Sexy Move: Be From New Zealand (Or Go Somewhere Else Far Away)

I walked up to a girl recently and very calmly and politely said to her…
“I’d like a McDouble, a small fries and a medium coffee with cream and sugar.”
That may not sound like much of an opening line, but she did the open mouth thing and briefly pushed her hair back a little. I just smiled at her, repeated my order and raised my brows a little and the blush was spectacular. You see it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. The trick is quite simple to the delivery of such an everyday line creating such instant gina tingle…
…I have a New Zealand accent.
It’s so good it should be illegal.
(come see the majestic fjords)
If you’re a long time reader you’ll know that I was born and lived in New Zealand for the first 24 years of my life before moving to the United States to be married to Jennifer. I’ve been living here fore 15 years now. For those playing the home game and not math challenged, I am easily worked out to be 39. My accent has definitely softened over the years, I used to have trouble ordering in restaurants etc (the solution was to order in an American accent) but now speak smoothly enough that I rarely have trouble with that.
But the Kiwi accent remains as a firm undertone to the way I talk. Jennifer naturally just doesn’t hear it anymore unless I purposely turn the Kiwi up and concentrate on it.
(ride the cable car in the beautiful capital city)
But to other American women it’s like catnip. Since I started being really aware of it and how women react to it, it’s actually started being amusing watching the gina tingle just kick in with basic conversations. I’m not even trying to hit on someone and I get the hips turning towards me, the hair twirls and easy laughter. I seriously cannot shut the damn thing off.
(come see the lovely sheep)
A couple examples…
At one of my kids parent teacher nights, the young married teacher basically completely ignored me and talked quite directly to my wife as I sat quietly and let the conversation go between them. Then I opened my mouth and asked a question (I forget what it was) and it was like a switch was thrown and Mrs. Teach’s face lit up like a Christmas Tree. After that my wife was all but ignored for the rest of the meeting and I got a full hair taken down display from Mrs. Teach, easy laughter, a sudden jump up and sashay across the room to get some random piece my kid had done and a sashay back. All with my wife sitting next to me the whole time.
(see the worlds biggest syringe and bungee jump off it)
It’s really helpful as a male nurse getting a little extra help from female doctors once in a while. Especially if they only get to talk to me on the phone. I’m not ugly by any means, but I know I sound sexier than I look. I’ve rarely gotten the magical hotlines to male doctors, but get the secret extension to female ones far more frequently. “Oh Athol call me for anything”. Funny, all I heard was a subtle invitation to a game of Doctors and Nurses. But maybe that’s just me and my overconfidence with women kicking in, baby.
(enjoy the fine sports events)
My favorite female co-worker playfully told me off today that “I have too many women in my life”, and right after that I got a call from a hospital discharge planner who just dove into the “that’s an amazing accent where are you from…” and we had a mildly flirty conversation while I held up a piece of paper saying “Too many women LOL” for my co-worker to read. And yes I admit I was doing that on purpose to frak with her a little too.
Now I know this all sounds like I’m full of myself, but I understand this effect really isn’t because I’m extra special, I’m just foreign. I’ve seen exactly the same thing happen with Americans going to New Zealand. They may look like they are blending in, but as soon as they open their mouths, opposite sex heads start swiveling en mass and focusing on the source of the accent. It’s the ultimate in verbal peacocking.
(a typical Kiwi girl)
My hunch is that something keys us into a foreign accent denoting that you are in fact a walking meat sack of non-local DNA, and a great source of new DNA to be mixed into the local gene pool. This makes you seem sexier than you in fact “really are”. In New Zealand I might be a pretty decent 7 or 8, over here I’m 8 pushing 9. Again, it’s not something I am trying to do, I’m just non-local. And non-local is sexy.
I’ve been in America for 15 years and not once, seriously, not even a single time has a male said to me “wow I like your accent”. On meeting a new female though, roughly one in three women will very obviously express “oh I love your accent..where are you from?” with a very obvious display of interest.
(also prostitution is legal in New Zealand, so everyone goes home a winner)
So it may seem like a drastic step if you’re struggling to find dates, but maybe a little travel might be in order… Talk about a Sexy Move…


  1. Wicked Shawn says:

    Sadly, it's undeniably true. Like catnip.

  2. Athol Kay says:

    Works for both men and women too. I found Jennifer's accent sexy but I don't really "hear it" anymore.

  3. Kim Maxwell says:

    Personally I like George's Australian accent, that really does do it for me, but I do miss your Kiwi accent Athol. I don't miss the real estate business either, but it seems as though blogging is your true calling anyway. Love this blog but I do miss the horrid MLS photos too.
    Kim Lauder Maxwell

  4. Anonymous says:

    Is the picture in the About Me actually you?

  5. Accents can swing both ways, actually. While accents from English speaking countries and from some select Euro countries (France) are DHVs in the US, other accents are usually DLVs.

    In the latter group, I identify: Indian accent (I've never seen a girl respond positively to it, even if the guy could pass for Italian before speaking), Hispanic (Mexican and others) accent, West African accents within African Americans.

