Last week the world lost one of its most talented artists when Leonard Cohen passed away at the age of 82. Cohen was known for being many things: a singer-songwriter, a mystic, and a poet. He was also a legendary lover.
In the 1972 documentary Bird on a Wire, there is a scene where Cohen is approached by a steady stream of beautiful women, all practically begging to spend the night with him. Even he finds the attention surprising. What was it about him that women found so irresistible?
We've compiled a list of the 8 sexiest things about Leonard Cohen because there are qualities here that all of us can learn from. Study it, and learn at the feet of a master.
How to Be As Sexy As Leonard Cohen in 8 Easy Steps [Tweet this]
1. Be an Artist
No, you don't have to quit your day job, but there's a reason we find artists so enticing. Artists make us see the world in new ways. They take chances. They devote themselves to a practice they find meaningful.
No matter what you do for a living, you can make yourself sexier right this minute by painting a picture or writing a poem. Don't know how? Take a drawing class. Learn to dance. Even your job can be a work of art if you approach it like one. Make creativity a cornerstone of your everyday experience, and you'll be glad you did.
2. Dress for Success
Leonard Cohen was the consummate snappy dresser. Again, this doesn't mean you have to drop your whole paycheck on designer duds, but having an eye for what fits well and looks good on you can be a huge confidence booster. Spend time in vintage stores, or get to know local designers. If you feel lost in the arena of fashion, ask someone whose opinion you trust to help you with a makeover. With style, a little effort goes a very long way.
3. Feed Your Mind
Remember books? If it's been a while since you've picked one up, take a trip to the library or bookstore. Leonard Cohen is responsible for some of the most searingly insightful lines of poetry ever recorded. How did he develop his way with words? He was a reader.
4. Get In Touch With Your Spiritual Side
No, we're not telling you to run out and join a cult. But maybe a meditation class?
In addition to being a lifelong student of mystical Judaism, Leonard Cohen was an ordained Buddhist monk. The wisdom of his lyrics is rooted in a deep knowledge of world spiritual traditions, and that famous charisma no doubt had a lot to do with the practices that kept him grounded—and gave him many colorful words for ecstasy.
5. Don't Be Jealous
In Sisters of Mercy, Cohen sings,
You won't make me jealous if I hear that they sweetened your night.
We weren't lovers like that and besides, it would still be all right.
Perhaps your own permissiveness stops short of polyamory, but there is something to be said for the ability to put aside feelings of jealousy for the sake of your beloved. Possessiveness is a form of control. The foundation of any healthy partnership is trust.
6. Look On the Bright Side
"There is a crack in everything," Cohen sings on Anthem. "That's how the light gets in."
Even though much of his music could be considered dark and brooding, Leonard Cohen's ability to find the light in the darkness was positively infectious; it reminds us to be optimistic even in the most dire of circumstances. We all love being around people who give us hope.
7. Be of Service
Take a moment, if you will, to familiarize yourself with the lyrics to I'm Your Man.
If you want a lover
I'll do anything you ask me to
And if you want another kind of love
I'll wear a mask for you
If you want a partner, take my hand, or
If you want to strike me down in anger
Here I stand
I'm your man
Now, this might be one of the most seductive songs ever written, because it lets the listener know exactly what kind of lover Leonard Cohen is: Whatever kind of lover she wants.
Does this mean forsaking your own identity for another person or going along with things you don't want to do? Hardly. Instead, it alludes to the concept of being GGG, or "Good, Giving and Game"—a term coined by columnist Dan Savage to describe a person who is willing to do whatever it takes meet their partner's needs (within reason).
To have concern for one's own pleasure is human; to spend even more time thinking about your partner's pleasure isn't just divine, it's Cohenesque.
8. Be Humble
"You told me again you preferred handsome men," Cohen sings in Chelsea Hotel No. 2, about an affair with Janis Joplin, "but for me you would make an exception."
Leonard Cohen was a handsome man, but here he's being humble. Confidence is sexy, but confidence tempered by humility is coy, even flirty.
Leonard Cohen is no longer with us, but the body of work he left us will last forever. We can think of no better way to celebrate his life than to make love the way Leonard would: confidently, humbly, and ecstatically—because now more than ever, "love's the only engine of survival."