Many of the naturist sites I've been on recently have revealed a theme: the human body is beautiful but not inherently arousing and we should look to the personality within before judging anyone's beauty.

While this is the same advice espoused by my therapist, I find I tend to disagree.

My primitive ancestors didn't stand up on the African savanna to be better able to divine another's true nature. They stood up to see over the grasses.

While I would agree that the sense of smell is quite possibly our foremost erotic sense, sight is primarily how people gather information. I see a red light, I stop. I see a ball hurtling toward my head, I duck. I see a symmetrically built and featured man across a room, I'm attracted.

I can't possibly know anyone's personality based on sight alone. Yeah, I can tell loads by their non-verbal communication. A man dressed in office attire or youthful-urban fashions tells me immediately what kind of person they want me to think they are. Uniforms are important since they communicate massive amounts of information without having to explain oneself, this is why employers almost always have a dress-code. No CPA wants his/her receptionist wearing a hoodie.

Movement and posture are also huge. A man standing, favoring one leg, and waving his hands about without using his shoulder tells me something about the temperature of his flame. Whereas a man standing erect, his feet shoulder-width apart, with his groin thrust forward tells me something about his self-image and his psychological assertions toward manhood and a man-image.

All of these cultural mannerisms could prove false. Socializing in probably 50% acting anyway and most of us adhere to cultural norms whether we agree with them or not. The most feminist supporting man in America still has a problem with being a stay-at-home Dad and most employers (male and female) still expect every man to be at work during all scheduled hours… even if they have children.

So, while it's nice and lovely to preach a doctrine of personality-based attraction, in reality sight is the first and most powerful attractor. The young and the beautiful still have more friends – which helps them learn how to socialize more effectively, which helps them gain more friends, which is good practice for developing friendships, which gains them more friends…

I've heard this same argument from some of the more kinky elements of the Gay Community. Enjoying leather or pig play shouldn't matter to the neighbors, yet it does when one's attire advertises such bedroom activities. Weird is weird, and while it may say nothing about a person's generosity or kindness, it still carries a stigma. Sons of Anarchy isn't a show about Harley riding philanthropists. Stereotypes matter and changing them, while noble, is still an arduous endeavor and needs to take the stereotype into account whilst endeavoring.

Conclusion: Yes, once I cross the room and begin a conversation with a hottie wearing the nylon t-shirt clinging to his solid muscles I will begin to assess his personality and make cost/reward analyses concerning my time and effort. If he's a raving racist or just plain stupid then perhaps I'll privately enjoy the fantasy some other time. If he lights up and turns his attention like a laser toward me, then maybe something wonderful could develop should our interests and world-views happen to coincide or complement each other. However, it was the physical image that I first noticed.

2 thoughts on “Idealism”

  1. The world is full of idealized notions. The naturist community is no exception with their idea that there is NO sex involved in club interactions. It's quite possible that there is almost always none, and for many people there may even be absolutely none, but to say that there is always none, is to over-idealize. Even in the "best" of clubs.

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