Why We Love Men With Accents
They’re sexy and charming – and all they did was say “hello.” What is it about guys with foreign accents that makes us swoon?
– Maureen Dempsey, BettyConfidential.com
“I wouldn’t have said this at the time, but looking back, it was all about his accent. It really made up for what he lacked in the looks department,” says Maya, a 29-year-old yoga instructor from Boston, recalling how she fell for Steve, her foreign-born ex-fiancé. “If he’d spoken like a Midwesterner, all bets would have been off.”
It’s funny how, for some women, an exotic accent can boost a man’s sex appeal. But what is it about the sound of a foreign voice that’s so captivating? London native Rochelle Peachy, who still speaks with an accent despite living in the U.S. for 12 years, may not know the exact answer but she does know that for some people, it’s the ultimate spark. In fact, after years of people asking her to set them up with her international friends, she finally launched a dating website, ILoveYourAccent.com, in February. The site was specifically created to help singles in the United States and the United Kingdom connect – and, as she explains, one of the main reasons it works is that each country seems to be in love with the others’ accent.
“Funnily enough, Brits love the way Americans speak, as well,” says Peachy, “though it’s not so wildly known. We hear it in the movies.”
But sex appeal isn’t limited to just the Brits. Plenty of other accents have been known to do the trick, too, as Amy, a photographer from Bethesda, MD, explains.
“I moved to France for awhile, and lived with a Frenchman,” she says. “Philippe and I were together for about two years, and he said plenty of wonderful things to me in his native language, but what I found most charming (and deadly!) was when he’d translate French sayings into English. Once, I had to return to the States for a month or two and he was very down about it. The day he drove me to the airport it was raining, and at one point, speaking in English with his beautiful Gallic accent, he quietly said, ‘See, even the sky is crying because you’re leaving!’ It nearly killed me! Of course, if an American guy said anything like that to me, I’d probably laugh out loud. But French sayings tend to be more poetic than ours to begin with – even if the point is basically the same– and when someone translates them into English, especially with that wonderful accent…well, they still get me every time!”
“Guys with accents just seem so cultured – the very sound of their voice suggests a maturity and worldliness that most men here don’t have,” adds Amy. “It’s definitely a huge turn-on!”
Maya agrees. When recalling her relationship with an Israeli man in her early 20s, she says there was definitely an “air of sophistication and mystery the accent imparted: Where has he been? Where is he going? And will he take me?”
“I still melt when he calls me ‘darling,’” says Maureen, a New York-based nursing manager, referring to her boyfriend of three years, Malcolm, who’s originally from London.
The problem? Everyone finds his accent alluring. “Women of all ages – from mid-20s to late-60s – get giddy around him,” says Maureen, with a laugh. “For example, we went shopping the other day and he wound up with three sales clerks around him, giggling and chatting. They even gave him hugs and kisses goodbye!”
But the Brits have nothing on the Italians, as Tricia, a special education director from Hampton Bays, NY, is quick to point out. “The subtle inflections of his voice are so strong, confident and sexy,” she says about her husband of eight years, Beppe, a native of Capri. But it’s not just how he speaks or what he says. “The cultural nuances that European men grow up with, the fact that they really ‘get’ how to cherish a woman…well, that coupled with their accents, makes them simply irresistible,” she says.
If a man with an accent is on your “must-have” list, Peachy says that joining a site like ILoveYourAccent.com can’t hurt – and it may even open up some doors. “If you’ve been hitting those same two little bars for the last few years, hoping to meet someone exciting and nothing’s happening, it’s time to shake things up,” she says. “If it doesn’t work out, then you can always go back to the bar and eat chicken wings.”
Tell us: Do you have a thing for foreign guys? What’s your favorite accent?
Maureen Dempsey is a freelance writer based in New York City – which means the paychecks she works so diligently to earn are spent all too quickly in the gazillion clothing stores within a 10-block radius of her apartment. She owns too many black dresses.
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