Distracted By The Sexy: Literature
- Recognized and used in The Annals of the Chosen by Lawrence Watt-Evans — one of the eight Chosen Ones is the Beauty, whose primary abilities are this and the Honey Trap.
- In John C. Wright's Chronicles of Chaos, Hermes pauses in mid-rampage to monologue to Vanity. Lampshaded by Amelia:
I don't mean it the way it sounds, but gosh, if I had been a superpowered mad god, escaped from hell, here to destroy the universe, I would have paused to chat up Vanity, too. I mean, she has that way about her, bright and fiery good looks that draw men like moths to candle flame. And she had undone the top three buttons of her blouse again.
- In Xanth, a woman showing her panties causes any observing man to space out. This is an actual magical phenomenon in that world. Only partial nudity has this effect: nymphs, centaurs, and other human or demi-human creatures who routinely go naked do not cause this. Its mentioned in the books that this is, at least in part, because such creatures consider nudity to be "a part of nature", and no different from ordinary animals not wearing clothing. Humans, on the other hand, always try to cover themselves up, and that modesty is the reason for the magic.
- Dave Barry explores this phenomenon in Dave Barry's Complete Guide to Guys. He refers to it as "Lust-Induced Brain Freeze," or LIBF for short.
- Not to mention, The Miniskirt Rapture of The Sixties.
- Arthur C. Clarke's Rendezvous with Rama contains a passage detailing a space captain's frustration with the distractions of jiggle physics in zero-G, concluding that he's "quite sure that at least one serious space accident had been caused by acute crew distraction, after the transit of an unholstered lady officer through the control cabin." One woman, upon reading this, wrote that she agreed that such distractions would make male astronauts unable to do their jobs, and thus the space program, as a precaution, would have to exclude men.
- A Song of Ice and Fire:
- Non-human variation in A Game of Thrones: Ser Loras Tyrell knowingly rides a mare in heat in the tourney, causing the stallion of his opponent, Ser Gregor Clegane, to be skittish and difficult to control. Also shown in the TV series.
- In A Clash of Kings, Edmure completely missed the fact that his most important prisoner was escaping from his cell because he was too busy heading off to a brothel.
- In A Storm of Swords, Edmure Tully is so distracted by the prospect of, uh, getting to know his new bride better that he completely fails to notice his family, friends, and king being massacred down the hall. Their first child was conceived that night.
- Any male in The Pale King who is in the vicinity of Meredith Rand, with the exception of Shane Drinion.
- Margo Smith of Time Scout can cause minor traffic jams with her skirts. Malcolm Moore has a lot of trouble focusing around her. Well, focusing on anything but her.
- The Dresden Files:
- Molly in pulls this off on purpose to get some information out of a young PI with integrity. It was a hot day. So she removed her bra and cooled her chest, taking over a beer bottle to talk to the guy. He never stood a chance.
- Tera West does a naked dance in the rain to decoy the cops who are watching Harry's apartment.
- A rare in-combat example takes place in Grave Peril, when Thomas sexes up a possessed woman to stop her from strangling Harry.
- In A Desert Called Peace, the sight of Carrera's first wife, Linda, passing by causes a car accident and a man walking with his wife to accidentally walk into a lamp post.
- After disguising herself as a woman who doesn't know "...how to spell FBI." in Blackout Agent Bronsky discovers she has this effect on men, causing a passerby to fall over someone else as she walks by him.
- Older Than Feudalism: In The Ramayana, one aside during Rama's wedding procession describes how a man marching in the parade sees a girl in a chariot in danger of having a Wardrobe Malfunction. He's so distracted he ends up walking into the rear end of an elephant in front of him.
- Percy Jackson and the Olympians:
The way her Camp Half-Blood beads rested against her throat - okay, sorry. Got a little distracted.
- In The Titan's Curse, Percy meets Aphrodite and is reduced to speaking gibberish.
- In The Demigod Diaries, Percy is supposed to come up with a clever plan. Instead, he starts thinking about how Annabeth looks...
- In the 87th Precinct novel Ten Plus One (about the race to find who's murdering people around the city with no apparent connection), the officers on duty have this reaction when one of the potential victims, a stunning blonde actress, arrives seeking protection. In case you're wondering, they catch the sniper before he can cross her off his list.
- In No Good Deed..., Elsabeth Soesten intends to seduce Lord Cuncz in order to gain access to his castle and search for information incriminating him in a plot against the local Prince-Bishop. Upon actually seeing him, however, she very nearly forgets what she was there for in the first place and has to concentrate on the task at hand.
- In The Fault in Our Stars, Kaitlyn loses track of the conversation just from the thought of Augustus.
Kaitlyn: Oh, my God. I've seen him at parties. The things I would do to that boy. I mean, not now that I know you're interested in him. But, oh, sweet holy Lord, I would ride that one-legged pony all the way around the corral.Hazel: Kaitlyn.Kaitlyn: Sorry. Do you think you'd have to be on top?Hazel: Kaitlyn.Kaitlyn: What were we talking about?
- Becomes a Chekov's Gun in Ghoul.