You may think that this question is very simple to answer, but to me things are a lot more complicated than they appear.
Let me tell you why, in the form of two experiences I have been through this last few years.
The first one began when I was still with my last girlfriend. She invited me to meet a girlfriend of hers (Alice) and her husband and children. It was about four years ago. We had dinner together. It was a very agreable evening and my girlfriend’s friend was, well, ok. A bit quiet and not particularly good-looking if you really want to know, not that it mattered. Just a normal person. Anyway, we ate together a few more times over the months that followed, because that what couples “do”, but then they divorced and we lost sight of them. No problem. I forgot them very quickly, in fact. Not really my type of people to be honest.
Not only that, but my girlfriend and I separated too.
Anyway, one day, a year later, I was getting out of my car, downtown, when who should I see but Alice.
She saw me too, and we decided to get a drink. And, to my astonishment, I found her really, and I mean REALLY, attractive, in all senses of the word!! Instantly!! She looked incredibly elegant, very sensual, and extremely desirable. I was acutely aware of it, and I tried to figure it out. She looked just the same (same jeans as usual), same haircut and everything, but she had become the object of my dreams!!! I couldn’t get enough of her!! Couldn’t take my eyes off her!! And it seemed to be reciprocal. There was something going on and we both knew it. Powerful. Physical. Irresistible.
It was so strange, because, before, Alice didn’t appear at all like that!! What had changed? Nothing, nothing at all!!!!! Nothing, but everything….
I can only think now that maybe we just kind of don’t consider people in the same way depending on whether or not they, or we, are “hitched” to someone. I mean, she wasn’t available before, nor was I, so no “chemistry” was possible. Who knows? Afterwards though, we were both single, so maybe we just were “looking” for attractiveness in each other, because it was now PERMITTED. Maybe we put ourselves into “search” mode or not depending just as much on the prevailing social circumstances as on any perceived qualities?
Or is it some kind of mechanism that helps keep families, and thus the social fabric, together?
Is that what we call “moral standards”? (Nothing “natural” or “physical” there, in that case, is there!!)
Guess I’ll never understand that……
(Oh, and “Yes we did” is the answer to your burning question, dear reader, but this is a family site, ok?!!)
My second story involves a woman I met in an art gallery. She asked me how the headphones worked (it was a multimedia piece of art). I showed her. We went for coffee. A few days later we went out for dinner. As all this went on, it became evident that something was happening here, at least for me. So, as elegantly as possible, I tried to convey my feelings. I wanted more. Simple as that. She was so attractive!
This little game went on for a while, and we became good friends and had a lot of fun together. I still had other things in mind though, but, oh well, can’t win every time now can you!!? She was a good person to be with, and that was the most important thing. (But, has to be said, she was so VERY attractive!!)
We met for coffee one day on this bar terrace, not far from my place.
We talked as usual and then we had this conversation;
-Can I be very straight with you about something?-
-Sure! Of course!-
-Michael, it seems obvious to me that you would take me to bed this instant if you could. Is that right?-
-Uhhh, yes, it is. You’re right. I would.-
-Fine. I must say I really appreciate the way you have not tried to force anything, even though your intentions are clear. You’ve been very cool, and I thank you for it-
-Ummm that’s ok, glad you’re not angry-
-Of course I’m not angry! (laughs) but you need to know that I live with someone, so it isn’t going to happen between us-
-Oh, I didn’t know you had a boyfriend, sorry. No problem-
-But I DON’T have a boyfriend-
-I live with my girlfriend……-
She went on to tell me that she chose her friends carefully because of peoples’ prejudices, and that only her good friends knew that she was gay. She asked me to remain her friend and to come and eat dinner and meet her girlfriend. I accepted with the greatest of pleasure.
And, do you know what?
She instantly, and I mean instantly, ceased to be someone I wanted to sleep with. She instantly became a really good friend, nothing else in my mind. She was a friend. In fact she is now one of my best friends, and when I look at her now I smile gently at how I used to think of her, and we walk arm-in-arm when it’s cold….
So, again, but in the opposite sense this time, it just seems that sexual attraction is a variable thing. It’s not “visceral”. Well, it IS at the time, but can change in an instant too. Something “turned off”, as in my gay friend’s case, or “turned on”, as in Alice’s case, the hormonal taps.
What is that “something”?
As I said, it’s more complicated than it appears.
At least it is for me……….
Please send your answers to my psychiatrist.
(Photos 1 – infopheromone.com / Photo 2 – my mobile)