Lady Gaga recently opened a concert by yelling to her fans “do you think I’m sexy?” I’m glad I wasn’t at this concert because I feel like I would have been left mumbling, “well, I certainly think you’re fairly subversive, and I think you play off of “sexy” things, which is different from being straight-up sexy. How about “brilliant” Lady Gaga, can I think you’re brilliant like a giant moth lit up by the light of the moon?”

I guess that wasn’t the correct answer, because all the fans yelled “yes”. And Lady Gaga seemed happy with their response.

I still think I’m right.

Look, I like Lady Gaga. I think she’s fascinating. But she’s not sexy. Or, at least, sexiness is not the first thing I associate with her. It might be, like, the 8th.

Britney Spears in her naughty school girl costume? She was sexy. Shakira shaking her hips? Sexy. The Pussycat Dolls in pretty much every item of clothing they own? Sexy.

A lot of the appeal of sexiness is that it’s really, really obvious. You don’t have to think very hard about why a schoolgirl stripping naked might be sexually appealing to people. And I honestly don’t think that the thought process that went into those costumes went beyond “I look hot in this.” Or “I wish I could be naked, but I guess I should wear a little clothing.” Being a pop star is like getting to celebrate Slutoween every day of the year.

Because, to be truly sexy, your outfit should communicate only one thing “I like sex! I like it any way you want it! And you totally have a chance with me!” Lady Gaga’s outfits keep communicating things about, say, the nature of modern warfare and lobsters. This is, perhaps, sexy, but only to Salvador Dali.

Sure, there are guys who find naked girls wearing glasses and holding comic books super sexy, and God bless those men. But as a general rule, sexiness is pretty much divorced from intellectualism. If you see someone sexy, your first impression shouldn’t be, “wow, they’ve really put a lot of thought into exactly what they want to communicate with that outfit.” Your first impression should be “I would like to have sex with that person.” Or, “If that person was within my sexual preference, I’m pretty sure I’d like to have sex with them” (i.e., were I a man, I’m pretty sure I would have wanted to sleep with Britney Spears during her sexy phase).

And it’s about wanting sex. Sure, a relationship with Lady Gaga would be preferable to a relationship with Britney Spears (especially now) but again, sexiness is just about appetitive desires. It’s not about good long term planning. It’s about seeing something and wanting it.

And I just don’t think that’s the first reaction Lady Gaga evokes in people. Can someone be sexy and be other things, too? Sure. Hey, we’re all at least a little bit sexy to someone. But if Lady Gaga were only to pick one word to have her fans describe her as? I just don’t think sexy is the right word.

But I could be wrong. I’m including some of her costumes below. See if they strike you as more intellectual and subversive or just straight up sexy. Though, working on the theory that everything is sexy to someone, I have tried to help by listing some people I’m sure would find the outfit in question sexy.

– “Revenge of the Sexy Nerds” Walrus Magazine.[ITPGallery]