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Despite having bared it nearly all for his hit semi-autobiographical drama Magic Mike, Tatum was reportedly quite humbled by the honor, which had already been leaked to the media last week.
"My first thought was, 'Y'all are messing with me,'" says Tatum, who has been happily married to actress Jenna Dewan-Tatum since 2009. "I told Jenna after we'd been in the bathtub washing our dogs because they'd gotten skunked. She was like, 'What?' She calls me [the Sexiest Man Alive] now.
He may be famous for his ripped abs, but the Alabama-raised hunk, 32, isn't just a heartthrob. He's also a sensitive soul who loves to quote Edgar Allan Poe, give his wife massages and even discuss the exciting prospect of starting a family.
"I'm ready; I think she's ready," he says. "The first number that pops into my head is three, but I just want one to be healthy and then we'll see where we go after that." "It's really easy for us guys to say, 'I want like 15 kids,'" he continues. "Jenna will be like, 'Well you better get another wife!'"
His wife -- and biggest fan -- says that beyond the sexy, physically fit exterior is actually a very deep man.
"People know him to be fun and sexy, but they don't know how emotionally deep and spiritually open he is," says Dewan-Tatum, 31. "He is such an open-hearted person; what you see is what you get."
The "Sexiest Man Alive" issue hits newsstands on Nov. 16.
WATCH: Channing Tatum and Matthew McConaughey Talk Magic Mike