across the channel from Britain and reach an entirely different culture: cheeky French people. (Well, that’s only in Paris, but still…) For some reason, women enjoy the French accent in English. I believe it’s because French accents also convey a level of sophistication that is uncommon in North America. French people appreciate wine, music, food, and literature more generally than Americans. And that isn’t to say that they’re more intelligent, they simply have no choice because it’s beaten into their character by parents/ institutions/ peers. That, however, activates common memories of thousands of years of culture, which women could find very sexy.
If French people are thin, snobbish, and highly-cultured, Australians are rugged, good-time guys. Think about the Aussies in the media right now:Chris Hemsworth plays Thor, the most muscular Asgardian of them all, Liam Hemsworth plays the dreamy Gale in The Hunger Games, and Hugh Jackman plays Wolverine. In a Proustian mix-up of sensations, we have all somehow confused the sound of an Australian accent with powerful, shirt-stretching masculinity. While typically interest groups do their best to battle stereotypes, which reduce people to hilarious characteristics instead of fully grown, choice-making people, Australians have for some reason let this one slide…
Passion, sensuality, sexual intensity: these are just a few of the things you can expect when someone starts speaking with a Spanish accent. You can also expect a couple of heaping plates of paella and a bottomless glass of sangria in the dusty streets of Barcelona… Ahh, sounds nice. Spanish men are known for being proud and hot-blooded. In a culture of political correct politeness and pervasive social anxiety, it’s really refreshing to hear someone whose accent suggests that they’ve taken off the clamps and they’re really ready to free themselves and give into a good time.
6. Southern Drawl
Luke Bryan, Brad Paisley, Deacon Claybourne — these are men who’ve struck a perfect balance. They’re gentlemen, but they haven’t been neutered by social conventions; they’re take charge, but they aren’t macho misogynists who want to make sure absolutely e-v-e-r-y-o-n-e knows. The one thing they have in common (except for their wardrobe, hairstyle, profession, and practicing religion)? Their Southern drawl. Southern accents are that missing link between the pre-industrial United States and the digital age, back when people still knew how to compliment a woman without offending her. Note that we’re not making a particular distinction between a Southern Drawl and a Southern Twang, which are apparently very class connoted.
Italy is far and away the land of love and sex. Even back when their country was restrained by the catholic church, they were always painting naked women flung backwards on a velour settee. They love to get it on (which makes it so surprising that they’re in a demographic death spiral…) When you hear an Italian accent, it promises a wine-soaked night and a romp with an uninhibited Italian person. And let’s be honest, who could say no to that? Besides, their food is so good that even if the foolin’ wasn’t any fun, the breakfast the next morning would be completely worth it. Cappucino, anyone? Biscotti?
The recent film adaptation of Macbeth, superstitiously known as The Scottish Play, is set in Celtic Scotland, probably around the year 1100. The terrain was harsh, the men were dirty and violent, and everyone wore thick linen and spoke in a brogue. And guess what? It was the sexiest film to be released this year, if maybe this decade (and not just thanks to the blistering hot combination of Michael Fassbender at his peak and Marion Cotillard). Scottish accents very much evoke the imagery that was present in this movie: barren, overcast highlands rising above bodies of water, feuding clans, and bareback horse riding through Birnam Wood. Or if you’ve seen Trainspotting it evokes heroin addiction. It’s really about the media you consume…
Part of the reason that Russian is so sexy it’s because it’s totally unintelligible to us. It’s the first entry so far on this list, and for that matter, the last one, whose speakers don’t share our alphabet. It also, arguably more than German, evokes humourless, unembarrassed intensity. Russians don’t seem to be afraid to be considered “too intense” the way we do over here. This comes through not only just in their accent, their personality becoming entwined in the way it’s conveyed (i.e. their accent). But their accent also gets confused simply with their delivery. We might attribute their very un-whimsy way of speaking to tones and accentuations getting “lost in translation”, while they are actually perfectly cognizant of the effect they’re having and in fact they’re seeking it out.
Nothing like a good ole Irish accent, am I right? They don’t say “thirty three and a third”, they say “turty-tree and a turd”. It’s so adorable! I would say that above all, Irish accents evoke friendliness (and, at the end of the night, don’t we all just want to sleep with someone friendly?) This might be because the Irish are a hearty, potato-eating people who just want to say hello to their neighbors and they walk past. But I don’t think that’s quite it. I think more like it, many Americans’ priests and grandparents spoke with an Irish lilt, and those are society’s friendliest members. The Irish accent, like a glass of warm milk, reminds people of their childhoods.
I know there’s a word for the accent I’m referring to. I think it might be “Midatlantic” — just like the plainest American accent you can possibly scrounge up. Like, you know, how Anderson Cooper speaks. But just because the accent sounds plain to us, that doesn’t mean it sounds plain to everyone. To some people, it just might be the sexiest sound of all. It might evoke freedom, democracy, opportunity, friendliness, sexual liberty, sexual availability, and a whole slew of other very attractive concepts. It’s hard to imagine in a day and age when everyone is all: “Oh my God, American is so puritanical, they can show violence but they can’t show sex!” But America is actually pretty open and people are probably pretty intrigued by it.