According to Sunday’s column by those hard hitting newshounds Matier & Ross, yup, the same column that ruined Obama’s visit to SF, our own Gavin Newsom was recently voted “The hottest hunk in American politics” by poll respondents on, “the world’s largest social dating community.”

Well, that’s not exactly right — in actuality, this HIGHLY SCIENTIFIC study determined that Newsom beat out President Obama and Gov. Schwarzenegger to get the dubious honor of “the most datable career politician.” (See for yourself in Zoosk’s “news report” above.)

Is “hottest hunk” vs. “most datable” a tomayto/tomahto situation, or the sort of thing that demands the entire city of San Francisco RISE UP and demand a correction from Matier and Ross?

Is Gavin, in M&R’s words, a “hot hunk” or is he more, per Zoosk, “datable”?

To answer these questions, I obviously had to go to the experts: sex columnist (and former M&R colleague) Violet Blue and Gavin Newsom chronicler (and current M&R colleague) Beth Spotswood.

When asked if there was a difference between being a “hot hunk,” and “most datable,” Blue’s response was immediately affirmative. “When someone’s “hot” or “hunky” you just want to make sex with them. Dating material is altogether different,” Blue said by email.

“When someone is dateable, you want to engage with them as a dating partner. OkCupid will back me on this: a “dateable” person has multiple qualities that make them desirable for dating: attention to you and details, persistence, responsibility and timeliness, attraction, money, follow-through (many of the same qualities as career pursuit and commitment).”

As I read this, I realized I have only dated one datable person, ever. Do not get me started on the hunk thing. But this is not about me! Moving on.

Spotswood, via IM, also believes that the qualities that make a man a “hottest hunk” and “datable” are quite different. “The most datable politician is Cory Booker (Hi Cory. Call me.)” Spotswood IMed.

“Gavin is technically (and subjectively) hotter: based on designer suits, obsessive toiletries use (see today’s Culture Blog) and the fact that he tries SUPER HARD EVERY DAY to be ridiculously hot.”

“But he is less datable than Cory, who is also hot, because Gavin has more baggage than Kate Winslet boarding the Titanic. Therefore, as we all know none of us are getting any younger, Gavin is less datable than the notoriously single, sweet and sexy Cory Booker.”

Of more interest to Blue, however, is the motivation behind Matier and Ross’s conflation between the two properties. “Interesting that M&R chose to only focus on one of those qualities.” Blue wrote.

“I’m thinking that M&R let their personal feelings get in the way of their objectivity when summing up the survey results. Or it’s been a while since someone’s had to put in the effort and maintenance required to actually get a date. (Let alone a second date.)”

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at

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