I had a conversation a while back with a friend that made me realise how different sexual attraction is between folks. She mentioned the rush of seeing someone attractive and feeling flushed, filled with desire. I quirked my head and replied wait, that actually happens to you? I have no idea what that feels like. So in case there are other people who don’t do desire in the same way that I do, here’s how my mind wraps itself around the concept.
When I see an attractive person I recognise that they’re attractive, but I might as well be recognising that a flower is yellow. It’s an objective fact without further connotations. I don’t get sexual or romantic attraction without an understanding of who that attractive person is. I have no interest in fucking them because, well, I wouldn’t fuck a flower just because it was yellow either. There’s no instant tingling in my heart or nethers. I don’t get slack jawed or tongue tied, nor do my eyes protrude from their sockets. This isn’t to say that I don’t have shallow qualities either. If I do think that someone’s attractive I’ll start subconsciously searching for reasons why they’re the kind of person I’d want to meet. I’ve gotta work my brain, heart and dangly bits into alignment if there’s any chance of quickening my heartbeat. “Oh, you’re reading Tom Robbins. You must like words.” There has to be the seed of something or it’s all a wash.
If I start talking to them and enjoy the conversation, that’s when those butterflies of attraction kick in. They start blooming in my mind and I realise that they have a stamen (I’m kind of losing touch of this flower metaphor) and might want me to buzz over and make some sweet honey with them. If they don’t seem like my type, sexual attraction doesn’t even enter into the situation. I’ve got no interest in kissing them, let alone sleeping with them, regardless of how they look. I’m not creating any moral high ground here, but sexual interest based on physical attraction alone isn’t something I’ve found myself capable of. I’m not knocking anyone else, if it works for you, that’s great. Probably preferable, even.
It’s why one night stands are pretty rare for me. I’m unlikely to bring someone home unless that journey has been preceded by several hours of getting to know someone. If we meet in a bar and crash in bed together, it’ll usually be because anything that’d halt the conversation feels wrong. In which case it’s probably not gonna just be a one night stand (unless you find me abhorrent and smelly and never want to see me again). If it’s getting late and I’m not head over heels I’m probably more likely to grab your number and go for a second date.
The other side of this is that in other situations I find that I’m suddenly attracted to people I’ve known for a while. Maybe they’ve said something that makes me feel some kind of connection or commonality and attraction sparks. I’ll start noticing or admiring their features in ways I never noticed previously. It’s like once my brain is piqued it’s on the lookout for more reasons to keep these people in my life.
Then again if I’m drunk, my caveman brain is a lot less discerning. “Oh, you just pulled that dude’s spine out? You must be a Mortal Kombat fan. I can work with this.”