The Matrix of Men's Biology
Men are hardwired to be attracted by physical traits. This is not the only path to attraction for men, but it is usually the first and more immediate one. It is like a reflex we cannot control. What guy has not been chided by their partner for looking when they shouldn't be? I am not promoting men to keep getting themselves in trouble here, but just pointing out the intensity of our biology which pushes us to do things we know can get us in hot water. It is so automatic sometimes we are not even aware it is happening.
I also elaborated on this and how this tendency can get us men into relationships that are not good for us, or stay in relationships that are abusive (see also Physical Attraction - It's a Trap). It is part of how men are, and it is important for men to accept this as part of our biology. Once men can accept this, rather than trying to actively deny it to seem more politically correct, it helps us to not let that biology exert so much control over us. If we push it out of our awareness due to social pressure, it will be more likely to sucker punch us.
There are many campaigns out there that are encouraging women to not accept to the cultural standards that have been established about what is attractive. This is great and I completely encourage this. I want to address the men out there who might see the angrier messages related to these campaigns and have a negative emotional reaction to it. The problem for men is that this is conditioning that exists out there which also exerts an influence on what we find attractive as well. Working to revise the concept of what is attractive is positive, but I think that some men hear this and interpret it to mean that what they feel is attractive to them is wrong. I see men developing guilt around this and judging themselves negatively. Some men can take this to the next level and feel like something is inherently wrong with them. I have had discussions with men in which they start the conversation about feeling attracted to a woman, which should be a positive thing, but saying "You're probably going to think I'm bad, but she's really beautiful."
Has it really come to this? I know it is bad that women feel bad about themselves if they don't meet up to marketed standards of attraction, but does this mean that men have to develop a whole guilt complex for feeling what they feel? We cannot blame all men for what the media has decided to do in sexualizing one type of woman, taking advantage of this loophole in our biology, and selling the hell out of it to us. But in some ways that is what is being done. It is going to take time for the new standards of what is attractive to set in.
Men need to know that wanting to have sex and what naturally attracts them is normal. There is nothing wrong with it (unless you are fixated on only dating a Playboy model to the exclusion of all other women, and your reality includes zero Playboy models- and I have seen this happen). There are many reasons that we all have to feel uncomfortable when it comes to sex- whether it be rife with guilt, shame, awkwardness, lack of knowledge- we all have our shame and barriers around sex. Recognizing them and owning them is the first step to those feelings not impeding the sex life that is right for you. Our culture provides us poor education when it comes to sex. Most programs in schools we are exposed to growing up simply teaching the mechanics and science of sex, rather than the subtle ways it makes itself present in real life. I'm sure my teacher who taught sex ed for us had all the best intentions, but really, the cards were stacked against her. We have a culture that shouts out loud that sex is bad, but then are flooded with images of half naked women on network TV and have pornography available to us with simply a couple of clicks. It is no wonder people have hang ups about sex.
The thing is, not everybody is going to have the same desires or concept of sex or relationships or a family or a multitude of other things as you. This does not implicitly mean that what you want is wrong. Fearing that women will judge you as a sex hungry creep is a common fear for men. Truth is, some will. The truth also is that other women will judge you if you are not comfortable showing your sexual interest in them. Stay out of this conundrum and hone your focus on what you want, what you feel, and define for yourself how you want to act.
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