Should Beauty Take A Backseat?

     A fellow blogger, Cogent Ascending, recently wrote an article that really made me think.  In a post titled, "A Matter of Taste," he questions the maturity of his criteria for choosing bed mates.  Furthermore, he challenges his tendacy to limit the romantic possibilities of the intelligent, interesting men who lacks physical attractiveness.  The following quote is an abridged version of his article, you can find the full, unedited post on his self titled blog.

     In my slowly declining attempts to pursue other men on a romantic level, I come across certain people from time to time that are interesting or with whom there is a spark of chemistry.  If I am extremely lucky, and as happens only every once in a great while, these people pass what I think of as an internal litmus test for becoming potential bed mates. 

Clean Finger Nails
Good Clean Teeth
Sweet Smelling Breath
 A natural scent which compels me to explore further.
No Gut
 No Man Breasts
 More or less, someone who looks no less attractive physically than I do myself.
preferably, a man without a micro-penis.

     I have a practice of making the really intelligent and interesting ones who lack sorely in the looks department just friends.  I have been told this is an immature approach to seeking a romantic bond with another person, that looks will eventually fade even from the most attractive suitors and that in the end all that remains will be the conversations and that original chemical spark.

Is good sex only for the beautiful?
     Although the tired saying, "It's the insides that count", does ring true.  I think, the aforementioned attributes are actually indicators of something deeper, in spite of their vain delivery.  Have you ever stopped to think about why we're attracted to certain physical appearances?  Arousal is naturally occurring, but there are also mental impressions attached to certain characteristics.
     Manicured hands and nice teeth can be symbols of something beyond beauty.  When he flashes that pretty smile at him, his conscious minds says, "Look at those white, bright, sexy teeth!"  However, his subconscious mind could be saying, "Look at that commitment!  He looks like he bushes three times a day with regular trips to the dentist!"  He could also further assume that he tends to his other responsibilities equally as well.
      Not to underrate intelligence and other immaterial qualities, but isn't the physical body the proof in the pudding?  Could six-pack abs and well defined muscles be evidence of discipline?  Could great hair express his attention to detail?  If you think about, many of the features we praise and drool over are direct manifestations of health and virility.
     Should beauty be placed on the back burner?  I think not.  If we can become more conscious of why we find beautiful, I think it will shed new light on what we are really looking for in a partner.  By being aware of the deeper indications of our arousal, we can the discern the difference between eye candy and compatibility.


ToddyEnglish said...

I don't think it's shallow. It's sexual selection. Granted, even though gay men are not going to be making babies the principal is still the same. Attributes such as: bright eyes, white teeth, physical fitness and etc are all evidence of good health (which, in the long run, leads to fit healthy offspring who will carry on those traits and etc etc etc)...Again, what it means for gay men I dunno...

But you're also correct that the way you present yourself says something about you. When I see someone who is obese, unkept, smelly, and with bad teeth I automatically think, "This is obviously a person who is depressed." It isn't shallow to be drawn to people who are a healthy weight, clean, and keep up with themselves. If I am putting all this effort into my outward packaging why shouldn't I not want the same?

I actually tried dating guys that I found not so attractive. I just didn't work...literally and figuratively speaking.

Forbidden Light said...

Amazing, Toddy! Even as gay men, natural selection still occurs. I guess, we are human after all!

Bottom line, outside of procreation, we are still interested in quality of life, so we are naturally wired to look for a partner that is conducive to quality...

Garçon Stupide said...

I'm 6'3, pretty well-endowed, and my teeth are just fine. I'm slim/swmmer's build.

A lot of guys go crazy for that combination, but I'm insecure as hell.

I once had a hook-up with a bodybuilder/model who was usually active but let me fuck him - presumably because I had a big dick. I was young and naive at the time and kinda liked him, but when I asked him to have dinner sometime he said he wasn't interested in dating, and that he would only date someone with equal muscle.

On the other hand, I know one boy who is pretty as hell, devastatingly beatiful, but who never dates anyone or has sex because he thinks his dick is too small - when in fact it's just average. Not massive, not small, just regular.

What's the point of all this? Well - Toddy definitely has a point, and Forbidden definitely has a point, but it's just all so complex and variable, and people need to adopt some common sense, and a sense of proportion.

Forbidden Light said...

@Garcon: You had me at 6' 3" and well endowed! LOL I agree with whatever you said after that!

No, seriously, you raise a great point. Ultimately, there's no surefire way to determine the sum of a person. There are many clues and indications, but there's no shortcuts to getting to know a person.

In each person, there are many exceptions and anamolies, thus making everyone unique. We should limit our assumptions before truly getting acquainted...

ToddyEnglish said...

::slips Garcon Stupide his telephone number:: teeheehee.

Joey said...

Ah, the debate between "What's on the inside" and "What's inside me".

Beauty is, indeed, fleeting. If your eye keeps fixed on someone over the course of the time they go from wonderful to wonderfully withered then that is one way of thinking of real attraction.

There is, of course, another mode of thinking: Fuck for today.

And a few variations in between.

For me, slurp up the hot beauty of youth, firm abs, and big dicks but don't suppose that those things bring lasting pleasure. Unless of course they belong to you.


muscles are nice but... a sign of discipline, or of insecurity. when one will exclude anyone from his entourage that doesn't compare, it is an insecure fellow afraid of how other less muscled would reflect upon such an individual in front of others. i've run the full gamut, enjoyed men for what they had to offer, even if it were a fleeting moment. i must say i've surprised myself at whom caused me to feel attraction. not always the obvious choice...
but yes, we are hormonal creatures that will respond to specific stimulis acquired from our personal experiences. that's why it is so different for each of us, i think.

Forbidden Light said...

@Mr. Bear: You raise a good point! The true definition of the symbol would the sentiment fueling the maintainance. I could take great care of my teeth because (1) I'm disciplined or (2) I'm a germophobe.

I guess it's important to think about all of the motivations behind the beauty. Through conversation and getting to know someone, we can decipher whether it vanity or values...


and kill the fantasy? some people aren't worth knowing, only enjoyed for a fleeting moment. on the other hand, one might miss on a worthy human being...
(but i klnow, i can be sometimes harsh in my assessment...)

Forbidden Light said...


I know that all to well...some people should just stay silent and look pretty!

Cogent Ascending said...

"It's easy to write Cogent off as a shallow asshole who places beauty above all else."


Sorry it took me so long to figure out where this post was.
Sometimes my computer savy resembles that of a giant retarded banana slug.

Great discussion and great points of view but I am learning that physical attraction is one essential part of a combination of attractions without which the rest just sort of falls apart after a short while.

While physical beauty does indeed fade it won't for a good long time and I'm hoping by then i'll have learned how to fuck in the dark.


@ cogent ascending:
you got a big laugh from me!!!!!
darkness has its virtues!!!
@ FL:
your teeth:
seeking the integrity of their purpose,
or is it vanity?
either way,
it's all good!!!
i love a perfect smile,
as i have a shy one...


in most cases...

Forbidden Light said...

"While physical beauty does indeed fade it won't for a good long time and I'm hoping by then I'll have learned how to fuck in the dark."

Most. Classic. Line. Ever.

Do you see why I love you? Where do you come up with this brilliance? LOL



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