The Sternomastoid Muscles

by An Ordinary Man (the novel)

Early in the story (April), Andrew asks Richard what he finds to be the sexiest part of a woman’s body.  Assuming the conversation would be in polite company, Richard replies “I would say a woman’s throat is the sexiest part of her body, down by the collarbones; especially when the sternomastoid muscles stand out from her neck when she turns her head.”  To my knowledge, these muscles don’t have a common name, other than just “neck” muscles, but everyone has seen them, especially in photographs of pretty women turning their head sharply to one side or the other.  Gray’s Anatomy shows the one on the left side:Sternocleidomastoideus

He labels it the “sternocleidomastoideus” muscle but modern usage leaves out the “cleido” part. Cleido refers to the clavicle (collarbone), which the muscle runs past on its way from the sternum (breastbone), where it officially originates, to the mastoid process part of the skull, behind the ear.  What Richard finds sexiest in private conversation you’ll have to read in the book itself, but it’s not the neck.