Who better to speak to than somebody who just recently had sex on TV!” laughs Laura Carter, model and recent Celebrity Big Brother contestant, as she talks sex appeal with BESTFIT’s Leara Gabay.
What do you look for in a guy?
I need a bit of both worlds; I like a bit of excitement but I also need someone to be my anchor. I’m a bit of a wild child and I like to party. I’m also very independent, so I need someone who won’t hold me down, but who I can share adventures. I’m obsessed with fighters, so UFC and kickboxers.
What turns you off?
I didn’t think people really used chat up lines anymore, but recently one guy asked me my name. When I asked for his, he said: ‘Casa, Casa Nova.’ I was off straight away! No cheese, please lads. I think the biggest way to ooze sex appeal is to be confident. If you can do that, you build a bit of an aura around yourself. I meet a lot of guys at work and the ones I’m drawn to are the ones who have confidence.
You seem comfortable with your sexuality…
I am open and honest about my sexuality. I was in a relationship for seven years, which is a long time to be in a relationship in your 20s. We kind of lost that chemistry quite early on, so it’s no wonder I turned into a complete and utter nympho when I left him! I was 28 and about to get married when I suddenly got this whole new lease of life. I thought, actually, I’m far too young to do this marriage and kids thing. I feel like I’ve got so much more to give. I think a lot of women at 28 would completely disagree with me and think that was too old! I felt empowered. I think it’s empowering to tell women to do what you want to do. Maybe I am a little too honest and open about this kind of thing but I just think, why should men sleep with people and be commended but when women do, they’re labeled? I don’t think it’s right.
That’s a really interesting point because while you were on Big Brother recently, things got quite steamy with Marco Pierre White Junior. Do you feel like people reacted differently to you compared to him?
Oh god yeah, absolutely. I think the biggest thing was his relationship. So he was supposedly in this relationship but what the general public don’t know is that Marco flips from one engagement to the next. He was only with this girl for two weeks before he asked her to marry him! And another girl two weeks before that. Then, when he left the house he asked someone else to marry him. So I mean come on! The fact that he was in an open relationship and I was comfortable with the fact that if he’d told me that and promised that to me, then why am I in the wrong?! He’s in the wrong, not me – I’m the single one.
How did it feel knowing everything you two got up to was filmed?
A lot of people ask this. As soon as you go into the house, you almost forget about the cameras. I didn’t actually realise that all the focus was on Marco and I, which was really naïve of me, because of course it was. I completely forgot about the cameras but actually, when we were in bed together, nobody actually knew that we’d had sex because it was so subtle. I don’t think it was the actual sex that was the steamy part, it was all the stuff we did before!
Do you think people were shocked to see how blatantly sexual you were with each other?
Yes, exactly. I do hold my hands up and say everything happened too soon. I mean the belt around his neck… That was just on another level and I can completely agree that that was too much for some people. But for me it was a joke, we were just messing around; people just don’t realise how drunk we were and that we were just playing around in the heat of the moment. He’s such a strong personality that I just got swept away in the moment, that’s all I can say. It’s like, you know when you go out and get so drunk that you wake up in the morning and think, ‘oh my god what the hell did I do last night?’ Well, imagine that but in front of the whole nation.
Do you regret any of it?
Absolutely. It will be a regret for the rest of my life because my family had to watch that. So I actually got offered to do Love Island, Ex on the Beach or Big Brother and at the time, my manager told me to do Big Brother because people will see you for who you are and not just your sexuality. And then I went and did that!
It’s definitely boosted your status as a sex symbol. Is this the image you want to portray?
It’s kind of the image I’ve become without really wanting to. I was quite a serious actress, doing things like Emmerdale and Casualty and now all of a sudden I’ve become this sex symbol. Part of me likes it but part of me thinks I want people to see me for me. I have got different sides to me; I’m a sweet, lovely, normal, grounded girl that just happens to have this wild side
We’re giving tips to both men and women in this edition on how to ooze sex appeal. You famously slept with Justin Bieber, which shows that if you want something, you go and get it. What tips can you share with us?
No matter who you are or where you come from, if you want something, you can have it! The sexiest thing about a woman is confidence and men really do pick up on it. If you exude confidence, you really can have what you want. That night in the club, it was really funny because when someone told me Bieber was there, I knew instinctively that I was going to meet him. I was getting drunk and he was up in a different section, but just as I was leaving his security guard grabbed me and said ‘come over, he wants you on the table’.
How do you feel being in the public eye?
In my line of work, it’s good to stay in the public eye. I go to a lot of events to keep my profile high, but there is another side to it. I’ve actually found it harder since I left the big Brother house to the extent that I’ve had a bit of anxiety. I was quite prominent in the press when I came out of the house and I quickly regretted some of the things that happened in there. When I first came out, I worried how the whole experience might have affected my career and the first week or two were really hard, but since then I’ve had some really nice feedback from people. I think when people actually get to meet you, they see another side of you that’s not always presented in the press, and I’m fortunate that people have given me an opportunity to show what I’m really like.
Your appearance is important to you. How do you keep fit?
Dancing is my thing. I’m a podium dancer, and I’ve been doing it for a couple of years. I also go to the gym, but I’m not one for the treadmill. I just don’t have the attention span for it! I prefer going to classes. I love yoga, too. It’s quite hard work but it also takes you away from the stresses of every day life.
You’re out partying all the time, so how do you maintain a healthy diet?
I eat pretty well. I won’t lie, I had a burger at 4.30am this morning, but in that situation I try and do what I can, and having sweet potato fries over normal chips. I guess I’m out drinking a bit too, and while I do like some sugary drinks, I try and drink vodka, lime and soda where possible. I convince myself that it counts as hydration as well as alcohol! During the day I eat well. In the morning, I’ll eat salmon, avocado and tomatoes, for example.