01 July 2007

Sexualized Attraction

While I was reading through more old journal/discussion group entries, I found the following which I thought might be of some use for my humble blog:

Fall 2005

After a recent fireside, I went to someone's house to hang out, and lo and behold, the guy I couldn't take my eyes off at the post-fireside 'mingle' was there. "Of course he would be here," I thought, "Great, I wonder if he caught me admiring him after the fireside? How awkward." I had been captivated. This guy seems like one of those ideal types: intelligent, engaging, good-looking, nice, fit, spiritual, great smile, relaxed, fun...I mean, everything you're either attracted to or want to be, right?

I remember thinking it was silly I should have my attention so arrested by a guy, so I forced myself not to stare and instead glanced often. It was fun to see the way he seemed to woo the ladies...or was it that I was being wooed? It still sounds strange to even suggest that possibility 'out loud'.

I was flustered. They were all playing a card game I wanted to learn, but I felt hesitent to interact with the object of my attraction. I felt inadequate next to him. I felt worried my attraction would become obvious and reveal my 'SGA'. I wanted to just sit back and watch. But I realized I was being a boob and decided to bite the bullet and jump in the game.

I'm glad I did--it was a fun game! And as we played, the feeling of being distantly and powerfully drawn went away, and I realized he's somebody I could quite possibly be good friends with. I realized the 'attraction' I was feeling may have been mostly a desire to get to know a cool guy as a friend.

Yeah, he's a looker for sure. Yeah, I think some of the stuff he does is totally endearing. But I'm not so sure that type of thing has to be sexual or romantic. Have you never found habits of siblings totally endearing? Is that romantic?

A female friend of mine once brought up the concept of 'friend crushes,' where you're sort of infatuated with a new friend during a sort of 'honeymoon' stage until you spend enough time with each other for the newness to wear off. Does this mean you're romantically attracted to that friend? Not at all. It does mean there are many types of and elements to attraction, and they needn't all be lumped into 'romantic' or 'sexual'. This made me wonder how often I've over-reacted to my attraction toward other guys and how often I freaked out and ran away from potential friendships for fear I would awaken a monster inside of me and beecome a raging queen.

So my question: How often am I feeling sexual or romantic attraction, and how often am I sexualizing attraction? Sometimes, I'm just genuinely attracted to someone, male or female, in the sense that I would really like to get to know them and get close to them because they have qualities I like or would like to emulate. But because I'm aware of SGA, and that person may also be a physically attractive guy (and I may very well be sexually attracted, as well), I seem to have been ascribing, in a blanket way, inappropriate attraction I shouldn't pursue to completely healthy and appropriate attraction towards potentially beneficial friendships, which isolates me more from healthy, constructive male interaction in the process!

I'm not proposing same-sex attraction is nothing more than misplaced feelings of friendliness or longing for masculine identification. I'm not trying to get into a discussion of whether SGA consists largely of misplaced and twisted senses of attraction and attachment disorder and early weening and got-made-fun-of-too-much-for-being-a-wussy-boy and seeing your mother naked as a kid, yadda yadda yadda.

I'm just wondering if anyone else has found him- or herself wondering the same thing...am I blurring the line between sexual attraction and 'friendly' attraction? And could it be costing me perfectly healthy, normal friendships because I am unnecessarily afraid of being attracted?

1 comment:

Kengo Biddles said...

Miki and Eileen have a strong loving relationship; neither have lesbian tendencies, but they're highly attached to each other, and in one way, they are in love with each other.

I think that your suggestion of finding things in siblings friend as endearing and falling in love with that is totally true.