Dec 7, 2011
Men 101: Looks
Men care about physicality. We shouldn't have to apologize for that. It doesn't make us shallow.
It's also not the be-all-end-all.
The way we men work is very different than a woman; whereas my experience is that a woman's attraction to a man is intertwined with how she feels about him and his personality; for men they are two completely different things. There's a box for "physical attractiveness" and a completely separate, unrelated box labeled "personality and character." Just because one is checked off, it has absolutely nothing to do with the other (and vice versa).
In fact, much of what we like is based on experience and what we are exposed to (from others and feedback). This is how society encourages or determines what is sexy and attractive. Sure, some of it stems from what our tastes are, but a good chunk of our likes and dislikes has to do with early experiences and exposure.
For example, I really like redheads. Not because they're all more beautiful than the rest of the population, but one of the first women I saw and truly admired -aside from my own mother -happened to be a redhead; I've been transferring that feeling, that association, to other women. It's funny how many things we do/don't like, or avoid/seek out because of a critical or initial impression. It's just the way early experience works.
If someone was teased with a nickname, using it will often be perceived as teasing, regardless of the intent. It's how they've learned to respond to it -and it's an automatic response. The same holds true in many ways for men and attraction. Much of it is socially trained into us and the responses are pretty automatic.
Personally, I find it worthwhile to work on -and perhaps change -some of those automatic responses. Some of those preferences don't have to become necessary criteria. It would be ridiculous for me to decide that I could only date red-heads for this reason. Because me thinking a woman is attractive, and having an automatic physical response can be different things.
Still, there are things that I will not find attractive (or have a particular affinity to). I can't change every bit of learning or experience, nor would I want to. But some things are worth working on.