Dita Von Teese thinks trying too hard is the "kiss of death in being sexy".
The 49-year-old beauty is currently competing on 'Danse Avec Les Stars' - the French equivalent of 'Dancing With the Stars' - and despite having a childhood passion for ballet, Dita fears "overstretching" herself on the show.
She explained: "My worst fear is looking like I’m overstretching myself. Trying too hard is the kiss of death in being sexy.
"I beat myself up about my dance talent – and pretty much all talent. But I do know what I have. I do have something."
Dita - whose real name is Heather Sweet - has been credited with re-popularising burlesque performance.
But she admits there's a distinction between the performance of sexiness and real-life intimacy.
Speaking to the Guardian newspaper, she explained: "There’s stage sexy and then there’s the reality of who you are in the bedroom. There’s vulnerability.
"That’s the fun of it. I’m not embarrassed for people to see me without make-up on. The erotic side of me is something people don’t see on stage."
Dita has felt "very preyed upon" at times in her life. But she's also had "big-time boundaries" during her career.
She reflected: "I have definitely found myself thinking, ‘What did I get myself into?’ Or sometimes, ‘Oh, it’s easier to just go along with it.’
"But there are lots of things I walked away from business-wise because I wasn’t willing to play the game. Even when I was a bondage model in the 90s, I had big-time boundaries. People used to say I wasn’t very fun, ‘She doesn’t have drinks, she just shows up and does the job.'"
Despite her doubts, Dita considers herself to be very business savvy.
She explained: "Even back then, I was very business-minded and doing my best to stay in a position of power."