Tortured Souls Can Be Sexy

by Mary Kay Holmes on June 26, 2013


James-Caviezel-as-Edmond-Dantes-in-Touchstones-The-Count-of-Monte-Cristo-2002-10I recently completed reading both The Count of Monte Cristo and The Great Gatsby–I’m having a summer of classic men, and I’m enjoying it immensely. I couldn’t resist considering both of our heroes as partners and lovers while devouring the pages, and thought a side by side comparison was in order. A “Bachelor” reality series for the classics, if you will.

When The Count of Monte Cristo opens on the handsome Edward Dantes, we see “a fine, tall, slim young fellow of eighteen or twenty, with black eyes, and hair as dark as a raven’s wing” manning a vessel. I imagine his tousled hair in the breeze as his filthy yet sexy muslin shirt skims his tanned collarbone…at this moment I was completely sucked in and fell in love with our champion of the open seas. Dantes has the world at his finger tips, and the alluring smile to prove it.

As you may or may not know, things do not fare well for our darling Dantes (if you have not read the book, now would be the time to pause this brilliant article and do so). After a string of events his entire life goes to crap in a hand basket and he decides to loathe the world and find revenge on the men who brought him down. As Dantes ascends the dark staircase to becoming The Count we see a gorgeous man filled with hope and love sink to lows I hope I may never experience.

“I think it is time to stop this torrent of mortality. I can no longer bear to be in possession of these secrets without the hope of seeing the victims and society generally revenged.”

Although he creeps into the realm of scary and unpredictable, it all seems justifiable considering what he has been through–much like Walt on Breaking Bad (if you don’t watch Breaking Bad you should clear your schedule and catch up). As The Count cleverly weaves his web of vengeance, I found myself fantasizing about the sultry way his eyes focus on those around him; the way his glare must pierce your inner soul.

So hot.

Although Dantes is a man to marry, The Count is a man to lock yourself in a hotel room with for a week. Come up for air to eat and drink more wine, then dive back down into the passionate pit of fiery desire…try to stay on his good side, though, or he’ll wreck your world in the most insane and horrific ways possible. A small price to pay for the most insane cardio work out of your life, am I right?

Now we switch gears to yet another tortured being, Jay Gatsby. While The Count spends years preparing to wage war on his enemies, Gatsby commits his life to becoming a man of wealth and stature to win his love away from her husband. Both men are sent away, one to prison and one to war, both returning to find the loves of their lives remarried. Both men build themselves from nothing into rich and powerful gentlemen and use their power to execute their plans. One is successful, and one is consumed…


“He had come a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night.”

As we watch Gatsby fight for Daisy’s love, you see him for the shell he is. Perfectly manicured, yet empty. Without her he is nothing, has nothing. Your heart goes out to him, and you feel the yearning of your teenage years come flooding back. Remember the first time you were hopelessly in love and had your heart crushed by a pair of Doc Martens in the park outside your friend’s house? You felt like you would implode, simply shrivel up into darkness and cease to exist…the love you felt so palpable, so all encompassing. Now imagine someone feeling this for YOU, they lay in bed at night fantasizing about looking into your eyes and caressing your cheek. You are everything.

Now THIS is sexy. The idea of someone wanting you so badly they would allow their entire world to crumble for the opportunity to be near you? Amazing. This alone makes Gatsby enchanting. Slightly mopey, and a little bit of a baby, but enticing nevertheless.

Who would you choose?

Two tortured men, one driven by hatred, one by love. Both gorgeous and passionate, both damaged by the unfortunate actions of others. I’d take a combo pack of the two and leave the death and despair out–could you imagine? Sigh…

“All human wisdom is summed up in these two words,—’Wait and hope.’” –Edmond Dantes

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Mary Kay Holmes (Sr. Contributing Editor, Los Angeles)

Mary Kay Holmes runs an empire called Daily Hot Guy and dares you to download the iPhone app so you can join her in a world where there is an abundance of gorgeous men, chocolate and cocktails.Check out the iPhone app in iTunes!Handsome men are

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