Sunday, January 6, 2008

Talk to Me, Baby—But Do it in That Irish Accent

by Shanna Germain

I’ve a thing for men in accents. I mean, men with accents. It’s like sex for the ears. Think of the almost unintelligible, and yet so dreamy, Australian that falls from lips like Russell Crowe’s and Hugh Jackman’s. Or the lovely Scottish (is that a brogue or a burr? I can never remember)…let’s say the lovely Scottish sounds of Gerard Butler and Ewan McGregor. Or that slightly pompous, highly erotic purr of Catherine Zeta Jones. (God, yes, I know she’s not a man, but have you heard that accent? Damn).

I’m even a sucker for certain U.S. accents. I once had a poetry teacher from the south who didn’t have any accent to speak of—until he read his poems aloud. And then his voice took on the softest southern drawl, working the words over until they weren’t words, but hands or fingers. Lingering. Slow. Drawn out…He could be reading about dying in a marsh, but I promise you—poetry never sounded so fuckable.

One of the things I love best is when you watch an actor—an American actor, you think, with a plain-joe American accent—in a movie or show and then later you hear them out of character and—bam!—there it is. Their secret sex weapon: an accent.

This happened to me recently with actor Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (he plays Mr. Eko on Lost, and formerly played Adebisi on Oz). On both Lost and Oz, he had this great Nigerian accent. Add in those great eyes and all of those shots of him without a shirt, and I was already smitten.

And then I heard him speak in an interview. What came out of his mouth? A Cockney accent. Oh. My. God. Please just tie me to one of those big trees on that island and talk to me for hours…

Now, there are some accents that don’t do it for me. British accents can go both ways for me. French sounds snooty to me, unless it’s a woman, in which case I just want her to break out her high heels and whips. German accents scare me a little. And accents in real life can be infuriating—I have an Aussie friend that I can’t understand, even though I know he’s speaking some sort of English. We’d get along fine if he’d say nothing more to me than, “My, you’re a spunky shiela. I’ve just cracked a fat.”

The rest of the Lust Biters agree. Whether Irish, Australian, cowboy style or German, accents are freaking hot…unless they’re not.

Anne Tourney says:

My personal fetish is domestic—I love a man with a Southern accent. I'm not talking about a Cracker twang here; I love a slow, mellow, smooth-as-bourbon baritone with a touch of a drawl. I want to lie naked in bed while a Southern gentleman with a few secret kinks reads me Wallace Stevens and e.e. cummings, then pulls out an issue of Penthouse and reads to me from the "Letters" section. I want him to call me “babygirl” just before he leans down to kiss me. I don't mind too much if he's into hunting or football or riding around in pickup trucks, as long as I can wake up with his body wrapped around me and hear him murmuring, 'Hey, darlin'' as he slips inside me.


Janine Ashbless admits her favorites:

I have the world's worst ear for languages and accents. I went around Venice wishing people “good day” in Spanish (!). But I can spot the two I do like best: a soft southern Irish and Scottish.

Best celeb accents: Diarmuid Gavin and Ewan McGregor.

Worst accents: Northern Irish, Liverpool, Birmingham, London/Cockney. If you don't live in Britain you might not know how many very distinctive accents we have on these teeny islands.

Olivia Knight weighs in on her hot (and not-so-hot) accents:
An Edinburgh accent makes me go weak at the knees, but Glaswegian is just rough and anyway reminds me of my grandparents which is never sexy.

Apparently, to the French, a pronounced English accent in French is sexy. My Danish friend thinks a German accent is hilarious and sounds like the cookie monster. If any Irish person could explain what accents they find sexy, I'd love to know, because I think the rest of the world unanimously falls to their feet for an Irish accent (with the possible exception of Janine who's clearly mad, sorry darling).

Does anyone in the world find a Swiss accent sexy?

When a man says, "I'm from New Orleans, Louisiana" I get all heated and need to fan myself coquettishly. A Chicago accent just says "I'm going to blow off your kneecaps" and not in a good way...

I'm a sucker for the upper-class-English-twat accent, however reprehensible that may be... oh, and yeah, of course, speak in a French accent—you don't even have to be French, just pretend--and I'll hang on your every word and on some other stuff too.

So, talk to me…what’s your accent of pleasure? Is there a slang or twang that makes your ears—and other parts—get all hot and bothered? Tell me all about it…and can you do it in an accent? I’m just going to drape myself over this tree here, and fan myself while I listen…


Dayle A. Dermatis said...

