01 July 2007

Desire Assuaged by Familiarity

My previous post, Sexualized Attraction, is related to another discussion going on in the online group at the time I posted it. I've included some of those comments along with additional thoughts, so this entry is a hybrid of old and new ramblings:

I've seen other mohos say they're surprised how diminished an attraction has become when they actually get to know the object of their affection, and the object becomes a person. I've experienced the same thing. Heck, it happened at the last shindig at the Matises' (no offense to the hottie of whom I speak, who probably will never read this anyway *wink*). And yet I've questioned, isn't that pretty much what happens anyway, gay or straight? You want most what you can't have or what is, in your ignorance, able to be idealized, and when you get it, it's not the fantasy you might have pictured, and reality sets in. It doesn't mean the attraction wasn't real and romantic. I think most of us have also experienced the opposite, where the more you get to know the object of your affection, the more attractive they become. But most people aren't going to connect that well with everyone, so the majority of attractions probably will diminish as you get to know the person and realize you don't mesh as well as you'd hope but can still be friends.

As for getting to know someone you're attracted to (thereby alleviating the sexual tension created by your overactive idealizing imagination when reality stifles your passion), I think I tend to err towards excessive caution. I have, at times, over-focused on the attraction until it has interfered with the development of perfectly healthy friendships with other guys. When I was younger, I wasn't good at relating to other guys at all. Then, before my mission, I got better at it, and by a year or so after my mission, I really felt like one of the guys like never before.

But when I really faced my attraction to members of the same sex and began to deal with it head-on, my ability to develop those friendships seemed to freeze a bit for a while. I could still have and make guy friends to an extent, mind you, but I was letting the whole "when will homosexual feelings or prejudices about homosexuality come into play?" attitude stifle normal interactions. I probably still do sometimes. I've become more comfortable with "straight" guys again. Now, it's more a matter of remembering how hetero guys relate and interact fairly differently from homos. *grin*

I may have a tendency to be cautious, but on the other hand, I'm no longer afraid of my attraction to other guys. Call me past feeling, if you will, but I figure attraction is something I don't necessarily always have control of, so if I happen to find myself becoming so physically attracted that I'm likely to make an idiot of myself, I just back off and take a mental cold shower. Don't ask how.

And there has been the very occasional friend I wished wasn't so freaking hot so I could hang out with them without always wanting a striptease (though I've never felt that way with my closer friends...maybe because I only let myself get close to the less hot ones? *wry grin*). But even with the freaking hot ones, the more I hang out with them in small groups where we actually interact, the less I want to shove money in their G-string and the more I begin to think of them in a fraternal sense. It hasn't always worn off completely, but it becomes more manageable.

So back to the earlier question: is it really that different for heteros? I'm not so sure it is. Maybe a hetero could comment on this...if any ever find, let alone read, my blog. *wink*


Abelard Enigma said...

... is it really that different for heteros?

You're asking a bunch of homo's that question???

Seriously, you've hit on something I'm going to have to ponder. I don't think all attraction is necessarily sexual in nature. You may be attracted to someone because of common interests, or because they are very good at some skill or talent you are working on, etc. So, I think a friend attraction is very plausible. And, I think it is also plausible that, perhaps, we tend to over sexualize our attractions, especially when the object of our attraction also happens to be physically attractive. Perhaps we can get confused over what exactly it is that attracts us to that person.

Hmmmm, I going to have to think on this some more ...

Anonymous said...

I have a partial answer for your question. Being that I am Bi (I know, hard to believe) I say it is the same.

I have known girls and guys that are extremely attractive and the personalities don't match.
Pardon me for being blunt, but its the case of "I will do them but not really be in a long term relationship with them."

I don't think it's a gay or straight question, it depends on the person who has the dilema.

Darrin said...

Speaking as a resident hetero in the queerosphere, it is not always the same for us. Looking back on my past, I was actually more in love with a person the better I knew them. I was only "attracted" to the beautiful people that I didn't know, but never in love with them. I suppose it is a superficial thing. I guess it also depends on the intensity of the attraction.

Forester said...

I too have experienced this phenomenon. I have a very close friend, who knows I am gay, is extremely hot, but my physical attraction for him has diminished as I have gotten to know and spend more time with him.

I use to ask him what he would do if I tried to kiss him. Once he flat out said that he would deck me. That has made me back off. I don't deal well with physical pain and I really think he would do it.

One time he was going to borrow some clothes of mine and I was showing him a few in my closet. He began to strip down and try on different clothes. I wanted to touch his chest so badly. I thought maybe I could just brush up against him, or I could just outright touch him and pay the consequences. Instead, I told him what was going on and he got a funny look on his face. I think I grossed him out. But he was very nice about it and just said it was strange having his best friend have the hots for him.

Since then, I haven't gotten the hots for him. He also is very careful not to undress in front of me any more. I feel bad that I lost that. Not because I want to see him naked, but because now I am more alienated as a gay friend, rather than just his friend.