Things That Made Guys HOT in The 80s – What Were We Thinking?

It’s funny, I used to be attracted to many different things than I am now (a decade into marriage). Back in the 80s, a mullet might have been enough to get my heart racing (Stop judging, I meant, a nice mullet OK? One that’s all feathery and flippy, not frizzy or straggly.)  Now, simply remembering trash day without a reminder is super hot.

I have to say, I never would’ve anticipated my prerequisites would become so boring, lackluster, cliche, unexciting, sad … (though, when I look back, the attributes I used to find sexy, desirable, and like, so awesome, are somewhat, um, embarrassing.


Did you not find these things sexy too?

This was Totally Hot in the 80s:

1.  Like I said: A mullet and not just any mullet, one with panache, one with style, one that was well maintained, one with a mind of its own (like its owner). Think, Rob Lowe in St. Elmos Fire, or John Stamos on Full House or … let’s give props to the best mullet of all time … James Spader’s a la Pretty in Pink.

2.  If you could quote movies, you were a stud. I’m serious, anything from “Can you describe the ruckus?” to “I guess I picked the wrong day to quit sniffing glue” to “Sometimes you just gotta say, what the fuck.” Frankly, it didn’t matter what movies you quoted, for some reason an ability to remember a script and banter the lines back and forth like a game of camp ping pong, was highly valuable back in the day.


3.  Anyone who wore Obsession for Men or Drakkar Noir – Was instantly sexy. It was like hooking up in a bottle. Actually, making-out in a bottle (I was kind of a tease). Any guy was hot wearing those scents, well within reason, at the very least they were classy, and hot from behind. Well, if they were wearing something acid washed, or Girbauds, or Cavariccis (with the pin tuck fold up cuff that is) DUH.

4. If you could dance. Seriously, between Flashdance, Footloose, Stayin’ Alive, Girls Just Want to Have Fun, Breakin, Grease, and Dirty Dancing, how could you not find a guy with moves hot? I recall going to about 8000 Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, school dances, and sweet 16s, and teen “clubs” searching the crowd for the boys that didn’t do the hands on hips back and forth sway with prerequisite white man’s overbite. Of course the goal was always to dirty dance (or “freak”, as we called it) but really I found any effort adorable, from the impressive abilities like: The Robot, the Roger Rabbit, the Cabbage Patch, The Running Man, or Moonwalking to the comical moves like: The Sprinkler, The Hammer Dance, and the Shopping Cart. (G-d I was easy.)

girls just wanna have fun

5.  A Sweet Ride.  Oh, I’m talking something zippy like a Mazda RX-7, a Nissan 300 ZX, or a Toyota Celica – Supra (You know something an adorable preppy guy would insist on putting a bra on?) Pop up lights and a spoiler were a plus. Then there were the “Bad” cars like the Camaro IROC-Zs or the mothership – the Transam with with an eagle across the hood. If you drove one of those, you were automatically awesome, I mean you clearly had excellent taste in cars and you were probably a bad boy, which was always cute (Kiefer Sutherland, I’m talking to you), and maybe you even had a comb sticking out of your back pocket. And perchance that comb wasn’t like the other combs everyone shoved back there, but it was the switchblade kind and you’d take it out and snapped it open to … you guessed it, comb your mullet.  Though technically speaking, any car with t-top and bucket seats would do and the comb was optional. PS My boyfriend drove a red 280ZX, it was a stick – I’m sure you’re like totally impressed.

6.  If you were mean.  Yep, if you were mean, you were totally in. In the 80s it was all about the challenge. If you were dripping with sarcasm, somewhat in love with yourself, and also good looking … you pretty much had your pick of the ladies … and I was front and center. In the 80s the nice guys always finished last. We wanted Blane — not Duckie. We wanted Chris Chambers — not Gordie Lachance. We wanted the John Benders, and Billy Hicks, and Ponyboys, and Rens McCormacks and Jake Ryans, because if the movies of our generation taught us anything, it was that those boys would come around in the end and give us the love and admiration we truly deserved.

If I recall this is right before he unwittingly finds her girdle (now known as Spanx) snaps it and says, "What is this, your scuba suit?"

If I recall this is right before he unwittingly finds her girdle (now known as Spanx) snaps it and says, “What is this, your scuba suit?”

Well, what did you find sexy in the 80s?


Find Jenny From the blog (the Jen Xpert) on Facebook

Other Stories You May Like:

I’m Old, Uncool, and I May Never Get Over Macho Grande

20 Things Women Would Do For There Besties

50 Totally Random Things I Remember as a Child of The 80s

Because Chachi Loved Joanie, Not Me – And Other Reasons I Made Out With Posters in the 80s

This is a 3 part series: Stay tuned for the 90’s … Get your flannels out and don’t forget your angst. And the decade I like to call: After Marriage!


12 thoughts on “Things That Made Guys HOT in The 80s – What Were We Thinking?

  1. Beth

    So in college I totally had a 300Z and men used to come up and pet my car and share memories of all the “good times” they had in their own Z’s…. #truestory #ew

  2. Woman_on_Pause

    I think what I found hot about guys in the 80’s is that they were grown. I was probably 8 when St. Elmo’s Fire came out. I remember thinking, they are so GROWN UP! I want to be grown up and make out with mullets one day too. One day…
    Woman_on_Pause recently posted…I might be a Grown Up.My Profile

  3. Val

    Ah yes, the mullet. Totally hot. Then. Total mess now. I also loved a boy who could do something cool, like roller skate wicked good, or one would could do tricks on his BMX or had skater cut and actually skateboarded. The one thing that, still to this day I love, a sense of humor. Someone who can make me laugh goes right up the list of hotness. Of course back in the day what made me laugh is completely different than now, but damn I liked a kidder. Quick wit, sharp tongue. not in that respect. I was clueless back then. LOL.

  4. PinotNinja

    Oh Drakkar Noir… Every time I smell it I’m immediately transported back to 8th grade and that magic moment when I slow danced with the boy who I had a massive crush on who, of course, was doused in Drakkar.

    Earrings also did it for me, especially a little silver hoop. What was wrong with me?!
    PinotNinja recently posted…Woman vs. JuiceMy Profile

  5. brenda

    I was always a Duckie girl, myself. A leather jacket, doc martens, or a studded choker would put me over the edge. But also the Drakkar thing.

  6. WeezaFish

    *hands to face* Oh my word. I just totally travelled back in time. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes and YES! Only it was ‘L’Homme’ aftershave in our neighbourhood and as long as the car had go faster stripes, spots or had ZX or GTi after its name, then it was good.
    WeezaFish recently posted…5 Easy Tips for Healthy EatingMy Profile

  7. sparkling74

    I was oblivious in the 80s but this all continued right through the early 90s, when I graduated. Drakkar. Wow. How about Eternity for men? That just about drops me to my knees even today. More because of the boy who wore it than because I liked the smell.
    sparkling74 recently posted…Ipad, Do You?My Profile

  8. Alex

    OMG yes to so many of these – especially the mullets. MacGyver! But also rolled up jacket sleeves. And the New Romantics: tight pants and pirate shirts – eat your heart out, Johnny Depp. No, wait – he was there too 🙂

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