Why does "sexy" feel wrong?

I work in a professional office. One day last summer I wore a dress - it was very professional, but still cute, stylish, and flattering. A guy in the office made me feel really uncomfortable by calling it a "hot dress", making multiple comments, and even trying to drag 3rd parties into it by saying stuff like "doesn't she look hot"?

Obviously he was out of line, but he doesn't work there anymore. I still haven't worn the dress (or anything like it) again because I feel like I'm doing something wrong if I dress in anything I know people might find "sexy", even if it is appropriate.

I also have large breasts which and can have awesome cleavage, but even outside of the office I feel like I'm doing something wrong if I wear anything that shows any amount of cleavage.

In general, I feel like I'm doing something wrong by wearing anything I know men like.

I have a boyfriend, so I think that might be part of it. He'd of course be upset if I wore something completely revealing, but he has no problem with me wearing things just because he thinks they are sexy - like dresses, etc.

It wouldn't be an issue, but I *like* feeling put together, confident, and attractive and a lot of times that's pretty synonymous with "sexy".


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Most Helpful Girl

  • Unfortunately, some men assume that when you wear something that's sexy, you are giving them the right to make comments about your body. They also probably think you're taking it as a compliment though, so the comments are usually harmless (unless they're excessive like that guy). If you still look professional and YOU like how you look in what you're wearing then wear it! There's nothing wrong with it if it isn't violating any kind of dress code or just looking inappropriate. Embrace your sexiness :D

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    • I do think that's a big part of it. The idea of men thinking things but keeping their thoughts to themselves doesn't bother me. Even a "you look nice" is okay. But yes, I feel like if I dress sexy I'm basically saying I *want* people to make comments. And then even if they don't, I project that onto other people and assume other people think things like "oh she's wearing a dress, she wants attention" even though I don't have those thoughts about other women, so I know its irrational

    • Every woman loves a good dress! I highly doubt people think you're looking for attention. I never think that when I see girls in dresses. Try not to worry what others think. I know that's wayyyy easier said than done but really, you deserve to be able to wear what you want and feel good in it.

What Guys Said 6

  • It's sad you feel that way. No doubt the guy in your office didn't help things. Examine yourself, did you have a traumatic experience, or experiences that would lead you to feel guilty over feeling sexy, or attractive? Perhaps you wore something that offended your father, who chastised you for it when you were younger? Something along those lines... it is important for a woman to feel sexy, like she is attractive, and you are not allowing yourself to. I do not think this is healthy.

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    • I had (still have) a great dad, but I had a few experiences in early adolescence with unwanted male attention

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    • Logically, I know that you're saying is right. But then when I do, on the rare occasion, wear a dress and get comments like that of my former coworker, it just reinforces those experiences.

    • I understand. It's not a one- time thing, but something you have to constantly do, to reinforce the positive over the negative. There is comfort in your self- condemnation, but I am telling you that comfort is not your friend. You must fight it to become the women you were designed to be.

  • The only reason you view those comments by those men as negative is because you've been taught that you should. When some women have complimented me on the way I dress or on my body, I've bee thankful even if I wasn't attracted to them at all. I definitely would never complain about it.

    See there's a big difference in the way men amd women are taught to view the opposite gender. I'm probably going to get downvotes, and people are probably going to dismiss my answwr altogether for mentioning this, but it's cahsed by feminism.

    Me and my girlfriend had this conversation a while ago. She does a lot to pkease me, especially cooking. At the start of the relationship she saw it as a bad thing that she did this for me, and yet she enjoyed it at the same time. The thing is it's natural to want to please members of the opposite sex (if you're straight), especially your partners. She'd been told all theway through her life that she shouldn't do these things for a man.

    Men aren't taught this way, so they think they're just paying you a nice compliment. You shouldn't feel bad about that, it should feel good.

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    • The comments of random men is nothing at all like wanting to please your boyfriend. The comments you get from women would probably be the equivalent of "you look nice" or something fairly neutral. If you had to deal with sexually charged language in an inappropriate environment (WORK) you'd be uncomfortable too. Not all compliments are sexual harassment.

