I've had multiple women say I look exotic but never said in particular I look handsome or anything. Makes me think I'm perceived as an awkward looking guy. One lady co worker also said my mother must be beautiful but what the heck! I would guess that's a compliment. Do women say that often? I always get these indirect compliments from girls, like, all the time.
So tell me, when you call someone exotic looking, what exactly do you mean?
You probably have features that resemble those of foreigners, such as Indians, Greeks, Turks, Asians, etc. You looks strange, because your appearance is not conforming with the general population, but despite that, you are also attractive.
They tend to mean that you look foreign, in a good way somehow. Kinda like "you're attractive despite being foreign". At least that's the kind of vibe I get when I hear it being used, which is why I don't want to use it. It's just a very awkward "compliment" in my opinion. I wouldn't over-analyze it if I were you, though.
It means you're hot, but not the standard hot, you've got something different.
I think exotic means "attractive but in an unconventional way". In other words, you don't look like a stereotypical handsome guy, but you're handsome in your own unique, surprising way. It is a compliment, almost like, "huh, with those features one wouldn't think you're attractive... but somehow the combination just works and those features DO look attractive on you!"