Friday, September 10, 2010

Beauty vs. attractiveness

I'm currently taking a day class in programming for Android. I am surrounded by college-age women; e.g. half my age. While many of them, like young Nichoel the cosplayer in the previously linked video, are beautiful, they are not attractive to me. It's a big relief; when I was young I figured attraction to young women would be a pain in the ass when I got old. Nope. I acknowledge the beauty without desire. I never really expected to be able to able to appreciate the beauty of a nubile woman so much in the abstract; when I was young I really couldn't separate acknowledgement of beauty from feeling attracted to women. Not that I so much separate it as it is separated for me somewhere subconsciously.

(At least so far; I'm now in the point after my wife leaving where my subconscious is starting to really want to look around for someone new. Too soon for my conscious mind by far.)


  1. I think a big part of it is what we project onto other people (not all of it incorrect by far) about what their appearance indicates they might be like otherwise. I know I'm not attracted to a lot of men I would find basically very handsome because something about their age or the way they dress or who they're with sends some signal to me that they'd be boring and/or annoying to interact with over a long period- two big turnoffs.

  2. Hmm; I think I feel that too, but it's not quite the same thing as I was describing. When I get a big turnoff signal, I don't really appreciate any beauty that's there. Women that are way too young for me may be beautiful but unattractive; they are esthetic but I don't want to DO anything with them. It may be rather similar to how a straight, non-competing woman would feel about some other beautiful woman.

    Women that have some annoying signal going on (which includes tons of college-age women) are not only unattractive, but they do not strike me as beautiful even if they are. Like you say, I can tell I would find them beautiful, and others would too, but I don't feel it, I only know it.

  3. when I was young I really couldn't separate acknowledgement of beauty from feeling attracted to women.

    When you were young, you had more testosterone and a stronger biological urge to breed. :D

    On a related note, the other day I got to thinking about orgasms and sex - how when I was younger, I thought orgasms were the whole point of sex. Now I'm more about the journey than the destination, and it seems like other people in their 30s and up feel the same way.

    I'd been assuming the attitude switch was a matter of emotional maturity; then I remembered that when I was a teenager, my arousal patterns were way different. There was a lot more urgency, a lot more of a need to orgasm, than I feel now. I remember briefly making out with my boyfriend in public when I was 18 and spending the rest of our outing almost crippled by desire; I couldn't think straight and was certain I would actually die if I didn't come. Nowadays even if I'd really like to orgasm, if it's not a convenient time I can set the idea aside and it's not a huge deal.

    I'm not a huge supporter of evopsych as a rule, but humans are designed to start breeding at around age 13, and if cavemen only lived til their 30s and our bodies haven't changed since then, it means we're going to be super-duper driven to pass on our DNA when we're in our teens and 20s. So of course we're all gonna be hormone-soaked horndogs, and of course we're going to feel a lot of urgency, and of course we're going to be attracted to damn near anyone who isn't actually deformed.

    People who dismiss younger folks as having the wrong sexual priorities have probably forgotten what being young was actually like.

  4. I absolutely agree about "more about the journey than the destination"; the simile I used here was that sex was a story with the orgasm as climax; a story needs a climax but the climax isn't the reason for the story.

    Honestly, I can't remember seeing the orgasm as the whole point. I think that's probably a male thing; the bad male stereotype is man orgasms, goes to sleep, woman is unsatisfied. I wanted to not be that as long as I can remember.