The Rules of Attraction — What Makes You Feel Sexually Attracted to Someone?
Mine is not what I might have thought
I was having drinks with a good friend the other night, talking about what attracts us to someone. I said — a little haughtily — ‘for me, it’s all about personality. I need to find a smart, energetic, and kind woman. If she has that, appearance doesn’t matter.’
My friend quickly called bullshit. She said, ‘I literally can remember making us switch lines at the movie theatre because one of the popcorn girls had sexy tattoos.’ That’s true — she was super sexy and looked a little dirty.
So, of course, what attracts someone to us is complex. It got me thinking.
There are some universal standards that all/most people find attractive. There are body characteristics and features that most people find beautiful and alluring — western ideals of beauty, we call them (yes, that’s just a fancy way of saying a nice rack or chiseled chest). And then there are certain personality traits most of us seem to look for, although this is less universal.
But let’s explore a few things that may change our perception of attractiveness.
I think the biggest factor, for me, that changes what I find attractive in another person is whether I am, at the moment, in a committed relationship. I’m a relationship person. I’ve been happily married for many years, and before that, I had a string of pretty serious relationships. So, when I am not in a relationship, I am looking for one. And the type of woman I look for — and I am very predictable — athletic body, very smart and quick-witted, positive energy, kind, and engaging and interested in others. And that is precisely who my wife is. And, likely not coincidentally, it’s kind of what all the other women I’m close with are like as well. So, that’s my relationship type.
But, then there is another type — the popcorn girl — the bad, edgy girl. While I would not want to be in a long-term relationship with someone like this, I love women who live their lives on the artistic fringes of society. It’s a combination of a look and an attitude. The look — ok, I’m still kind of predictable — I like lean, somewhat athletic, and conventionally pretty. But the attitude — I love women who are ‘out there.’…