Edge of Everywhere

Hot People

Posted on: March 6, 2009

Long before I knew about asexuality, I had a very clear understanding of how I experienced attraction. I’d say it goes all the way back to middle school, when I started occasionally having crushes on guys. I noticed that I never got crushes on the guys who could immediately be identified as “hot” – only on guys whose looks I never thought about until I got to know and like them, at which point I would start to find them cute, although it was still unclear exactly what I wanted from them besides to be around them and get to know them better.

While these occasional crushes on guys made me figure that I was straight, I eventually became aware of the fact that I felt the same way about hot guys (including famous ones) as I did about hot girls. I never fantasized about having sex or a relationship with them. Sometimes, I just wanted to be them – I wanted whatever quality it was that made them so attractive and cool. But my ego also wanted them to notice me, to think I was hot and awesome as well. I wanted to exist in their lives and enter their inner circles, and get the validation that comes with being approved by and seen with the elite. For sexual people, that validation can come through mutual sexual attraction. Society teaches us that the highest stamp of approval you can get from a person is to be wanted by them, that the way to get the closest to them is to sleep with them. Sometimes it feels strange not to want that and not to be able to get that sort of validation.

When I see these people on the street, on the subway, on stages, I’m drawn to them and I feel vaguely unsatisfied, like I want something from them, but not what I’m supposed to want. I have yet to find out if there is a way to get an equivalent of the satisfaction and validation that sexual people seek in dating and getting with highly attractive, alluring and talented people.

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7 Responses to "Hot People"

I could have written this, word for word.

I’ve mostly been attracted to men – in that sense of wanting to *be* them, or be like them. Since this is not possible, being noticed and approved by them was the best I could get. The “stamp of approval” you speak about.

As you noted, we like to associate ourselves with people who have higher status; and this is what made me think about the feminist aspect of it as well.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m attracted mainly to men, not so much because I’m straight, but because men have a higher status in our society. That is, all else being equal, a man will be seen as more important and will be more respected than a woman of the same character and achievements.

(A side issue is that the qualities I most admire are more often found in men than in women, probably also due to cultural conditioning.)

Hi syntaxia! Thanks for your great comments. I am super interested in the idea of attraction to men being something socially constructed rather innate, but I’ve never thought about it in terms of status. That makes a lot sense.

I’m embarrassed to admit that all of my idols are men – while there are lots of prominent women I respect and admire, everyone famous I’ve ever wanted to *be* is male. It’s probably due to a combination of their power/status and, like you said, the qualities we are taught to admire being more often found in men.

I also spent a while searching for that thing that lets me connect with people, and for me it’s about shared passions. I’ll be attracted to someone because they’re an amazing artist or a badass activist or a brilliant thinker, and the connection that I’m craving comes from becoming a part of that piece of their lives. If I can organize with them, think with them or help with their creativity in some way then it can be deeply powerful, because it’s something that’s so important in both of our lives. That’s where the connection comes from.

Hi AVENguy! That makes a lot of sense. When I see a brilliant musician play, for example, my equivalent of a groupie’s desire to sleep with him is the desire to sit down with him and talk about music for hours.

“When I see a brilliant musician play, for example, my equivalent of a groupie’s desire to sleep with [that person] is the desire to sit down with [that person] and talk about music for hours.”

I’ve felt something similar, if not the same exact thing myself, several times. In fact, all of the responses so far to this blog have been things that I could have very well written out myself.. I also feel that it’s about shared passions, an admiration of qualities that another person possess.. as well as a validation of sorts.. i.e., if the person you feel connected to feels a connection with you as well. .

In terms of attractiveness, for me personality plays a bigger role than any other quality, including skills and passionate endeavors.. Not that I could verbalize what it is specifically about a person’s personality that “clicks” with me.. or attracts me to them (nor that it matters, any way)..
I find that certain personality “quirks,” I guess, will strongly draw me to a person, regardless of sex or gender, and allow me to “find beauty” in all other aspects of their being.

I connect with people in a manner very similar to what AVENGuy described, through shared passions and visions. I have never, however, understood the term “hot”. Hot as what? What does “hot” really mean? Nobody I’ve ever asked has been able to define it. They just “know”. For me, it’s all about mutually beneficial relationships, and you can’t know if a relationship will be mutually beneficial by just looking at a person.

~Carsonspire

Carsonspire – I totally agree that you can’t know if a relationship will be mutually beneficial just by looking at a person, which is why I never approach people I find attractive – I just assume we probably won’t have anything in common, whereas sexual people approach attractive strangers all the time, in the hopes that they will like the person’s personality as much as their looks. However, I am not immune to the standards of beauty in our society, and there are definitely people (both famous and not) that I find to be incredibly handsome or beautiful and intriguing, which is what I meant by “hot.” I was just trying to comment on how it feels strange to see and be drawn to these people in some way and want their approval, even though I have no romantic or sexual interest in them or even, most of the time, any real interest in getting to know them.

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