ATTRACTION: WHAT IS IT ANYWAY?
Attraction. An expression, a feeling, that many of us go through. A phenomenon so much a part of our everyday lives, and yet there is silence around it.
Some say- we all feel it, it’s natural! While others tell us- it’s wrong! Don’t look at her! Shame on you!
We keep receiving confusing messages from all sides. Who do you believe? What do we follow? Here are a few simple yet relevant things for us to know, so that we are a little less lost J
It’s okay if you feel it. It’s okay if you don’t
There is so much stigma and shame around sex and it’s various expressions in the media and the society in general. In such an atmosphere, it is of utmost important for us to know that it isn’t wrong for us to feel attracted towards someone. It is also necessary for many of us to know that it is perfectly fine to not feel attracted towards someone as well. There aren’t any set of rules we must follow. But the society doesn’t let us believe that. Who should we love? Who is beautiful? Who is desirable? Who is to be avoided at all costs? These are things we are taught, on a very unconscious level, from a young age. It is very difficult to unlearn these lessons, to learn to listen to what one’s heart/desires/mind is truly telling us. But if we do, it can open up doors to new experiences. But we all need each other’s support to make this happen.
Age: Just a number?
When we think of two people being attracted to each other, how do we imagine them? Do we think of a 70 year old woman week in her knees? Do we think of a little boy harboring a little crush on the girl he sits next to? Aren’t these legitimate scenarios of people of attractions?
Attractions can be experienced at any age. Of course, their forms can and will often be different. A little boy may not feel sexual energies that his adolescent counterpart will, but he may feel a form of attraction which is exciting in a different way. An older woman can feel attracted towards someone much as a youthful person does!
Younger people who are coming of age, in terms of the social world as well as the biological changes they are undergoing can experience intense one –sided attractions towards film-stars, teachers, neighbors, friends- just about anyone. This has a lot to do with hormonal changes and well, growing up. As long as they don’t become obsessions or non-consensual, these are very beautiful experiences which shouldn’t be frowned upon!
When it comes to attraction, age is often just a number. The films around us would have us believe that childhood is for play, old age for retirement and youth for love. But is that the case? Is attraction that bound by numbers or is it more fluid?
There is no one kind of attractive!
Much like it isn’t necessary that we all feel attraction, it isn’t compulsory that all attractions be of the same kind. People can be attracted to many different things. The mainstream with all its images through films, television and advertisements would have us believe that attraction can only be towards people who fall in the category of being “conventionally good looking”. Thus, thin, fair and tall girls are to be desired, while tall men with deep “manly” voices are supposedly handsome
But is this the truth? If we look around, don’t we see that people come in all shapes, sizes, skin tones, and above all, personalities?
Attraction isn’t only physical in nature
“Pehli nazar ka pehla pyaar”
“Dekha jo tujhe yaar, dil mein baji guitar!”
Nahi, yaar. Sabka nahi hain yeh haal!
Doesn’t work the same way for all of us, does it?
Some of us don’t feel attraction only on the level of someone’s physical appearance Some of us feel drawn to people because we want to talk to them, want to get to know them-their likes, their dislikes. There is nothing wrong with that! Attraction is a complex experience and it can be combination of various factors that make us feel that way.
Attractions are diverse in nature: physical, emotional, intellectual. They can be overlapping or completely separate from one another. They can often be purely sexual in nature. They can also be only emotional. We can be attracted to someone for a day, a week, for years. And the reasons for it can be different. They can also change over time. For instance, if I am attracted to someone for their appearance today, I might be attracted to them for their opinions or their support over time. Or it can both! Who says there is only one way?
Expression of attraction
Do we all need to express or articulate our feelings of attraction? Do we always need to turn those feelings into words and words into a concrete relationship with the person we have feelings for?
There are no rules about this! In today’s society, it is often considered uncool to be shy. Especially if you are boy, you are said to not be man enough. But we should know that by setting such standards, we are just pressuring people to be someone they aren’t. We should have the freedom to decide if and when we want to talk to the person (s) we are attracted to.
Before we leave you, here are a few questions for all of us to get to know ourselves better and broaden our views on sexuality and attraction at the same time! Hope you have a good time and stay with us for the rest!
- Who do I think is sexy?
- Who all can be considered to be attractive?
- Who do I hang out with? Do they belong to the same background as mine or are very different from me?
- Have I ever liked someone who belongs to a very different background than mine? Do I know of anyone who has? If so, have I or they faced any obstacles because of these differences?
- If you are a girl, see if there is any pattern of sexual attractions that matches with your menstrual cycle. Release of hormones around ovulation, can give rise to a strong sexual urge and attraction. Is it happening with you?