Oh. My. God. An analysis of what makes firefighters so damn hawt

We all know the more obvious reasons for their hawtness: They're handsome, they're ripped and, of course, they're heroes. But aside from the valor and the glistening pectoral muscles, there are more subtle cues that attract us to firefighters -- that much is scientific fact. And because we here at Show and Tell are all about science, we're bringing you our findings from the beefcake extravaganza that was the Fired up for Kids 2011 Colorado Firefighter Calendar release party (

see the full photo slideshow here

). Calendar photos by Brad Bartholomew Photography; party photos by Coleen Whitfield. Like many firefighters, this one displays a haunting duality in his self-presentation: His aggressive stance says "I'm all business," but his plaintive gaze says "when you cry, I will cry also."

Like Freddie Washington from

Welcome Back, Kotter

, this firefighter displays a more relaxed charisma, as if to say, "There may be a lot of things going on behind me, girl, but that won't distract me from journeying deep into wilderness with only the stars and tree mosses as my guide, only to bring you the finest available elk steak, which I will tenderize for you with this tool."

What's sexier than relaxed bashfulness? "Oh, excuse me, you seem to have found me surreptitiously bathing in this beautiful wilderness locale, for some reason wearing my firefighter pants and hat. Would you care to join?" It's a known fact that if firefighter and a bald eagle were to fight to the death, neither would die, but one million terrorists would.

As we've already seen, the contrast between firefighters and water provides a sexy, sexy dichotomy. Probably the sexiest dichotomy. We're going to go ahead and say that there is no possible dichotomy sexier.

Like the grass under your feet, this firefighter rises from the very earth, a wellspring of sexy amid bleak urban landscape and the implied aridity of fire: "When you need me, baby, I will appear. And I


you'll be needing me."

Attraction by withholding. The love of the firefighter is so potent that the only one worthy of it can be... another firefighter?

Or... several other firefighters?

The reason for it is clear: You may not notice it seeing them out of context, but all firefighters are actually insanely tall. Scientists don't yet know why, but somehow the badass acts of heroism actually stimulate their growth hormones.

Also, much like the pope, firefighters have an ace in the hole when it comes to hawtness: They have awesome hats.

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