There’s no denying that a gentleman who enjoys sport is an attractive gentleman, indeed. Not because of increased muscle mass or diligently toned abs, but because of what many sports tend to represent: honourable, gentlemanly-worthy qualities that imply the sporting man in question can be a good loser, or can support his team. In short, a gentleman who enjoys an afternoon out on the sporting field exudes myriad attractive qualities that will serve him well.
But which sports in particular have this effect? And what are these elusive attractive qualities we’ve been harping on about thus far? Tricky questions, indeed; so we asked the authority figures — specifically, women — to name the sports they feel make a man effortlessly, irresistibly attractive.
“The sexiest sport for a man is rugby,” says Caroline*, a 27-year old senior tech consultant. “The sportsmanship is so much more honourable than football. Rugby’s about the game, and people tend to be very honourable when winning. There’s a culture of shaking hands after the match, you tend to take the other team out for a pint afterwards…”; and 27-year old senior account manager Miranda* adds that the reaction rugby players tend to have to injuries — “[getting up and] carrying on, most of the time” — is undeniably attractive.
29-year old lawyer Sophie* also finds rugby to be the “most interesting amateur sport”, adding that it would be her preferred option if she was ever going to go and watch a man playing sport first-hand. There you go, gents; if a woman isn’t bored, that’s a pretty good sign.
“There’s nothing so hard to resist as a man in cricket whites; plus, it’s the ‘gentleman’s sport’,” says 27-year old lawyer Harriet*. Cricket whites speak for themselves, really — they hint at a man with style, and a man with style is a handsome man, indeed — but the concept of cricket as a ‘gentleman’s sport’ is an interesting one. What are the ingredients that make a particular sport a gentlemanly — and thus an attractive — pursuit?
“Etiquette is important; so a man playing cricket will seem polite,” suggests 27-year old lawyer Jessica* — and it’s certainly true that an impolite gentleman is a far remove from an attractive one. (That said: there’s no such thing as an ‘impolite gentleman’.) Jessica adds that “smart uniform is required, not just any old sports gear”; so having come full circle back to those cricket whites, it’s apparent that gentlemanly style should extend to the sports pitch if the gentleman in question wishes to present his most attractive self to the world.
“Tennis guys always come across as gentlemen,” says 27-year old marketing manager Elizabeth*. “I like the handshake at the end of a match, and the gracious acceptance of a loss. Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray all [seem like] gentlemen; Tim Henman, too.”
As we’ve established, a gentleman is attractive by definition, due to his admirable personal attributes; and the attractive qualities of tennis shouldn’t come as a surprise. We’ve previously included it in our list of the six most attractive hobbies for men, after all. But Harriet adds that the inherent sportsmanship (a word that seems to keep coming up in conjunction with the word ‘attractive’; pay close attention to that fact, gents) present in tennis implies good manners and etiquette. “Particularly ‘old-school’, traditional [manners], which I like,” she adds.
Of course, every woman will feel differently; but if you suspect the object of your affection has a soft spot for the traditional, why not invite her to play a game of tennis where you can present your most sporting self?
A man who swims is a man who takes care of himself. That’s an undeniably attractive quality, in and of itself; as is the idea that he’s committed to health, personal fitness and beating his personal best, all of which swimming automatically conveys.
But it’s more than that, as Sophie points out. “I love the sea and anything to do with it; so the fact that someone loves swimming suggests a good holiday companion; someone who’ll be up for sailing, paddle boarding…[things like that.] I’m also really getting into cold water swimming, and that would be a nice thing to do with someone — especially if we went camping!”
Who would have thought a simple sport could suggest so much? They say a picture says a thousand words, but apparently swimming says more…
Ok — stay with us. It’s not commonly listed among well-known sports; but if you’re reading this article with the aim of pursuing a truly, genuinely attractive sport, then you’ll want to pay attention to this one.
“It can be any dancing: breakdancing, ballroom, salsa,” insists Elizabeth; “but if a man has rhythm…there’s just something about a man who can dance. [I] can’t keep my eyes off them.”
We’ve long advocated how important it is for a gentleman to have good rhythm — in fact, we’ve listed ‘knowing how to dance’ as one of the things that makes a man a gentleman — so if you’ve never yet been convinced, perhaps now’s the time to book yourself a series of ballroom dancing lessons. From the sounds of it, it’ll only ever serve you well…
*Names have been changed.
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