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    • Nice dodge.

    • Wasn't a dodge. You came here to ask why you feel that sexy is wrong, I gave you my opinion, and for some reason you don't like it.

  • Wor has its own rules, and fashionable isn't part of them, often. You don't want to attract that kind of attention at work, even if the guys there aren't supposed to notice and may 'no longer work there' if they make an issue of it. Still, you will also be considered to have broken unwritten rules.

    Save the cleavage and that dress for after work, as you are doing!

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    • You sound like a douche. It's women's responsibility to make sure men aren't distracted? I said multiple times that the dress was professional and appropriate. So therefore the only thing wrong with it is that it was flattering. Women should avoid flattering clothes at work.

      Also, you suck at reading. Save the cleavage for after work as I am already doing? Read it again.

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    • Yawn.

    • You're the idiot I know plenty of guys who are very muscular who wear shirts they can barely button. And no ones harassing them for it. Oh you poor guys! How hard it must be for you to control yourself seeing a flash of ankle or the outline or a woman's hips! Oh the restraint it takes not to act like barbaric cavemen!

  • Am I the only one that feels a bit sorry for the guy who got fired by giving an overly enthusiastic compliment?

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    • Ummm, he quit. And for reasons that had nothing to do with that incident.

  • youre really pleasing us guys to want to see it with our own eyes. if you look gorgeous be happy with it. there are people out in world I would get cancer by seeing them. be happy or show us a picture of you clothing and get some nice attention

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    • What I look like doesn't matter. It doesn't matter if I'm gorgeous or hideous. Why should I show you a picture? So you can determine whether or not you agree with their comments?

  • You probably don't like that it's attention from someone other than your man, which is normal

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    • it'd be interesting to see the dress, especially on you. just to see what the whole fuss is about anyway

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    • why do I feel like this is exactly the kind of attention that causes me to NOT wear them?

    • my original answer

What Girls Said 3

  • Immature men and hating ass women try to shame women's sexuality as a way to control them. There is a lot of power in being attractive, but many people try to make you feel guilty for it as a way of controlling your power.

    That guy may have just been immature. Acting like he's 13 and never seen a hot girl before. Or he could have had a more sinister reason: He couldn't have you, so let's embarrass you and make you feel uncomfortable for being the hot girl I can't get with. So his mind trick may have worked, thus made you uncomfortable with looking attractive and getting admiration. So you let him control your sexuality

    Or the fact that you let your boyfriend control your sexuality by not wanting to look sexy unless it's for him and he says it's ok.

    Not only do women have power by being, feeling, and looking sexy, but you have the power of words too. If someone says something you find out of line, you can check them and put them in their place. You're a grown woman and you don't have to feel like you can't look good. You have the right to feel pretty and happy.

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    • Oh I'm sure it's not my boyfriend controlling it. I felt this way even when I was single. And with my boyfriend, if he specifically requests something sexy (like he bought me sexy lingerie for my bday), then I don't hesitate. But even with him, I feel like if I surprise him and show up in something sexy, I'm doing something wrong. Wow I have issues.

  • It depends, if you carry yourself with confidence then you wouldn't feel awkward. I think it's a compliment and just be happy about it.

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    • Yes women should be happy about being sexually harassed because at least that means SOMEONE thinks they are fuckable. And if nobody thinks they are fuckable, they are basically worthless as human beings.

  • Yes its inappropriate to make that kind of comment especially you're in a work environment...it can lead to sexual harassment when he's getting other pl to chip in, to make meaty taunts out of you. This speaks more about him than you. He's being insincere and a bit out of control with his behavior. Guess he hasn't seen a woman that has titillate him for ages or he's just *thinking* too much about it.

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    • You should tell him and make sure everyone hears it in the room... "stop making these comments, you don't mean it and you make me uncomfortable". If he gives you a negative reaction, document it down on paper, time and day when it happened and bring it as an official complaint to HR.

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