The summer is flying by. And if I had a dollar for every time I have said the word “sexy” this season, I could treat us all to a holiday getaway with snowballs to cool off.

After hosting the “Your Sexiest Summer Yet” ESSENCE Google Hangout, I was in full prep mode for moderating the Sexy At Any Age Panel at the 2013 ESSENCE Festival, which was full of great nuggets on exploring what makes you feel good, and the internal connection leading to external joy. Watch video here.

BaddestBrothersSlide

Sometimes “sexy” is a label put on you by others and not something you self-identify. I learned that first-hand as I produced the Baddest Brothers of 2013 package for the August issue of ESSENCE. which features the “sexy” Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson on the cover. We did a survey online where close to 4,000 women voted for various awards from Sexiest Walk (President Obama) to Sexiest Smolder (Idris Elba).

Here’s the board I took in to our editor’s office to pitch the concept:

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The feature also includes eligible bachelors from around the country and famous Black men of every age from 20 – 50. (If you treat me to brunch, I may let you know which guys ages did not pass fact checking . . . 🙂

Screen Shot 2013-07-26 at 11.34.05 AMI am also honored to be on the contributors page of ESSENCE for the first time. And my beau got his first national magazine photo credit for snapping my picture at an impromptu photo shoot in my Harlem apartment.

Professional success, attractive men, loving relationships with others are all things that can be deemed “sexy.” But this week I was reminded the most fundamental element to sexuality is a connection to self. After a full day this week, I took myself on an impromptu date to Cafeteria. At the sexy bar I feasted on truffle fries and a blackberry lemonade while reading Lean In.

What’s sexier than self-love?

Do check out the August issue of ESSENCE and let me know your thoughts!