The character of Gabe in Cat Scratch Fever was from NYC, but in my head he looked like Josh Holloway, who plays Sawyer on Lost...who has a Southern accent. I'd be writing away madly and then have to stop and furiously delete a drawled "Darlin'" before moving on again.

On another note, I have a quite yummy female friend who's from Malta. Every so often I have to beg her to speak to me in Maltese. She'll turn her huge brown eyes on me until I feel like I'm the only person in the room, her lush lips will part, and she'll start purring in this amazing she recites The Lord's Prayer.

That just makes it doubly dirty, though...

Shanna Germain said...


What are you doing up? For a second, I thought you had been transported to the UK!

Oh my god, yes, Josh...with that southern twang. He's another one. He could call me freckles anytime!

I don't know what a Maltese accents sounds like...will have to see if I can have a listen...

Janine Ashbless said...

I just thought of another favourite, though it's a bit obscure. In "Neverwhere" the Marquis de Carabas is played by Paterson Joseph - dreadlocks, frock-coat, mad glint in the eye. And this totally cut-glass upper-class English accent. It's just something about the contrast.

So, er .. Black guys with really posh accents.

I'll go watch P.S. I Love You and keep out the way, shall I?

Nicola Harris said...

Can't stand a Liverpool accent. It makes me want to stuff something in their mouth and shut them up.

And not in a sexual way.

Madelynne Ellis said...

Film critic, Mark Cousins. I'm just sayin... He can persuade me to watch anything!

Just Craig said...

Ah, another fine LB post that is near and dear to my heart. Thanks Shanna!

I am fascinated by accents. I informally study them and like to use them when I can.

I love folks like Hugh Laurie, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Cate Blanchett, Frances McDormand, and others who can so convincingly transform their accents to suit a part.

I'm a major sucker for Aussie and Scottish accents. Jamaican accents are great, and I've recently gained a taste for Japanese accents.

I can't honestly think of an accent I don't enjoy on some level.


Alessia Brio said...

A Jamaican patois, male or female, has me weak-kneed in seconds. *sigh*

I sooooooo need a Caribbean vacation.

Madeline Moore said...

I'll third that emotion - Jamaican patois is sexy, mon. Though on my trips to the beautiful island, while the guys were promising me some 'midnight love' the girls were rolling their eyes and whispering that most of the men are lousy in bed. I gather from good authority they don't - er - perform oral sex.

Now, a comment to make all neurotic women weep. My therapist has an Irish accent. Oh dear God, I get sane just listening to him, especially when he refers to something little as 'wee'. But don't worry, I'm not in love with him. I already did my 'transference' thing and we survived it. I liked it, though.
And by the way, I'm certified sane.
Great post Shanna, and one I've been anticipating for awhile.

I should add - I love the way Felix says words like 'butter'. Buttah.
And adds an r to the end of words that end in a. Like, 'Dianer.'

Jeremy Edwards said...

Women with accents are so sexy ...

"é," she said sharply, as my finger found her most sensitive spot.

"Feels good?" I asked.

"â," she replied.

I established a rhythm, pressing firmly then more gently, over and over.

"ñ. ñ. ñ. ñ. ñññññÖÖÖÖ"

Jeremy Edwards said...

Oops—that came out looking like "no." No way is that a no.

Olivia Knight said...

I'm more concerned that she went from French to Afrikaans to Spanish to Nordic all over the course of one encounter - are you sure she's not faking it?

Mind you, as far as accents and I are concerned, everyone's free to fake it. As I said, you really don't need to be French - but please god sound like it. Ah! Oui, oui! (And then you can follow it up with "I say, that was absolutely mahvellous dahling; shall I ring for tea?")

Jeremy Edwards said...

I'm more concerned that she went from French to Afrikaans to Spanish to Nordic all over the course of one encounter - are you sure she's not faking it?

I wondered about that, too. And yet, she was so convincing at the diacritical moment.

Shanna Germain said...

Ooh, look at all these new accents that I haven't discovered yet! I can't wait to go and "have a listen."

Oh, yeah, Mad. My guy has a "NYC/Italian accent" -- which means he couldn't say my name properly forever (It's something with their As), but he does odd things with his Rs, so you get things like "drarer" (drawer) and "quater" (quarter)

Uh, Jeremy, that was seriously a no. You'd think, as often as you hear that word, you'd recognize it! :)

I'm going to have to go find my Lost season two disk...Sawyer and Mr. Eco all at once...