    There is a hierarchy of accents in all languages. In Spanish, for eg., the Spaniard accent is positive almost everywhere else.

  6. Athol Kay says:

    @ Il Capo… hmmm you may be right on that account. Though people don't know where I'm from, so country of origin is still up for grabs. Maybe English speaking country of origin is a requirement.

    Yes that's me in the picture. I really should get a better one.

    @ Kim – KIM! How wonderful to hear from you again. Unfortunately I had to bury the real estate blog, it was fun for a long time but in the end I just wanted that time of my life to finish.

    This topic is far more fun anyway!

  7. Good post, and good points by Il Capo too. I have to wonder if it really swings both ways though. American women are well known for being suckers for certain foreign accents, but I have never heard of the American accent being considered all that hot elsewhere. American status or money, yes, but not the accent. Do you really recall when you you younger seeing NZ girls go gaga over an American's accent?

    Cause if so I am getting a plane ticket. :)

  8. Athol Kay says:

    Give it a shot :-)

  9. Keoni Galt says:

    My hunch is that something keys us into a foreign accent denoting that you are in fact a walking meat sack of non-local DNA, and a great source of new DNA to be mixed into the local gene pool. This makes you seem sexier than you in fact “really are”.

    This makes perfect sense. Good hunch!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Athol's little sister says:

    So FGS register your kids NZ citizenship. Don't make me come over there!

    Oh, and for the poster above, generally American accents are attractive to Kiwis, so long as you can sound intelligent at the same time.

    The foreign accent is attractive thing is covered in the movie "Love Actually" which is a fun British who-famous-wants-to-be-in-a-movie? type thing. Just like in the movie, Athol had to leave NZ because he was pretty low rent around here, but as you can see he has lifted his game to embarrassing levels since emigrating.


  11. Athol Kay says:

    Woo-hoo little sister reads my blog. I might actually register the citizenship one day.

    Always pleased to embarrass you :-)

    Love and kisses.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I've noticed the same thing with women here. Simply being foreign (but from a location people aspire to travel to or respect) for some reason opens more doors than you might think.

    ie. being from Paris or Auckland is better than hailing from Helsinki or Tirana

    Sadly my clipped Canadian accent didn't get that kind of reaction in Oz or Kiwiland. But speaking pretty good German while in Germany certainly got people's attention. I was too naive to detect tingling at the time. Looking back it was obvious with some.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I remember when a Southern girl moved to Ohio when I was in high school. She knocked us all out.

  14. Being a British English male living in France, I can confirm the foreign accent thing, but it seems to me that being unidentifiably 'foreign' and being asked 'where are you from' (now) works far far better than having my national identity worked out as soon as I open my mouth (10 years ago)

  15. Anonymous says:

    Oh I so have to agree… At least, in sofar as it works on women (especially this one!).

    The two accents that are guaranteed to make me weak at the knees are, coincidentally, NZ and Irish. (also, I appear to be one of the few British people that can tell the difference between NZ and Aussie accents within the first few words… Rather than "where are you from?" I'd likely ask "What part of NZ are you from?")

    But for me, I have a slight german accent, even though I was born in Britain, thanks to my parents. I find all it gets me is teasing.
    Admittedly, this may simply be because I hate it so much after being teased as a child, it somehow gives off that vibe to people I speak to. I absolutely detest people trying to rpeat what I said and laughing, but try as I might, I can't seem to get rid of it.

    Anyway, have been reading your blog over the past few days, and while I don't agree with *everything* you have said so far, about 95% of it is so true it should probably be required reading for all. I got here because hubby – ever the beta – had started taking your advice, and wanted me to read it too, so I could see why he was at times acting differently.
    He's not quite got it 100% yet, but I can certainly see the improvement, and things have been better between us these past few weeks than they have for a long time.

    Thank you Athol!

    P.S. If long-distance calls weren't so expensive, I'd be phoning you up just to hear your advice delivered in one of my favourite accents ;-)

  16. Athol Kay says:

    You are welcome Anon, I am glad I helped you guys.

    P.S. Skype is amazingly cheap for international calls. I can call a landline in NZ for 2 cents a minute from the USA.

  17. Angeline says:

    I have to agree, and love your theory as to why a ‘foreign’ accent is so appealing. I also believe that an English-origin accent (UK, NZ, Aus) often carries the assumption to Americans of ‘more intelligent’. The manner of speech and the vocabulary just so often is much moore formal and elegant than the casual and slangy way Americans speak, that we’re impressed and assume intelligence comes with the accent.

    My man was born in the UK, and came here (to Ohio) as a child, but still has a bit of an accent. In addition, he can mimic a lot of other accents, having been around them when he was in the military. He’s got so many characters in there I started naming them … “Oh Nigel! I’ve missed you …” The funny thing is, he is fascinated by my (fairly mild) southern accent, and it never fails to make him laugh *and* be totally charmed and turned on when I bump it up a few notches and say something naughty or pithy. It is fun to play with on both sides.

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