Edge of Everywhere

Hot Stuff

Posted on: September 30, 2008

When I was younger, I never got hit on on the street. Over time, I guess I got more standardly attractive–some weight loss here, a better haircut and some makeup there–and now I occasionally do. I’ve even been asked out on two recent occasions by guys who were actually polite and nice about my rejection (although I must admit I told them both I wasn’t single; that seems to be the best tactic). Both times, I remember thinking, “How could he possibly know I would be worth talking to? He knows nothing about me and I’m sure we have nothing in common.” This line of thinking probably stems partially from my asexuality and partially from the fact that I am really picky about the company I keep, so I wouldn’t be interested in talking to a random stranger unless their appearance signaled shared interests or subcultural affiliations. The appearance of these men signaled neither. So it kind of baffles me that they decided, based (I can only assume) on my physical attractiveness alone that I am worth spending time with. If I knew what it was like to be sexually attracted to another person, would this make more sense to me?

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4 Responses to "Hot Stuff"

Hmm, I’m not sure. Usually, the only attention I get is from the usual creeps who will yell at anything that looks female. But the very few times that someone remotely respectable has been interested, it’s confusing to me, too. I feel like they should get to know me more before making a decision ๐Ÿ™‚ While I try to look my best (most days), I don’t want people to like me for that reason. I can think someone is cute, but I have no desire to communicate with the person unless something about their personality appeals to me, too. And I’m willing to bet a lot of sexual people feel the same way. It’s the age-old problem– people that aggressively come on to you are probably not the ones you’d want to get involved with. But the people you would want to get involved with are probably less likely to make themselves known to you. I really don’t know how to find mutual attraction.

Hi asexyfeminist – I just found your blog. Welcome to the asexual blogosphere!

Sometimes I wonder if people (well, in my experience it has always been men, but there may be some women who do that too) who hit on strangers in the street really expect to succeed (and I’m not just talking about the creeps here – I suppose the creeps don’t really expect to succeed, but they keep trying anyway). I mean, honestly, can they believe that a woman who doesn’t know them will really agree to have coffee or a drink with them, or give them her phone number? I’ve had some who kept insisting even after I told them I had a boyfriend (maybe I wasn’t lying convincingly though).

Maybe it is something they do for fun, just to see how much it freaks women out. Or maybe it is some kind of a joke and the woman is supposed to play along for fun, but it is not expected to lead anywhere. None of these explanations makes any sense to me, but it does not make any sense to me either that someone could want to get to know me just because of the way I look (especially as I don’t think I look particularly attractive or anything) ๐Ÿ˜€

To Ily: Once, incredibly, I experienced some kind of mutual interest – but it was not exactly on the same level, since I had a small crush on that person and she was “only” interested in getting to know me as a friend. We had never talked, but we had one class in common and what she said in class made me think that she was someone I would really like to know. One day I finally decided to try to talk to her, but once I stood next to her, trying to find something to say, _she_ was the one who started a conversation with me. It appears that she had noticed me in class too and had decided that she would like to know me better. We became friends quite quickly after that (and my crush died, because it was clearly hopeless and I thought the friendship was more important than an unrequited crush). Still, that was an amazing experience – but it was probably pure luck.

Full disclosure: I’m sexual, and have never been hit on on the street. But when people proposition other people that they don’t know very well, there are a couple of things that could be happening…

1. They could just be having a weird and slightly offensive sort of fun (like the fabled construction workers who holler at ladies) and not seriously expecting any sexual payoff.

2. They could be trying to use the date or drink as a way to get to know the person better. This happens a lot more than you might think. A good relationship needs an emotional and intellectual connection, but you can’t just look at a person and say “I bet they would be emotionally and intellectually compatible with me!” – although, again, there are more hints to a person’s personality in their appearance than you might think; style of dress, posture, manner of speech, choice of leisure activities, all these and more are visible fairly early, at least in a limited way. Despite the limited nature of visual information, most of us poor sexuals are wired in such a way that we start feeling drawn to a person BEFORE we have any other information! The super cautious approach would be not to date anyone until we’re sure that they are emotionally and intellectually compatible, but that can take an awfully long time (even long-married people can discover new things about each other that they didn’t know before). So most sexual people decide to approach someone that looks appealing and try and see if that can be taken further. I’ve heard it said that they are trying to see if the personality “matches” the appearance.

3. They could just be looking for casual sex, in which case who cares about intellectual compatibility?

I think the second approach is a lot more common than some people give sexuals credit for.

Ily – I know what you mean about trying to look your best but not wanting people to like you for that reason.

Rainbow Amoeba – Thanks for the welcome! I also don’t really understand how these guys could expect to succeed. I guess if they’re taking a shot based on attraction alone, they assume that the woman might give them a shot based on (what they assume to be) their extremely good looks. ๐Ÿ™‚

Hallu – I think you hit on what has always been the difference between me and most people, since long before I realized I was asexual. I have always been insistent upon getting really close to people before getting romantically involved. I am also generally kind of a cynic/misanthrope and assume that any random person I find attractive would not happen to be someone I’d care to know. But I do understand, in theory, the idea of being attracted to someone enough to want to get to know them and hope that their personality matches up to their looks. It just surprises me how many relationships work out after starting that way – it seems like such a crapshoot!

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