Last week, Catherine Hakim’s book, Erotic Capital: The Power of Attraction in the Boardroom and the Bedroom, hit shelves and stirred up a right proper debate. In it Hakim argues that sex appeal is our most valuable asset – alongside “economic capital (money talks), human capital (what you know) and social capital (who you know).”
More than just being beautiful, Hakim defines erotic capital as “including sex appeal, charm, social skills, physical fitness and liveliness, sexual competence and skills in self presentation such as face-painting, hairstyle and clothing.” She says that smart women recognise the value of their erotic capital and aren’t afraid to make the most of it to get ahead. Meanwhile the rest of us point the finger and bandy about names like gold digger or slut
Need examples of who successfully wields their erotic capital? Then how about the IMF chief, Christine Lagarde; Carla Bruni or even Katie Price (aka Jordan) who has made a career from it.
“Too often, women throw away their most universal assets sexual access and erotic capital, because they have been brainwashed into believing that only money and qualifications have value,”says Hakim.
Is Hakim’s new book just what our post-feminist, hyper-sexualised world needs? Or does it hark back to old-fashioned views of femininity?