Janine Ashbless said...

P.S. I Love You:
Scottish actor just about managing an Irish accent.

Look, I've got drool all over my sweater. Sigh...

And Portia - James Marsters is in it too!

Amanda said...

my two favourite accents are Newfoundland and Jamaican. i am also crazy over Australian and Irish accents too.

Ally said...

WooHoo Amanda...

Another gal who loves a good ole Newfie accent eh, when you can catch up with their mouths that is. Me real Da had a nice newfie accent, I didn't hear it often but it always drew me in, same as a Cape Breton accent, I can pick that one out of a crowd easily.

I love all accents and can duplicate most. But yeah my favorite is an American Southern accent mmm that drawl makes me wanna crawl and beg for more.

Also a French accent... no not French Canadian and I love a heavy brogue too.

I can also sound like a true German seeing how I grew up with it screaming in one ear or the other most of my life. Damned if I don't make the best Goulash!

Ally said...


I won't say NO Jeremy.

I'll just say eh, eh, eh, don't fucking stop eh.

In my very Canadian accent.

Kate Pearce said...

I get a bit huffy when my lovely American friends say I have a fabulous 'British' accent. I feel compelled to explain that actually there is no such thing as a British accent-someone who lives 3 miles away from you (or less) could speak totally differently to me-and then there is the whole class issue...I insist it's very simple-I have a middle class London/Thames Valley twang, with the occasional lapse into basic cockney if I'm attending a football match-see? simple really.

although I also have to add that having an English accent in the US is definitely useful!

My personal favorites are the soft drawling southern accents, the Irish and Welsh and a bit 'o French.

Anne Tourney said...

Wonderful post, Shanna (not least because you managed to imply a three-way liaison among me and the Brokeback Mountain boys :)). I think the sex appeal of voices is highly underrated. I've always found that a sexy voice is one of the most attractive traits a man can have. In fact, a man's voice is probably more important to me, or as important, as any visible trait.

Along similar lines, I saw this NPR article today:

Mathilde Madden said...

I like voices, words, talk. I like accents.

I have a close friend who can cover every base. French, German, Russian, Yorkshire, Devon, Liverpool, Irish, Scottish... I'm losing count, I think there may also be Dutch, Welsh, Cockney...

Oh, and if I fancy hearing a new accent, I just have to find something on You Tube for him to copy. It's a marvelous thing

Olivia Knight said...

I'm still waiting to hear if anyone finds Swiss German sexy.

"Ja, das is goed, ja," in Swiss German is - I think - as sexy as a cold shower with simultaneous colonic irrigation while dwarves wave photographs of Margaret Thatcher naked on a cold day... but I could be wrong. Am I? I mean, some of my Swiss students were certainly good-lookers, and perhaps I'm being a bit Latincentric here...

I eagerly await correction.

Just Craig said...

Ally, I'm not sure I could pull off a Newfie accent, but if you'll point one out to me, I'll learn it.

All I ask is that you "bring some o' that Goulash oot, eh?" I haven't had a good bowl of goulash since I left Germany in '82.

Amanda said...

Joel Thomas Hynes is my favourite writer from Newfoundland. his accent isn't really strong but you can hear it here when he talks about his fantastic novel, Right Away Monday:

who says "eh" a lot, but never "aboot"

Shanna Germain said...

Oh, yeah, Amanda...thanks for the UTube listen. I love the way he says, "vice" and "whorin'"!


Deanna Ashford said...

I'm sorry I love men with French accents I think they are just so sexy.
Also Italian accents make me weak at the knees, perhaps because one of the first guys I really fell for hard was Italian - his name was Paulo, he was tall, dark, handsome, incredibly sexy and I've never forgotten him.

snowkitten-uk said...

When it comes to accents I have to disagree with you all in regards to French. To me it's just not sexy at all.

I do agree however, on the Irish and Scottish accents. Talk about weak at the knees!

And depending on where he is from a Welsh man can be good too!

Geasa said...

There is nothing wrong with a Brummie accent. The problem is that a lot of the time, you are actually hearing a Black Country accent which is more extreme.

That said, I have a sort of mixed accent, and if I had the money, I would do a Bernard Shaw.

If you have a thing for accents, and James Masters. See if you can find a clip of him doing his party trick. He has done it on a couple of chat shows.